Old Western from the 1930s

In 1911, H. N. Platts, was able to draw on his extensive friendships and family connections in the cutlery world to start Western States Cutlery and Manufacturing of Boulder Colorado. At first only a jobbing business, by 1920 construction and machinery purchases were underway to begin manufacture of knives. Through name changes--to Western States Cutlery Co. in 1953, then Western Cutlery Co. in 1956--and moves first across town and later to Longmont Colorado, the company stayed under the leadership of the Platt family until 1984. In that year, the company was sold to Coleman, becoming Coleman-Western. Eventually purchased by Camillus in 1991, Western continued until Camillus expired in 2007.
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Old Western from the 1930s

Post by zzyzzogeton » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:31 am

This is an X245, most likely from between 1931 and 1940.


The stamp on this knife is WEST-CUT over BOULDER COLO. This shows that the WEST-CUT line was around long before 1958 when the K-series knives came out with the WESTCUT stamp.

The 45 pattern was produced from 1931 through 1941 per the catalog reprint pages in TKMWWW. It may have been a Western offering from 1928 to 1930, but I haven't seen any catalogs from that period. It may have also available prior to 1928 (when Western started making their own fixed blades), as the pattern is similar to knives made by other companies during the 1920s. All fixed blades Western sold prior to 1928 were made by other companies.

The 1931-1940 knives came in 2 flavors - the X245 and the 245R. The X245 had composition pearl handles with black underlayment while the 245R had a thicker guard with metal and fiber washers behind the guard. The handles were of composition pearl, but the catalog description omits any mention of black underlayment. The 1941 catalog omits mention of the black underlayment on either the X245 or the 245R.

This shot shows what "composition handles with black underlayment" means. Several Western models were made with this handle construction.


However, I have a conundrum about this knife.

According to TKMWWW, the X245 had an overall length of 8-1/2 inches, with a blade length of 5 inches, as stated in the 1931, 1936 and 1941 catalogs. This knife has an OAL of 8-1/2 inches. Okay - that box is checked. ::tu:: BUT!!!!!! the BL is only 4-22/32 inches, almost a full 1/4 inch short. There is absolutely NO apparent tip damage or blade reprofiling.

So what does that mean? I have no clue. not a one.

Here's the possibilities -

1 - The knife grinder made a mistake, the knife ended up 1/4 inch short and QC let it go anyway.

2 - Even though the model was advertised as having a 5 inch blade, but they really had 4-3/4" blades. This would be contrary to Western's practice of advertising knives to the 1/8 inch (5-5/8", 4-3/8", etc). A 4-3/4 inch blade should have been advertised as such.

3 - This MIGHT and I stress MIGHT, be a pre-1931 knife and the 1920s specs were for a 4-3/4 inch blade.

I need to find a few more of these to see if there is any pattern to the blade lengths. The problem with that solution is finding 80+ year old knives.

Any one else have an opinion?

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Re: Old Western from the 1930s

Post by TripleF » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:54 am

It's apparent to me the knife has been over sharpened.....since it's so apparent to me, I'm probably wrong.


Colonial Knife Company History ebook:

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Re: Old Western from the 1930s

Post by djknife13 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:59 am

It sure looks to me like it was sharpened down to the current length. ____Dave

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Re: Old Western from the 1930s

Post by edge213 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:58 pm

I agree, sure looks like quite a bit of blade loss.
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Re: Old Western from the 1930s

Post by tongueriver » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:11 pm

I think that it has been sharpened down as well.
little Westerns001.jpg

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