Solingen is where excellent knifesmiths and craftsmen have been making custom hunting knives for centuries. What makes Solingen-made German hunting knives so unique is that knife-making is such an integral part of Solingen’s culture that the world recognizes it as the “City of Blades.”
With Solingen’s title comes an established reputation for excellence and quality. Solingen's tradition of hard work and grit brought about its blade-making culture. Add in healthy competition among fellow bladesmiths, and you get world-class, German-made blades coveted by many knife enthusiasts worldwide.
In this article, we review the top Solingen knife manufacturers and the hunting knives they produce to give you the best of the best Solingen-made hunting knives to purchase.
Of the many popular Solingen-made brands out there, we only chose three: Boker, Linder, and Puma. These brands all started out from Solingen and are still manufacturing knives from the city.
Boker is a famous German brand and one of the many known companies that manufacture the best German-made pocket knives, fixed-blade hunting knives, and kitchen knives. Etched onto its authentic, Solingen-manufactured blades is its world-renowned tree-brand logo to prove the utmost quality of its craftsmanship.
Boker has been making blades in Solingen since 1869. They are the leading manufacturer of knives in Europe but are now under Boker USA, Inc. Despite moving their station to the United States, they still manufacture the knives in Solingen, so look for the tree-brand logo if you are scouting for Boker German hunting knives for sale online or in a hobby shop near you.
Linder is another well-known brand hailing from Solingen that makes German knives for sale worldwide. Founded by Carl Linder in the City of Blades in 1908, this company initially made pocket knives. When the business grew, it started to expand and make what Linder is now famous for—hunting knives.
Linder had its share of ups and downs. During the Second World War, Linder's knife production ground to a complete halt for about a decade before it opened again in 1949. But when Linder became active, it expanded vigorously, reviving their previous knife products and distributing them.
The Linder brand has had two successors: Paul Rosenkaimer, who succeeded Carl Linder, passed on in 1985. Currently, Siegfried Rosnkaimer sits at the helm of what we know as the Carl Linder Nachfolger quality brand of Solingen German knives.
Puma has been around for a long time. With almost 250 years of experience on their belt, Puma is a pioneer in the Solingen hunting knife-making industry. Founded by the Lauterjung as a maker of cutleries in Solingen as far back as 1769, their products soon found their way into the army's hands.
It was only in 1947 that Puma began to realize that they should specialize. They thought of making pocket, sporting, and hunting knives and made their famous hunting knife designs in the 1950s. These knife designs are a collector's item today.
Etched on their blades is Puma's cat logo, which symbolizes their blade's sharpness.
After scouting hunting knives with similar specifications created by these brands, we put them side by side and found out which one is the best among them.
Boker Manufakture Solingen TNT Hunting Knife
The most popular fixed-blade hunting knife of Boker is the TNT Hunting Knife. This hunting knife designed by Toni Tietzel is 8.46 inches in length, and you can carry it around anywhere. The TNT Hunting Knife has a full tang for sturdiness and durability, and the scale covering the handle has two rivets on either end, which makes it look simple yet elegant.
As for the blade, it has a drop-point edge built for perforation, yet it is also razor-sharp. You can use this hunting knife to slice soft, fleshy materials with ease. The metal used for the blade is upper middle-grade steel used to manufacture fine Solingen blades.
The handle is dark brown African hardwood called Grenadill and has a smooth and oily texture. It perfectly contrasts the color of the blade and makes the TNT Hunting Knife look sophisticated.
Overall, this is a flexible, compact knife that you can use whether for casual day-to-day use or in the great outdoors.
Boker TNT Hunting Knife Specifications
- 8.46-inch knife length
- 3.78-inch blade length
- Fixed blade type
- Drop-point blade
- N690/58–60 Hardness Rockwell C (HRC) cobalt-alloyed blade
- Grenadill wood scale
Linder 440 Drop Point Hunter Knife
The Linder 440 Hunter Knife's blade is just right for its price. Made of stainless steel with lower carbon content, this blade is soft, so its edge is prone to blunting with repeated use. On the other hand, you can easily sharpen the edge if it gets worn out.
The great thing about the Linder 440 is its thick bolster. Combined with its drop-point tip, it can puncture and tear through the game's flesh with ease.
Another thing worth mentioning is the beautiful handle made of cocobolo wood. This wood material is the same one used in martial art weapons. It is also durable and lightweight. On the other hand, cocobolo wood is expensive and hard to come by, so it is astonishing for Linder to create a knife with this beautifully patterned wood.
Overall, the Linder 440 Hunter Knife is better as a collection piece than a survival tool for the outdoor huntsman. But that shouldn't stop you from taking it out for some field testing.
Linder 440 Drop Point Hunter Knife Specifications
- 8.14-inch knife length
- 3.5-inch blade length
- 440A/56 HRC stainless steel blade
- Cocobolo wood handle
- Aluminum bolsters
- Fixed blade
- Drop point
Puma Bock Stag Hunting Knife
The advantage of this Puma hunting knife is that among the three knives, it has the longest blade length, measuring 4.25 inches. In addition, it is a fixed blade with a drop point suitable for cutting small game. The blade is also tapered, so you can use it with dexterity.
Another thing that's unique about the Puma Bock Stag Hunting Knife is the handle's scales. It is made with staghorn and secured in place with three rivets attached to a full tang.
With all its unique features, it trades off the steel's hardness. With a Rockwell grade of 52–54 HRC, this knife may not be tough enough for extreme outdoor hunting activities, but it is good enough for casual use.
The Puma Bock Stag Hunting Knife is a Solingen blade that looks and feels tough, but you may have to use it gently. In any case, any true hunting enthusiast would be delighted to have it.
Puma Bock Stag Hunting Knife Specifications
- 9-inch knife length
- 4.25-inch blade length
- 420/52–54 HRC stainless steel blade
- Staghorn handle
- Fixed blade
- Drop point
For us, the best choice is the Boker Manufakture Solingen TNT Hunting Knife. Among the three brands reviewed, Boker's TNT Hunting Knife has proven its authenticity. It has the premium tree-brand logo to mark its authentic creation. In addition, Boker uses Solingen metal and manufactures it in Solingen, making it an authentic Solingen-made hunting knife.
In terms of specifications, its technical characteristics match those of the two Solingen knives, but the blade's toughness, graded at 58–60 HRC, really stood out for the Boker TNT knife.
When hunting game, whether big or small, the steel's toughness is essential. You’ll be doing dressing, skinning, and disjointing tasks in the field using whatever knife you have in your stash, so the hunting knife's blade should be strong enough to withstand many uses, especially outdoors. That's why Boker's knife is the best choice if you enjoy hunting and the great outdoors. The blade length is short, but the toughness of the blade makes up for it.