WWII - E.G.W. knives


October 21, 2012, 02:53 PM
Made by E. G. Waterman & Co. of New York City during WWII for commercial sale to GI’s & Sportsmen in magazine ads of the day.

One of the two bigger ones got rode hard and put away wet, and the blade edge has been sharpened away about 5/16”.
The top two are tang stamped EGW over KNIFE over a LINE clear across the ricasso.
Looks like a stress riser to me, but I digress.
The ugly one has no makers stamp at all.

5 ” and two 7 ”’s.


5 ” showing Turks Head handle wrap someone added.


WWII E. G. Waterman ad.


They were advertised as “Guaranteed Shatter-Proof”, which was totally true.
They are so soft you could bend one double in a vice and beat it with a hammer, and it certainly wouldn't shatter!

Seems to me the major selling point was the built-in beer bottle opener on the choil on some of them.
If you were “In the Rear with the Gear, and the Beer” it would be better than a Randall or a Ka-Bar in that regard!!

Anyway, I hope nobody had to bet their life on a E.G.W. knife in combat!
It sure would beat a sharp stick in the eye, but not by much.

Still, an interesting piece of WWII history, I guess!


If you enjoyed reading about "WWII - E.G.W. knives" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 21, 2012, 05:22 PM
Sorry I don't have any details for you rc, but it looks very similar in construction to one I have, only with a bayonet style blade.

October 21, 2012, 05:47 PM
I believe yours is a Kutmaster brand, sold commercially after WWII in all the fishing & hunting magazines for like $1.98.


Made up out of surplus M4 bayonet /M3 Trench knife blades left from canceled Utica Cutlery contracts when the war ended.
They used the ring in the tang for handle attachment like EGW.

Could be wrong though!

I have one just like it, except for a thinner guard and butt cap which were chrome plated.


October 21, 2012, 05:59 PM
Looks like the quartermaster made the owners of those lower two grind off the beer opening goodness.

October 21, 2012, 07:11 PM
They actually show no indication of ever having one.
The cut in the blade still shows dark blue hardening color on the better one, and the other is rough like it was die stamped that way.

Makes me wonder if the bottle cap hook part of the 7 1/2" blade stamping male die broke off, and they just kept stamping them out without the hook???


October 21, 2012, 09:07 PM
Cool pld knifes.

Bull Nutria
October 22, 2012, 07:10 AM
OK RC I'll bite, where did you find these old knives? they are interesting, I suppose the beer opener featured must have died out with the invention of the "pop top"????

approiximately how many knives do You have in your collection? if that info is not classified!!

I have a military knife that i obtained from surplus it says "US Camillus" on the blade near the guard against the handle. the handle is stacked leather and is all black. it is in original black leather case. it is supposed to be an as issued military knife. I had 2 but i gave one to my son. what say you are these knives high quality or what?

what is your evaluation of this knife? is it worth anything? I carry it in my deer hunting backpack.


October 22, 2012, 07:52 AM
thanks for the info rc, glad i got it for free.

October 22, 2012, 08:25 AM
Bull Nutria,

Camillus made knives for the U.S. military for quite a few years. These included the following fixed blades with leather washer handles -

USN Mk 1
Marine Fighting/Utility
Pilot Survival

Bull Nutria
October 22, 2012, 10:24 AM

mine is just like the first one, except mine has a black leather sheath and black leather washers, it has no other markings except "US Camillus"

October 22, 2012, 11:42 AM
The US Camillus are good sturdy blades and are easily sharpened.

Nothing wrong with them at all, except the knife snobs will make fun of you for using it instead of a $300 knife.

You can laugh right back at them after you field dress a deer and touch up the edge shaving sharp again with four swipes on a flat rock!

How many do I have?
I suppose I have around 200 military, civilian, and hand made or customized knives in my modest collection.
Never really counted them all.
Many are displayed on this old LEGS pantyhose rotary merchandiser stand in the gun room.
There is another drawer in a gun cabinet full of old pocket knives I haven't ever photographed.


where did you find these old knives?
I started collecting when I was a boy 60 years ago.
A friendly neighbor gave me a Navy MkII when I was about 6 or 7.

The rest have come my way over the years, just hauling & following the wife around garage sales, antique stores, and flea markets while she was collecting antique dishes! A few were bought off eBay when I needed something I couldn't otherwise find.

A guys gotta do something interesting on those ventures to keep from going crazier!


October 22, 2012, 12:03 PM
Bull Nutria,

The Mk1 is a venerable quality design and Camillus did a great job with them. They made the same quality for their civilian products as the military contract pieces. Camillus always made quality knives right up to the day they shut their doors and sold off the assets.


Let me know if you ever decide to get rid of that Hackman Scandi Butterfly!

November 20, 2012, 11:29 PM
One of the "not as much Waterman" knives that pop up from time to time. Good enough to make it into Silvey so good enough for me. I think it's cool to see what folk need to do to get knives of reasonable quality out there when they were pretty thin on the ground.

November 20, 2012, 11:31 PM
Here, someone "Watermaned" a no-name bayonet that I bought for the washers.
Some people's kids...

November 20, 2012, 11:38 PM
That one right there is a post war "Kutmaster" branded knife, made by Utica out of left-over M3/M4 parts, and sold commercially in the sporting magazines of the day.


November 21, 2012, 12:22 AM
So they were using unmarked blade blanks? Funny to think there would be a market for this odd ball. Thanks for the info.

It's probably not anything I should need to save is it, rather than pinch the washers as I intended?

November 21, 2012, 02:23 AM
Blade marked M3 / M4's went by the way side as the war went on.

By 1944 / 45 all were guard marked and the blades were not marked at all.

The Kutmasters had the name lightly etched on the left side of the spine.
But so lightly it wore off as soon as they were used at all.

See mine at the bottom of this thread.


I sure wouldn't distroy one just to get handle washers.


If you enjoyed reading about "WWII - E.G.W. knives" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!