Italian Stilettos


November 13, 2012, 01:01 PM
I bought these three back in the 60’s when they were a dime a dozen.

The white one is a very low quality switch-blade that works O.K.
The only marking on it is “Stainless Steel” on the blade.

The black folding guard switch-blade is slightly better made, works very well, and is marked Rizzuto Estileto Milano.

The smaller black one is a top-lock of pretty good quality with real horn scales.
It is only marked “Made in Italy”.

All three are fun to look at and play with, but pretty worthless as knifes go.
I wouldn’t take one to a Hamster Fight unless that’s all I had.

But I feel pretty much the same way about all the high quality Italian Stilettos costing much more.

They are pretty useless as EDC knives, except for leaning on a lamp post with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of your mouth while cleaning your nails.

They would only be good as fencing “stickers” in a fight.


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November 13, 2012, 01:10 PM
You are right. I got a couple Milanos. Useless things, but pretty.
Ok to posess and collect here but a no no to carry.

November 13, 2012, 02:03 PM
My dad still has one that he got from his seedy uncle, a mafioso who "worked" in PA (now deceased). Now you might be thinking "Oh I bet that bad boy has seem to action!" Hardly. They're not very sturdy nor all that reliable, and any...ahem, bodily fluids would ruin the mechanism forever. Uncle just like to play with it and maybe once to twice probably used it as a "stage prop" for intimidation.

November 13, 2012, 03:17 PM
I just came across one of mine last night in cleaning up a junk drawer. I never really know what to do with it - you can see it does not close all the way - as, for me it has an implied quality (undeserving) being Italian/Milano but is such a general piece of knifeturdiness that I get little pleasure out of its ownership.

Anyhoo, here's mine.

November 13, 2012, 06:32 PM

That is often referred to as the blade being "proud" when it sticks up enough that the tip is exposed. I've seen this on autos where the catch/latch for the knife has either some gunk or wear interfering with a proper lockup in the close position. Try some very very hot soapy water and then blow dry as a way to flush gunk out. If that doesn't work you may have a wear problem.

I have few "Italians" in my collection. Some "humble" and some well made. Every switchblade collection has to have a few.

November 13, 2012, 07:53 PM
It can also be caused by someone at one time replacing the spring with a bigger size wire spring.

There is enough give in the soft metal catch & liner they could be forced closed enough to close, but it distorts the catch when you let go of the blade afterwards so the blade stays open a little.


November 13, 2012, 08:28 PM
A friend of mine collects auto knives, and he has some of those old "switchblades", but the modern autos he has....some are pretty damn impressive.

November 13, 2012, 08:34 PM

There is no comparison between those old music-wire flipper knives and the modern torsion coil spring auto's of today.

I have a Benchmade 3000 Mel Pardue that would snap open 3 times while one of the old Italian Stiletto's snapped open once!


November 13, 2012, 10:32 PM
Most of the Italian stilettos’ were poorly made, were not intended to hold up for any length of time, and had little or no practical use except as a last-ditch “get off me weapon” I’ve still got a couple of them laying around somewhere and I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

November 13, 2012, 11:18 PM
HSO - "proud"... That cracks me up as a phrase for this. I'll try the de-ginking, thanks.

RC - I could see that being possible too. If you enlarge my photo with the blade extended, you can see a monster of a spring sticking out.

Come to think of the keep - pitch options. I went to toss it into another drawer and it ended up next to my ".32 gun in his pocket for fun" S&W and found a mate since I'm not keen on keeping razors in my shoe. Now, if I could just find those pearl grips...

November 13, 2012, 11:37 PM
Good Heavens to Murgatroyd! :what:

Next thing you know, you will have a gold tooth too, to go with the razor in your shoe!

All you need now is a big feather in your hat.
And a Purple Zoot suit!

Let me know what street you hang, and I'll stay out of your business right there! :evil:


November 14, 2012, 12:10 AM
A well made Olive Wood handled Frank Beltran one about 10 years old. It works well and I actually sharpened the Kris blade really sharp! I like to masking tape it to my ankle under my sock ala dirty harry !:evil:

November 14, 2012, 12:43 AM
SO, your street name now is Slick Leg Gordan, after you ripped the tape off?

Just kidding! :D

I don't want nobody with a Stiletto Kris taped to his leg getting mad at me over something stupid I said this late at night! :o

NICE knives BTW!


Cocked & Locked
November 17, 2012, 10:42 PM
Couple of Schrade Scalb autos posing with S&W 60-1

Frank Beltrame with horn scales posing with New Departure .38 S&W

Got some others but no pictures

November 17, 2012, 11:29 PM
WWII Presto and Colt/Ithaca.

If I can find it I think I'll post my M-9 & Schrade rigger's auto that I carried for a time. I know some call them "survival" knives but we always got them from the riggers.

November 17, 2012, 11:31 PM
Well, that right there is sure an Oldie, and a Goodie!!

Nice pair.

You don't see many Presto's, at all.


November 17, 2012, 11:44 PM
Would you believe I scored that on E-Bey at a great BIN price while neither I nor the seller knew they were "banned"?

I have a soft spot for the Prestos with a Para/1SSF connection.

While this one was not really issued - it was my first Presto auto.

November 17, 2012, 11:50 PM
Now you are just making me jealous!

How much was the EvilBay BIN price, if you don't mind my asking?


November 18, 2012, 12:00 AM
So thats what it called, presto, I called it something when it sliced me up in my pocket. The lock isnt just for decoration.

November 18, 2012, 12:17 AM
Now you are just making me jealous!

How much was the EvilBay BIN price, if you don't mind my asking?

Seems like it was stupid low around $175 (should be pushing 500). I couldn't believe folk were low balling the bidding but these are being imported (the slightly longer version) from ComChina so I was initially leery due to photo quality. Imagine my surprise when it arrived. To make things better - E-Blaa must have been pulling it even as I was paying because when I returned to the listing to confirm the purchase - it came up "pulled" in violation. What timing!

Another of my blade&bone passions due to the connection to the lineage of my beloved Special Forces - the First Special Service Force/10th Mountain, 5 blade "Mountain Knife". I keep trying to upgrade and get the other two versions as well.

November 18, 2012, 12:39 AM
I remember one table at gunshow having a Italian Stilletto that that was huge. I think the blade was like 15" long. Like many, I have a few lying around.

I believe I told this story before but I was going through the Xray at the airport (in Knoxville) [prior to 9-11], and they found something in my brief case that caught their attention. I looked at the scan and had no idea what it was. Turned out to be an Itallian Stilletto in the box that had slipped behind the lining. I checked that "bag" in that day as luggage. :)

November 20, 2012, 11:04 PM
Figured I'd continue the autos with corresponding firearms. This is a Barrel Industries - outa business but had an odd following for a short time in the Army.

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