Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

TL-29 Knife – An American Icon

TL-29 Knife – An American Icon



hey guys want to talk about an icon amongst American nights tl2900 known as the electricians knife also known as Alliance man's knife these things have been around since World War one they've changed shape a little bit over the time but they really gained popularity around World War two and straight down through the 70s and 80s when they did get lost you know kind of in the modern night for a revolution where everything had to have pocket clips and you know synthetic parts and all that jazz so I wanted to show these things because these are just amazing amazing that it's even by today's standards and they're really overlooked and you can get these things for dirt cheap you're gonna find these things even on eBay I just bought two more of these today on eBay and I paid I think twelve dollars for the tools so about six dollars a piece what makes these things so fantastic of course is that these things have a carbon steel blade which was pretty common for it back in the old day they had either wooden or synthetic handles and they had a brass liner-lock for the screwdriver and they have a little bail on them for attaching to your keys or your belt or whatever it is you want to do with these things and the other blade of course is the screwdriver end which is a straight slot thing and then the screwdriver is also a little sharp on the bottom so I guess you can use that for stripping wires and whatnot to or maybe even just doing some scraping or whatever it is you might need to do so like I said it's got a nice kind of brass slander lock to it and these were made by many many companies I think in the neighborhood between like 10 and 20 companies we're making these at the height of their popularity Camillus of course is is the most well known of them I know I think pal made them unitive cutlery made them trade made some case meats on all the big manufacturer made these bags in the day especially for the war time for for the war effort just millions of many of these in circulation I really cheap really easy to get hold up and the thing that makes these things awesome guys a little known fact to it is that the steel Cano let's use for these is actually very very close to oh one tool steel there is no old one tool steel is kind of like a 1095 on steroids it's a very high carbon steel a 1095 base steel but it has some extra of the other elements added into it it give it better wear resistance and and all that these things are really fantastic and if you're doubting me on the steel you know this the steel the blind horse Knights use or never horse whatever the column sells now that's a steel things for their high-end Knights a lot of high-end makers use all one tool steel connotes was doing this back fifty years ago why because of course back then we believed in building awesome things so I wanted to point that out because you're also gonna run into stainless steel miles leaves and the easiest way to tell the difference of course is that you're carving steel will have a patina or does your stainless steel will not so when you get these and you know open the blade that they have a good patina odds are you've got a good carbon steel model of course check the main blade for your stamp usually they're always gonna be mark Camillus down here and you can check the a each based on what stamp but these things were just fantastic back in the day there were awesome little carving knives they they were in everybody's pockets they just were fantastic you think this is hard hard wood right here guys now the thing is suck yeah they don't have a lock on them there's no lock on the blade there's nothing like that but these things weren't meant to be tactical ends that you stab things – these are meant to be work nice they're meant to be something used on the jobsite you know carefully cautiously not something you messed around with but yeah these things hold a terrific edge they keep the edge a long time and man I tell you you play with these things you will not want to go back to modernize you know the full flat grind blades they take really really super sharp edges they're so easy to sharpen this old one guys is so nice too sharp and so easy to sharpen you know these things you know no I'm not for having duty you know these are relatively thin blades these are you know the knows where and parents of a man they just work today ain't just carve and carve put any effort into them I just love these so they're that guys you think they're just an absolute legend maybe they're absolute legends they depend on out for him near 100 years now as I said you know they've just been around forever whole you know even these old one you pick these things up there 50 years old one is a little work you know these things you can sharpen them up in five minutes with very very simple sharpening stones and you can have an absolutely fantastic knife to add your collection the super high


Reader Comments

  1. Dirt cheap is right! I found one in an old tackle box that somebody threw in a trash compactor. I saved it before it was compacted. The one I happen to have is a 3-blade version ( sheep’s foot, spear point and screw driver combo blade). It’s definetly a carbon steel blade ( patina). The tang stamp reads Klein Chicago, no year. Handles are definetly synthetic. I love this knife, and I take good care of it. I just I knew where to research more into this particular knife. Great video btw

  2. Got one….Issued to me in 1967 as an Outside Wire and Antenna Installation and Maintenance Specialist, AFCS 36150…..Mine is a Camilus….Its lead a dog's life in the bottom of my tool box, tackle box, and wherever I needed a general purpose reliable knife. I'd like info on restoring it.

  3. These are awesome knives to collect and use. When I was 14 I was on a family vacation when my mom spotted one in the parking lot of our hotel. It was very well used but looked awesome like that and still functioned. No one claimed it so I kept it. I later purchased a bran new one at an army navy surplus store, that one had a lot of blade play but has an amazing edge. Both the old one and the new one were made by Camilus. The old one has a different stamp design than the newer one. I wanna get another one. I attempted to fix the blade play in the newer one but now the blade sits crooked. I won't tamper with the older one. I like it exactly the way it is. It's got a lot of character and history to it. When I get another I'm gonna look for an old one in good condition.

  4. Great video.  I found one of these knives on a construction site we were playing on as kids over 50 years ago, and I still have it in my collection.  The blade is inscribed with "M. Klein & Sons, Chicago."  The ring is missing, and the blade that should be a screwdriver was apparently filed down by a one-time owner into a knife point.

  5. That locking blade is a wire scraper. Isn't meant to be sharp.If blade sharpens: "easily", it isn't hard steel…

  6. No! Horn handles.My daddy had a  Tl-29,  marked: "  Kutmaster,  Utica, N.Y, U.S.A." Horn handles–one cracked when he used it as:  "a hammer".  How old is it?

  7. Ordered 2 vintage ones!! 😀 I think they are camillus but not sure. Most vintage ones are probably good though

  8. Klien Tools sells one they call the pocket knife multi-blade. I think it use to be called an electricians knife.

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