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Above is a picture of my first GEC pocket knife. GEC Buckaroo (#68, burnt stag, 1095 blade steel, 681312). I'm very proud of this knife. For the past several years I've focused my purchase and use of EDC knives on knives that could be opened/closed with one hand. Also, having a lock was an important feature. However, I still had the love of the type of pocket knife I grew up with and used as an adult as well. Knife type like the one pictured. Case, Schrade, etc. I bought several of them over the past few years but didn't carry them much after the "new" wore off because while nice knives I just wasn't proud of them. I ended up selling or trading most of them to fund other knives. About a year ago I decided not to buy another traditional pocket knife unless it was one I'd be very proud to carry. While no one knife will satisfy every feature I like this one is very close. Good size (3.5" closed) with 3 blades of different type and beautiful as well. I have only used the main blade so far. I've even used it for a dinner knife a few times. There is a nice patina forming on that blade.

I watched reviews of traditional knives and made note of what is admired by users and collectors both. The important features to me revolve around durability and use. Others are solely for cosmetic appeal. For my choice I was demanding a high level of quality in durability and beauty both. One thing commonly mentioned is how the materials match up. Handle scale meeting bolster for example. This knife hasn't let me down in any of my expectations.  The only place where the match-up isn't perfect is where a darker, recessed portion of the scale meets the bolster. Can't get around that I suppose. Not with natural materials anyway.  Plus, I only buy knives to use and this has no effect on durability or use of the knife.  It has good "walk and talk" as it's described in the videos.

Scale meeting bolster

I'm really happy with my first GEC knife and have no intentions to trade or sell it. I've had it for about 6 weeks now and I'm still carrying it with no inclination not to carry it. I also have one or two other knives with me all the time so if I'm in a situation where one-hand opening is preferable I have that covered. Otherwise, I use the GEC. Here is a picture of a normal EDC selection other than wallet, keys, etc.

Now that I'm a hard core GEC person (one knife for 6 weeks, lol) I joined this group. If I get another traditional pocket knife it will more than likely be a GEC. I also carry the Case peanut with scissors and bail. Sometimes I've wished I had a small pair of scissors instead of a knife blade to cut something. Now I have that covered as well. Also, both having burnt stag they make a nice pair. Sorry for the poor picture due to using the flash.

There is one area in a knife I'm extremely picky about and that is the edge. The edge on all three of these blades was far below my standards.  Admittedly, my standards revolve around close to perfection. It took me the better part or two hours to get the edges how I like them. I only mention this because of how important this is to me and may be for others. Very seldom do knife edges come in good enough condition for me.  To sharpen a knife how I like them requires too much time to  be spent on each blade. While I mention this issue I hold no negative feelings about this knife because not often does a knife come out of the box with the edge how I like it. I want an edge extremely sharp with bevels that are even and able to touch up quickly. The bevels on this knife weren't even. I judge this by marking the edge with a sharpie the seeing how much of the edge bevel makes contact with the stone as I stroke it. All three of these blades had an area near the heel that had more steel removed during sharpening than the rest of the edge. This is very common on knives sharpened on a grinding wheel or belt. Anyway, I have the edges in great shape now. Now that the bevels are even and I lowered the angle some I can touch up the apex quickly without having to use too high of an angle. One purpose of having an edge with the appropriate angle and evenness is to provide quick touch ups without raising the angle at the very edge. Some people have pet peeves about various things in their knives and the condition of the edge is one of mine. I will say the edges came good enough to use the knife right out of the box. Just not "good enough" to make me happy. Since every knife will need edge maintenance sooner or later I don't consider an inferior edge a huge issue. Besides I enjoy sharpening a knife. It's relaxing and satisfying when I get it how I like it. Sorry to get so long winded about it. :)

Summary:  Great knife. Great quality. Great beauty.

Jack

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Replies to This Discussion

A great review Jack of what I consider to be a truly collectible usable knife. I have a few GEC knives and I must say I am in love with the knives. One in  particular is the Dixie Stampede which I posted pictures of. It is a stockman, my favorite pattern and is covered in Osage Orangewood. Yes I am a huge fan of wood handled knives. I do like bone as well but for a frequent carry or user wood just feels so good.

I do pratice my sharpening on this knife and it does take a good edge. But I am still mastering total perfection and not quite where I want to be just yet. I absolutely love the steel used in this knife and it should serve me a long time as I think yours will serve you as well.

Great review Jack and a nice looking knife , if they came sharp we wouldn't have as much excuse to fiddle with them !          I like GEC but you need to be aware that they are addictive  this time last year I had one and now I have , well lets just say a few .

Thanks Steve. When I read "osage orange" I thought it sounded familiar. I checked my Christmas wish list (yup, already started lol) and found this knife

Great Eastern Cutlery: #82 - Tidioute - Dixie Stockman - Osage Orange

link: http://www.knivesshipfree.com/great-eastern-cutlery-82-tidioute-dix...

This knife was on the list of knives to pick this purchase from. But at 4 1/8" closed it is a bit larger than what I'd call a perfect size for me. But, not too big to eliminate all together. :) Love the color and I love wood also. Especially when it has beautiful grain. One thing I never thought would happen to me has happened. The beauty of a knife has become an important factor. Not as important as function but very important. In my EDC picture you see a Spyderco Techno. NOT a pretty knife but it's as rock solid a folder as you can find IMO. Titanium handle (no rust) and an extremely high quality stainless steel (CTS-XHP) blade 4.5mm thick at the spine. This little sucker is TUFF and also small enough to to scare non-knife people. Anyway, the Tidioute with osage orange is now on my list. Actually the GEC was on my list but I got it early. I informed wife I needed another item on my Christmas list and assured her I'd be looking. lol I'll let her know about this knife. :) Another thing I consider in pocket knife selection is I want it to be hand-me-downable to my son then grandson, etc. Of course this won't be for many hears hopefully. :)



Steve Hanner said:

A great review Jack of what I consider to be a truly collectible usable knife. I have a few GEC knives and I must say I am in love with the knives. One in  particular is the Dixie Stampede which I posted pictures of. It is a stockman, my favorite pattern and is covered in Osage Orangewood. Yes I am a huge fan of wood handled knives. I do like bone as well but for a frequent carry or user wood just feels so good.

I do pratice my sharpening on this knife and it does take a good edge. But I am still mastering total perfection and not quite where I want to be just yet. I absolutely love the steel used in this knife and it should serve me a long time as I think yours will serve you as well.

I understand addiction when it comes to pocket knives. All my life I've owned one (or two max) pocket knives at a time. I also felt like they didn't stay sharp as long as I wanted them to. So a few years ago I decided to get one pocket knife that had a blade steel that would stay sharp longer and spend the money for what I wanted. After I got over the SHOCK of what the better quality knives cost I finally broke down and spent $60 on one knife. That was about 7 years and 50 knives ago. :) I've sold and/or traded a bunch of knives and not I have about 15 and I will use them all. Some every day, some not so often. Don't understand how I could get along all my life with only owning one pocket knife at a time (sometimes two). Now I feel naked unless I have two or three with me all the time. I'm amazed when I come across someone who doesn't or never has carried at least one small pocket knife.

John Bamford said:

Great review Jack and a nice looking knife , if they came sharp we wouldn't have as much excuse to fiddle with them !          I like GEC but you need to be aware that they are addictive  this time last year I had one and now I have , well lets just say a few .

Oh you have got it worse than me Jack I only have 14 at the moment , there is no way I am going near 50 knives , he says hopefully !  At least not for a while, though at 13 a year it may not be too long .

Great review. I also love GEC -  I have a "few" LOL. Right now I'm crazy about the 2014 #42 Missouri Trader-I have a "few" of these and I think it's about the perfect knife. What puzzles me is the super high prices that the earlier years  in all patterns command when the knives they are making now are so much better. The biggest problem with the early lockbacks is the persistent blade wobble. That's gone with the new 42's. I love these knives so much I'm almost afraid to use them, although I have 2 designated for EDC. I've had to slow my acquisition too! 

Just checked out the #42 Andrew. Hadn't seen this knife before. Gotta say I love it. A bit on the big side for me for EDC but what a great looking knife. Stag, elk, different woods, bone. Several handle materials to choose from. They all are screaming "BUY ME!". Can you open this knife using only one hand? Two features on folding knives that is very important IMO are lock/no lock and one hand openable or not. This one has a lock. If it can be opened with one hand that's doubly great. I have an A.G. Russell gunstock that has an enlarged nail nick. While not an easy one hand opener it is fairly easily done. Not as easy as knives with thumb studs or holes but very doable.

The GEC I just bought was supposed to be a Christmas present. Now I need to pick another Christmas knife. lol I think this one is on the list to pick from. Thanks much.

I tried to flick it open and got it about half way-maybe with a little oil & use! Actually you'd be surprised at how light and streamlined it is, almost like an old back pocket knife.I could go on and on...GEC is doing things right. I also cheat on them and sometimes carry a Queen #11 slim trapper or a Case slimline trapper-great light EDC and the best Case factory edge I've seen in a long timeThe Queen edge is pretty good too.

I have always collected modern knives, Spyderco being the largest part. Recently I've been bitten by the traditional bug, GEC being my favorite brand so far. I think the quality for the money is spot on. With the rising prices of the more modern knives going through the roof, GEC is a great value for what you get.

i have a few GEC myself.

 

the VIPER i have been addicted to.. have a few and just grabbed an ELK..was my mosty recent.

 

one of my favorite pieces though is the 2006 GEC CARVED BONE ... i love that knife and looking at it right now. leaves and all..they did a great job on it. 

 

also i prfer NON-SERIAL to SERIAL....IMO.

2017 GEC#48 Blue Berry jigged bone mini slim trapper single blade   1 of 20   

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