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GEC # 15 Boys Knife Suggestions

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by RP13, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. RP13


    Sep 30, 2013

    I am new to Blade Forums, and new to Traditonal Folders. I love my modern tactical folders, but with winter comming I feel like a traditional knife would be a nice change. I am expecting my first baby in December, so this will be my last knife purchase for awhile. With that being said I am interested in purchasing a GEC # 15 Boys knife in Ebony, the only problem I am having is choosing between the spear point and pen blade combo or just the single spear point blade. Most of my daily cutting tasks are light duty ie opening mail, boxes, and maybe cutting an apple or steak. Originally I was leaning towards the spear and pen blade combo, I feel it seems a bit more gentleman like having the option of two blades (right tool for the job) the other part of me seems like I would be fine with just the one blade. Any opinions or suggestions would be great, I am looking to pull the trigger and purchase one in the next few days. Thanks in advance for the comments.


    Aug 2, 2013
    I have one of each. The single is slim and works for my dress knife, the two blade I use for generally everything, whether garden, cutting food, or the pen for cleaning my nails, or small jobs. it's a little heavier but not much. Either way you go...I think you'll be glad you did. One of my best knifes I own. Perfect walk and talk.
  3. KP

    KP Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Congratulations on the first baby!

    The two blade 15s are very nice and IMO a great choice for a gentleman's knife. The single blade 15 is nice and slim but this pattern is compact and rather easy to carry anyway so the difference between the one and two blade versions is negligible, even in slacks.

    FWIW, I opted for the clip and pen version myself because I tend to prefer clips in general but also because it seemed to me that the spear and pen were too much alike. The variation of the clip and pen seemed to me to be more versatile.
  4. pistonsandgears

    pistonsandgears Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 12, 2011
    I have both the single and two blade versions with the spear point. If I had to choose one I think I would choose just the single blade version. While the pen blade is a nice thing to have I find that I don't actually use it very often, most of the time I just use the main blade. The single blade version is thinner and lighter, and as many have pointed out the pen blade on the spear point version sometimes makes it a bit more difficult to access the main blade.
  5. bwperdue

    bwperdue Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    I find the single blade spears to be the most "gentleman's knife"-y of all the various #15 variations. The two-blades are fine knives, as well, but they are quite a bit bulkier, and seem more "workman's knife"y, although the double bolstered spear is more graceful to my eye than the bare-end clip, FWIW.


    Aug 2, 2013
    If the pen is in front. I personally would suggest getting the single, just my preferance. My double is the second run with the pen in behind, I don't like having to struggle.
  7. JustinR

    JustinR Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I prefer the single blade as the two blade was difficult to access the main blade with the pen in front.
  8. Double Ott

    Double Ott Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    I have a few TC Barlows. They seem to be similar to the boy's knife. I have always liked a clip point over a spear point, but that's just me. They both preform well. But the single blade vs the two blade models is very debatable. Again, I seem to prefer the two blade patterns. The second blade really doesn't add any significant bulk or weight over the single blade. It does give you the option of being able to have a smaller blade available to use for daily simple tasks.

    If you feel that the extra 1/8 inch in the width of the knife that the second blade adds is TO much bulk making it difficult to carry comfortably verses the added flexibility that a second blade will give you...Then go for the single blade option.


    My first knife (folder) was and still is my folder of choice is a the three blade stockman in all sizes. So I may be in favor of the options that extra blades offer.

    Best of luck to you on your choice. Let us know what you end up deciding.

  9. Smithhammer


    Nov 9, 2012
    As others have said, the two-blade #15's are not very bulky compared to some other patterns, and ride nicely in the pocket. I think a two-blade clip/pen combo, like the 2nd one from the left, is a good, versatile choice (if you're only going to own one, of course...:D):

  10. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I think the most versatile TC Barlow is the two-blade sheepfoot, as pictured on the far left above in Smithhammer's photo.
    You get the heavy straight edge for stout work and the smaller pen for the detail stuff. Best of both worlds.

    Here is mine, blades open.

  11. cards94


    Jul 23, 2013
    single blade sheepsfoot. i never use the pen blade.
  12. gunstockjack

    gunstockjack dealer to support spouse & self + cranky dog Dealer / Materials Provider

    May 14, 2011
    The single blade EO Sheepsfoot will do everything you want (except cleaning your nails) and is a very light and handy package. Also available with the pen secondary if your nails are habitually dirty. :) The sheepsfoot is a highly underated blade style IMHO; it is unsurpassed for opening boxes, mail, and sharpening your pencil... and has a much stronger point than a wharncliffe blade. (take it from someone who has broken the tip... :eek:)
  13. deskil

    deskil Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    Welcome. You'll find a wealth of information here, as well as plentiful opinion
    With the expense of having a baby in mind, I expect you might steer clear of the long bolstered # 15's, as they are rather scarce just now and command premium prices ( if you can find one). Also, be advised that the # 15 Boy's Knife (short front bolster) with a clip blade is not available with an end cap, if that makes a difference to you (all bareheads, to my knowledge - somebody correct me, if I'm wrong). I find the single clip blade to be the easiest to operate because the blade sits high enough that you don't have to use the nail nick (you can pinch the blade to open) and there's no interference from a pen blade (especially if you're wearing gloves). Coming from modern tactical folders, I don't think you'll find the difference in width between the single or double bladed versions objectionable. However, I applaud the versatility of jack knives and offer the #85 Bullet End Jack as an alternative, if you decide to go with two blades. A more hand filling swell-end pattern (with an end cap) and a great knife in its own right.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  14. jon_slider


    Aug 24, 2010
    The Single blade Spearpoint is my favorite choice, I recommend against a pen in front of a Spear, because it interferes with access to the main blade. See that discussed here:

    IF you want a pen blade, I agree with Black Mamba's recommendation of pairing it with a Sheepfoot main, or Smithhammer's suggestion to go for a pen with Clip blade.


    The clip blades are very sturdy and traditional, if you like a pointy main. The Sheepfoot is very rare, novel yet still traditional, and works extremely well. Personally I would go for the Sheepfoot with Pen (Charlow or Boys), IF you want a 2 bladed knife.

    But you may not be able to find a spear point Boys knife any more, definitely no TC Barlow with Spear. What you can get at the moment is the GEC Boys Scout with EO notch and shield, in Sheepfoot blade, with or without a pen. (Im not big on the EO for a Sheepfoot, it would be perfect for a 2 bladed Spear main)

    fwiw, my bare head single spear boys knife weighs just 49 grams. Whereas a 2 bladed Sheepfoot Charlow weighs 47% more, at 72 grams. A difference of more than 3/4 oz.

    Personally, I favor single bladed knives. Good luck with your search, I hope you post a photo of what you end up with. And Congratulations on the growing family :)
  15. roninelh


    Dec 14, 2010
    I love my single blade boys knives. I have owned and sold a few in pretty much all the handle materials (keeping my favorites). I have never owned a two blade 15 though. The issue with the pen blade making it difficult to open the spear main blade has scared me off that configuration. I think the boys knife in single spear or clip is a very fine knife. I got my ebony single blade off the forum and it was with me when my daughter was born. As stated above the sheepsfoot with a pen secondary is a good option as well.

    Congratulations on the baby!
  16. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    I carried a lot of the old Remington patterns of yesteryear when I was younger, which to my grandfather were new knives like GEC #15s are to me I guess. I say that because Remington as I understand it copied older 1870s and 80s patterns for similar folders which to my Grandfather were the better knives. When I saw the GEC #15s offered I knew immediately where I was going with my idea for my version of the electricians knife which is due out in about four weeks through GEC and in this same #15 model and up on their site now and its all due to the knife they are already making. This of course because I too find it very appealing size as in foot print in the pocket as well as weight because even the two blade #15 in any handle material is small enough you don't know you have it on you until you need it but as many have proven including the Godfather of handmade knives Bill Scagel, even something small can work big if its done right. I love that about the 15 its just right for the pocket and it is perfect for gentleman or callus hands either way.
  17. VANCE

    VANCE Allen, I have an axe to grind with you. Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 13, 2006
    you will forget you have it in your pocket
  18. Brian.Evans

    Brian.Evans KnifeMaker-EDC Knife Specialist Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2011
    I was graciously gifted a TC barlow in clip/pen combo. I basically only use the main, but I like having the pen for "pokey" jobs where I want to dig/scrape/poke/scratch something and don't want to mess up my main blade. Also, it works good for tape for the same reason.

    A single blade will disappear in your pocket, but a double will too, really. It's not a huge knife no matter which way you go. I'd carry a single blade from your rotation for a week or two and decide if you like being with only a single blade and then go from there.

    Eta:sorry, I didn't read very closely before commenting. Get a two blade and don't look back. I love my two blade and it is, and most likely will be, my only knife for the foreseeable future. Congrats on the best/worst/greatest/most awesome/suckiest/horrible/wonderful/gross/wonderful thing to ever happen to you. I've got five. If life ever gets too rough, or you just need to vent, and you probably will, shoot me an email. Seriously. Welcome to the club brother.

    Insert cute baby with knife picture:
  19. I carry a spear single Charlow or spear barehead single boys knife everyday. I started out carrying my two blade spear Charlow or 2 blade spear boys knife. Might go back to that for the heck of it.
  20. HeathHall


    May 11, 2005
    There is alot of good advice already laid out here for you to look over. I carry the #15, single blade spear and it does all I could need.

    Regarding your upcoming baby, congratulations. I have two under the age of three years myself. I bought my wife a gift with each child's birth and to keep things equal, I bought myself a new GEC pocket knife each time as well.

    I envy you and your upcoming baby.


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