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Case raindrop damascus?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by kamagong, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    I have a confession. I only own one Case, a large single blade barlow (6143). To be honest, with the exception of the Tony Bose collaborations, Case knives just don't appeal to me. I don't like the patterns all that much, I have a low opinion of the steel that they use in the majority of their knives (Tru-Sharp stainless), and the Case knives I've examined have left me less than impressed.

    I want to rectify that situation however. I've recently stumbled onto the stag and raindrop damascus knives. Simply gorgeous. Beautiful damascus steel blades with crisp swedging. This lineup may actually convert me into a Case devotee.

    I'm stuck between the swayback jack and humpback half-whittler. I actually like the humpback half-whittler a bit more, but I know very little about this pattern. On the other hand, everything I've heard about the swayback jack is positive. People simply love this knife. I have a theory that knife companies do some patterns better than others. The swayback jack is one of these better patterns for Case.

    I'd appreciate it if people can chime in with their experiences with 1) Case's raindrop damascus and 2) humpback half-whittler pattern. Are my eyes deceiving me or is the swedging really that much better and more crisp on these knives compared to the normal CV and Tru-Sharp versions? Also, how well does Case do the humpback half-whittler? Is it a single spring knife, and if so how is the walk and talk on this model?

    Thanks in advance.

    - Christian


    Sep 28, 2005
    I have a Raindrop Stockman that i have used a lot, and I really have no problems with it now. When I first got it some of the features bothered me (blade placement and a couple other things). Mine is ground thin so it is a slicer, but I have taken it EDC and on (unsuccessful) hunting trips and it performed very well with sundry and bushcraft tasks, plus I think that it looks beautiful. I am not generally a fan of Case stag (I love the jigged bone on mine), so I would suggest having a look at the exact knife if possible, or get a trusted vendor to look it over with your preferences in stag in mind. I have the Swayback and am a lover of Wharncliffes so I wish I had the Raindrop pattern, but perhaps some day in the future. Sorry, I have no experience with the half whittler, but would like some.

    Proof I have it:

    Okay just a reason to try and show off, but can you blame me (you can for the bad pictures though).
  3. argel55


    Oct 30, 2005
    As you probably already know, the damascus is Thomas Damascus . It is top level steel and will preform as you hope it will.
  4. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator

    Sep 2, 2004
    Christian, I just got this Case Damascus Half Whittler a week or so ago. The example I received is a very well built little knife. The only issue I have with it is Case's stag, it's pretty bad on this one.

    The swedging is crisp, not rounded like you see on the CV and TruSharp blades. There are two springs but no center liner, which I found interesting. The width of the knife at the bolster is 3/8" so it's still pretty slim for a two blader (my Norfolk looks to be about 5/16" across the bolster. There are notches on each side to allow for accessing the nail nicks and it has sunk(en) joints.

    On the knife I received there is no blade rub, no half stops, 5 to 6 pull on the springs and nice walk and talk. As always there was a burr on the blade (both) that had to be removed but it's nice and sharp now.

    I have the Sway back in damascus also and I don't think you would be unhappy with either pattern in the Thomas Damascus. The higher price seems to result in a higher level of finish and detail.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  5. gmarthur


    Mar 5, 2007
    I have the same knife as cuts like a kris. I've found that the damascus blades hold an edge better than case's ss or cv blades. It's gotten quite a bit of pocket time on it and I can't think of a negative comment on it. I've admired the stag/damascus models but can't buy stag online. From a steel perspective though the damascus is good to go.

    Pics because everyone else is showing off...
  6. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Gary, those shots are really helpful. The humpback half-whittler looks to be a well-made knife. Not to the level of the Bose collaborations of course, but much better than the entry level Case knives. The lines look much more crisp. Even the springs seem to be done well.

    The stag Case uses is pretty horrendous. I've seen it at all price points of their offerings. Ultimately that may help me make my selection. I think I want the humpback, but I'm going to get the knife with the best scales.

    - Christian
  7. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Just logged in and saw this post. I'll add my two cents.

    For the last three months, I've been edc'ing the damascus peanut that Hamie gifted me last March. It has not been out of my pocket, and I've not babied it. It's been used as a fishing knife, box opener, whittler, rope cutter, and whatever knife. Broken down boxes after trips to Sam's Club, and once in a while as a paring knife in the kitchen.

    I've touched up the blade a few times with my wallet diamond hone, and thats it. So far the edge holding has been very good, maybe better than the regular CV on my other peanuts. It's been a very impressive little knife, never failing to easily do what I needed in the way of a everyday pocket knife. Mr. Thomas made a very very good piece of steel! I've been more than pleased with this knife.

    Now that I've broken the ice with the Case damascus, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a nice damascus and stag if I run across one.:thumbup:

    But I'd have to buy it in person, Case has been known to mismatch stag badly.

  8. tomsch

    tomsch Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    I have a Sway Back Jack Damascus that I really do like. As Carl mentioned I think the Damascus steel holds and edge slightly better than CV and also easy to touch up.

  9. Rick

    Rick Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 27, 1998
    I have a Seahorse whittler in damascus. The steel seems to perform in roughly the same ballpark as CV. The blades have a smooth as-ground finish with nice crisp swedges that are much more comfortable and refined than the rough, sharp-edged as-ground G-10 Case knives, and the grinds have far better definition than the blurred lines of their tumbled blades, so short of the Case/Bose collaborations, I think the damascus blades are the best that they offer, aesthetically speaking. As has been noted, Case's low-grade burnt stag leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality, hafting and matching. Aside from this one example, I tend to give it a wide berth.

    I have a regular Humpback faux-whittler, and I don't recommend it. The blade-to-handle ratio is poor, the small blade pulls are real nail-breakers and it uses three springs as a labor-saving shortcut, which makes the handle needlessly bulky and heavy compared to a true two-spring whittler.

    EDIT: Oops - I see you were considering the humpback half-"whittler." My mistake.

    It should be noted that Case has been using Rob (rather than Devin) Thomas 1075 carbon steel and nickel raindrop damascus. Once I learned about Rob's shady dealings with his brother's business, I've avoided his steel. The story can be found here: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...vin-Thomas....

    Given the above caveat, I'd go with a swayback in CV. Mine is probably my all time favorite standard-production Case user.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  10. mike Berkovitch

    mike Berkovitch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    I have SBJ which is SFO for Booker Hardware Cutlery, with one blade, red stag and Thomas raindrop damascus.


  11. SubSpace


    May 26, 2011
    I made my own similar thread before I saw this one...Sorry! It's been a long day already...
    My experience with my own Damascus peanut has not been great so far. It doesn't get as razor sharp as my CV. It's a gorgeous knife, with a nice swedge that just doesn't exist on my CV. But I can't get it to pass my paper test. Might just be my "dress" knife.
  12. Slider817


    Mar 26, 2010
    it takes such a wicked edge, gotta love it, just some more pics to pull you in

  13. eKretz


    Aug 30, 2009
    I've got both a whittler and a peanut in this pattern with the raindrop Damascus and they are both great; I was able to hand-pick them though. I'm not sure why the above poster is unhappy with his edges unless he is a little inexperienced on the sharpening: mine both take and hold a good, razor edge.
  14. mike Berkovitch

    mike Berkovitch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Mine is razor sharp and pass the paper test as well as tomato test and other. I think yours need to spend sometimes on the wet stone.
  15. snowreaper1

    snowreaper1 Banned BANNED

    Nov 26, 2010
    Amazing knives. Im a newbie to Case knives and am acutally still looking for my first Case knife. Once I saw they have a raindrop damascus version I knew I found what
    I was looking for. I have a raindrop sebbie on the way so this would be the perfect companion. But like most have said Im not too fond of the stag. But the raindrop
    more than makes up for that.
  16. saltaire

    saltaire It's <b>ALWAYS</b> a <b>GREAT IDEA</b> to talk sma

    Dec 6, 2005
    Does anyone know if that raindrop damascus is carbon or stainless?
  17. RobbW

    RobbW Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    To my understanding, it's carbon steel layered with nickle. I have a Case raindrop damascus Peanut. I like the steel better than the regular CV, which I like much better than the Stainless.
  18. Locutus D'Borg

    Locutus D'Borg Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2012
    It is SS by Devon Thomas, I believe. I have a mini-toothpick in damascus. It has two blades and is of the highest quality. The damascus is the same as the damascus on my Chris Reeve Sebenza (also Devon Thomas). But correct me if I'm wrong.

    Disregard above and I stand corrected: it is carbon steel by Rob thomas, not Devon.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  19. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator

    Sep 2, 2004
    Here's some information I have on it from one of our regular contributors, richstag (Kevin);

    "I just received a call from a very nice gentleman at Case in reference to the steel and heat treat. It is Rob Thomas 1075/Nickel Raindrop Damascus tempered to the mid 50's on the RC scale. I was told that with the 1075 damascus its not that they don't want to treat it like the high temp bearing steel 154cm around 60rc, but that they can't. The gentleman was very helpful and I asked if he wanted the info kept private. He said no, by all means share it and if anyone else has questions to give him a call."

    I found this also, from our friend Blues (Elliott);

    "See my correspondence (below) with Rob Thomas:

    Elliott, yes the raindrop that we have provided for Case the last 3 years is a carbon steel. It is 1075/nickel mix. 1075 is a spring steel. The nickel content is only to add color to the blade and is about 5% of the total weight. Case has decided to use this because it is easy to blank and the cost is reasonable. Devin and I will be upgrading our carbon steel for 2009 to 19C5va. It is a carbon steel made specifically for cutlery, it has vanadium in it which will be a better blade steel. Thanks, Rob Thomas "
  20. Based on what Gary posted^^...

    19C5Va (Bohler-Uddeholm; Sweden):

    Carbon: 1.0%
    Chromium: 0.5%
    Vanadium: 0.2%
    Manganese: 0.8%

    Definitely non-stainless.


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