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Current CASE XX quality?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by MTB, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. jrawk


    Jul 14, 2014
    First I say to everybody: Don't let the "TruSharp" stop your purchase. There are way too many CV steel snobs scaring prospective buyers from buying a stainless steel Case knife. HOWEVER, too many of them come with rounded tips from the factory. For whatever reason, the CV blades aren't as prone to that. Reports are this issue is getting less prevalent in recent months. Protip: the "As-ground" blade finish instead of polished are all very pointy.

    It's true, the recent run of CV sawcut barlows are very well done, including my own example. But people are still reporting the random stinker, with ugly handle covers, blade play, and/or blade rub.
  2. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I find the CV and TrueSharp blades to be very equal in edge holding and sharpen-ability.
  3. Mayonardo

    Mayonardo Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    I went in for my first Case today. I am a Barlow fan but don’t have one. I like what I have seen of the new Case Barlows so I started looking. I found one from a dealer, who also carries GEC, that was reasonably priced.
    Should be here Monday and I hope it’s a good one.
    John F., CelloDan, Ace Rimmer and 6 others like this.
  4. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009

    I honestly don’t know how many Victorinox SAKs I’ve owned over the years, but I do know that number would have three digits.

    Exactly *one* knife had a QC issue, a pioneer whose blade tip was just *barely* above the liner. 15 seconds of filing the kick resolved the problem.

    I don’t know how they do it.
  5. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    To each his own, strictly my opinion, void where prohibited by law, etc:

    I understand fully what you're saying, I really do. You've got to bear in mind, however, that a traditional Stockman and a Swiss Army Knife of any kind are very different knives. Try as I might, I can't equate hollow plastic handles and thumbnail busting pulls with quality.

    If you want blades that have monster springs behind them, then GEC is the answer. I'm not a fan of most Great Eastern knives. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of manufacturers over the past couple of hundred years who built elegant Stockman knives, for example. GECs Stockman knives are huge, clunky things. Their attempts at Whittlers could be used as hammers. They do build pretty good Barlows, though.

    Case is problematic. During the 80s and 90s they were primarily targeting collectors. They churned out thousands of knives with glittery acrylic scales, and they priced them higher than anything else I can think of that was on the market at the time. You could find tables full of Case knives at even small shows. Then the inevitable happened, Case fell out of favor.

    I have a friend that is a big knife dealer, he sets up 40 cases and six additional tables full of knives nearly every weekend. I was behind the tables with him this past weekend, in fact. Four times that afternoon he had people walk up and ask, "Do you buy Case knives?" They'd pull out a twenty-plus year old knife. My friend would point out an identical knife in his case with a forty dollar price on it, and offer the seller thirty bucks for his knife. The prospective seller would move on, feeling insulted. That knife probably sold for eighty bucks at one time. This dealer might sell one Case per show.

    Think of it this way: Case was a premium-priced product forty years ago. These days WalMart sells them. If you're going to sell knives at WalMart, and at their price point, make them in the USA, and still make a profit, there are going to be compromises.

    The Case mystique lives on, but it's hard to rationally explain why.

    Traditional knives, even very fine ones, are out of favor right now. It's truly a buyer's market. Yes, there are still makers (like Case) who are churning out their idea of what a traditional pattern is. But, given the numbers of old makers' knives out there going dirt cheap, why not go after the real thing? Schrade, Camillus, Queen, Belknap, Keen Kutter, Bull Dog, Western, Russell. Tidioute, Remington, Primble, Winchester, Ulster, Schatt & Morgan, even Old Timer and Uncle Henry and dozens more. If you look to Europe the choices just about double. They're all out there.

    Take it or leave it, strictly my opinion, etc.
    specgrade and JohnDF like this.
  6. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    I agree. I bought my latest tribal lock because I wanted a CV model. Well, a few days ago I had to trim out some thick multiflora rose, heavy honeysuckle vine, and some saplings and I had my SS Delrin tribal lock with me. When I got back to the house I washed off the blade and then sat down to touch it up. But first I ran it through some flimsy financial report paper (probably at least as light as phone book paper), across the grain, and it sliced through easily. I was surprised that it didn't at least need to be run over a mini-steel. The blade shape of the tribal lock may have contributed to that, but still, the SS held up just fine.
    JohnDF and MTB like this.
  7. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    They're Swiss, that's how!
  8. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Here is what I have. Not the best pic but...


    So top to bottom:

    Large Stockman
    Trapper (full size)
    Medium Congress
    Medium Stockman
    Doctor's Knife
    Mini Trapper (Wharncliffe and clip)
    Mini Trapper (single blade - Wharncliffe)
    Mini Copperlock
    Mini Copperlock

    I should amend my original post to say that the Medium Stockman does have a bit of a soft spring. Not terrible but soft all the same. I don't put any thought into spring on the locking models, but other than that, all mine are good.

    If you have questions about any of what I have I'd be happy to answer as best as I can.

    The Mini Copperlock is hands down my favorite. Followed closely by the Congress and Mini Trapper.
  9. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I hope you get a good one that you love. Please let us know. :)
  10. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    A diverse group. Very nice! :thumbsup:
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  11. Boxer .45

    Boxer .45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    Personally I'll only own vintage, 25+years or more, preferably mid to late 80s or before. I might try a new one, but my experience has been so hit or miss, mostly miss with the newer stuff I don't have the time or money to mess with it.
    Honestly don't care what others opinions are as far as for or against, but this is where I'm at. Love the brand, designs, etc, but they either need sticker QC, old days techniques, or to raise their prices and staff/equipment requirements or something.
    Inconsistency is hurting the brand imo.
    JohnDF likes this.
  12. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    Just saw one of these in a catalog and am thinking about it. How do you like it (e.g., compared with the two blade version)?
  13. MTB


    Jun 23, 2019
    I’m not exactly sure you do understand what I am talking about. I’m not comparing knife styles. I’m comparing quality control. No matter what knife you choose from Victorinox, chances are it’s put together very well. The only way the plastic handles would play into the topic of quality control is if they were damaged when shipped from the factory. Even still don’t forget the Alox ones. They are pretty sweet too. I can’t speak about thumbnail busting pulls because I’ve never experience that with my Victorinoxs.

    I didn’t see any in my local Wal-Mart but I’ll check again! That would be great if they carried Case knives. I have bought a number of Buck 110s and 119s from Walmart with no issue at all.

    Are any of those makers currently being made in the US? I’m not looking to get vintage or European knives.
  14. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Only have 5 at the moment but didn't handle a single one of them first and have yet to get a bad one.

    I say the quality is great, granted one wasn't very sharp but everything else was great so I just sharpened it myself.
  15. MTB


    Jun 23, 2019
    Seriously Eli Chaps? I over here struggling to choose my first one and you have to throw a line up like that out there? My bank account can’t afford this!:D Beautiful collection!
    Eli Chaps and Prester John like this.
  16. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    I have one of each and love them both. I prefer a full size trapper most of the time, but the mini trapper is a great knife.
    Ace Rimmer, Eli Chaps and JohnDF like this.
  17. Ripcord 82

    Ripcord 82

    Feb 15, 2019
    In Ohio here,Tractor Supply and Ace Hardware sells Case.They are on display and in the display box that store the others,you can go through them and have the pick of the litter.
    Prester John and MTB like this.
  18. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    completely disagree, and I have over a hundred late model case's that I could show you to prove you wrong.
  19. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Comparing SAK and CASE is I think rather mismatched.

    Generally, SAK produces Cellidor or Alox scales en masse, many of its Equal End sunk joint frames are similar and it is often a multi-tool unlike CASE. Main thing is that the Swiss have invested in extremely costly computerised equipment that means production, assembly and QC can be strictly monitored at all stages which ensures homogeneity. I don't think CASE has the same investment ability, homogeneity of patterns or a market for such products. Doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't invest in new equipment and methods though.

    I don't agree that Traditional knives are out of favour now, nor that CASE churns out an idea of what a Traditional knife should be or that there are swarms of dirt cheap examples of old makers knives out there. If they are dirt cheap they are very likely to be old wrecks not worth looking at ;) Plus, not all of these old makers were always that marvellous when new...:rolleyes:

    As far as I'm concerned, CASE more often than not offers a pleasing knife at a reasonable price-something I think that has not changed. True, there are tasteless and garish runs-I never consider them, and some of the older Bone from the 20s-70s is remarkably beautiful and outclasses most of the current offerings (but just check Amber or Chestnut of today, they're very good).
  20. Ripcord 82

    Ripcord 82

    Feb 15, 2019
    Fit and finish might mean something for the knife that spends it's life in a drawer or show case but for the knife that spends it's life in and out of pockets with keys or change and pulled out to do a good day of man's work,fit and finish go right out the window.I have six GEC knives and 10 Case knives, a few Uncle Henry's and a few Bucks,all USA made and I am here to tell you,Case will stand up to the task and at a reasonable price point.To tell the truth,at 72 years old,I never gave fit and finish much thought,still don't, and I'll bet a lot of you felt that way too.Funny how thinking changes with the advent of the computer and the internet.Ok,that's all, now I have to go sharpen up my 14 dollar Schrade Stockman.;)

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