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GEC knife springs?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Alann45, May 19, 2012.

  1. Alann45


    Jul 4, 2009
    I've only handled one GEC, and it was a club knife a couple of years ago. Almost every one in the batch was very hard to open, not quite a nail-breaker but darn close, so I sort of lost interest in GEC.

    Some of the recent pics posted have really got me thinking about GEC again.
    Very attractive renditions of patterns, nice materials, and from what I've read excellent f&f.

    One vendor describes the Northfield #61 2 Blade Congress Ivory with the comment: "Great Eastern Cutlery released this pattern with somewhat softer springs than their other knives", which got me wondering what the norm was.

    I know its hard to quantify, but are GECs in general stiffer to open than say your average Case?
  2. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004

    I looked a few GEC's at a knife show, and was turned off by the overly stiff springs. I was taught that when you look at a new knife, try to imagine opening it with wet and/or cold hands in less than perfect condition. I've lived by that advise and never bought a knife that was difficult to open in a store or knife show. I've seen a few, but not many Case's that were stiff, but nothing like GEC. I do not own any GEC knives because of this, and will never buy one unless I can handle it first.

    I can only conclude that GEC has received enough complaints, that they have made some lesser springs on some models. A good thing on a user knife. I've never understood the bear trap spring thing.

  3. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    My 33 Conductors have weak springs. The strengths of the springs on the 66 Calf Ropers, 68 White Owls and 85 Bullet End Jacks are comparable to Case knives that I own. The springs on the 56 Reverse Dogleg and 73 Square End Trapper are slightly stronger than the springs on my Case knives.

    The strength of the springs on my Case knives are also variable with different patterns.
  4. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    Yeah, they can be pretty stiff. As Carl mentioned, they are making some models with lighter springs. I don't know if it's just me but it seems like GEC is not making as many nailbreakers as they used to. It used to be that the knives with half stops were the worst but I don't know if that is the case anymore. You can sometimes tell by the dealer's pictures if a particular knife has half stops. If any of the blades are displayed in the half stop position, look to see if the backspring for that blade is flush or if it sticks out a little. If it's flush then the knife has a half stop.

    Aside from that, it really depends on the pattern. My #33 Conductor has very light springs but my #23 Pioneer is has the strongest springs of any knife I've ever owned.

    If/when you narrow down your selections, I'm sure a few of the folks on this forum could tell you if those patterns are nailbreakers or not.
  5. Voodoosix


    Jun 6, 2011
    my GEC#62 is about on par with my Case Trapper. my GEC#25 is much stronger sprung, but then again my Case peanut isnt far behind it. ive heard of the older GEC models being nail breakers but none of mine are.

    its tough to say though im sure there is variance even from knife to knife depending on who ground the blade, etc. the two i own at the farthest ends of the spectrum (lightest <----> strongest sprung) are both Canal Streets.
  6. chevy_racin

    chevy_racin Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2010
    My 66 stockmans are comparable to the Cases, very easy to open. The 48 trapper is not bad. And my 85 bullet end seems to be getting better, he gets opened and closed the most. But, my 56 dogleg jack has strong springs. Maybe it just needs a little more pocket time.
  7. So true. And the vintage might make a difference, at least with Case (I don't currently have any GECs). The stiffest opener I have, is a 1970 Case Peanut (pen blade, even more so). What Carl said, about trying to open a blade with wet hands, is very pertinent. My thumbnail tends to be quite 'soft' if my hands have been wet for a while, and it occasionally has tried to bend backwards (doesn't feel very good), when engaging the nail nick on a stiff-springed knife. Potentially a painful and/or bloody double-whammy, when the nail gets nearly ripped backwards, after which it loses purchase on the nail nick, and the blade slams shut.
  8. richstag


    Feb 22, 2007
    Two words... EAZY OPEN :p

    All kidding aside the past year or so of knives have been much easier from what I have seen. If they make them any easier they might as well make them friction folders.

    Part of the reason I like my 85 so much is the smoother and easier opening compared to the early bear traps and the eazy open compliments the action perfectly for me.

  9. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    I own a 62, and it is not that bad. The smaller blades have really nice half stops and the main blade is a smooth pull. I tend to trim my fingernails short for work, and I haven't had significant problems. I have wondered about the 61 myself, specifically the 4 blade flavor.
  10. DrPenguin


    Mar 2, 2005
    Honestly, I love my GEC's but the pull on their knives needs a good QC audit. There are way too many I've handled that have been pressed so tightly together that the springs are almost nonfunctional... or they have a rough spot, or a complete stop.

    By and large I've been very impressed with their knives but there could be more consistency in this area. I've got more than a couple that are perfect, I know they could do it.

    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  11. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    My 56's main blade is stiff, but there's a tecnique to opening it. I don't find it bad at all. It has gotten easier with use, but thats what I like. There's zero blade play and it feels like it will handle anything. the tang isn't as smooth as an old Shrade or Case, but I think it's because they make cam tangs out of half stop tangs and there's a flat spot in the middle. I used to thing they did that on purpose, like a soft stop or something.
    Anyways, I would reconsider them. You can always email the vendor and ask for ones that are easy.
  12. 2Dead

    2Dead Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    In general, GECs with half stops will have a stronger pull. It does seem that they're making an effort in this area with newer runs. Also, in my experience, the 440c GECs are a little easier to open than their 1095 counterparts. The pull on the latest #48 runs are a 4-5 on the pull scale.
  13. Rick

    Rick Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 27, 1998
    Among the #61 four-blades and the #62 two-blades and whittlers in my experience, the two-blade #62s have the hardest pulls (around -8 out of 10) whereas the #61 Congress and #62 whittlers are quite nail-friendly, with pulls in the 6+ range, give or take.
  14. Finedges

    Finedges Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I just received a 73, made in April of this year, and the pull is extremely stiff. I'm hoping with use it will lighten. If my newer Case Trapper has a pull of 6, the 73 is a 9. Hope this helps.
  15. Knife Crazied

    Knife Crazied

    Apr 17, 2009
    I have a few that I can't even open due to the nail breaker springs but now that I found a dealer close I just test before I buy. LOL :D I also would say from my experience the springs are being made with much light springs then before. :thumbup: I also hope you reconsider a GEC. I was in the same boat as you. Around Jan of this year I found a GEC I feel in love with (powderhorn abalone) and it started me down a horrible road. :D Good luck and let us know what you decide friend.

    Sent from Ash forum mobile
  16. Alann45


    Jul 4, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the comments and information. Much appreciate your taking the time to respond.

    I have a much better feel about what to look for and expect.

    Hopefully I will make it to Blade and increase my knowledge. I noticed GEC and GPKnives are listed as having booths.
    Any others I should stop by that are likely to have a good selection?
  17. reader1


    Aug 16, 2008
    I agree with supratentorial & Railsplitter and others:
    #73 & #23 are very stiff.
    EZ Opens (#25 and others) are... Easy
    #72 in Wharncliffe will fall open. Other #72 blade styles are #5 Pull or less.
    I need a Strong Blade Pick to open the 2010 Forum Knife. The 2011 Blade is fine. I need a Pick for the Cap Lifter.

    Yes. The Pulls vary greatly depending on pattern.

    Mike H.
  18. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    It sounds like GEC listens to their customers.
  19. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Both of my 73s have very strong springs.

    My Furtaker trapper, 66 jack, toothpick, and dogleg jack all have moderate snap. Strong but nothing like the 73s, right about where I like them.
  20. meako

    meako Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    hey Carl.
    I'm gonna equate the bear trap spring with the V8. ya don't need it . but its good.

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