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Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Ron Sabbagh, Jun 8, 2019.
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They're my babies.
@Ron Sabbagh You've stated the makers you have but not the patterns you favour, it might help to know what sort/size pattern you prefer to use.
I've had some that were close. Visibly , I'd say they're flush but if I run my finger nail across I can feel some slight unevenness. I have a few customs and they're absolutely flush .
Only reason I'm mention it is that out of hundred or so GEC's I've never had one with flush joints. I had one of those scouts at one time but I can't recall if it did or not .
Since the topic has come up I can finally ask the question I’ve wondered about for quite some time.
Those of you who want a knife’s backspring to be flush when the blade is in the half stop position: why?
I want the spring to be flush when the knife is open or closed, but where the spring is in-between is completely irrelevant to me.
I *assume* people prefer it because it is indicative of extra care taken in the build process, and I can appreciate that. But is there something else I’m missing?
No judgment here; just curiosity.
It really makes no difference to me either.
Just that. Extra care in the fit and finish process. The details so to speak. Personally I prefer GEC's with out half stops. The #66 and #35 are my favorites.
If I had to start today with some knives that are reasonably available, these would be my picks. I’d also maybe have some fun in the Buck Custom Shop.
GEC 15, 66
Lion Steel Shuffler
Opinel No. 8
Victorinox Alox Cadet and Classic
Mora Companion and Craftline
Thanks to all who have responded. It's very helpful. So far, I've put my name on a list for the upcoming 2 blade lionsteel Barlow. Might get a single blade as well. Still exploring GEC and a Laguiole knife. GEC just has so many options.
My fav patterns for EDC are sowbelly trappers (I like curves), 2 blade Congress and 3 blade whittlers/stockman. Although I have a few knives with 4+ blades I don't usually carry them as much and enjoy them on special occasions. But I greatly admire the work required to make those 4+ blade beauties.
Here is one of my daily carries. A Gary Crowder with some great old jigged bone.
Here is my 2 blade Congress from Gene Shadley. I prefer the subtle curve of a Congress over the straighter Senator or "pen knife"
Although they are single-bladed, you might like something from Chambriard. The curve is very nice and the quality is excellent. Sorry for the washed out pics but here you go...
And this is an outstanding channel to see different makers and styles:
I wish I had read more and bought less. Today I would have 2 or 3 custom users and a small handful of Vic alox's. Maybe a couple of USA OT's. Instead, I have one custom I'm to afraid to carry and tons of productions, mostly GEC's.
Hats off to the OP.
The answer changes depending on if I knew then, what I know now, what would I do?
Looking backwards is always two edged sword, but, IF,and I say IF, I knew then what I new now, I think I would've paid more attention to my dad and uncles and the invaluable lessons I may have learnt from them. I know that if I knew then, what I know now, I never would have bought near as many knives as I did. And my knives over all, would have been more in line, size wise, to what dad and Mr. Van, and Uncle Charlie carried. Looking back, there has been very precious few times I needed a blade over 2 inches. I definitely would have gone with the coin pocket size knife a lot sooner, and just carrying a 'huntin' knife if I was going 'huntin' or a 'fishin' knife if I was going 'fishing'.
In fact, I probably would never have bought a fraction of the knives that I did, but then I would never have found this place and the great internet family that is here. Or maybe I would've, but I would have been a peanut fan from early on in my life. Okay, maybe a small stockman around.
I've been reading this thread daily since it started, like I do all the threads in this sub-forum. A good thread. Thank God I'm a speed reader....
Anyway, if I knew then what I know now, I would have known exactly what kind of knives I really like, and like to carry. That would be single blade for the most part, various blade shapes but mostly clip, wharncliffe and modified wharncliffe. Size wise 3.25" minimum to 4" maximum (with a few exceptions, like Peanuts). I've almost always bought knives based on 3 things, I like the looks, I like the size, I like the blade or blades. Almost every decision was made with the thought that I would carry and use the knife. I don't purchase to collect, with the exception of the Trad forum knives.
That being said, I don't have many regrets, knifewise anyways. If I enjoyed selling them as much as I do buying them I'd probably sell a bunch and buy a few more really nice customs and call it quits.
Get out of my head Gary...lol.
There's a lot of custom knives that aren't really up to production level quality. All of my Case Bose knives and my one GEC 25 in stag are head and shoulders better than my Crowder, my first custom folder. I've never seen a production knife equal to a Eugene Shadley though. I have a Hanson that has fit "issues" but it was made in the early 1990s when he was just a pup. Knifemakers get better, peak and then they get older (hint: age brings arthritis and the eyesight goes.)
As far as my simple mind, anything screwed together by Lionsteel is not traditional...pins GD-it!
The Case/Bose and Moki knives are excellent w/o fail from what I've seen. Be careful with AGRussell knives, the ones made by Moki are great, others not so much. Go to AK and cherry pick them in their storefront.
Surprised to hear that about your Crowder....
100% agree with your comment regarding Gene Shadley. His knives are built like Swiss watches. And he makes everything himself ...including the screws..and heat treats them himself as well.
Ok I'm close to getting my first GEC.
Maybe this is considered a custom knife, as I customized it ... my fave pattern, hands down:
GEC... all the way...or old hand picked vintage slipjoints....... (with that said.....I have NO local source for those.... I went to Bladeshow West last year and tried to look at vintage, but the dealer would not acknowledge me after multiple attempts over the course of the whole day.....).
I've owned a J. Oeser one off custom XL Gunstock, and still carry and buy GEC... ibdonwish inhad that knife back, though. Miss it daily.
A well put together GEC is a thing of beauty and at a great price too!!
I have GEC that are not flush in all positions. Most of mine are under sprung in the half (but I'm ok with that). I have had a few that had perfect walk and talk, flush in every position, and not a gap anywhere.
They don't compare to a high end custom by a meticulous maker. My Oeser was seamless. Open, closed, half stop, every line and seam perfect....
Every time it was dropped, or lost or a cow stepped on it..... I had a sick feeling. I still get sick when I drop a GEC, or a Queen, or even my Opinel!
Develop an idea of what you like before you open up your wallet. You'll end up with fewer regrets that way.
Choose quality over quantity.
Don't get caught up in the lolly scramble. There's lots of knives out there. No, you don't need to have every single one even if they do look sort of cool. You're not a kid, exercise some self-restraint.
Gene is a very nice guy. At the ICCE, he spent a lot of time with me even though his work is out of my wallet range. I was going to save up, but the ICCE moved too far away. When I hit the lottery, he's making me a leverlock auto, Sheffield style
With GEC I disliked their designs and 1095. Their knives are too thick and derivative. Plus I've seen some with issues, the only one I've bought has perfect stag and fit/finish, but I bought it in person. Didn't like the blade shape, but it's grown on me
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One of the reasons I've collected knives for so long is because knife makers and collectors are usually extremely nice people. Some makers I've met personally that fit this description are Frank Centofante, Joel Chamblin, PJ Tomes, RJ Martin, Walter Brend, Koji Hara...well the list is long. Suffice it to say my favorite is Gene Shadley. Over the years I've sold most of my collection and focus mainly on his knives. Even if he weren't such a nice guy, his knives stand above and would still be my favorites. But being who he is....just makes owning his knives all the more enjoyable. Which is one of the reasons I never sought a production traditional until now. But I'm old enough to realize we can enjoy knives (or anything really) on many levels. Just like I can enjoy a double quarter pounder (with cheese) as much as a porterhouse at my local Chop house.
Just ordered my first GEC. I'll have it by Fri.