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New Case Caliber Folders?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Lycosa, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    It will be interesting to see how folks feel about FRN, plastic, Zytel, Valox, and other soft scale materials used on knives (especially if they are used for work) after they use them for a while.

    My experience with all of them hasn't been good. They are fine when they new, but their grippy surface turns really slick after a couple of years of pocket carry, with change and other pocket stuff wearing at the scales. I have a couple of knives I use for work that have those soft components used as scales that stay at home as they are almost too slick to be safe for any kind of work use.

    For a few cents more a knife, I would be much more interested in these synthetic handled knives if they had textured G10 or a heavy grained micarta.

    Robert
     
  2. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Thanks, Robert.
    I was going to EDC my Trapper in a belt pouch.
    When the polymer handles get smooth, could they be roughed up somehow?
    rolf
     
  3. On the subject of FRN/Zytel (& maybe some versions of the Valox), any or all of these are, or at least can be in some versions, fiberglass-reinforced. Zytel is actually a tradename (from Dupont) for what we'd otherwise call FRN (Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon). On handles made with such material, if the handles are made with some form of texturing built-in, I wouldn't worry about those getting too slick with wear. The FRN or Zytel-handled knives I have with such texturing haven't shown any appreciable wear on the checkered/diamond-patterned portions of their surfaces. The smooth portions can get slicker, but other deeper texturing seems to be very durable and grippy. I have one of the earlier-mentioned Gerber LST folders in FRN (part textured) and a BUCKLITE 424 lockback in Zytel (also textured), both purchased back in the '90s. The more I've handled and used them, the more I've really come to like the feather-weight durability of them.

    The texturing I'm seeing in the pics of the new Case knives looks good to me, and I'm also liking the apparent thickness of the handle scales. Also like the looks of the 'as ground' finish on the blades. :thumbup:

    (Also have an old Remington 'Nylon 66' .22LR rifle in a Zytel stock; my Dad bought it for me back in the late '60s/early '70s, if I recall correctly. The checkered grip on the stock has been 'bulletproof' in it's grippiness, appropriately enough. :D)


    David
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  4. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    David- Thank you for your informative post.
    I have come to really like man-made knife handle material(s).
     
  5. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Here is my old BuckLite 424 from 1988. The blade tip was broken (yes, I used it as a screwdriver!) and reground to a shorter, but still useful drop point. Because of it's lightness, I carry it when quail hunting. After 25 years of use it shows some dings, but still has the same gripiness as when new.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Please dunt use it as a hammer. ^
     
  7. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Yeah, good advice . . . where were you 20 years ago?! ;)
     
  8. That 424 looks very familiar. :)

    Mine's not quite as 'vintage' as yours; I've got a '94 model ('424 \' stamp). I've loved the thin hollow grind on it, especially for tasks like apple-slicing. Can see why it wouldn't fare so well as a screwdriver. That said, you did a nice job fixing up the tip on it. :thumbup:


    David

     
  9. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Thanks, David, it really has been a good little companion through the years. I imagine the new Case stockman in like dress would fair just as well, and actually be a little more useful.
     
  10. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    My Bucklite gets lots of EDC time.
    I bet my Case Caliber trapper will also. These are just cool, light weight, classic knives.
     
  11. ellipticus

    ellipticus

    173
    Jan 21, 2013
    These are a good idea but I find them lacking in a few areas:
    1. the color is just plain boring. How 'bout a dark maroon? (think early bakelite)
    2. The embossed "Case" On the butt end just screams "almost a Case." Put the embossed "shield" in the traditional location.
    3. Leave the ares on the handle where the bolsters would normally be smooth and texture only the area where bone or wood scales would be. In addition to visually breaking up the handles it would provide a kind of "continuity" with other Case knives. Make them look more like part of the Case family.
    I'm a newbie here in these woods so cut me some slack. Thanks!
     
  12. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Slack cut. :D
    That boring color will grow on you. Trust me.
     
  13. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Boring color? Well then, try them in this fetching Pink Camo version:

    [​IMG]


    If that doesn't float your dirigible, then there is a more typical camo version:


    [​IMG]


    Or you can advertise your favorite brand of pants:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ellipticus

    ellipticus

    173
    Jan 21, 2013
    I'm sorry, the "tan" looks more like "haze gray" to me and I had my fill of that color in the Navy. Maybe if it was a darker shade. To be honest I have not seen any of these in person, yet. I do have a Carhartt/Case trapper with G-10 handles which is my go-to trapper.

    [​IMG]

    I like the way it looks, not all buffed-out and chromed to the gills. Its all satin finished.

    I would like to try a caliber series knife as it would allow me to try new-to-me patterns without breaking the bank. They seem like nice knives but I see little that would distinguish them as Case knives to me.

    Not trying to rock the boat guys.
     
  15. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Rolf -

    Hmmm.... once again I seem to have different experiences than the collective. I can't post the pics of the two or three knives I have in mind, by you can SEE how smooth the handles are on my RAT 1 (thumb stud, screwed together) and on one of my Kershaws (same), and an old Gerber gentleman's knife simply by how shiny they are. Rolling around in my work jeans pockets with change, pulled nails, screws, and keys while I work polishes up those scales quite nicely after a couple of years.

    Not all resins are the same, so not all wear equally. It would be too easy to compare all of the referenced handle materials to one another here, but I don't know how valid it is to compare nylon to Valox, or FRN to plastic. I'd bet the engineering is quite different. To set the standard for a great texture on a synthetic handle, check out Cold Steel's G10 on their line of knives. It is incredible, the grippiest pattern (that is still comfortable) I have ever handled. I bought one of their knives (definitely not traditional except as a work knife) to have when I am stuck working in rainy, nasty weather.

    As they say, "on another site" this was discussed at length by outdoorsmen that liked their knives but found the knives to be less than satisfactory after the texturing was worn. They tried skateboard tape which some guys liked, but was too rough for others. Here on BF, there were some good solutions on the Becker sub forum where they stippled their grips, like they have done here on pistol scales and on other knives that are of the same synthetic cousins:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stipple+knife+handle+texture

    I looked for an example here on BF as I know I saw that someone had done that on their knife, but can't find it.

    It may be one of these, but not sure.

    http://goo.gl/Igs4Ly

    I will probably try to stipple mine using a Dremel and a round burr as I like the results, and the folks that have done that seem to like the results a lot.

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  16. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Robert- I do believe the Dremel trick will work. Do it!
    My pocket is just for my knife. When I reach into my pocket, I want my knife, nothing else.
    And, being a former cook, I have learned how to control a knife handle that is slick or slippery. It has become second nature.
    rolf
     
  17. 555

    555

    Feb 5, 2007
    :eek: Gasp! :D
     
  18. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call

    Jan 3, 2013
    I honestly, can't get into these knives at all. The one positive I see is that (thanks to 300 Bucks post from 2012, they would make a good first knife that will likely get broken or lost.
     
  19. 555

    555

    Feb 5, 2007
    I know what you mean and buying by color online can be tricky. I bought a Case backpocket in gray and it was a lot lighter in color than the image presented on the web.
     
  20. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I probably will do the RAT1. It is a dandy work knife, and has taken a heckuva beating for a few years now. I miss it... I have "favorites" and the ones that I don't worry about at all wind up being in the constant rotation if they can stand the rigors of daily work.

    Besides, they take the place of my traditional blade that is in the pocket for really dirty jobs. The traditionals I carry are typically better knives that I actually like, so I use the "work knife" for all the unpleasant tasks I don't want my traditional blades to face.

    I pulled out my 80s vintage Gerber Silver Knight this morning that I bought brand new. Sure enough the heavily checkered scales are almost completely smooth on both sides. I have no idea how so many have used their synthetic scaled knives for years and they are in near perfect condition...

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

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