the "traditional folder" post and subsequent replies have me wondering. which is preferred? I own an Old Timer peanut, and it performs well, though the backsprings are rusting on the inside. how do they match up?
I have an Uncle Henry Trapper in delrin stag and I am very happy with how tight the blades and springs are in mine*. Shaves too, after using an Arkansas stone.
I think for the money they are good knives but you must inspect the knife before purchasing. *It took 2 or 3 trappers for me to check until I found a tight one without blade wobble. If you get one thru the net, have them inspect it first.
I would go with an Old Timer. They will rust but only if you dont take care of them. Eventually they will develop a nice patina which is rather attractive. Atleast to me. I have an Uncle Henry trapper and it feels..well weird. Not sure what gives it that feeling. Could be the ss blade, the thinner liners, or what. I just dont like it.
I own some of both, and I like the handle appearance of the Old Timers, but prefer the stain-resistant steel of the Uncle Henrys. The Uncle Henrys are thicker due to the way the Delrin stag handles are molded.
I too find the Old Timer steel rusts very easily, and though I love the way and ease with which it sharpens up, for actual pocket carry, I prefer rust-resistant steel that can at least take/hold a good edge.
Here's another wrench in the machine...
Case. is their stainless (420HC)at all comparable to either OT or UH? and how much scale durability is sacrificed with their bone? this knife is to be used as a compliment to my Delica; i've been carring an opinel for some time along with the Delica and use it much more than the delica for the less pretty tasks, but I lost it, and the smaller size and traditional styling of these knives (as well as their apparent "beat-on-able-ness") seems to make them an adequate replacement. Thanks...
Halycon, knife springs are quite frequently made of non-stainless steels even if the blades are SS. Except of frequent immersions in salty water or frequent contact with fruit/vegetable juices it is a minor problem. To prevent the rust stains on your clothes (pockets), you can time by time clean the rust. I use paper napkins or tissue wrapped around toothpicks and some kind of lube. I carry some of my knives wrapped in small,thin plastic lunch bags, so they stay lint/dust-free in my pockets. It is a good way to slow down the rusting too. However if you want an easily deployable knife, this could be inconvenient for you.
So you if you are concerned with rusting, go with SS.
I have a Case yellow handled trapper with "Thrusharp surgical stainless steel" (420HC), the backspring on it rusts too, however maybe not as much as the one on my OT stockman. I have no experience with the UH line.
The Case knives I have open and close very easily, but have no consistent quality (varying fit and finish, blade play). My OT is more tight, has thicker (stronger) brass liners and even it was cheaper, its fit is better. If you want a stronger user knife, go with Schrade. Cases are definitely nicer looking ones, especially their scales.
Yes, the OT's will rust but truefully I have not had a problem with them rusting at all. And to be honest about it I do not take very good care of it. I put Tuff Cloth on it 1 time over a year ago, and never oil it. No rust yet, just keep it dry. Btw the Opinell is a great choice also. I think 1095 is alot better than 440A. By alot.
Halycon mentioned that his Old Timer peanut's backsprings are rusting on the inside. With all due respect, so what? Old Timers are working knives and they do that very very well. A little rust on the inside of the backsprings will not hamper the knife's admirable cutting ability. For the money, the Old Timers are darn solid knives with strong steel that - while it will stain and will rust under the right circumstances - takes and holds a wicked edge.
I have an Old Timer two-blade jack and an Uncle Henry stockman. Both are great knives but I prefer the UH simply because my wife and I travel around quite a bit and I always seem to be using my knives for food prep. I'd rather cut up apples, cheese, etc. with a stainless blade. But the Old Timer is one hell of a good knife. WAY more value for the money, IMHO, than Case XX.
The Opinels, I understand, are also quite good bargain knives. But I prefer the made-in-America Schrades.
[This message has been edited by mnblade (edited 01-02-2001).]
My very first knife was an Old Timer (18OT), and I'd say from what I can remember of it:
It'll take a beating, both the blade, and the effectively indestructible handle.
If you give it no maintenance at all, it'll still be essentially fine. It held an edge well, and rust wasn't a real problem, however...
The blade would often turn black from oxidization. I don't know if this was just because I was a little kid who didn't have access to polish/blade oils very often, or if it's just something they tend to do. (It was more than 10 years ago!) Either way, it doesn't effect the blade, and I don't think it would pit the metal if left untreated for as much as a year. Overall, I'd say they're a fine knife.