The Case for the Trapper

hornetguy

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Feb 11, 2015
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I've always liked and appreciated the trapper knife... I bought online a CV yellow delrin Case trapper, and was a little surprised how big it was. I liked it, but it was too big for pocket carry. So, I bought a CV yellow delrin mini-trapper. It is about perfect for pocket carry.
Now you guys surprise me with the knowledge of a TINY trapper. I didn't even know that Case made those. I've looked all over for a CV yellow delrin tiny trapper, but they do not seem to exist.
So, to soothe my pain, I ordered a tiny trapper in orange persimmon bone with SS blades. It should complement my single blade mini trapper Harley Davidson knife that my wife got for me.

I need more pockets.... have to invest in more cargo pants.
 
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Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts here on the trapper knife pattern.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to get a bigger and nicer knife than I was accustomed to carry, which were generally small pen knives, small SAKs, and small lockbacks. My father carried a small pen knife, after all. Carried most of my life, but didn't think much about it. Shelled out $20 or so every few years to get a new knife. Since then, I have acquired 23 knives. May not sound like a lot, but it's probably more than I've owned in my lifetime. I had 8 when I started, and I have given away some knives, and lost a couple.

Anyway, after a few weeks of research (which kept bringing me back to BladeForums), I settled on a Case trapper and a Case medium stockman. I don't think I planned on getting more. But you know how that is. I bought the trapper first, and a few days later the stockman. Then soon after that, a Case mini trapper. Then a small Case lockback. Then other brands, like Buck. I learned about GEC, and the lambsfoot from Sheffield, and Spanish navajas, and French Laguioles, and Scandinavian knives, and Solingen steel, and, of course, Schrade, Queen, Camillus, etc.
There is still so much to learn, and I am enjoying this hobby (obsession?).

Which brings me to my observations about the trapper pattern. I have been carrying my trapper often, only occasionally posting it in the toting thread. I often carry it in a leather belt sheath, but also carry it loose in my left front pocket, which has always been reserved for knives. When it's on my belt, I often have another knife in my pocket.

I don't think I have yet held a pocket knife that is so comfortable to hold. The balance feels perfect. No hot spots, such as can develop from using a stockman (that sheepsfoot blade sticking out, you know). The clip blade is the perfect size for cutting steaks, sausage, pears, etc. The spey blade is also good for cutting fruit, and scooping out the core, for example. It can also be used for spreading things like butter or mustard. And both blades are excellent slicers, and easy to sharpen.

The mini trapper, on the other hand, is too small. If I want to carry a knife that small I'd rather carry the medium stockman, which has a similar size clip and an extra blade. And I like that the full size trapper has no half stop.

I am not planning to become a one-knife guy. There are too many wonderful patterns out there, and I enjoy the variety. For example, I am really looking forward to this year's forum knife, which is a single blade, long sheepsfoot with African blackwood covers. And I love my small but growing collection of lambsfoots. And I gotta get more navajas. And Bowies. And Douk-Douks. And Puukos. And stilettos, etc. But if I had to choose only one knife, I think the trapper would be all I really needed.
KpiTWah.jpg
Nice write-up and pic Prester John :thumbsup:
Trappers are a pattern I learned about here on BF. I have one that Prester Vince offered in a GAW last fall and gotta say it's a winner. Thanks again Vince :).

I am kinda surprised how much I've taken to it. I really love this pattern.

I like the size and feel of it in the hand. I also like its straightforward simplicity. I'll be getting more, no doubt.

Reading through the posts here, many say that size is a bit of a barrier to pocket carry and I tend to agree. It's a fine sheath candidate, but some either don't particularly like sheaths or want to be more discrete in their carry, like at work or on a night out (probably those of us who don't live in Texas, lol! That's meant as a kind-hearted joke. No offense :)).

My solution to this was to add a lanyard hole. This allows me to carry the knife vertically in the front pocket. It gets clipped to a key strap on my belt. Another carry option I learned here is in regards to the back pocket. Sew a seam up the back pocket toward the outside a bit, making two compartments out of the original large space. A full-sized trapper will ride vertically pretty nicely this way, and with a lanyard attached, you can retrieve it easily.

The more I delve into traditionals, the more I discover that it's all about how to carry them, how to do it comfortably.

I put walnut scales and copper pins on mine, replacing the yellow delrin.


IMG_20190309_50488 by D P, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

Prester John

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Nice write-up and pic Prester John :thumbsup:
Trappers are a pattern I learned about here on BF. I have one that Prester Vince offered in a GAW last fall and gotta say it's a winner. Thanks again Vince :).

I am kinda surprised how much I've taken to it. I really love this pattern.

I like the size and feel of it in the hand. I also like its straightforward simplicity. I'll be getting more, no doubt.

Reading through the posts here, many say that size is a bit of a barrier to pocket carry and I tend to agree. It's a fine sheath candidate, but some either don't particularly like sheaths or want to be more discrete in their carry, like at work or on a night out (probably those of us who don't live in Texas, lol! That's meant as a kind-hearted joke. No offense :)).

My solution to this was to add a lanyard hole. This allows me to carry the knife vertically in the front pocket. It gets clipped to a key strap on my belt. Another carry option I learned here is in regards to the back pocket. Sew a seam up the back pocket toward the outside a bit, making two compartments out of the original large space. A full-sized trapper will ride vertically pretty nicely this way, and with a lanyard attached, you can retrieve it easily.

The more I delve into traditionals, the more I discover that it's all about how to carry them, how to do it comfortably.

I put walnut scales and copper pins on mine, replacing the yellow delrin.


IMG_20190309_50488 by D P, on Flickr
You did a great job with the walnut scales, Don. I like the yellow Delrin, but I usually go for the knives with the natural covers (bone, stag, wood). And the lanyard looks good.
I see a lot of belt sheaths around here, and the trapper is what I most often see in them. I work in a courthouse, but have my belt sheath on. (My boss does, too. He's not crazy about Case knives, but he carries them because his family keeps giving them to him!)
 
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You did a great job with the walnut scales, Don. I like the yellow Delrin, but I usually go for the knives with the natural covers (bone, stag, wood). And the lanyard looks good.
I see a lot of belt sheaths around here, and the trapper is what I most often see in them. I work in a courthouse, but have my belt sheath on. (My boss does, too. He's not crazy about Case knives, but he carries them because his family keeps giving them to him!)
Funny he keeps receiving those knives. That's a problem l could handle (or re-handle as I did with my delrin) :)

I'm kinda on again off again with sheaths. Part of why I don't use them much is my misses. She doesn't like the look, and thinks my knife interest is odd to begin with. I guess we can't all have women like @Eli Chaps !!
 

dalefuller

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Feb 2, 2005
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4,236
Case Trappers rule at my house now. That's been my favorite traditional pattern for a long time and Case does it best for me.

I've been carrying one Trapper or another for 'bout a month now and so far I haven't missed anything about modern folding knives. And I've managed to cut everything that I need to cut just fine. They've done everything from household chores to cleaning up a walking path around my buddy's new house in Kentucky.

I like the long spey blade for slicing in general and especially for working around my dogs. Occasionally I find something that needs to be cut out of my Lab's coat and the lack of a tip makes the spey blade a better choice than the clip blade.

Looking forward to adding more as soon as I make more room in my knife chest.
 

Prester John

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I'm kinda on again off again with sheaths. Part of why I don't use them much is my misses. She doesn't like the look, and thinks my knife interest is odd to begin with. I guess we can't all have women like @Eli Chaps !!
Guess I'm lucky. My wife's oldest possession is a red bone Kutmaster stockman--probably from the '50s--that her father gave her when she was a child. It was his old knife. I think most guys had one knife for years. He gave her this when he bought a new one. I have bought her a few knives, and she is supportive of my "hobby." Except she thinks I spend too much, and I think I don't spend enough!
 

Prester John

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I like the long spey blade for slicing in general and especially for working around my dogs. Occasionally I find something that needs to be cut out of my Lab's coat and the lack of a tip makes the spey blade a better choice than the clip blade.
I've even used the spey blade to dig dirt out of a flower holder at a grave site (my wife was putting flowers on her parents' graves). The shape is pretty handy.
 

hornetguy

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Feb 11, 2015
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Nice write-up and pic Prester John :thumbsup:
Trappers are a pattern I learned about here on BF. I have one that Prester Vince offered in a GAW last fall and gotta say it's a winner. Thanks again Vince :).

I am kinda surprised how much I've taken to it. I really love this pattern.

I like the size and feel of it in the hand. I also like its straightforward simplicity. I'll be getting more, no doubt.

Reading through the posts here, many say that size is a bit of a barrier to pocket carry and I tend to agree. It's a fine sheath candidate, but some either don't particularly like sheaths or want to be more discrete in their carry, like at work or on a night out (probably those of us who don't live in Texas, lol! That's meant as a kind-hearted joke. No offense :)).

My solution to this was to add a lanyard hole. This allows me to carry the knife vertically in the front pocket. It gets clipped to a key strap on my belt. Another carry option I learned here is in regards to the back pocket. Sew a seam up the back pocket toward the outside a bit, making two compartments out of the original large space. A full-sized trapper will ride vertically pretty nicely this way, and with a lanyard attached, you can retrieve it easily.

The more I delve into traditionals, the more I discover that it's all about how to carry them, how to do it comfortably.

I put walnut scales and copper pins on mine, replacing the yellow delrin.


IMG_20190309_50488 by D P, on Flickr[/QUOTE

That is a wonderful job you did on re-handling that trapper and adding the lanyard hole. I just might have to borrow/steal your idea there, and do my trapper and mini trapper. I have some really nice wood laying around that I could put to use.
Kudos!
 

Peregrin

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Nice write-up and pic Prester John :thumbsup:
Trappers are a pattern I learned about here on BF. I have one that Prester Vince offered in a GAW last fall and gotta say it's a winner. Thanks again Vince :).

I am kinda surprised how much I've taken to it. I really love this pattern.

I like the size and feel of it in the hand. I also like its straightforward simplicity. I'll be getting more, no doubt.

Reading through the posts here, many say that size is a bit of a barrier to pocket carry and I tend to agree. It's a fine sheath candidate, but some either don't particularly like sheaths or want to be more discrete in their carry, like at work or on a night out (probably those of us who don't live in Texas, lol! That's meant as a kind-hearted joke. No offense :)).

My solution to this was to add a lanyard hole. This allows me to carry the knife vertically in the front pocket. It gets clipped to a key strap on my belt. Another carry option I learned here is in regards to the back pocket. Sew a seam up the back pocket toward the outside a bit, making two compartments out of the original large space. A full-sized trapper will ride vertically pretty nicely this way, and with a lanyard attached, you can retrieve it easily.

The more I delve into traditionals, the more I discover that it's all about how to carry them, how to do it comfortably.

I put walnut scales and copper pins on mine, replacing the yellow delrin.


IMG_20190309_50488 by D P, on Flickr
Nice mods to a nice knife!
My constant companion is my 4" Single blade Trapper from John Lloyd (as many of you know!). The most comfortable cutting tool I own.
I've come up with three solutions to carrying a knife that is 4" closed, although pretty slim.
The pouch with the lanyard hangs in my left pocket, next to my smartphone, lanyard looped around my belt. The belt case is worn sometimes also, if the situation calls for real quick access. If I want to drop it in my pocket, I use a pocket slip that keeps it upright and in place.
I've got a number of trappers, posted earlier in this thread. All in all probably my favorite pattern, especially with a clip and a wharncliffe blade on the 2 bladers I have.
Qk3xeUO.jpg
 

dalefuller

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I've even used the spey blade to dig dirt out of a flower holder at a grave site (my wife was putting flowers on her parents' graves). The shape is pretty handy.

OK... that's pretty cool. Another use... maybe a bit unusual... is for cleaning candle wax out of the candle holders on our church's altar table. The heavy brass on the top crown pieces and the tight fit into the holder mean that when it's time for a change, you've gotta dig a bunch of melted wax away from the brass. A pointy tip like the clip blade doesn't work as well as the more rounded end of the spey blade, as long as the edge is really sharp. I know this from experience. I've damaged more than one blade tip this way. Pointy tips get hung up in the wax and they can be damaged hitting against the brass. The spey blade eliminates this.
 
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Guess I'm lucky. My wife's oldest possession is a red bone Kutmaster stockman--probably from the '50s--that her father gave her when she was a child. It was his old knife. I think most guys had one knife for years. He gave her this when he bought a new one. I have bought her a few knives, and she is supportive of my "hobby." Except she thinks I spend too much, and I think I don't spend enough!
That's great that your wife has a connection to her father via a knife, Vince. It probably makes pocket knives a bit more interesting to her, which is great. The only knife I've bought for my wife is a kitchen knife, a chef's knife, which she loves. I think part of my hurdle to overcome with her is leftover from my "tactical days" when I carried these big menacing things that were pure overkill :eek: She probably equated my hobby with violence rather than practicality. I'm hoping I can woo her with traditionals now. Time will tell :)

That is a wonderful job you did on re-handling that trapper and adding the lanyard hole. I just might have to borrow/steal your idea there, and do my trapper and mini trapper. I have some really nice wood laying around that I could put to use.
Kudos!
Thanks hornetguy!
It came out pretty well. It's my first re-handle job. Not sure I'd try it again soon. More work than I thought, but it was satisfying and taught me about knife anatomy. The lanyard hole mod is something I'd do again immediately :thumbsup: It was a cinch with a drill press and a solid carbide bit. It's improved the carry and adornment options for sure.

Nice mods to a nice knife!
My constant companion is my 4" Single blade Trapper from John Lloyd (as many of you know!). The most comfortable cutting tool I own.
I've come up with three solutions to carrying a knife that is 4" closed, although pretty slim.
The pouch with the lanyard hangs in my left pocket, next to my smartphone, lanyard looped around my belt. The belt case is worn sometimes also, if the situation calls for real quick access. If I want to drop it in my pocket, I use a pocket slip that keeps it upright and in place.
I've got a number of trappers, posted earlier in this thread. All in all probably my favorite pattern, especially with a clip and a wharncliffe blade on the 2 bladers I have.
Qk3xeUO.jpg
Thanks Gary, and yes, it's all about the carry system, isn't it? Neat options there :thumbsup:
 
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Addressing the size and weight of the full size trapper. All knives have been designed with a purpose. If I just want to EDC a knife, the Case Mini Copperlock, Small Trapper, ect are my preferred size and weight of knife. Being a closet survivalist, hunter, backpacker and Bushcrafter, I would rather carry the full size Trapper as a back-up any day when in the field. Truthfully, I would probably have another pocket knife stashed in my pack along with a Mora.

Geoff
 

Prester John

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That's great that your wife has a connection to her father via a knife, Vince. It probably makes pocket knives a bit more interesting to her, which is great. The only knife I've bought for my wife is a kitchen knife, a chef's knife, which she loves. I think part of my hurdle to overcome with her is leftover from my "tactical days" when I carried these big menacing things that were pure overkill :eek: She probably equated my hobby with violence rather than practicality. I'm hoping I can woo her with traditionals now. Time will tell :)
The only "tactical" knives I've ever had were a small stiletto switchblade (which was advertised in comic books and Boys Life), and a Rambo-inspired knife. Never have even been tempted to get one of these moderns.
 

chuck4570

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Looking through my knives I was surprised that I have only 3 Trapper’s, a Case Mini Trapper, a Parker Edwards Trapper of the same size as the Mini, and a Case Slimline Trapper. My preference is single bladed knives but the Trapper has always felt good in my hand. I did have a couple of Case full sized Trappers but I passed them along to a couple of Scouts in need. A couple of Case Slimlines are on my radar and full sized may just move to the top of the list.
upload_2019-6-5_20-8-42.jpeg
upload_2019-6-5_20-9-12.jpeg
 

dalefuller

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^^ I still have a soft spot (no knives, but a soft spot) for the old Schrade / Old Timer / Uncle Henry knives. They were actually the first pocket knives I remember seeing in my local hardware stores. Case Knives were more premium and weren't carried as many places around my town as Schrade and Old Timer were.
 
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