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"White Owl"... 3.5" Equal End... from GEC

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by supratentorial, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    My mom's father, Pop to us grandkids, always smoked White Owls. Every Christmas we brought him a box of 50 all wrapped up. Every year he took it, shook it, and said, "I wonder what this could be?" A simple laugh, but a nice TRADITION in our family. Thanks for the nice memory.

    I'm waiting for the inevitable stockman/cattleman patterns to come on this frame. I'd love to see a traditional clip/sheepfoot/spey or pen version, plus a spear/sheepfoot/punch version. Are you listening, Bill and Ken? ;) :D
     
  2. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    Both of those sound great to me. I'm also looking forward to seeing a junior cattle knife from GEC.
     
  3. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    [​IMG]

    Visually, this piece is perfect. The blade selection, the bail, the material, and the pinched bolsters.

    The bulk (real or only perceived) and length of the Great Eastern products has kept me away so far. Maybe I could live with 3-1/2".

    Anyone seen these at the dealers yet?
     
  4. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    I haven't seen any Northfields at dealers yet but the Tidioutes have shown up at dealers in the last couple of days.
     
  5. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    Although it depends on the pattern, I think the bulk might be mostly perceived rather than real in some cases. Part of is it the radius of the handles on GEC knives. They are more rounded than the handles from some other manufacturers. It's the way the oldies were made and in my opinion the rounded handles are more comfortable to use.

    From left to right: Two oldies with round handles, a GEC Calf Roper with round handles and a knife with square handles from another manufacturer.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    Thanks so much for the explanation and photo example.

    The definitely ~look~ more rounded in the pictures than most pocketknives.

    I think there are two factors in play with GEC that makes me stereotype them as "large and bulky":

    First, it's the direction of the company and the patterns they've chosen to work with. They certainly haven't produced in line with a traditional peanut, senator, or pen knife. Instead they've chosen to symbolize their company with more unusual and full-size patterns. Wildcat Driller, Sunfish, Pioneer...

    But there's also the weight and length when compared to the typical pocketknives of the same pattern from other manufacturers. Their stockman, whittler, barlow, and jack knife patterns are considerably longer and wider than any vintage examples in my collection.

    Compare this "fatty" from Great Eastern to a German Klaas knife of the same name (sleaveboard):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here's their "Jack" knife compared to a typical example from PAL Cutlery:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I admit though comparison is difficult without the knives side-by-side in the same photo. I'd love to have five minutes with these two knives and a post office weight scale; it would be very insightful. :)
     
  7. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    To be frank, I think both of the #25 and #26 GEC patterns are odd balls. No harm intended. They're interesting knives. The #26 "sleeveboard" looks more like a mini version of a "Jumbo" to me... a Jumbo is much larger though... but I suppose that's obvious from the name. The #25 Jack appears to use the same frame. Compared to a Jumbo, the GEC "Sleeveboard" is a LOT less bulky. If I collected Jumbos, I'd be grinning ear to ear and filling my pockets with as many GEC's #25 Sleeveboards as I could find.

    GEC "Sleeveboard"
    [​IMG]

    Vintage "Jumbo"
    The White Owl will be thinner since it only has one spring but I think you would be pleasantly surprised by the Calf Roper. Also, I think the Courthouse Whittler would probably compare favorably to whittlers from other brands although this is just based on photos. I own three Calf Ropers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  8. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    I just ordered a Northfield White Owl, found at a single dealer with cocobolo, pinched bolsters, and bail. Priced about ten dollars higher than the Tidioute version. Oddly, after I placed the order their website was updated to "out of stock". Makes me wonder how many of these are being produced. Is the Great Eastern supply line normally a slow trickle?

    [​IMG]

    This is my first Great Eastern, and I will absolutely post photos and a review when it arrives. :cool:
     
  9. knifeswapper

    knifeswapper Knife Peddler Dealer / Materials Provider

    Sep 3, 2004
    Some dealers are closer to the factory than others. The cocobolo is no shorter than the rest of the variations. I think last I heard they made nearly 1000 of this pattern between the handle variations and the clip main / spear main. My guess is that you picked it up from a dealer close to PA that stocks 1-2 of each variation and it will hit the other dealers after FedEx gets back on the roads.
     
  10. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    That's a good guess, knifeswapper. The dealer is in West Virginia. Their website shows 18 different variations in stock. The cocobolo model was the only Northfield brand listed. About half of the Tidioute variations have the spear point and half have a clip point, but only the Northfield has the pinched bolsters and bail.
     
  11. knifeswapper

    knifeswapper Knife Peddler Dealer / Materials Provider

    Sep 3, 2004
    Bone / Snakewood / Burnt Stag / Genuine Stag / Primitive Bone and possibly a Natural Stag will follow this week in the Northfield with aforementioned characteristics.
     
  12. Boggs

    Boggs

    Feb 27, 2007
    Bob......

    You don't know Mike (knifeswapper)


    [​IMG]
     
  13. richstag

    richstag

    Feb 22, 2007
    I was just looking at these on GEC's website. I don't quite get the bail. When you open the secondary blade doesn't the bail get in the way? Is it still comfortable?
     
  14. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    The bail should swing out of the way when the blade is opened. Scout pattern knives traditionally have bails, and they have blades and tools on each end.

    With my history of losing knives, I wouldn't dare to carry a knife without a lanyard. :(
     
  15. richstag

    richstag

    Feb 22, 2007
    Thanks Bob, I understand that it pivots out of the way. I guess what I meant is will it be between your thumb and the spine of the knife when the blade is open. I guess the obvious answer is yes. So is that comfortable?
     
  16. richstag

    richstag

    Feb 22, 2007
    Btw, I really have come to prefer a lanyard too :)
     
  17. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    I'll let you know when it arrives. :)
     
  18. richstag

    richstag

    Feb 22, 2007
    Cool, thank you :)
     
  19. TLARbb

    TLARbb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    My knife came today. I am thinking I'm going to like this one a lot. It's a great size and thin because of the single spring. Good in the hand and in the pocket. A better review tomorrow when I can get some pictures and look at it in the light. It will have to be sharpened, but it is not "butter knife" dull as received.

    Ed J
     

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