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White River Knife and Tool In Stock

White River Knife and Tool products are in stock and ready to ship! TSA Knives, LLC is happy to announce we now carrying the White River Knife line.  Yesterday I uploaded the first group of knives that came in and am waiting on more.  This is a quick look at a couple of my first choices.

White River Knife & Tool “Small Game”

  I’m really happy to get these knives in.  It’s the first opportunity I had to really look the line over and I’m impressed with what I’m seeing.  Fit and finish is top notch.  Blade steels (S30V and S35VN) are perfect for this type of knife.  Overall, a lot of thought obviously went into the White River Knife line.

White River M1 Backpacker

The White River  M1 Backpacker (above) is a particular gem for the backpacker, hiker, camper or glove box in my estimation.  This is the first knife I unpacked and have to say it’s probably one of my favorites so far.  Too often you see the smaller backpacker or neck knives that are best described as ‘handy’.  The M1 goes beyond handy and is best described as ‘totally functional’   It’s a compact package and a whole lot more knife than meets the eye.

I’ll be putting together a video or two covering some of the knives.  That will give me the opportunity to show the line off a bit better.   For now, I’ll just say it’s a great line.

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GEC #97 Production Totals

I received the following email that was sent out to dealers yesterday form GEC.   The #97 production totals give us an idea just what’s happening to demand for GEC knives.

“As of today, 10 December, 2018, the total orders from GEC distributors
and dealers for the #97 pattern are approximately 5,200 pieces.  That is
a substantial number of knives.  I am anxious to get started on them and
excited about producing another old classic pocket knife design.

When we go into production on this run, we hope to have them reach our
inspection department by early February.  Once inspected and we start
shipping this run, I calculate that it will take 33 work days to
complete.  That is over a month and a half calendar time. Be advised,
there may be several days when you do not receive new product from GEC.”

At last count there are going to be 5 different handle options (I’m not counting the stag as last I heard the chance of a stag 97 is slim).  This comes out to roughly 1000 pieces of each handle.  For Great Eastern, those numbers are huge.  We may have seen total runs approaching these numbers but never confined to so few options.

It’s going to be interesting to see if this starts to put a damper on interest for the collectors or simply feeds into the demand.  Some of the earlier knives from runs of 25 or 50 still don’t always command a high premium when compared to the more recent SFO’s of several hundred pieces of a handle.  My initial thought is that if GEC continues with runs this size it may ultimately either put upward pressure on the early short run knives or…not.  It will also mean we could very well see fewer different knives over a year but higher numbers of the few that get run.

For the last 3 years I’ve heard there was a consideration being given to fewer SFO’s and more regular production knives.  This is the first indication GEC may be following through. 

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97 Large Coke Bottle Update

I talked to GEC briefly on Friday and want to pass along a few notes. regarding the upcoming 97 Large Coke Bottle. 

The quantities of this knife appear to be large with almost 4000 presold by GEC to dealers.  Due to the size of the run there is a possibility, (Read that again….a ‘Possibility‘) that GEC may eliminate one of the handle options for both the Tidioute and the Northfield. 

This is the type of thing that can drive us all nuts.  GEC demands dealers make a “FIRM” commitment for quantities no later then 7AM Monday morning for delivery next March.  But we’re not sure what they’re going to build.  And we don’t have the bone color determined yet.  AND we won’t know the cost until the day they ship next March.  AND we’re pretty sure there won’t be any SFO’s.  AND it’s getting highly unlikely there will be any stag. 

In summation, I’ve got a couple hundred knives ordered but am not 100% certain what I’m going to be getting.  I’m also taking early reservations based on the same premise.  I’ll tell you in advance I appreciate your understanding.

I have to admit its amazing GEC knives have reached this level of popularity.  Dealers and customers alike are willing to place orders without knowing all the specs, the cost or availability of a product.   GEC has every single knife sold before a single blade is cut.  Most of the knives will never see the inside of a pocket meaning warranty issues are virtually zero.  Believe, I’m not being critical of GEC.  On the contrary, this would be any businessman’s dream come true.   

If you haven’t placed a reservation yet and would like to, go to this blog post and fill out the reservation form.  Be sure to check the boxes next to the knives you’re interested in.

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GEC Early Reserve: New Pattern #97

I have an Early Reserve form at the bottom of this post if your interested in the new pattern #977.  I just received an email this morning that GEC announced a new knife will be released March of 2019.  The knife will be a pattern #97 Large Coke Bottle.

At 4.75″ OAL Closed, this will be one of the biggest offerings (0ther then the Whaler/Sunfish Series) we’ve seen from GEC.  The #65 Ben Hogan came in at 4.5″ and I believe that’s the closest contender.  It’s been a long time since we’ve seen GEC come out with a knife anywhere near this size and it’s going to be interesting what the reaction will be.

Here are the specs as of this moment.  As in the past, it’s early enough in the process to anticipate there could be changes as we get closer to the March release date:

Tidioute:

  • Jigged Bone – color to be determined
  • Jigged Brazilian Cherry Wood (Beaver Tail)
  • Maroon Linen Micarta

Northfield:

  • Smooth Yellow Rose
  • Gabon Ebony Wood
  • Possible Stag

I’m going to open the pattern #97 to early orders with a couple of changes.

  1. No deposit required
  2. PLEASE register in the store to expedite the order process
  3. If you have cancelled out of reserved products in the past, you fall to the bottom of the list.  In other words, if I end up getting shipped ‘short’, you may fall off the list.
  4. I will NOT be taking early orders for the stag.  This knife will require a big chunk of stag and GEC is already offering up a caveat that they will be allocated.  The number of names drawn with the option to purchase a Stag #97 will  be determined by the number of Stag #97’s available.

Be sure that to establish an account in the storefront if you don’t already have one.  Also be sure your shipping and billing addresses are up to date.  That speeds up the process and eliminates the need for me to manually enter your order info when the knives become available.

Please enter your email, so we can follow up with you.
Early Reservation Request
Select the Items you wish to reserve. You will be notified and invoiced when the items become available which. Scheduled arrival is March 2019,

 

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GEC 82, Artisan Cutlery, GEC Collections

Lots of new stuff coming this week.  There’s the next GEC 82, Artisan Cutlery and a couple of GEC Collections that I acquired.  I’ll start adding them to the store yet this week.

The GEC Collections include around 65-70 knives.  Most are more recent releases but include some hard to find and unique pieces.  I haven’t had time to go through all of them yet. The plan is to start listing some of them this week.  With the GEC 82 release and the knives from Artisan, it’s going to take a little time to get them sorted out.

Have patience and as time allows, they’ll show up in the store.  If you’re looking for something specific I’ll try to answer your inquiries as time allows.  Otherwise, keep an eye on the “Recently Added Products” category.

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New Look and More Changes Coming

If you’re reading this blog post you’ve most likely noted the new look to the blog site.  It’s still a bit of a work in progress and there are more significant changes coming to the TSA Knives storefront.

I’ve been putting off updating the storefront for quite some time but I’m told it’s time to get it done.  They’re moving our hosting to a different platform.  In layman’s terms means it’s time to step into the 21st century.  On the upside, it should add some features to the storefront and I’m told…make things easier for me to manage as well.  Further down the road the host will quit supporting the old Linux platform and at that point… I’d be on my own.

A recurring problem has been the inability for customers to reset their password without going through me.  I don’t mind doing it but it’s something that needs fixing.  The appearance of the storefront will change and I’m assured it will result in an even more friendly website if you’re a mobile user.  We shall see.

For now, the blog was the easy place to start and next is the web-store.  Other then cosmetics, one of the changes will make it a little easier to post a comment on the blog.  You still need to register to get on.  Your first comment/post needs to be approved but once that’s done, you’ll be able to post comments and their won’t be the usual delay in seeing them on the blog.  I had suspended that feature a couple of years ago when the blog got inundated with spammers but hopefully, that’s a problem of the past.

Updating the storefront is most likely going to take several weeks for me to complete and it should be a seamless transition.  I’m not anticipating any interruptions in service.  One day you’re going to visit the storefront, see a new look and enjoy an improved TSA Knives shopping experience.  (I hate change too and I wrote the last sentence for my own piece of mind as well as yours)

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Chinese Cutlery

Since I put the post up regarding Artisan Cutlery I’ve had a number of conversations with customers about the Chinese Cutlery industry.  Surprisingly, most of conversations tended to be at least somewhat accepting of the fact that Chinese Cutlery is rapidly becoming a fact of life.  A fair number were outright enthusiastic about the line.

To put it bluntly, I’ve not been a fan of cutlery coming out of China and have avoided it like the plague. For years the Chinese had a reputation of putting out low end, inconsistent quality cutlery.  A lot of the Chinese Cutlery we saw were novelty knives that fell into the sub $10 retail range.  Blade steels seemed to be basically ‘mystery metal’ that could be anywhere from 38 to 50 Rc.  I know I’m overstating the facts but that’s how I felt.

Then a friend suggested I get my hands on one of the Artisan’s and I’ve started to re-evaluate my attitude.  I’m really glad I did.  You can read the original post if you missed it first time around.  In short, it made me recall the 1970’s when there was so many negative feelings about products coming in from Japan.  Poor quality was the major concern and some of that had to do with pricing.  How could a less expensive product be good quality?  It didn’t take too many more years before we all started embracing Japanese produced electronics, fishing equipment, firearms, etc as not only good but high quality products.

Artisan Cutlery Tradition Carbon Fiber S35VN

In spite of the economic and political differences we have with China I think we’re at the same point with them as we were with Japan in the ’70’s.  A lot of merchandise already comes in from China but I think we’re seeing some major inroads being made in the cutlery industry.  For some time, we’ve seen knives with names formerly associate with US made products coming out of China.  I think we’re going to see more and more higher end, mass produced knives coming from Chinese manufacturers without US company ties.  And from what I’ve started to see, quality is going to match US quality.

I don’t think US Manufacturers like GEC are under threat from the competition.  To me, GEC falls into the category of hand finished traditional cutlery catering primarily to a collector market.  The CNC, mass produced Chinese Cutlery will appeal to guys like me who are ok with somewhat plain jane reliable tools for EDC use.  Carbon Fiber and G10 will never compete with Stag for appearance but it will take a beating and come back for more.  The point is, I’d rather trade off the cost of a handle material like stag for a higher end blade steel and wrap the package in G10.

While I’m not ready to fully embrace everything coming out of China, I have no doubt we’ll see more high end cutlery coming in.  It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of impact they make in the market.

Right now there seems to be an almost endless choice of cutlery at a wide range of price points.  Proof of this is obvious if you’ve seen a catalogue from Blue Ridge Knives.  Not that many years ago their catalogue page count was around 1000.  Their most recent catalog is just under 2000 pages.  Their selection of cutlery is coming from manufacturers all over the world.

In the last few years we’ve seen new companies pop up and old, established companies fall by the wayside.  We watch the knife laws of some countries getting more restrictive.  That applies to some of the larger cities in the US where certain knives are restricted.   Sooner or later everything achieves equilibrium which leaves me to wonder what the future of the knife industry will look like in another 10-20 years.  When you factor in a player the size of China it expands the potential for change exponentially.  The big question will be, ……can the number of consumers grow as fast as the selection of products.  If not, which companies are going to survive?