Monthly Archives: March 2008

Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 3

Finally, I got around to some actual cuttin’.  As I said, it took me a bit to get the blade to a razors edge.  And…. I’ll admit it probably wasn’t necessary, but it’s the way I like to keep my knives. 

First came the tried and true paper test.  I finely honed blade will cut nice, clean narrow strips of paper with no tearing.   But that really doesn’t prove much other then it started out sharp.  How will it hold up?



If you ask 10 different people how they use their pocket knife, you’ll probably get 8 different answers.  Most knives see service as letter openers, fingernail cleaners, string trimmers and screwdrivers.  Maybe it’ll peel the occasional apple or even aimlessly whittle a stick.  A lot of pocket knives don’t see the light of day more then a couple times a week (unless it’s new and you just gotta impress a buddy).  In fact, if you have to blow pocket lint out of your knife before peeling that apple, you gotta find more stuff to cut!!!

So let’s establish how much I use this knife and how I use it.  Just for the fun of it, I tried to keep track of how I used my knife over a period of a couple of days just to establish ‘a baseline’. 

The typical day starts with the mail.  On average, a dozen envelopes get eviscerated to start. 

By noon, the FedEx truck drops off a box of knives from…yup.. Great Eastern Cutlery.  This is the first real test.  Not only do I get to cut some cardboard (a knifes worst enemy next to rust), but Chris (Great Eastern sales, shipping, customer service and information specialist) uses some really great packing tape along with a packing list in a plastic sleeve that needs to be opened.  Most of the time I cut the boxes up to go into recycling. 



Lunchtime, if I’m on the road, it could be called into service cutting up an apple and cheese or to open a bag of chips.  Yeah, I know, I could eat the apple without cutting it up or just rip the bag of chips open, but that would kinda defeat the purpose and need to carry the knife wouldn’t it?

By mid-afternoon, there’s usually another box or two from UPS that need opening and again, a lot of the boxes are cut to lay flat in the recycling bin.



It’s actually pretty fascinating to start paying attention to how you use your EDC knife.  This week I have used it to open countless pieces of mail and freight, strip some insulation on wiring to repair a connection, opened a case of bottled water, lifted a lid on a can of baked beans, cut a tag off from a new shirt, pried out a coin that somehow got wedged in my seat belt buckle, scraped a couple drops of dried paint off a gun stock, as a spatula blade to sort some small screws, to scrap some excess Super Glue off from my thumb nail and I don’t know how many other seemingly insignificant tasks.  AND, yes, I do wash my knife blade on a regular basis! 

I would estimate my knife gets deployed at least 8-10 times on an average day.  It’s hard to imagine how anyone could get by without a pocket knife!!

Next….will it hold it’s edge.

Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 2

So far, it looks good, feels good and feels at home in my pocket.

I have to admit that I’m a bit anal when it comes to keeping a sharp knife.  In my office, you’ll find Crock Sticks of various types, at least 3 or 4 types of natural and man made stones, a couple of DMT stones, and more gizmos, (all guaranteed to keep your knife razor sharp) then I’d like to admit to.  And, yes, in the garage is the ‘must have’ grinding/buffing setup.

In fact, I probably have one of the few wives in the world that never complains that her kitchen knives are dull.  So you get the general idea that I can’t stand a dull knife.

Generally speaking, the Great Easterns come with a decent edge on them.  But,…if you compare them to some of the Cold Steels, Bark Rivers and Fallknivens I’ve had, the Great Easterns come up a bit short and the #73 I’m testing was no exception.  Don’t get me wrong, it had a good, functional edge, but in the quest for perfection….

No, I didn’t crank up the grinder or start with the diamond stones.  All I did was pull out my trusty paint stirring stick with the leather belt glued to it and loaded it with some green stainless grade polishing compound.


With a moderate amount of effort, the 1095 steel took a razor like edge and was cutting the way I like a knife to cut!!  I say ‘moderate’ amount of effort as I had a bit of difficulty getting the last inch of blade (toward the point) to hone as fine as the rest of the blade.  It was tempting to touch it up with a stone, but I really felt just a few more strokes on the strop would do the trick.  Well, it took quite a few more strokes before I finally got it where I wanted it.

By no means am I an expert on blades, sharpening, knife making etc, but it almost seemed like as they ground the upsweep of the blade, either the grind angle may have varied slightly or there just wasn’t as much steel taken off that last inch of blade.  At any rate, it finally came around with a little elbow grease and polishing compound.

In fact, I highly recommend if you don’t have some sort of a strop either buy one or make one.  It is absolutely amazing how fast you can bring an edge back with minimal effort as long as you don’t let the edge deteriorate too far.   It’s pretty rare that my knives see as a stone anymore. 

So, the edge is honed, it’ll shave the hair off your arm….but will the edge hold up?

TSA Knives, LLC

#73 Patriots ARE HERE!!

There’s a new #73 Tidioute on it’s way called the “Patriot”.  It’s going to be a Single Blade with End Caps and Red, White and Blue acrylic handles.  The blade will have a special etch featuring a Bald Eagle with a banner.  For those of you not familiar with Patriots Day, you might want to check out :

http://world.std.com/~adamg/patriotsday.html

MSRP will be around $94.00.  As soon as we get them in we’ll get some pictures up.

greg

www.tsaknives.com

Here ya go!!!  They really look great!  Reverse side of the blade is etched “1 of 50“.  I’m putting these out at a special price of $59.95 on the website www.TSAKnives.com .





Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 1

Sometimes, you have to do your own research and I’ve decided to make the sacrifice. 

I sell a fair number of Great Easterns and have yet to talk to anyone that’s actually used one!!!!  Unfortunately, it seems like most of these have turned into ‘safe queens’.   Well, let’s see if I can be objective and I’d love to hear from any of you that actually use and carry a Great Eastern.


To set some ground work let me explain that while I think Great Eastern makes some great looking knives, I can’t say that this is the only brand of knife I’d ever own.  Primarily because I’ve never actually used one and I’ve yet to come across one that seemed to be made to carry in a pocket.

One of the criticisms I’ve had about the GEC’s, from a purely ‘functional’ standpoint, has always been that the #23’s are HUGE!  There meant to be and that’s fine.  But unless you’re carrying them in a belt sheath (check out http://www.jreindustries.com/gecsheaths.htm  you’d better be wearing suspenders.  That is definitely not a pocket knife.   The #53 was a major improvement, but I don’t really need more then one blade and it still feels a bit bulky in my pocket. 

When the #73 Single Blades came out I started paying attention.  The Beavertails were interesting, but I’m not a great fan of the skinning type blades.  Finally, I got the pictured knife and knew I’d hit a combination I found appealing as a carry knife.  The slim handles and the muskrat clip blade looked to be my kinda knife.  Measuring 3.75″ closed and weighing in at 2.6 ounces, it’s not a flyweight, but that’s what $3 worth of quarters weigh.  Not too bad.

Fit and finish,…. let’s get unreasonably critical. 

 
The cut (I’ll call it a ‘stop’) that contacts the spring wasn’t completely polished smooth.  


The closed blade doesn’t center between the liners when closed, but most important…it doesn’t contact the liner.   

The point I’m making is that I really had to look to find any cosmetic flaws to even mention.  Quite frankly, you’ll find the same in 99.99% of the production knives that are out there today.  In fact, I have a CSC 4 blade Congress that makes the fit and finish of this GEC look like a custom knife.   This is one superbly finished knife.

Now, I’ll give you my first real complaint.  I’ve been using this knife for about 2 weeks and have gone through 2 tubes of super glue.  NOT to repair the knife, but to glue my thumb nail back together.  The #23’s are probably the worst, but the Great Easterns have springs in them that are unbelievably stiff.  Once they’re opened up, you’d almost think you have a lockback.  A ladies knife it ain’t.  Unless you’ve got fingernails like a gorilla, you want to use a little caution.  You also want to make sure nothing is in the way when the blade snaps shut.  That’s another story.  One minor thing I’ve tried, is putting a drop of oil on the pivot point and I do think it may have helped.  I’m also hopeful that with a bit of use it’ll smooth out.

Enough for now, but so far, it’s looking good. 
Greg

TSA Knives, LLC

New Users Please Read

Rules and reg’s are pretty short and to the point. 


  • Keep it Civil

  • Treat each other with respect.  We all have different opinions and remember, some of them may be valid!!!

So what’s the point of the blog…..

I’m not a ‘techie’ and I spend very little time on some of the existing discussion boards.  Other then not having enough time, so many of them are absolutely packed with info I’m just not interested in.  PLUS, I’ve never really run across a site that spent much space time talking specifically about the Great Eastern Cutlery line.

Some of you are aware that I started a Newsletter on the TSA Knives website and I find that there are quite a few of you that come back on a regular basis to see what’s going on.   Sooooo, it just seemed logical to start a blog and hopefully, get a few of you to contribute.  I know I’ve got a couple of really serious Great Eastern collectors out there that have a LOT more knowledge to share then I’ll ever hope to have.  So let’s hear from you.

For the time being, I’ll probably keep the Newsletter up until I see how the blog goes. 

Now, while I hope this blog serves as a venue for the Great Eastern Cutlery collectors and owners to speak up and exchange ideas, observations and maybe some pic’s, I’m not going to toss anyone out for talking about other brands of knives or even anyone interested in the shooting sports. 

Greg

TSA Knives, LLC