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Great Eastern Knife Opener

I’ve got some Knife Openers from Great Eastern Cutlery that we’re going to be giving away with new Great Eastern orders through our store at TSA Knives, LLC while our supply lasts.  It’s kind of a neat concept and a nice add on for the collector. 

Great Eastern just punched a ‘blade’ out of brass and stamped it with the “Great Eastern Cutlery Titusville, PA” stamp.  Not sure if I’m using it right and if someone would like to correct me, go ahead.  But I found by sliding the rounded ‘knife’ point in the liner along side your ‘real’ knife blade (opposite the nail mark), it provides a lot more “grabbing” area to pull the blade open with.  You kind of end up putting pressure on your first finger and can pull with your finger instead of ripping out your thumb nail.  I really should have demonstrated one with a #23 cause that’s where they really help you out!  Slick little tool

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New #73 Old Bark Bone & Frontier Bone

Just got in the latest #73’s.  The first is the 735108L in “Old Bark Bone”.   This is another in the series of Linerlocks that I really like!!  I was lucky enough to end up with some low serial numbers in this run (all below #012).  The handles are a very rustic looking carved bone that does indeed remind you of “Old Bark”.  It’s good looking but more importantly, provides a really nice gripping surface.  It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the handle color is a very dark brown to black.

These also have a swedged blade which I’ve found is not necessarily found on all of the models.  I’ll touch on that a bit in the “Collectors Comments” in the future. 

The second is a 735108 with Frontier Bone handles.  It’s a standard nonliner lock 73 that has some interesting looking bone.  The stained area of the bone shows the original bone texture.  In other words, they didn’t polish it smooth and stain it.  It’s not rough, but it leaves a little texture and does look rather neat.  It’s got the Tidioute trade mark without the swedge like the Northfield above.  Great looking knife and a great price point for a serialized knife.

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The Winners of the drawing are…..

The response to this giveaway was so good that in all probability, I’ll do it again.   It’s been interesting hearing from all of you and I think everyone would really like to hear from more of you that have actually used the Great Easterns.  Everyone that’s seen them knows they look great but a lot of ‘lookers’ don’t have a clue as to whether they’re a good choice for an EDC.

As I said in the giveaway rules, the only strings attached is that the winners have to agree to come back on the blog and post their opinions about the knives!!!

So, here’s the winners:

Jaxon is the winner of the Great Eastern #735108 Red Water Buffalo Bone that I reviewed.

and Brent K. J. is the winner of a Brand new #735108ECL Water Snake, serial #005.

Congratulations to both of you and we’ll patiently await your comments!!!!!


TSA Knives, LLC

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Buyers Beware Re: Genuine Stag!

I had a customer send me an email this morning asking if a Great Eastern #23 he saw for sale on Ebay was really “Genuine Stag” as it is/was listed.  Went in and took a look at it and it’s not Genuine Stag but rather Burnt Stag.  It’s not always easy to tell particularly if you’re looking at a photo.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Burnt Stag, in fact, some of the Burnt is nicer looking then some of the Genuine.  But if you’re paying for Genuine Stag, it’s nice to know that’s what you’re getting.  It can be pretty disappointing to show off a new Genuine Stag you just bought to be informed that it’s really not.  So how do you know for sure with Great Eastern???

Well, fortunately for Great Eastern Collectors, it’s really easy.  There are really just 4 sure tests.  The COA (Certificate of Authenticity), blade etch, the shield and thus far ALL will be Northfields.

There will always be a COA that comes with the knives denoting the handles are Genuine Stag.

The second clue is the Shield will NOT be in the handle but rather will be in the tube (unless someone beat you to it!) in the form of a cap or lapel pin.

Plus, as the photo shows, the blade is clearly etched that it is Genuine Stag and have the UNXLD etch.

The serial numbers will also normally verify if you’re within the production range.  However, that being said, the pictured knife is serial #41 but there were only 19 Single Blade #23 Genuine Stags produced in 2007.   huh?????  There were also 36 Red Genuine Stags in that run total.  The knives were consecutively numbered, hence the ‘out of range’ serial number.

As usually happens, sooner or later someone will start swapping blades to ‘create’ a rare, previously unknown model so it pays to ask questions if you’re not sure or something doesn’t look right!  If you have questions about a Great Eastern, I may not always have the answer, but I’ll definitely try to get it!!!


TSA Knives, LLC

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The time is right to get started!!!

With the release of the #73 Linerlocks, you’ve just had a window of opportunity thrown wide open up if you’re thinking about getting started collecting GEC Knives.  Getting in on the ‘ground floor’ is always a terrific advantage whenever you start collecting.  This is the time when bargains can still be had, the early key pieces can be easily picked up, and your assured of a filling a ‘full’ set as time goes by. 

So let me offer a few observations.  In 2006 & 2007, there were knives that came out marked 1 of 100, 1 of 250 and even 1 of 300!  With the 2008 production year, Great Eastern started limiting the number of Serialized knives to just the first 50 knives in a run.  This leaves the door open for them to run more knives at a later time without serial numbers, but only the first 50 will be numbered.   

Does that mean they’re going to punching out 4 or 500 of a knife without numbers??  I seriously doubt it.  In fact, if you look at production totals for the past 2 years, in some instances, a knife marked 1 of 100 may not have even seen the run completed. 

With the first Linerlocks coming out with Stag handles, this is going to be a very key knife in the series if for no other reason then the price and availablity of Stag is changing.  I’ve got some comments in the TSA Great Eastern Newsletter regarding the Stag situation and in the short term it’s not good.   We’ll see a #23 Northfield in a couple of weeks with Burnt Stag and they’re won’t be many.  Less then 50 for certain and they’re gonna be pricey.  Now, my guess would be that you’ll see the price of the Burnt Stag #73 Linerlocks move up and the availability tighten up.  If you like Stag, don’t wait around too long.

A consideration to keep in mind regarding the Linerlocks in general is that typically, they don’t have quite as broad an appeal as a traditional non-locking folder.  If you collect them, you’ll probably disagree, but if everyone emptied their pockets right now, I think you’d find the majority of folks that carry traditional folders have ‘non-lockers’.  (I don’t consider the CRKT, SOG, pocket clip models, etc to be “traditional” folders)

Just think about it….how many different blade combinations can you put in them.  Whoops,…there’s just one blade.  There will probably be different blades swapped around, but I don’t foresee a Cuban 3 blade lockback, or a Muskrat lockback…..hmmm….wait a minute!!!  It could get interesting after all. 

So, what’s the point?  I wouldn’t expect to see as many variations in the Linerlocks as we’ve seen in the past.  The little I’ve handled them, I find them to be a nice handling knife with a lock that’s solid and positive.  Great quality and looks, fewer available, all details that have great potential for the collector and at the very least, another terrific pocket knife!


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#73 Linerlock Burnt Stags arrived!!

We just got 10 of the Burnt Stags in and it was worth the wait.  I looked at 3 of them and all had really pretty Stag and the fit and finish was superb.  Here’s a couple of pictures that will give you idea how they look. 

I meant to wipe the oil and crap off from the spring on this picture but forgot until the picture was posted.  It ain’t rust!!

One other comment….the first time I tried the lock, it scared the hell out of me when I closed the blade.  That spring pushes the blade closed to the ‘half lock’ position with such authority I figured sure as shootin’ it was coming all the way down on my thumb.  I’m used to the CRKT where you release the lock and just push the back of the blade against your leg, move your fingers out of the way and close it up at a leisurely pace.  That would be a really good habit to break before using these!!!  There’s nothing slow about these knives closing!!!


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More new Linerlocks on the way!!!

The next wave of Linerlocks are in the works.  We’ll see the #73 Linerlock “No” End Caps within the next week.  It’s going to have to look pretty great to beat the capped knives we just go in.  The End Caps just put a nice finish touch on the handle that makes it very comfortable to hang onto when you’re putting some pressure on with the heel of your palm.  I tested a bare ended #73 and while it wasn’t uncomfortable to bear down with, it’s easy to feel how the end caps would be a little easier on the hand if you’ve got a major whittlin’ task.

 At this point, we hope to have a new #23 Linerlock within the next couple of weeks.  I believe this will be without the end cap and we ‘hope’ it’ll have the Amber Carved Stag.  No promises yet, but it’d be a great combination.

My best guess would be that we’ll see a number of different handle materials pop up in the next few months for the Linerlocks.  What I know for sure is it won’t be boring!


They’ve arrived!  And they look fantastic.  They’re available while they last in the store at TSA Knives, LLC .  We also recieved a couple of rare variations that are also listed in our store. 

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Great Eastern #73 Northfield Linerlocks!!

Here’s the latest news on the new Northfield #73 Linerlocks.

The first one’s will be Northfield’s with Burnt Stag and End Caps.  There will be 50 serial numbered and 50 without for a total of just 100.  Actually, that number will come in just below 100.  MSRP will be around $181.00 and the factory is sold out.  These should be shipped to distributors around the 4-5th of April if all goes as planned.

Their will be a second #73 Northfield Linerlock with Burnt Stag mid-April without the End Caps.  Same mix, 50 numbered, 50 not.  GEC is already prebooking orders for the Distributors and it’s bound to be another early sell out.  MSRP should be around $181.00 also.

TSA Knives, LLC

Here’s the latest update on the Linerlocks.  Great Eastern Cutlery shipped them out on Monday and should be in our TSA Store  by the afternoon of Thursday April 10.

There will be a couple of Acrylics available and a #23 Linerlock should be upcoming in the next couple of weeks.  We’ll get some actual photos up as soon as we can.

Update 4/10
The Linerlocks finally came in BUT, the first knives we got are the Water Snake Acrylics and they look fantastic.  For now, we’ve put pictures up on the the TSA Website and will be adding pic’s of the Burnt Stags when they come in, hopefully Friday or Saturday.  Right now we’re in the midst of our last (hopefully) major snowstorm of the year and I’ve got a sinking feeling that may move delivery to Saturday.

Sounds like the #23 Linerlocks should be making an appearance in the very near future. 

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Testing a #73 final opinion!!

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve put this #73 through every ‘reasonable’ use I’d expect my pocket knife to encounter.  That includes carving up apples, cardboard, and all of kinds of little tasks.  During this time, I performed the normal maintenance I do on all my knives.  Quite simply, every 3 or 4 days it got stropped, washed and wiped dry with a drop of light oil on the pivot.  No stones, crocksticks, buffing wheels, etc,…just my custom ‘paint stirring strop’.

It wasn’t my intent to put it through any sort of torture test like puncturing steel plates or cutting steel cable.  While it sometimes makes for fun reading to see just how much a knife will take before it busts, that’s not what I set out to determine.  As a result, sorry, but no incredible stories about using the blade to pry the manifold off an engine.  In fact, if I had any serious prying, I wouldn’t use this knife just due to the slim design of the blade.  It wasn’t intended to be a pry bar.

I did use the tip to tighten up a pair of glasses and pry a coin out of my seat belt buckle that somehow got wedged in there.  But in all honesty, I didn’t even try to push it to the limit on a really difficult task.  I wouldn’t do that with any decent knife I valued unless it was a life or limb situation.

Other then the work on the card board, the roughest use it got was cutting some electrical wire.  No, not Romex.  It was a project rewiring a lamp and inverter.  It was just a matter of laying the wire on a piece of wood and pushing the blade through it.  Not a big deal, but you can roll the edge over pretty easy on a cheap blade.

Muskrat, you’d suggested working over a wild turkey bone and maybe a 2×4.  Well, I kinda made a compromise.  I felt the rewiring project was kinda close to working on a turkey leg.  AND…..I’ve done a little wood carving so decided a 1×1 would be a realistic project for a pocket knife.  I had some scraps of a ripped down 2x that actually measured just over an inch square.  Nice clean, deep cuts were effortless.

Granted, it wasn’t a whole 2×4, but it only took a few minutes and I was through it.  Frankly, it was a bit like a knife going through hot butter. 

From the beginning, my intent was to find out if this critter would hold an edge.  Well, after, cutting the wiring, carving up the stick, 2 days worth of envelopes and 6 boxes of freight without getting near the strop….

I’m impressed.  I checked the edge of the blade for nicks and found absolutely none.  No burrs, rolled edge, nada.  The folks at Great Eastern are using some darned good 1095 steel for their blades.  

The minor complaints aside, this is a great knife in my opinion.  (It would be nice if they’d use a little lighter spring in the future, but not a huge issue.)  There was no sign of the blade developing side play with normal use, took on the tasks it was handed, great edge retention, took an edge well for a steel this hard, lays comfortably in my pocket and hand.  In fact, I should note that the rounded butt on the #73 fits my hand like it was custom made for me.  Very comfortable when putting some pressure on like when carving.

I usually carry a CRKT as an EDC knife and frankly, I like the pocket clip, autolawks and assisted opening feature a lot!  It’s easy to handle with one hand, no broken thumb nails but, ….I’ve had it get ‘snagged’ out of my pocket on more then one occasion and there is no way the blade will hold an edge as long as the Great Eastern under similar usage. 

As I said earlier, everyone uses their knives differently and I’m sure others would make observations I missed or didn’t experience and I’d like to hear from you.  All of you folks that have been buying Great Eastern Cutlery simply as a collectible or ‘investment’ vehicle are missing the most valuable part of owning one of these knives and that’s using it.  Personally, this knife has a place in my pocket!!!

Hmmm….now what?  Maybe a Great Eastern with 440 Stainless blade…or maybe a #73 Linerlock.  Or…maybe I could provide a knife for someone else to test out.  Any ideas?????

TSA Knives, LLC