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