The pictures are great, but the actual knife is nicer. The Burnt Grizzly Cut jigging has a great look to it, but the feel is even better. The panels feel a bit thinner then some. Combine the slimmer feel with the aggressive jigging a you’ve got a knife that feels like it’ll stay in your hand. Oh yeah….. the color is really nice. Excellent mixture of dark with some nice contrasting ‘bone’ color coming through.
Along with the Griz’ were some Northfield “Big Jacks” in Burnt Stag. Very, very nice lot of stag. I’d like to go back to some of the stag we saw a year ago and compare. Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like Great Eastern is doing a better job of matching the panels PLUS, I think the quality of stag has improved.
From Top left down 13, 14 and 15, the right column top to bottom, 16, 17, 18.
i purchased my first (of quite a few) great eastern cutlery knives from TSA, which started up my new collection. these pictures are of the open house #25 barlow. which were offered to those who were lucky enough to attend . a total of 57 pcs. were made according to the C.O.A attached to the shipping tube. within those 57 were various handle (scales) materials. as far as i know there was only 1 with charcoal acrylic . (see pics.)
P.S- back ground material is MESQUITE used in the construction
of the new NFL films building in N.J
I have two new knives coming in later this week. Both of these are leaving the factory today.
The first is a 542208 Northfield “Big Jack” in Burnt Stag with the Clip & Spey blades (on the same end). The second is a Tidioute #23 Single Blade Linerlock with a new jigging pattern called “Grizzly Cut”. No pictures yet, but it’ll look similar to a Griz’s clawmarks drug across bone. Should be interesting.
Once the rains quit, we had a great time with a little golf, lotta food, some cribbage and a ton of kickin’ back.
I took along an older Cold Steel SRK with a CarbonV blade. (Actually, I’d hoped to have a handle on a Fallkniven A1 for the trip, but that project just seems to keep getting pushed further down the to do list.) Anyway, the SRK is just a shade smaller, much lighter blade and about 3 ounces lighter then the A1. The SRK’s a nice knife, but after watching that dude destroy an A1 on YouTube….just had to have an A1.
Anyway, there are certain jobs in camp the Great Easterns aren’t up to and that’s fine. Don’t know how many Cold Steel fans I’m talking to ( Luke, I’ve already counted you!), but I’m impressed. I used it primarily as an ‘axe’ to chop off some small branches (maybe 3/4″ to an inch in diameter) poking the side of the tent. In the evenings, it did a little light kindling ‘splitting’. Did a great job on both. After 3 days of nothing but chopping, splitting and hacking it still holds an absolutely razor edge without coming close to a stone, strop or buffing wheel. In my book, that’s some pretty fine steel.
If you look real close at the edge of the blade just above the bottom of the picture, you’ll see a few tiny spots of rust. This blade is HIGH carbon and won’t tolerate being ignored for long after use in wet conditions but the edge holding ability is fantastic and worth the trade off.
The Muskrat and the 73 got plenty of use for the lighter duty tasks. In fact, I’ve posed the question before as to why the Muskrats have two identical blades at opposite ends. Jim put forth the posit that it was designed as an ‘anti-garrot’ knife which does have some interesting merit to consider. But I think I discovered an even more reasonably acceptable theory…..
It minimizes the possibility of ‘cross contamination’ when afield! Also works great in low light conditions if you’ll just remember, the slippery blade is for the salami and the sticky one’s for the cheese. Quite frankly, it is pretty handy, but I’ll keep an open mind as to other suggestions regarding it’s development. (John, the above picture is also proof positive for the wife that it’s absolutely mandatory to have multiple knives)
When Jim started the discussion, I mentioned it in passing to a friend and his comment was that when he trapped it was always mandatory to have blades on the opposite end of his skinner so that he could keep skinning while having lunch without carrying two knives. (He also claimed it was important to pay attention which blade you last used for which task!!)
I have to say that after three days of pretty consistent use, both of the Great Easterns were still in good condition with nothing needed other then a thorough cleaning and a few quick strokes over the strop. As a pocket knife, these are not only a pleasure to use, but look damned good doing whatever.
Just one final pic… caught these on the drive home. Ditches and fields full of lupines. Great ending note to a much too short weekend. Later in August, we’ll be back for a week and I think I might have to take a #25 Barlow along to keep me entertained!!
Oh, these are so nice!!!! Even if you don’t buy one, at least find a buddy that’ll let you check his out. After handling the #23’s, 54’s, 73, etc, this definitely has an almost ……delicate feel to it. Hopefully, the pictures will give you a better perspective as to the actual size.
I’ve gotta carry one of these around for a while. Makes me think back to the days when I was little, sitting in church and watching some old fella drag a neat little knife out of his pocket and start doing a little personal maintenance during the sermon . You just wanted to ask him to let you take a look at it. But by the time church was over, all I could think about was getting out of that hot suit and tie and heading for the crick. Aw man…. I just realized…… somewher along the line, I think I’ve turned into that old fella!
I took a long weekend recently and headed for the extreme Northeast corner of Minnesota called the Arrowhead Region. I usually make our base of operations in the Grand Marais, MN area and have been going up there several times a year for 30+ years. The scenery is incredible as your caught between Lake Superior, Canada and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. To give you a real good idea how I feel about the area…..I’ve always figured if I were lucky enough to get into heaven when I croak,….. I have no doubt I’ll get to spend eternity on a crystal clear lake smack dab in the middle of the Arrowhead! (hopefully, after the black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies have been condemned to a much hotter climate!)
Anyway, on the drive up, my wife and I got to see some of the most incredible displays of wildflowers I’ve seen in my near 60 years. These are Lady Slippers which are the Minnesota State flower and can normally be tough to view in any quantity. Clusters like this literally filled the roadside ditch for 8-10 miles on our drive.
The further North and East we got, the types and colors just got more incredible.
But I digress…….
I’ve gotten in the habit of late of using one of the Swedish Firesteels for all of my firelighting needs that were previously performed with matches. It is an incredible tool that I encourage everyone that spends any time outdoors to master and carry. Simple to use, just spend a little time with your Great Eastern making a pile of shavings and strike a few sparks.
I will admit to one little trick….. carry a bag of cotton balls with a little tube of Vaseline in your kit. Put a dollop of Vaseline in the middle of a cotton ball, pull a few strands of the cotton ball out to make for easy lighting, strike a spark on the mess and you will be amazed how long that little wad of flame will last. Which reminds me… want to impress your buddies next time you’re in camp? Try lighting a couple of potato chips or taco chips on fire for kindling. I’ve won more then a couple of bucks with that one.
At any rate, the 73L did a great job of making little sticks out of big ones. Jobs like this make me appreciate the liner lock. It just gives me a warm feeling knowing nothings going to ‘go shut’ if you get a little careless.
I also cut up close to a mile of para cord stringing a tarp over our eating area and the edge of the fire pit. That area gets a lot of rain in the summer so it always pays to plan ahead. And were we glad I did. Shot this picture around 4:00PM the first day. It’s actually pretty cool watching a storm roll down over the hills toward Lake Superior. When it thunders, you can listen to it reverberate off the hills and over the lake for what seems like minutes. And as long as your dry, it’s a great accompaniment to a little whittling by the fire!
I take great pleasure in seeking out tasks that need a knife and it seems like when you’re camping, you just never run out of ideas!! That 73L made fine shavings for the fire, opened countless plastic wrappers, cut cord, made a couple new tie down holes in the tarp, mindlessly whittled a couple of sticks and just felt good in my pocket.
I’ll take some time in the next post to address a question Jim in Florida and I discussed regarding the purpose of a Muskrat. We both pondered the purpose for two indentical blades on a single handle…and I think I solved the riddle!!!
The first two #25’s aren’t even here yet and another one is on the way!!!!
I got the info while I was on the road this morning, but I believe it’s going to be the Inferno Jigged which will be a jigged bone with a black color on top and red below. Sounds interesting! These will be on the way to distributors within a day or so. I’ll be posting pix as soon as I can!!!
A little early warning for those of you thinking about jumping into the Great Eastern Cutlery collector circle. The initial interest on the #25 seems to be higher then I’ve seen for previous models. The question of course is will is be sustained. Personally, I think it will and here’s why.
Great Eastern has gotten their feet firmly planted on the ground, quality issues have been addressed and public interest is finally starting to spread. I’ve sold more Great Easterns overseas in the last 2 months then I did all of last year. They’re getting exposure on a TV shopping network which increases brand awareness and that’s good as long as it doesn’t get overdone. In other words they’re putting out a great product and more folks know about them.
As the new products have come out, it seems the excitement level has cranked up a notch with each announcement. Without a doubt the weakest performer were the fixed blades, but I don’t think too many GEC ‘nuts’ were really into a fixed blade to begin with. I don’t think it had a chance to begin with. Each product after the fixed blades has done well and from my standpoint, the 73 linerlocks (which I’d consider the latest new product prior to the #25’s) were a major hit. And you know what, if you don’t make a mistake once in a while, it’s usually an indication your not taking any chances and that can get boring!!
Back to the #25 Barlow….
Interest on this knife has been high for a long time as all of us wanted to see something ‘different’, more pocket friendly, a little out of the ordinary. After a week of requests from some of you to be put on a ‘list for one, I started pre-selling the 25’s before GEC started shipping them and did so with GREAT trepidation. Sorry, but I have a real aversion to selling something I don’t even have. (Anyway, it’s working out fine for everyone)
Great Eastern made a great decision to have an open house that coincided with the Case Open house and the release of GEC’s new #25. GEC had a super turnout and put out some VERY LIMITED edition knives for the ‘show’ attendees. These will immediately command a premium for anyone interested in finding one on the ‘secondary’ market (good luck). A very small quantity of these also found there way into the hands of a few distributors, but whether they come up for sale right away is yet to be seen.
The first two ‘production’ knives are in the Frontier Bone and River Blue. GEC had almost sold out of BOTH of these knives to distributors before the run was even finished! Does that say anything to you? Most of the distributors were just waiting for something totally new to show up and this was it. A couple notes regarding these knives is that: #1, the Frontier Bone as a run of just over 40 knives and #2, their will be a short run of River Blues without serial numbers.
I know a few folks don’t think the non-serialized knives are highly collectible and in some cases ignore them. BUT, depending on how many are run, they can be very hard to find. Ever seen a 2007 Northfield #53 Blue Oyster without a serial Number??? or better yet, a Dead Skunk? Here’s a hint, there are just 11 of the Blue Oysters unnumbered and ONE Dead Skunk without numbers. Sometimes the unnumbered knives are more collectible then the numbered ones!
One other detail I’d watch is the size of the serialized runs. IF we see the size of the run of any of these serial numbered knives go over 50, it’s bound to help the price of the knives with lower quantity runs. So far this year, we’ve seen the 735208LP Burnt Stags and the 235108 Northfield Green Teas go to runs of 100. If the #25 continues to generate the enthusiasm seen so far, I would wager that we could very well see the length of the serialized runs increase on them. Personally, I really don’t want to see Great Eastern go back to 250 or more numbered knives in a run. But you know what???? Those collectors smart enough to pick up on the ‘short runs’ are bound to be the winners in the ‘long run’!!