I’ve been wanting to put a few thoughts out there to see if anyone else has actually used one of the new GEC Congress’. As most of you know, I’m a user more so then a collector and the Congress was one I particularly wanted to try out.
Till recently, the 73L and 25 EzOpens had been my knives of choice both for size and ease of carry. I’ve gotta say the Congress beats them both.
With the 73L weighing in at 3.5 oz and the EzOpen at 1.8 oz, the Congress’ 2.8 ounces is just right! AND I’m carrying 4 blades instead of 1. It’s a little longer then the EZ but a lot trimmer then the 73L so again….just right.
The very first thing I did was go to work on it with a set of DMT stones to bring the edges up to my personal preference. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve never been overly thrilled with the edge GEC puts on their blades. It seems like the edge likes to roll on me with a minimal amount of use so I just accept the fact I’m gonna spend the first 10 or 15 minutes of ownership doing a little touch up. Not a big deal.
Now, I’ve got to admit that one of the next things I did with it was less then brilliant. I don’t think I had it in my pocket more then a couple of days when I put it to use breaking the foil seal on a new bottle of Gun Bluing Creme. Got the bottle opened, put the knife aside on the bench and went to touching up a couple of spots on a new acquisition. About 5 minutes later, I picked up the knife to wipe it off and put it back in my pocket and noticed that I had just “blued” the first half inch of the blade.
Gotta say, I was not happy with myself. BUT, the law of unintended consequences kicked in as I went ahead and ‘blued’ all four blades.
While I don’t know as it’s a look for everyone, I kinda like it! The blades now have a nice, soft patina look about them and the blueing should actually afford a certain amount of protection against rust. Might have to think about trying this process on a couple of my other carbon steel blades. What I know for sure is that it’s pretty easy to do if you want to try it!
That same weekend, I did some woodwork repair and (I don’t recommend it) used the tip of one of the pen blades to dig out some old wood filler covering a screw head. I really had to torque on the blade to get the filler out and more then once figured I’d be reprofiling the tip when I was done. NO PROBLEM! Tough steel. That was followed up with a little scraping and scratching to get things back together.
Don’t want to bore you with the other details, but I’ve used it for every imaginable task and probably a few unimaginable.
I like it a lot! The handle fits my hand to a tee with the slight arch of the Congress falling perfectly in place for maximum control. The Sheepsfoot blades have always been a favorite of mine as they’re pretty much idiot proof when it comes to sharpening!! The pens are a bit trickier to sharpen but are perfect for smaller digging, prying, tasks.
The quality of steel is on a par with all of the other GEC 1095 blades I’ve used. The steel seems consistent and does a superb job of taking and holding an edge. Too, the fit and finish were excellent. I have to say, I use my knives relatively hard and have yet to chip a 1095 blade. I’ve put a ding or two in the linerlock but it was an easy task to smooth it out.
The springs on the Congress are absolutely a perfect match to the knife. I’ve never been a great fan of the heavy weights in the 23’s and broke more then one thumbnail before I got hooked on the 73L. The Congress is firm without being stiff and are smooth as glass on opening and closing.
I understand most of you are collectors and that’s fine, but let me tell you, GEC makes one helluva fine pocket knife. I’d really like to hear from any of you that actually use your knives and lets hear what you think!!!
It’s gonna take a while to sort through these, but I got in just over 50 Great Easterns, most of which are very limited production knives. For a teaser, there’s Red Tortoise Shell 61’s, Lollypop Red , Birthday Cake, Smokey Pearl, Blue Oyster, Cinammon Swirl Barlows….. need I say more? I believe most if not all are Tidioute’s.
Gotta get to work!!!
I haven’t had time to take a real close look at the revised GEC 2008 Production total but I have to make a comment or two.
The new updated list appears to be really comprehensive in that they included some knives that were special runs outside of their normal production. That is, knives that were ordered as exclusive production runs.
One other item I couldn’t help noting was that several knives I purchased were actually part of slightly larger runs than I had understood. A good example of which is,….right now there’s a distributor listing a Sunfish with Tractor Green handles and satin blades as being a run of just five knives. Well, he got 5 and I got 8 for a total of 13. In this case, I’m positive there was a misunderstanding when he got his knives that he understood that he was getting all of the run, i.e., 5 knives. I know that I’ve also had it happen that GEC will anticipate a short run of, let’s say 10 knives, I may commit to all 10, but they actually lose 3 in production resulting in just 7 making it through.
Another interesting situation can arise when GEC will run a handful of knives on a ‘test’ basis. An example would be the red Tortoise Shell 61’s I’ve got coming in. Six or seven knives were run at the end of the ‘brown’ Tortoise Shell production with Red backgrounds instead of Brown. These knives are numbered in the high 40’s but there’s an outside chance they could make more of the Red Toroise Shell in the future. And maybe not.
The point being, I’ll say there’s not a distributor (TSA Knives included) out there intentionally misleading the consumer when we state what is believed to be total production numbers. Frankly, there’s no way we can know until the seasons over what the actual totals are. If you look over the production totals, what’s most likely to happen is a run will end up short.
At any rate, I just want to clear the air before anyone starts feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of. From a collectors standpoint, the short runs will always present a great opportunity to pick up some key collectibles!!!
Not to long ago, GEC came out with a Tortoise Shell #61 Congress. I’ve been lucky enough to pick up the last 6 knives in that run. What makes them unique is the fact that all of the Tortoise Shell’s had a brown background except for these 6. These were produced with a red background as a ‘test’ at the end of the run.
My understanding is that they were serialized with numbers in the upper 40’s. Should be interesting!!
Took me a bit to get to it, but here they are… the latest of the #61 Congress Models. The first is an LVS Abalone.
Next is the Amber Jig.
Got the okay yesterday to release the info on the next new Great Eastern knife. It’s going to be a #12 Toothpick style knife based on an ‘old’ Remington pattern. My understanding is that typical of Great Eastern’s knives, this ain’t gonna be no little sissy toothpick. It’s gonna be approx. 4″ OAL closed and measure about 3/4″ wide.
The blade is going to be a heavier, thicker blade then we’ve seen so far and will be a Muskrat Clip style blade. First one’s out will be Tidioute’s with plain bolsters with Burnt Arrowhead, Brimstone and Green Wave Jigged bone handles (subject to change of course). Next will be the Northfield’s with a different bolster and a long cut swedge.
It should be interesting to see as I’ve been told it’s definitely not what a lot of folks think of when they think of a Toothpick. When’s it coming????? It should be ready for the Rendezvous in July, so you lucky folks heading out to Titusville should be the first to get your hands on one!
The Burnt Stag Congress arrived and they look great. The new shields really work well on the Congress design. Nice touch. The stag is matched up excellently and theirs not a ‘dog’ in the batch. I’ve got them arranged starting on the left side from bottom to top serial #20 sold, 21, 22, 23 sold, 24 and on the right row, bottom to top 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Again, please indicate a first, second and third choice when you order.
I’m sure most of you have seen the pic’ on the GEC website of the new Burnt Stag #61 Congress by now. Check out the bolsters, swedge and the new shield.
This is the first of the Northfield Congress’ and it exactly what I wanted to see the Congress look like. It’s a classy looking, pocket friendly design. I’ve been carrying and using one of the 61’s and can only say good things about it. One of these days I’ll try to sit down long enough to write a few observations about it.
Next item of interest is a group of limited run #25’s that’re are coming through in the next few weeks. Posted below are the actual final Production Totals.
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Lolly Pop Red Acrylic – 4
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Blue Oyster Acrylic – 10
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Smokey Pearl Acrylic – 7
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Cinnamon Swirl Looking Glass – 10
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Birthday Cake Looking Glass – 6
And these are some of the upcoming ‘regular’ production run knives.
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Bocote 67
- #25B Single Clip Tidioute Cocobolo – 67
- #25B Clip/Pen Tidioute Tractor Red Jigged Bone – 52
- #26 Sleeveboard Northfield Primitive Bone – 50
- #26 Sleeveboard Northfield Genuine Stag – 50
There will also be a run of 53’s and some more 61’s that’ll probably be in the mix also.
Just in time for summer, I’ve added some TSA Knives embroidered T-shirts,Caps and Can Coolers! The T’s are generously cut heavywieght 100% cotton short sleeved and the caps are made by Dri-Duck, one of the most comfortable caps I’ve come across.
If you’d like a free can cooler, ask for one on your next order. Otherwise, you can add a “6 Pack” of can coolers to your order for just $3.00!!