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Great Eastern #23 Single Blade Smooth Ivory Bone is here!

Just received the 23 Great Eastern End Capped Single blade with Smooth Ivory Bone handles.  Interesting color.  It’s got almost a pinkish hue to it and really nice looking.  It’s also a slim knife similar to the 73.  Now an interesting point for collectors of ‘error’s’, someone mismarked the label on the end cap AND the COA “235109EC” instead of 234109EC.  The “5” would be a Drop Point / Skinner blade rather then a Spey blade.  The tang of the knife IS correctly stamped, 234109.

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54 Primitive Bone Great Eastern Northfield’s released and Sold Out!

A couple of days ago someone asked me how to get at the top of the list for new release knives.  Well, here’s another good example.  I sent out a message on Twitter that these had just come in, listed them in the store a couple hours later and by this morning, they were gone.

This is the 541209BJ (Big Jack) with Primitive Bone handles.

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Follow TSA Knives with Twiitter and win a free EDC Congress or Toothpick

Just a short reminder to start following TSA Knives on Twitter to be included in the drawing for your choice of a free EDC Congress or EDC Toothpick. 

Here’s the deal, sign up and start following TSA Knives on Twitter by October 3 (Saturday) and your name will be included in a drawing for a FREE EDC Congress or EDC Toothpick.  Your choice.  It’s super simple to sign up and you can opt out if it’s not for you.  But if you don’t sign up, here’s what you’ll be missing out on:

  • You’ll be able to read updates on ‘new arrivals’ as soon as they hit our doorstep

  • I’ll be announcing new releases and limited run products as soon as I hear about them

  • A lot of the information on the TSA Knives blog will get ‘pre’-released through Twitter

Just go to to sign up and start following us!!


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Great Eastern Knife Survey!

I’ve put out a new survey you’re welcome and in fact, encouraged to participate in.  From a distributors standpoint, it’s interesting to see which knives sell and which ones are slow sellers.  Sometimes it’s based on color, sometimes pattern so I thought it would be interesting to see what you’ve got to say about your preferences.

It’s not perfect in that I’ve excluded the fixed blade knives, haven’t listed all of the handle colors, etc, but take a look, it only takes a couple of minutes to complete and I’ll make sure everyone gets to see the results.


Survey is closed 10/15/09

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Metalform Magazine and Starline Brass Availability Update

Just a short update on the status of the Metalform pistol mags.  My last stocking order was placed on 7/21/09 with a projected ship date in mid September.  That date has since been moved to 9/30/09.  Early this year I was seeing the orders arrive in about 2-3 weeks.  Now, 10-12+ weeks has become the standard.

As the sale of guns, ammo, reloading and similar shooting supplies took a vertical climb in sales resulting in shortages, it was a good bet that high quality magazines were bound to follow suit.  So, I guess all we can do is accept it and try to make the best of the situation.  Unfortunately, I’ve really gotten behind the curve and have a number of magazines coming in that are already sold out!!  As a result, I’m reordering mags that are sold out but havent’ even arrived yet!!!

Regarding Starline Brass, I’m seeing a similar situation arise.  Most of their products have anticipated availability dates and recently, due to high demand they’ve warned/reminded everyone that their orders are processed in the order they’re received.  In other words, if they have a projected availability date of 10/14/09 you’d better not wait until 10/13/09 to place your order. 

So for the time being, there’s not much I or anyone else can do about it.  I know I’ve had primers on backorder (for my own use) since early June and don’t have a clue when or if they’ll come in.  Guess we’ll just have to develop some patience…which I’m not very good at!!!!

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Great Eastern #12 Toothpick Test & Opinion

Over the last two years, I’ve taken it upon myself to actually take some of the Great Eastern knives out of the tube and actually cut stuff up with them!!  I use the knives I sell and it’s important to me to be familiar with as many of them as possible to be able to actually tell folks about the knives I sell based on personal experience. 

In fact, here’s a picture of my current stable of Great Easterns that go through ‘rotation’.  Right now, the Congress is most frequently in my pocket while the 73 Lockback ranks pretty high as an EDC of second choice.  Nothing wrong with the others, but that’s my personal preference so far.


When the Toothpicks came out this year, it took me a while, but I finally grabbed a Northfield in Blood Red Jigged bone.  That deep red was just too much to resist.

When you first open it up and let it lay in your hand…. it feels right.  The Toothpick design just feels like it was made to mold to your palm and it does!   It’s slim contour fits nicely in your pocket and the blade is more then capable of most ‘normal’ pocket knife tasks.  It’s not a screwdriver, hammer, chisel or pry bar and it wasn’t designed to be!  That being said, it will hold it’s own quite well.

It’s a rare situation that I find a pocket knife with an edge I’m satisfied with and the Toothpick was no exception.  I’m sure it’s my imagination, but it seemed like this knife had some of the hardest steel I’ve seen on a GEC.  (As I recall, the Great Eastern Muskrat was hard stuff also).  It took several weeks before I finally got frustrated and put the Toothpick on the grinding wheel to change the grind angle to my satisfaction.  Problem solved!

One of the primary jobs I use a pocket knife for is opening boxes of more Great Eastern Knives.  Tape will gunk up a blade and there’s not much that’s harder on an edge then cardboard. 

This is one of the first things I noticed was the high ‘angle of attack’ necessary to make the above cut.  I’ve been used to using either the Congress or the Barlow with the Sheepsfoot blade.  That is definitely the blade of choice for opening boxes.  Before I got the edge ground at the angle I preferred, I really had to use an almost vertical hold to make the cut. 

Not my first choice as a whittler, but it did a fine job working on a bit of scrap fir.  Not designed to be a whittler to begin with, I’m confident it would do just fine doing some final fitting or trimming on a woodworking project if a chisel or plane wasn’t handy.  While I was experimenting with the wood shaving, it was pretty clear you wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time ‘pulling’ the blade towards you.

The butt has a tendency to dig into the palm of your hand in a really serious way.  I don’t look at this so much as fault with the the knife as just part of the nature of the beast.  Unless you’ve got really small hands or a really big Toothpick, this is just the way it’s gonna be!

The blade doesn’t have a half stop and it’s not a big deal on a knife like this.  The blade opens and closes smoothly with a nice balance on the spring for the size of the knife.  When the blade hits the open position, it has a nice solid snap letting you know the blade is fully deployed without breaking your thumbnail in the process.  While it’s not a lockback, I had a secure feeling that the blade wasn’t going to close on it’s own. 

While it’s not my personal preference in a EDC, it’s a fine looking knife, pocket friendly and a great example of the Toothpick design.  The handle shape is my biggest complaint.  While it’s comfortable laying in my hand, the angle just doesn’t feel quite right in all cutting situations.  About .8 oz lighter then the #73 Lockback and just .2 oz lighter then the Congress, closed it’s longer then both of them but felt less obtrusive in my pants pocket.

Just a general observation about the Great Easterns I’ve used so far, none of them has shown any tendency for the blades to develop any side play in spite of some fairly hard use particularly on the #73 Linerlock.  It may take a bit to get the blade angle the way you like (or not) but I’ve yet to snap a tip or seriously ding a blade even though I’ve run into an occasional finishing nail and your stray electrical wire.  In short, nothin’s busted, bent or quit and that’s not all bad!!!  I may not care for every pattern, but I sure can’t fault the quality.  For now, the Congress remains my personal choice.


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Northfield 23 End Capped Linerlocks in Burnt Stag and Black Plum

2 new arrivals today.  The first of the ’09 End Capped #23 Linerlocks in both Burnt Stag and Black Plum jigged bone.  Great looking knives.  The #23 Linerlocks would make a fantastic field knife!

As always, please indicate your first, second and third choice of serial numbers in the stags.  The last burnt stags sold out in a matter of hours so understand, your first choice might not be available.

The Black Plum is very much like the Blood Red Toothpick.  Very deep, rich color with some lightness toward the ends.  Nice dye job!!