I’ve had a chance to carry one of the new Trestle Pine Gunflint knives for about a week now and wanted to share a few notes about the knife. The Gunflint just came out about a week ago and I’m anxious to get some feedback from folks that have purchased them.
Here’s a really brief explanation of the name. The Gunflint Trail passes through the middle of some of the area that I’ve enjoyed for 40 plus years. The Gunflint Trail has it origins on the shores of Lake Superior and lies south of the Grand Portage. It passes a few miles to the north of Trestle Pine Lake and lies just south of Topper Lake. See a pattern yet?
The Gunflint was derived from the original Topper. The key differences are as follows, the Topper had a secondary screwdriver blade and the saber ground clip blade was S30V on the Topper. The Gunflint has a single CPM154 Wharncliffe blade. The biggest difference is most noticeable when you look a the overall thickness.
The original Topper measures approximately .55″ thick at 2.8 ounces compared to the Gunflint at .42″ thick and 2.1 ounces. At first glance, the numbers don’t seem very significant until you drop both knives in your pocket. While the Topper isn’t overly large or heavy, thin the handle down about an 1/8 of an inch and the Gunflint seems to virtually disappear in your pocket.
Both knives are a comfortable fit in my hand but the difference when you remove the screwdriver blade is noticeable. While I’ve never found it to be an issue, when you’re using the blade for cutting you feel the screwdriver blade. The new Gunflint has a smoother feel when the blade is open but personally, I miss that screwdriver blade on the Topper.
Another minor change in the two knives is the use of slightly smaller end pins in the Gunflint. I feel the smaller pins tend to distract less from the wood grain. The center pin is the same size due to the additional stress on it.
I grabbed one of the Prototype Toppers with the Wharncliffe blade and have been using it for several months. The Wharncliffe is a favorite blade profile of mine so in my comparison of the two knives, the only real difference was in the feel. Both blades are 154 series steels which is a fantastic blade steel. There’s a noticeable difference between the 1095 and 154 steels and the extra cost of the 154 is worth it in my opinion. The 1095 takes a fine edge but there is no comparison when it comes to edge retention. I find I’m touching up the edge of the 154 every few weeks instead of weekly for the 1095.
In all honesty, I miss the screwdriver more then I thought I might. In the time I’ve carried the Topper I’ve gotten very used to having that mini-pry bar on my knife. It’s amazing how often I use it for all sorts of tasks. On the other hand, I do like the slim profile of the Gunflint and if you don’t like/want/use a screwdriver blade, you’ll like the Gunflint.
I’ll admit to an obvious prejudice when I look at the Trestle Pine Knives and am always anxious to hear from other ‘users’. In fact, I’m really looking forward to the Moorhead Gun Show this weekend in Moorhead, MN to get some feed back. It makes all the difference when you get to hold the knife in your hand and actually get the feel of it. The show is at the Moorhead, MN National Guard Armory from 4-8PM Friday and 9-5 on Saturday. If you’re in the area this Friday afternoon or Saturday following Thanksgiving stop by and at least say hi!!!