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#73 Linerlock Burnt Stags arrived!!

We just got 10 of the Burnt Stags in and it was worth the wait.  I looked at 3 of them and all had really pretty Stag and the fit and finish was superb.  Here’s a couple of pictures that will give you idea how they look. 

I meant to wipe the oil and crap off from the spring on this picture but forgot until the picture was posted.  It ain’t rust!!

One other comment….the first time I tried the lock, it scared the hell out of me when I closed the blade.  That spring pushes the blade closed to the ‘half lock’ position with such authority I figured sure as shootin’ it was coming all the way down on my thumb.  I’m used to the CRKT where you release the lock and just push the back of the blade against your leg, move your fingers out of the way and close it up at a leisurely pace.  That would be a really good habit to break before using these!!!  There’s nothing slow about these knives closing!!!


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More new Linerlocks on the way!!!

The next wave of Linerlocks are in the works.  We’ll see the #73 Linerlock “No” End Caps within the next week.  It’s going to have to look pretty great to beat the capped knives we just go in.  The End Caps just put a nice finish touch on the handle that makes it very comfortable to hang onto when you’re putting some pressure on with the heel of your palm.  I tested a bare ended #73 and while it wasn’t uncomfortable to bear down with, it’s easy to feel how the end caps would be a little easier on the hand if you’ve got a major whittlin’ task.

 At this point, we hope to have a new #23 Linerlock within the next couple of weeks.  I believe this will be without the end cap and we ‘hope’ it’ll have the Amber Carved Stag.  No promises yet, but it’d be a great combination.

My best guess would be that we’ll see a number of different handle materials pop up in the next few months for the Linerlocks.  What I know for sure is it won’t be boring!


They’ve arrived!  And they look fantastic.  They’re available while they last in the store at TSA Knives, LLC .  We also recieved a couple of rare variations that are also listed in our store. 

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Great Eastern #73 Northfield Linerlocks!!

Here’s the latest news on the new Northfield #73 Linerlocks.

The first one’s will be Northfield’s with Burnt Stag and End Caps.  There will be 50 serial numbered and 50 without for a total of just 100.  Actually, that number will come in just below 100.  MSRP will be around $181.00 and the factory is sold out.  These should be shipped to distributors around the 4-5th of April if all goes as planned.

Their will be a second #73 Northfield Linerlock with Burnt Stag mid-April without the End Caps.  Same mix, 50 numbered, 50 not.  GEC is already prebooking orders for the Distributors and it’s bound to be another early sell out.  MSRP should be around $181.00 also.

TSA Knives, LLC

Here’s the latest update on the Linerlocks.  Great Eastern Cutlery shipped them out on Monday and should be in our TSA Store  by the afternoon of Thursday April 10.

There will be a couple of Acrylics available and a #23 Linerlock should be upcoming in the next couple of weeks.  We’ll get some actual photos up as soon as we can.

Update 4/10
The Linerlocks finally came in BUT, the first knives we got are the Water Snake Acrylics and they look fantastic.  For now, we’ve put pictures up on the the TSA Website and will be adding pic’s of the Burnt Stags when they come in, hopefully Friday or Saturday.  Right now we’re in the midst of our last (hopefully) major snowstorm of the year and I’ve got a sinking feeling that may move delivery to Saturday.

Sounds like the #23 Linerlocks should be making an appearance in the very near future. 

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Testing a #73 final opinion!!

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

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Tips for collecting Great Eastern Knives

Everyone has different motivations for collecting things.  Some folks collect stuff that’s pretty or unique.  Others because it’s ugly, hard to find, from a specific period in time or maybe because you just plain can’t get enough of it.  Then, there’s always that hope that maybe, just maybe…. the stuff you’re collecting will be worth a million bucks someday.  I’ve been promising my wife for years that all my accumulated ‘wealth’ is just waiting to be cashed in when the time is right!!

I’m not really a collector so much as an accumulator.  I tend to hang onto things because they have an appeal to me that I can’t always explain.  There’s a box with 30-40 Zippo lighters I’ve ‘accumulated’ all because a few years ago I found an old Zippo in the bottom of a drawer from my college days in the late 60’s.  It brought back some fond memories and reminded me how so many of us carried a Zippo whether we smoked or not, cause in my circle of peers, it was just cool to have one!  Well, one thing led to another and….anyway, they’ll probably be up for sale in the future.

Over the years this habit has included knives, guns, odd ammo boxes, Zippo lighters, fishing lures, tools and various other curiosities.  But what’s been glaringly obvious, is that I’ve never had a clear focus on what I accumulated.   

As a Great Eastern Distributor, I’m in the unique position of getting my hands on the ‘first’ production and sometimes pretty rare (like 1 of just 4 or 5) pieces.   Of course, if it appeals to me, I may hang onto it. 

At first, I pulled one of everything out of each order I received and stuffed it away in the gun safe.  Within a few months, I had to start taking guns out of the safe to make room for more Great Eastern knives.  My wife explained to me that this was not going to work.  The tip off for her was when I suggested buying another, bigger safe.

About the same time, email and face to face conversations with a number of my customers brought some sense to the issue.  Customers that were buying one of everything started to get overwhelmed with the large number of different knife patterns and combinations Great Eastern was producing.  Within a matter of just a couple months, I started to see many of them developing a focus.  Some started to collect patterns, such as the Muskrats or Trappers.  Others are into handle material like the Genuine Stag.  Unless you’ve got really deep pockets, one of everything is a financial drain.

It’s a rare opportunity that you get to be in on the ground floor of a collectible itme that has value and will increase with time (of course other then Avon Bottles and Beanie Babies).  When Case first started making knives, I’ll guarantee there were few individuals savvy enough to start packing away boxes of new Case’s.  Plus, even back then, it was expensive.

Let me offer a couple of ideas and observations that might help the beginning collector develop a focus. 

Great Eastern has given collectors a fantastic window to gaze into the ‘potential’ future when they annually post there production totals for the past year.  Take the time to look not only for knives that were produced in low quantities, but watch for the unusual.  Was there a handle material that was only used on one or two patterns.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on the only five Left Hand Elk #23’s made.  There are a few knives that get run every year that are very low production.  Maybe a unique blade configuration (the left handed models) comes out. 

Let me give you a little inside info.  From time to time, Great Eastern may have some handle material left over from a custom job or a limited edition run of knives.  Occasionally, the extra handle material will find it’s way onto a knife that’s not in the ‘regular’ production line.  Right now, on my desk is a #73 Tidioute Single Blade Brimstone with the blade marked 735108.  I don’t know of another one to exist.

Also pay attention to serial numbers and the production totals.  I have 2 of the #23 Single Blade Genuine Stags from 2007.  On the GEC production total list for 2007, it states that only 19 of these were made.  However, mine are serial numbered in the 40’s.  I made a phone call to clear this up and found that there were a total of 55 knives in this run with Genuine Stag.  But, 36 of the run used Red Genuine Stag and another 19 in run had Natural Genuine Stag.  The Red’s were numbered 1-36 and the Regulars were #37-#55.  So even though the serial numbers are well above the listed total made,  there were indeed only 19 run with the Naturally colored Genuine Stag but all have serial numbers starting above #36.    

The first part of 2008, we saw a number of knives produced using up the remaining 2007 blades.  There were knives that came out with the new tang stamps with the model, handle material, #of blades stamped on them.  Some without.  Again, these are the type of oddities that can become collectible and at the very least, interesting.  The left handed blades added another interesting dimension to there collectibility.

A couple of other items to consider.  There were only a handful of #23’s made last year with the Great Eastern Trade Mark.  AND, the #10’s, 50’s and 60’s were short lived.  Don’t know what the future holds for them, but….who knows.

The folks at Great Eastern are doing an incredible job of continually ‘mixing it up’.  Whether it’s intentional or accidental, I don’t know.  What I do know is that just about the time you’re getting ready to be complacent about what’s out there, they come up with a little different twist.  Now we have to get ready for the Linerlocks and all the combinations that might arise from that. 

Whether it might be unique blade etches, specific Trade Marks, patterns, handle materials, the very hard to find, Great Eastern has created an incredibly interesting range of possibilities for the collector.  Whether you’re a beginner, seasoned collector or just an ‘accumulator, what a great time to be had by all!!!

I know I’ve only scratched the surface on things to watch for when collecting or starting to collect the Great Eastern line.  Many of you that have dealt with me at TSA Knives, LLC are much more knowlegeable then I and one individual in particular has accumulated an incredible collection already.  I can’t tell you how much I’d  appreciate hearing from all of you about your observations, collections and maybe sharing some pictures with us.

But for now… I gotta go buy some more lighter fluid.


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Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 3

Finally, I got around to some actual cuttin’.  As I said, it took me a bit to get the blade to a razors edge.  And…. I’ll admit it probably wasn’t necessary, but it’s the way I like to keep my knives. 

First came the tried and true paper test.  I finely honed blade will cut nice, clean narrow strips of paper with no tearing.   But that really doesn’t prove much other then it started out sharp.  How will it hold up?

If you ask 10 different people how they use their pocket knife, you’ll probably get 8 different answers.  Most knives see service as letter openers, fingernail cleaners, string trimmers and screwdrivers.  Maybe it’ll peel the occasional apple or even aimlessly whittle a stick.  A lot of pocket knives don’t see the light of day more then a couple times a week (unless it’s new and you just gotta impress a buddy).  In fact, if you have to blow pocket lint out of your knife before peeling that apple, you gotta find more stuff to cut!!!

So let’s establish how much I use this knife and how I use it.  Just for the fun of it, I tried to keep track of how I used my knife over a period of a couple of days just to establish ‘a baseline’. 

The typical day starts with the mail.  On average, a dozen envelopes get eviscerated to start. 

By noon, the FedEx truck drops off a box of knives from…yup.. Great Eastern Cutlery.  This is the first real test.  Not only do I get to cut some cardboard (a knifes worst enemy next to rust), but Chris (Great Eastern sales, shipping, customer service and information specialist) uses some really great packing tape along with a packing list in a plastic sleeve that needs to be opened.  Most of the time I cut the boxes up to go into recycling. 

Lunchtime, if I’m on the road, it could be called into service cutting up an apple and cheese or to open a bag of chips.  Yeah, I know, I could eat the apple without cutting it up or just rip the bag of chips open, but that would kinda defeat the purpose and need to carry the knife wouldn’t it?

By mid-afternoon, there’s usually another box or two from UPS that need opening and again, a lot of the boxes are cut to lay flat in the recycling bin.

It’s actually pretty fascinating to start paying attention to how you use your EDC knife.  This week I have used it to open countless pieces of mail and freight, strip some insulation on wiring to repair a connection, opened a case of bottled water, lifted a lid on a can of baked beans, cut a tag off from a new shirt, pried out a coin that somehow got wedged in my seat belt buckle, scraped a couple drops of dried paint off a gun stock, as a spatula blade to sort some small screws, to scrap some excess Super Glue off from my thumb nail and I don’t know how many other seemingly insignificant tasks.  AND, yes, I do wash my knife blade on a regular basis! 

I would estimate my knife gets deployed at least 8-10 times on an average day.  It’s hard to imagine how anyone could get by without a pocket knife!!

Next….will it hold it’s edge.

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Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 2

So far, it looks good, feels good and feels at home in my pocket.

I have to admit that I’m a bit anal when it comes to keeping a sharp knife.  In my office, you’ll find Crock Sticks of various types, at least 3 or 4 types of natural and man made stones, a couple of DMT stones, and more gizmos, (all guaranteed to keep your knife razor sharp) then I’d like to admit to.  And, yes, in the garage is the ‘must have’ grinding/buffing setup.

In fact, I probably have one of the few wives in the world that never complains that her kitchen knives are dull.  So you get the general idea that I can’t stand a dull knife.

Generally speaking, the Great Easterns come with a decent edge on them.  But,…if you compare them to some of the Cold Steels, Bark Rivers and Fallknivens I’ve had, the Great Easterns come up a bit short and the #73 I’m testing was no exception.  Don’t get me wrong, it had a good, functional edge, but in the quest for perfection….

No, I didn’t crank up the grinder or start with the diamond stones.  All I did was pull out my trusty paint stirring stick with the leather belt glued to it and loaded it with some green stainless grade polishing compound.

With a moderate amount of effort, the 1095 steel took a razor like edge and was cutting the way I like a knife to cut!!  I say ‘moderate’ amount of effort as I had a bit of difficulty getting the last inch of blade (toward the point) to hone as fine as the rest of the blade.  It was tempting to touch it up with a stone, but I really felt just a few more strokes on the strop would do the trick.  Well, it took quite a few more strokes before I finally got it where I wanted it.

By no means am I an expert on blades, sharpening, knife making etc, but it almost seemed like as they ground the upsweep of the blade, either the grind angle may have varied slightly or there just wasn’t as much steel taken off that last inch of blade.  At any rate, it finally came around with a little elbow grease and polishing compound.

In fact, I highly recommend if you don’t have some sort of a strop either buy one or make one.  It is absolutely amazing how fast you can bring an edge back with minimal effort as long as you don’t let the edge deteriorate too far.   It’s pretty rare that my knives see as a stone anymore. 

So, the edge is honed, it’ll shave the hair off your arm….but will the edge hold up?

TSA Knives, LLC

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#73 Patriots ARE HERE!!

There’s a new #73 Tidioute on it’s way called the “Patriot”.  It’s going to be a Single Blade with End Caps and Red, White and Blue acrylic handles.  The blade will have a special etch featuring a Bald Eagle with a banner.  For those of you not familiar with Patriots Day, you might want to check out :

MSRP will be around $94.00.  As soon as we get them in we’ll get some pictures up.


Here ya go!!!  They really look great!  Reverse side of the blade is etched “1 of 50“.  I’m putting these out at a special price of $59.95 on the website .

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Testing a #73 Great Eastern Phase 1

Sometimes, you have to do your own research and I’ve decided to make the sacrifice. 

I sell a fair number of Great Easterns and have yet to talk to anyone that’s actually used one!!!!  Unfortunately, it seems like most of these have turned into ‘safe queens’.   Well, let’s see if I can be objective and I’d love to hear from any of you that actually use and carry a Great Eastern.

To set some ground work let me explain that while I think Great Eastern makes some great looking knives, I can’t say that this is the only brand of knife I’d ever own.  Primarily because I’ve never actually used one and I’ve yet to come across one that seemed to be made to carry in a pocket.

One of the criticisms I’ve had about the GEC’s, from a purely ‘functional’ standpoint, has always been that the #23’s are HUGE!  There meant to be and that’s fine.  But unless you’re carrying them in a belt sheath (check out  you’d better be wearing suspenders.  That is definitely not a pocket knife.   The #53 was a major improvement, but I don’t really need more then one blade and it still feels a bit bulky in my pocket. 

When the #73 Single Blades came out I started paying attention.  The Beavertails were interesting, but I’m not a great fan of the skinning type blades.  Finally, I got the pictured knife and knew I’d hit a combination I found appealing as a carry knife.  The slim handles and the muskrat clip blade looked to be my kinda knife.  Measuring 3.75″ closed and weighing in at 2.6 ounces, it’s not a flyweight, but that’s what $3 worth of quarters weigh.  Not too bad.

Fit and finish,…. let’s get unreasonably critical. 

The cut (I’ll call it a ‘stop’) that contacts the spring wasn’t completely polished smooth.  

The closed blade doesn’t center between the liners when closed, but most important…it doesn’t contact the liner.   

The point I’m making is that I really had to look to find any cosmetic flaws to even mention.  Quite frankly, you’ll find the same in 99.99% of the production knives that are out there today.  In fact, I have a CSC 4 blade Congress that makes the fit and finish of this GEC look like a custom knife.   This is one superbly finished knife.

Now, I’ll give you my first real complaint.  I’ve been using this knife for about 2 weeks and have gone through 2 tubes of super glue.  NOT to repair the knife, but to glue my thumb nail back together.  The #23’s are probably the worst, but the Great Easterns have springs in them that are unbelievably stiff.  Once they’re opened up, you’d almost think you have a lockback.  A ladies knife it ain’t.  Unless you’ve got fingernails like a gorilla, you want to use a little caution.  You also want to make sure nothing is in the way when the blade snaps shut.  That’s another story.  One minor thing I’ve tried, is putting a drop of oil on the pivot point and I do think it may have helped.  I’m also hopeful that with a bit of use it’ll smooth out.

Enough for now, but so far, it’s looking good. 

TSA Knives, LLC

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New Users Please Read

Rules and reg’s are pretty short and to the point. 

  • Keep it Civil

  • Treat each other with respect.  We all have different opinions and remember, some of them may be valid!!!

So what’s the point of the blog…..

I’m not a ‘techie’ and I spend very little time on some of the existing discussion boards.  Other then not having enough time, so many of them are absolutely packed with info I’m just not interested in.  PLUS, I’ve never really run across a site that spent much space time talking specifically about the Great Eastern Cutlery line.

Some of you are aware that I started a Newsletter on the TSA Knives website and I find that there are quite a few of you that come back on a regular basis to see what’s going on.   Sooooo, it just seemed logical to start a blog and hopefully, get a few of you to contribute.  I know I’ve got a couple of really serious Great Eastern collectors out there that have a LOT more knowledge to share then I’ll ever hope to have.  So let’s hear from you.

For the time being, I’ll probably keep the Newsletter up until I see how the blog goes. 

Now, while I hope this blog serves as a venue for the Great Eastern Cutlery collectors and owners to speak up and exchange ideas, observations and maybe some pic’s, I’m not going to toss anyone out for talking about other brands of knives or even anyone interested in the shooting sports. 


TSA Knives, LLC