Tag Archives: Hess Knives

Delayed Shipping and a Gun Show Coming Up

There were a couple more notes I meant to add to yesterdays update regarding delayed shipping and the upcoming Fergus Falls, MN Gun Show.

I’m going to be out most of next week so there will be a brief suspension of shipping.  First, i’m going to spend a few days in the northwoods enjoying the fall colors and just kicking back.  It’s not often I get to go up in October and am really looking forward to it.  Summers are special in that part of the world and Fall can be gorgeous.

As soon as I return, I start packing things for the Gun Show in Fergus Falls the weekend of 10/21 thru 10/22.   THE SHOW IS 10/14 THRU 10/15!! There will be one day to unpack from camping and get things sorted out for the show.  The show is at the National Guard Armory and I’ll have 4 tables of necessities you can’t live without.  Randy, Muskrat, Jim and all the rest of you I hope you can drop by.

It was a quiet week for new knife arrivals with GEC shut down for the week.  They’ll be back to work next week and I anticipate they’ll be working on the Churchills with a few knives going out next week.

The main addition to the store this past week were the Hess fixed blades.  Don and Andy Hess are getting busier then ever and extended delays between placing and receiving orders is becoming the norm.  Its a great line at a terrific price and more people that spend time in the outdoors are finding out about them every day.

I finished cutting the wood slabs for the Trestle Pine Gunflint just over a week ago.  That was shipped and should be just waiting to be applied to the knives.  With any luck we should see the finished knives in the near future.   The new curly maple is great looking and i can’t wait to see it on the knives.  Another wood that was a shocker to me is the Hawaiian Mango.  Wait till you see it!

Week in Review, Ice out, Knives, etc

Another week closer to summer and and early Happy Easter wish to all!

Let’s see….. first the Ice Out Contest.  This weather has been a real roller coast for thawing ice!  The temps this week have been between +61F and +10F (this AM).  It’s been a two steps forward and a step and a half back situation.  Here’s what the ice is looking like.

Ice Pulling form the Shorline
Ice Pulling form the Shorline

The ice is pulling away from the shore but it’s going to take a bit more thawing for the wind to be able to really move it around which helps break things up.

If you live in any part of the northern lakes country you understand that “I wanna be first” mentality about the lakes.  It falls in line with the ice in and ice out contests.  Well, there’s always an unspoken competition to see who’s the first one to go swimming after ice out, last one to water ski before freeze up and of course, who can get their boat in the water first come spring.

DSCN3247We have a winner.  This guys boat is tied to the dock about 20′ from the landing and is otherwise completely surrounded by ice.  I didn’t check this AM, but I wouldn’t be surprised what little open water there was around his boat might be frozen over this morning.

We’ve already had a half dozen ice out entries get frozen out and a few more will fall out of the running in the next week.  To check the standings go to:  Ice Out Contest

Knife sales have been great.  The interest in Queen and the Schatt & Morgan line has been steadily increasing and the 2015 releases are really being well received.  I’ve seen the quality radically improve and more importantly,  my customers say they’re noticing as well.  Another comment has been that Queen is getting better at putting a sharp edge on their blades and its much better then the competition.  I still can’t start using a traditional folder without putting my own personal touch on the edge, but I agree that Queen’s has really upped their game.

As previously reported, I’m anxious for the Work Horse 69 Barlows with the Sheepsfoot blades to come in.  It’s going to be a few weeks, but the response to the run has been great!  $38.95 shipped to the US!!

Last I heard, GEC is finishing a couple of SFO projects and then will be running the 73’s and 25’s.  So far, no info on bone or acrylic colors and of course the pricing won’t be available until they ship.  Those should be coming through mid to late April.  Beyond that….. there hasn’t been a thing on their website Production Schedule for a week or updates to the What’s Happening page and I’m not aware of any projects beyond the 25’s.

In another week or so, I’ll have a new shipment of the Hess Knives arriving.  There’s two well defined sales seasons for the fixed blade knives.  The hunting season buyers and the backpacker/camping/hiker buyers.  There’s some pretty good holes in the current inventory right now, but hopefully, that will be resolved soon!  As I recall, the order should include some of the smaller bushcraft type knives and a bird & trout or two.

And thanks to those of you purchasing the GEC Pins.  Your purchases resulted in a check for $80 going to the Wounded Warrior Project for March.  Every little bit helps!!!

So for now, once again, a Happy Easter Wish to all!!

Hess Knives Giveaway on the iKC site!!

If you haven’t wandered over to the iKC site, do it.  I donated one of Hess Knives Small Capers as a prize to someone that comes up with some good ideas for mod’s that might enhance the knife.  You’ll have to check the rules and regs, but it’s pretty simple process to enter and your ideas would be much appreciated.   I’ve kicked around some ideas about the possibility of an SFO and was looking for some input.  Figured the crew at iKC might have some ideas.  Check it out!

Is It Just Great Eastern Cutlery or …?

At least once a week I’ll get a phone call or an email and sooner or later the question comes up, what’s with Great Eastern Cutlery.  Good question.

In the last year and a half the new releases from Great Eastern have really tapered off and the time in between has gotten longer.  I know they run more of the SFO’s then they did in the past and it’s pretty common to see an SFO ride the coattails of a current production item.  It’s kind of reaching the point where the SFO’s are more exciting then the regular production items!  And there have been some nice SFO’s but I’m also seeing some of them sitting on dealers shelves.

It’s become apparent that the ‘bloom is off the rose‘.  Visiting the various boards such as iKC and even GEC’s website, facebook page, etc, it’s really been quiet as far as discussion goes.  The commentary has fallen to the level of ‘ya, I really like the color of the handles and I may have to try one out’.  The level of excitement is really subdued across the boards.

My year has been up and down.  June was the second best I’ve had in 10 years.  March probably fell into the middle range.    There have been a slew of new customers but that core of serious collectors seems to have really consolidated.  There’s a growth in customers buying 2 or 3 knives where the norm used to be 8-10.  Again, I attribute some of that to a reduction in new models (from GEC, anyway)  Overseas sales are personally at an all time high.  It’s just been a really strange year.

So what’s going on?  Is everyone hungering for that next knife to replace the #23 or do we have all the knives we need?  (not me).  I’d love to see some of the innovation and fire we saw a couple of years ago.  Remember 20011?  46 Whalers, French Kate’s, Drop Point Barlow’s, Conductors, Gepetto Whittlers, Ben Hogan’s, Calf Roper’s, White Owl’s, Bullet End Jack’s.  Yah, hard to believe isn’t it?

And remember what followed it up last year?  Farm Tools, Fish Knives and Boy’s knives in every color of the rainbow.  We really saw that low price market get saturated.  But we did see a heavy rerun of the 72’s and 73’s which was a good thing as they’re both solid sellers.  I wish we could have seen some more 42’s in place of a couple of Delrin Bullnose’s personally.  Better yet would have been more 440C.

It was great to see the Dixie Stockman come through and while it’s not really my style of knife, it was a pleasant change.  That Drop Point blade was really a positive over the medium pen blades typical of the pattern.   How about changing things up a bit and putting that Drop Point in another frame.  Put it back in the Barlow!  Put a Drop Point in the 73, 72 or 42.  Let’s see a nice big Drop Point in a lockback or linerlock 23!  That would make a helluva nice hunter.  How about a nice mid-size Gunstock?  I don’t know if there’s a belief that the higher end (as in $90+) buyer is gone or why so much focus was put on the Delrin, single blade, etc patterns.  What I do know, is that it’s moving the higher end buyers to other brands.

Queen and Schatt & Morgan have taken up some of the slack.  While I don’t anticipate them ever being as big a seller for me as the Great Eastern line was, it’s been good to see the Stag and short run Queens come through.  The other advantage they’ve had is the price point.  While they tend to stick with tried and true patterns, their collaboration with folks like Ruple and Kious keeps things interesting.

Hess has been another line that has been a steady seller.  Not big numbers, but once you buy one, a lot of customers come back for more.  Again, the guys at Hess have found the secret to putting out a high quality, great looking knife at an incredibly reasonable price.

So what’s going on?  Are we just witnessing a major shift in the knife industry in general?  Are we seeing GEC make a shift away from production knives ultimately into focusing on SFO’s and private label knives?  Have we seen GEC start to peak out and the creative juices and enthusiasm inside dry up?  Does anyone have an opinion or care???  All I know is it’s been disappointing.  It sure would be fun to see someone back in there lighting a fire under folks again and maybe pumping up the volume a bit.

New Arrivals from Hess Knifeworks

The guys at Hess Knifeworks just never cease to amaze me with the quality of knives they build at the prices they charge.

Caper Cocobolo Wood
Caper Cocobolo Wood
Hess Large Caper Curly Maple
Hess Large Caper Curly Maple
Hess Hunter Buckeye Burl
Hess Hunter Buckeye Burl

The fit and finish is superb and they look fantastic.  I’ve used and carried one of the small capers for a couple of years now and can’t say enough good things about it.   Whether you’re looking for an EDC knife or a great looking addition to the knife case….give them a look.