I went through my GEC Stag 72 order pretty quickly. Just wanted to let you know I’ll have more in stock by the weekend or more likely, the first of the week. That’s both the Natural and Burnt Stag that will be coming in.
This run of knives had some really nice stag, particularly the Burnt Stag. A few pieces were reminiscent of some of the stag we saw back in 2008-9. Nice fat matching panels.
Another relatively quiet for new products. The 47 Vipers continue to dribble in with the stag arriving this week. Which made scratch my head as to what’s happening to stag pricing. I’m not mad, frustrated or disturbed by it, but rather curious. It’s one of those imponderables that I occasionally try to comprehend for no really good reason.
I’ve seen GEC go through a number of convolutions with naming and pricing their stag handled knives. I think we all accept the fact that market prices for Stag drive the retail price of the knives, but it’s the differential between the different grades of stag that puzzle me. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me but I only discuss it because a customer/collector will occasionally ask me to explain it ….. and I can’t always.
Just for clarity, my understanding has always been that Genuine Stag was a premium, non burned “natural” form of stag. The Burnt Stag was inferior in color and therefore ‘burned’ to dress it up. When Natural Stag came along, it was a notch below qualifying as “genuine stag” but too nice looking to burn. And in 2014 we saw a couple of knives come through just called ‘Stag’.
In the beginning….. there was Burnt Stag and Genuine Stag with Genuine Stag typically commanding a 20% premium. By 2011 we had a ‘new’ stag show up called Natural Stag which was originally priced about the same as Burnt Stag. But we saw the differential for Genuine Stag jump as much as 40% at wholesale.
Two years later, the price of Natural Stag bounced about 10% higher then Burnt Stag and today, Genuine Stag has virtually disappeared. Last year the price differential of Burnt and Natural started to close. This year, the Natural Stag Vipers are serialized and roughly a $1 more expensive then the non-serialized Burnt Stag which no longer have a shield. ( I think dropping the shield on the Burnt Stag made a lot of sense. ) When you consider that adding serial numbers used to bump the price up around $8-10…. PLUS there’s no longer a shield on the Burnt Stag…… then the Natural Stag has gotten less expensive then Burnt Stag???
So the question I hear is which is the ‘better’ stag? Natural or Burned? All a matter of personal choice but it’s definitely an interesting question to ponder. It would seem that as Natural has seemingly replaced Genuine Stag it would be considered the more desirable (i.e. expensive) material. Don’t know what to say.
What I do know for certain is we passed the high water mark for premium stag a number of years ago. Recently, I’ve been putting up some older GEC stags that came out of a collection from the 2008-2009 era. For you guys/gals that have been around a while, remember stag like this? That’s over an inch thick.
I just received a short run of a Schatt & Morgan #60 Jack with ATS34 blades and stag handles. A total of just under 50 pieces were run with roughly 1/2 of them with saber grind and double pulls as below.
And the other half with standard Clip blades.
Overall length is 4.125″ and the blades measure 3.25″. Overall, a really nice sized jack. The round bolsters are incredibly comfortable for extended use. And the slim profile makes it an easy to carry pocket knife.
This is the 4th of the Keystone Series of Genuine Torched Stag for 2014. There was the 2 Blade Baby Sunfish, 3 Blade Sowbelly, Jr Scout and the Shiners which finish out the Keystone Series for the year.
Queen seems to do a great job with their stag and these are no exception. Lots of texture, nice thickness and a good front to back pairing.
It’s also worth noting the fit and finish on these is excellent. There’s been a fair amount of criticism of Queen’s quality in the past, some of it justly deserved. My recent experience is they seem to be continually improving the fit and finish with fewer and fewer complaints about gaps, blade wobble etc. The offerings I’ve received in the last 3-4 months have looked great.
The quality of the Schatt & Morgan Shiners is top notch. In all honesty, I’d say these are some of the best I’ve seen. I literally went over the knives twice and couldn’t find a spring/liner gap with one of them. Blade centering was superb and no side play in any as well. (I don’t like to talk about side play as I’ll guarantee you I can show you side play in the tightest fit. Ya just gotta work at it and wiggle that blade hard enough.) But seriously, these are outstanding on all counts.
I’ve been disappointed more then once with GEC’s stag in the past year or so but I’m starting to think they may be getting it together. For a while the panels were poorly matched, the color was so so or the stag could get incredibly thin at the liner. Not every knife, but enough that I really backed off on my stag orders. The last few orders I’ve received have looked good. Nice texture, color, thickness, etc. This group of Vipers look exceptionally good. Hope that’s the trend of future releases.
Finally got around to listing the latest short run released by Queen Cutlery. They’ve made a limited run of 100 pieces of their 64 Canoe finished in some exceptionally nice looking Stag. Nicely finished knife coming in under a hundred bucks.
I have a question mark as I’ve not run across Ebony this predominantly brown in color. Typically, I might mention the Ebony is Black with light streaks of Brown. On this lot… more like Brown with some stripes of Black.
Another curiosity I came across is a couple of the knives came with buttons inside the tube and can be pinned to a cap or lapel. Only a couple of knives had them so not sure if this is just an over-site that they weren’t included with all of the 15’s or if GEC is randomly including them. IF you need/want/expected one with your 15 and didn’t get one, contact GEC.