Last week it was brought to my attention by a couple of you that there were a couple of ‘unusual(?)’ Great Eastern trademarked configurations for sale on Ebay and would I be getting any of them in stock. No one had seen them listed with any distributors and wondered what was up.
The description of the knife was that it was part of a run of specially contracted Great Easterns with 50 knives in each configuration. It went on to state they were run with “Good Carbon Steel…” . I emailed the seller and asked what serial numbers they had and the reply was:
“no serial #s, they were going to charge more to put the serials on so we opted not to, every detail is a separate charge, we wanted to keep the price down,…”
I sent an email to GEC and had a follow up phone conversation to find out what these were all about. Here’s what I found:
- The production totals on each knife ranged from 59 to 96 knives
- Unserialized (as noted above)
- In the photo, it appeared the blades were NOT etched 1 of 50
- No oil wrappers
- Blades are 420HC NOT 440C Stainless Steel which is normally used on the Great Eastern Trademarked knives.
This is the first time I’ve been aware that Great Eastern has used something other then 440C for their Stainless blades. I have always been of and continue to be of the understanding their stainless “production blades” are 440C. (Likewise, their Northfield and Tidioute’s carry 1095 blades.) All I can conclude is that the 420HC may have been a cheaper option then the 440C. I’m not sure.
I raise this strictly as a point of information for collectors and NOT to generate an argument about the merits of 420HC and 440C as blade materials. And if the knives end up ‘safe queens’ it’s totally irrelevant from a practical standpoint.
Nor do I have any quarrel with the individual (s) that had the knives made. Everyone has the right and privilege to contract a product to their specs and market it however they deem fit. Likewise, every manufacturer has the right, if they desire, and contractual obligation to fulfill that contract (within the law). The point is that this appears to be a deviation from the normal production standards and it’ll be interesting to see if this is a trend. If so, I really hope Great Eastern Cutlery will mark the blades as to what steel they’re made of.