Case knife quality

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by robertj298, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. robertj298


    Mar 7, 2014
    I've read that the quality of Case knives can be inconsistent so I'm wondering if some patterns are easier to produce than other patterns? I think my favorite knives are case mini trappers.They are very affordable. I have 4 of them all 4 are perfect for me. They all have a smooth medium pull of about 6 and all snap strong at half stop and open. All were bought by mail but one. Have I just been lucky or is this pattern easier to produce than other patterns?
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  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I'm sure in the grand scheme of things, some patterns are probably easier to produce than others, but Case has been making the trapper for a LONG time. They have most of the bugs worked out, from a manufacturing standpoint, I would imagine.

    You should check out the swayback gents and jacks... those have been borderline flawless for me. Fit and finish is outstanding. Out of 6, only one had some slight blade play in the main blade, and I bought it used... don't know what it was subjected to before I got it.
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  3. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Of my three post 2015 Case knives (CV Canoe, True Sharp Sod Buster Jr., and Tear Drop with Damascus Wharncliffe blade) I'd have to say they are all excellent.
    Easily as good of fit and finish as the vintage Schrade Old Timer 858, and much more recent manufacture GEC 85 I have, and the GEC 61 I had. :) I'd also rate them higher than my Idaho USA made Buck 301's, since the Case bolsters ain't ground/polished paper thin, and into the liners, in a couple cases to half the thickness of the liner, IMHO, severely weakening the knife. :(
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
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  4. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    I don't know. But i have 4 Case knives, and one is good and the other 3 are excellent. I also think a lot depends on the purchaser and their expectations, i don't look for perfection, if you look hard enough you will find fault in anything. There seems to be a lot of negativity towards Case knives, i have to buy all mine online and because of cost won't return them , but if there is a Case knife i want i don't hesitate to buy. So that is my opinion, but a lot will disagree. Glad you got good ones to enjoy.
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  5. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    I seem to carry and use CASE knives consistently. I'm very pleased with most of them, the ones I'm not are patterns I don't care for: Trappers, Canoe types, Congress (full) 2 blade Jacks.

    I find the quality and durability to be very acceptable, plus CASE has a genuine pedigree.
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  6. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Just over the Thanksgiving holiday I gave my son-in-law a Case 3318 Medium Stockman made in 2020. I bought it in a blister pack so it couldn’t be opened to try out first. He opened it and started using it - when I worked the blades they were all a 5 on W&T, no blade wobble, and the knife was well fitted. I paid $44.00 OTD for the knife at a local sporting goods dealer. The secondaries are krinked but the knife had no rub marks yet (it will with use - just part of having three blades). I would rate the knife as Very Good and 2020 is about as recent an example of Case manufacturing as you can find. OH
  7. J Buck

    J Buck

    Jun 10, 2011
    For what it's worth, I have purchased 4 knives this year of 2020. 2 Peanuts and 2 medium Stockman. All 4 were purchased off the river site. Every one seems to be perfect in every way. No gaps, no blade rub. Dye jobs pretty well done, with no obnoxious fading or weird coloring. I am well pleased. These were all just north of $50.00 each, mass produced pocket knives. I'm either very lucky or Case has stepped up in QC. I can't say I have always been happy with a Case purchase but I have no issues of late.
  8. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    Like hornetguy said, they've been making Trappers for years and years... They got it down.
    I've owned a bunch of Case Trappers, both mini and large, and all were very good except the yellow Delrin models... those seem to come with gaps in the liners.
  9. jc57


    Nov 28, 2012
    Pretty much my experience with them. I probably have over 100 Case knives. I have never encountered anything that would make me want to send one in for repairs or replacement. I generally don't get out a magnifying glass to inspect them for flaws.

    Heck I actually don't mind if there's a little imperfection. It makes it much more likely that it'll go in a pocket and get used. I hate when something triggers my "too pretty to use" response. :)
  10. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Ain't that the truth! OH
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  11. Ace Rimmer

    Ace Rimmer

    Jul 4, 2017
    I've been quite pleased with my Case knives an far as quality, fit, and finish. As far as differences among patterns, more than once it's been mentioned that the "TB" patterns (e.g., swayback, teardrop, tribal lock) seem to be consistently at the top end of the quality scale.
  12. jec88


    Mar 6, 2012
    One complaint I hear alot is that the bone scales don't match or are unevenly dyed, but I kind of like that, makes them unique in my opinion.
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  13. Omnius


    Apr 17, 2020
    I see many people have good experience with them, but my first and so far last 2 were very disappointing. Around half a year ago I bought mini copperlock and a regular size trapper. Both stainless steel and bone handles. Handles are good, no gaps, feel solid and with decent centering. But all 3 blades were total garbage. Dull as a spoon, rounded tips, uneven grinds and the worst burr I have ever seen. Big, along the whole cutting edges and partially bent to the side. My worst Rough Riders or even gas station no name jokes were never even half as bad for 4 times less price.

    Are any of their models consistently good enough that they can be safely bought on the internet if I can't really return them later? I know I can fix it myself, and I did, but I won't accept again such a poor craftsmanship for a lot of money and many weeks of waiting until international package gets here.
  14. rje58

    rje58 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    I own quite a few Case knives, made between the 1960s/70s and just purchased new within the past year.

    Most of them are well made with good fit and finish. But I have purchased brand new Case knives with fairly serious blade wobble (side-to-side is what I call wobble), others with up-and-down play, and some with overall crappy fit and finish. I would say that about 75% met my expectations, 15-20% had relatively minor and/or cosmetic issues and 5-10% had serious issues that made me consider returning them.

    My best experience has come with Case knives made prior to 2010, my worst experiences have been with Case knives purchased new in 2016-2018.

    I still use, carry and enjoy Case knives. 5-10% is not a terribly high number, it seems that they had more issues in the last five years or so. The latest ones I've purchased new were good to go, so I hope they've got their QC back on track.

    UPDATE: I own about 30+ Case knives - went back and counted them. :)
  15. Misplaced Hillbilly

    Misplaced Hillbilly Gold Member Gold Member

    May 16, 2018
    I seen an article on Case from 2014 that mentioned they produce around one million knives a year. With that many knives some "end of the day Friday evening" knives are bound to slip through. I mostly see when someone mentions bad quality from Case they've been bought online. Granted it still sucks that some bad ones slip through QC, but when some employee simply grabs the box with the right number and ships it out the chances of a dud increases. Not to mention unscrupulous dealers who purposely send the duds out and keep good ones for the counter sales. This would be even more difficult for international buyers, if a crappy dealer sends them a dud it is less likely to be returned simply do to the logistics. Just my opinion of course.
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  16. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    This thread needs pictures.

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  17. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    Mate, with the conversion rate of the knife and postage it is just not worth the cost, you are spending good money after bad. I have a few knives that i have just thrown into the tool box, just to use for dirty jobs where i don't have to worry about ruining a good knife. But overall most of my purchases have been from good to excellent. If i explain my circumstances most dealers will gladly inspect a knife before sending. But i have been very happy overall with my Case purchases.:)
  18. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    Exactly what i was thinking, glad you started the process. This is a recent purchase that i threw into the pocket this morning. A Case 1/2 whittler in smooth white bone. This is just a beautiful little knife of excellent quality.

  19. robertj298


    Mar 7, 2014
    I like mini trappers

  20. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    You have some beautiful scales there. :thumbsup:

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