Case vs GEC and why?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by TattooBlade, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    It is a game and one I’m not too fond of. I like GEC designs and quality (although I have had some no better than Case), but I don’t really like their business model. I’m not a fan of artificially low production of desirable models that leads to flippers charging twice (or more) the original price. I like knives that I can buy when I want them, not have to hunt them down and or get on some list months before the release. There’s too much stress and my life already to put up with that nonsense.
  2. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Yes, kamagong is correct in that I am employing hyperbole. I don't mean that they are literally made to order, they do have additional hand operations beyond what one would expect in a modern production factory knife and charge handsomely for this additional handwork.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
    Will Power likes this.
  3. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    I comes down to the model. I've had GEC's (#35 & 82 come to mind) with such weak springs that I sold them - utterly unacceptable for a knife at those price points. I've had other GEC's that walk and talk exceptionally well that I'll never sell. Obviously, same can be said for Case. HOwever, I've never seen a pattern so consistently awesome in the snap department than the Case muskrat. I have worked up north of 30 ratcliffe muskrats and only 1 of them would be considered not outstanding. I never judge a mfg, I judge a pattern...
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  4. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    yeahbut, 10 late model Case's for the same price that I can use > 1 Case Bose Collab that wouldn't leave the safe
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  5. DrPenguin


    Mar 2, 2005
    'tis an argument we've seen before here. Many good points all around.

    I will say that if you take a typical Case, say stockman or mini-trapper or whatnot, and compare it to a Case XX model from 50 years ago one thing is very clear: the Case is slimmer and a bit more pocket friendly. I think some of the Case designs approach perfection even if some of their execution needs some work. Both brands are good. I own more GECs.

    That stated I think a couple of the GEC designs approach perfection even if they may not be completely new. I think the 33 conductor and the 66 slim are a couple of the neatest and most useful knives made in the past decade. I think those two and the Case mini-copperhead may be my favorite knives to actually carry and use.

    How's that for avoiding the question? :)

  6. Old Engineer

    Old Engineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Sort of like a " Non-commital maybe "

    chuck4570 likes this.
  7. rpstrimple

    rpstrimple Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    I too get turned off by the game, but I'm not entirely sure this is on GEC. I don't know that they have the staffing and production capability to crank out 100s of every run. If they did, they wouldn't be able to offer as many patterns in a year. I think the production numbers are actually reasonable. Now, Northwoods, for example, is entirely a game. They are gone in minutes. I'm sure Jay would love to have every customer get one, but it's just not possible to meet the demand. You are talking a SFO and even smaller staffing at KSF. They are high quality and collectible, so the demand is always going to be more than the supply. Also, scalping comes with every hobby unfortunately. It's really up to us to not buy at inflated prices, but collectors gonna collect.

    I use my Case/Bose. But I see your point. At first I was hesitant spending CRK money on a slipjoint. But now I sell my CRKs to buy slipjoints. Funny how mentality changes lol.
    Storm 8593, JustinR, Travman and 2 others like this.
  8. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Ok. I'm glad I am not the only "crazy" one. I just sold my small CRK 21 insingo/micarta to fund a Case Bose Arkansas Hunter. Sorry, NOT sorry!
    g123, rpstrimple and Travman like this.
  9. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    I get that, GEC is a business and they can run it how they want. But, I am pretty sure they know which models are going to be extremely popular vs. sitting on shelves. I’m not saying they should exclusively build just the popular models, but damn, how bout making larger runs of those that are flying off the shelves consistently.

    I mean, they are already tooled up for that model, just make more before you switch over to a different pattern. I’m pretty sure they are doing it the way they do to cater to the collector vs. the user. Lower supply creates higher demand.

    Again, it’s their business and they can do it. I just don’t want to play that game. Some find it fun and enjoy the hunt, good for them, and I don’t blame them. Just not my style. It sours the whole experience for me and is a big turn off.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  10. Headwinds

    Headwinds Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 15, 2016
    I can see both sides of this debate. I realize the situation can be frustrating for potential buyers, but as a former part-owner of a (now defunct) small business, my feeling is that the first job of a business is to stay in business. If you don’t do that, nothing else you do or don’t do is going to matter. GEC seems to have found a business model that works for them and I don’t blame them for not wanting to mess with it.
  11. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    The way I see it, between both companies, there's something for everyone.
  12. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    That is sensible reasoning. I would be loathe to change as well if I was in their shoes. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though! ;)
    Headwinds likes this.
  13. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Yes, plenty of room in the pool for both models. I will say, that at my point of accumulating (nearly 400 knives) it makes a lot more sense to me to buy GECs, given that they virtually never lose value, while most Cases do. I have all the users I'll ever need, times 5, so whatever I buy now is just to have and admire. GEC fills that bill better than Case. Many bemoan Case's use of so much Tru-Sharp; but I don't, I prefer stainless, and the Tru-Sharp cuts just as well as the CV. It's not as pleasurable to sharpen, nothing feels quite like good 1095 on the stones, but they get shaving sharp and hold it plenty long enough for an EDC.
    g123, Travman, Old Hunter and 3 others like this.
  14. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I believe GEC hasn't been around long enough to see if they will hold long term value, particularly at last month's prices :) Even as a safe queen, brass and nickle silver tarnish and 1095 gets a patina, "pepper" spots or rust. Their blade materials preclude mint condition for many knives down the years. Those sunken brass pins cannot be polished and collect the greengunk. Make sure you use Ren Wax and oil and control environmental exposure.

    The owners know very well that their premium knives will age, and that some, if not many, will age poorly. They used to work at a company where collectible knives were in stainless, premium knives in ATS34, and users were in D2 with heat treat by Peters.
  15. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    As I wrote before, I like both because of the differences between them and owning & carrying gives a good perspective. I just hope they can both resume manufacturing ASAP as this shutdown could do serious damage all round.
    Travman and Old Hunter like this.
  16. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    One thing that will come out of the aftermath of the entire COVID-19 pandemic will be an examination by manufacturers as to what state they are located in. The same thing has happened in the gun manufacturing industry - manufacturers have moved from anti-gun states to pro-gun states. Don’t know if knife manufacturers can economically afford to do that but I’m sure they will examine the feasibility. Buck Knives has been able to maintain their production while PA has been much tougher on what industries can operate. It will be a decision point on future location searches in all industries. OH
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  17. Hivoltage

    Hivoltage Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    After reading this thread I had to go and buy a Case, first in 8 years. This little copperlock doesn’t disappoint at the price point. Smooth and solid with a better fit and finish if my memory serves than the Cheetah I bought in ‘12. GEC doesn’t yet have lock-backs readily available and Case makes some sweet ones. I think Case can fill my lock-back niche for awhile since I sold the 20 or so I had back in the early golden years of GEC. I try not to think about that lol

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  18. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Mini Copperlock is a very fine medium sized lockback, just right for the everyday pocket :thumbsup:

    Wish they could do one with Spear though, Spears as master are a rare blade on CASE knives and Canoes don't float this boat :D
    urbantrapper and Hivoltage like this.
  19. marsturm

    marsturm Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I have many more GEC than Case knives. But, collector value aside, Case knives are a much better value for someone who wants a knife they will actually use.
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  20. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    For you Case lovers out there, are there models/patterns from the regular Case line up that rival the Case/Bose collaborations for fit/finish, etc?

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