What happened to Case?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by shoebill_stork, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I know that if I spent over $300 for a top end knife, I'd expect borderline perfection. I see custom knives for sale in the exchange with "blades are off center, but don't rub" on a $475 knife. I can get "blades off center, but don't rub" on a $60 Case knife.... or a $22 offshore knife.
    I would be very "persnickety" if I was going to spend that kind of money... If GEC can accomplish near perfection with just about every knife they make, then a custom knife should achieve that with EVERY knife. IMHO, of course....:)
    Mayonardo, HEMI 49, Quiet and 10 others like this.
  2. Makael

    Makael Books temporarily closed on sheath orders. Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2015
    No trouble with Case.

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  3. PocketKnifeJimmy


    Aug 4, 2013
    As a collector of all sorts of things, some years ago I wanted to add some Case products to the mix.
    There was a big box sporting goods store about 20+ miles away from me, and they carried/carry Case knives. Well, the Case I purchased there were all very nice in every way. But, that is because I was able to inspect each one before buying them, in some cases inspecting two or three specimens before choosing a winner.
    That, of course, is not something I could do with the Case I purchased online, so some of them I would not have purchased if I was able to inspect beforehand. None are terrible, but just not as close to what I like as the one' bought in person.
    A bit of a downer with some of my other branded pocket knives, has been with them being in clamshell packaging, (Case does this on some too). One can't handle the knife, but can scan visually through the packaging... But it just does not tell the whole story until you break the packaging open. Sometimes they are as nice as the visual inspection through the plastic made them out to be, and sometimes little things are found that you couldn't tell until you remove them from that clamshell.
    I personally have given up on online purchasing of pocketknives. There are just too many things to look out for that a pic alone does not help out with. Any pocket knives I purchase now are either new or vintage that I can handle in person.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  4. TAK65

    TAK65 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 28, 2019
    I have quite a few Case knives and no problems.
    Some were bought new off line from reputable dealers. Some off the auction sight. Nope not a problem.

    I'm not sure where you purchased from but there are a lot of counterfeit products out there. I bought a spyderco para military off line that was counterfeit. Yep paid the full price. Very disappointed.

    If you have a local store you can buy from go there, inspect the knife. If you find a flaw when you get it home you can just take back and exchange it without all the phone and shipping hassles.

    I always try to support local businesses. They appreciate it. The LGS I go to always greets me with a smile and appreciation for always buying there. We always dicker on price and i usually get a good deal.
  5. Bull71


    Jul 18, 2018
    This thread has been interesting. I’ve had many Case knives through the years. Very few have given me anything to fuss about. I think they are still the best American made traditional knife for the money. Many vintage( 1970s or earlier) examples can be found for a very reasonable price. There current made knives are pretty good too, in my opinion. They are the most collected brand in the world. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of Case knives.
  6. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    My favorite Case knife, 70's Dogleg Jack.
  7. pwcb2005


    Jan 2, 2011

    Tec-X. I understand it, but at the time especially, it was a huge hurt to Case and America fans. I haven't bought a new Case since, but I am more open to the idea as time goes on.
    JohnDF likes this.
  8. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    All things considered, I think Case knives are a pretty good value. Then again, there are good points to counter my opinion. Fortunately, there are many knives to choose from.

  9. GE Jr

    GE Jr Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 29, 2015
    I guess I've had mostly good luck - here are a few recently (within the past ~6 yrs) made Case knives that I find to be well made, well centered, sturdy, and kinda purdy...

  10. JaxBaron


    Jul 4, 2016
    I’ve gravitated back to Case over the last year or so. Are they GEC fit and finish? No. But most have been acceptable for the price I paid. The only issues Case seems to still have pretty regularly is blade play, off centered blades. Both of these issues I can fix myself in a matter of minutes. The small gaps in the backsprings do not bother me for whatever reason. I still enjoy GEC, but I love the price and availability of Case.
  11. hsherzfeld

    hsherzfeld Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 10, 2016
    I have ten Case knives, one from 1980 and the other nine from 2013 and later. But I've stopped buying them for the most part. When I do buy them, from now on it will only be from the Pocket Worn line.

    I can't say that the fit and finish of the recent knives has bothered me, with one exception of a tang that had the kick area ground off of it so that the blade's tip hit the spring every time the blade snapped closed (but this is common with individual knives of many manufacturers). It's not a deal-breaker: I just use more caution when closing the blade (and I don't loan that knife to other people).

    The problem I have encountered with many of my Case knives is extremely rough, extremely asymmetric factory edges. It was as if they had seen a single pass (by hand) on a coarse grinder before packaging. I got the impression that most of the effort was put into making the knives aesthetically appealing (which they are!) and that sharpening was an afterthought. This has been true both for knives ordered online and for knives bought in clear blister packaging from sporting goods stores. A rough edge isn't a deal-breaker by itself, but it is when the knife costs $60 and I can get a Victorinox with a more finished edge for $35.

    As far as what shoebill_stork said in his original post regarding (presumably Chinese-made Taylor brand) Old Timers having better fit and finish, I have bought two Taylor brand Schrade Imperial Old Timer yellow gunstock trappers and both had more finished edges than most of my Case knives. The edge bevels were fairly obtuse, but someone or some machine put time and energy into making them symmetrical and deburring them.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  12. hsherzfeld

    hsherzfeld Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 10, 2016
    ...Annnnddd one of those two Taylor brand Old Timers just closed on my middle finger. Because I was prying with the spey blade LIKE AN IDIOT. That blade is certainly sharp enough to cut!
  13. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Less then perfect knives are to be expected.

    If you think a knife is perfect give it to Tony Bose, Eugene Shadley, Don Hanson...they can show you what feature of the knife makes it less than perfect.

    The herd talks about perfect GEC knives, but purely due to 1095 steel and brass liners makes them less than perfect in the 21st century :) You do not see those materials in current traditional knives made by Bose, Shadley, Hanson, Merz...

    But hey, my only Bose are made by Case, my only Hanson was made in 1995, but its brass liners are 2x as thick as GEC, O1 steel blade and Culpepper bone. I got it for $250. I can only dream of a Shadley, but he is very nice to me when I visit his table; we agree someday he'll make me a coffin handled leverlock :) I won't expect it to be perfect either ;)
  14. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    I'm sure one of you out there will know this, i was looking at an online retailers website the other day and they had fairly comprehensive description of their knives. All the case knives i looked at, and there was only about 5, has these comments on their description.
    Handcrafted in USA, country of origin USA but also had country of manufacture N/A. What does this mean, would just like to know to satisfy my curiosity, thanks in advance.
  15. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015

    This paragraph is right on the money, puts it all in perspective, and gives me a good chuckle as well.

    I have 7 or 8 Case knives, and can’t point to a problem with any of them. I did buy a Sodbuster over the counter. The first one they handed me had a blade that was off-center. If it had come in the mail, I probably would have kept it, since the blade did not rub the liner. They had another three in the cupboard, so I looked through them all and took the one that looked best.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  16. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    When I was a child, “Case XX” knives were what I lusted after. I love the brand, and I am extremely happy that they’re still in business and that they are still making knives in the USA.

    I live just a few miles from a very large Case dealer, and I’ve been able to handle many of their knives in recent years. My overall view is they make very serviceable knives that are priced fairly.

    Their QC standards seem to be a little lower than mine, but for me this is not a major inconvenience, as I can examine multiple examples of a model and buy the one I like best. For people who don’t have the option to try before they buy, this might be an issue.

    I have no insight into their business practices, but I *think* they need to take a long, hard look at their market, project this into the future, and determine if they need to adapt. Most of the people I see buying their knives have more days behind them than in front of them (as, for the record, do I). A decade or two from now they will have to rely on more than nostalgia to remain viable.

    That’s just my uninformed opinion, and I hope they will remain an iconic brand for many years to come.
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  17. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    That was a consensus opinion on these forums 20 years ago. "Case was for old codgers who stupidly bought the same pattern over & over, they won't survive." Now Case and Buck are the last big US cutlery firms left, Queen, Schrade & Camillus are gone. Hopefully they will continue.
    Tx308, Cutfinger and Will Power like this.
  18. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    I suspect all knife manufacturers are going to find their markets diminished over the next few years irrespective of the age-profile of their buyers....Knife use and carrying is becoming less accepted and understood in many places, this fuelled by media ignorance and governmental control freak tendencies in numerous countries. I hope I am wrong.

    On another point, I find it odd that when people make threads about alleged decline in quality or reputation of knives, I'm generally coming to the defence of the knives in question, not emotively or irrationally but based on what I've encountered. It's the same in the current Rough Rider thread where emotive responses or things based on merely one or two examples are read as gospel ;) Most by far of the RR knives I've bought have been satisfactory, some very good a couple, poor. Largely the same with CASE. The only knives I've found consistent and troubling QC problems with were Queen Cutlery made after the Daniels take-over and especially towards the end plus Wright of Sheffield where shoddy examples abound.

    No regrets about buying this CASE nor nearly all of them, some may not suit my tastes but that's another matter.

  19. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    That's a good lookin knife!!
    Is that the whiskey bone?
    Will Power likes this.
  20. Onearmbladenut


    Jul 19, 2018
    In 2018 , I bought a red bone CASE XX Kickstart mid-hunter. If you shake it with the blade open, it rattles. I sent it back to CASE XX. No rattle , but the knife opens slow and not fully open. I gave it to my neighbor's child and he thinks it is the best knife in the world. I bought a few 2019-20 CASE XX Trapper-lock kickstart knives. The Trapper-lock Kickstart is the best one arm man's traditional knife on the market. I talked to the biggest CASE XX custom dealer on Evil-bay .(female) She sold 1000+ mid hunter kickstart knives before 2018 was over. She sent the first case of Kickstart mid-hunters back to the factory. They told her that every knife rattles to operate quickly. (normal) I took a leap of faith with the Trapper-lock Kickstart knives the cost even more. I had success with those. I have talk to Case XX collectors that never had a problem with any 2018 Case Mid-Hunter Kickstart. (NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT KNIFE)
    brownshoe likes this.

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