What happened to Case?

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

  1. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    It looks like it is. This is my sodbuster in Pocket Worn Whiskey Bone.:thumbsup:
  2. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    I'm not a Case fan. The reasons are my own and I won't burden you all with them. I will say, however, that quality concerns aren't among those reasons. Despite all that gobbledygook, I do own a fair number of them from several different generations.

    In my opinion, a lot of the quality, fit and finish, blade play, and so on that the internet prattles on endlessly about is the internet trying to impress the internet. Look at old, pristine knives from years ago and you'll see blade rubs, gaps around springs, sharp pins, and what have you. You'd see this on Case, Queen, Robeson, Buck, just about anyone. These were knives, they weren't gems. There was a big difference between Case and most of Imperials offerings, sure, but a quality knife of that era wasn't necessarily a perfect knife. A lot of those knives are the subject of sentiment-clouded nostalgia.

    Some of these makers developed a devout following, Case being one of them. The devout following didn't change a thing about how the knives were manufactured, but it certainly elevated Case's mystique.

    I occasionally work behind the table with a big local knife dealer. Every show brings a parade of old guys with 50+ year old Case knives, and we can't offer them anything near what they paid for their knives. The market has just changed, and these things go begging.

    Flash forward to the mythical land of 2020. Great Eastern knives get gobbled up at ridiculous prices despite things like gaps, blade rub, nail busting springs, and big, clunky aesthetics. Why is GEC the standard for quality these days? Who knows?
    d.2.the.p, P D, Don W and 8 others like this.
  3. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    Nice!! I'm definitely going to grab something in whiskey bone
    chuck4570 likes this.
  4. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    chuck4570 and Scott J. like this.
  5. OldHercDude


    Jun 28, 2020
    I've had good luck with Mini Copperlocks and Tribal Locks. The Barlows I have (3) all exhibit some degree of minor side-to-side blade play, otherwise they have excellent fit and finish.

    The Tribal Lock Pocket Worn Whiskey Bone is a looker. Bone color shifts a bit in changing light.
  6. t.willy

    t.willy Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 31, 2016

  7. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Late reply and others got in there first;) It IS Whiskey Bone but with a twist...I gave it a tea dye bath to deepen the colour and liked what I got:D CASE dye jobs on certain bone is not the best to be had....
    Scott J. likes this.
  8. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    @dsutton24 Lot of very good and apt points there:thumbsup: But I wish I could find some 50+ year old CASES at decent prices.... However, your argument is watertight: fashion, group think on the Internet dictate a lot of what is spouted and gains false currency-literally. Knives are a notoriously fickle area of 'investment' what was all the rage suddenly becomes irrelevant. The current pricing of certain standard GECs in carbon steel and brass illustrates this ludicrous 'trend' But what the people who chase after these GECs and are more than willing to hand over huge sums for a nice but production knife, mulishly fail to understand is that this 'value' may not keep on growing exponentially. With Covid menacing mainly the economic fabric of multiple nations, the worth and value of these high price knives could suddenly evaporate as other needs become far more urgent.

    For a peculiar reason, certain people seem to have a desperate need to make an association with a product;) Thus you get fanboism taking root, no objective analysis is allowed, any criticism of a product is viewed as a personal attack or an affront to some little clique of people stroking each others self-regard :D It's brandism, the Marketing depts dream;)
    afishhunter, Scott J. and mrknife like this.
  9. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    Care to share your method?
    babykujo and Will Power like this.
  10. Will Power

    Will Power Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    I think it's been said before elsewhere by others but certainly.

    Degrease the knife thoroughly by washing in soap then dry&wipe down with alcohol, use gloves as your fingers have grease!

    Get a small saucepan or metal container, boil a kettle of water and put 3 or more strong black teabags in, use British, Irish or Indian brands of tea, the wimpish European or American tea tastes are too weak....;) add a pinch of salt let the teabags brew 5 mins then introduce the knife with gloved hands. Use only enough water so that the knife will be covered thus you get an ultra strong dye. Leave the knife laying on the teabags and or covered by them, after an hour turn the knife over and leave.

    You can leave overnight depending on required colour. When the knife comes out it can look terrible:D carbon blades can be taped to prevent staining but even stainless blacken. Don't despair if the bone swells up either it will revert to normal with slow drying don't use a heat blower etc. Wash the knife with warm soapy water, flush out and dry. You can use metal polish on the brass liners or back springs and WHEN the bone is properly dry apply some beeswax or similar and polish. Just be patient.

    I've even done this on Stag knives :D They swell badly but revert to shape, needs some nerve mind s don't take legal action on me;) It's worked OK for me but you never know....

    Here's a Redbone Slimline Ttapper I darkened and I think it's turned out well, great pattern too so the OP might look into these, a number of 'brighter' colours available too...

    Thanks, Will

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  11. Scott J.

    Scott J. Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    Will Power and Cutfinger like this.
  12. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I think you bring up a very valuable point...
    It's been mentioned before that in today's society, knives are not really needed day-to-day, and even frowned upon in some circles.
    This means that our knives have taken on another role, that of a piece of jewelry, or something to be admired and be proud of.
    I think this is where the search for perfection comes from... Maybe.
    cudgee, Scott J., akaMatt and 2 others like this.
  13. DrPenguin


    Mar 2, 2005
    I don't know much about modern Case knives.... man, when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s they were the king of the roost. If you had a medium stockman from Case you were the coolest kid in school.

    Case has some amazing knife patterns. They seemed to master the svelte old school pocket knife. I honestly don't know if you could possibly improve upon the 44, 55, and 109 frames. I have a mint 10 dot medium stockman in its original box and paper that is the queen of my collection. I won't knock them.

    That said most of the knives in my collection are Queen and GEC. But in all honesty if I could have found a Case XX 62055 at the right time in my life I may have gotten it and called it a day. May have never even started a collection if I had such a gem in my pocket. So maybe the Case mystique is just a relic of old dudes like myself and you young guys will just have to put up with us until we kick off. :)

    Bull71, Prester John and Old Hunter like this.
  14. Wild Willie

    Wild Willie Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2018
    I feel like the desire for perfection has been engrained into our psyche. Look at the development of tools since the stone age... If humans were content with just "getting by" we'd still be using flaked stone tools. Just imagine the look on the guys face when he made the first copper knife. The next logical thought then becomes "How can I make this better?". Now bronze, now iron, and here we are today... Willing to shill out way more than we should for a pocket knife. I love a pretty knife, but I still wind up going back to the same old users and my gecs collecting dust in their tubes. This forum is filled with a bunch of enablers. :rolleyes:
    Now so as not to completely derail the thread, here's my case mini trapper... 15988819243971869377732.jpg
    Bought this in '05. Both blades are well centered, and the action is great. I had a slimline trapper that came with a bit of blade rub that I easily fixed, the action wasn't the greatest but it was a fine cutting tool none the less, it was since passed on in a GAW because I never really carried it.
  15. Bastler

    Bastler Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 9, 2020
    That would be me, I like certain brands of things and not others. That's why I like Case knives, but I won't buy a Rough Rider, and GEC, yawn, why bother?. I loved my Triumph, but I'll never understand why people are so enamored with Harleys. It makes no sense, I'll admit it, but a truly sensible person wouldn't even ride a motorcycle or own more than a couple of pocket knives.
  16. Squid61


    Aug 12, 2020
    So if Case knives are slightly better than, on par with, no worse than knives that cost half as much why would I want to buy Case? I'm not a Case fan because I can get as good a knife from other makers at half the price and I don't care much about mystique.
    afishhunter likes this.
  17. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    There isn't really any reason to if you don't buy into the brand.
    It's all personal choice and whatever something speaks to you or not.
    There is no right or wrong answer.
    If I'm being perfectly honest, a modern knife is easier to open and remain open, easier to carry, easier to keep sharp, and easier to maintain.
    But they don't speak to me like a traditional knife with all it's history and nostalgia, and the Case brand is part of that mystique.
  18. Squid61


    Aug 12, 2020
    The oldest surviving and best knife in my kit is an old Old Timer USA Middleman Stockman pattern. When I was young I got whatever I could afford from the local Western Auto or Sears and since then I have bought primarily Buck and recently Mora knives, all but two of my knives are traditional patterns. I'm now in my late 70's, still need to cut stuff and still see no need to pay more than necessary to do so.
    afishhunter and JohnDF like this.
  19. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019
    Very valid points, i also think that things started to change in the fifties, the western world started to become more materialistic, and things and society just started to change, and marketing became a really big business. I am not criticizing or having a go at anyone with my comments, i am as guilty as anyone, it was my generation that started the change, but things that were important to my parents and grandparents generation became less relevant to my generation. Now i look back as i have reached my grandparents age, and sometimes just long for how life was back when i was a kid, but i have read in many books, and this happens to a lot of people as they age. Sorry if iv'e bored you, i do tend to ramble in my dotage, just like me grandparents did.:eek::confused::D.
  20. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    May 13, 2019

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