Carbon Steel Pocket Knives

These days it seems that most knives you see and buy are made of stainless steel. In fact, some knife buyers today may not even know that high carbon steel blades that were sold in days gone by can still be bought! This is a shame, because high carbon blades may be very vulnerable to rust and patinas but they are easier to sharpen and generally hold an edge longer. For example, my grandfather had an old Case that had blackened blade wore down to almost nub from all the sharpening he did to it over the years. However, this knife was still sharp when he passed away.

Douk Douk Made in France

That said, can pocket knives still be bought today? Yes, there are a few old time makers that use carbon steel instead of stainless, but not too many. Companies like Opinel and Douk Douk (pictured above) specialize in these blades on unique old style handles. Boker (featured image) and Case have some models that are high carbon. Then there is GEC.

GEC #06 White Smooth Bone

GEC (Great Eastern Cutlery) uses 1095 carbon steel on their handmade blades and they are currently selling hot cakes! Most models can not even be bought in stores anymore. New ones arrive to sell out in a matter of minutes. If you use your stainless knives for eating food and then use a GEC knife, you will notice an immediate difference. For example, I ate a cheese ball and crackers recently with my tractor green 38 Special. All was as usual until I went to wash off the blade when I finished. Instead of just scrubbing off the cheese and seeing a mirror finish, there was a noticeable blotch on the blade and it was not wiping off! Come to find out, something in the cheese ball made an instant patina. Not only that, the patina will only increase over time. although a little aggravating at first because it was not planned, I actually now prefer the patina. It makes the knife feel like the one my grandfather used. Thus, I will likely be buying carbon steel over stainless whenever possible from now on!

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