GEC Stag

GEC specializes in highly collectable and premium quality usable pocket knives. The company's USA manufactured knives have quickly proven to be a big hit with both collectors and users who seek quality American craftsmanship.
kootenay joe
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GEC Stag

Postby kootenay joe » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:15 pm

GEC has used stag for handles right from the first runs of 73 & 23 patterns in 2006. Stag comes in a variety of colors and surface textures.
I do not have a lot of GEC stag handled knives but i will show a few in this post and hope that others will post some of their GEC stag so that we can see the full range that GEC has used.
A few years ago GEC tried to differentiate between "Natural Stag" and "Genuine Stag" and "Burnt Stag" and "Sambar Stag" and Sandbar Stag and maybe others, but it's all stag so let's see some.
Here are 4 examples: from top down: 561210 / 772215 / 351217 / 362209DP; all very nice stag.
Then there is the 141218. Notice how the white areas have been stained a fecal brown' color. I think this makes the entire piece of stag look bland and not attractive. I would like to hear how others see this new 'browned' stag.
kj
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby gsmith7158 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:25 pm

Roland may I assume that Northwoods count here as well?
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby Sharpnshinyknives » Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:47 pm

Roland, Seeing a line up of stag knives like that makes my heart race.
If a choice of natural stag and stained, I would vote for the natural stag. The stained doesn’t look quite right to me. I think it detracts from the appearance.
SSk

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Re: GEC Stag

Postby tongueriver » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:25 pm

Here are a few. I like the untorched stag the best.
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby Brumbydownunder » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:34 am

Stage sure does 'lift' a knife to a new level ... some crackers here kj & Cal

A couple of mine (I think the #23 is technically Elk - but it's all 'stag' to me)

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kootenay joe
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:34 am

Yes, Northwoods included, any knife made by GEC so we can get the full range of stag that GEC has used.
My impression is that recent GEC stag is not as attractive as the stag they used from the start up in 2006 to about 2017. (not exact date) i.e. at some point in last ~ 2-3 years the quality of stag has decreased.
The #14 i show in my opening post is a good example of what i mean by 'less attractive' stag.
I would like to know if others have on their own noted this decline in the stag quality.
Or, has there been some great stag in 2017 & 2018 that i just happened to miss ?
Is this all just going on in my head ? & everyone else sees the current stag as not that different from what was used previously ?
kj

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Re: GEC Stag

Postby robbobus » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:06 am

As individuals we can only offer anecdotal observations. I think the stag of 2018 which I purchased was from good to excellent. I am not a good photographer, coupled with work and a six year old leaves me taking pictures at niht. I like stag with texture from bolster to endcap or end of handle. I like flat fairly thin slabs, similar to bone thickness. I don't like thick or saddle like slabs. I don't like lots of material pilished off to fit the bolsters. By and large I got what I like this year.
On vacation right now but here's some older pics.
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44 Gunstock. Excellent.
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Here is a mix of Northwoods. 2016/17 Bear Lake. Then 2018 Bear Lake and a pair of Fremonts followed by a 2017 Hawthorne.
The earlier Bear Lake is good, as is the second Fremont. The newer Bear Lake, first Fremont and the Hawthorne are exceptional.

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Re: GEC Stag

Postby robbobus » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:18 am

43. Excellent and big. This one is going to look better with age.
Can't see, but perfect swell at the end of the handle.
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Here is a cache of doglegs old and new. 2010 genuine clip. Possibly my best hafted stag knife. Its neighbour is a 2018 and very similar in quality. Then a 2010 stag and another 2018. Again very similar. Not as good as the gems preceding, but good and then a nice 55 from 2013 in the natural stag.
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby robbobus » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:49 am

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Thats a pic of my 2 blade 78. It's of average quality for GEC, very nice. My single blade is of smoother texture. Its nice, but somewhat pedestrian compared with the rest of 2018. They sold out fast and this was what I was able to get.

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The single blade in particular would have been easy to have put a shield on. But overall, I'd rather have texture and better stag than a shield.
That's most of my 2018 GEC stag. I think with the older comparison stags it shows consistent quality with what they've been doing all along. Not every single stag handled knife is going to be outstanding, but they are putting out a high percentage of examples which are very good to outstanding

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RalphAlsip
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby RalphAlsip » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:21 am

I'm staying up late waiting for Santa... :)

Roland, Cal, Brumby, and Rob, thank you for sharing your pictures. They are very nice examples.

Here is a collage of some stag handled knives that I believe were made by GEC. There are 3 GEC branded knives (35, 66, 16), 3 Northwoods (Fremont 79 & 2 Gladiators 54), and 2 Tuna Valley (4 blade cigar 54, large lock back trapper which I believe is a 23 pattern). Of the GEC branded knives, I like the 66 calf roper. It is apparent (to me) in my small sample size that the GEC SFO knives seem to get better handles.

I have the Northwoods large lock back trapper in stag, but it is a Queen Mountain Man pattern. It has nice stag, but I didn't include because not GEC made.

The enlarged image will be slow to download and display.
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kootenay joe
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks to you Prolific Posters this thread now shows a good range of GEC stag, range of time & texture. You guys have some very nice knives.
There are some recent examples of very nice stag so my impression of a decline in quality needs to be amended to: in the last about 2 years lesser quality stag is more common than previously.
At every stag release i go to various dealer sites to have a look. I have not been seeing the quality that Rob shows with his recent knives, so there is good stag but not much and it gets snapped up quickly.
The 141218 above which i will also post here, is a good example of what i mean by "lesser quality". I had a Calf Roper with similar dirty brown dyed stag but sold it because i was disappointed by the stag.
Do any of you have any similar GEC stag ? What do you think of it ? Why the brown dye ?
I'll just add that Rob's description above of what makes for a good stag handle, i agree with 100%.
kj
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby JohnR » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:19 pm

Roland, talking to Bill this year at the Rendezvous he stated that finding good stag is becoming an issue especially in larger sizes which is why the recent runs of large knives have been shorted. I do think the earlier knives have better stag although some of the 44's had exceptional stag.

Here are some of mine,
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kootenay joe
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Dec 25, 2018 6:25 pm

JohnR, you have been able to select some excellent stag. The #73 from 2015 and the #85 Harness Jack from 2011 are about as good as stag gets.
I do not like the brown dye they are using on stag in the last 1-2 years.
kj

Edited by administrator for language.

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kootenay joe
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:38 pm

Here are 2 'first run' knives from 2006. I think this stag #73 came from the first run of stag GEC did on this pattern. Same for the #23. Both have "2006" stamped into tang. This is very fine stag; i.e. the very first stag runs and they used the best stag.
I would buy another 2006 stag 73 or 23 because the stag is first rate and the knives are well made except some have overly strong springs.
Also showing a 23 from 2007 with "Red Stag". The "red" refers to the dye, not the European elk.
kj
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Re: GEC Stag

Postby edge213 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:09 am

Wow! Some beautiful knives being shown here.
David
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