Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

The W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company has a very rich history that began in 1889 when William Russell (“W.R.”), Jean, John, and Andrew Case began fashioning their knives and selling them along a wagon trail in upstate New York. The company has produced countless treasures and it continues to do so as one of the most collected brands in the world.
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Lansky1
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Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Lansky1 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:40 pm

I've always gravitated to the medium frame stockman - somewhere around 3-1/2" long; in between the #44/90 & 47. That pretty much leaves the #32 or 18 in the Case world. I've found the 32 always seemed to ride in the pocket better than the 18. Here's why ...

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The #32 is noticeably thinner ... just an interesting observation.
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XX Case XX
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby XX Case XX » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:05 pm

I've always liked the 32 pattern over the 18. The 18 is not bad, I just like the 32 for it's sleeker look and size. ::tu:: And I like the square bolsters. ::nod::

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1970 6332.jpg
71 6332X3 (Mine).jpg
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Steve Warden » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Lansky1 wrote:The #32 is noticeably thinner ... just an interesting observation.

Optical illusion because the bolsters are pinched on the 32?
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby royal0014 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:16 pm

Huh ... and here I've been thinkin' the difference was only the
pen vs spay blade. Thanks for the visual comparison !

I've been eyeballing a 32, this cinches it . . . :)
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Greenman » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:41 pm

Steve Warden wrote:
Lansky1 wrote:The #32 is noticeably thinner ... just an interesting observation.

Optical illusion because the bolsters are pinched on the 32?


I believe Steve is correct; part of the perceived thickness difference is an optical illusion caused by the pinched bolsters on the 32. However, the centre liner on a modern 18 pattern is much thicker than that of a 32. Older 18s feel much slimmer in both the pocket and the hand due to their thinner centre liner and also because of more skilled hafting. I don’t know when the transition to the current design occurred; with the exception of two recent examples, all of my 18s are pre 1980.

Personally, I’ve always preferred round bolster stockmen such as Case’s 18s or 47s—they simply feel better in both my pocket and my hand. YMMV
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Lansky1 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:10 pm

Steve Warden wrote:
Lansky1 wrote:The #32 is noticeably thinner ... just an interesting observation.

Optical illusion because the bolsters are pinched on the 32?


Actually the 32 in the pics above doesn't have pinched bolsters (oops, when I got home I checked - the bolsters are pinched on the 32's, so my bad ::facepalm:: ) . The pic isn't a distortion - the modern 18 is quite a bit thicker than a comparable modern era #32 (I don't have an older 18, so I can't say if they're thinner than the modern versions -would be interested to see a comparison if anyone has a 70's vs. modern #18).
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby kennedy knives » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:14 pm

Here is a USA 6318 & a 2008 6318 Blue Jean Bone the USA liners are thinner , the bolsters are thinner all around thinner USA . Much better looking the older knives . The newer 6318 are just a little longer also . The first photo you can tell a big difference
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6318 001.JPG
6318 003.JPG
6318 007.JPG

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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Lansky1 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:51 pm

Thanks so much for posting those pics - really get a sense of how the #18 has changed over the years ! Do you happen to know the year of the older one (just trying to get a feel for when the change occurred) ?
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby kennedy knives » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:10 pm

Lansky1 wrote:Thanks so much for posting those pics - really get a sense of how the #18 has changed over the years ! Do you happen to know the year of the older one (just trying to get a feel for when the change occurred) ?

The Case XX USA 6318 was made between 1965 to 1969 .

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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby kennedy knives » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:36 pm

If you look at the back springs how they are even on the USA Model verse the 2008 model also at the tang area of blade the USA look more symmetrical than the 2008 . The Newer 2008 Stockman looks fatter not near as much fit & finish on it . I will try to find a current bone 6318 so we can have a better comparison Maybe someone can be me to the punch on that . ::tu::

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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby steve99f » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:16 am

I've noticed the same thing regarding thickness at the bolsters on the copperhead jacks They got thicker in '79 or '80.
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby kennedy knives » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:21 am

Couldn't find a new 6318 . So I thought that we would just compare a USA 6318 to a 1973- 6332 There is difference that you can see right off the 6318 measures 3 1/2" while the 6332 measures 3 5/8" . They look about alike in width . There is a difference in blades ,Both have a sheep foots the 32 has pen while the 18 has a spay blade the Clip on the 32 is more of a normal clip where the 18 looks like a California Clip . Still a lot better than the newer ones better looking Bone, fit & Finish &Thinner.
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6318 & 6332 007.JPG
6318 & 6332 011.JPG
6318 & 6332 006.JPG
6318 & 6332 004.JPG

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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Lansky1 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:00 am

Great stuff - I'm learning alot on this thread ! ::tu::
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby AR Norby » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:30 am

Old or new I still prefer the 6318
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Re: Interesting medium stockman comparison (#18 vs. 32)

Postby Mumbleypeg » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:09 am

I also prefer the 18, primarily due to the rounded bolsters and serpentine shape. Just my preference.

Here's a comparison showing a 1971 versus a 2002 Case 3318 pattern. Both have green carried and used extensively by me (I "retired" the 1971 many years ago and replaced it with the 2002 version). As you can see the 2002 version (top knife in the picture) is thicker. While the trend recently seems to be people wanting "thinner" knives, IMHO the newer knife is a substantially sturdier knife.

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