Farm and Field Lockback is a handsome pocket knife


That’s essentially a Sodbuster- a type of working knife that’s been around for ages. The most popular model is by Case, and it’ll set you back between $20 and $30 depending on size. This seems a bit… hipstered-up.
Still, a good looking blade…


I lose knives too regularly to blow so much money on one.


I simpy don’t encounter enough stuff that needs cutting that I feel the need to carry a knife.

Get one with a clip. Seriously. I lots a knife every year. Finally bought a CRKT with a clip and I’ve had it ever since.

I’ll stick with my razor sharp, extremely robust little Whitby knife that cost a tenner.

That is crazy expensive for such a basic knife, made from (apparently) nothing special. It looks nice sure, but it costs you roughly 10x what an Opinel would. For what is the same or better steel, and a look that’s just as classic, at a lighter weight, and what is likely to be a better/easier to maintain blade geometry.

Also I’ve never liked the blade shape these lock backs have, find it difficult to use for tip work.


If I spent that much on a lockblade, I’d guarantee the day I forgot to take it out of my pocket or pack would be the day I had to fly somewhere, and TSA would have a very nice new knife… I do better finding pocketknives in parking lots and on the side of the road (found 4 that way).

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The Midnight Manager. The only knife I need. It comes with a small blade, pen, flashlight, bottle opener, screwdrivers, scissors, and it’s small enough to fit in my fifth pocket. It’s also a fraction of the cost of this blade.

For background that the core77 review neglects:

  1. Great Eastern is a tiny, tiny knife company that usually caters to the collector market, making short runs of classic patterns. It’s what happens when a master-cutler with a long career decides to open his own shop.
  2. The Farm & Field line (there are several other patterns) is their effort to make something more affordable for normal use, but still at their high standard of quality. You may argue they miss the mark, of course, but I love that they try anyway.
  3. The hipsters at Hand Eye supply are overcharging for them by an insulting margin – the going rate on them is closer to $70, not $95. (For comparison, a knife of comparable quality from a large company, the Spyderco Delica, is $55 on Amazon. $15 does not strike me, personally, as an unreasonable premium for something handmade in the USA.)

They do fine work. Glad to see them get a little publicity, even if it’s by way of Hand Eye Hipster Skymall.

By the way, that particular pattern (the #99) is also available in bone, stag antler, ebony, etc, etc.


True. I like poking around their store now and then, but a lot of this stuff you can buy at other places in town for less. They have to cover the rent for their primo location on the edge of Chinatown.

Having carried one since I was a cub scout, there are no end to the things I encounter that I strongly feel need some cutting. All packaging is frustration free packaging!

The only downside has been that one visit to the ER with the spraying blood from my thumb, but a sharp knife cuts clean, and so that healed up nicely.

I carry either one of my grandparents old pocket knives (which look a lot like the ones in the post) or I have a ceramic blade lockback knife that I really like to carry.

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Yeah, but I receive and open packages at home (or at the office) where there are, you know, knives aplenty. Sharp ones, too. I rarely (if ever) come across a package when I’m out and about that wants opening. I just don’t see the need to “carry”.

I don’t feel the need to see it as any different from my keys or phone, which are other tools I learned to ‘carry’ later.


Yup, and I carry one of these:
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It’s got all the tools I need in one blade, it’s good for tip work, heavy cutting, and even abrasion resistant materials with the serrations. It’s even good for digging in the working piece. The lock fails though. It uses a notch in the base of the blade that gets cammed into by a rolling stud. So if you apply enough closing pressure, the stud does roll out of the notch and the lock disengages. But that takes quite a lot of force.

Also, it’s VG-10 stainless, so it stays almost as sharp as carbon steel for almost as long, with the sacrifice of being just a little less rust resistant. But I don’t use it in corrosive environments.

The knife featured in this article, I’d maybe only ever use to do very fine cutting on thin materials. Like tracing or etching.

Where’s a reputable place to pick up a Great Eastern online with less markup?

That’s a beautiful one.

The next knife on my personal wish list is a bit cheaper and also available from Hand-Eye Supply:

That’s a classic. I’m pretty sure there was one in my parent’s “junk drawer” (is that a midwestern term?) growing up.

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Hmmm, well, I can’t see anything about not posting referrals and whatnot in the community guidelines. Here’s hoping I don’t offend the Entity (I’m new here)

I’ve been treated well by the folks at and Great Eastern also list the dealers they have relationships with on their website ( if you want to cast a wider net.

The one potential caution I would note is that GEC knives don’t always come terribly sharp from the factory (I’ve had it go both ways) which seems to put some people off a bit. (Push comes to shove, you can always seek out a professional sharpener if you’re not up for it yourself.)

Yes, they used to be extremely common, but not so much in recent decades.

The current manufacturer Otter, which bought all the rights and tooling when the original one went bankrupt, is interesting. It is something that is almost quaint these days: an old, small manufacturer of a variety of relatively cheap and simple knives. That makes them a kind of semi-voluntary museum of old mass market knives.