Knife Preview: Case Trapper 6254SS

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

One week before the plunge into all things modern, practical and tacticool at the SHOT Show, I decided to take a step back. The Case Trapper has never heard of AXIS locks, thumb studs, CPM S35VN supersteel, deep-carry pocket clips or G10 scales. And it doesn’t need them. It’s a simpler knife from a simpler time.

Image: Chris DummThis 19th-Century composition has only three notes: steel, brass and bone. And it’s flat-out beautiful. The standard-size Trapper has 3-inch clip and spey slipjoint blades, and this model (18512) wears Mediterranean Blue jigged bone scales. I took advantage of a perfect crisp winter day for photography, but I’ll save the rest of the photos for the full review.

People’s reactions to a Case knife are vastly different from their response to a modern EDC knife. When you unclip a Spyderco and flick it open with your thumb to open a UPS package, most people don’t care but a few are mildly alarmed. Only a real knife guy would ask you which model of Spidey is your favorite.

But when you pull out a gleaming Case knife from the depths of your pocket and deliberately open it with two hands, even non-knife people notice it with appreciation. My wife is now completely immune to the casual and ubiquitous presence of knives around the house and in my pockets, but she noticed this Case immediately. “What is that? I’s really pretty,” she said, which is high praise from a complete knife muggle. A Case knife is a mark of elegance and simplicity, like carrying a pocketwatch instead of telling the time from your smartphone.

I’m already starting to ‘get’ why people collect Case knives.


  1. jwm says:

    My old man has always sworn by Case and Boker knives. I doubt he’s ever had a knife with a lock on it. Hard core old school country.

  2. gunfighter 2012 says:

    I certainly appreciate the less tactical knife. I’m so tired of the folding Samurai sword/bayonet/skull crusher/rock slicer/multi tool/tacticool thingy, with the gadget on the end that goes boing, I could scream.
    More John Walton less John Rambo, please. On a personal note, I am currently lusting after a custom Sodbuster.

  3. Jim says:

    While I can appreciate some of the tacti-cool style knives, and I do own 2 myself, I find that I enjoy actually using these older styles much more. I have a few older Case and American made Schrades,and they are all really great tools. An old 3 blade Schrade is always in my pocket. I can consistantly get the sharpest edge of all my knives on that one. Particularly on the sheepsfoot blade. It is pretty much a razor, and stays that way with just a light touch up now and then. Exotic steels and composite scales are great but theres something about one of these more traditional styles that make you want to use them constantly. I think it’s the same with Opinel or Moras…dont baby them, put them to work.

  4. Nubs says:

    I prefer a lockable blade to save the fingers. If all one does with a knife is carving or easy slicing, then a traditional slip joint is adequate. But it is possible to get the best of both worlds. A Bucklite 3″ or 3.5″ or an Ecolite with Paperstone handle, have a non threatening appearance and even look like a traditional slip joint, but are lock backs.

  5. MM says:

    It would be interesting to compare this knife to a version in Case’s chrome-vanadium steel (i.e., carbon steel).

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Knife Preview: Case Trapper 6254SS

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