Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #16 Case Trapper

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 41 out of 404 respondents said the Case Trapper should never be discontinued.

The Case Trapper is a variant of the classic jack knife. Although the phrase ‘jack knife’ has come to mean any folding pocket knife, it originally referred to a pocket knife with two blades, both pivoting on the same end. A Trapper is identified by the specific blades it has: a clip point blade, and what is known as a ‘spey’ blade, whose name belies its rather unsavory original purpose, but which happens to be a very useful EDC blade shape. Both blades are of the same length, though the overall size of the knife itself can vary.

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While W.R. Case & Sons didn’t invent the pattern, they make the most Trapper knives of any traditional knife company in the United States. Case began in 1889, when the four Case brothers – William Russell among them – began making and selling knives in New York. William Russell’s son launched the brand as we know it today, naming it after his father and moving it to Bradford, PA, where it has remained ever since. Case knives have been passed down from father to son for generations. They also have a dedicated collector’s club, and the Trapper is still one of the most popular models they produce. Today, Case is owned by Zippo Manufacturing Company, makers of the popular Zippo lighter.

The basic Case Trapper comes in Tru-Sharp stainless steel. Case also makes a Tiny Trapper model, which is an inch shorter overall. CV carbon steel models are available, as are a rainbow of different cover materials of varying degrees of rarity and collectability.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #15 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Case Yellow Trapper

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#24 Emerson CQC-7 15/404
#23 Victorinox Cadet 18/404
#22 Benchmade Adamas 20/404
#21 Zero Tolerance 0562 21/404
#20 Cold Steel Ti-Lite 24/404
#19 Opinel No. 8 25/404 
#18 Zero Tolerance 0350 28/404
#17 Cold Steel Voyager 30/404
#16 Case Trapper 41/404
#15 Ontario RAT Model 1 43/404
#14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian 53/404
#13 Spyderco Manix 2 54/404
#12 CRKT M16 57/404
#11 Kershaw Skyline 58/404
#10 Kershaw Blur 62/404
#09 Cold Steel Recon 1 63/404
#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
#07 Chris Reeve Knives Large Sebenza 21 75/404
#06 Kershaw Leek 76/404
#05 Benchmade 940 78/404
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#03 Benchmade Griptilian 81/404
#02 Buck 110 Folding Hunter 90/404
#01 Spyderco Paramilitary 2 94/404