Mini Trapper, major pleasure.
The Case Mini Trapper is a fine traditional slipjoint pocket knife. It is an agrarian, rural American design that nonetheless has echoes of the English cutlery industry. Not surprising, considering that the original Mr Case came from Sheffield, bringing the family cutlery trade with him when he emigrated to America in the later 1800's. British steel had long found eager buyers in the New World, so it was only to be expected that some would export their business and themselves. Look into the history of the Bowie knife, for an interesting example of this.
In a single blade format, especially with the Wharncliffe blade versions that WR Case sometimes produce, a Sheffield influence is evident at a glance. A large percentage of American life, even in the early 1900's, was agricultural. Hence the development and enduring popularity of the Stockman and Trapper patterns from Case and many others.
A logical descendant of the Trapper, which was, and in some places, is still used for the purpose associated with its name, the Mini Trapper puts the classic attributes of its forbear into a very pocket friendly format. And one that is UK friendly as well.
The inclusion of half stops means that the blades are opened and closed with a positive and secure motion; an inadvertent closure is much less likely. The "double click" is pleasing as well.
The blades are very dissimilar yet complimentary. The Spey blade has a thick spine with almost no taper until the very tip. Its edge sweeps abruptly to a mysteriously blunt point. Mystery solved once one realises the design intent. Spey blade, after all. In spite of its seemingly, deceptively, clumsy looks, the Spey blade is versatile, and frequently is my first choice for many uses. It also makes a decent spatula. The long clip blade is sometimes referred to as a California Clip. It has finesse, almost a delicate counterpoint to its sturdy bunk mate. The long tapered spine of the Clip blade lends itself well to finer jobs. Both handle wood carving just fine.
The weight of the Mini Trapper, for a 3-1/2" folder, is just about right, a little bit heavier than a comparable Stockman. Some may find the balance just a tad bottom heavy. One soon gets used to this, as it settles the knife nicely in one's grasp for slicing cuts especially. Again, designed along similar, although smaller, lines to a Trapper, where clean removal of hides is accomplished by drawing, pulling passes of the edge. The blunt tip of the Spey blade avoids damaging the pelt.
Try a very small amount of oil on the bone scales once in a while. You will find that the colours take on a richer look and the bone material becomes almost glowingly translucent. This natural material ages beautifully. Tiny imperfections may develop over time. If it flakes (rare) or cracks (very rare), just know that it will take it all in stride and then some. And just keep going. Bone is in fact, very durable, and Case has carefully selected bone noted for its strength.
If you are used to a small pen blade, it may be an adjustment to have the two longer blades. Both are well under the 3" legal limit, and make the most of their assigned slots. Case's Tru-Sharp is effective and offers low maintenance. Just hone that wire edge off, if present, and strop briefly for a fine edge. This really is a joy to use.
If you like carbon steel blades, Case offers their fine CV versions of the Mini Trapper. Maybe HH will have them sometime soon. CV Mini Trappers are equally pleasant daily users, which soon form an attractive patina, only adding to the charm.
So, the Case Mini Trapper. True to its historic and rustic roots, the Mini Trapper strides faithfully along with you, adept and eager to serve your daily needs.