There’s another new Great Eastern Cutlery model on its way, and once again it is based on the #86 pattern. The incoming 2 Acorn Barlow is GEC’s latest take on the form, with a decorative bolster and a stainless steel blade.
Barlows are one of the most beloved patterns in the traditional knife revival, favored for their general EDC capability and classic good looks. GEC’s barlows in particular are some of the most sought-after; models like the Tom’s Choice #77 are modern classics, and GEC carried the style of those knives forward here on the 2 Acorn Barlow. It’s based on the #86 pattern, which debuted in 2019 with the Oil Field Jack. The Oil Field Jack was a two-bladed jack knife, but here on the 2 Acorn Barlow we see just a single main blade, the usual GEC-style clip point, with its tiny bit of belly and long swedge. It’s a blade shape and size that sings in an EDC role, opened with the usual crescent nail mark.
While the opening method won’t raise any eyebrows, there is a minor twist when it comes to the steel: the 2 Acorn Barlow is made from 440C stainless. This considerably outpaces GEC’s default 1095 in terms of rust resistance while trading off some edge retention and toughness. That added stain resistance is an obvious boon for standard EDC stuff, and even if the 2 Acorn Barlow ends up being a collector’s piece for you, the 440C won’t need as much attention as a carbon steel.
The defining feature of the barlow pattern is the oversized bolster – originally a measure to increase the durability of the knife, although these days it’s as much an aesthetic as it is a mechanical consideration. GEC went the extra mile here, with a never-before-implemented crest stamped onto both sides of the bolster. The crest depicts a maple leaf perched on top of two acorns, with the letters GEC underneath. Three cover options are on the way: OD canvas Micarta, red/black linen Micarta, and a rust orange bone cover that fans are affectionately calling Pumpkin Spice to coincide with the changing seasons.
GEC is getting a lot of mileage out of the 86 pattern. Earlier this month the #86 Angus Jack arrived, another two-blade model like the Oil Field Jack, and a “Spring Street Barlow” is in the works for the collectors over at BladeForums.
The 2 Acorn Barlow will be available very soon. New GEC models are always in short supply and their Barlows are the most desirable of all, so we suspect these will be purchasable for mere seconds on the usual websites. Good luck!
Knife in Featured Image: Great Eastern Cutlery #86 2 Acorn Barlow