Guest review by Mike Travis
When I think of a Gossman knife, I think of a blade that can chop through trees and split them into kindling. Scott is renowned for making extreme duty, hard use blades. Honestly, if I wanted to equip myself with the biggest, baddest and toughest blade I could get my hands on, I would reach for a Gossman every time.
However, confining Scott Gossman’s knives to only this category would be a big mistake. Gossman knives are capable of much, much more than the extreme duties conjured up in a post-apocalyptic fantasy.
Case in point is the knife we have as the subject of this article. When Scott designed the Deer Creek in 2010, he wanted to make a good, all around woods knife that could still stand up to some hard use.
Making a hard use knife that can still do fine, precision work is no easy task. When you first pick up the Deer Creek, you instantly notice the heft and the substantial handle design. You then notice how good that handle feels! When I first gripped the knife, I thought the handle might be too large for my hands. My hands are right on the lower end of fitting into a size large glove. Within a few minutes, I knew the handle would not only not be too big, but that it would be an absolute pleasure to use. I passed the Deer Creek to my wife, whose hands are considerably smaller than mine. She too remarked at how good the handle felt. The handles are made from ⅜” canvas micarta slabs. They have been gently contoured and left unpolished to provide maximum grip under all conditions.
The Deer Creek features a 4 ¾” blade with a 4 ½” cutting edge. It has a 9 ½” overall length and is made with 3/16” stock. With these dimensions you might think the Deer Creek would be not much more than a sharpened pry bar. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This blade uses a full flat grind and a broad spear point design that is 1 ½” at its thickest point. This gives the Deer Creek excellent cutting geometry. The Deer Creek is delivered with a convex edge that leaves enough metal behind the edge to give it strength while still leaving the edge thin enough to cut like a proper knife should.
While I gravitate toward knives with a scandinavian edge for use in the woods, I have a strong affinity for knives with a full flat grind for general purpose use. Scandi knives are unmatched in their ability to do woodwork, but they are less than ideal for food prep, and their zero ground edges can be more prone to damage when doing heavier work. A well made knife with a full flat grind does extremely well when working with wood and is a joy to use when cutting meat and vegetables.
Knives with a full flat grind are excellent slicers and the Deer Creek is no exception. Coupled with the broad blade design and the 3/16” thick stock, the Deer Creek is also adept at light chopping and batoning. The knife is truly a jack of all trades.
I find the simple styling of the Deer Creek to be very visually appealing. It is delivered with a high-quality, deep carry leather sheath that would look right at home on the belt of a cowboy riding the range or a frontiersman trapping and hunting his way through the Rockies.
My Deer Creek is made with A2 tool steel with Gossman’s proprietary heat treat and cryo quench treatment. While Scott offers this knife in a variety of different super steels, I prefer the A2 model for its combination of ease of sharpening, edge holding, toughness, and corrosion resistance.
During my time with the Deer Creek, I used it to prepare dinner, do some light carving, baton wood for a fire, and make a big pile of feather sticks. Those feather sticks were quickly sparked into flame using a ferro rod and the Deer Creek’s 90º spine.
In all my time using the Deer Creek, I never felt myself wishing I had chosen another knife. It is an outstanding blade and one any outdoorsman worth his salt would be proud to own and use.