September 19th, 2016 by asjstaff

How To Choose The Proper Style Of Knife For Each Specific Hunting Task 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY TOM CLAYCOMB

When I was a kid, there were probably five good knife companies. These days, there are too many to count. And while there are several great designs to choose from, it can be confusing as to which works best for what, and how much to spend and why.

A knife is a tool, and you must choose the correct one for each specific job. While you can dig a hole with a spoon, a shovel works a lot better, and the same goes with knives.

Also, I don’t jump out of helicopters with a tactical knife clenched in my teeth to cut off the heads of the bad guys. I just like to hunt and fish, and gut, skin and cut up what I kill, so my advice comes from that perspective.

Two of the best designed and constructed skinning knives on the market are made by Diamond Blades. The Traditional Hunter (top) is, hands down, the best design. Notice how the spine is slightly ground down, giving it not only a drop point for skinning, but also a semipoint so you can cut the pattern.

Two of the best designed and constructed skinning knives on the market are made by Diamond Blades. The Traditional Hunter (top) is, hands down, the best design. Notice how the spine is slightly ground down, giving it not only a drop point for skinning, but also a semipoint so you can cut the pattern.

LET’S DISPEL A MYTH. Just because you skinned your first bear with a certain knife doesn’t automatically mean that it is the best skinning knife. In fact, it may not even be a good skinning knife. It just means that it has some sentimental value.

Years ago, the Idaho Press Tribune ran a photo of a 12-year-old boy who had just shot his first deer with an old Winchester .30-30. Beside him in the photo were his dad and granddad, who’d shot their first deer with the same rifle. Do you think you could ever convince that kid that a .30-30 isn’t the best deer rifle? I wouldn’t even try.

So if your favorite uncle – the one who taught you how to hunt – entrusted you with his knife on his deathbed, then carry it and be happy. Who cares what I say? Just don’t try to tell me that it is the best design for every task.

Hunters can justify carrying four different knives. These are: a clip point to cut the pattern (the initial cut when skinning), a drop-point knife to skin, a caping knife to skin around the eyes, ears and lips, as well as the feet of bears, and a boning knife to bone out your game.

Do I always carry all four? No. When I’m hunting hard in the mountains, I usually only carry two: a knife to skin my animal and a boning knife. I’ve skinned more than a hundred deer with a clip-point knife, because it’s a versatile choice. However, if you want to keep the hide or mount the head, it’s best if you use a drop point.

Let’s briefly review each style of blade, and why they are best for a specific task.

There are four or five decent boning knives on the market. Whichever one you buy, make sure that it has this exact shape. You don’t see wood handles as often anymore, but they are more comfortable.

There are four or five decent boning knives on the market. Whichever one you buy, make sure that it has this exact shape. You don’t see wood handles as often anymore, but they are more comfortable.

CLIP-POINT KNIFE

The tip of this design sweeps upward and comes to a definite point, which allows you to stab into the hide and cut a pattern. The pattern is the initial cut you make down each leg, around the hocks and up the belly before you start removing the skin. You can skin your animal with a clip-point knife, but due to the shape of the blade, they have more of a tendency to cut holes in the hide while skinning. If you’re just skinning your deer so you can cut it up, then it doesn’t matter if you skin it with your clip point knife.

If I could only carry one knife, this would be it.

DROP-POINT KNIFE

A drop-point knife is less likely to cut through the hide, and you can skin faster without being as careful. You’ll notice on a drop-point knife that the tip doesn’t sweep upwards like a clippoint knife. Although I can’t explain the mechanics of why, you’ll simply cut through the hide less often while skinning with a drop-point knife than with a clip-point knife.

For caping out big game heads and skinning the feet and toes on bears, you’ll want a caping knife. I prefer one like the Cub Bear from Knives of Alaska because of its distinct point and narrow,  short blade.

For caping out big game heads and skinning the feet and toes on bears, you’ll want a caping knife. I prefer one like the Cub Bear from Knives of Alaska because of its distinct point and narrow, short blade.

CAPING KNIFE

If you plan to mount the animal head, you’ll want to carry a caping knife. A caping knife has a shorter, thinner blade with a definite point. This allows you to make intricate cuts around the eyes and lips of your trophy, as well as when skinning the feet on bears.
BONING KNIFE

When I was a kid, we’d use a hunting knife for this job, but while working in beef production plants, I discovered what a real boning knife could do. I took what I learned there and applied it in my outdoor world.

To get a clean bone (which means to remove all the meat) you’ll want a semi-flexible knife. You don’t want it too flimsy or you won’t be able to control the blade while working. I favor a 6-inch boning knife, but have buddies who favor a 5-inch blade. I favor a semiflex, but some people prefer a superflex blade. It’s a matter of preference.

I favor a thin fold-up knife. I don’t like thick, bulky ones, and most of Puma’s fold-up knives are thin and sleek.

I favor a thin fold-up knife. I don’t like thick, bulky ones, and most of Puma’s fold-up knives are thin and sleek.

A SOFTER METAL BLADE is easier to sharpen, but it doesn’t stay sharp as long. A harder knife is more difficult to sharpen but will keep an edge longer. Again, it’s not a matter of right or wrong, just personal preference.

If you’ve hiked in 7 miles and shoot an elk, it’s nice to have a knife that will hold an edge long enough to skin him so you don’t have to carry a sharpening stone. For that reason, I favor a knife that is hard and will keep an edge but that is not insanely hard. Something of the hardness of a Knives of Alaska knife is perfect.

What about straight blade versus fold-ups? Again, it’s a matter of preference. I like both, and sometimes interchange at the drop of a hat. However, if you choose a folder, make sure it has a locking blade so it doesn’t close on your hand while working, although nearly all folders are lock blades now.

There are several good manufacturers on the market. Choose which brand you prefer, and then pick one with the task-specific designs that I’ve listed above. And after you’ve made your selection, happy hunting! ASJ

Knives of Alaska makes several excellent products. The Legacy (top) is a skinning knife with a shorter blade and a full handle to give you total knife control. The Pronghorn is a clip-point style that makes it ideal for difficult initial incision cuts. (RON SPOMER OUTDOORS PHOTO)

Knives of Alaska makes several excellent products. The Legacy (top) is a skinning knife with a shorter blade and a full handle to give you total knife control. The Pronghorn is a clip-point style that makes it ideal for difficult initial incision cuts. (RON SPOMER OUTDOORS PHOTO)

Editor’s note: For more on this and other knife-related topics, see the author’s e-article “Knife Sharpening” (available on Amazon Kindle), and check out the YouTube videos on RonSpomerOutdoors.

Posted in Knives Tagged with: , , , ,

November 1st, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

TOP 10 Blades Of 2015

TOP 10 Blades 2015

BLADE CATEGORIES

 

Hunting / SurvivalCold Steel

 Warcraft Tanto

Cold Steel Warcraft Tanto

Why we love this blade ♥ Wield this thing once and you may never let go. The weight and balance alone immediately lets the user know they are handling a profound tool. A true blade of blades.
Style Tanto
Overall Length 12 3/4 inches
Blade length 7.5 inches
Blade material Steel U.S. CPM 3-V High Carbon
Blade thickness 5 mm
Blade width 1.5 inches
Handle material G10 Glass epoxy
Overall weight 13 ounces
Features Diamond like coating – Highly rust and scratch resistant
Comes with Secure-Ex sheath. Extremely well balanced as a survival blade
All business
MSRP $329.99

Hatchet / Axespyderco-logoo

H01 SzaboHawk Tactical Tomahawk


Spyderco Axe
Why we love this blade

♥ It’s not just a tool, it’s a close-combat weapon, and offers a curved handle that places the center of balance midway along its length. That makes this axe faster!
Style Tomahawk
Overall Length 11.88 inches
Blade Length 4.89 inches
Blade material D2 Tool Steel, TiCN Coated
Blade thickness 0.30 inches
Handle material G10
Overall weight 24.7 ounces
MSRP $349.95

Editor’s PickTops-color-logo

Baja 4.5

 

TOPS Baja 4.5
Why we love this blade

♥ It comes with a fire-starter flint because yes, this is for those types. A rugged blade with a handle meant for gripping in the wettest and messiest of outdoor survival situations. Makes us want to go outside bearing it in our teeth and growl a lot.
Style Spear point
Overall Length 9.25 inches
Blade length 4.88 inches
Blade material 1095 RC 56-58
Blade thickness 0.160 inches
Blade width 1.25 inches
Handle material Green canvas micarta
Overall weight 6.2 ounces
MSRP: $160

Folding / PocketOntario-Knife-Company-Logo

Joe Pardue Folding Knife

ONTARIO KNIVES Ontario knife utilitac 1-a
Why we love this blade ♥ Designed by Joe Pardue. Clean, simple, ease of use. Not over the top. Only five moving parts on this Tactical-assisted opening mechanism
Style Drop point
Overall length 8 inches
Blade length 3.2 inches
Blade material AUS-8 steel
Blade thickness .12 inches
Blade width 1 inch
Handle material Zytel
Overall weight 4.5 ounces
MSRP: $76.25

 

FixedHOGUE

EX-F02 point blade 4.5

Hogue
Why we love this blade ♥ It’s all about the grip. The overmolded rubber give the perfect grip and spongy effect while still maintaining a hard solid frame. Just so we are clear, it’s the grip of the knife we are talking about here.
Style Spear point
Overall length 9 inches
Blade length 4.50 inches
Blade material 154CM
Blade thickness 0.16 inches
Handle material Polymer and overmolded rubber
Overall weight 4.77 ounces
MSRP $149.95

InnovativeSOG

Switch Plier 2.0 Quick release Multi-tool

SOG Plier openWhy we love this blade,…um, contraption ♥ It has a spring-assist opening, allowing the user to access and open it single handedly. That’s ridiculously brilliant!
Style Multiple
One handed use
Twelve tools which include:
Blade steel type 420
Three-sided file
Awl
Bolt grip channel
Bottle opener
Can opener
Medium flat screwdriver
Multi-angle needle nose pliers
Needle Nose Pliers
Philips screwdriver
Ruler
MSRP $64

Best ValueCRKT

KISS (Keep It Super Simple) Pocket knife

CRKT Kiss open
Why we love this blade ♥ With it’ simplistic design, this little knife is the perfect companion and at a great price, plus it looks super techy.
Style Tanto
Overall length 5.75 inches
Blade length 2.25 inches
Blade material 3CR13 steel
Blade thickness 0.12 inches
Blade width Unknown
Handle material 3CR13 steel
Overall weight 2.3 ounces
MSRP: $39.99

Concealedbenchmade-logo

Adamas Backup Dagger 175BKSN

 

[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D800 2015/06/22 20:19:25.40 Time Zone and Date: UTC-8, DST:ON RAW (14-bit) Image Size: L (7360 x 4912), FX Lens: VR 105mm f/2.8G Artist: Adam Michaud                         Copyright: New World Industries                                   Focal Length: 105mm Exposure Mode: Manual Metering: Matrix Shutter Speed: 1/100s Aperture: f/18 Exposure Comp.: 0EV Exposure Tuning: ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 Optimize Image: White Balance: Flash, 0, 0 Focus Mode: AF-S AF-Area Mode: Wide Area AF Fine Tune: -- VR: OFF Long Exposure NR: OFF High ISO NR: ON (Normal) Color Mode: Color Space: Adobe RGB Tone Comp.: Hue Adjustment: Saturation: Sharpening: Active D-Lighting: OFF Vignette Control: High Auto Distortion Control: OFF Picture Control: [NL] NEUTRAL Base: [NL] NEUTRAL Quick Adjust: - Sharpening: 2 Contrast: 0 Brightness: 0 Saturation: 0 Hue: 0 Filter Effects: Toning: Map Datum: Dust Removal: 2015/04/14 05:34:25 Image Comment: New World Industries                 [#End of Shooting Data Section]
Why we love this blade ♥ Sweet hidden little dagger for all those special moments
Style Double edge spear point
Overall length 5.47 inches
Blade length 2.50 inches
Blade material 440C steel
Blade thickness 0.125 inches
Blade width 1 inch
Handle material Vinyl coated tang
Overall weight 2.32ounces
MSRP: $105

TacticalAttelboro Knives

The Attleboro Knife

 

The Attelboro Knife

Why we love this blade ♥ Built by special forces and ultimate outdoor Grizzly Adam’s types. This knife is totally for the tough guys and has a glass breaker, because that’s what you need.
Style                                   Spear point
Overall Length                   9¾ inches
Blade length                       4½ inches
Blade material                    S35VN Steel
Blade thickness                 .150 inches
Blade width                       1 3/8 inches
Blade coating                    Cerakote Finish
Handle material                Phenolic canvas laminated
Overall weight                  6.1 ounces
Features                          Spear point with uniquely-angled serration’s on a portion of the blade                                         and only on the right side. Ergonomically designed for both large and                                         smaller hands. Butt of the knife features a beveled glass breaker
MSRP $295

Historic / Replica

Steve Auvenshine

Steve Auvenshire Contemporary Makers Blog Art Riser

Why we love this blade ♥Anytime you mix the authenticity of a master craftsman’s skill from a long gone era, with the ingenuity of a master craftsman of today, you end up with something of beauty.
Style Spear point
Overall length 7.25 inches
Blade length 4 inches
Blade material Forged 1084 tool steel
Blade detail The climbing vine design on the spine was created using needle files
Historical era Typical of a small patch knife from the 18th through mid 19th centuries
Handle material Whitetail antler
Blade design The knife has a pewter bolster with a hidden tang and the blade was finished with a chemical etch.
MSRP Custom

Congratulations

to all of the

Top Blades of 2015

We will see you next year!

We look forward to the next round of the TOP 10.
 GOOD LUCK!

10-Top-HolstersTop-10-Targets

American Shooting Journal
Executive Editor Danielle Breteau
Media, Inc.
Executive Editor Danielle Breteau
14240 Interurban Avenue South
Suite number 190
Tukwila, Washington 9816

 

Posted in Top 10 Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

May 27th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Hawk

 HOGUE INC. INVITES BLADE SHOW 2015 ATTENDEES TO BOOTH #57/58 ON JUNE 5-7 IN ATLANTA, GA

Henderson, Nev. – Hogue Inc., America’s premier manufacturer of firearm grips, rifle stocks, AR components, knives, holsters and gear is Atlanta-bound in two weeks for the company’s sixth consecutive appearance at the annual Blade Show, this time with a new Tomahawk, a new line of automatic knives and a healthy selection of limited edition knives in tow. “Blade Show is a huge opportunity for us to connect with the knife community,” explained Hogue Managing Partner Jim Bruhns. “We launched Hogue knives at Blade Show 2010 and we’re back this year with an expanded product line, a new Tomahawk and some exciting limited edition fixed and folding blade models.”

While Hogue is well known for its popular line of handgun grips and rifle stocks, the last few years have seen the company’s product line expand into high quality production fixed and folding blade knives. The company’s knives were a hit at Blade Show 2013, in particular Hogue’s EX-04 Tactical Folding Knife – the upswept blade model took the show’s “American-made Knife of the Year” honors that year. “Hogue Knives are some of the highest quality production knives on the market right now,” said Bruhns. “The fit and finish of a Hogue Knife rivals many custom designs. Plus, our knife designer Allen Elishewitz is at the top of his game.”

“I have worked with many manufacturers over the years,” said Elishewitz, “but Hogue’s ability to capture my vision – and produce knives that consistently reflect that vision – is unmatched.”

Show attendees are invited to obtain a free scratch card daily where they are guaranteed Hogue prizes including tomahawks, knives and other exciting Hogue items.

Additionally, there will be second chance drawings throughout each day of the show for those who participated in the promotion. Stop by booth 57-58 and share in the excitement.

Hogue products are manufactured in family-owned and operated facilities under the direct supervision of the Hogue family. Hogue, Inc. supports local dealers and encourages customers to purchase Hogue products locally. For more information, please call Hogue directly at 1.800.438.4747 or visit www.hogueinc.com to find a Hogue Knife dealer near you.

For additional information on Blade Show, please visit www.bladeshow.com, for tickets, please visit www.bladeshow.com/index.php/tickets

Posted in Media Releases Tagged with: , , , , , ,