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Good fixed-blade utility/skinning knife?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by mgmorden, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    Hey guys - figured I'd ask here since I generally like THR as a forum and having little experience with knives wouldn't even know where to find a similar quality knife-only forum :).

    That said, I'm in need of some advice on buying a knife. Never really bought a "real" knife - everything has been the cheapo folders you see for $5-10 everywhere. I'm basically just looking for something to carry around for utility purposes and to skin the occasional deer.

    My budget on this caps out at about $50 and I definitely want a fixed-bade, not a folder. I'm also looking for something somewhat classically styled.

    The two that caught my eye so far are the Buck 105 Pathfinder and the KA-BAR Stacked Leather Skinner.

    Any opinion between these two, or other options? I was leaning towards the KA-BAR but was unsure of how well the stacked leather would hold-up over time.

  2. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    Lot of quality knives out there . The Buck you mention will not let your down and it keeps an edge. Plus, Buck backs their product to the hilt.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Either handle type will last longer then you will if you take reasonable care of it.

    The leather handles today are better sealed against mosture and blood then they were many years ago.

    This Marbles is at least 75-80 years old.

    These were made in WWII, 67 years ago.

    If you like the Ka-Bar 4" hunting knife, that's what I would get.

    But the Buck #105 Pathfinder is a pretty good hunting knife too.
    I used one for deer hunting for years.

    L.L. Bean even has a special edition leather handle one.

    Just don't get something that is too big, and IMO, anything over 5" is.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Look at the varoious Moras as well as the knives you've listed. Look for the threads on hunting or skinning knives here in THR where a range of knives for deer hunting have been discussed.
  5. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I like the Benchmade Bone Collector skinners/capers pretty well.
  6. RatDrall

    RatDrall Well-Known Member

    When most people say "skinning" they mean "field dressing"?

    Any cheap $12 Mora should work for decades to field dress gear. You definately don't need a thick, heavy and long blade to zip a deer open.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I sure like at least a minimal guard though.

    I got badly cut with a guardless Mora when I was a kid field dressing a few rabbits in Zero weather when it slipped through my frozen fingers.

    Cold fingers and slick blood makes a guard totally necessary in my book anymore.

  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  9. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with the Mora suggestions. The Craftline Robust is strong enough to chop wood but can still dress game. The Classic is available with a guard in case the grip gets slippery. Each comes with a usable sheath and is 15 bucks or less. And they come razor sharp. Great bargains.

  10. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I went ahead and ordered the KA-BAR Hunter. I really liked the styling on it. The Mora's looked very nice for the price but I wanted something traditionally styled, and the "classic" Mora's reminded me a bit too much of an oyster shucking knife.

    I did figure I needed a folder too though and searching for Mora folders (which apparently don't exist :)) did lead me to find several recommendations for Opinel folders as a similar type of knife (inexpensive but good quality). Went ahead and tacked on an Opinel #8 to the order as well.

    Thanks again!
  11. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    Opposition post

    I don't care much for a guard on a slaughtering or butchering knife. It gets in the way of the blade, at least for me.
    If the knife has a little bit of a guard like a Mora or it's a chef knife where the blade heel drops below the handle, I can (and do) deal with that and am happy to use those, but a big brass hilt I'm not going to carry into the woods with me.
    I've "field dressed' and skinned at least two elk and a number of deer with a medium stock knife folder with no guard without hurting myself and would continue to do that if the knife cleanup weren't so much easier with a fixed blade. I now have my dad's German folding hunter with a gut ripper that I use for that exclusively. For dressing and skinning, I generally use a Canadian knife and a modified Old Hickory skinner.
    I can't say I've never cut myself with a knife or won't in the future but none of my Mrs.'s kitchen knives have guards on the handle other than the "chef" knife style mentioned above, and not half of them are less than about 20 years old. We slaughter goats or sheep with these knives when my hunting efforts are not so fruitful. Most of the severe "accidents" I've inflicted on myself have been on/to the knuckles of my off hand (and I've got some).
    I have nothing but respect for RCmodel's posts but he and I have different styles here.
  12. BLB68

    BLB68 Well-Known Member

    Here ya go: http://www.bladeforums.com/

    Good moderation, and a lot of knowledgeable folks.

    Regarding Moras: Check out Ragweed Forge. He has a lot of info for each knife listed. The Moras are here: http://www.ragweedforge.com/SwedishKnifeCatalog.html

    I haven't ordered from him yet, but Ragnar has a good rep as far as I can tell. Seems to have the best selection, too.
  13. Mp7

    Mp7 Well-Known Member

    +1 on the Moras,

    ...or depending on what kind of deal u can get:
    a Puukko from Martiini or other makers.


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