Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gear Review, Buck Skinning Knife

I have been on the search for the perfect skinning knife. The problem is that I am not a fan of large knives. Sure, I own a few of them, however I prefer a shorter knife (3" or less) for my field work. I passed on one several years ago from a custom knife maker in AZ, now he doesn't make them anymore and I can't seem to contact him.

Thus began my quest. The goal? A short bladed skinning knife that fit comfortably in my hand. I looked in catalogs, I looked in knife stores, I dreamed of the perfect skinner. I had lost all hope and decided that I was going to learn how to make knives and build one myself.

But I finally found what I was looking for, or close enough at least. The knife is a Buck mini alpha hunter. The blade length is only 2 1/2 inches, slightly longer than what I wanted, but extremely functional. The blade sharpens quickly on a ceramic stone and the edge held long enough to skin on very mature, corn fed deer. The only downside of the knife is the sheath, very difficult to button with winter clothes on.

I had some reservations about purchasing a Buck knife, they have always been a capable, average knife. This knife restores my faith in the ability of Buck to turn out a product that can meet or exceed even my stringent expectations.

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