Good hunters always bring a set of knives on their hunting trips and expeditions. Along with their general hunting knife, many will also carry several other types of knives, like a large machete and smaller utility knives for other purposes. Among this set of smaller knives, you can bet that one of them will be a skinning knife.
What is a Skinning Knife?
A skinning knife is, as the name suggests, used in skinning animals. Hunters use these knives to separate the skin or the hide of the animal from the flesh, where the meat usually goes to the cooking pot while the hide or pelt is dried, tanned, and made into shoes or hats or jackets. In the same fashion, anglers and fishing enthusiasts use these skinning knives to remove the skins of their catch. Even butchers, particularly those who are working in a slaughter house, use skinning knives to remove the hides from cows, goats, and other similar animals.
Skinning Knife Design
A skinning knife’s blade is always curved, always. If someone tries to sell you a skinning knife with a straight blade – no matter how great the design may be, walk away. The blade of a skinning knife is curved for several reasons.
First, the curved blade allows for a smoother and easier slicing motion. When removing the skin from an animal, you run the knife between the skin and the flesh with smooth sweeps, and not back and forth as though you were cutting a loaf of bread with a serrated knife. Secondly, the curved blade makes these sweeps smoother, which lessens the stress on your wrists and hands.
Skinning knives come in different sizes and designs, and if you want to have a skinning knife made according to your preferred size and aesthetics, then you should consider looking for a custom skinning knife.
Folding or Fixed-blade?
One question that bother many first time skinning knife buyers is whether they should get a folding skinning knife or a fixed-blade skinning knife.
Well, a folding skinning knife is an attractive option for many knife buyers. After all, folding knives are quite practical to carry around, since they can mostly fit in your pocket and rarely gets in the way as you run after your prey. Despite this convenience, the one thing that you need to consider when buying skinning knives is safety. That being the case, a fixed-blade skinning knife is a better option.
Folding knives work on springs and locks, and sometimes, due extreme usage, improper maintenance or normal wear and tear, these mechanisms do fail. Even the slightest pressure can cause the folding knife to snap open while it is in your pocket. Alternatively, the locks may also fail to keep the knife open while you are skinning your deer or game animal, and may separate your fingers from your hands instead of the animal’s hide from the flesh."
These are the problems and issues that you can avoid with a fixed blade skinning knife.
Skinning knives are essential components of a hunter, angler, or butcher’s knife set, and very rarely do you find a regular knife that can skin an animal just as well as a true skinning knife.
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