U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Years ago Outdoor Edge came out with their Swingblade Knife. It was an ingenious invention. Two knives in one and you don’t have two separate blades requiring two different locking systems. With the push of a button the blade rotates offering another cutting tool.
The main cutting blade is designed for marking the pattern and skinning your big game animals. The secondary blade is designed to run the cut up the belly. If you’ve skinned many animals you know it is always possible to make the cut too deep and cut through the thin stomach muscle and pop the gut, thereby making a mess and contaminating the meat. Then the only option to correct this mis-cut is to trim off any contaminated meat.
Years ago the Wyoming knife was invented to prevent the above problem. This secondary blade eliminates the need for a Wyoming Knife. It has a ball on the tip to prevent puncturing the gut which allows you to work faster. The way it is designed it cuts from the inside out which eliminates cutting through the hair. There are two benefits to this design:
- Cutting through hair dulls a knife.
- Not cutting through the hair reduces contamination.
You could also use it to mark the pattern. The pattern is the initial cut down the belly line and out each leg to the hoof.
Ok, to be a little bit old school. I’ve never really used a Wyoming knife or belly ripper of any kind. I’ve always preached to learn how to skin with a straight blade and learn how to use it. But if you’re inexperienced, no doubt they help eliminate busting a gut and you can make your cuts faster without fear of doing so.
There is one angle that you could argue with me on my point of view though. If you’re hunting dangerous animals many times you will wait an hour or two after the shot before tracking him to ensure that he is dead. During this wait the belly will bloat and be skin tight against the hide making it tough to not slip and cut the belly open. The swelling is sped up immensely if you’re hunting in warm weather.
The same scenario can be true if you’re a bow hunter since you need to wait 30 minutes before tracking your animal.
A third scenario is if you make a marginal shot and your animal runs off. You’ll want to wait 1-2 hrs. to let it bleed out and expire. If it is marginally hit, there’s a good chance that you hit behind the chest wall. If the shot hits in the stomach area, then there will be more stomach swelling than normal, making it harder to skin without hitting the gut.
So as we close, I think this is a well-designed knife. If you like a drop point blade, then you should like it. It’d be cool if OE made it in two options. With a drop point and a clip point blade. But it seems like drop point knives are top of the choices over clip points as compared to 50 yrs. ago, so I understand why they only make one option.
It comes with a decent canvas sheath which appears like it should hold up for years to come. And as usual, we will close with the specs.
- Skinning Blade: 3.6” / 9.0cm
- Gutting Blade: 3.2” / 8.1cm
- Overall: 8.3” / 21.1cm
- Steel: Aichi AUS-8 Stainless
- Rockwell-C Hardness: 57-58
- Handle: Rubberized TPR
- Sheath: Nylon
- Weight: 7.2oz / 205g
- It is available in three colors. Black, Blaze Orange and Pink.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoors writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal you will need a sharp knife. Also he has an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening for $.99 if you're having trouble”