U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Many, if not most knife companies run along like herd animals with everyone producing the same, old same old designs. But once in a while, a knife company comes up with an ingenious design that is different than anything you’ve seen before. That description would fit the Outdoor Edge SwingBlade knife.
If you’re not familiar with the Outdoor Edge SwingBlade knife and you’re a hunter, you ought to check it out. I guess I’d have to classify it as a cross between a folder and a straight blade. Here’s is why I say this.
It has a drop point type of blade with the spine ground down a few degrees, enough so it has a point so you can mark the pattern when skinning your animal. By marking the pattern I’m referring to the initial cut into the hide to make the cut down the belly line and out each leg out to the hooves. It is the “H” pattern you initially cut to skin your animal.
But with the push of the button on the front left side of the handle the blade pivots which rotates the drop point edge underneath and into the handle thereby flipping out the extension or other end of the blade which is a long gut hook with a blunt end.
While most people would automatically call the other end a gut hook actually you can use it to cut the whole pattern. Not just the cut down the belly line but also out from that mark, down the legs to the hooves.
This will allow the blade to stay sharp much longer than when using a conventional blade. Here is why I say this. Normally you’re on the outside of the hide running your knife down the hide to cut a slit in it, right? Well, when you use a gut hook blade, it is on the inside of the hide cutting out. As the hide is cut it pulls apart thereby separating most of the hair and mud holding the hair together. The hair and mud/dirt is what really dulls your knife. In fact, if you will get in the habit of skinning from the inside out when possible you will find that all of your knives will stay sharp longer than normal.
When the gut hook gets dull, use a regular smooth steel and steel the edge in a sweeping motion pushing from the spine out. Once on each side and then repeat. If the blade is super dull use a Smith’s Diamond Pen Steel to regain your edge. Then, of course, to resharpen the regular blade use a Smith’s 6” fine diamond stone.
With rubberized TBR slightly textured handle, finger groove and grooves on the back of both spines these features all combined allow you to keep a firm grip while using the SwingBlade knife.
The Outdoor Edge SwingBlade knife comes with a nylon sheath with a big belt loop so you can carry it on your larger belts. It has a plastic/kydex type of liner in the sheath to prevent the blade from stabbing through the sheath if you fall while carrying it. The knife doesn’t fit down snugly into the sheath if you have the gut hook exposed, so sheath it in the drop point position.
The Outdoor Edge SwingBlade is available in black, blaze-orange or hot-pink and as a knife/saw combo set for an MSRP of $79.95. And as usual, we will close with the specs:
- Skinning Blade: 3.6 in / 9.0 cm
- Gutting Blade: 3.2 in / 8.1 cm
- Overall: 8.3 in / 21.1 cm
- Steel: Aichi AUS-8 Stainless
- Rockwell-C Hardness: 57-58
- Handle: Rubberized TPR
- Sheath: Nylon
- Weight: 7.2 oz / 205 g
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor 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. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”