This is a tale of three knives. Well actually, one knife, that sorta’ morphed into three. About a year and a half ago Gary Reeder (who usually makes guns and stuff) and I were chatting on the phone and I was complaining about the fact I hadn’t been able to find a 5″ or 6″ sheath knife I liked to use around our ranch here. I kept losing pocket-clip folders at the time, so had been shopping around to get a fixed blade to try. “Well, have I got a deal for you!” he said. Uh … oh.
Actually, what Gary sent was a pretty good deal. The tough, 5″ fixed blade called the Predator (on the left in the picture) was just what I’d been looking for and it’s been a semi-constant companion of mine over the past year and a half. That’s why it’s showing some hard use. I chop, hack, cut, pry, dig golf balls out of my pasture (a long story …) and anything else needing doing. It holds a razor edge (easy to sharpen) and has enough heft to lend some credibility to a cut if needed.
Now Gary has expanded his knife line with a couple more. The “Classic Skinner” and “Mini-Skinner” are built tough like the Predator, but made for different jobs. I’ve already used the Mini to clean a small local deer, and the compact size, razor edge (which held throughout the work) and handle that sort of “swells” into your palm was comfortable to use. The hilt, with a bit of a finger-catch, kept my slippery fingers safe. I didn’t use the “Classic Skinner” but it’s bigger, fills the hand more and has much more belly in the blade. It would no doubt be a great skinner and I’ll try it out soon.
Handles on the Predator and Mini-Skinner are Mongolian Stag and some kind of wood laminate on the Classic. The Mini blade is 2.75″ while the Classic is a solid 3″. Check with Gary on the prices, but the Predator runs around $300, with the others less. Very affordable, and they’re made for Gary by experienced knife maker John Morgan. For more info: Gary Reeder Custom Guns (928) 527-4100, www.americanhandgunner.com/garyreedercustomguns
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