Okay, bear with me on this one. If you’ve ever skinned a big animal, you know how handy a small hatchet or chopper can be. And you’ll also know how convenient a swept blade skinner can be. Oh, and that gut-hook too. If you’re like me, you have all three in your pack, along with a small knife for detail work. That’s why when I saw the Shakaulu by CRKT (designed by knife-guru-extraordinaire Ken Onion), I immediately understood it. Bingo — one tool suddenly equaled three tools.

That’s a .45 ACP round in the pic for size, so you can see it’s not particularly brawny or ungainly, but weight is all forward and it can shop like the dickens, easily separating a pelvic area or quartering. The broad sweep of the skinning edge makes short work of skinning and does double duty as a scraper. I didn’t use the gut-hook, but if you like such things, this one looks perfectly serviceable. Pair this with a small blade to handle the other chores and you have four tools in two. If you choke-up on the blade and put your thumb in the big hole, you can do great detail, scraping or skinning work. Grab the handle, and the heavy 64MN carbon steel blade chops like gang-busters.

The sheath is another innovation. Check it out and you’ll see a plunger in the picture at the top. It fits through the sheath and through the big hole in the blade, locking into the opposite side of the sheath — rock solid. There’s a supplied clip for carry modes. This isn’t a brush-buster, or 2×4 cutter (but it could in a pinch); it’s a specialized tool for taking critters apart. Well done, Ken and CRKT. About $89. For more info:

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