- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 6, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Like other American firearms manufacturers, the Savage Arms Co., long known for affordable hunting guns, also looks for the auxiliary market with items that accompany a rifle, shotgun or bow.

Not being easily impressed with certain knives, particularly those that try to serve a variety of purposes, I actually was delighted with just such a multiple-use knife Savage Arms is selling only online. Dubbed the Hunter’s Edge, it is a quick-change, multi-blade number that features a stainless steel handle with hardwood inlays. It comes with a drop point blade and three others, including gut hook, saw and fillet blades — all of them interchangeable.

This knife promises to stand up to severe conditions, including water, cold, snow and salt air. It’s touted as the hunter’s friend, and each blade is easy to attach, detach and clean.

This folding knife with the rigidity of a fixed blade can be switched out, according to the situation. The blades are made of the best stainless steel to resist corrosion. Each blade is heat treated and tempered to achieve the appropriate hardness, and changing them is a cinch. As big a klutz as I am, I mastered blade changing on the first try.

You simply open the blade to a 90-degree angle, grasp it on the unsharpened side, firmly depress the release button, and remove the blade from the handle. There are no screws, no bolts, no nuts. When fully opened, the blade stays in place until you depress the release button and manually fold it or remove it.

In addition, the Hunter’s Edge knife sheath, made of strong doublestitched nylon, comes equipped with an industrial diamond sharpener. The sheath can be attached to a belt or a firearm sling for easy access.

My criticism concerns the gut hook blade because I never use one of those, but you might. Also, the fillet blade isn’t flexible enough to properly fillet fish, but it will cut meat very nicely and also can be used for skinning. The little saw blade is awesome. It cut a moist, gummy grape stalk (not the easiest thing in the world to cut) in a matter of four or five strokes.

The drop point blade will be my main tool, but the saw blade will help with trimming tree stand branches or field dressing deer and waterfowl whenever bones get in the way. The fillet blade will be my woodland dinner knife — slicing salami, bread, apples, and popping open beechnut hulls.

The length of the knife (with extended blade) is 8 inches. It weighs just under 8 ounces. The price is $60 and is available only through savagearms.com.

— Gene Mueller

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