Custom knife-maker Gary Bolduc is making something special. The knives he crafts are above the quality that most have handled. Gary sent a couple knives to test for our gear review and we are believers. Many writers, TV hosts, outdoor retailers and avid Alaskan fishers and hunters are also big fans of Gary’s knives. Hunting personality Louis Cusack said, “Gary has made several knives for me and as far as I am concerned they are all a cut above any knife I have owned. I would recommend Bolduc Knives to anyone that is looking for a custom-made knife. Performing a job with a great tool just makes the task all that much more enjoyable to me.” Joe Gauges is an avid hunter who works at Frontier Outfitters in Fairbanks. He shared his thought that Gary’s knives are the best because of a higher content of carbon and added steel alloys such as chromium, niobium and vanadium that make for superior toughness, wear and tear, and corrosion resistance. According to Joe, it is the attention to detail and beauty of the knife. He says the first time you hold one it is as if the handle was molded to fit your hand perfectly. Author Steve Meyer shared this thought: “Two years, hundreds of small game, birds, fish and big game, and Gary’s offer of lifetime sharpening services has not been necessary. The perfect combination of beauty and utility that defines custom, Gary has set a new benchmark.” That’s quite a set of ringing endorsements. You can order a custom knife made from something special like the horn of a musk ox you harvested or you can search Gary’s website or follow his Facebook page to see new designs. Put one at the top of your wish list.
Knives of Alaska / DiamondBlade Knives
Knives of Alaska makes a wide range of high-end outdoorsman’s knives used by hunters and outfitters around the world. The product lineup includes fixed-blade knives, combination sets, Bushcraft and Tactical models, cleavers, saws, hatchets, folding blades, utensils and specialty products. The owner is an Alaskan Registered Big Game Guide and tests each model in Alaska. DiamondBlade Knives feature some of the sharpest, longest-lasting cutting edges on the market, achieved through the process of Friction Forging, which is a forging process focused on the knife edge that uses high pressure and frictional heat to produce an ultra-sharp knife. The product offering includes fixed blade, folder and combination sets. And advancements in the process make the DiamondBlade Pro Series knives ($189.99 to $239.99) more affordable than ever.
Weston Jerky Board and Knife Set
Slice jerky the way you want with this convenient and compact set of tools. The double-sided oak cutting board with stainless-steel knife allows cutting meat for the ideal jerky thickness of 1/4- or 3/8 inches. Use the insert board for thinner slices of meats or vegetables. The set also includes 1-ounce of cure and seasonings for 5 pounds of meat.
DPx HEFT 12 CHOP First Run
The DPx HEFT 12 CHOP Fixed is the only hard-use tool you need for your expedition. The key to the CHOP’s unique patented design is not just the use of the same exotic steel used in the commercial meat-processing industry but also the ergonomics. A deeply ergonomic handle with rounded full tang flows into a front-heavy axe-like tip. There are also 12 inches of perfectly straight steel to perform precision work; a flat, thick spine for pounding; a relief area to balance the knife; and a two-inch tip with a thicker grind for splitting wood and a thick point for ground work.
RaptoRazor Big Game Skinner (BGS) and Mako
The patented BGS and Mako are the ultimate field dressing knives. Their 100% machined-aluminum housing is lightweight and retains superior strength and durability. The BGS’s innovative design offers a faster and cleaner way to process game, becoming a multi-functional knife. Thehook design cuts from the inside out, splitting the hair while making a precision cut. It also has the ability to spin 360 degrees around the leg to open the hide and pop the joint. The bottom of the blade becomes your guided skinner. With the blade sandwiched between the housing it lifts the blade off the meat and hide, making for a faster and cleaner job. The T-grip handle offers complete control and eliminates hand fatigue, even on the toughest hides. The Mako has proven to be versatile with its interchangeable blades, allowing conversion from knife to saw in seconds. The combo pack includes: 1 BGS housing, 1 Mako housing, 2 handles with survival compartment (each with extra screws), non-slip knurling grip, Phillips screwdriver for quick disassembly when cleaning and switching out blades, 6 replacement blades (3 for each knife), 2 guards, and carrying case with belt loop and Velcro cover.
DPx Gear HEST II Woodsman
The DPx HEST Original changed the way adventurers think of a survival blade. Some customers wanted more: more cutting, more hardness, more options. They responded with this ranch- and hunt version, which offers spectacular edge retention, a classic style and ergonomic design. The DPx HEST II Woodsman features mirror-match Brazilian Santos hollowed hardwood scales, a softer pry bar angle, wire stripper jimping, a .19-inch-thick 61 HRC blade made of Niolox tool steel with a beautiful stonewashed finish, thumb grip/bottle opener, hex driver and a handmade Italian leather sheath, all backed with DPx Gear’s no-questions-asked lifetime warranty.
Raptorazor Combo Pack
These uniquely designed hunting and fishing knives serve many applications for an outdoorsman. The combo pack includes the Mako and Big Game Skinner. From gutting big fish to field-dressing game, these knives helps to get those tasks done faster, safer and cleaner. Replacement blades for either knife cost $14.99 and both tools break
Lansky Madrock World Legal
This is an excellent slip-joint knife that can be carried just about anywhere in the world. With a low-profile deep pocket clip and a tactile nylon handle with rubberized grip that resists slipping even when wet, the Madrock provides an enhanced everyday carry experience. The Madrock features a 6.75-inch overall length with a 2.75-inch 9Cr18MoV blade. The low-profile deep pocket clip has two positions and is designed for right- or left-handed carry.
Buck Knives Harvest Series Caping Knife
We recently utilized this knife and both cutting edges on a blacktail deer: first the gut hook to gut the animal before dragging it to higher ground, and then the blade to cape and quarter it. The knife is light and sharp, easy to re-sharpen and has a comfortable grip. The blade is made from Buck’s 420HC steel, which provides the wear-resistance of high-carbon steels with the rust-resistance of chromium stainless steels down quickly for complete cleaning.
Buck Knives 110
Folding Hunter 50th Anniversary Edition
2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Folding Hunter. The model 110 was introduced by Al Buck in 1964 and revolutionized the industry with its breakthrough folding locking system. It immediately became a bestseller and remains Buck’s top-selling knife. It measures 4 7/8 inches closed with a 3 3/4-inch blade made of 420HC stainless steel, and it comes with a black leather sheath. Check out the sweepstakes information on page 82 in the Fred Meyer ad in this issue and enter to win a slew of prizes.
Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker
Spyderco touts this sharpening system as their first product. First they made things sharp, before making sharp things. The system includes two sets of high-alumina ceramic stones—a pair of medium-grit stones for sharpening and a pair of fine stones for finishing. The stones are triangular for sharpening plain edges on the flat sides and serrated edges on the corners. Also included in the system are two brass safety rods that protect the user’s hands and a plastic case that is comprised of a base and lid. The base has keyed slots and holes that are fitted for the stones, which can be set at a 30- or 40-degree angle, which equates to either 15 degrees or 20 degrees per knife side, as well as a 12.5-degree scissor setting. When you flip the base over, the user can set the stones into a channel, thus creating a bench stone. When sharpening knives, snap the lid halfway over the base and you have a grip to hold the sharpener in place.
MSRP: $350 to $1200
Odean Hall of Reaper Knives builds custom hunting, fishing and tactical knives from his shop in Sterling, AK. Each knife is designed and hand-fitted for the end-user. Hunters and anglers have multiple options for blade and handle material. Each sheath is hand-fitted, stitched and tooled for the knife. Knives are backed by a lifetime warranty.
Kershaw Field Knife
The Field Knife is part of Kershaw’s American-Made Hunters series. It’s ideal for just about any outdoor task, from dressing game to campsite chores. High-performance Sandvik 14C28N blade steel and full-tang construction makes it durable and corrosion-resistant. The handle is ergonomically curved to fit the hand.G-10 handle scales—in safety orange or basic black—and heavy jimping on the top of the knife ensure hunters get a secure grip in all outdoor conditions. The Field Knife’s modest size makes it highly maneuverable, with a 3 1/4-inch blade and 7 1/4-inch total length, yet it is very light at 2.6 ounces. Field-tested by hunting pros, this made-in-the-USA hunting knife is sure to become a go-to item for the quality-minded hunter. It’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, razor-sharp and comes with a leather sheath.
This precision fixed-blade knife series was designed with the concept that the closer a user makes cuts towards the heel of the blade, the more control and leverage will be gained. The Enuff series comes in three styles—clip-point and leaf-shaped blade, which are plain-edged and full-flat ground, as well as the hollow-ground, straight SpyderEdge sheepfoot. All come with the same handle and sheath, as well as a 2.75-inch blade. All three knives have a well-placed section of jimping on the spine to increase control. Blades are made with VG-10 stainless steel, providing a balance between edge retention, corrosion resistance, cutting performance and ease-of-sharpening. Handles are designed with scales on them in Spyderco’s bi-directional texturing pattern, making for a handle that provides great traction and a non-slip grip.
Havalon Knives – Piranta
The Piranta from Havalon Knives features a stainless steel handle and adozen additional stainless steel blades, each 2 ¾ inches in length. Easy-grip finger grooves, ambidextrous thumb studs and frame-lock construction are just a couple of these knives’ additional features. Plus, with the extra blades there’s no sharpening—just snap on another blade and go.
Benchmade Knives Griptilian
A couple of updates have improved one of the most popular line of knives to ever come out of Benchmade Knife Company—the Griptilian. Now both the Griptilian and the Mini-
Griptilian feature hollow-ground stainless steel blades, which are thinner and therefore sharper. Also new is a fixed-blade design, with the same molded-handle (“grippy”) scales.
Meyerco Game Processing Set
Designed for field-dressing both large and small game, the classic 9-piece Meyerco Game Processing Set includes an 8-inch butcher’s knife, 5 ½-inch boning/caping knife, 4-inch skinning knife, a heavy-duty cleaver, game shears, sharpening steel and a hunter’s bone saw with two replacement blades. The set comes in an impact-resistant, blow-molded case that can be taken anywhere from Ketchikan to Kotzebue.
Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener
To make sharpening hunting knives easier for everyone, Work Sharp, a steadfast name in the tool-sharpening industry, has created an electric knife sharpener that’s simple to use. Features flexible belts that conform to the edge of any knife, even broadheads and axes. With precision guides, getting the perfect blade angle is easy, resulting in sharp knives every time.
Buck Knives Paklite FieldMaster
Buck Knives Paklite FieldMaster set is a great way to save on weight without skimping on function. This set contains the all American-made PakLite Large Skinner, the PakLite Caper and the PakLite Guthook in one easy-to-clean sheath.
Kershaw Hunter Knives
Field Knife MSRP: $59.95
Skinning Knife MSRP: $54.95
Kershaw has unveiled two new hunting knives to meet most every need. The new Skinning Knife features a 2 3/8-inch blade, measures 6 inches overall and weighs 3.6 oz. The new Field Knife offers a 3 ¼-inch blade, measures 7 ¼ inches overall and weighs 4.0 oz. Both knives are constructed of Sandvik steel, a textured G-10 overlay handle and come in their own leather sheath. Tested around the world, this is a pair of knives worth having.