By: Pete Moore
Probably the trickiest part of gutting a deer is opening up the stomach cavity with a small incision, then going in blade-up to avoid puncturing the guts. You could use a gut hook-ended blade that does the job better. However, EKA of Sweden offers their SwingBlade, which seems to be the best of both worlds.
Simple and efficient
The design consists of a double-ended, Sandvik 12C27 steel (HRC 58-59) blade that pivots in the middle around and through the handle. It looks like a folder with a normal, 3 ½”, drop point, hollow ground build. It shows a good bit of belly around the tip area but the edge length and angle of the up-curve is long enough to allow you to get in round a deer’s anus to free the waste pipes. On top is jimping for thumb support.
The handle is a textured polymer and slightly soft to the touch, on the left near the hinge point is a recessed and cross-hatched button. The shape shows a forefinger grove, with a down-swept grip for the other three that flares into a stop, inside is a stainless steel liner. Looking from the top what appears to be a lock-back type spring is in fact the base of the second blade hidden within.
Pressing the release button and pushing down on the back of the drop point blade causes it to swing down and back. As it does the other end rises out of the handle and swings forward to reveal probably the best gut tool I have ever used. Everything about this is reversed, with a flat base and slim, curved inner edge; it looks more like a hook. The end is blunt and rounded and there’s a concave/jimped section for your thumb, with the original jimping now positioned underneath the grip for your forefinger.
With its blunt back and rounded tip there’s no way you are going to puncture anything with this blade. So you make a tiny incision with the drop point at the base of the stomach, slip in the gut hook (edge-up) and run it up to the rib cage for the perfect opening. It’s as simple as that, but there’s more! As this blade is also excellent for skinning out as it allows you to push up and cut the inner skin of the legs, again without damaging meat, so making removing its coat faster and easier.
The SwingBlade comes in a nylon sheath that fully encloses the knife. Retention is by a strap and Velcro and there’s a wide belt loop. The SwingBlade available with a black or orange handle; the latter makes more sense, as how many times have you put your knife down only to wonder where it is? As the last thing you want to do is lose it; or worse still cut yourself by accident.
For: A truly practical hunting design
Against: Not a thing
Verdict: Quite the best hunting knife around
|Colour||Black - CA21, Orange - B212|
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