Buck PakLite 140 Skinner and 135 Caper Hunting Knives
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- Last updated: 14/12/2016
Always on the lookout for practical new designs, Buck has come up with the Paklite series of lightweight hunting knives, and they’ve sent us five of them to have a look at; 2 Paklite Skinners, 2 Paklite Capers and a Paklite guthook.
Made of time-tested 420HC stainless steel, each of these models has a heavy-duty skeletal steel frame (with no additional handle material) and a razor sharp cutting edge. This makes these knives sturdy and effective, yet extremely lightweight.
The PakLite 140 Skinner and the 135 Caper, are both available in two two finishes – either polished stainless steel or with a black ‘traction’ powder coating. Both ensure durability and corrosion-resistance, and we have both types to have a look at.
Skinner and Caper
While both the Skinner and Caper are light and compact, the former has a stubby S-bellied 2.9” blade which is 0.150” thick, making it more of a general purpose hunting knife, while the Caper (as the name suggests, has a much finer modified drop point 2.5” blade that is 0.100” thick, for closer more delicate work. Overall lengths and weights are 6.6” and 2.5oz. for the Skinner, while the Caper is 6.75” and just 1.1oz.
Some hunters like heavy knives, some like light knives – but everybody likes a balanced knife. The lack of any kind of handle material, other than the blade’s tang, makes the Paklites very centre-weighted and easy to work with. If you want to add weight or bulk to the base, you can always whip the tang with paracord or even fashion a pair of scales, making a handle on the ‘full tang’ frame.
The Skinner looks good in polished steel or powder coated, but of the two finishes on the Caper I much prefer the black. This is unusual for me, as I would normally go for a polished stainless finish, but for some reason this little knife looks good in black. This is purely aesthetic, and nothing to do with the practical aspects that it might have.
In practical terms the Skinner will probably be the most popular with hunters, but if you want to go really lightweight then the Caper would be fine for bird, trout and bunny.
The little Paklite Guthook was a nice surprise, and it lives up to its name exactly - a tool purely made for unzipping carcases… although it would also make a safe seatbelt cutter for emergency services. Again this is a lightweight and compact accessory just 4” long overall and a mere 1.5oz in weight. The gape of the hook is considerable, giving a full 10mm wide cutting edge.
The tool fits the hand nicely, and a combination of shape, textured powder coating, jimping on the spine and above all a central ring for the index finger, gives a superb grip for accurate and delicate cutting.
Retail prices for the knives are; Paklite Caper with black traction coating £29.95; Paklite Caper in Stainless Steel £24.95; Paklite Skinner with traction coating £29.95 and Paklite Skinner in Stainless Steel £24.95. Paklite Guthook with traction coating £29.95. Each one comes complete with a heavy-duty nylon sheath and Buck’s unconditional Forever Warranty.