The new Hunter’s Tool Kit from Freemont Knives contains the three most important edged tools a hunter could ever wish for...
Having the right knife at the right time can mean a quick solution to a demanding assignment. Conversely, struggling through a job with an edged tool that is less than adequate is both frustrating and anxiety promoting. While it is possible to handle basic field dressing, skinning and trophy work with a solitary knife, having more options generally makes all of those jobs go faster. For this reason, many hunters carry more than one knife and I find myself in that category. Typically, either a lock-blade folder or a fixed-blade knife is on my belt and both a skinning knife and a smaller knife for trophy work can be found inside of my pack.
At the 2015 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show (SHOT), I came across a set of knives, each one designed for a specific role in big game field care that carried the title--Hunter Tool Kit. Indeed, this particular grouping of edged tools was all that and even more. Designed and marketed by Freemont Knives, this trio consisted of a skinner, caper and a specialized gutting blade. All three knives in this kit are crafted from 4CR15 stainless steel, which offers performance similar to the widely used 420HC stainless. The number four in the nomenclature refers to a medium (4%) carbon content, which means that these blades will provide satisfactory edge retention. The number 15 in the title refers to the percentage (15%) of chromium in the steel formulation, indicating the resistance to staining (rust) is relatively high. When you factor in material cost, ease of manufacturing and user performance, this steel is a solid performer at an affordable price point.
The kit feature three different blade shapes, each designed for a specific duty. The skinner has a wide, abbreviated and sweeping drop-point pattern blade for efficient hide removal. The caper is narrow and scalpel-like for delicate work in tight places, such as internal organ removal and head skin cape removal. And the gutting blade features a blunt point and when inserted into the hide it works just like a zipper. All three knives lack handle scales, which brings the weight of the kit down to a mere 6-ounces. And for convenience the knives are contained in a nylon roll-up pouch, with cut resistant blade inserts.
This kit is not meant to be a substitute for the general-purpose fixed-blade or folding knife you normally carry on your person. It is, however, designed to support the function of that edged tool in dealing with specialized cutting assignments like skinning and trophy work. The lightweight nature and roll-up kit containment of this trio of specialized blades eliminates the need to carry two or three other heavier knives. Having all the necessary edged tool at the ready means that you’re prepared to handle any challenge related to basic field care and trophy work. Back in the day, it was possible to work our way through almost any chore with a pair of pliers, some bailing wire and a roll of electrical tape. I am reminded, however, that a superior level of gear is now readily available. The same thing is true when it comes to edged tools and there is no reason why we shouldn’t take advantage of what that diversity has to offer. For more information on the Hunter’s Tool Kit, go to: www.fremontknives.com.--Durwood Hollis
This article was originally published in Mar/Apr Safari Magazine