Gut Hook Blades

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Advantages of the Gut Hook
  • Field dressing wild game
  • Large belly is perfect for slicing or skinning
  • High point is out of the way
Disadvantages of the Gut Hook
  • Trailing edge cannot be sharpened
  • Difficult to sharpen the "hook" in the spine

Gut Hook Blade Images

A gut hook blade is a special type of blade in which the spine has a sharpened semi-circle ground into it. A "gut hook" is more of a blade feature than it is an actual blade shape. Most gut hook knives are actually trailing point skinners with the gut hook feature added to the back spine.

Often used by hunters for field dressing, the "hook" in the spine is placed in a small cut in the the underside of the animal and pulled like a zipper. Its purpose is to split the skin of a game animal in gutting operations of field dressing by hooking over the skin, and being pulled along to sever it. The small hook opens the abdomen of the animal without slicing into the muscle, possibly affecting the quality of the meat.

The gut hook is made from a semi-circle "C" shape being ground into the blade with the inward part of the "C" sharpened. This "hook" needs to be sharpened occasionally but it can't be sharpened with a typical flat sharpening stone or other knife sharpener. Most hunters purchase a round file and use this to sharpen the inside of the gut hook.

One disadvantage of the gut hook knife is that the back spine of the knife cannot be sharpened, leaving only a singled edged front blade. Another disadvantage is the relative difficulty of sharpening the gut hook.

When added to a trailing point skinner, a gut hook is a one-size-fits-all tool for hunters who need to field dress game. While it is a very specialized tool, it does it's job perfectly, and who wouldn't love that?