Von Gruff knives

bruce moulds

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I recently saw a promotion for puma knives that said that the moment you strap on a puma, you gain instant respect.
in answer to that, I ask "respect from whom.?"
respect from wankers is of no value.
I have a number of different puma knives, partly because I like the look of them, partly the stag handles, and partly because their promotion of 440c stainless steel suggested it made superior blades.
now I find that 440 is at a level of aus 8, which is about as bottom end as you can get.
I like the thickness of puma blades for occasional levering, and their tempering seems good for this.
I have a laminated gerber knife which has a very hard centre layer with softer outer layers each side to protect it from snapping, but it is quite thin.
I have found that scimitar shaped blades do not suit me well. this includes the buffalo skinner type knife.
they might be well suited to flaying off a hide, and are definitely suited to the stab required when cutting throats.
most of my work requires the knife to be carried, often in hard country, so one knife and minimal sharpening gear is handy.
I might skin deer, goats, and sheep, where most of the skinning is better done by hand after all the cuts are done and the edges and corners are started with the knife where necessary.
this job includes gutting, removing lower legs and heads, etc.
I have come to like a blade 3" - 4" long, but still cannot decide on the optimum shape, particularly at the point end.
a too small handle seems to reduce control.
if only I could decide WHAT I need, it might be time to buy it in a better than factory knife.
I do not get off on fancy things, including guns and knives.
I do love things that work and function well.
one other question I have is how I am sharpening and maintaining my knives.
maybe I am being unfair to their edge holding abilities due to my lack of understanding of sharpening etc.
anyway, based on the above I am finding myself looking harder and harder at garry's 3" E D C, 3 1/4" mini skinner, 3 3/4" light hunter, and a bit at the 4" hunter skinner, all in basic trim.
threads like this do not help much in avoiding the issue.
to me garry not only makes knives, but uses them as well, and I am sure his designs are based on what he would use himself.
bruce.
 

Von Gruff

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I am finding myself looking harder and harder at garry's 3" E D C, 3 1/4" mini skinner, 3 3/4" light hunter, and a bit at the 4" hunter skinner, all in basic trim.
threads like this do not help much in avoiding the issue.
to me garry not only makes knives, but uses them as well, and I am sure his designs are based on what he would use himself.
bruce.
Those are the ones (Light hunter and or mini skinner) I carry myself for field dressing (gut and dehead) on the hill but I am only working on light bodied soft skinned animals and use some of the other designs off the hill. Many make the mistake of cutting skin from the outside where it is better to cut from under the skin as this prolongs the edge sharpness. That is why most of my blades have a nose on them although I do make the upsweep for those that prefer this style of knife. Leaving an edge too long before bringing it back to sharpness is one way to get less than the best results from a blade. Often a blade edge will feel dull but may just be clogged with meat/skin membrane and couple of LIGHT wipes on a plain smooth steel will clean the edge to feel sharp again. I completely disagree with those who say the edge has been bent and the steel straightens it up again as that is an indication of very low hardness generally from a too high heat temper cycle (probably down in the low to mid 50's R. A blade at 60 R will retain its edge and still be reasonably easy to sharpen when necessary although technique will play a big part in how easy it is get the edge back to slicing sharp.
 

CBH Australia

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@bruce moulds this is getting interesting but I’m not getting much feedback on what knife or why people like a particular knife.
I’m still tempted by the Von Gruff offerings. I’m renovating in my spare time and make time to look here .
Any other time I would have probably ordered by now. Renovations re blowing travel for work and this bloody virus is uncertain but I can get a decent edge and keep it to a degree .
Like you I’m wondering if around 4” is just right . Given its to be on my belt it should be enough but there are a few VG models under consideration as I think it will be just one.
 

bruce moulds

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c b h,
possibly not much feedback, because in the real world, very few people really use a knife much,these days, or get and keep one sharp.
and I think a lot of designers design for the market trend more so than reality of need .
this is where I like garry's stuff.
he is a user in the field.
his products reflect that.
I see no wank in his inventory.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

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garry,
what is nose and upsweep?
I fully concur with not cutting fur, but sometimes you have to a little bit.
I suspect those pumas of mine are in mid 50s Rockwell.
if only I knew what I wanted when young, a lot of money would not have been wasted on them, and also a fair amount of frustration.
to be fair, tempered by the need for more knowledge.
I think I am learning more about knives from you then ever before.
bruce.
 

Ray B

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I recall those ads from years ago about the Puma White Hunter. the thing that eliminated them for me was the blade that got thicker as it went forward which would result in me cutting myself when I'd clean the blade by gripping the blade at the hilt and drawing it back. the other aspect was with the thick portion at then point it had the balance of an ax- which would be fine to use it as a machete, but not as a knife.
 

Von Gruff

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The nose on the hunter skinner is where the spine curves back down from straight which allows for sliding the edge under the skin with the blade up without the tip digging into the meat and with the belly it is still a good skinning /flaying shape
Nose.png


The upsweep (sometimes called a trailing point) as on the Old Western is used for cutting from the top of the skin and will dig into the meat unless a carefull sideways use can slide under the skin. It still has a good belly for skinning or flaying
Upsweep.png
 

bruce moulds

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ray,
they were advertised as a cure for coughs colds stiff pricks and sore arseholes.
you could chop down a tree, skin and cape a trophy and then butcher it, hammer in tent pegs, win a knife fight and many other things.
the mere fact that they are still on the market might tell you about some of our knife buying brethren.:cautious:o_O
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

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thanks for that garry.
simple as you explain it.
we were typing at the same time.so the mini skinner and the hunter skinner would have more nose than the e d c or the light hunter.?
what do I need? he asks himself.
bruce.
 

Ray B

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Bruce- If one really wanted to be elite he could get a White Hunter and wear it on one side, get one of those Rambo "survival" knives and wear it on the other. emogee of some sort.
 

Von Gruff

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thanks for that garry.
simple as you explain it.
we were typing at the same time.so the mini skinner and the hunter skinner would have more nose than the e d c or the light hunter.?
what do I need? he asks himself.
bruce.
Most general hunters would have more use for a hunter skinner as a general purpose knife for doing the field dressing and skinning when back at base with enough knife to do the breaking down as well but from there a boning knife may be needed to finish the job.
There are other designs that will also be good general purpose knives from the slightly less nose of the light hunter and the safari to the more purposful skinner and mini skinner up to the Wapiti butcher with its larger hunter skinner style blade and flared butt handle to help in some cold weather conditions. The Small AH EDC or the larger PH EDC will do most tasks so it all comes down to your personal preference and what you hunt and how you do your field dress and carry out to whether you are a one knife hunter to someone (like me :sneaky:) who has multiple knives for the various tasks but only carries one while hunting and it is generally the light hunter for the type of hunting and the animals I hunt.
YMMV though.
 

Ray B

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Bruce- if you look at the photos I posted on Knifery 101 the photo of the vonGruff, Randall, Gerber, Ruana are examples of different but similar noses. the vonGruff is shaped close to the point. the Randall is a drop point but the drop starts well back from the point. The Gerber is straight with neither drop nor trail, and the Ruana's drop starts well back from the point. The advantage of having the drop close to the point is that the point is pointed enough to puncture the skin without cutting hair, then the blade can be inserted between skin and meat, turned with the blade up (facing the skin) and pushed in the direction you want to cut. the "bump" at the point will push the meat down rather than digging into it while the blade slices the skin (without cutting hair). the same cuts may be made with those knives having the drop starting farther back but more care needs to be taken to avoid digging into the meat. With trailing points the cut can be made but generally what needs to be done is putting two fingers of the non-knife hand into the space on each side of the blade to push the meat down so the blade can cut the skin- this has led to many nicked fingers.
 

bruce moulds

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Bruce- If one really wanted to be elite he could get a White Hunter and wear it on one side, get one of those Rambo "survival" knives and wear it on the other. emogee of some sort.
and a tanto in a quick draw shoulder holster.
and a shiv in the boot.
have you noticed how the media can always produce a "hunting knife" with about a 10" blade, big saw teeth on the back (spine?) etc etc.
and don't forget you need a compass in the handle.
 

bruce moulds

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if anyone could look at the puma coyote and offer an opinion I would appreciate opinions.
bruce.
 

Albert GRANT

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The coyote looks like a very nice design but they state it is only 55-57 Rockwell so you will likely get that edge roll and also need to sharpen it more frequently. Also worth noting that although it is a German blade it is assembled in china, so the fit and finish as well as durability could be suspect. For not much more you could get one of von gruffs smaller knives and be much happier with the function in the end.
 

bruce moulds

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thank you albert.
that is what I think too.
it is possibly my favourite knife at the moment, as it surprisingly seems to stab fairly well, and seems reasonably easy for other jobs I do in the field.
maybe the depth of the blade could be a little less, but I don't really know.
the handle might be better a little bigger.
I try to relate it to garry's knives.
the hardness thing I cannot say as I have obviously never had a 60 Rockwell hardness blade, but can well see potential benefit there.
bruce.
p.s.
I have a good butchers flaying knife and boning knife if I ever get an animal to the house.
bruce.
 

Albert GRANT

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thank you albert.
that is what I think too.
it is possibly my favourite knife at the moment, as it surprisingly seems to stab fairly well, and seems reasonably easy for other jobs I do in the field.
maybe the depth of the blade could be a little less, but I don't really know.
the handle might be better a little bigger.
I try to relate it to garry's knives.
the hardness thing I cannot say as I have obviously never had a 60 Rockwell hardness blade, but can well see potential benefit there.
bruce.
p.s.
I have a good butchers flaying knife and boning knife if I ever get an animal to the house.
bruce.
Garry seems pretty open to making what you want. I'd send him the pic of the coyote in a pm and see if he would be willing to duplicate it as best he can. That way you would have the best of both worlds. He is currently doing something similar for me
 

Von Gruff

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The Puma Coyote knife is very close to my Safari knife bar the small detail of the handle shape but I think my handle shape is much more comfortable if the knife is used in a blade up manner . The safari in the pic has a scandi grind but (it was special request) but I generally do them with the full flat grind.
puma coyote.png
Safair knife.png
 

Von Gruff

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This is a knife in the blade up hold for when opening up down a leg etc The thumb sits nicely into the front finger notch for push and direction and the palm of the hand fits equally well into the birdshead at the rear.
Photo2291.jpg
 

bruce moulds

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trouble is the mini skinner and the hunter skinner also seem to have a lot to offer.
but then so does the light hunter.
I agree that your handle might be more user friendly.
possibly the safari knife could be ground with a little more drop in the nose, which would also shorten it slightly.
bruce.
 

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