Elk Ridge Knives
Elk Ridge isn’t a name I know well, but they look like being an up and coming brand if internet specialists Blades and Bows has anything thing to do with it. They started stocking Elk Ridge knives just over two years ago, taking just a few models to see how their customers liked them and if they would stand up to field use. The knives sold well and their customers gave good reviews, so they slowly increased the choice until they reached the current selection of 37 models. That may sound a lot, but the Elk Ridge catalogue runs to over 200 models and Blades and Bows intends to increase their selection further over the next few years. There really is something for everybody here, from huge Bowie knives to small, non-locking, legal-carry folders and everything in between.
As you’d expect, they’re made in China which today isn’t a bad thing, because many high-quality products begin life there. It’s clear that the designs and styles are borrowed from all around the world and are intended to be appealing to Western eyes. Many of these are intended for deer hunters, and therefore aren’t ideal for airgunning duties, but even so, there are plenty of models to suit our needs. I selected a few models to show just how varied the choice is, and which I believe will appeal to the average rabbit shooter, cleaning and preparing meat for the table. All the knives have 440a stainless steel alloy blades that are designed to hold a good edge while still being easy to sharpen.
The first one literally caught my eye because of its bright orange camo handles backed up by pink liners. It’s a neat little folder that has dual thumb studs for one-handed opening and a liner lock, which allows for easy one-handed closing too. A sprung steel pocket clip keeps it safe while at the same time accessible, a set-up that I find ideal for my needs. I know the colour scheme sounds shocking, but it has a very important use, which is that if you ever drop it in the long grass, you’ll have no trouble finding it again. It sells for �8.99
The next model appealed to me because I carry a knife in my pocket pretty much all the time, and I need a legal carry option to stay on the right side of the law. This means that it must be non-locking and have a blade of less than three inches in length. The Trapper fits the bill well and has a slim build that goes unnoticed as you go about your day. Having two blades allows me to use one for tough jobs that blunt steel fast, while keeping the second one keen for more delicate work. This is also �8.99
The Hiker II is at first glance a normal-looking modern knife with rubberised scales and thumb stud opening but it has a truly clever trick up its sleeve. Hidden away just beside the pivot is a tiny LED bulb. When switched on it throws light exactly where the edge is cutting making late night work safer and more precise. How clever is that? The battery is held in a small compartment in the left scale with the switch just beside it. There’s even an emergency whistle built into the handle too should you ever get lost in the mountains. RRP �9.99
The final model is the simply called sheath knife, which is a handsome drop-point with smart burl wood handles. The full tang blade profile is close to being a skinning design but is versatile enough for all gutting and skinning duties. The handle is a good palm-filling size that will minimise fatigue for long jobs. If, like me, you have to gut and skin rabbits by the hundred, using a full size knife is a good idea. Compact knives are ideal for the odd job now and then but for hard work a proper fixed blade is what you want. Yours for �11.99
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