For outdoorsmen, a knife is more than a tool


Tom Claycomb

I love knives. But then again, what sportsman doesn’t? I’ve never met an outdoorsman who said he had enough knives. Have you?

Around every hunting campfire, we all end up pulling out our knives and comparing them. We then share some story. “I skinned my first deer with this knife” or “This is my dad’s old knife,” and so the stories go.

A knife isn’t just a tool to us. It holds a lot of memories. So why not carry a good one? Why buy a Joe Cheapo? Sure, I understand that a lot of people carry a cheap knife to cut hay strings and open boxes at work. I was conducting a knife sharpening seminar at Cabela’s two weeks ago, and I bet four to five people pulled out a $5 junker and wanted it touched up.

I understand having a throwaway for those purposes, but you should carry a nice one for your outdoor needs. I don’t want to say a good knife will last your whole life, but it will last for years, depending on how many times you sharpen it.

So with that said, I discovered a new knife company the other day that I am excited about. Steel Will is the newest division of Sport Manufacturing Group, Inc. You might know SMG better through its Gletcher pneumatic guns and accessories. The company jumped into the knife business in 2014 and now have an Outdoor, Tactical and Urban series. Its top knives are from the Gekko line, while the Druid represents the company’s economical line. 

Of course my main interest lies in the Outdoor series. But in due time I will end up testing all three lines. I just received the Gekko 1500 foldup and the Gekko 1510 straight knife, and I’m currently in the process of testing them. They have somewhat of a drop point, so they will be good for skinning. But the spine is also ground down to a point, so you should be able to mark the pattern when skinning an animal.

Right away I was struck by their appearance. I don’t know if it’s manly to call a knife pretty, but it certainly does have eye appeal. After forcing myself to get past that attribute I was impressed with their stout design.

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