EKA Swingblade Knife
Review: The EKA Swingblade
I have owned one of these innovative blades for over a year now, and have been trying to put it through its paces, testing the knife's capabilities in varied conditions and using it for all aspects of deer management work, from despatch through gralloching and on to final butchering of the carcass. My observations are as follows:
Compact design, with a good feel to the handle, both in terms of shape and feel of the grip. The blade was shaving sharp and the gutting knife instantly grabbed my attention as being far superior to any "gut-hook" I had ever seen or used. This too was razor sharp. The sheath fitted the knife snugly and the Velcro fastening ensured me that the knife could not be lost in the field. My misgivings were:
1. Stainless steel may not sharpen up as well as my previously owned carbon steel blades.
2. The secondary edge on the EKA may not keep its sharpness as well as my favoured primary edge blades.
3. Most importantly, the pivot point on the double blade may not endure the rigours of constant use. I envisaged this as the most likely weak point of what looked like a most robust piece of kit.
Time would tell.
"The ergonomic feel of the handle was as comfortable to handle as any blade I have used. Moreover, the grip was excellent in all weathers, from sweaty-palmed sunshine, through driving rain and freezing snow showers. Excellent in every respect.
"The switching of blade from drop-point skinner to gutting knife was always effortless. Moreover, both blades performed extremely well. I would challenge anyone to go back to a gut-hook after using this knife. I stopped using a gut-hook after fighting with a few, but this design is far superior, and makes unzipping a beast very quick, very effective, and absolutely effortless. In addition, it is very helpful in the skinning process, for the initial cuts inside the thighs and shoulders of a beast.
"The blade is a perfect length for gutting, being neither too small nor too cumbersome for performing a clean, quick gralloch. I thought at first that the blade was a little too broad, and possibly too thin, being prone to getting damaged; I was wrong. It is more than up to the challenge, and can even be used to split the aitch bone on a Roe without dulling the edge.
"Butchering was easy and effective, though a narrower blade was better for more fine work. I found that, once sharpened, the blade kept a sharp edge from the point of sticking the beast, right through to final butchering. Re-sharpening was extremely easy with a Bladetech sharpener.
"Maintenance is simplicity itself: a bladetech for sharpening, soap and water for cleaning, and a little gun oil for storage. My blade looks as good today as when I first brought it home. And if anything, it is sharper!
A first class piece of kit. All my misgivings mentioned above have been adequately put to rest. The pivot point has still remained firm, despite much use, and even if it ever does loosen, there is a simple adjusting screw to remedy that. The 10 year warranty gives additional peace of mind of course. The gutting blade is absolutely first class, and has definitely improved my gutting and skinning procedures, reducing effort and improving effectiveness. If I ever lose this knife, I will be getting another. As a specialist deer knife, this is the best I have used.
Part-time Deer Manager for two estates in Cumbria.
14th September 2010