REPOST OWNER REVIEW:Grohmann #100 Large Skinner knife
- Name: James Birchall
Profession: Software Engineer
Height: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Location: Olds, Alberta, Canada
Date: 03 Mar 2005
I've been an avid outdoorsman since I was old enough to be safely stowed
as baggage in my parents' canoe: hiking, canoeing and camping all over
Ontario, Quebec and the maritime provinces with my parents, outripping
summer camps, Boy Scouts, the Canadian Military, and the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources. I currently work with an Army Cadet
group as a fieldcraft instructor, specializing in orienteering,
backpacking, shooting and adventure racing. Having done the
ultra-lightweight backpacking thing (to the extent of leaving the
backpack at home) I'm now coming back to a more midweight style,
typically carrying a bag, a small freestanding tent, minimal cookware,
food, some "goodies" and a complete set of layered clothing suitable for
the expected conditions. Weight is important but only as it relates to
comfort and the enjoyment of the outdoor experience overall. Most of my
trips nowadays are of moderate length ( ~20km/12.5 mi days, ~200m/656 ft
elevation gain) to the nearby Canadian Rocky Mountains with my wife and dog.
Product: #100 Large Skinner
Year of Manufacture: 1996
Blade: 5" x 1 1/4" (12.7 x 3.2cm)
Blade Stock: 1/8" (.317cm)
Total Length: 9.5" (24.1cm)
Steel: High-Carbon Stainless
Blade Weight: 6 oz. (170g)
Sheath: Leather Overlap
Sheath Weight: 2 oz. (57 g)
Price: ~$93 CAD (No MSRP available)
I've had this knife for 11 years, my father having bought it at an
auction when I was 16. It's been with me through my military service,
through my work as a provincial park ranger and is my constant companion
every time I suit up for another outdoor adventure. In short, it is my
favourite bit of outdoor gear.
This fixed-blade knife features a full tang, full bolster and rosewood
handle that fits comfortably in the hand. The balance is actually just
fore of the bolster though it feels balanced right at the junction of
tang and blade. It has an excellent lanyard attachment point and the
full leather sheath comes with a secure button flap. A contoured thumb
rest for more accurately manipulating the tip for fine motions sits atop
the blade, just forward of the bolster. The blade is high-carbon
stainless and it holds an excellent edge.
The manufacturer is located on the East Coast of Canada, in the sleepy
community of Pictou, Nova Scotia and offers a selection of kitchen
knives and artistic specialty knives in addition to their line of
outdoor knives. Each knife is individually forged from a solid bar of
high carbon stainless steel and then hand ground by a team of artisans.
The company is ISO certified and competes in design competitions all
over North America and Europe. They are best known as the creators of
the "D.H. Russell" design which hangs on display in the Museum of Modern
Art in New York.
I've used this knife in a variety of trying situations and my
impressions of the knife's performance in each is outlined below.
Scenario #1: Roast beef at home.
The knife, while too short to be effective at cutting large roasts, flew
through the task of carving smaller roasts, showing very little tearing
of the meat and achieving an almost surgical cut for as long as the cut
could be maintained. After cutting up a small roast, the blade did not
need to be re-honed. It worked excellently for cutting potatoes and
Scenario #2: Cardboard Boxes
Many knives tend to dull quickly after cutting through cardboard boxes
in order to make them fit in the trash can. This knife made it through
23 before needing to be rehoned with a steel in order to keep the
cardboard material from tearing while the cuts were made. Overall, it
lasted longer than a carpentry exacto knife.
Scenario #3: Prying nails from a 2x4
This is a stupid thing to do with any knife, but I include the story
here to illustrate the strength of the blade. While helping to demolish
my parents' garage as a 19 year old, I thought it would be cool to see
if I could pry some nails out of the framing wood using my hunting
knife. The blade edge felt very brittle until I worked the nail up high
enough that I could slip the false edge of the knife under the head of
the nail and pry it up. I then rehammered the nail using the tang in
the knife handle. The knife showed no damage from the exercise.
Scenario #4: Water-resistance of the Stainless steel.
If the stainless steel is of poor quality, a knife will rust when
exposed to moisture for long periods. While fishing I used the false
edge of the knife to kill the fish and then placed the knife on the side
of the boat while we packed the fish. Needless to say, the knife fell
overboard. 3 days later I was fishing the same area with my father
again and snagged the lanyard of the knife by fluke and retrieved it.
The knife showed no rusting or wear.
Scenario #5: Demonstrating how to construct a lean-to
One of the more trying things one can do with a knife is to try to cut
through wood with it. While teaching cadets how to construct a lean-to,
the knife was used to chop down 8 x 3" diameter softwood trees and
showed no wear on the edge or sapping in the joints. The knife worked
well for the task, though it did not perform as well as a hatchet or
machete would have in the same conditions.
Scenario #6: Skinning and cleaning a Rabbit.
This tests the precision of the knife tip and flexibility of the knife
blade. Sadly, the knife performed poorly in this test, requiring a lot
of time to work enough of the tip under the skin to get a good incision
going. Manoeuvring the blade through the cuts required to clean the
carcass was labourious and unwieldy. This knife is not well suited for
dressing smaller game. They really do mean "Large Skinner" in the
Scenario #7: Can Opener
Testing the strength of the knife tip is often best experienced when
trying to punch holes through cans of condensed milk for morning
coffee. The edge is often ruined as it passes through the metal and the
tip is often broken off if the blow is not directly down the blade. The
Grohmann #100 performed flawlessly opening 10 cans (using two v-cuts and
pushing the bent metal into the can) before a proper can opener was
found. It needed no re-edging and only minor rehoning.
Scenario #8: Cutting Kernmantle rope
A straight edge often has a harder time cutting through the outer level
of a kernmantle rope and moving, instead of cutting, the interior
fibres. The ability of the #100 to keep a good edge (especially the
cutting edge around the bolster) made this a non-event. The knife did
not cut as well as a SpiderCo serrated diving knife, though the actual
draw of the blade across the rope was significantly easier.
Overall, this knife has been excellent and has done things that knives
are not meant to do. The blade looks new, has needed little rehoning
(and no re-edging) and shows no rusting. The rosewood handle has stayed
secure to the blade (despite using it as a hammer) and no material has
found its way into the cracks of the rivets or around the tang.
The only downside is, ironically, not in the blade but rather in the
sheath. As the knife is withdrawn from the sheath, the edge of the
blade passes by the fold of the sheath flap. Over time, the knife
actually starts to cut the material of the sheath flap away from the
sheath proper. After 11 years of moderate use, I currently have about
20% of the leather material left and believe that it is only a matter of
time before the entire flap is severed. Further, the sheath flap is
closed using a simple poke through button and this flap has come open
several times in the field. Twice the knife has fallen out and been
left behind while moving through dense brush. The sheath flap only
seems to open if I brush my hip by a rough material in an up to down
motion or I twist my hip through a snag. It requires a significant
amount of force to cause it to happen though.
The #100 is best suited as a general-purpose outdoor knife by those who
like a straight-edged blade and need something bigger than a Swiss army
knife, but smaller than a machete.