A good, quality, knife is an essential component in the gear collection of any hunter, fisherman, hiker, trapper and just about any other outdoorsman you can think of. A good knife can be used for many things and can even be a piece of lifesaving gear in an emergency. It’s safe to say that most outdoorsman know the value of a good knife and many already have their own “old faithful” that never leaves their belt or their pack when they venture outdoors.
With that in mind I was pretty excited when I came across the Head Hunter Specialties website. The folks at Head Hunter Specialties are currently offering 8 different models of knife, many of which you can have custom built exactly the way you want. That customization includes different woods for the handles, different handle fasteners, lanyards, sheath’s and even custom engraving. After taking a look at some of the knives on their site I knew I had to try to get my hands on one.
After a few conversations they decided to build me a Drop Point Skinner 2.0 to review. I checked out some pictures of the Drop Point on their website and could tell it was a great looking knife but when it showed up at my home I was really impressed with the finished product. It is a beautiful knife that anyone would be proud to carry and show off.
The model I received has a Dymondwood handle in the “spring camo” pattern with black brass rivets for the handle fasteners. The stainless steel blade is 2.25 inches long and the overall length of the knife is 6 inches. The blade does have a slight belly in it which is the classic design of a skinning knife but this is a versatile knife that would be well suited for field dressing, skinning or just about anything else a day in the field could throw at it.
As we go through the four key areas of this product review (Quality, Reliability, Value and Price and Referability) I will assign a score for each section. The scores will be between 1 and 5 with a score of 5 being the best possible score.
Quality: As mentioned earlier, knives are a tool that outdoorsman rely on heavily and when purchasing a knife you are looking for a something that is going to be with you a long time. Quality is something that people definitely want and expect in a good knife. Head Hunter Specialties understands that and provides a product that is built to handle the demands of life in the field.
Each and every component of this knife is built from quality materials that are specifically designed to be durable and long lasting. The blade is stainless steel and as such is easy to sharpen, will hold a very sharp edge and will resist corrosion to stay looking, and functioning, great for a long time. The handle is made of Dymondwood which is formed by stacking layers of hardwoods together and is known for its strength and durability as well as its ability to resist weather. Just to be sure the wood resists moisture Headhunter also soaks the handle in a protectant to ensure it will last.
The final assembled product is a beautiful knife that is just as functional is it is aesthetically pleasing. The first time I grabbed the knife I immediately liked the way the shape of the handle settles the knife into your hand. With the short size of the handle you only get two or maybe 3 fingers on the handle but the shape contours to your fingers allowing you to easily and comfortably hold the knife. Having a secure and steady hold of the knife will allow you to handle the knife much more accurately as well as be much safer with the knife.
In terms of overall quality, after looking at the components as well as the final assembled product it is pretty clear to me that the Drop Point Skinner 2.0 is a quality piece. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest score possible) I would give the knife a solid 4.5 score.
Reliability: Obviously reliability is a category that is a bit tough to judge during a relatively short product review. That is especially true with something like a knife that people buy with the expectation that it will last for many years to come. I think the easiest way to look at reliability in this instance is to look at the components and design of the knife and try to assess how it will hold up over time.
As I mentioned above, the knife is assembled using all quality components and since this knife doesn’t fold there are no moving parts that could possibly fail over time. The Drop Point appears to be a solidly built knife and I don’t really see much that could possibly go wrong or have a negative impact on the knife’s reliability.
On the off chance that you do run into an issue with your knife, Head Hunter Specialties does offer free replacement in the first year and at cost replacement for up to three years for failures occurring during normal use.
With reliability being so closely tied to quality in this instance I am confident in giving another score of 4.5 score for this category.
Value and Price: The Drop Point Skinner retails for $50.00 on the Head Hunter Specialties website but the price could go up from there depending on what, if any, customizations you add in to your knife. A quick glance through a few of the big box store websites will show you that the 50 dollar price point puts you right in the mix in regards to most of the hunting knives available. As with anything there are always your high and low outliers but the majority of the knives with similar characteristics to the Drop Point are in the same price range with several being more expensive. When you also consider the fact that you can custom order your Drop Point to your preferences it is easy to see the value that exists.
When looking at the overall value and price for this knife I would rate it at a 4.0 but could probably bump that score up a bit without feeling bad about it. I went with 4.0 simply because there are “similar” knives available for less, especially if you add in some additional customizations. I’ve never personally handled those knives but I would bet that if you were to compare them to the Drop Point you would quickly see why the Drop Point costs a bit more. I certainly don’t think that the price for the Drop Point is too high but there are “similar” knives available for less.
Referability: To me this category has as much to do with the company as it does with the product that they produce. Head Hunter Specialties is a small company based in west Michigan and when you call or e-mail them you will get an actual person on the other end of the line and you will receive real customer service. As you may have guessed from this product review I would definitely recommend the Drop Point (or any of Head Hunters Specialties other knives) to any of my friends or family that were looking for a good hunting knife. Not only will you get yourself a great hunting knife but you will also receive great customer service along with it.
When it comes to making a purchase you want to get a quality product at a good price and when you are able to find that combo you definitely take note and let others know as well. That is exactly what you will get from Head Hunter Specialties and because of that I can very confidently give them a 5.0 score in terms of referability.
Overall: If you add up the scores from the individual categories above the overall score for the Drop Point Skinner is 18 out of a possible 20 points. A score that high clearly shows that the Drop Point Skinner 2.0 is a quality knife that would be a great addition to anybody’s collection. It is a great all purpose knife that will spend years handling just about anything you can throw at it and look good while doing it.
To see more information on the Drop Point Skinner 2.0 (as well as any of the other knives that Head Hunter Specialties offers) head over to http://www.headhunterspecialties.com/ and take a look. You won’t be disappointed.