TINY BUT TOUGH
Can this little knife be a proper working tool? The editor asks
The editor proves that a small, but robust knife can be a proper working tool
Many years ago, I had a shooting friend who had a pest control business that tried to keep the rabbit numbers down on many farms and commercial areas, most notably golf courses. Back then, rabbits in our part of England were in epic numbers and we’d often shoot more than 100 per night from the windows of his 4x4. Of course, this also meant gutting 100-plus rabbits at four o’clock in the morning, which wasn’t my favourite part, but as he sold every one at farmers’ markets, gutting and cooling the bodies was a very important job. In all the time I knew him, and through all the thousands of rabbits we processed, he always used just one knife, a Gerber Ultralight LST. I went through dozens of blades looking for a better tool for this tricky and tiring job, but Andy was always faithful to the little Gerber.
I once asked him why he used such a small knife when he had hands like bunches of bananas and the answer was, it was so small and light that he left it in his pocket with his change wherever he went. In other words, he couldn’t forget it, unlike almost every other thing we needed. It also locked, so it couldn’t fold up on his fingers. He was what I call a ‘ big old farm boy’ and to be blunt, he could have broken a hammer, yet the Ultralight survived and I remember being so impressed that it had beaten him for all those years.
THE RIGHT STUFF
The handle is moulded from glass-filled nylon that seems as tough as nails, and the 2” long, drop-point blade is made from the tried and trusted 420HC stainless steel. This has been an industry standard for decades because it’s tough, not difficult to sharpen, yet holds a keen edge. Those of you who have gutted lots of fur bearers will know that your finely honed edge is quickly blunted by fur, and yet Andy’s Ultralight would split the belly of 50-plus rabbits a night with no problem.
It must be remembered that any folding blade that locks, no matter the length, cannot be carried in public today without reasonable cause, so don’t follow Andy’s example and you’ll stay on the right side of the law.
The Gerber Ultralight LST might not be the most visually impressive or exciting knife that I’ve ever reviewed, but I’d love to own one. Despite its diminutive proportions, it’s a proper working tool that will always be on hand and sharp enough to get the work done, as Andy proved to me time and again.
“Andy’s Ultralight would split the belly of 50 rabbits a night with no problem”
This might be a small knife but it’s a proper working tool