Knives with gut hooks are useless. A typical well-sharpened one will do better –How many times have you heard that sentence?
Probably you’ve heard that from your friends or family members. Whenever you mention that you have a gut hook knife, someone will say something along the lines of “I used to have one, but I threw it away.”
Why do they think it’s useless? Maybe because they have been using it wrong. Or perhaps, they have been using it right, but they didn’t make the most out of it.
If you’re reading this, then you’re lucky! Now, you’ll know that this weird-shaped knife lying in your kitchen drawer is more than a knife. You can use it in many ways to save time and energy.
Is this an exaggeration? Nope.
The primary purpose of a gut hook is to help you in field dressing. The knife’s hook blade can slice effortlessly through the belly and undercarriage with ease, especially if you’re dealing with an animal with a large body like a deer.
That’s why you’ll find most hunters (if not all of them) have a fixed blade gut hook knife. However, it can do much more than that.
In this article, we will go over the best alternative uses of a gut hook. We will also teach you how to get the most benefits from it.
The Alternative Uses for a gut hook knife:
#1 Cutting carpets and plastic sheets
If you have a guthook knife in your kitchen drawer, you don’t need to think about buying a utility/ carpet knife.
This may sound ridiculous to some people. But, if you can’t find a fair use for your folding gut hook knife, you should consider using it as a utility knife.
Why can a gut hook perform better than utility knives?
For example, if you want to rip a plastic sheet. Scissors or utility knives can give you shaky, uneven cuts. Yet, using a gut hook blade can provide you with a flawless, even cut.
Also read , How to Hone Your Knife?
#2 Peeling fruits
Did you know that the gut hook makes peeling fruits so effortless?
We know you have always dreamed of peeling an orange without making a mess. The gut hook knife blade can help you to peel the skin from the top of an orange. Then, you can easily strip off the peel: no orange juice oozing and no mess.
You can use the gut hook folding knife on basically any other peelable fruit to avoid the mess.
#3 Lifting hot grates off the fire
This is a good life hack.
The gut hook solved a problem that you have been concerned about. Every time you have a BBQ party, you keep wondering, “How should I lift the hot grates?”.
Here’s the answer. You can use the hook to lift the burning grates. You don’t have to risk using your hand or using any other gadget. You can rely on the gut hook knife in your kitchen.
#4 Hooking meat with the gut hook to move around the grill
Like we mentioned in number 3, you should bring your gut hook knife to your BBQ party. But now we have a more convenient reason.
What do you use on that sizzling piece of steak to turn them around on the grill? No matter what kind of utensil you’re using, a gut hook knife can do better.
With the hook at the tip, you can hook the piece of meat with ease. Then you can move it around, flip it to the other side or do whatever.
Just clean the knife first before using it on the food, and you’ll be good to go.
Read more , How to shuck oysters without an oyster knife?
#5 Cutting horse collar
If you’re asking, “Why would I use a knife with a gut hook to cut off a horse’s collar” then let me explain. If you have a barn or live on a farm, you’ll regret not knowing this.
Suppose you got a horse whose collar is heavy and tightly fastened. You can’t cut off that collar with any tool. You’d probably think that the best tool to use is either a sharp knife or scissors. But no, you can’t use these.
Why not? Because the horse would be scared and will move too much. You may also end up hurting the horse, especially if you’re using a knife.
So, what should you do when your horse’s collar is very tight? Don’t hesitate to use your gut hook knife.
Why is a gut hook knife your horse’s savior? The gut knife will hook the collar then you’ll be able to split it into two halves. The horse will not move, and it will not get hurt.
#6 Pulling nails out of a board
Is that even possible? – surprisingly, yes!
You can use the pocket knife hook to pry out the nails out of a board. You don’t have to search for a hammer or buy a nail puller.
If you have a nail protruding from a board, use the hook to capture it, then pull it out. Easy, right?
#7 Cutting fishing line/thread
If you’re an avid fisher, you surely know how tough fishing line/threads are.
They take some time to be cut with scissors. If you’re using a typically fixed blade hunting knife, or a fillet knife. So you have to make sure that the blade is razor-sharp.
Gut hooks make cutting stern fishing lines an easy game. You’ll not need scissors or any other tool.
#8 Lifting wire-handled pots by a gut hook knife
Some people claim that the only purpose of gut hook knives is to lift wire-handled pots. Lift them either from an outdoor grill or open fire.
Yeah, it may sound weird at first. Yet, if you tried to lift a wire-handled pot from open fire using any other tool, you’d take some time to do it without burning your fingers.
On the other hand, if you tried to do the same thing with a gut hook knife, you’d lift the pot with ease in mere seconds.
Read more , How to Care for Your Paring Knife?
#9 Cutting linen/clothes open or into strips
You may be wondering, “Why should I use a gut hook knife to cut or strip clothes?”. You have to read this because you’re missing out on a great life hack.
Cutting clothes/linen with scissors is what everyone does. Yet, sometimes you can’t get even strips. That’s why using a gut hook can be more manageable.
All you have to do is hooking a part of the cloth. Then, you draw the knife in whatever direction. The result is even, effortless strips.
Surprisingly, it’s fun to cut linen with a gut hook. You have to try it!
#10 Stripping wire
This hack is for electricians who struggle with stripping wires.
Of course, you have never thought of stripping wire with a gut hook. So, we had to include this odd use here.
Many electricians know how annoying it is to strip wires. Instead of buying any particular gadget, get your hook knife and strip them effortlessly.
You have to position the insulating part of the wire in the hook. When you get a good grip of that material, slice it down slowly to make sure you don’t injure yourself.
Only professionals do the process of stripping wires. So, when you do it, do it with great care. In fact, using a gut hook will lower the risk of getting injured.
#11 Cutting seatbelts
You don’t have to buy seatbelts cutting devices if you have a gut hook knife.
Seatbelt cutting devices have a round handle, and the edge’s shape looks like a gut hook. The only difference is that most seatbelt cutting tools have some plastic cover on the edge. However, a gut hook knife can perform fine as well.
Check also,Best Bread Knife
#12 Opening packages
Did you know that some people only use gut hook knives to open packages?
So, what’s the point of having a utility knife then?
Many people praised gut hook knives as they make opening packages an easy task. Even more comfortable and more amusing than utility knives.
#13 Opening bottles.
Last but not least, the most exciting use for a gut hook knife.
It’s quite common for those who have a gut hook knife to use it to open glass bottles. You place the lid’s tip in the hook, then pull it up just as you use bottle openers.
How to Sharpen a Gut Hook?
Here are the most effective two methods to hone a gut hook.
- Sharpening rod
How to Hone with A Sharpening Rod?
You will need a thin sharpening rod for this process, the reason you can’t use regular sharpening rods, is that they are extremely wide, so it will be extremely challenging for you to use them.
You will need a sharpening rod that your hook can wrap around, which makes a tapered rod such a fantastic idea. This means that you can sharpen your hook no matter how broad or narrow it is.
The tapered rods are also helpful because they are simple to carry, because who would like to bring big, heavy sharpeners with him while tenting?! A small tapered rod will fit perfectly in your pocket.
Before starting the sharpening process, you need first to determine if you have a single or double-beveled gut hook, so the angle should be examined with ultra care.
It is simple to achieve the ideal angle. All you have to do is place your sharpening rod on the angle and adjust it until the rod is even across the entire bevel.
There are two methods for sharpening. You can either push or drag the rod down from above. Whatever one you choose, keep in mind that you have to push or pull up on the edge, and not push or pull against it, because that might get both your rod and blade destroyed as a result of this.
Additionally, ensure that you sharpen the entire curve of your hook because many people do only sharpen the center, which is not at all the right thing to do.
The burr is your sign to stop, feel for a burr to know when you can stop. A burr is a sharp edge, and when you notice it, this means it is time for you to flip your knife over and start working on the other side.
When the other side is also finished, don’t forget to finish with stropping. Rub your hook against a leather strop, and if you don’t have one, your belt will do the job perfectly. This step will not only raise the burr but will also polish your knife.
After stropping, your gut hook will be razor sharp!
How to Hone with a Belt Sander?
Belt sanders are particularly useful machines, and you don’t need to be a woodworker to use them! In fact, there are many other ways out there to use it. And one of them is to sharpen your gut hook.
You might be wondering how can hooks be sharpened using belt sanders with their belts straight. Here is the trick! these belts can be bent.
Just make sure, you do not overstretch the belt or make it too loose when putting it on, you only need it loose enough to adjust to the state of the hook, otherwise, the belt might drift off while using the machine, so be careful.
Once you have achieved the tightness you want, it is time to hone. Hold your knife against the belt until it conforms to the shape of the angle. Then, using a moderate speed, sand with your belt sander.
This will repeatedly remove metal and sharpen your edge, but you need to make sure that you are sharpening away from the edge, not towards it. You also need to keep in mind that this equipment consumes steel so quickly, so don’t take more than just a few seconds to sharpen.
When you are done, feel the burr as you always do. Then, flip your knife over and proceed to the other side. if your knife has a single bevel, then you will be ready to go! Just don’t forget to strop for the final touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
1- Do you find that gut hooks helpful?
Gut hook knives are handy if your job includes skinning animals. However, some hunters don’t find it convenient since they can gut animals with a typical sharp fixed blade knife.
It would be better to use a gut hook, as it will save your time and effort. Finding it helpful or not depends on your hunting style.
However, you can do much more with a gut hook rather than just skinning and gutting. As we have mentioned above, you can utilize this particular knife in many ways and make it more useful.
2- How to maintain a gut hook knife?
If you want a gut hook knife that would last forever, cleaning and sharpening it with care is the key.
Cleaning the blade with a cloth soaked in soapy water then drying it with a lint-free cloth can preserve the knife for a long time.
Yet, the most crucial tip for gut hook knives’ maintenance comes after drying. It would be best if you lubricate the blades with knife oil. That prevents the steel of the blades from rusting.
3- How to clean a gut hook?
One of the most common is to use an old toothbrush. But, in case you have a big gut hook knife, you can try using a stiff-bristled brush.
An easier way to clean your gut hook knife effortlessly is by scrubbing it with water and baking soda. You have to be careful while washing as not to hurt your hands. Then, remove the dirt with a soft piece of cloth.
If any dirt remains on the blade, mix equal amounts of salt and vinegar in a container. Use that solution to wash the gut hook, then dry it with any cloth.
4- How to sharpen a gut hook knife?
The most common way to sharpen a gut hook knife is by using a diamond taper sharpener or diamond pocket sharpener.
Here’s how people sharpen their gut hook with a tapered diamond rod.
Using a diamond taper sharpener is the most efficient way to sharpen a gut hook. Yet, others recommended other tools to do the same job. For example, you can use a chainsaw file, a round ceramic sharpening rod, a rat file, and a sharpening rod.
Many people prefer using a typical knife to dress an animal and open its body cavity. Yet, it would be better to use a gut hook. Not only it makes field dressing an easy game, but it also makes hunting effortless.
But in case you’re not a hunter, we have given you 13 alternative uses for a gut hook knife.
Got another use for it? Leave us a comment and tell us how you use a gut hook knife.