Great Hunting Knives We Love: Kommer’s Alaskan Skinner

It’s tough being a knife junkie with so many of the best hunting knives available for deer hunting and meat processing equipment, not to mention kitchen knives, folders and others.

By Alan Clemons, Southern Managing Editor

The possibilities are limitless: blade length and design, of course, but also handle length, material, add-ons such as a cap with a lanyard or grooves for fingers. It’s one of the great things about the whole custom (and even mass-production) market. You can get what you believe is the best hunting knife, best skinning knife, best kitchen knife or best “whatever” knife for your purposes.


The Alaskan Skinner by Timberline offers some great features for hunting, skinning and more!

Actually, you can get more than one! Sitting on my work desk are 16 knives. One is a rusted metal “Kamp King” three-blade folder my wife’s late grandfather used decades ago. Another is a good-sized two-blade folder with a whitetail deer design in the handle that my father gave me when I was a teenager. My brother gave me a nice trapper’s knife as a wedding gift when I was one of his groomsmen. Two are custom blades with leather sheaths designed by Clarence Smitherman of Alabama, and I have two antler-and-stone knapped blades by knapper and former Alabama game warden Troy Beatty.

The knapped stone-bone flint knives — and they’re knives, trust me — are just as significant to me as the others. They’re all cool. They all also are tools, to be used if I desire and to do things that man has used knives for since the days when cavemen figured out a sharp edge of a rock had multiple purposes.

One of our D&DH sister publications, Blade magazine, focuses on knives and the blog below by Editor Steve Shackleford is about the Alaskan Skinner from Timberline. It’s a super knife that you’ll be impressed with when you’re hunting big bucks or need a good knife for other duties.


Here’s Shackleford’s report, and be sure to visit Blade:

A hunting knife is great—and when you use a hunting knife designed by an Alaskan hunting guide who also happens to be a knifemaker, that’s even better.

The Alaskan Skinner from Timberline is a hunting knife designed by knifemaker Russ Kommer, who also is a long-time Alaskan hunting guide. Kommer spent most of his youth in the Minnesota north woods hunting, trapping and fishing. Idaho is where he got his start as a big-game guide in the Selway-Bitterroot Mountains. He took his passion for hunting to Alaska in 1984—which is where he also discovered his love of knives, particularly the hunting knife design, after dressing big game. He learned to design the most functional and comfortable hunting knife he could and started making versions of them in 1997.

Kommer’s custom knives include the hunting knife/skinner, camp knives, folders, “unique” fillet knives, fighters, boot knives, bowies, hatchets and tactical knives. In addition to Timberline, Kommer also has designed knives for CRKT, including the Signature line of hunting knife, and the Escalade and Extreme Mountain hunting knife models for Browning

The Alaskan Skinner features what is called an upswept blade with a hollow grind—great for high-performance field dressing, skinning and other chores associated with big game. Besides that, it will also help you prepare your meals in camp and do the other cutting chores that need doing outdoors.

The blade steel is a 440 stainless that fights corrosion and is relatively easy to sharpen compared to steels such as CPM S30V and others. The handle is a soft Zytel rubber with a palm swell to fill your hand, and finger grooves and a bird’s beak pommel to lock your hand in for any number of cutting tasks, from light slicing to heavy-duty cutting. Overall length: 9.625 inches. A black ballistic nylon sheath with belt loop is both handsome, durable and secure. Weight (including the sheath): 13.5 ounces.

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