Smith & Wesson Skinner: Classic Knife Review

smith & wesson skinner knife

Designed for the person looking for the ideal field knife, the Smith & Wesson Skinner lives up to that goal.

Back in the winter of 1981 I had just finished my most successful trapping season yet and with that success came the task of skinning a ton of fur. My tool of choice that season was my very own Smith & Wesson Skinner.

Smith & Wesson Skinner Reviewed

The Smith & Wesson Skinner comes with a short 3.5″ drop point blade. This length works great for most skinning tasks but may be a bit short for working a deer. I tend to prefer another inch to inch and a half when field dressing my deer.

The tang is a bit thin so it is a potential weak point. This comes into play when skinning a tough pelvis.

This skinning knife has a thick blade back which has it’s pros and cons. It’s great for most skinning situations but can be a bit heavy if anus reaming skinning.

As long as that is not your preferred skinning method this knife offers superb performance.

Both the handle and blade offer a slight curve making it easy to use up and down. On the downside, the handle has a smooth handle that can be a little slippery when used for gutting. The quillon is long and can get hung up on the rib cage and the finger grooves in the choil catches in the gut.

Reverse edge up blade work is smooth thanks to the shallow finger groove on the handle. It provides a reference for blade positioning when cutting high up in the chest cavity.


The Smith & Wesson Skinner still tackles a hide or two for me to this day. It is a solid performing knife and I particularly like the blade shape. The round edge works wonderfully and is one of the better classic skinning knives I’ve ever used.

For more knife tips check out these articles

Written by Fred

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