Bob Dozier’s Skinner Review: A Hammering Humpback

Bob Dozier’s Skinner Review: A Hammering Humpback
The Dozier Classic Nessmuk features Bob Dozier’s modification of the George W. Sears, aka Nessmuk, skinner blade in CTS 40CP stainless steel and a creamy smooth butterscotch Micarta® handle. (BLADE® file image)

Bob Dozier’s skinner in CTS 40CP is the patient.

Once in a blue moon I get lucky. This time I get to cut with a knife by Bob Dozier, winner of the BLADE Magazine 2023 Industry Achievement Award and one of the legends of the custom knife industry.

I’ve known Bob since my first BLADE Show in 1992. He’s made his mark in the knife world time and time again, always willing to help a new knifemaker out with great advice. D2 is Bob’s favorite steel, so to test one of his knives made from a different steel type makes my day. I know of the extensive testing that Bob does on the steels he uses, so I was excited to see how well his humpback skinner in CTS 40CP performs.

Dozier Skinner Light Cutting Tests

Dozier’s knife cutting leather
The knife zipped through the wide leather quite forcefully.

I checked the edge first with a slice of 20-pound bond paper. The “humpy” sailed through the slicing very fast with push cuts. The handle is extremely comfortable and makes controlling each slice easy. The knife is handle-heavy, so I felt no resistance on each slice.

On deck: double-walled cardboard. The CTS 40CP was very aggressive in cutting the material. You could hear the zipping sound on each cut. I really like the overall grip shape for cutting control; it provides good, positive handling.

To check the knife for what I call the “crunch effect,” leather skiving was next. The humpy was very aggressive slicing leather, crunching loudly on every cut. The high hollow grind made for easy thickness control on each slice. Just for kicks I grabbed some wider leather to cut. The knife zipped through the leather quite forcefully. I barely managed to keep my fingers out of the way of the sharp edge.

Dozier Skinner Heavy Cutting Tests

Batoning the Bob Dozier’s skinner
During the baton through firewood, the handle absorbed the shock and didn’t transfer it to the author’s hand. The humpback design provided a high spot to baton the blade. There was no damage to the handle or the edge.

It was time to whittle a firestick. The high hollow grind made controlling the depth of each cut simple. The blade produced good curlicues, both fine and thick. Again, the comfortable handle provided positive blade control.

I just had to smack the humpy through firewood. The handle absorbed the shock and didn’t transfer it to my hand. The humpback design worked out as it provided a high spot to baton as the blade bit into the wood. There was no damage to the handle or the edge.

It was time for my favorite all-around test medium: sisal rope. The humpy smoked through 200 crunching cuts before my hand started to tire. I experienced no hot spots from the handle. It was very comfortable. The blade just kept on crunching. Very nicely done, Dozier Knives!

Normally when I have a knife that cuts like a razor blade, the steel can be brittle along the fine edge. Thirty edge whacks on a whitetail deer horn would let me know if the heat treatment was on point. There was no damage whatsoever. I even returned to slicing 20-pound bond paper to see if the edge would hang up. Nope, nothing but smooth slices.

Overall Take On The Skinner

This is a very nice knife in form and function. It has an extremely comfortable handle design with a stainless blade that keeps on cutting. Excellent job, Dozier Knives. I might make the blade a tad thicker to even out the balance of the humpy.

Dozier Classic Nessmuk/ Dozier Knives Specs
Blade Length: 37/8”
Blade Steel: CTS 40CP stainless
Blade Grind: Full hollow
Blade Style: Modified humpback skinner
Blade Thickness: .156” @ thickest
Blade Finish: Satin
Guard: Stainless steel
Handle: Butterscotch Micarta® w/ivory Micarta®, brass, red and melamine spacers
Overall Length: 8.5”
Sheath: Custom-fit and molded-leather Snap-Lock belt/pouch model all handsewn by Bob Dozier; features custom-molded Kydex liner inside
Maker’s Price: $725

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