Review: Bare Bones Buffalo Skinner

The D2 tool steel blade of Bob Dozier’s Bare Bones Buffalo Skinner boasts a deep belly and a high grind designed for optimum cutting performance.
The D2 tool steel blade of Bob Dozier’s Bare Bones Buffalo Skinner boasts a deep belly and a high grind designed for optimum cutting performance.

Bob Dozier’s Bare Bones Buffalo Skinner is sharp—and comfy, too!

There’s nothing quite like holding a great-feeling knife that makes you want to cut something. Bob Dozier has been making custom knives to be used for over half a century and understands the importance of two major things: comfortable handles and sharp blades. They still have to cut and perform to be carried daily.

Let’s start cutting with the Bare Bones Buffalo Skinner.

Using a dead-blow hammer, the author batonned the skinner into and through thin kindling. The knife proved a solid splitter. No damage occurred to the edge.
Using a dead-blow hammer, the author batonned the skinner into and through thin kindling. The knife proved a solid splitter. No damage occurred to the edge.

The quickest check to see if the knife has a sharp edge is to slice paper. You probably know by now that I use 20-pound bond copy paper for the job. The Bare Bones aggressively sliced into the paper using the knife’s own weight. The skinner is very controllable in use. The high hollow grind slid through the paper.

Moving on to single-walled cardboard for slicing, the aggressiveness continued. You could hear every cut made—the Bare Bones is a very loud slicer. I didn’t have any hang-ups during the test, just full, noisy cuts. The handle shape made controlling the cuts easy.

The knife performed aggressively in slicing single-walled cardboard. The handle shape made controlling cuts easy.
The knife performed aggressively in slicing single-walled cardboard. The handle shape made controlling cuts easy.

Next up: 8-ounce leather. This is where the Bare Bones was sweet. It zipped through the leather like it was cutting the 20-pound bond paper—just louder. It was super aggressive in slicing the medium, with hardly any resistance. I would love trying the Bare Bones on field dressing whitetail deer. Maybe come fall …

OLD-SCHOOL KINDLE

On to harder material. It was February, and I like to keep a supply of kindling and fire sticks to light a blaze faster. The Bare Bones made tight curlicues in the old pine. The wide blade and high grind worked out great for curling the wood. The handle shape excelled at controlling depth of cut. The single guard protected my fingers from getting splinters. Dozier’s knife embodies top-notch work.

The Bare Bones crunched to 225 cuts. The author stopped at 225, as he didn’t want to risk slicing a finger.
The Bare Bones crunched to 225 cuts. The author stopped at 225, as he didn’t want to risk slicing a finger.

It was time to make some thin kindling. Using a dead-blow hammer, I batonned the skinner into and through the wood. The knife’s solid overall construction prevented vibrations to my hand. The skinner proved a solid splitter. No damage occurred to the edge.

I had to warm up my fingers for the rope cutting. With no heat in my garage and the temperature at 17 degrees, I separated the test into 25 cuts per warm up. The Bare Bones crunched to 225 cuts. As I used the push method, it kept cutting. I stopped at 225, as I didn’t want to risk slicing a finger.

CHANGES

I might add some grooves to enhance grip.

OVERALL

This knife is a beast in the cutting arena. The comfortable handle made control easy. This knife is excellently made and perfect for the outdoors or hunting.

Bare bones Buffalo Skinner
Maker: Bob Dozier
Cutting edge length: 3.25”
Blade material: D2 tool steel
Blade grind: High hollow
Blade thickness (at the thickest): .25″
Scales: Brown canvas Micarta®
Guard: 416 stainless steel
Extras: Tapered tang; thong
Weight: 8 ozs. (123/8 ozs. w/sheath)
Overall length: 8”
Sheath: 8-ounce leather, pouch style
Maker’s list price: $477

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