Mini Review: Colorado Cutlery Hunter


Feb 17, 1999
The Concept
If I mentioned a 3/4 sized CS Master Hunter with full profile tang and micarta slab handles in a leather pouch sheath for under $50US retail, would you be interested? ...... I thought so.

I ordered this one on a whim from Tim at Nor'east Knives,
(email =

The Colorado Cutlery Hunter model is a fairly well done small drop point skinner or hunter made of flat ground 1/8" stock 1095 high carbon steel, featuring a full profile double riveted tang with black linen Micarta scales, a lined lanyard hole, and a simple but effective black, sewn and riveted leather pouch sheath. Street price is under $40 as delivered.

This knife has a lot of similarities to the blade shape and concept of the CS Master Hunter in Carbon V. It also has some important differences. For instance the sheath is a simple leather pouch rather than the ridiculous duo strapped CS options in leather and cordura. (I hate extraneous straps.) Another important difference is the micarta handles as compared to the comfortable but possibly not as durable Kraton(tm) handles on the CS Master Hunter.

To be honest, my Colorado Cutlery Hunter came with edges so sharp on the Micarta handles that I had to round them before using the knife. The blade wasn't particularly sharp, but the handles certainly made up for that.

Fortunately, linen Micarta is one of the easiest materials for the user to modify. I rounded all handle contours with a simple adz hone followed by buffing with a ScotchBrite(tm) pad and had a very *custom* looking handle in less than 15 minutes start to finish. Also, 1095 sharpens quite readily, so putting a good edge on the blade was quite easy.

This knife also reminds me of a mini Badger.

OAL= 7 3/8"
OAL knife + sheath= 8 1/4"
Blade= 3 1/4"
Shape= Drop point hunter
Scales=black linen Micarta
Spine Thickness= 1/8"
Sheath=pouch style black leather w/belt loop for 2 1/4" belt
Wt of knife= 4.5oz
Wt of knife + sheath=~6oz.

After washing off the Micarta dust, I used the blade initially to chop up some onions, garlic and jalepenos for a veggie pizza. Like all polished 1095 the blade discolored to a very nice motley pattern quite quickly. Just for jollies I left it sitting on the cutting board without washing overnight. In the morning the colors had set in good, and the knife needed a quick touch up on the ceramic 'steel'. No problemo.

After sharpening and honing the blade to my specs I proceeded to test it on some yard long sections of corrogated cardboard. My testing method was simple. Rather than stop at the first sign of edge dragging, I proceeded until I felt like the blade simply wasn't performing the task at hand. To wit, at what point would I have stopped to "touch up" the edge if my role was to simply cut the cardboard and not just test the edge. Also, rather than trying to attempt to solely use the first 1/2" of the blade after the handle, I used the whole of the blade edge as necessary since that's exactly what I'd do in the field.

The Colorado Cutlery Hunter made it through 60 feet of corrogated cardboard before I felt that in reality I'd have stopped and given it a few licks of steel or ceramic. The Carbon V(tm) CS Master Hunter, which should have considerably outperformed the diminuative CO Hunter due to having longer edge surface actually only made it through 45 feet of cardboard. Thinking that perhaps this was due to the thicker stock thickness of the CS Master Hunter, I tested another favorite high carbon deer skinner: the 1095 Russell Harrington Green River Butcher Belt knife. The RHGR made it through a 72 feet of cardboard before the thin edge was so dulled that it dragged considerably.

This reaffirms my thoughts that for applications where the spine of the blade must pass through the work medium that thinner is better, but unfortunately doesn't tell me much else.

Executive Summary: I believe that that Colorado Cutlery Hunter is a most capable tool for those wanting a semi-finished production carbon steel hunter at "kit" prices. Frankly, I'm impressed that one can get a full tang Micarta handled anything with sheath in this price range.

One other weird note: The box gives absolutely no clue how to get in touch with the mfr. No address, no email, no www. no nuthin. Too bad, since I like this one enough to want to talk to him about making some other knives. ;->



I almost bought one of those too, but I found a local maker that does differentially tempered 5160 flat ground.

So don't keep us in suspense. Tell us about your differentially treated 5160 mini hunter. That seems like an odd choice for a skinner. Do you like it? Does it hold an edge well? I've only seen that particular steel used on bigger choppers and swords and such. Sounds interesting.