Saturday, September 18, 2010


These knives are centuries old and literally the survival of the people of Alaska for centuries was dependant upon these knives to prepare food, dress the prize of the hunt (i.e. dinner), clean fish and even chop baitfish when fishing. And a multitude of other chores both around the house and in the field.

Depending on the design you get, it's also a heckuva defensive weapon. Note the points on both ends of the Ulu pictured at the top. Puncturing and ripping and attacker. Note the large circular blade. It's the analog version of using a circular saw blade as a weapon, at least cinematically. It might not be the best knife for self defense, but it's effective enough that some states have outlawed it calling it a "push dagger", because the blade is parallel to the handle.

I got mine from my dear Mrs. El Fisho on one of her many trips to Alaska and The Yukon Territory over the past 2 decades. Mine came from a shop in Juneau, made by a fellow named Randy Smith. I believe it is the model picture above at top, as made by Ulu Maker,

As their info page says, they bought the company from Randy Smith back in 1998, so I guess she bought it before or around that time. The second photo above shows the kind of handle and desk rest I have for my Ulu. The desk rest is made from the same kind of antler as the handle, and it appears to be Caribou bone handle and rest.

The blade is REALLY sharp and I have used it several times on fishing trips cutting frozen mullet. It really puts the pressure directly on the cutting portion because your hand is right above it, instead of pushing from the back of the blade as with a traditional knife.

I'd like to have some of these from the kitchen. Of course, we don't use our fishing/huntings knives in the kitchen, UNLESS preparing raw wild game or fish. That's a rule going back to my grandmother's house. It's just not going to be sanitary for anything else.

So get one with a different handle for chopping onions and other foods and veggies or for cutting portions of meat. It's a great kitchen knife with some tremendous power for cutting through bone and tough meat or skin.

And I think when carried in a belt Ulu holster, the Ulu is a formitable weapon. If only the back side opposite the blade at each tip had a serrated surface for about an inch or two, then it would be a really good defense knife and far more formitable.
Many years ago, I got to do a substitute gig on drums in one of my favorite Houston bands playing around town back then, THE SLASHERS. They called themselves that not because they were sociopaths with knives, but because they SLASHED the songs they played and put their mark on them, so to speak.
In any event, their three regular drummers were far better players than I, but I did get to do a gig with them at the Orange Show in Houston back in the late 80's. John Zeigler on smoking guitar and David Foster on bass could both totally play their axes and were highly skilled technical players as well as having soul. They played stuff like Joe Satriani, Tower of Power, Jeff Beck and tons of highly complex jazz rock.
At the end of the gig, I was like WHEW! I made it!.
And for some reason, this knife has always been called THE SLASHER by my friends and I. Because it looks like it could do some slashing in a defensive situation if need be. Plenty of legend abounds about wolf and bear attacks being beaten off by Eskimos using only an Ulu. Yes, that's studly and yes, I could see how this knife could open up some large areas of flesh on a bear or wolf.
Although I'd rather have a rather large caliber lever action and a .44 magnum revover or a .44 Automag on my hip than an Ulu with bears attacking. But maybe that's just me.


  1. I have one of these knifes, I have it displayed on a shelf in my bedroom.

  2. I forgot to mention that up yonder in Alaska and thereabouts they call this a "woman's knife". Must be a helluva woman. It's a serious piece of cutlery.

  3. It looks like a cheese knife. A lot of skinning knives have been banned they are considered push daggers. I can't see any to ban ownership of any knife.