Thursday, February 3, 2011


They call it the Marine Utility Knife, designed by this smart fellow named Tom Veff. It's a great knife, and a cheap knife, and I'm really liking mine. In fact, I plan to get some more.

I came across this knife on ebay, and got it for about $7. The shop I got it from found a cordura sheath to fit it (it comes with a plastic blade protector not a sheath). The suggested MRSP is $14.95, so even at full price it's cheap. The sheath is an aftermarket generic cordura belt sheath for a large or 5"-6" blade. It actually fits the curvy shaped MUK quite well.

It comes in handy for all sorts of chores related to fishing, but what I really intended it for when I got it was when I was using it to cut live and dead bait when surf fishing. Particularly, frozen mullet. It is stout enough of a knife to saw through frozen mullet quite deftly and quickly. I've also used it on non-frozen bait fish and it works even better.

I'll say this about the unique serrated "VEFF" edge on this knife: it rocks, plain and simple. I compare it to the edge on my high end Spyderco (which is currently in the possession of The Princess, the daughter) but with a major extra UMPH! The angle of the knife helps greatly with cutting and again, it's a stout blade. The plastic grip works well and is high-vis if you get the right color.

It's probably one of the cheaper knives for sale by CRKT, who make really good knifes. I plan to get several more, one each for the freshwater and saltwater boxes and one for the hunting/shooting bag. And keep the one I have with the bait bucket and things, because this is a blade that I don't want to be without on a fishing trip.

I like the idea of having it as a belt knife in a safe, secure sheath when around the water, for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, if a rope needed cutting on any number of emergency situations, this knife would whack it and slash it quick and good. This Veff fellow makes a cutting blade.

Here's a blurb from the CRKT website about the knife, followed by the link.

Tom Veff says, "I fish a lot, and wanted a fishing knife that was truly useful. Not a multi-tool that did an 'okay' job at a lot of things, but not a 'good' job at any one thing in the boat, on the bank, or on the cleaning table. I also wanted a one-piece fixed blade that did not require a college degree to open and operate it. And it should be a knife that you can grab with one hand and use to cut a rope in an emergency. Its handle should be brightly colored so you can find it quickly in your boat or tackle box. And it should be affordable so if it accidentally goes overboard, it won't ruin your whole day of fishing. "

So he went to work. Because Tom knows knives from his life as a meat cutter, professional knife sharpener, and designer of knives and our exclusive patented* Veff™ Serrations. He designed one of the most carefully thought-out fixed blades we have ever produced, even though it also has the lowest price of any knife in our catalog. He calls it the Marine Utility Knife (M.U.K.™).

First you notice that the M.U.K. has an offset handle angle. Tom explains that it gives you knuckle clearance when cutting bait or slicing fish on a cutting table. And it has a soft, grooved polypropylene handle with four finger choils to give you all the grip possible when your hands are cold, wet, and slippery. You choose from four handle colors for best visibility.

Second, you see the rounded-back drop point blade with a straight cutting edge in combination with a concave serrated section. Tom says the straight edge cuts cleanly against a cutting board. The oversized serrations are what Tom calls "non-stick"—there is no sharp point to snag. That makes them great for those times when you need to cut a nylon line or other tough materials. The blade's rounded back reduces the risk of cutting entrails when cleaning fish. Then there is the row of non-slip grooves along the top of the blade. These are friction grooves for your thumb, but they also work great as a fish scaler. Even in a budget knife, Tom wouldn't have anything but a full-tang blade of high-carbon stainless steel for strength. At the butt, there's a lanyard hole and a blood groove spoon.

And finally, there are a few more friction grooves at the butt top and index finger choil to enhance feel. That's quite a story for an inexpensive little knife. Probably only a serious fisherman could design it, sitting there between strikes, thinking about the perfect fishing knife.

*U.S. Patent No. D559,939

And here's the specs on this knife:

Open Overall Length 9 inches
Weight 2.9 ounces
Blade Length 4.25 inches
Thickness 0.065 inches
Material 2CR13
Blade-HRC 51-53
Finish Bead-Blast
Grind Flat
Style Rounded-Back Drop Point
Edge Veff Flat Top Non-Stick Serrations
Handle Material Polypropylene

Blade Guard Yes

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