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Recently I was asked to put through its paces two products from Gerber the Vital Big Game Folder alongside the Gerber Vital Skin and Gut knife. The Vital Big Game Folder on first inspection is a large replacement blade knife that blends both functionality and ease of use into its design. It comes in a handy nylon pouch that holds an additional 4 replacement blades. I kept the pouch in my pack whilst hunting as I found it a bit too bulky and noisy to wear when harvesting deer. Both knives are rubberised around the handles in non-slip material that is inlayed with a safety bold-blaze orange colour which is handy if the article is placed on the ground nearby whilst rolling a carcass over, or in the unfortunate event that it is dropped unexpectedly. One big tick is the ease at which I was able to switch out a dull blade and replace it with a fresh surgically sharp one in mere seconds. Gerber use a SplitSec-Tech exchangeable blade system. The blade workable edge is 9.5cm overall length being 12cm. I found the both the folder and the skinner to be exceptionally sharp and easy to clean after use. On various deer species, I found both the Vital Big Game Folder and Gerber Vital Skin and Gut knife worked extremely well and handled the breakdown of the carcases easily. I found the folder knife was too light to use on large heavy-capped animals such as water buffalo and so used the better suited Gerber Vital Skin and Gut knife. The ergonomic design of the Vital Skin and Gut knife worked well when put to the task. Its large blade coverage and gut hook moved effortlessly when taking skins back and exposing the carcase for meat recovery. For many time-poor hunters who want a sharp knife easily accessible, or a new participant to the sport, then these knives would serve you well on many platforms to medium level game. By Shaun Reynolds. The Gerber Vital Big Game Folder retails around AU$84.95 with replacement blades available from AU$34.95 for a pack of five. The Gerber Vital Skin and Gut knife retails around AU$39.95.


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