Pros: Great looking quality knife
Cons: Not well balanced, specific shaped blade.
Buck's Skinner knife has been around now for over 30 years and has proven the test of time. They have made little or no changes to the model 103 Skinner since it's introduction to the outdoors market many years ago. I would say this knife is one of the more specialized knives that Buck puts out, geared more toward a specific use and specific individual. Primarily towards the fur trapper and animal skinner because of the shape and width of the blade. It is also lighter than most knives its size weighing in at a total of 4.3 ounces.
Perhaps the best feature of this knife is its looks. It has the common stainless steel 420 HC blade with a silver bolster and hozel. Between them is the black phenolic grip which will not chip or crack. It is very durable. The blade on this knife is much wider in appearance than most knives with an exaggerated drop point.
The blade on this knife really is unique. The shape of it sets it apart from most knives on the market. It is a drop point fixed blade but is much wider than the Vanguard or other Buck knives. The blade is four inches long bringing the knife to a total length of 8 1/4 inches. It has a big rounded leading edge which makes longer skinning strokes easier on hides and pelts preventing any snags or accidental cuts. It is made to trim or flesh the fat from a hide. The blade is made from 420 HC which is stainless steel that will not rust and is easy to sharpen. This blade is a little bit harder to sharpen because of the angle of the drop point and I recommend leaving this task to a professional or experienced knife sharpener.
I have found this knife to be a special purpose knife. While the blade is razor sharp like all Buck knives, the size and shape inhibit it from many tasks and jobs. However the size and shape make it a great knife for skinning beaver and other fatty fur critters such as raccoon and otter. I have used this knife to skin deer and moose and found it to be excellent for use and blade retention. A couple of things I did not like about it are the length of the handle is about a 1/2 inch shorter than the handle on the Buck Vanguard model the shorter grip gives the user some discomfort after several strokes or continual use. I do not recommend this knife for skinning small or mid-sized animals, or for everyday general use. While it does have a sharp blade and it will cut just about everything, Buck and several other companies offer a wide variety of knives in different shapes and sizes for specific and general tasks. I would recommend this knife to anyone who will be skinning large game or fatty animals.
The MSRP on this knife is $76, do not pay that much. The going rate is around $50, I bought mine through an Ebay seller for $40 but it took months to get one that cheap as most made it to the $50 range in new condition. Most stores will sell this knife for around $50. It comes with an excellent black leather sheath which is molded to fit this knife snug and tightly. It is a high quality leather sheath.
I would not recommend this knife for someone with general purposes or carry in mind. It has a specific purpose and I would recommend it to the trapper or hunter planning on skinning large game such as moose, bear, deer, elk, etc. While it is very light on the hip I have found it to be a little bit too light in my hand making it feel unbalanced and awkward. The handle is a little bit small for my hands. Don't get me wrong, this is a great knife but great in the correct circumstance. If you are looking for a great all around fixed blade knife for hunting or multi-purpose I strongly recommend the Vanguard model by Buck.
Check out some other great knives by Buck:
Buck Folding Hunter 110 Knife
Buck Vanguard Rubber Handle
Buck Companion Pocketknife