Spey Blade Uses
This unique blade style leads many people to wonder what are the spey blade uses today? This unique blade style has had a long and interesting history.
The spey blade was introduced to the world specifically for the purpose of "speying", or neutering, female livestock. They were also used even more routinely for castrating male livestock.
The design of the blade allows for cutting the flesh of the animal without accidentally puncturing or damaging anything around the specific area you wish to cut.
It is also great for when you don't want to cut too deep, such as during the aforementioned castrations when cutting too deep could pierce or puncture an important vein, leading to some totally unnecessary deaths. So if you've got some livestock to neuter, this style of blade will be able to help you out there, no problem.
However, given that neutering and castration are somewhat niche uses, many people may be wondering if this blade, commonly included on trapper and stockman style pocket knives, can be used for anything else.
Over the years, spey blades have become a go-to blade used for many situations in which the cutter wants to cut through some material and not damage either other parts of the material or any of the contents underneath the material.
Specifically, these blades are often featured on knives such as the Case trapper and stockman style knives for use during hunting and skinning the fur off of animals.
If you want to learn more about all the different types of blades on pocket knives you can check out our detailed guide here.
Spey Point Blade Design
The design of a spey blade features a predominantly flat cutting edge almost all the way up and then a strong curve upwards at the tip leading to a dull point. The spine, likewise, is mostly flat but also curved down slightly at the tip towards the point.
The straight spine and the edge of the blade are generally parallel up until the curve just before the tip. This design creates a knife with a very short belly and a wide tip that helps the cutter not to accidentally pierce or puncture anything they don't want to when making a quick cut. Spey blade pocket knives may have originally been used on farms to castrate cattle but now are favored by hunters for skinning.
Nowadays, this special type of blade is rarely ever featured on its own and is usually just one of many blades included on multi-blade hunting knives, such as trapper and stockman style pocket knives, where they are often combined with a clip blade to compliment the spey's unique qualities.
They are great all-purpose blades with stronger and duller tips than clip point blades, so you don't have to worry about them chipping or fracturing. Originally, these knives were made with steel such as 440A or equivilant, however, modern versions are often made with much higher grades of steel.
Spey Blade Purpose
When featured on trapper and stockman style pocket knives, the spey blade is generally used for skinning. These wide blades with dull and unobtrusive points are absolutely perfect for skinning both large and small animals without doing any accidental damage to the insides or hide.
This makes spey blades greatly preferred by hunters when skinning animals that have hides with some commercial value. Oftentimes, these blades, when included on trapper or style pocket knives, will have a little bit more belly than they would traditionally. This is intended to aid in the removal of large skins.
Fishermen will also oftentimes find this blade on their knives useful when gutting fish, as they make perfect work of the fish without puncturing and piercing the insides.
Not "For Flesh Only"
Though many older blades of this special variety will have the words "for flesh only" engraved on them so you know they're razor sharp for cattle castration. Many owners of stockman and trapper pocket knives nowadays will opt to use this type of blade for some basic chores, and quick use, both outdoors and around the house.
The chunky and wide design of the blade makes it an exceptionally strong blade that will hold up to a variety of uses and is the perfect blade to turn to when you don't want to damage or dirty the other blades featured on your pen knife.
Other Regular Uses
Many people will use this type of blade for peeling fruit. They are perfect for peeling back skins and rinds without damaging the fruit inside. You can make quick work of the peel of an orange using a spey knife, and they also work great for removing apple skins.
Other uses that utility knife owners find for this type of blade are cutting string and cutting paper. The dull curved tip lets you get a lot of use out of the blade without worrying about accidentally injuring yourself, which makes it perfect for quick use around the house.
In my experience, they are also great for whittling, as their little bellies and wide edge make for strong and precise control and the blunted tip makes it so you don't have to worry about slipping and puncturing your fingers or hand.
If you are a farmer or rancher then this type of blade may be a great choice for an EDC knife.
In And Around The Kitchen
You may hear a lot of people who don't know what to do with different blade types making use of it in the kitchen or when eating. The wide and flat edge makes this blade perfect for spreading butter, peanut butter, and other condiments on bread and biscuits.
The spey blade is also good carving knives for meat and will allow you to make precise and delicate cuts without the risk of slipping or accidentally puncturing the wrong part of the meat. Their sharp flat edge once again allows the cutter to make strong and uniform cuts.
Opening Packages Or As A Makeshift Wire Stripper
Other common uses for this style blade outside the stockyard or farm is for removing band-aids and gauze from wounds on a person. You can carefully peel back layers of gauze and stubborn band-aids with the wide edge and there will be no risk of slipping and puncturing your skin, worsening your wound in the process and requiring the application of another band-aid once this one has been taken off.
Because of their ability to make cuts without running the risk of damaging any contents beneath the surface of whatever material you are cutting, you will also find spey blades incredibly useful for opening up packages. You can make a delicate cut along the tape or surface of the box and be sure that you aren't accidentally destroying whatever the package contains.
Other people have found the sharp wide edge and dull tip make it a great a makeshift wire cutter when they've misplaced or can't be bothered to track down their real one. The multiple uses of the spey blade will make it a great work knife.
You will never know when you'll find a new situation in which you can find a brand new and wholly undiscovered use for this style blade on your utility knife.
Put It To Use In The Garden
Finally, many gardeners who have been fumbling around and experimenting with their utility knives have found that the spey blade on their knife is well designed for careful dealings with plants.
The wide edge and blunt tip once again will come in handy for many botanical purposes that can require a tough blade that is able to make delicate cuts without damaging anything around the specific area you wish to cut. You will be able to make great use of this blade when carefully pruning back plants either in the household or outside in the garden.
The blade is strong enough to slice through even the toughest and thickest plants and you will not run the risk of accidentally cutting or damaging any of the limbs of the plant that you wish to remain intact.
The blunted and dull tip will also once again come in handy so you don't accidentally pierce or puncture your own skin, so you can get both hands in the soil with your knife and make the cuts you need to make without cutting yourself accidentally in the process. Besides the plants themselves, this blade will also cut other materials that may show up when gardening, opening bags of soil and fertilizer and clipping ties.
So, although originally intended "for flesh only", specifically to "spey" female livestock and castrate male livestock, this blade style has found a second life through its inclusion on many trapper knives and stockman pocket knives.
Though many people with spey blades may not know exactly what to use them for besides skinning, the persistence of this blade type has inspired all those who have one featured on their pocket knife to experiment and look for different ways to make use of it.
While many will just use it as the go-to blade when they don't want to damage, dull, or dirty one of the blades on the knife that they get more use out of, others have found that there are many specific purposes in which the wide edge, gentle belly, and dull point excel.
From skinning valuable furs off of small and large animals, gutting fish, performing household chores, spreading condiments, removing band-aids, stripping wire, to pruning plants, this style of blade might as well change its name to the "does pretty much whatever you want it to" blade.
If you are one of the many trapper or stockman knife owners who don't know what to do with the spey blade included on their knife, hopefully, this article has given you several ideas about how to put it to great use both inside and outdoors.