The Blackjack Trailguide, a full-sized skinner, offers collectability as well as practical value. The wide Bowie-style blade with false double edge is designed well for the piercing and slicing work necessary when butchering big game. A long nickel silver finger guard gives full protection for heavy levering and twisting. The overall length of 9-1/4 inches and blade length of 4-5/8 inches gives plenty of 1098 CRYO high carbon stainless steel cutting edge without the bulk of a heavy knife.
The Trailguide’s handle of ivory micarta encloses a strong rat tail tang. Leather spacers match the micarta to the finger guard and the aluminum pommel. Including the leather sheath, the total weight still comes in at under a pound.
Blackjack knives have a complex history, the early knives in the line being manufactured in Japan. Well-known knife expert Ken Warner took over the product line in 1998 and shifted manufacturing to the U.S., keeping production runs small and of very high quality. With total numbers smaller than most companies’ limited production runs, Blackjacks became a favorite collectible. Under Warner’s guidance, Blackjack knives prospered. Recently, Warner sold the Blackjack line and started a new venture.
The Trailguide is an established Blackjack model which shows considerable evolution over the years. Each run brings the design to a new level and uses distinctive materials. Blade design in the current version differs enough to be obviously unique, with new choices in handle components as well. The collectability value is always a gamble, but Blackjacks in general have been a good investment through the years.