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What Makes a Good Lineman Knife?

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Searching for a better lineman knife? If you’ve been researching available knives, chances are you’ve discovered there’s a vast selection to wade through. There are plenty of knife options out there when it comes to cable prep. The best tool for the job is versatile enough to tackle any of a lineman’s tasks, from the daily to the demanding.

This article will explain the features of a good lineman skinning knife and why each part of the tool matters.

Why Linemen Need a Fixed-Blade Knife

There’s a reason linemen apprentice for years before they become fully certified—the work is challenging. Being a lineman takes a lot of mental and physical skills, and your crew deserves the best lineman knife available to help them succeed on the job.

One of the first decisions you’ll make is whether workers are better off with a fixed or folding blade. Folders are trendy and convenient, but a fixed-blade lineman knife can offer significant advantages over a folding tool.

Here are a few things to consider regarding fixed blades:

  • They don’t malfunction. A fixed-blade lineman knife is always ready to cut; its lock will never get stuck or stop working.
  • They don’t break. A folding knife’s pivot point is susceptible to damage from twisting or prying. A solid, fixed-blade design is ultimately as robust as a knife can get.
  • They stay cleaner. It takes effort to clean the lint, dirt, and gunk accumulated in a folding knife. A fixed blade doesn’t trap debris the way a folding blade does.
  • They are less finicky. In high-stress situations, a fixed-blade lineman skinning knife is easier to access without fumbling; plus, it won’t fold on a worker’s hand.

Some workers may feel that a folding knife is more practical for linemen because they can keep it in their pocket. They’re right—folding knives are convenient, but their portability makes them more likely to get lost, stolen, or pop open unexpectedly, causing harm.

A fixed-blade lineman knife is a better bet; it’ll last longer, deploy faster, and keep workers safer.

The Features of a Great Lineman Knife

Now that we’ve gone over why it’s useful for workers to forgo folding knives, let’s cover the qualities to look for in a great lineman knife. Linemen typically need a knife for splicing wire, but they also use a blade for many other tasks. The right balance of “must-have” features depends on how the skinning knife will be used on the job.

Curved Blade

A large portion of cable prep is more manageable with a curved blade. When a lineman knife has the proper arc, all a worker needs to do is graze the blade along the surface of a wire to strip it clean.

Notched Blade

Having a notch at the back of a knife lets a lineman quickly scrape and remove insulation from the wire. This simple feature can save workers from having to bring yet another tool for their wirework.

Piercing Tip

A lineman’s knife with an inward, hawkbill-shaped curve ending in a pointed tip is ideal for piercing and slitting cable jacket.

Quality Materials

Linemen work outside where they are constantly exposed to harsh elements. Because of that, their knives need to be made of quality materials so they are durable and long lasting. Handles made of inferior materials tend to break or split, rendering the knife useless.

Additionally, blades should be made with quality steel. Quality steel holds an edge longer, can be resharpened, and is less likely to rust. When a lineman works with a knife made of high-quality materials, it’s understandable that their satisfaction and productivity are higher.

Knowledgeable knife manufacturers know which steel best suits lineman work. Look for steel that’s tough enough to withstand the job, takes a keen edge, and is easy to sharpen.

Handle Options

It’s no good when linemen drop their knives; the handle must offer a good grip, especially during inclement weather. That’s why handles are commonly made of high-quality wood or textured plastic and come with options like eye rings for attaching lanyards.

Ergonomics are also an important consideration, and many quality knife manufacturers will customize knife handles to better meet the needs of the person using the tool.

Why Choose Hyde to Supply Your Lineman Knives?

If you’re looking for the best lineman knife manufacturer, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company better than Hyde Industrial. We offer high-quality made in the U.S.A. blades designed for performance and durability.

Our inventory includes:

  • Skinning knives
  • Splicer knives
  • Long round knives
  • Short round knives
  • Square point knives
  • Long mill knives

Hyde’s ISO 9001:2008 plant certification ensures that every blade we manufacture passes strict quality control standards. By following a proprietary process including blanking, laser cutting, heat treating, grinding, and polishing, we can deliver shorter lead times on bulk orders while ensuring a superior cutting edge for each of our knives.

About Hyde Industrial

Hyde Industrial is a leading producer of lineman skinning knives. With 135 years of experience, there’s a good reason that more cable and power companies trust us to supply their linemen with safe, reliable knives.

Contact us for more information on bulk orders or click below to learn more about the Hyde Industrial Advantage.

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