The different hoof knives? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 01-25-2014, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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The different hoof knives?

I see 3/8, 5/8 etc. Swiss, loop all the different kinds. I'm curious what you prefer, their different uses and all that. I'm looking at buying a new one, the current one I have is a 3/8 with a small curve on the end. Depending on the amount of rain it can be really easy getting dead sole out or really hard. I didn't know if that was just normal or if my knife is crap!
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post #2 of 44 Old 01-25-2014, 06:50 PM
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It's all in what you like. I personally can't use a looped knife for the life of me and prefer a 3/8 slightly curved knife.

It's not much what knife you use, but how often and how well you sharpen it. I know how to trim (and give farriers heck lol), but I have no way to sharpen a curved blade, not shave off the curled tip on the end, so I don't trim anymore.

It's also really hard on tools to do wet and/or muddy hooves. I always make sure to clean off my mare's feet and make sure there isn't any clumped, wet mud on her lower legs. It shortens the life of a rasp and knife especially though. If I do a horse with muddy hooves, I'll have to sharpen my knife again after two feet because the mud just dulls the blade even more than just the feet itself.
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post #3 of 44 Old 01-25-2014, 10:01 PM
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Prior to loop knives being common(over here at least) I don't recall seeing different sizes in the hooks. When I started using loop knives about 4 years ago, felt like a gimpy novice again, as you tend to use them quite differently. Got the hang soon enough & wouldn't go back to a hook.

The different sizes can be for different jobs & sized hooves. Eg. You can get tiny 'resecting' loops that are good for precision 'digging', you can get smaller loops which are more appropriate for minis, or big ones for clydes etc. As a HCP I have a range, but I find the only ones I generally use are a med-large one with an acute bend(and a hoof pic on the backside) and my resecting one, when there's seedy/cracks. I don't know if 'Swiss' is a style, but good quality steel - so you sharpen less - and a thin blade is best IMO.

As for sharpening Iseul, a fine 'rat tail' file for making the edge(if it's become over blunt) & a half round diamond grit sharpener for keeping the edge - half round so you've got the flat side for the long part of the blade.

Yes, can be hard removing sole from hard, dry feet. I generally tend not to remove stuff that doesn't want to come away though.
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post #4 of 44 Old 01-25-2014, 10:43 PM
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I just bought a loop knife. I hope I get used to it as well. I haven't used it yet.
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post #5 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 01:11 AM
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honestly the diffrence between knifes is that some are more fitted for certain jobs. Like described being small easy for precise trimming, and larger curve for pairing out, or more of an overall trimming or exfoliating of the sole. Honestly I would suggest getting a few cheap knifes, and figure out which ones you like the feel of. Ones you figure out which ones you like then get some better quality knifes that match. The diffrence between cheap and expensive knifes is the more they cost the better they hold an edge, and once dulled, its only barely dulled and the edge comes back much quicker.
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post #6 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 01:48 AM
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I currently have a Roy Bloom curved knife at the recommendation of my farrier. It has a pretty bulky handle, which I guess is fine for big burly men. A bit difficult for me and my small hands, though.

Loosie, what loop knives do you have? I've been dying to try one(like Pete Ramey's) but I can't quite find one. I think I'd like it tons more than my current one, especially one that can resect like Ramey's because wld is so common in my area.
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post #7 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 03:33 AM
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'Barefoot Blacksmith' brand resecting knife. And on recommendation, got the others off ebay - have taken punts before & ended up with crap tools, but these ones are great, & not too expensive. I'll find out the user name/brand - I saved them - & PM you if you like.
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post #8 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 03:46 AM
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That'd be great, thanks Loosie!

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post #9 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 09:50 AM
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The most commonly used knife is one with a fairly short .slightly curved blade. The curve in the blade helps remove dead sole following the natural concavity of a sole. Most people use a right handed knife. The "hand" means which way the handle is curved to fit in your palm and which arm the sharp side pf the blade faces when you have it in your hand. To properly use any hoof knife you need to learn to use it in either hand, in any direction. I use only a right handed knife but I turn it around, pull or push it as needed.

Loop knives are nice once you learn to use them because they have TWO curves so they work in any direction following the curve of the sole.

AS to brad names and quality simply avoid the feed store catalog type knives that are less than 30 bucks because they stink. Avoid knives with straight blades (that does not mean the hook at the end...all knives have those)

A good starter knife would be an Anvil brand "The knife" or a "Double S" knife. Either is around 35-40 bucks and decent quality.

SHARPENING: Get a diamond type sharpening steel and do not EVER use a file to sharpen a knife.
Look on the internet for videos on how to sharpen them.
All but one or two handmade brands are always sharpened ONLY on the inside edge of the curve.

After every trim it is good to tune up the blade by lightly rubbing the blade BARELY at an angle on the sharpening steel. Or visa versa. (move the steel on the knife) The knife edge should be a slight bevel at only about a 15 to 20 degree angle.
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post #10 of 44 Old 01-26-2014, 10:00 AM
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Patty -thanks for advice.
Is there a trick to keeping your rasp sharp? I seem to go through a lot of them.

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