Help me choose a good hoof knife+new rasp?

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Help me choose a good hoof knife+new rasp?

This is a discussion on Help me choose a good hoof knife+new rasp? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Hoof knife & equipment
  • Who makes a good loop knife

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  • 1 Post By Trinity3205

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    01-01-2013, 09:39 PM
Super Moderator
Help me choose a good hoof knife+new rasp?

I've been doing Lacey's hooves myself for some time, as some of you know, and it's not looking like I'm going to stop doing them myself anytime soon. SO, I'm thinking that perhaps I should get a higher quality rasp and a quality hoof knife to be my "friends" for the long haul.

I'd like to stay under $40 for each item but, as far as the rasp goes, I need it to be sharp, not clog super easily (the one I have now clogs like a jerk), and able to survive humidity. I store my hoof care tools in my grain bin where it stays super dry but since I do live in Oregon, during the winter, that rasp does see dampness. I make sure to not let it get wet-wet but my current rasp has gotten somewhat rusty just from the dampness it has encountered.

As far as a hoof knife, I don't have one right now and I'm not sure how much I would really end up using it but I probably should have one in my "arsenal".

I have this one bookmarked as a good one...I think someone recommended it on another thread?
The Billy Loop Knife | PTBLK
Since I'll likely not be using it a ton, can I get away with a cheaper one or should I stick with that?

As far as a rasp goes, I have no idea what I'm looking for. If I order the above knife, I'd like to order the rasp from the same site to avoid extra shipping costs... Here's a list of their options.
Horse Rasps

Rasp-wise, I don't particularly care about a "perfect" finish or anything like that. Really, right now all I'm pretty much using on my rasp is the really sharp side. The "finishing" side sees use maybe once every 3 trims..maybe.
I'm the only one looking at her hooves so yknow... haha

Thank you!
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    01-01-2013, 09:52 PM
Where you are only buying on knife, I wouldn't recommend that one. A standard hoof knife would be a better choice. I shoe horses and I got that knife as a gift and I've used it maybe three times, I can't stand it.
    01-01-2013, 09:54 PM
And for you, I would get the "farriers handy rasp" on that site. It will be the easiest to use and will hold up better.
    01-01-2013, 10:18 PM
I disagree on the knife. I ONLY use a loop knife. I don't carve out sole as a rule so so not need a long blade to make smooth solar cuts. I only trim bars, commissures/frogs and clean out dead sole as needed with it. All my friends also feel the same way who trim their own (all girls too if it matters) I despise regular hoof knives. I fine as a girl I have more power behind a smaller loop than the big standard knifes plus they work in either hand and are more fine tuned. My knife was 30 bucks so Id say that's close to being on par.

I've never used the handy rasp. My rasp of choice is the Heller Black Master. Last longer, its sharper (less work for more results) and it resists rusting. Also the fine side is good and sharp and I use it alot as well for fine tuning. Some of the fine sides are really weak. I find that rasp choice is kinda personal and depends on upper body strength.
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    01-01-2013, 10:53 PM
Super Moderator
I've never used a hoof knife before so I'm really not sure what my preferences are, but like Trinity, I'll really only be using it to trim bars as needed/errant frog pieces/etc. Nothing really major.

I suppose I have a lot of upper body strength for a girl? I'm not sure though. All my girlfriends basically view me as being the "lumberjack"-type of our crew but I'm also the most athletic (due to the horse thing) out of our pretty unathletic group.

I currently have this rasp: Diamond HR14N Farrier Quality 14" Horse Rasp and File | eBay

I think I would prefer something shorter since I'm always ending up stabbing Lacey in the belly with the handle and sometimes that length is a little hard to juggle while holding up a hoof...but I don't know. I wouldn't want to too much shorter though. I think 10 inches would be too short. I 've found that I generally only make about 7 inch long swipes as I go along (I've dulled the bottom half of my rasp pretty respectably and am currently using it turned around to use the top 7 inches). However, I'm still learning "technique" so that all could really change.
Do they even make 12 inch rasps?? Otherwise I've gotten along pretty well with this one. I wish it were sharper but I can do a reasonable 4 foot job in 30 minutes with it so it's not the worst.

Thanks for the rasp suggestion, Trinity! I'll go take a gander at that one. What are the other things you find influence rasp preference? I can see strength being an issue (is it just the sharpness factor that a "weaker" person would need more of vs a stronger person..or something more?) and I can see rasp length being a possible issue (like I've found), but is there something more than that?
    01-01-2013, 10:57 PM
Green Broke
Alright..first off, Im going to suggest a Bellota rasp, you can choose the different coarse-ness (I like the Razor, personally. I don't use nippers currently, so the maximum cut does well).
Also..I can't even see myself using a loop knife. I learned with a standard knife and Im going to stick with it. I do a lot of work on the sole and usually take out a good bit..and I can't see the mechanics of how a loop knife would work well for me. I don't need to use both hands, I use my right hand for both lateral and medial sides of the foot and do just fine.

I can't speak personally on Heller rasps, but I've only heard good things about them. You'll have to try some different ones out, you may not like one that's popular because it's too sharp for your tastes, you may like a rasp with less "umph" because you're comfortable with it, even if it takes more work on your part.
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    01-01-2013, 10:58 PM
Green Broke
I use a circular knife as do the other two ladies at the barn. We like it better than the regular knives.

As for rasps - BM started with a Diamond rasp, I had some other kind (can't remember what it was) and then we all got Bellota rasps. OMG they are SO MUCH better. We really like those.
    01-01-2013, 11:47 PM
Ah other thing about a loop that I forgot and is WAY important to me, you can cut both towards you and away from you using the same knife in the same hand. This is impossible with a regular hoof knife. I wont give that function up now that I have it :)

As for the rasp, The sharper, or the more "bite" (how deep it cuts into the material) , the more strength it takes to start the rasping. Im also kinda an amazon type gal so you should be fine with whatever you try. Once its started and the outer layer is gone, its not too bad. I will start rasping with the fine side if I find I can't seem to push through with the course side of a new rasp at first. It helps get it started and makes it easier. Also, rasps have a break in period. Usually about a horse or two for me.

I used Diamonds for awhile and Found they wore out too quickly for me causing me to have to work very hard to finish the job. I felt the same about the Save edge. It took SOOO much work to get any wall removed. Lots of girls love them tho because they take less strength.

I used belottas for awhile and was pleased. They were cheap and sharp and seemed to last long. Then, I suddenly couldnt get them anymore and had to change to the Black Master which I was pleased with but more pricey. I kept seeking the bellotas and when I finally found them again, I found the Black Master was far superior even tho I hadnt noticed it at first. The Bellota felt like I was going back to a big fat pencil after getting used to a little pencil to write with lol...Sooooo I gave the practically new belotta away and stuck with the BM. Lol...

I also did the same when I tried the white tanged heller? I think it was? Just not sharp enough or as fine tuned of a tool for me. All the good farriers here use the Black Master because it lasts long for muddy and dirty conditions and resists rust.

Its so much personal preference. IMO, try a different brand the first few times and see what suits you.

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