Unusual specialty hunting knives have been a CRKT staple for many years, and this one is no exception. Conceived by Hawaiian knifemaker and big game hunter Ken Onion, this knife is the fusion of two ancient tools: the ulu palm knife and scraper of Alaskan and Canadian tribes, plus the cleaver. Both tools go back many thousands of years, and the earliest flaked stone ulus found date back more than 50,000 years.
As a laid-back Hawaiian, Ken has named the product for the shaka Aloha spirit handsign, thus it's the Onion Shakaulu.
Ken developed this tool because there is a real need for it. After taking a large game animal it is a versatile tool for the heavy-duty tasks, with a gut hook, a fully curved Razor-Sharp skinning edge, and a handle that allows it to be used as a cleaver to separate pelvic bones, or even to quarter a large carcass in the field.
The blade of the Shakaulu is exceptionally thick and heavy, the hallmark of a traditional cleaver. It has a high convex grind for maximum strength. The blade is made of 65MN carbon steel for maximum toughness, and is black powder coated to resist corrosion.
The handle is Twin-Fusedó first injection molded with a hard black polypropylene handle form, which is followed by softer dark green TPE plastic inserts. The handle is ergonomic, giving a secure grip in cold weather and while wearing gloves.
For skinning, the Shakaulu can be gripped high like an ulu, with the thumb on the thumb hole. For cleaving, it can be gripped by the handle.
Because the Shakaulu is a heavy tool, Ken designed a special heavy-duty molded polypropylene sheath that incorporates a locking pin, on a flexible retaining strap, that goes through the tool's thumb hole. This sheath allows secure inverted carry, and is convertible left or right. A removable belt clip is included, and the sheath has multiple slots and grommets to allow lashing to a backpack or pack animal.
The Shakaulu should not be confused with a brush cutter or hatchet. It is a much more sophisticated skinning tool, and the Razor-Sharp edge is not intended for such use.
But if you need to make short work of a large animal before the snow flurries, or hyenas, close in, the Shakaulu is the tool for you.