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The popularity of loop knives in the United States has increased in recent years. Versatile and durable, the loop knife is a go-to tool for many farriers today. I’m one of the many practitioners who has switched.
Here’s what I look for when selecting a loop knife. This won’t answer all of the questions on loop knives, but provides a starting point if you have never used one or are looking to try one.
Many farriers have told me that the crucial aspects they demand from any hoof knife are comfort and ease of use. According to knifemaker Neal Baggett, the shape of the handle should help ease wrist pain and fatigue. There are a variety of handle styles in the market.
One model that caught my eye is a Dusky Forge loop knife with a spot of the thumb removed (Figure 1). The late Paul Mitchell, an Australian farrier and knife maker popularized this design. Many farriers who use this knife find improved leverage when trimming the foot. Could it work for you? Maybe. This design won’t fit for everyone, but I am using it to show there are designs that can fit the varied needs of farriers.
Another design by Hall (Figure 2) is a shorter handle, which is suited for smaller handed individuals. This design is solid, but may not give you the extra leverage a thumb-cut handle will.
Another criteria to consider is whether or not you hot fit your shoes. Several high-end…