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What Is A Rigging Knife?

A rigging knife is a specialized knife primarily used in boating and sailing for various tasks related to rigging and rope work. It is a versatile tool designed to handle the specific needs of sailors, fishermen, and other marine enthusiasts. 

rigging knife with stainless steel blade marlin spike shackle key screwdriver

Here are some key features and functions of a typical rigging knife: 

  1. Blade: Rigging knives typically have a sharp, stainless steel blade, useful for cutting through rope, lines, and other fibrous materials, and other general cutting tasks. 
  2. Marlin Spike: One distinctive feature of a rigging knife is the presence of a marlin spike. The marlin spike is a tapered, pointed metal tool that extends from the handle of the knife. It is used for tasks such as untying knots, splicing rope, loosening tight knots, and separating strands of rope. 
  3. Shackle Key: Many rigging knives also include a shackle key, which is a small notch or slot on the handle used to assist in opening and closing shackles, clevis pins, or other fasteners commonly found on boats. 
  4. Lanyard Hole: Some rigging knives have a lanyard hole in the handle, allowing users to attach a lanyard or tether for added security and easy access while working. 

In addition to these features, Davis Instruments' Deluxe Rigging Knife is made of 100% stainless steel and also includes a flathead screwdriver.  

Definition of Marine Terms - Full List