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Fish Skinning Cheeker Tool, What Happened?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by stlouisRSS, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. I bought a fish skinning cheeker tool a while back. It had sharp teeth and worked perfect. After some time this tool started to wear down and the teeth become dull. I bought another one and it was completely different, the first time I used it it fell apart.

    With that said, What Happened? I can't find the old one to buy anywhere. Does anyone know where I could find the one with sharp teeth (Shown in the Picture)

    The Top one is the First one I bought and worked great, The bottom one does not work at all.
    Please note that the bottom one was bought from McKenzie, and I modified it to work on my turkeys.

    I am still looking for a replacement like the one in the picture (The Top One)

    Any Info would be great!

    Attached Files:

  2. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    its a jack diehm fish skinning knife

  3. pheasantcreek

    pheasantcreek Member

    You can get them at McKenzie their $5.55
  4. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member


    Here's the Matt Thompson Cheeker tool. I think as mentioned the tool you have posted is the Diehm skinning knife. I have one that I quit using years ago because I was making more mistakes with it because it cuts more than it pulls. If you like the shape of the tool you posted and would be open to trying something similar the Matt Thompson Skinning knife looks similar but has tighter, sharper teeth. I would be lost without Matt Thompson's skinning tools. Of course a lot is personal preference, but I do all of my skinning with the cheeker tool and the MT skinning knife for stubborn tendons and bigger areas. I really like the tighter teeth, they really grab. And since less cutting to remove I'm less apt to make a mistake and cut the skin. Simply put, some folks are better at this than I and the MT tools are more forgiving IMO. They perform a lot like the grapefruit tool that a lot of old timers use for skinning...
  5. Thanks for the info! I do have both sets of the other tools as well, I guess I have used the top one in the picture so much that I have grown attached to it.

    The jack diehm fish skinning knife, must have changed??? I just looked it up and it does not have the sharp teeth like the top one in the picture.

    Compare the jack diehm fish skinning knife that I just looked up to the picture I uploaded in the top post to see what I mean.

    The only thing I can think is that they redesigned the knife to be more blunt, if that's the case then I'll have to modify one or something.

    Attached Files:

    • 501.jpg
      File size:
      24.7 KB
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Jack Diehm was the son of a taxidermist (Berlin Diehm) just down the road from me whose son Jack was burned to death when he accidentally ignited an upright gasoline tank when filling his corvette. Berlin was an inventor that named the knife in honor of his son. I have heard it's nothing more than a tool used on horse hoofs but can't verify that.

    I prefer them a little dull and still have the same ones I had 30 years ago.

    Maybe since Diehm is now dead (died about 10 years ago) the rights have been sold and it's being made cheaply in China now. I know it was made in Japan.
  7. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    What the heck....don't you know how to sharpen a knife....or modify one? A sharpening stone and a fine three sided file will renew even the dullest fish knife. By the way I believe the MT cheeker tool was originally designed by Paul Borkowski a barefoot Michigan taxidermist (LOL)
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    That may be so JL but the Deihm fsh skinning knife has been with us for decades. I bought my first one over 30 years ago.
  9. Oyster shucking knife.
  10. JL

    JL Taxidermist for 64 years

    Cecil so have I and probably bought mine several years before you did.... lol. I sharpened mine several times through the years with three sided jewelers' files and it worked fine for regular skinning however, when it comes to cheek cleaning the MT "cheeker tool" is far and away a better tool for the job in my opinion especially for trout and panfish. For larger fish the Diehm tool might work as well, but for those I use a home-made tool I made out of a stainless steel teaspoon that I serrated the edge and put a wood handle on it for comfort. Works for me.
  11. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

    X2....granted I don't do half the fish you guys do, but I don't like them real sharp.