Gecko Climbing Skin Trimmer (GUTT, Ultimate Trim Tool)

Post by blogger | November 15, 2011      

Other climbing skin trimmers do work, but this stellar example of industrial design takes all. Gecko cutter (GUTT, Gecko Ultimate Trim Tool) has replaceable blade; flexible tangs hold the edge of the skin down while you cut; even looks nice in your Audi center console.

Gecko skin cutter for backcountry skiing.

Geckco GUTT climbing skin cutter, hidden blade is replaceable, can be used either right or left handed but appears to be configurable to change its 'hand.' Stellar design work!

Gecko climbing skin cutter can be configured for right or left handers. Blade safely hidden to avoid flaying yourself. I got as good or better skin trims than with other methods, had a bit of trouble keeping the cut as far back from the edge as possible since the trim action is somewhat hidden from sight. A bit of practice should make that a non-issue. One has to wonder if this is some sort of adaptation of an upholstery or textile tool. Whatever, it works. recommended tool. Christmas gift for the skier who has it all?

Gecko climbing skin cutter in action.

Gecko GUTT climbing skin cutter in action. The base rides on the ski with an offset for the blade, plastic tangs hold down the skin for smoother cut.

Gecko skin cutter base offsets edge for backcountry skiing.

Gecko skin cutter base offsets your skin cut 3 mm from outside edge of ski. In most cases that'll expose your edge with little or no Ptex visible. Some folks might like a millimeter or so more offset, which can be accomplished by offsetting the skin a hair before cutting.

Skin cutter blade replacement or reversal for new edge, easy.

GUTT climbing skin trimmer blade replacement or reversal for new edge, easy. Just push in on the red button and the blade holder swings out.

Gecko climbing skins website, North America.


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24 Responses to “Gecko Climbing Skin Trimmer (GUTT, Ultimate Trim Tool)”

  1. Joe November 15th, 2011 2:11 pm

    Lou – you big tease. What about those Gecko skins themselves?

  2. Lou November 15th, 2011 2:48 pm

    Jeez, I’ve only written three or four reviews and a zillion comments… their early release was premature, now they’re looking good, but I’ve done enough “first look” and such treatment with them. This time, I’m skiing on them for enough days to see how they wear. Lou

  3. Joe November 15th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Look forward to the Wildsnow review of the new and improved Geckos under real world conditions. Will stop giving you a hard time til then!

  4. harpo November 15th, 2011 4:54 pm

    How much are the Gecko cutters and where can I get one? A google search didn’t turn anything up other than this review.

  5. Carl November 15th, 2011 5:52 pm

    ^ you can buy it off the gecko skins webpage.

  6. Lou November 15th, 2011 6:16 pm

    Gecko clearly needs help with SEO, as it’s like they don’t exist on Google, at least in terms of North America. So, I embedded a link in the post above, with good anchor text, that should help. Here is the US website with prices and stuff. I’ll put a link on post, which, apologies, I should have done a few hours ago. Been outside helping Jordan with the bearings on his snowmo trailer.

  7. Mark W November 15th, 2011 9:25 pm

    Cool cutter. I’ve got some Gecko skins I’m soon going to test. I’ll let you know what I discover.

  8. Matus (EU) November 16th, 2011 2:25 am

    The cutter looks really good. Although, I would like to see something more ecological (recycled materials or less materials used), for professional daily cutting this is acceptable.

    I have cut several Gecko skins with G3 cutter and I have to admit – there is no way back to the old school methods. The dedicated skin cutter (G3 or Gecko) is a must.

    My remarks regarding Gecko skins (I have used latest generation for more than 1 season):

    – the adhesive layer is supersoft (even in freezing temperatures) and needs to care and attention
    – if it is really cold and windy + it is snowing (under 15 C) the adhesive layer gets really covered with ice and the skins become useless. However, this is rather rare situation and the same may happen with the glue skins.
    – the skins are made of somewhat soft material and maybe that is why they do not adhere to the ski completely. Consequently, the snow may get between the ski and the skin. Again, rare but possible situation. During the summer, I have the skins on my skis to remove the wrinkles. I hope to get better adhesion.
    – if the adhesive layer gets iced or is covered with snow it is possible to clean it with the ski edge. If it is very cold this would not work and the skins would have to be warmed (under the jacket…). Spare skins are essential in this situation.
    – climbing and gliding is fully comparable with 100% mohair skins from colltex or Kohla.
    – durability of the the hair layer is OK (no visible wear so far)
    – attachment system (cam-lock) works fine. Though, sometimes it slides from the tail (the grooves are deep enough). I know a guy who successfully uses Geckos without the tail attachment.

    Despite the above, I love Geckos and I will not go back to classic glue skins (I always take one spare pair of glue skins if necessary). If treated properly, Geckos are very convenient and comfortable to use.

    BTW, the SEO and design+information on the website of Gecko need a lot to improve. They should pay some attention to the marketing activities.

  9. Lou November 16th, 2011 6:25 am

    Thanks Matus, looks like Google is doing better with the Gecko NA website now that we’ve gifted them some link juice. As for your impressions of the skins, in terms of the adhesive performance I’ve had the exact same experiences. On the whole, I like them, but shoppers should be aware that while Gecko is fantastic in some ways, it still requires care to prevent coating with moisture or snow, and one has to still be careful when applying to the ski. Main advantage is that they’re easier to handle when they are OFF the ski — I think that’s what we all need to be clear about.

    Carrying a spare set of skins (hopefully a lighter weight pair) is wise in many situations.

  10. Shawn November 16th, 2011 7:04 am

    I’m sure it does a nice job and quicker, easier and neater but 60 bucks. Seriously? Do skins come included with the cutter? 🙂 If you are a shop and do many pairs per season maybe can justify. But for the few times user its pretty pricey. G3 sells theirs for 3 or 4 bucks doesn’t it? I can see maybe $10-15 for this one. But not $60.

  11. Lou November 16th, 2011 7:31 am

    Price, always a valid concern. Personally, I’d buy it for $60 even if I wasn’t cutting dozens of skins a year, but rather just what group of friends sharing a workshop would be trimming on an average year. If it was just me during dirtbag years, on a budget, yeah, I’d probably be using whatever I paid nothing for.

    Thing is, GUTT is, 1.) A really nice tool. 2.) You don’t throw it away after a few uses.

    It’s always amusing how everyone talks about sustainability and mitigating the amount of trash and stuff we throw away as “disposable.” But when the real cost of that is obvious, we balk. Human nature.

  12. Rob November 16th, 2011 11:49 am

    Ski touring’s answer to the ski tote.

    What a waste.

  13. Herb Jones January 20th, 2013 6:07 pm

    It truly is odd how diferent one’s experience can be when compared to common practice or theory. I usually ask a few shop guys how they do it before I try it myself as I am not a pro ski mechanic. So one pro suggested that I could just cut my skins “wall to wall” i.e. edge to edge (outside edge) and save a lot of hassle and time. It worked for him and it has been working for me for ever since, over 5 years now. I used to trim my Glidelites according to the BD instructions prior to that time (when in doubt go by the book, right? Hmm.) Here in Vermont we get about every imaginable ski condition and I have found the edge to edge style superior in all of them. Even “eastern powdah”, whichever color it may be, polished, corned, or glazed. When Geckos came out I jumped on them and trimmed them edge to edge. They work great and you can cut them or any other skin with a utility knife with a sharp blade. I have tried skinning with skins trimmed 2-3 mm and 10 or so from each edge. I cannot see the advantage of an exposed edge. So, $60 for a trim tool?? vs what, less than a buck for a good utility blade?
    Seriously, though, has anyone else tried cutting wall to wall? With a utility knife?

  14. Frame January 21st, 2013 9:40 am

    To Herb, Steve Romeo was a wall to wall man. I followed one of his video tutorials (tetonat dot com, i believe the website is ongoing) and it’s worked for me… I live a long way from the mountains and don’t have enough time on them to have come up with any problems with wall to wall. Asthetically, I didn’t get the straightest of edges.

  15. Herb Jones February 1st, 2013 8:48 pm

    To Frame: I have the early Geckos which are known for fraying along the edge and my cuts were not perfect either, but I found that the edges sort of wear in to the ski’s profile and I just trim off the threads occasionally. I tried singeing the skin edge a few times, but it never lasted. That may be unique to the early Gecko as I believe they changed their backer fabric since then. None of this seems to have affected the function of the Gecko or the Glidelites. The later did not fray so much. Steve Romeo is indeed a strong affirmation for this technique. I was saddened by his and his friend, Chris Onufer’s deaths in an avalanche last year, though I did not know them. Even with considerable experience we may still be vulnerable out there so take care.

  16. Lou Dawson February 2nd, 2013 7:07 am

    I’m going to go on the record here and NOT recommend wall-to-wall skin cutting. The purpose of the exposed edge is so you can get purchase while edging on hard snow or white ice. Not having that can be dangerous or even life threatening.

    If all you ever ski is powder, you could get away with the wall-to-wall skins and no edges. Guys like myself and Romeo have (had, RIP) many pairs of skins and skis, and can afford to have dedicated powder setups, hence, Romeo could have skis just for his powder laps, use wall-to-wall skins, then grab another rig or cut more skins if he was going somewhere with variable conditions. Not everyone can have multiple setups, due to traveling or budget.

    During our last trip to Europe we encountered this exact situation. The skin track led up through powder, then crossed a steep sidehill of white ice. I tried booting, but the ice was on top of crust that came up to my knees. Skis back on and I gingerly sidestepped across, with some evil rocks below. With wall-to-wall skins I would have slid into the rocks. How do I know? Someone else in the group had jury rigged some skins that were too wide, they slid, luckily they didn’t get hurt.

    Thing is, with a skin cutting tool you can cut skins to expose some edge just as easily as cutting with a knife blade to outside profile of ski. Really no good reason to skip using the tool and doing it right.

  17. Ed February 2nd, 2013 7:42 am

    About evil side-slopes and rocks Lou – one thing our guides in Europe got us into last year was ski crampons. I’d packed ’em along often on N. American trips out west here but never really felt “threatened” enough to need ’em too much.
    But I would say after the icy, crunchy, side-slippy time we had last year in the Alps, I would never hesitate to use ’em – first ‘outa the bag! The difference with ski crampons on can be remarkably more secure on hard or crusty conditions as you kick turn away on a steep up-track.
    (We always cut our skins with double edge width cut-back showing on both sides of the ski)

  18. Lou Dawson February 2nd, 2013 8:18 am

    Ed, some things are tried and true. Ski cramps, and skin cuts with a bit of edge showing are good examples!

  19. Matt Kinney February 2nd, 2013 8:52 am

    Rockered skis, at least to me, seem to negate the need for wall-to-wall skin at the tips as there is less pressure applied at that part of the ski when skinning. I have lost some of that sensitive “tip grip” that comes in handy at times, especially when side-hilling, not so much in steeper skinning. Not sure how to trim the tips in some manner that lessens weight, and still leaves some “near” wall-to-wall underfoot where it’s most needed.

  20. Bar Barrique February 2nd, 2013 10:45 pm

    +1 to what Lou said. Even in softer snow situations, you need some “bite” on steep traverse sections, and, you don’t want to lose your “edge”.

  21. Frame February 3rd, 2013 4:45 am

    Message received. I used the basic skin cutter that came with the skins. kind of a hook shaped razor blade. Will adjust technique to expose some edge. I’ve used the tube of stuff that came to stopped edge fray. Is running a flame along the edge a viable alternative? (Coltex skins)
    Mostly touring in low consequence terrain.

  22. Bar Barrique February 3rd, 2013 9:21 pm

    Frame; We have been using Coltex skins at our house for many years, and, we haven’t used the “tube of stuff” yet. One pair of skins still being used is over 6 years old, and, still going strong (with re-glueing).

  23. Frame February 4th, 2013 6:01 am

    Cheers Bar. Thanks for the help/advice

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