A knife having a handle component and a blade component, the blade component comprising a pair of opposed flanking side members and a replaceable blade insert confined and held therebetween. The side members are joined together by a blade insert locator and a spacer element at the region of connection to the handle so as to provide a slot forward of the handle for inserting the replaceable blade. The blade insert is configured to engage the blade insert locator and the spacer element so as to be held in the slot completely within the confines of the blade component. A blade insert locking structure is mounted on the blade component so as to be structurally and functionally independent of the handle component. The handle component and blade component may be of either the fixed or folding type and the blade insert may include a gut hook on its terminal end.