Specific characteristics for dissecting Bambi

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by user, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. user

    user New Member

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    I'm wondering about the experience folks have had using hunting knives specifically for field skinning, dressing, and for butchering medium game, especially white-tails. I'm thinking of trying to find the best all-around, from skinning and gutting to large joint separation. And it would be really cool if it can fillet a good sized fish, as well.

    Edge: hollow ground or flat ground? Ease of sharpening? How well does the edge hold up? Razor sharp v. durable?

    Handle: wood, plastic, stag horn, or bone? Grip characteristics while bloody?

    Metal: rigid & strong or flexible? Heat-treated? Alloys like 440C stainless, laminated ("Damascus"), or combination (e.g., sintered-edge / powder steel) products?

    I've already got religiously held preferences regarding things like full-tang construction, usable length of blade, blade shape & design, etc. But not sufficient actual in the field experience with different kinds of knives to be able to form an intelligent opinion about the three areas I've asked about.
  2. Deathbunny

    Deathbunny Former Guest

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    Well, I've got good news and bad news.
    The bad -- there is NO one knife that'll do everything.
    The good -- You can get ALMOST everything done with 2.

    For most medium/large game, 2 knives will do it:
    1) Medium blade, hollow ground with a good belly for skinning. Something like a Buck Special http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/buck/images/BU119.jpg
    is very versatile. Plus, if it's sharp and you've got steady hands you can (kinda) fillet a fish with one. Well, skin and gut one, anyway. Handle? Up to you, but I like synthetics because they are VERY durable and are impervious to water, blood, etc.

    2) A jointer/chopper. A large flat-ground knife with a thick spine, or (my preference) a small hatchet. Chopping thru joints or bones is tiring and messy, but easy with a hatchet. You could use a folding saw, but a hatchet is good for lots of stuff: cutting wood, driving in tent pegs, cracking a skull to get really good antlers, etc. Wood handle is fine, but again, I like synthetic. http://www.buffalogapoutfitters.com...images.auctionworks.com/hi/72/71622/SW670.gif

    Hope this helps!
  3. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    I use a 6" boning knife for everything Here....


    If you are looking for a high end, fancy knife, look elsewhere, but this is one (I own two) that I carry in my pack to dress out wild hogs/deer then use the same knife to process the game... Later, the same knife will be used to slice tomatoes/peppers, etc, year after year...

    I would never use a hatchet on my harvest... All one has to do is to move the joint around while sliding the blade in there and he will find the tendons, everything will separate beautifully... A little practice eliminates a lot of bone fragments and a messy job.

    I use a sharpener like this one.


    Like I said, it isn't a fancy knife, but I have fancy knives that are left on the shelf, oh hell I love them, I like to hold them and polish on 'em, but when it comes down to the nut cutting I want something that works and this 'El Cheapo does!

    The first one I got was given to me by a friend who worked at Supreme Beef Processors, Inc. Everyone there had one of these knives on their side and used it as their "Do all" blade. As do I.


    I really want to buy some nice JA Henckels for the kitchen some day, but for now and for years past, these have been working great.


    Crpdeth
  4. user

    user New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions and information.

    One thing really worries me is having my hand slip after blood gets on stuff; I was thinking that wood or staghorn would be best for nonskid handle material.

    That 6" boning knife is pretty nearly exactly what I'd envisioned when I first started thinking about this stuff. I was picturing a 7" blade, but the shape is the same. Everything I could find in that shape was a fillet knife which had been made to be thin and flexible.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  5. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    While I understand your fear in this facet, User, I will assure you that I have never had my hand slip around on the handle, regardless of what part of the process I was involved in, which as you have mentioned, does get a little messy...


    Crpdeth
  6. user

    user New Member

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    Any experience with the Fallkniven F4?

    I basically see it as a need for a knife that I can use to puncture, scrape, slice, cut, bone, & gut, and all in a way that won't let nasty stuff get on the meat.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  7. user

    user New Member

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    .....
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  8. carver

    carver Moderator

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    For thousands of years, man has used flaked stone to skin, and butcher game. Today we have good steal knives. I skin, and butcher at home. The knife I take with me on the hunt is for field dressing the game only, and I have done this with a pen knife. My point here is that any good knife will get the job done. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but if you have it to spend, then buy what you want.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  9. 44alltheway

    44alltheway New Member

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  10. user

    user New Member

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    Damitall!~ I forgot all about the flaked stone! And I've got plenty of rocks laying all around for free!

    Reminds me of a Star Trek episode, "City on the Edge of Forever": Spock says, "I am endeavoring, Madam, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives, and bearskins."
  11. 45nut

    45nut New Member

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    6" curved boning knife

    I use a Buck 104 and a Schrade with a gut hook in the field for the gutting, skinning and quartering. Once I get home, my 2 6" boning knives reduce my deer to roasts and burger in no time. I can bone out a ham in 45 minutes and a shoulder in about 20. I could do it with field knives, but why when the boning knives work so well.

    Crpdeth is right on!!!!!!!!!!!:D :D
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  12. user

    user New Member

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    Well, 45Nut and Crpdeth, what do you think of this one:

    Fallkniven F4 "Butchering/Filleting Knife"

    [​IMG]

    Overall Length: 10 3/8 in.
    Blade Length: 6 1/8 in.
    Blade Steel: Lam. VG10 Stainless Steel
    Handle Material: Thermorun E
    Blade Hardness: 59HRC
  13. 45nut

    45nut New Member

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    Looks good to me, but I like a curved blade better. You will find that most folks that do or did butcher for a living like the curved blade. It seems to me that as you make your stroke with your knife hand, the curved blade gives you a little more margin of error in order to keep your hand holding the meat/fat/silverskin out of harm's way :eek: :D
  14. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    I have to apologize first, User because in my haste I sent you a link to a straight blade, not until 45nut's post did I realize what I had done and I'm glad you didn't jump up and buy the wrong ones... Although, my Dad was a butcher for many years and I acquired one of his straight blade boning knives (wooden handle) and I like it... Just not as well as the slight curve.

    Heres a link to the one's I have. http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=749

    The first two knives you posted are good lookers... I wouldn't mind owning them, but for a do all knife I'd go for that Fallkniven F4 first and see how you like it... If you buy that one, I'd sure like a Sit-Rep on it because I'd like to have it... What is the purchase price on that?

    BTW, going back to having your hand slip on the handle... I'd be much more careful about which buddy you allow to help you undress the game than I would about that. Your friends who wouldn't hurt you for the world will slap you across the back of the hand with a razor sharp blade in an instant. :D

    Hurts too!!! :D


    Here's a pic of my little helpers that I just snagged for ya.

    Good luck in your search.

    Crpdeth

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  15. user

    user New Member

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    6" straight, stiff, Forschner boning knife, rosewood handle:
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  16. user

    user New Member

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    The F4 is six oz., 2.5mm thick, 6" blade (nominally, actually 150 mm), and costs 76.57. That's a good bit more than the Forschner which cost in the low $20's.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  17. Oldeyes

    Oldeyes Member

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    You have made some good choices for the stated deer processing tasks that you wish to accomplish. I also share your concern regarding the potential slippage in my hand of a blood covered knife handle. So, many years ago I decided to explore the cutlery that professional butchers and meat processors use. Many of the professional butchering knives can be had in a model with molded in hand guards to prevent either push or push and pull butchering action slippage. In my quest for a value oriented working knife solution I eventually settled on the Dexter-Russel knife line as they are very high commercial quality, have excellent handles and they are made out of excellent steel that holds a superb working edge even in particularly nasty processing applications. I have a couple of high line quality and very nice specialty knives, but when it comes down to actual production butchering it is almost impossible to beat the entire line of Dexter-Russel knives, plus they are by comparison VERY affordable. Dexter-Russel also has a truly mind boggling array of specialty butchering knives to choose from.

    http://www.dexter-russell.com/product_line/Processing_knives.htm
  18. user

    user New Member

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    That's a good source, OldEyes, thanks. They do have just about everything known to man by way of knives. One thing bothered me, was that they were pretty light on specifications.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  19. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth New Member

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    Sounds good! I think you'll be pleased with the purchases you've made. I've recently helped my Dad do a little work at his house and came across a knife similar to the 8" Breaking knife you posted, from his butchering days. I may have to steal it. :D

    Oh, and the Becker Tac Tool... I think you are going to LOVE it.


    Here's mine.


    Crpdeth

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  20. user

    user New Member

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    My father always bought junk because it was cheap, and then complained when it failed to deliver according to his expectations. I learned from his example to buy stuff that's good value = an appropriate price for something that's really going to do what's needed and to last.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010