Knives for processing game

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by earlthegoat2, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    What knives are you using for processing your game and what would you recommend?

    I have been using a Rapala fillet knife mostly and get the feeling there is a better mouse trap.

    I have used this method for 25 years and have gone through several Rapalas. I bend the blades a lot and that is usually what causes the replacement.

    I think I want a slightly thicker blade and slightly longer.
     
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  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have an assortment of knives and gear for this. For dressing/skinning/quartering, I use a Gerber gut hook, Cold Steel roach belly, sportsman edge filet and skinner, and the sportsman edge lockback that takes the disposable scalpel blades. For processing into meat, I have the Cold Steel kitchen knife set. The kitchen knife set is MINE- as in, off limits to anyone else except for the nice steak knives that come with it for table use. Another piece of gear that is a MVP is the large white restaurant sized cutting board I use. I just set that thing on the kitchen sink (from where I can see and hear the TV in the living room) lay out my kitchen knives, and go to town.
     
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  3. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I have a 3/8” thick 24x36 HDPE sheet I usually use for leather work as my processing board.

    Mainly looking for a knife or two for taking skimmed and quartered game and making meat out of it.
     
  4. SixteenGauge

    SixteenGauge Member

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    I've been using some cheap Taiwanese "survival knife" with a blade made of stamped sheet metal for years. My uncle broke the point of the knife off a long time ago, and he gave it to me. I ground down on the spine of the knife, dipping it in quenching oil every couple of seconds to avoid ruining the heat treat, until I had a usable point again. That knife has been used to skin and butcher hundreds of squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, woodcock, and quail, and well as dozens of deer. I think you should just buy a knife that has a blade thick enough to not bend and roll with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
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  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Large variety of "boning" knives out there. They range in lengths from 5" to 8". They also range greatly in price, but excellent ones can be had for $30. I have both extremes, a 5" and a 8". Both German steel with wood handles and I have had them for over 30 years. They are not only the knives I use to process deer, but they also are my go to knives when I process pork butts for sausage. They are a long ways from being "wore out". One needs to consider them an investment.
     
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  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I broke down a while ago and bought this:

    719zez9Q91L._AC_SL1500_.jpg

    https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-7-Piece-Master-Competition-Handles/dp/B01M3PVG46

    and added it to my processing kit which resides in a large tool box for travelling. Shop around, they can be found much cheaper periodically.

    I also added a sheep skinning knife. The whole kit is outstanding, but the knives I use the most are the fillet and boning knives, flexible fillet being my favorite, and the medium sized breaking knife. They come scary sharp and are easy to sharpen. In the field I carry a Bark River "Highland Special" drop point which replaced a west-German made Puma skinner about 20 years ago.
     
  7. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    Nothing wrong with the Rapala old wooden
    handled fillet knives. A neighbor has used
    one as his deer butchering and jerky strip
    cutting knife for years. I use them from
    time to time as kitchen knives, mainly for
    tomato slicing.
    As for my meat cutting, I use the traditional
    meat cutting patterned knives, boning
    butcher, scimitar/steak/breaking
    I can get along just fine with a 6 inch
    boning knife for everything. This last
    deer a week ago, I used a beaver knife to
    skin, and the boning knife for everything,
    and did just fine. I think the Ontario boner
    was 6-8 dollars some years back, and the
    beaver knife was about 12. I've used
    Forschner in the past, and still have em
    but don't use em as much as the Ontario
    and Dexter/Russell
     
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  8. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    If by "…taking skimmed and quartered game and making meat out of it" you mean working at home, I like good quality kitchen knives. I have a few made by Sabatier and Henckels which I've been using for decades. It's my understanding that professional kitchens cannot use knives with wood handles. These are stainless steel with plastic handles. They keep an edge pretty well. I just run a sharpening rod/steel over them when I start.
     
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  9. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    5gwZsOL.jpg

    Really big fan of the Cutco old-style butcher knife

    The best shape and size for 90% of butchering and doubles as a great kitchen meat knife (as pictured)

    I have a boning knife too but if I could only have one knife for butchering, easy win for me
     
  10. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I use a fillet knife mostly. A rapala, or Martinni For small work, a sharp brand 4” fillet knife, made in Japan, purchased off ebay. It’s a stiff backed fillet knife. They have a 6” version too, that I’ve yet to acquire.

    When butchering game, the first signs of dullness, I use my DMT stone and dress the edge.
     
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  11. md7

    md7 Member

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    For skinning, I’ve used my Case Trapper. It’s worked well enough for me.
     
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  12. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    I've had my Kershaw gut hook skinner for years, works good for me
     
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  13. Woodbridge

    Woodbridge Member

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    I like an Old Timer sharp finger for skinning and cheap flexible 5 or 6 inch boning knives for everything else (breaking down the carcass, quartering, etc).
     
  14. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Whatever knife I have on me. I'm not particular.
     
  15. Grumpy_old_Fart

    Grumpy_old_Fart Member

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    I use an odd looking heavy spine fillet knife with a bone handle that I paid 50 cents for at a garage sale years ago. Sharpened it once, now the wife refuses to touch it because it's too sharp. I dress it with the steel twice per deer. Other than that I use a havalon.
     
  16. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Get a 6” victorinox semi stiff boning knife and use it for everything.
    I also use a vintage green river butcher knife sometimes
     
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  17. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I carry a small Gerber locking knife with a 3 1/2" blade. I skin, gut and section a deer with it. I use a large butcher knife to cut steaks and roasts after boning. I used a 2" lock blade to skin and cut up a deer once because I forgot the others. That was a chore.
     
  18. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I have two Victorinox boning knives. One straight, one curved. Almost all of my butchering is done with those. I use either a Mora field knife or an Ontario butchering knife for quartering, depending on whether I'm doing it at home or camp. A Solingen made up swept skinning blade set in a piece of heavy antler has been my skinning knife since I was in my teens and skinning deer for a local processor at $5 per deer. I could do 20 before it needed sharpening. Really hard to get an edge on that steel, but it holds forever.
     
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  19. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    For processing I use a Henckels fillet knife to break things down. For cutting steaks, chopping up stew meat chunks, removing silverskin on bigger pieces, etc., I use a Green River Butcher knife.
     
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  20. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I like moraknivs. They get sharp and are light to pack.
     
  21. hq

    hq Member

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    An actual butchering knife set is the way to go. Not kitchen, not BBQ, not outdoors but the same kind of knives professional meat processors use. Finally bit the bullet and got one a couple of years ago and it made everything so much easier.

    I chose a moderately priced swedish-made set and got a diamond sharpening steel separately (actual sharpening and re-shaping the edges is done with powered water grindstone) but pretty much any pro-grade knives will do the job.
     
  22. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    I like the Buck 105 fixed blade with its 5" blade. I also like a 4" & 6" fillet knives. I debone everything .
     
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  23. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    What's the brand on your Swedish set? I've looked for a proper Swede made boning/butchering knife and come up empty here in the States. I will say my Forschener/Vic set has served me well.
     
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  24. hq

    hq Member

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    They're of a proprietary brand of a swedish warehouse chain that doesn't operate outside of Scandinavia so that doesn't probably help much unless you're shopping in Sweden/Finland/Norway/Denmark. The blade shapes are rather generic butchering knives, here's a picture:

    48-000_xxl_2.jpg
     
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  25. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Neat set of blades. :thumbup:
    That second one down from the top has me stumped tho..? o_O
     
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