Knife for Field Dressing

This is a discussion on Knife for Field Dressing within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, this isn't necessarily defensive related, but I figure with all the members who are so knowledgeable about knives, somebody might be able to help ...

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Thread: Knife for Field Dressing

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Knife for Field Dressing

    So, this isn't necessarily defensive related, but I figure with all the members who are so knowledgeable about knives, somebody might be able to help me out.

    I'll be going on a pig hunt in January. It'll be first time out hunting, and I'm working on getting everything I need.

    Is it necessary to get a dedicated knife for field dressing and related work, or will any fixed blade do? The reason I ask is that I've got a couple kabars that cut just fine and would save me the expense of buying another knife. On the other hand, its a great excuse for a new knife (and who doesn't like new knives?!).

    Will a KaBar do just fine? Or should I pick up a new knife? If so, are there any specifics that you would recommend?

    Thanks all.


    EDIT:

    I'll add that my budget will put me in the range for something around $50, +/- $25 or so.
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    What I use for gutting deer for the last 5 deer has been one of those quick change razor blade "knives" for around $6-8.

    Like this ; Shop Wiss Quick-Change Folding Blade Utility Knife at Lowes.com

    Shop Utility Knives at Lowes.com!

    They work great, cut EVERYTHING INSIDE like yesterday(watch your other hand) and throw the blade away and start fresh when you feel like it.

    But also found this while looking for the link to Lowes to show you what I meant, which looks pretty good.
    Replaceable blade skinning knives and hunting knives by Havalon Knives

    Can still take the K-bar in case the pigs attack in close quarters

    Good luck and be safe hunting!
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    Member Array ugh762x39's Avatar
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    $20.00 gets you a Schrade Sharp Finger. Bigger isn't always better. The curved blade lets you rest your finger on it. This is important when both hands are out of sight inside the pig/deer when gutting. Spread your arms, extend your index fingers, close your eyes. Now bring the two fingers together. You can't ouch fingertips with your eyes closed. That means that with one finger laying along the to of the knife, it's a lot harder to accidentally nick your other hand, you always know where the blade is. Wild pig blood especially can carry some nasty stuff. The knife is a sheath knife that's strong, easy to clean, light weight and, quick to put an edge on.
    I've got four of them.
    Good luck on the hunt!!!
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I wouldn't want a knife with a tip that curves up as when you're opening the body cavity it will be pointing down towards the guts - that can get really bad. That said, check out what's called a Wyoming knife. Some have special replaceable blades, some use a simple utility blade - either way the blade corners are behind a metal/plastic sheath that you slip btwn the skin and internals after making a small initial cut. Impossible to puncture the guts and it basically works as smooth as opening a zipper as you just pull it parallel to the animal's belly.

    Wyoming Knife Demonstration - YouTube

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    For field dressing you could probably get away with any sharp knife that is of a suitable size. If you want to go beyond field dressing and do some skinning and your own butchering, the first knife I'd recommend is a Havalon Piranta.

    Havalon Piranta-EDGE with Blaze Orange Handle

    It's a great field dressing knife as well but you can't go busting any bones with it because the replaceable blades are too delicate. You would need something else to get through that sort of stuff. What it will do is make clean cuts incredibly well because the blade is very, very sharp.

    FYI, you don't really need to field dress a wild hog. Because they are so plentiful you can take a little less meat from your harvest and just even up by getting another two of three of 'em

    Here's a great writeup on a quick way to butcher them and never bother with the nasty guts. Take your time and keep the hair out of your meat and you'll be rewarded with some nice cuts without gutting or paying someone else to process it for you.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Buck skinner, and a filleting knife.
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    +1 on the Schrade Old Timer Sharpfinger! I have had one for about 25 years and have gutted and skinned numerous animals with it. Mine was made in USA the recent ones I have seen were not. This year I bought a Buck Paklite that is made in USA. I used it to field dress and butcher the 6 point I killed during muzzleloading season. I liked it better than my Old Timer! The Old Timer has a very upswept pointed clip type blade, which is more prone to nicking internal organs (or fingers). The Buck Paklite has a about the same length blade but it is a drop-point style with a lot of "belly"which I prefer for dressing duties. FWIW, I actually only stopped once while butchering to touch up sharpen the blade. The Old Timer I would touch up usually about 2 times while butchering. Like the others said definitely wear gloves when butchering a hog and have a sharpener handy while doing it! Good luck!
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    For field dressing you could probably get away with any sharp knife that is of a suitable size. If you want to go beyond field dressing and do some skinning and your own butchering, the first knife I'd recommend is a Havalon Piranta.

    Havalon Piranta-EDGE with Blaze Orange Handle

    It's a great field dressing knife as well but you can't go busting any bones with it because the replaceable blades are too delicate. You would need something else to get through that sort of stuff. What it will do is make clean cuts incredibly well because the blade is very, very sharp.

    FYI, you don't really need to field dress a wild hog. Because they are so plentiful you can take a little less meat from your harvest and just even up by getting another two of three of 'em

    Here's a great writeup on a quick way to butcher them and never bother with the nasty guts. Take your time and keep the hair out of your meat and you'll be rewarded with some nice cuts without gutting or paying someone else to process it for you.
    EXCELLENT article, TX. Thank you.

    I actually also found this video, which shows the same technique that the article does:

    WARNING: Video shows skinning, butchering, and beheading a freshly killed pig. If you get queasy easy, don't watch.


    I think I like this method better than gutting. Thanks for the info.
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lima30ret View Post
    This year I bought a Buck Paklite that is made in USA. I used it to field dress and butcher the 6 point I killed during muzzleloading season. I liked it better than my Old Timer! The Old Timer has a very upswept pointed clip type blade, which is more prone to nicking internal organs (or fingers). The Buck Paklite has a about the same length blade but it is a drop-point style with a lot of "belly"which I prefer for dressing duties.
    Amazing. I pulled up an image of the Buck knife and it reminded me of a knife I have that I had in a drawer somewhere. I went and found it and lo and behold, I have a skinning knife. I'm pretty sure I bought the knife a few years ago originally because I liked it, and for no other reason. Looks like I was just preparing for this hunt a little early, ha!

    It's the Buck 143-BK. I bought it from Wal-Mart, I believe. Looks like my knife problems are taken care of! I believe the combination of the Buck and KaBar will take care of all my knifing tasks for the trip!

    Buck.jpg

    By the way…
    What's the best way to remove light surface rust from a knife blade? There's just a couple small spots on the blade that I'd like to clean up.
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    Just make sure it's got a really good edge on it; cutting anything is easier with a sharp blade!
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    You don't need an expensive knife to dress a hog. I don't like a thick blade for butcher. I use the el cheapie white handled chef knives and cheap skinners from Academy and WalMart. I like to have several knives on hand so when one gets contaminated or dirty I can just swap out. I like having different size knifes handy.

    When skinning I use one hand for meat and the other for hide. Helps keep meat clean.

    Hack saws with a couple of blades come in real handy.

    A big ole boar stinks so bad when cook it that I don't mess with it.
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    Senior Member Array Happypuppy's Avatar
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    Working in a ranch during my teen years and bagging my fair share of game I am pretty good at it. I use 2 knives. One with a fatter heavy tip for getting the fat away from the hide. This is the one I use. It's a 1970s Puma Skinner





    The next I use is the thin boning knife foe tight areas. The problem with the Kabar would be they are hard to work with and it's easy to poke holes in hide and intestines.


    Go Seahawks!
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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happypuppy View Post
    Working in a ranch during my teen years and bagging my fair share of game I am pretty good at it. I use 2 knives. One with a fatter heavy tip for getting the fat away from the hide. This is the one I use. It's a 1970s Puma Skinner





    The next I use is the thin boning knife foe tight areas. The problem with the Kabar would be they are hard to work with and it's easy to poke holes in hide and intestines.


    Go Seahawks!
    That's a good looking knife, Happy.

    What boning knife specifically do you use?
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Pittypat, I think a Kabar is a pretty poor choice for field dressing something that size. So saying, it might come in handy for other things.

    I havent field dressed boar, but have a bunch of deer, and for the majority of them I used a Gerber LST. Which is a small, pocket knife with a drop point blade.

    A gut hook is nice (not a dedicated one, but on whatever blade you pick), and the level of sharpness, and shape of the blade are very important. If you expect to only FIELD DRESS, (nothing else), ONE hog, well if your knife is sharp to start out with, it should stay that way by the time you are done.

    If you also plan on skinning out, and perhaps butchering, any of them, Id also take a sharpening stone with you. BTW, take a bottle of rubbing Alcohol with you, to soak your knife/clean your hands off with. Also some surgical gloves are great.

    On the assumption that you will be going hunting with others who have done it before, I suggest you take your Kabar. The ones who have been before will almost certainly have knives that they use that are appropriate to the task. You will probably want to buy whatever the locals use and like, after seeing them in action.

  16. #15
    Member Array CicadaX's Avatar
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    I started out using a KBar but have since downsized. First to a Shrade Old Timer folder and now to a 3 1/2 " Buck folder with gut hook.(less risk of piercing entrails) I also like using one of those $9 plastic butt pullers. They make quick work of anus removal. The only advantage I found in a large knife like my KBar was splitting the pelvis on whitetails. Anything sharp will get the job done but any excuse to buy a new knife makes sense.
    U.S. Navy vet
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