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  1. #51

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    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share?

    Havalon from several years ago. Think it's the Piranta style.

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use?

    Seems to do all I use it for. A wider (not thicker) handle?
    I have a multi tool as well and would not use an all in one type... Gutting with such would be a royal pain to clean.


    3. Are you primarily an elk hunter or other big game?

    The general. Big game: Elk, deer, bear.
    However, I use it frequently for other outdoor activities such as cleaning trout, etc.


    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting?

    Gutless

    I am also curious how much of a factor the following might be to other hunters, given how they use a knife - weight, blade durability versus sharpening ease, size, folding versus fixed blade, and replaceable blade versus resharpenable blade. And, any other ideas you are seeking when buying a knife.

    I typically take a simplified - small multi tool as well. While I like the idea of a multi tool inclusive of a surgically sharp / replaceable blade such as the Havalon Evolve. I think it's better to pack both.
    Last edited by Sytes; 11-28-2018 at 11:51 PM.
    " There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." - Theodore Roosevelt
    Live to work or work to live... Your choice.

  2. #52

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    Ive tried a number of knifes over the years,,had a havolon piranta,,eastmans freebie,,,very sharp but breaks too easy on deep cutting or knee joint type stuff,,very sharp when blade is fresh,lightweight good for packing.ive gone with the outdoor edge replaceable,,good for field work,blade support is great,,nice knife but not flexible for filleting the backstrap type cuts.then I use the outdoor edge fillet knife for most butchering and skinning the 'silver" layer when butchering.really comes down to needing all three types depending on the need.the piranta is great for caping and small detail work.

  3. #53

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    I think a lightweight replaceable blade with a blade support is priority in the field,,but a flexible large fillet blade would be handy on a lot of boning out stuff.maybe a knife with a variety of blades would be good,,protective sheaths for the blades is a must in the field,,would be happy to test any protoypes gerber comes out with and give them more feed back.I like outdoor edge ,but feel like they are a bit too cheaply made,,havalon breaks too easy.maybe gerber could send us knifes from this thread to really try out? just a idea.a bone saw blade would also be nice too as a blade option.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    In the middle
    Posts
    1,484

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan.kirkpatrick View Post
    a flexible large fillet blade would be handy on a lot of boning out stuff.
    I agree with that and usually carry a Rapala filet knife because they work well and are very light. If a replaceable blade knife could be made that was similar in handling, it might be a big seller.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    upper michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share? outdoor edge folding replacement blades, hard to clean, hard to get blades out, but worth the effort for the sharpness it has, I can't sharpen a knife to save my butt.

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use? a gut hook on it somehow??

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game? deer as primary, bear, elk is secondary, general all purpose is probably my most used.

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting? deer i clean whole, elk will be gutless unless on a road/trail

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Westen Montana
    Posts
    905

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    Given I only have my hunting/trapping experiences to draw from, I am interested in comments and perspectives you have. I am mostly interested in a few things.

    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share? I use a couple different knives. I have two Ruana knives made in Bonner Montana that I really like. One is the Steelhead model and the other is the 5AD. I also use a Buck 110 and a USA made Schrade that looks identical to the Buck 110. Both of those are really great knives. I prefer knives that are stout and will hold up to being used hard. I also carry a Benchmade mini-barrage in my pocket for a variety of camp uses and it too can be used to take care of an animal although it is on the small side.

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use? I don't see any need for upgrades to what I use. They are each well designed and made and hold a great edge.

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game? I hunt elk, deer, antelope, bear, and anything else I can draw a tag for.

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting? I mostly use the traditional method but have used the gutless method a couple of times.


    I am also curious how much of a factor the following might be to other hunters, given how they use a knife - weight, blade durability versus sharpening ease, size, folding versus fixed blade, and replaceable blade versus resharpenable blade. And, any other ideas you are seeking when buying a knife. As I said I like a stout well built knife and I do not feel that some heft to a knife is a bad thing. Same for blade durability. I take care of my knife edges with a Lansky sharpening system and I can get an absolutely crazy sharp edge on any knife. Man I wish I would have gotten one of these systems years ago! I like both folding and fixed blade and carry one of my Ruana's and either my Buck of Schrade lock-blade knife in my pack at all times. I DO NOT care for the replaceable blade knives at all. They appear cheap and weak to me and I could see issues with safety and having blades break causing accidents and serious cuts.

  7. Default

    Seems I have used a lot of knives over the years too. My favorite for cutting/butchering (gutless method) deer and elk has been a Kershaw 1082 Field fixed blade knige. Unfortunately, the tip of the blade was broken trying to get the ivories out of my daughter's first elk. I found a black handled version of the same knife, but much prefer the orange handle on the other one that has since been discontinued.

    I have used my Havalon a bit and once I got used to not prying or using it as a lever while cutting up my animal, it has done a much better job. That said, I got an Outdoor Edge replaceable with my last RMEF renewal and it was pretty good too. But the folders do get all gunked up with stuff that can be hard to remove. I prefer a fixed blade for serious work, but I will always have a folder of some sort.

    I have also used a Raptor Razor and had some good luck with it. But it is kind of scary working around others with it. Just this fall i picked up a Benchmade Sheep Country to see how I like it. So far I am impressed with the blade and construction.

    I have multiple Browning folders that I have used from time to time. I tried one that had a gut hook that I liked, but the main blade was too rounded for my taste. The next Browning I bought had a great blade shape, good gut hook, but it was not the same quality of blade steel and i struggled to keep it sharp.

    So...I want a knife like my Kershaw 1082 Field knife (similar to the Lone rock) that has a tougher steel that holds a razor sharp edge for the entirety of a couple elk.

    I hunt mule deer and elk each fall and help my kids and friends do the same. Typically help to quarter multiple animals each fall. 90%+ we use the Gutless method on our animals.
    Last edited by Firehawk54; 12-02-2018 at 08:15 PM. Reason: corrected name of knife

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Gallatin Valley, MT
    Posts
    2,024
    Blog Entries
    1

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    +1 for the Kershaw as well as the Rapala (pronounced RAP-uh-luh, not Rah-paula, dammit) knives.
    No gut exclusively. The Kershaw Antelope Hunter and old fashioned Rapala fillet (4" blade I think) have been with me for a long time. The Kershaw removes the shoulders and does any skinning and the Rapala is the surgery tool - filleting off the backstraps and removing the hind 1/4 from the pelvis and hip socket, the flexible fillet blade is perfect.
    Orange plasticoated handle on the fillet, and an orange lanyard on the Kershaw are the only reasons they're still in my possession. Wouldn't change a thing on either of 'em. Even have a "customized" multi layer cardboard sheath which holds both knives and is wrapped in orange duct tape for redundancy against my absent mindedness.
    Don't like folding knives and can't stand the removable blade jobs - already spent enough years using removable blade scalpels and I am cured of that bullshit......
    I do find it humorous that a company would attempt to market a species specific knife, so much difference doing an elk vs. an antelope.
    Whatever suckers folks in I guess - sure it will sell big...........
    Last edited by onpoint; 12-02-2018 at 08:34 PM.

  9. #59

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    I personally prefer a danish style skinning knife for breaking down animals. For me there are a few requirements:

    - High carbon steel that will last through several broken down deer.
    - Thick spine that can be pried on if need be without bending.
    - Flat ground bevel for easy sharpening and edge strength.
    - Normal, straight point is preferred.
    - Decent looking blade and wooden handle (because they're beautiful).

    None of these things are revolutionary at all, but I'm a pretty normal guy when it comes to my knife.
    Old Milwaukee Pro Staff

  10. #60

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    I carry a Buck Vanguard with rubberized handle for all elk and similar sized game. It has served me extremely well over the years and stays sharp through use. I also use a Havalon for antelope and deer sized game. Havalon works well for caping also. For what I do, I see no need for improvements. Like others have said I use gutless method if I have to pack them out, otherwise it’s traditional.

  11. #61

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    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share?
    Havalon baracuta, piranta, and Victorinox 5" beef skinner.
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    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use?
    Stiffer blades and more blade shapes on Havalon. Beef skinner is awesome as is.

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game?
    Elk mostly, but equal opportunity hunter.

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting?
    Traditional field dressing mostly, also use gutless method depending on situation and size of animal(bison).

  12. #62

    Default

    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share?
    Rapid River Knifeworks drop point knife. Pretty hard carbon steel so it takes a while to sharpen but it holds its edge through an entire elk.

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use?
    Honestly, I love this knife. To me, it is perfectly suited to breaking down an entire animal from the first cut to the last. If I ever need to replace it, I will purchase another one.

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game?
    Montana big game

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting?
    For elk, I do the gutless method. For deer, it depends on where I am at what I do.


    I am also curious how much of a factor the following might be to other hunters, given how they use a knife - weight, blade durability versus sharpening ease, size, folding versus fixed blade, and replaceable blade versus resharpenable blade. And, any other ideas you are seeking when buying a knife.

    I am all about a fixed blade that is heavy duty enough to use as a pry bar if needed. I don't mind resharpening but my knife will easily last through an entire elk before needing to be sharpened again. After seeing a replaceable blade knife in action this fall I would never buy one. It took three blades to get through an elk and when the blades break they cause an even bigger pain. I won't use a folding knife because there is always the possibility that they fail and fold onto your hand. I've seen this happen and a trip to the ER doesn't really make the week any more fun.

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    1,933

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    I agree with that and usually carry a Rapala filet knife because they work well and are very light. If a replaceable blade knife could be made that was similar in handling, it might be a big seller.
    This is my choice of knife for processing when I get home. It’s been going strong for 20 years with no need to change.

  14. #64

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    At home for processing, I have found that while I liked the Rapala filet knife (4 and 6 inch models), the Victorinox 6 inch boning knife with the offset handle is much better for cutting board work (saves my knuckles)
    No one can go back and make a brand new start, however anyone can start from now and make a new ending.

  15. #65

    Default

    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share?

    I use a Cutco Drop Point Hunting Knife, and a older American made Folding Gerber.

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use?

    Nothing as they both high quality Knives.

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game?

    Primarily Deer & Antelope but I Elk hunt also and am going Caribou Hunting this year and have Black Bear hunted with one bear to my credit.

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting?

    Both it depends where and what is shot as to what I do.

    5. What I would like to see made is a 4 inch folding Fish filet knive. This would be perfect for deboning animals and Birds.

    Currently I use a older Buck 5 inch folding fish filet knive for all my Pheasant’s & Waterfowl as I breast them out.

    I did pick up a Gerber Vital replaceable blade knive I plan on taking it to Alaska for Caribou. Jury is still out on this knive but I am going to try it in place of my folding Gerber I currently use.

  16. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fin View Post
    1. What style of knife you currently use, and brand if you care to share?

    2. What you would like to see as upgrades to what you currently use?

    3. Are you primarily and elk hunter or other big game?

    4. Do you mostly do the gutless method or do you do the traditional field dressing/gutting?.
    1. What I use Cutco Hunting Knife, Gerber Folding, Buck 5 inch Folding Fish Filet Knife, Rapala 4 inch Fish Filet Knife.

    2. I would like to see a 4 1/2 inch Folding Fish Filet Knife as I clean a lot of Pheasants & Waterfowl and to debone Big Game.

    3. Deer because I live in Iowa and take one trip a year out West for other Big Game and next year it's Caribou hunting.

    4. I do mostly traditional dressing and gutting.
    Last edited by 1100RemingtonMan; 12-19-2018 at 08:30 PM.

  17. #67

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    I run a mora bushcraft outdoor K knife for around $80. She's broken down and caped a lot of deer. In the field we traditionally remove legs and backstrap then drop out the gut to remove the undercut.

    I prefer a carbon steel blade that's going to hold its edge nicely. I'll only replace it as my main one when i get around to making my own. Something with a comfortable ergonomic handle is important to me particularly when caping and breaking down an animal solo.

    I used to own a havalon but after their customer service i received or more the absolute lack of response I'd never have another. It was a pain in the A to clean and snapped when blade was at any angle other than straight so it was probably a blessing in disguise.

  18. Default

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    #1. The knives above are the ones I have been using lately. The Gerber in the middle is fantastic, it was the first Christmas gift my wife got for me. It's been on a lot of hunting excursions in 13 years, the hook is handy, the blade is stout, and seems to hold an edge well....._______ cold dead fingers. The big game vital is new to me this year, love it so far. I used it on gutless/pack out jobs and processing of deer for friends and family. The folder was the RMEF gift for joining. It's a Kerhasw, my daily pocket carry, bird/small game knife, and has been a good stand in on a couple deer gutting and skinning jobs. The shape of the blade and how stout it is make it a nice combination of cutting and prying tool, it has worked nicely skinning heads for euro mounts. I like it. As the 3G service guy in our family and friend group these knives have gotten plenty of work this season.

    #2 The only upgrade I can think of might be a saw blade for the big game vital, if there isn't one already. I think I once heard a very famous hunter on a pod cast speak of using a rock to get at the heart of an elk. A saw for the big game vital may be useful for this. It might be pretty easy for the boys at Gerber to fix up some sort quick switch saw blade.

    #3 Primarily fish, small game, birds, turkeys, deer, and occasional elk.
    #4 Combination of traditional field dress/whole critter removal and gutless/packout.
    Last edited by slatebuilder; 12-20-2018 at 05:17 PM.

  19. #69

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    This 5 inch folding Fish fillet Buck knife is nice.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    North Platte, Nebraska
    Posts
    3,209

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    I have used all types of knives over the years. The bottom line in a decision, is whether or not you are competent at sharpening knives. It has only taken me about 30 years, but now, I prefer to sharpen my own knives.

    I have tried the replaceable-blade knives and they work fine, BUT, the blades dull quickly. They do sharpen quickly, though, so I have no issue with them. I still have one and have sharpened all of the extra blades, as I was never real satisfied with the sharpness, when I got it. It is an Outdoor Edge. I traded a Piranta and an Outdoor Edge to Cushman, for an Outdoor Edge Swingblade. It is a fairly good knife, except that I am not real crazy about AUS8 steel. AUS8 is a common and inexpensive steel, holds a fair edge and is pretty easy to sharpen. Overall, a decent steel and moderately priced, that is used in a lot of knives. I actually asked the boss why they don't use a bit better steel and he told me that most cannot sharpen real tough steel, and they could keep the price more marketable with AUS8. Made sense to me and I like the durability of the Outdoor Edge products.

    The best knife that I own, was made for me by a knife maker by the name of Cody Wescott, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a large, heavy knife made from D2 tool steel. It has been a great knife and has been my preferred knife for heavy game. Cody still owed me two more, but I believe cancer got him awhile back. A truly fine blade smith and also was a good friend and real outdoorsman.

    I have two SOG knives that I like real well. They are S30V steel and are pretty good knives. They are durable and hold a decent edge, but take a bit longer on the diamond to get it where I like it. They are smaller with 3-3.5-inch blades and work great for deer and antelope. I have also done elk with them, but prefer a larger knife for that.

    I have a Puma Skinner, that is a fine production knife. It was a gift many years ago and has gutted a lot of critters. Puma is real good for a production knife, in my opinion, but I have not used a new one.

    I think that if I was going to have a custom knife made now, it would be a compromise between the large, heavy D2 knife and the smaller knives that I have. For deer and antelope, it is irrelevant, as a good folder works great, but it is nice to have a bit more heft, when doing larger game such as elk, or moose. I like a bit tougher steel and would pass on the 440C, AUS8 types of steel that many cheaper knives are made of. There are lots of good production knives from SOG, Benchmade etc, that more than fit, though, without going the custom route.

    Out of the field and close to a sharpener is a whole different story. I like my Bubba Blades for processing.

    Just my opinion.
    Last edited by sbhooper; 12-24-2018 at 07:37 PM.
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  21. Default

    1. Havalon Piranta Stag in orange, use the 60a blades and the guthook. Also use a Benchmade Crooked River for the knees. I carry a DMT fine diamond stone to touch this knife up as it is also the camp knife.

    2. On the Havalon, the blades could be a bit larger and maybe a little more belly to them for skinning. On the gut hook, I wish it was more of a hook. I sometimes get the muscle a bit. The Benchmade is a little bigger than I need but that is no fault of the knife.

    3. I am primarily a whitetail Hunter, although I would like to change that in the future. I typically take 2-4 deer a year personally and help clean at least a dozen a year.

    4. The deer I kill, gutless method. Most of the deer I help other folks clean/process have been gutted. I guess as long as I don't have to deal with the guts it isn't too much of a difference.

    If I am in an area where the deer has to be boned out, I sometimes carry a Havalon fillet knife.

  22. #72

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    I have a kill bag with the old Forchner skinner and boning knives. I carry three Buck 110 and 426 folders with the knurled plastic handles in my pack. Many elk and deer. I like the softer steel that can be sharpened with a few strokes on a diamond. I can get them razor sharp and very quickly.

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