Contributors to this thread:
I am not good at sharpening blades. So, I opt to use an electric sharpener. I notice after a couple of years of repeated sharpening, it is never as good as out of the box. Please bypass the advice on learning how to sharpen with a stone, I never get the angle the same every time.
The knifes that have the replaceable blades, what do you think of them? Recommendations please. And, do you carry a separate small bone saw for the pelvic and chest?
Appreciate your responses, thanks.
I use these. They put a hair shaving edge on all types of knives. Lite weight too. Just a suggestion, J
Another vote for the Accusharp.
The early replaceable blade "knives" had a problem with blades breaking and tricky to change out. The new ones I've used are very good and stay sharp. But I only use them when weight is an issue. Otherwise a custom Depperschmidt knife for me.
My son could make an axe shave, and I taught him how to sharpen a knife. So how come he's so much better than me ?
Frank, I use an Outdoor Edge (?) I think it is. Pretty good knife for deer. I split the brisket with a tool designed for that purpose. Really works well, Deer Splitter from Viking Solutions, I keep it in my truck.
I sharpen on flat DMT stones, if the angles aren’t perfect the knife will still be shaving sharp. I’d look into a guided system if you want easier angle control. Budget friendly with good stones would be Spyderco Sharpmaker. For a lot more coin you could look at the Edge Pro Apex or similar systems.
Also, Havalon knives are awesome for game processing.
Try Lansky system. Short money and makes razor sharp edges. I could never put a good edge on a blade until I used the tool. I will never do without
I spent some coin on a couple good knives recently from Diamond Blade. I don't expect them to get dull any time soon but I ordered a guided system from Wicked Edge so I could duplicate the factory edge when they do get dull.
Havalon, 1 blade per animal, easily changed out with bloody hands. Knees come apart with a tiny SOG brand folder that comes with a qad arrow rest.
I use a havalon for all my deer and cats. Can skin and quarter all with one blade. No need for a saw imho as take apart at the joints. I love my havalon. Now elk... that is a different story. Prefer D2 knife and good filet blade to break down.
I see no need to cut the chest up like some do or the pelvic bone, so basically all of my butchering in the field or at home is done with a Havalon. Sharp as can be...every time.
There is nothing on a big game animal in terms of breaking them down that requires a saw...unless you have to keep the rib meat on the bones (some units in AK), in that case a saw or hatchet is worth it's weight in gold.
FYI, Most quality knife makers recommend not using the Accusharp type sharpeners.
In our current world of instant gratification, I find it relaxing to sharpen my knife with my Gatco diamond sharpening system. I think its easy and it gets me a long lasting edge.
Havalon for me. The extremely light weight is simply a bonus: the sharp blades every time are the selling point. No need for saw, I do everything gutless method and I don't cut the skull (do Euro mounts).
Thanks guys. I pass by Bass Pro on the way home and will try and pick one up, a Havalon that is. Appreciate the advice.
I pack a box cutter in with a handful of replaceable blades on every trip. They do a phenomenal job for majority of your cutting and for pennies on the dollar you can replace at the first sign of dullness. Need a good long knife for boning and a few other things but keeps your good knifes sharp longer!
I'm gonna be the outlier here. . .
I like the Havalon, but I also like pretty knives. My havalon is great for caping and for backpacking trips, but I always prefer my Bark River Knife.
I'll try to take a picture tonight for you. My Bark River knife has a convex edge, so you can't use regular sharpeners on it.
I use a Rite Edge Strop, which I've covered with a sharpening compound that I bought from an online knife store. The great thing about this system is that you don't have to be perfectly exact on what angle you hold while sharpening. The strop gives and wraps around the convex edge, so if you're somewhat close to the correct angle, it works. And it is scary sharp. I shaved my faced with it the other day to prove to my wife that I could :)
I used my Bark River on my elk this year, and then pulled out the strop back at the truck and had it shaving sharp again in less than 5 minutes.
Just something else to consider
Havalon for me. I have taken apart the joints on every animal from an antelope to an elk with my Havalon. I have a little multi-tool pliers in my kill kit that helps to change out the blades. Handy little tool for the few ounces it weighs. If weight is not an issue I have a little CRKT folder I'll throw in as well. The heavier knife does make joint work a lot easier but it's really no problem with a Havalon.
I also own a Havalon, but only use it for caping. I love using a good quality 3-4" drop-point, fixed blade knife.
Wild1 reminded me. I agree with him completely.
I know everyone has different hands, etc., but that Bark River Classic Drop Point that I own fits my hand like they made it specifically for my hand.
I've bought some decent production and custom knives looking for the perfect fit, and so far, the Classic Drop Point is it for me. Nothing else has fit me so well, and I enjoy using it
Jaquomo: I'll bet Wayne would never let you have another Depperschmidt knife if he knew you were using an Accusharp on it!
I use the outdoor edge razor lite edc only knife i need for taking apart my game
Before you buy a havalon, check out the gerber with a replaceable blade. It uses the same blade as the havalon but it changes out easier. I've seen the havalon blade get stuck in the knife and have to use pliers to remove it - could be a problem in the field. I don't like either cause the blades are too sharp! I prefer the outdoor edge.
Havalon. I keep coming to the conclusion if you can't safely change the blades, you probably shouldn't be using one anyhow.
Don, Thanks. BP had both the Havalon and Outdoor Edge. The Edge was much less expensive but it appeared they did not stock as many blades for it. So l bought the Havalon since so many here use it. Thanks.
Manly Knife, Wimpy Chew... LOL!
The whole “dangerous blade change” thing cracks me up. You’re out there hiking the woods, miles from no where, guns, bears, lions, dead falls, etc and you draw the line at the “scary” blade change.
Havalon makes a plastic clamshell blade removal tool now that works pretty well.
I've always just used my boot and a log or stump as the "pliers" to hold the blade for removal. Easy to show, harder to tell/describe. Stomp on the blade to hold it tight between your rubber boot sole and a log, flex the rear of the blade, pull the handle to remove blade. No chance of blade slipping in your bloody fingers and turning you into a 9-fingered Frodo.
Havalon for me. I takes me about 4 blades to completely quarter and debone an elk. I have a small multitool with pliers that I bring along to safely swap out the blades.
The blade removal tool now comes with it. Bake's people probably made that happen:)
Here's my stable... Outrdoors edge (haven't used yet), Buck 110, and my Kabar.... I love my Kabar! All of these knives were either presents or given to me. Looking forward to making all three bloody in the next few weeks. Oh, and spit Red Man everywhere. :)
Don't at all care for the exchange a blade knives. Tried them, not for me.
I'll second the bark river setup. Iv got a huntsman, that Iv done 7 deer with now since I got it last year. I can field dress, quarter and debone with that knife and it's still plenty sharp to take on another, but a quick lick on the strop which is simple will get it back to shaving sharp.
It also happens to be one of the sharpest knives I own, full convex edge is very easy to maintain with a stone/ sandpaper and a strop. And the edge lasts through a big deer, including removing lower legs at the joint.
That said I did just get a custom that is probably going to replace the bark river. They make a solid knife though.
I like the Havalon. it's just so brain dead easy. I can sharpen knives wicked sharp using my KME Knife sharpening system, but the Havalon is just so easy. Time is my main enemy these days, but in the future I can see myself getting really into knives.
So here is what I have been using, and what I sharpen them with.
These are Buck knives. Perfect for deer IMO. I like the hook as it is quicker with no chance of a stomach/intestine nick. I also like the saw because if I am not going to cape it the saw lets me quickly cut way up to make it easier to grab the windpipe and leave very little of that connecting tissue in the cavity.
It would be a great idea to make one like this with a replaceable knife/hook combination blade. Hopefully Havalon is listening?