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Haven't posted this in years but for the past 20 or so, I have carried a cheap 1/2" snap razor knife in my pack. I use it to do all my cutting on the hide and most of the skinning so that my boning knife stays razor sharp through the whole quartering process. I have found that have a razor blade extended to the proper length makes zipping down the back a piece of cake. It also works well for cutting through the knee joints. Whenever it starts getting the slightest bit dull, I just snap off a inch or two and start fresh again.
I know many of you love your high dollar knives (and actually my boning knife wasn't cheap) but I have found it is the best way to break down an elk. Anyone else use them? If not, try it. They are cheap and weigh almost nothing in your pack.
A box cutter with a hook blade makes you opening leg and back cuts quick. Would work like a gut hook tip on a knife.
If we are just talking cheap and easy. The scalpel handle and a handful of 60a blades off ebay will cost you less than five bucks.
I like the idea of the zip blade being able to have out just enough to unzip the hide. Might have to try that one. I bought the the little hook blade from havalon to try this year.
^^^^^ We used scalpels for many years until my late wife bought me a Havalon for a stocking stuffer one year. Which is basically a scalpel on steroids.
I use a Havalon for everything but cutting the skull cap off.
I like to use a high dollar $35 Havalon. Buy the knife once and a $10 pack of blades every year. They work to darn good not to have one.
I use a scalpel handle and 60 and 22 blades....I have tons because that`s what I use in the shop. I only use them for splitting lips and detail work. All other tasks are with a fixed blade knife. No chance a Havalon or a scalpel can handle aggressive powerful knife work, unless your cutting the animal up like a doctor.
Probably more Havalon and Outdoor Edge knives in elk country now days than any other kind. Every one I see is using them. They sure are winners in my book!!
I dunno Franklin... my Havalon does everything I need a knife to do including hit the seam on a joint and pop that sucker right open. I haven’t carried my heavy fold out single blade now for years. I always have my Leatherman for emergencies but almost never use it except at camp for some stuff here or there.
Havalon and Outdoor Edge on my belt or in my pack always when hunting. I also have the folding, lock blade utility knife with carpet hook blades somewhere in my gear.
Yep, Darrell, a $2.00 stanley 18mm snap knife is all I use to quarter an elk. It weighs virtually nothing, it always has a razor sharp blade and it's pennies for extra blades if you buy a large pack. And if I lose it I can replace it for another $2.
Havalons are a great knife too if you feel like you have to spend more money but their blades break easier than the 18 mm.
I pack too many knives. I have Havalon, Outdoor Edge and my old Shrade fixed blade. I like the Outdoor Edge the best. Best combination of strength and sharpness. But I have to pack Shrade because it is a RMEF knife with elk embossed on blade. (I use it for hip socket work so I don't dull my main knife) If I leave it behind while on an elk hunt, that is bad juju!
I also like two knives as if one is getting dull, I can grab the other one without taking time to sharpen.
I'm going to give the Outdoor Edge a shot this year, just for the pack weight savings. But, it will have to perform exceptionally well, or one of my Randalls will quickly be back in my pack.
"Randalls".....now that`s a knife!
""Randalls".....now that`s a knife!"
Yes sir, they are. These disposable plastics knives feel like a kid's toy in comparison. I'm almost embarrassed to carry my Outdoor Edge, and I'm sure my father is rolling in his grave.
A related question...what do you guys do with your spent disposable blades in the field? Do you stick them back in the sheath for disposing of later? Or do you carry some other container to put them in?
GG I put them back in the little foil package then wrap in the used nitrile gloves and any other trash while cleaning up the kill site.
What are these " gloves" you speak of? Do you wear an apron, too? Haha.
Grey Ghost, I usually carry two of the Stanley 18 mm knives because they are so cheap and light. That's all it takes to quarter an elk. So I just retract the blade into the handle when done and put it back in my pack. I do carry a little plastic container that holds about 4 extra blades (you can buy extra blades in such a container). The whole container is about the size of a disposable lighter. If I ever need to use one of these extra blades the spent blade would just go back in the container.
Yes, the Havilon's are nice but the $2 snap knife works just as well for next to nothing. I usually just put the snap offed parts in with the plastic bag from the game bags.
I've played with both and vastly prefer the Havalon.
I have a Havalon also, and use it for many things, but never to break down an elk, or a wild hog for that matter. I just like the feel of a super-sharp, fixed blade knife that won't bend (or break). My current go-to knife is a Benchmade (Hunt) Saddle Mountain. Just can't beat a 3-4" sharp, fixed-blade knife.