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Thread: Best skinning knife?

  1. #1

    Best skinning knife?


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    What's your guys opinion of the best fixed blade skinning knife? I skin usually whitetails with the occasional hog thrown in. I have owned a variety of Schrade and Gerber knives in the past. These knives were usually adequate for the job but I would like to own a nice knife that holds a great edge. I have looked quite a bit on the net but the options are staggering when it comes to choosing a new knife. I would like to be around $50 if a great knife can be had for that amount of $$. I am new to this forum but I can already see that there is a mountain of knowledge here. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    My favorite is the Green River Sheep Skinner. It comes sharp, it can be made literally as keen as a straight razor, and holds that edge well. And they're cheap! Generally you buy the blade and affix your own handle. The blade costs usually about $15 or less but they're not cheap Pakistani junk; they're made in USA since 1834.

    I use mine for not only skinning, but other butchering and field dressing, even cleaning fish and slicing up food in the kitchen.

    The Sheep Skinners are the curved blade knives in this photo:


  3. #3
    I'll second those Russells, Green River blades! Buy one, put your own handle on it, and you are good to go! Contrary to many folks notions, knives like these have been used by generations for just what you want to do. Heck, you can make it as fancy, or plain as you want! The first knife I "made" was a Ripper blade that I still use regularly in my kitchen. It's strange that with those fancy stainless knives in the butchers block everyone picks up that old home made ripper! If you want to be able to skin the whole thing with no touch up, get something in D2 etc. You may just have a very difficult time finding one in your price range though. Just make sure it has plenty of belly in the blade.

  4. #4
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    i would have to agree with the sheep skinner. When I was buckskinning, it was my general go to knife and worked well skinning. Cheap high carbon blade that is easy to put a handle on. Nice to see the recommendation. The knives don't have to be expensive to work well.

  5. #5
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    The Buck 103 skinner is also a wise and proven choice.

  6. #6
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    I make my own now,but a plain old Buck 110 is hard to beat.If you can find one with a premium blade like s30v or cpm154,all the better.You can "build your own" on their website with s30V for around 80 bucks.Walmart has the regular for 30 bills.

  7. #7
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    I agree that the old classic guys are hard to beat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loosearrow View Post
    i would have to agree with the sheep skinner. When I was buckskinning, it was my general go to knife and worked well skinning.
    More and more I'm using mine. It's become one of my favorite knives, and it's one of the cheapest!

    Many people today don't realize that "hunting knives" and "survival knives" are recent developments. The hunting or survival knife of the american frontier was almost always a humble butcher or kitchen knife of some sort combined with a simple folding knife.

  9. #9
    A small knife works great for skinning if you ask me, especially on medium game like a deer. I use usually something like an ESEE Izula. Anything with a blade under 4 inches will work pretty good, just make sure it's as sharp as you can get it.
    B. Stark


    "I'm not sure I'm smart enough to work cold fusion... On the other hand I could shovel kittens into a furnace all day long." --Anonymous

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the great tips. I did not know it was possible to custom order different blades from Buck. Also, if I order a Green River blank where do you guys obtain (or make?) handles. I agree that the old carbon steel is hard to beat and easy to put an edge on.

  11. #11
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    There are many tutorials for doing handles.Wraps,ect..I and others offer custom services in the exchange section of the forum also.
    Quote Originally Posted by shawboy View Post
    Thanks for all the great tips. I did not know it was possible to custom order different blades from Buck. Also, if I order a Green River blank where do you guys obtain (or make?) handles. I agree that the old carbon steel is hard to beat and easy to put an edge on.

  12. #12
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    I've always preferred a smallish knife for skinning chores on everything from squirrels and rabbits to deer. Original Schrade Sharpfingers were made from 1974-2004 and there are plenty of them still on the market in every condition from beater to NIB. Prices range from $10-20 to $120. Most are 1095HC but some of the last ones were 440 stainless. I like the small size for control and because it rides on my belt without interfering with sitting and moving as a larger knife does. It works equally well for cleaning small fish.
    Sharpfinger_5.jpg 152Ad - Squirrels.jpg
    Last edited by Codger_64; 11-18-2011 at 06:02 PM.

  13. #13
    My vote goes for the small Chukker by Blackjack Knives. They stopped making them around 1995. Nifty little blade that held a GREAT edge. Not sure what the steel was, but it was a dandy!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    I've always preferred a smallish knife for skinning chores on everything from squirrels and rabbits to deer. Original Schrade Sharpfingers were made from 1974-2004 and there are plenty of them still on the market in every condition from beater to NIB. Prices range from $10-20 to $120. Most are 1095HC but some of the last ones were 440 stainless. I like the small size for control and because it rides on my belt without interfering with sitting and moving as a larger knife does. It works equally well for cleaning small fish.
    Sharpfinger_5.jpg
    if this is the one with the nice curve? they make copies of these out of china from schrade. see below
    http://www.amazon.com/Schrade-Timer-...1642856&sr=8-1

    i bought 2 of these bc they were cheap and i loved the originals as well. granted you can tell these are not the same feel as the old ones but they do work.

    in regards to the actual skinning of animals i just like a knife that sharp and what i think would be proper size. if you are like me you skin quickly and get it done.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawboy View Post
    Also, if I order a Green River blank where do you guys obtain (or make?) handles. I agree that the old carbon steel is hard to beat and easy to put an edge on.
    Try www.texasknife.com that's where I got my last sheep skinner blade and also where I got my Dymondwood scales for its handle.

    Dymondwood would be my best suggestion for your first time. It doesn't need to be stained or sealed and it's impervious to moisture. Just sand it up nice when you're done and it's ready to go.

  16. #16
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    I'm really digging the camp knife from Green River. Anyone know what kind of steel they use?

  17. #17
    I used my scrapyard war dog, and fehrman peacemaker gutting and skinning 5 mule deer the other day. I was impressed the way they both held their edge. They are both about ideal size personally. I found my hunting knife combo. Also used my swamp warden to split the pelvic bone.

  18. #18
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    I am just finishing up the first buck of the season. The skinning and much of the butchering is being done with the Sharpfinger. The rest of the butchering is being done with it's bigger brother the 165OT Woodsman. I'd better get back to it.

  19. #19
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    http://www.cutlerymania.com/F-Dick-E...nife-p866.html


    These are cheap and they work.

    Wonder if you could re-handle something like this....

  20. #20
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    The Green Rivers and Russell's are good choices. Don't forget about the Buck Vanguard, one of my favorites. If you are willing to spend more than $50, I can give LOTS more recommendations...

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