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Best knife for skinning deer.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by iwannamakeknives, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. iwannamakeknives


    Oct 17, 2009
    Hey guys, I am looking for a new knife to use to skin and quarter deer. It will be used primarily on whitetail. What is your recommendation?
  2. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Something small, 3-4", with a curved edge: F1, Marble's Fieldcraft or Campcraft, or CS Master Hunter are all good.
  3. elkins45


    Jun 17, 2006
    Do you want a fixed blade or a folder? And how much do you want to pay?

    My recommendation (because its the knife I've been using for years now) is the Beretta Loveless dropped point hunter with the zytel handle. You can find them for less than $50 including shipping and the quality is first rate. The Benchmade dropped point Rant is a great bargain as well.

    Or if you're cheap you can spend $15 on a Mora Clipper or Craftsman and still do a decent job, though a clipped point blade is not ideal for skinning. Marttiini of Finland also makes an inexpensive skinner that would serve you well.
  4. Ken44

    Ken44 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    For whitetail a 3.25 to 4" will suit you best. A 3" will do fine for skinning, but feel one around 3.5 to 4" for skinning and quatering the deer would suit all your needs.

    One very important thing is that you get a knife with a straight handle, and enough belly so you won't be poking holes through the hide.
    I would suggest some knives, but there are many in that range.

    I was meatcutter for many years and also had a deer processing buisness on the side, and I did use larger knives when processing since I used them at work dailey and was comfortable with them.
  5. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    I prefer drop point blades. It depends on how much you want to spend.
    Dozier makes some great blades in D2 for hunting with a lot of different styles.
    Bark River makes some great hunting knives in A2.
    Either of these choices will hold up well, especially if you will actually be using the knife for quartering ..

    One of the most comfortable knives I have is an old Schrade sharpfinger.
    1095 steel that takes a terrific edge. I don't know if I would use it for quartering though. But I've never tried it because I never quarter my deer, just Elk. And for Elk I use a small hatchet.It may hold up just fine though.
    You can still find the old versions on the auction site for 30-50 dollars in like new condition.

    Many people swear by and use nothing for hunting except for a Buck 110.

    Size is a real personal thing. It doesn't take a big knife to do the job. I prefer smaller knives because I like the feel. Many people like bigger knives. You will really develop your own likes and dislikes as you do more animals

  6. Leftoverdj


    Nov 4, 2009
    Use what you have. Doesn't take anything special to dress out a deer. I once skinned and dressed one out with a gimme folder with a blade under 2". Wasn't ideal but was good enough for the job. Knife might have cost $2 new if I'd had to pay for it.

    These days, I use a Mora 760 or a basic Martinini. They are both excellent knives. Sure, there are better, but you pay through the nose for slight improvements. I'd rather have a decent $10 knife (and there are some very good ones) everywhere I might need one than an expensive knife that's not where I want it when I want it.
  7. mmarkh

    mmarkh Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    If you want to skin out deer get a skinner knife like Bark River, Wolf River model. For field dressing and skinning a nice drop point will be fine. I prefer a 2 1/2" to 4" blade.
  8. ElectrikHellfire


    May 19, 2008
    RC3 mabey?
  9. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    Never used one but they get good reviews
  10. udtjim


    Sep 4, 2007
    If you want to get by cheap, get the Cold steel Belt Knife.
  11. bigrob911


    Jul 13, 2009
    Shrade Sharpfinger. best skinner I know of.
  12. bcornelis


    Jan 4, 2007
    I agree with others that a 3.5 to 4.5 inch knife is best for this kind of work. I have a Dozier master hunter that is great for skinning. I would also check out some of the customs on the fixed knife sales on the makers thread. Quite often you can get a high quality custom for a better price than a production model.

    The Buck 110 (I have three of them) is one of usual suspects for a backup folding knife.
  13. neki2


    Jul 8, 2008
    Every time a hunting knife gets recomended the buck 110 always gets thrown out there a ton. Im sure its because its done the job forever as a folder in the field the longest and everyone and their grandfather has one. But to me, its narrow blade has limited belly curvature for skinning, the handles narrow and slick so it can be hard to grip when bloody, and being a lock back will be a pain to clean up.

    Im aware 3/4 of the knifes in existence are capable of cleaning a white tail, so lets hear some besides the 110.
  14. kycolonel


    Dec 17, 2006
    I have more hunting knives than any other type and the Dozier Master Skinner is a near perfect knife IMO for one knife to address field dressing and skinning duties. It is not ideal for is the bungholectomy part of field dressing, which is better handled by a slimmer knife (like the Buck 110), but is certainly serviceable for that as well.
  15. elkins45


    Jun 17, 2006
    Have you seen the Butt Out tool? I used one last year--one of the best hunting gadgets of all time! It makes the bungholectomy (love that term!) completely effortless and not at all messy. It and an old bread tie or a piece of string are all you need to make a dirty task almost effortless.
  16. Fletch Helical

    Fletch Helical

    Sep 29, 2009
    I've seen that but never used it. Honestly I just reach as far back from the inside as I can and cut it from there. Never had a problem in 19 years of deer hunting doing that. I've been using a Buck Vanguard as my field dressing knife for as long as I can remember. But it's not a folder.
  17. Murphyslaw


    Aug 13, 2008
    Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a winner here!

    For whitetails, the SOP is to field dress in the woods, and then to skin and butcher at home.

    For field dressing I prefer a 3" dropped point fixed blade.

    For skinning and butchering I use a skinning knives, boning knives, and sometimes a cleaver.

  18. Soulrack223

    Soulrack223 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 8, 2007
  19. udtjim


    Sep 4, 2007
    I am trying a Dozier K-2 this year. Can't wait, later this week.:thumbup:

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