1. Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite EDC Folding Knife
The Outdoor Edge® Razor-Lite™ EDC Folding Knife has an integrated pocket clip on the Grivory® (glassylon) handle. The Grivory handle reduces the overall weight of the knife, while rubberized TPR inserts on key grip areas provide a secure grip. The pocket clip is removable and replaceable. A black oxide coated blade holder supports the replaceable blade to give you the strength of a traditional knife with the sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel. The blade holder features a serrated thumb rest for better control and two thumb studs for quick one-handed opening. The Razor-Lite EDC uses a locking design to prevent the blade from bending in your hand during use. The Razor-Lite EDC Folding Knife is an extremely versatile and easy to maintain everyday carry knife well suited for a variety of cutting tasks.
- Integrated pocket clip for everyday carry (EDC)
- Grivory grip with rubberized TPR inserts
- The pocket clip is removable and replaceable
- Replaceable surgical steel blade
- Serrated thumb rest
- One-handed opening
- Non-slip TPR handle
- Includes 6 spare blades
Advantages/Large replaceable meat hook blade and comfort sized handle
Conclusion/An excellent versatile and compact skinning blade
3. HAVALON PIRANTA EDGE KNIFE
The author’s choice
Havalon’s best-selling for dressing and skinning in the field, the Havalon Piranta-Edge features surgically sharp replaceable blades and an easy-to-find flaming orange handle. This skinning knife with replaceable blades is always sharp – just replace the blades and go! Each knife includes 12 additional #60A stainless steel blades. The overall length of the open knife is 7-1/4″. You’ll love the easy-grip black rubber inlay, liner-lock construction and pocket clip.
You will appreciate the lightness of this skinning and combing knife: less than three ounces. And no need to carry extra knives, heavy files, stones or other sharpeners.
Advantages/Replaceable very fine cutting blade
The inconvenients/Blade replacements are a bit expensive and the folding knife is a pain to clean compared to fixed blade knives (thankfully it comes with 12)
Conclusion/A great option for those who like surgical precision and a compact folding tool
4. Buck 119 Special Knife
Suggested by OutdoorHub reader Sam S.
Since 1942, the 119 Special has become one of the most widely used knives by hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. This fixed blade hunting knife features a large, hand-sharpened clip-on blade, which provides control at the tip with a larger cutting surface at the belly of the blade. The aluminum guard at the base of the blade provides protection for your hand. The handle is made with an extremely durable, hand-shaped phenolic material that will withstand years of hard work. The knife is finished with an aluminum pommel for a classic look. Includes black genuine leather sheath for convenient carrying on belt or in bag.
Advantages/Very affordable and durable
The inconvenients/Blade design makes it easy to accidentally puncture the skin where you don’t want it
Conclusion/A great option for an experienced hunter who knows what he’s doing.
5. ALASKA LIGHT HUNTER KNIVES FIXED BLADE KNIFE
The Alaskan Light Hunter Mini Skinner/Cleaver Knives are specifically designed for hunters who need a powerful blade for cutting medium sized bones and performing difficult skinning tasks. Hunters of deer, sheep and mountain goats, who hunt on extended, strenuous and high-altitude expeditions, will find this to be an excellent tool that keeps the weight of equipment to a minimum, while having enough weight to easily and efficiently perform dressing jobs in the field. . Each Light Hunter Fixed Blade Skinning Knife is handcrafted from the same incredibly strong, fully annealed, double drawn, cryogenically treated D-2 tool steel as the award-winning Brown Bear. The blade is 1/4″ thick, just like the big brown bear; however, it is 3″ shorter. They also added a large capacity gut hook, so the thick hair of sheep, mountain goats, elk and large northern white-tailed deer doesn’t “tangle up” like it does with small gut hooks.
Advantages/Includes Gut Hook and has a nice rounded blade to avoid accidentally puncturing the skin
The inconvenients/Pretty expensive
Conclusion/A finely crafted skinning blade for the discerning outdoor enthusiast.
6. GERBER VITAL SKIN & GUT KNIFE
With the highly visual orange handle of the Gerber Vital Skin & Gut Knife that features intuitive finger grooves for greater ergonomic function, this is a smart and functional addition to a hunter’s kit bag. The unique blade contour and adjoining gut hook allow the pioneer knife to easily dress large game, saving time and body fatigue. With the right tools for efficient operation, the task of skinning and dressing the animal becomes much less exhausting. The Vital Skin & Gut Knife has excellent edge retention and is easy to hold for navigating difficult contours in big game with its unique round expansion along the belly of the blade.
Advantages/Easy to use for beginners and comes with a high quality blade and gut hook
The inconvenients/Strange grip for the gut knife
Conclusion/A great set of tools for beginners!
Should I skin my deer right away?
This will mainly depend on the weather at the time. In very cold weather, there really shouldn’t be too much of a rush because the meat won’t have too much time for bacteria to take hold and start growing at dangerous rates. However, all I was told growing up and talking to other hunters was that you should always skin your deer before trying to take it down.
How long should a deer hang before skinning?
You should let your deer hang for a minimum of 2-4 days before processing. An optimum temperature for hanging venison meat should be above freezing but below 40 degrees F. Many people let venison hang in their garage, but this is far from suitable conditions due to contaminants, pests and temperature fluctuations that accompany an uncontrolled environment. such as this. If your meat is stored above 40 degrees it will start to rot, but if frozen at temperatures below 28 degrees it can become freezer burnt. In these situations, having access to a commercial-sized refrigerator that will keep your deer at a consistent temperature and free from outside contamination is optimal.
How sharp should a skinning knife be?
From what I know and have learned from various hunters is that 20 degrees either side would be on the narrow end, possibly too narrow for field dressing and skinning. 25º to 30º per side is a little sturdier and will be a little less sharp but definitely more durable but still able to handle the chore. For me, 20-22 degrees has always worked great for skinning and slicing an animal’s skin very precisely and gently. Choosing a steeper angle increases the risk of accidentally cutting holes in the skin, but you’ll have to play around with different angles yourself and eventually see what works best for you.
We are committed to finding, researching and recommending the best products. We earn commissions on the purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how it works.