Butcher Knives

Butcher Knives, How little You Really Need to Butcher a Large Animal

I have wanted to write a blog for some time on what butcher knives are required to process large animals.  Now this is an area in which I am definitely not an expert.  It has been a while since I butchered something and then I had help.  So I contacted a friend in Wyoming and asked him for help.  He has lived there for many years and is an avid hunter.  He lives on wild meat, hunting elk, antelope and deer.  Over the years, he has skinned and butchered many an animal.  Most years he gets at least two of the three.

Being a bit of a nut when it comes to knives and probably owning more than I could use in two lifetimes, I asked him what butcher knives he uses.  Well he sent me the following picture of his and as you can see, they are nothing fancy.

The made in Pakistan little knife in the bottom row, he has owned for 12 or more years.  During that time, he has used it to dress out all the game he has killed.  He says it stays sharp and he likes a short blade knife when he guts the animal.  It lets him lay his finger alongside the blade and feel what he is doing.

butcher knives
Skinning an antelope

The knife in the middle left is a skinning knife by Frost, he recently acquired; he said it is the first skinning knife he has ever owned.  He likes it and says it holds a good edge.

The fillet knife, he has had for many years, but it holds a good edge and does the job.  The only other tool that he uses is the hack saw to cut off the legs and other bones.

As you can see, he does not use any fancy butcher knives.  He makes do with what he has and is successful at it.


2 thoughts on “Butcher Knives, How little You Really Need to Butcher a Large Animal”

  1. More information on the saw may be helpful. Specialized “meat” saws work better than common hacksaws, having a longer frame which reduces work needed to cut through larger bones. The tooth set on meat saws are designed so that the teeth don’t clog with bone chips, fast or marrow. A saw is the best way to cut steaks and roasts out of frozen sides. If you don’t have a standard meat saw, a clean, sharp crosscut saw does a creditable job. Wash the blade with hot soapy water and steel wool to remove any rust or wood sap, then use a USDA H1 food grade grease or mineral oil to protect the blade from rusting. Clean and preserve the same way and wrap the clean and oiled saw in butcher’s paper to store until next year’s hunting season.

  2. Suggest you consider the KS1099DBT Kershaw Deluxe Blade Trader Knife for your skinning etc needs. Very well made set and you can shop around the net for the best price. It will easily fit in your GOOD bag and provides multi functions as it comes with six interchangable blades.

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