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Will be going on my first deer hunt and need advice on a knife for field dressing. I'm thinking of either the Buck 110, Buck 112, or Gerber Freeman (fixed blade).

Appreciate any advice on these 3 knives and which is best for field dressing.

Thanks!
 

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That is a tough one. A knife is kind of a personal thing and what you are going to use it for makes a big difference. I think of the 110 as kind of a generic camp tool sort of knife. If I had to skin a deer or hog, I would reach for my Buck Vanguard or a old Randall made #25. Cleaning fish or frogs, a filet knife. I'm sure you will get lots of recomendations but I try to carry several knives for different needs. On a actual hunt, I want a short, narrow, very sharp folder in my pocket for gutting and a 4" fixed blade for whatever. Back at the truck or in camp, I have many choices for the correct application.
 

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For a good hunting knife it simply needs to be comfortable, capable of holding a SHARP edge, large enough to do the job, small enough to be easily carried and simple. There's no need for Rambo's survival knife, unless you're going into the woods for extended periods, which would then beg the question of best survival knife instead. For what you need, a good, simple fixed-bladed knife will serve you well.

Here's the Remington knife my Pappy bought for me for my 14th birthday, and it's only had to be sharpened twice in those thirteen years:


Here's a link to a Buck knife that's probably about as good as you need:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=688972&t=11082005
 

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I have a lot of different knives, but for skinning deer, for the past 45 years I have just used a folding pocket knife, three bladed, that will touch up easily using a small diamond steel. I think skinning deer is way overrated. Just not that hard of a job. A big bladed knife is actually more cumbersome.

Kevin in Or.
 

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Nothing beats a randall. :D



I bought a randall model 5 (B in the picture is a model 5) when i was 14. I took delivery of it when i was 16. Mine has a black micarta handle, nickel silver hilt, and a compass (can you tell I read a lot of Bradford Angier's outdoor books as a youngster?). At the time I ordered mine there was about a 2 year wait between order and delivery. Cost at that time was $210. I am thinking of ordering another as a gift to my oldest boy, but if I remember correctly there is about a 4 year wait now (unless you buy one from a dealer that stocks them, and then their is a higher cost). There are also listings on ebay for them. I've had mine 18 years now. Randall knives are some of the best in my opinion.
http://www.randallknives.com/

I have also used Olsen OK knives ( a defunct knife company from howard city, MI), schrades, case xx, and a few other knives. Some depends on the situation - it is nice to have more than one knife when hunting. That way if one gets dull a sharp one can be used. Or you can take the time to resharpen the one knife.
But the best advice I can offer is to find one that feels comfortable to you and that you like. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
knives

Thanks to everyone for your advice--I will seriously consider all the knives you mentioned.

Follow up on my original post: if you had to compare the Buck 110 and 112, which is the better field dressing knife for deer? The 110 is a 3.75" blade, and the 112 is a 3" blade. Both are clip point.

Thanks again
 

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Thanks to everyone for your advice--I will seriously consider all the knives you mentioned.

Follow up on my original post: if you had to compare the Buck 110 and 112, which is the better field dressing knife for deer? The 110 is a 3.75" blade, and the 112 is a 3" blade. Both are clip point.

Thanks again
In my opinion ... whichever is sharper. Other than that - it don't matter.

Buck is my choice for hunting knives.
 

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Thanks to everyone for your advice--I will seriously consider all the knives you mentioned.

Follow up on my original post: if you had to compare the Buck 110 and 112, which is the better field dressing knife for deer? The 110 is a 3.75" blade, and the 112 is a 3" blade. Both are clip point.

Thanks again
Like others have said a hunting knife is a personal thing to many But for field dressing and skinning forget the clip point style blade especially if your not well versed in gutting a animal . Stick with somthing like this blade style. BTW 3"- 4" blade is all you'll ever need. http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=171668&t=11082005
 

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the real choice is probably between a folder and a fixed blade. Sometimes a folder is a pain to keep clean, whereas a fixed blade washes up easily. A fixed blade is bigger and more of a pain to pack around sometimes. I generally use a Buck 110 (i like the finger groove model) or a Case to field dress the deer, and use that as well as a larger fixed blade for butchering.

To clean a folder I use hot soapy water and then rinse w/ very very hot water, dry, then lightly oil the works.
 

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I use a Schreade old timer 3 blade pocket knife.
I use the smallest blade, and cut the back legs up the back, the front legs up the front and split the hide from around the butt hole to the chin
Then I use my hands and peel the skin off, leaving the skin with no meat and fat, and all that on the carcass, where it belongs. I dry and tan the skins, so the wife makes clothing for winter, then, when winter is over , we sell the Parkees off and do it again.
Using my hands is way easier on me and the hide. No slashes,no cuts. Animals butcher and gut easily with a small blade too.
the armpits and inner thigh are a bit tough, and kkep your hands onthe skin side of the connective tissue, its so easy when the carcass is warm, you'll never do it different again.
 

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Hey, Caribou, you may want to try something next time to make pulling the skin off a little easier. When you get a good portion started, wrap it around a tennis or baseball, tie a good rope around it, and pull that way. It gives you a bit better leverage than the skin does, and it seems to work a bit better (at least for me).
 

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I have a Buck 560 folder that has a titanium handle and has finger grooves for secure handling when bloody or wet. Beefy enough to split the ribcage up to the throat for fast field dressing but more compact than a one piece. Of course if I had a nice Randall it would be a different story.
 

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I use a Schreade old timer 3 blade pocket knife.
I use the smallest blade, and cut the back legs up the back, the front legs up the front and split the hide from around the butt hole to the chin
Then I use my hands and peel the skin off, leaving the skin with no meat and fat, and all that on the carcass, where it belongs. I dry and tan the skins, so the wife makes clothing for winter, then, when winter is over , we sell the Parkees off and do it again.
Using my hands is way easier on me and the hide. No slashes,no cuts. Animals butcher and gut easily with a small blade too.
the armpits and inner thigh are a bit tough, and kkep your hands onthe skin side of the connective tissue, its so easy when the carcass is warm, you'll never do it different again.
'bou--PM me about buying some of your "old" clothes next spring!
 

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i'm a knife/gun nutt, so i have lots of both. bought a buck 110 when i turned 21, no telling how many deer it's skinned, and a few hogs,rabbits,squirrels,ducks, too. it's hard to beat. toted mine all through the oil fields as a derreck hand, slimmed the blade down a little through all the sharpenings. now i carry a bucklite, about the same knife but with a camo plastic handle and cloth sheath, nice and lite. only thing i don't like about them is the stainless blades, slower to sharpen. i also use a old timer sharpfinger and the large version of the same little skinner, nice carbon blades hold great edges and easy to sharpen. so many to chose from it boggles the mind. i have 1 randall, too nice to use, a safe queen, and also a marbles thats probably 80 years old. go to e-bay and look up marbles knives, they have new knives out that are reasonable..... i got faith that whatever you chose will be o.k. you can never own just 1.
 

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Great thread. My personal favorite is a 'type', instead of a brand: fixed blade, some contour to the handle/grips, and a finger guard or similar construction to keep from slipping from blood or rain. Beyond that, simple, simple, simple...

Poot
 

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One of my favorite "types" of knife are the Mora style knives from Sweden and Norway. They are cheap enough to keep several on hand, easy to sharpen to a razor like edge and are great skinner and general purpose blades.
 

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I've had my Buck #110 for over 30 years & have used it almost exclusively for everything from birds to Elk. I've also recently retired the old hatchet I used for disjointing & splitting with a great little stainless steel meat cleaver from the 99¢ store. It's easy to sharpen and holds an edge throughout the job with only a touch up from a medium chef's steel. Wish I would have found one like it 20 years ago.
 

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Making my own

If I can figure out how to post pictures I'll take a picture of the knives I'm making, they are kind of like a Bavarian style but larger, some are smaller, I'll post pictures when the first one is done, it's a stag handle. The blades were ground at about 2 cc per hour worth of metal so there's no chance of loosing temper.

The Mauser Kid
 
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