Almost Slit my Wrist with Havalon

sahunter06

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
182
Location
GA
Professional meat cutters use knives designed for cutting meat on a table and the blade design most often used ( victorinox) is perfect for that task( I have three professional butchers in the family) where field processing happens at odd angles, includes skinning and often gutting requirements of a knife are far different. Otherwise why don't you use the same knife the pros use? I have been processing my own meat for decades and many years skin and process over 15 big game animals ( elk, moose, deer, and bear) and skin 30-50 coyotes in a season. Design makes a huge difference. Knives that excel for taking meat off the bone of a elk are not as great for skinning small game. On a side note..
Last year( @age 40) I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hands. Last season I skinned and butchered 3 elk and 4 deer. I can assure you some designs cut way better than others and blade angles that keep the cutting edge on the cutting surface with minimal wrist/ hand angle changes, and a good edge design that cuts with minimal force makes all the difference. Poorly designed knives left my hands and forearms burning and tired them out in very short order. However two different knives I have allowed me to work much longer with way less effort and pain. Again though your milage might vary this is just my experience.
Good points from your experience. Some name brand cutlery knives do well for daily use around the home or shop. I‘ve built plenty of cutlery knives for butchers that just want more out of their knives. A butcher taught me years ago that a knife has to cut straight ( when cutting beef- Ribeyes, Filets, NY strips, etc). It was an odd statement, but made sense when he showed me the cutting test of my knife design and two other name brand knives. The result was night and day in ease and straightness of his cut. A valuable lesson learned.
Design is based off the use of the knife. Then more important keys like steel, grind type, hardness, and most importantly edge geometry. Unless you use a knife everyday its hard to understand the experience of burning hands and forearms, or getting tired trying to skin an animal or cutting beef on a butcher block.

If your knife does its job then great. Others that have commented previously, want something else out of their tool and that takes them to a different place to meet their needs.

It’s experience and having conversations that we gain knowledge. My comments on knives are based on decades of learning, experience and testing. Most importantly customer feedback. Hopefully there’s some value to that.
 

hikenhunt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
300
Location
WA
Ironically, my hunting buddy has cut himself more times while trying to sharpen his knife than actually processing animals...I wish I was kidding
 

MattB

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,269
Get a good knife with good steel and it will last an animal.
Sharpening a knife is a skill every hunter should know, just my opinion. We live in a throw away society and the havalon is just that.

I can reccomend some knives that won’t break the bank if your interested.
Do you carry a towel instead of toilet paper? 😁
 

unclericco

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
633
Location
NV
I do like the Havalons but I’ve cut myself twice with them. I have to gather myself and pay close attention to safety when using to break down big game. they do make me a bit nervous but I will continue to use them because of how fast I can work with them.
 

Luckyrxc

Member
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
57
You may want to consider wearing a filleting glove on your other hand. Greatly reduces your risk especially when a long way from help. I have one in my kill kit when hunting solo and then also when hunting larger game (ex: bear). I consider them "disposable".

Also a good idea if someone is on blood thinners.
This. I also keep a cut glove in my kill kit. You can buy them at Cabela’s as fish fillet gloves, or from the kitchen restaurant supply store as cut gloves for less money. The one time I left my fixed blade at camp and only carried the Piranta, I popped the blade off several times while working up a buck. I went back to caring both the fixed blade and Piranta and stopped popping off blades. They do require a delicate touch and I thought many times of switching to Gerber or Outdoor Edge.
 

Michael54

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
773
A knife is only as good as the person using it and how they are using it. I watched a guy turn a shaving sharp elmax bark river into a butterknife in the process of gutting one whitetail. Ive had blades come off of a havalon multiple times in a single use and looking back it was because i was doing something i shouldnt have with that knife and how it was designed. I threw it away and went back to my go to 119 buck.
 

NYlions

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2021
Messages
21
I have a havalon that I now mostly use for skinning. I have had the blades snap and didn’t realize I was putting multiple small not deep slips in my opposite hands thumb while gutting a deer. They are extremely sharp.

while I still carry the havalon in the pack. Below is a western vintage knife that I absolutely love. Holds a edge extremely well and also has a saw.
1628569591927.jpeg
 

Alaskan89

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
192
I've been using a Gene Ingram #1 semi for well over a decade and it is my go to knife, I can butcher (not skin and butcher) an entire moose with it, money well spent IMO. I also just picked up a Havalon Piranta-Edge knife for skinning and caping, hoping to use it on a Dall ram and possibly a bull moose.
 

JW7

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
14
Any new knife with S30V!!! I can get through an entire animal without resharpening S30V. Most of my other knives have quality steel, but S30V is unlike any other. Dump Havalon and get a blade with S30V steel.
 

willidru

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
463
Location
California
Definitely need to be extra careful, I gave myself a good poke rolling over an elk when I was cutting it up. Luckily had some quikclot and gauge. It went deep enough that my quad was black and blue and sore for the next couple days. It’s a good reminder, no matter what blade, take your time and pay attention. I definitely didn’t earn my Jr. Woodchuck Merritt badge that year.
 

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Bulldawg

Senior Member
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Aug 8, 2014
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Location
Minnesota
I use a Tyto, and have a few havalons i've used in the past, and have cut myself numerous times while butchering. I've also cut myself numerous times with different knives too. The worst was in 18 when i was quartering a big bull solo. My knife slipped through something and smacked my arm. I froze thinking, crap bandaging an arm solo is tough cause you only got one hand to deal with. But didn't feel any pain, looked at my hand and there was nothing so sweet, I must have luckily hit my watch band and not my arm so I didn't miss stride and kept on working. Until my hands were getting bloody but from the wrong direction. I finally pulled my sleeve up and saw this: IMG_5620.jpeg

Fortunately or unfortunately i'm not sure which, I don't have much feeling in my arm so I never noticed that I actually cut myself. But I did miss the important stuff and didn't start to bleed out. I washed it out and wrapped it up and didn't look at it for a couple days as I was busy packing meat out, not the best plan of action, but I figured that if I wasn't bleeding through the bandage I'll live. It was starting to heal up nicely and I didn't bother with stitches.

Sharp objects are dangerous in general, try and practice safe tactics, and learn some first aide and be smart.
 

JMatt

Junior Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
13
Wow, that’s a nasty one. First deer I field dressed the knife slipped and slashed my left wrist bone similar to that. Lesson learned!
 

Retch_Sweeney

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
14
Location
La Center, WA
Not a big fan of the havalon piranta, I use the Gerber Vital and it works great. The little box of new blades has a slot to dump the old ones, which is nice.
 
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