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Do any of you use a Havalon?
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These knives have never appealed to me, but this last week, I saw one used on boning a Mule Deer in preparation for packing out and must admit that it seemed sharper and more efficient in slicing the meat from the bone.

Aesthetically they are crap, but I'm wondering if others are finding them a more effective method for field dressing game.
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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yup!



along with another bunch of utilitarian tools





Lot of the hogs I skin are muddy. The hill country mud/dirt has a lot of fine rock ground up in it. We do not field dress. Rather bring the carcass back and hang from the hind legs. I find the Havalons are great for making the first cut around the achilles tendon and also my first incision below the animals genitals.




That way I'm not cutting "rocks" with my good skinners!

From there on its off to the races.


I don't use knives as pry bars, but I find that hey don't do well when lateral pressure is applied.



ya!


GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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Nope . Always looked at them for shitiots who cannot/do not know how to sharpen a knife .
 
Posts: 1991 | Location: Sinton, TX | Registered: 16 June 2013Reply With Quote
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Schrodinger's Cat,

I had thought better of you! Confused

Lee
 
Posts: 569 | Location: Vancouver, WA | Registered: 28 June 2010Reply With Quote
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Haha, Lee. I agree. Maybe Texas Killartist is correct--I'm not getting my knives sharp enough. But, is a surgeon's scapel sharper than a regular hunting knife. Maybe the answer is a thinner knife. I've used for years knives that have a spine that are hell for strong. A 1/4 or a 3/8 inch thick blade may not be best for a field dressing.

My question to you Lee is how thin can a field dressing knife be made--- 1/8 inch?
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of Lee Baumgart
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I use 1/8" stock and don't see a reason to move up or down in thickness.

Here's a thread from the Knife Network you may find interesting and may create further discussion- http://www.knifenetwork.com/fo...owthread.php?t=10606

We have two Master Bladesmiths, Mr. Fisk and Mr. Williams, that post on this forum and have years of experience making and using knives. I am curious what their answers might be to the question of minimum blade thickness on a hunting knife...

Lee
 
Posts: 569 | Location: Vancouver, WA | Registered: 28 June 2010Reply With Quote
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I use them and I like them, I have a lot of fancy customs and I like those too. But I prefer the havalons for dressing animals.

Light in weight and don't need sharpening gear along a few spare blades weigh nothing.

And for caping they are the cat's ass (pardon the pun Cat).

.
 
Posts: 40070 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With Quote
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Cat, there are different types of sharp. There is barber razor sharp and there is butcher sharp. They will cut different. Each person needs to use both then decide what they like.


Keep the Pointy end away from you
www.jerryfisk.com
 
Posts: 449 | Registered: 28 August 2014Reply With Quote
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Jerry, why is it that a barber’s straight edge razor is sharper than a hunting knife? Maybe that’s not true, but that’s my impression. I wouldn’t think it’s the steel. Is it the difference in the angles of the cutting edge?

I guess the question is, if I change the angle of my knife blade to say 5 or 10 degrees will a get a more fragile, but a more razor like edge?
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Cat, as most sharpening it goes to the burr on the edge for your question. The barber uses a fine hone then strops the burr to just as it comes off giving him an edge that goes to zero. The burr if left on will still shave but will cut off the top layer of skin along with the hair giving razor burn.
The burr makes an aggressive edge. The burr can be enhanced by a custom maker by h
Their steel selection and or their heat treating. Most stainless by its property's have a lot of chrome allowing the burr to only achieve a certain length by breaking off at length. This is why some people prefer carbon or pattern welded carbon steels to achieve a longer burr. The burr can actual do cutting/chopping if done right by the maker.
My personal preference is for the carbon steel burr. Razors such as the Havalon when they wear down from a zero they are bad dull, just replace. An edge with a burr wears off the burr and is then to zero then wears down like the razor. So, my personal choice the way I cut is that it will cut longer and better for me.
That's why we have so many makers with so many choices, there is no right and wrong, it's just how you like it cut.


Keep the Pointy end away from you
www.jerryfisk.com
 
Posts: 449 | Registered: 28 August 2014Reply With Quote
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Thanks for your response, Jerry.

Like everyone, I used knives all my life, but a discussion like this makes me wonder how much I really know. This interplay between steel type, Rockwell hardness, blade angle and burrs is pretty complicated.

I primarily use stainless just because I don’t like to be constantly maintaining a blade when on a hunting trip, nor do I care for that Grey patina, but when I think about it, my very sharpest knives have been the high carbon blades.
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Fisk:
Cat, as most sharpening it goes to the burr on the edge for your question. The barber uses a fine hone then strops the burr to just as it comes off giving him an edge that goes to zero. The burr if left on will still shave but will cut off the top layer of skin along with the hair giving razor burn.
The burr makes an aggressive edge. The burr can be enhanced by a custom maker by h
Their steel selection and or their heat treating. Most stainless by its property's have a lot of chrome allowing the burr to only achieve a certain length by breaking off at length. This is why some people prefer carbon or pattern welded carbon steels to achieve a longer burr. The burr can actual do cutting/chopping if done right by the maker.
My personal preference is for the carbon steel burr. Razors such as the Havalon when they wear down from a zero they are bad dull, just replace. An edge with a burr wears off the burr and is then to zero then wears down like the razor. So, my personal choice the way I cut is that it will cut longer and better for me.
That's why we have so many makers with so many choices, there is no right and wrong, it's just how you like it cut.


Thank you for the great explanation.

Now I know why I generally prefer carbon steel knifes.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2568 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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I sure can see the case for the Havalons in some circumstances -- such as the one outlined by Geedubya. Otherwise they kind of leave me cold.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14801 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Jerry, that was a very interesting explanation. Are you saying that as a general rule that a high carbon blade has a longer burr than a stainless steel knife? And by longer, I presume that you mean the length of the blade.

If I understand you right, because of the chromium, the burr of a stainless steel is not as fine, narrow as a high carbon steel.
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Cat, as the blade slides over the stone it raises up a burr or wire edge on the very edge itself from basically spine to the max end of the cutting edge.

Even on the same knife different stones can make different a length of burr due to its grit size. My personal preference is for a Norton Fine India stone ( this was also the same fine grit stone that came in those three set of India stones bathed in oil that butchers used for many years). However if I use the I dais stone then go a flat ceramic stone many people says it feels sharper. It reality it's not, the burr or teeth is simply finer and like the stripped razor it will wear faster. I have taken my knives to a buffed or stropped razor edge to see if I preferred that. ......The best example you can for yourself...take a carbon steel knife (or Havalon)then sharpen it to a razor edge..you can see where you will be able to just pick off a singular hair off of your arm and cut it off ..I mean it's sharp. Now..take a hickory hammer handle (and slice away from you of course)...Shave a big ole curl off of it...you will find the blade slides during the cut........Now...take the same knife then sharpen with the fine India stone then make the same cut....you will find that the blade ,,not only does not slide it just wants to bury deeper... ...again, this is just my preference for an edge..there is no right or wrong. I have used all types of stones both man made and natural jigs etc. My personal choice is to know how to sharpen on a flat stone. I can touch up on a car window etc if I need to but i prefer the stone

Damascus will hold the same as any other good steel, no better nor no worse if the smith knows what he is doing. There are a lot more variables that goes into cutting..that's a different subject..


Keep the Pointy end away from you
www.jerryfisk.com
 
Posts: 449 | Registered: 28 August 2014Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill/Oregon:
I sure can see the case for the Havalons in some circumstances -- such as the one outlined by Geedubya. Otherwise they kind of leave me cold.


I notice a lot of guides in North America at least have gone to using Havalons. For them it makes sense. They just want a tool to handle game processing choirs and not mess with resharpening. Just change the blade and continue on.

The only thing I don't like about that is those tiny blades are very prone to making holes in the hide. They aren't very good skinners so I usually jump in and help. If for no other reason than to save my hide and keep my taxidermist happy.

Personally I'm not much of a fan but I do understand why some like them.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2568 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for your informative response, Jerry. I’m going to play with it.

CougarZ, I have observed the same thing. In fact just got back from s mule deer hunt and the guide used a Havalon
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Knife sharpening is an art that C A N N O T be learned overnite !
I have the scars to prove it !T.
Thus, the havalon !!
For years,
People have traveled great distances to have my father sharpen their knives ( sometimes to their detriment ) ! He ‘s the best and fastest I’ve ever seen ! To the average shitiot, there has been a standard warning ( that knife is sharper than it ever has been ! Don’t cut yourself !
You will bleed A N D , it will hurt !
I can get them as sharp,
It just takes me longer !
B/4 deer season, I had no hair on my forearms or calves !
If it would not shave , it was not sharp enough !
After a lifetime of practice’ a stone, homemade strop and a bit of ( bugandy ) jeweler’s rouge, it will shave ! A N D cut you badly ! As Mr. Fisk says, keep the pointy end away from you !
The havalon, or whatever, is just another item for the average ( obozo supporting ) shitiot to have a sharp knife !
They will exist untill some shitiot sues them—-because their blades were ‘too sharp ‘.
Mark my words ! Wait and see ! Sad, but true !
 
Posts: 1991 | Location: Sinton, TX | Registered: 16 June 2013Reply With Quote
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quote:

The havalon, or whatever, is just another item for the average ( obozo supporting ) shitiot to have a sharp knife !




I guess I resemble that remark,

as I figure




there is a time and a place





for every blade!



One of the leases I'm on requires that the lower jaw of any doe taken to be logged in with a data card. The small Havalon sure made short work out of the process, aided with the Ken Honeycutt Dorado and Cold Steel Outdoorsman for medium and heavier lifting!


JAPPFT,


GWB


PS: I do use a Havalon from time to time, and after Ted Cruz dropped out, I proudly voted for Donald J. Trump as the next POTUS.
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Schrodinger's Cat:
These knives have never appealed to me, but this last week, I saw one used on boning a Mule Deer in preparation for packing out and must admit that it seemed sharper and more efficient in slicing the meat from the bone.

Aesthetically they are crap , but I'm wondering if others are finding them a more effective method for field dressing game.


I agree with you regarding the aesthetics of the Havalon knives. They just don't look like knives to me... But a lot of very serious hunters use and like them.

I have had good luck with the Outdoor Edge "Razor-lite EDC" and "Onyx" models(I have one of each). They use a replaceable blade that is similar to the Havalon blades except that they fit into a spine. To me this seems stronger/stiffer and it looks more like a knife(to my eye).

The downsides I see with the Outdoor Edge knives compared to the Havalon knives is that the replacement blades cost more(twice as much?) and the blade holder(spine?) takes a bit of attention to get really clean.

In the past two seasons I have used the two knives to field dress(either gut or gutless method) and skin: 5 deer, 3 antelope and 1 elk. I am still using the original blade in each knife. I find that the blades are very easy to resharpen.





Jason

"You're not hard-core, unless you live hard-core."
_______________________

Hunting in Africa is an adventure. The number of variables involved preclude the possibility of a perfect hunt. Some problems will arise. How you decide to handle them will determine how much you enjoy your hunt.

Just tell yourself, "it's all part of the adventure." Remember, if Robert Ruark had gotten upset every time problems with Harry
Selby's flat bed truck delayed the safari, Horn of the Hunter would have read like an indictment of Selby. But Ruark rolled with the punches, poured some gin, and enjoyed the adventure.

-Jason Brown
 
Posts: 6062 | Location: Nome, Alaska(formerly SW Wyoming) | Registered: 22 December 2003Reply With Quote
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Texaskill, I think you are spot on. The fact of the matter is that a lot of us can’t teally sharpen a knife. Like you, my dad couldn’t really sharpen a knife.

I don’t know, probably can’t keep the angle the same on every stroke, but I can get them only so sharp. Small blades are easier for me.

I did pick up a stone a couple years ago from Kershaw, that seems to work better for me. It’s I believe a Japanese water stone. I bought it at Kershaw sale and the directions were in Japanese, so I had to resort to the internet, with marginal results.

I think I could use a good education on stones. Do diamond embedded stones put on good edges or are they just rough work for example.
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of Lee Baumgart
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Cat,

I sent you a PM.

Lee
 
Posts: 569 | Location: Vancouver, WA | Registered: 28 June 2010Reply With Quote
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If your sittin in a blind shooting whitetail in texas about any knife is good and you see lots of fine custom knives in the hands of the hunters...

I like to have a Havalon and a bucket of blades in the high country, I don't like to sit in the snow and sharpen a dulled knife..I use a knife damn hard, splitting rib cage and pelvis and I have a knife for that, the rest is for the Havalon and the extra blades...The usual rebuttal to that is a knife is only for cutting use a axe or cleaver or chain saw for the tough work..Yep just want I want to pack around at 12000 ft.

Claims made on knives today is over the top, they just won't cut it with hard use, no knife will..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39455 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
People have traveled great distances to have my father sharpen their knives ( sometimes to their detriment ) ! He ‘s the best and fastest I’ve ever seen ! To the average shitiot, there has been a standard warning ( that knife is sharper than it ever has been ! Don’t cut yourself


Very true people come to me to sharpen their knifes.

At deer camp people are always handing me their knifes.

I learned how many years ago when I was skinning a hundred muskrats and other furbearers a night. I would have to buy a new knife every fall as the old one was worn down to far.

One time I handed my knife to a fellow to cut some rope I said its sharp don't cut your self.

He then proceed to slice is palm wide open.

I still prefer a hard Arkansas stone.

Was at a show one time there was a knife maker there I picked up a couple of his blades and tested the sharpness.

To fur skinning standards they were not very sharp.

I asked him if he left them that way for the show he said they were sharp.

Then he said are you the SOB that was here yesterday. I was not so someone else knew what a sharp knife was.
 
Posts: 17879 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
I don’t know, probably can’t keep the angle the same on every stroke, but I can get them only so sharp. Small blades are easier for me.


Hours of practice is how you learn to keep the angles. Most people try to take to big a slice off the stone.
 
Posts: 17879 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Ive always been able to sharpen a knive well enough to shave with, sometimes in the field you can get a knive too sharpe depencing on how you use it..For deer, elk etc. if you cut through the rib cage and pelvis a thin sharp knife will dull, even chip. so less of an edge is required..On elk I like a axe, saws all, or chainsaw. I like green river or their ilk or butchering, the steel is soft and sharpens back up quickly..as do commercial butchers. These Havalons are dandy to have on extended tent hunts etc..along with extra blades..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39455 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
if you cut through the rib cage and pelvis a thin sharp knife will dull, even chip. so less of an edge is required..On elk I like a axe, saws all, or chainsaw.


Ray try getting a small pair of loppers. They do not weigh much and they make short work of rib cages and such.

I do not care for the Havalon razors.
 
Posts: 75 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With Quote
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I like them for notching tags, they're are about as good as it gets for skinning bears and good for caping. I don't like them for much else, they are too sharp for routine trap-line skinning.
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Saskatchewan, Canada | Registered: 30 November 2006Reply With Quote
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Interesting statement Dogleg about being too sharp. Do you mean that it is too easy to cut a hole in the pelt? That would make sense
 
Posts: 10702 | Registered: 28 September 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Schrodinger's Cat:
Interesting statement Dogleg about being too sharp. Do you mean that it is too easy to cut a hole in the pelt? That would make sense


I agree.


Although I use em', many a time I've said that Havilon's are too sharp for caping!

ya!

GWB
 
Posts: 23752 | Location: Pearland, Tx,, USA | Registered: 10 September 2001Reply With Quote
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I use a Havolon Stag without the case for a reason....... 2 reasons

Ultralight,

BTW....... I sharpen the blades quickly when needed in the field with another ultralught tool

Rada plastic 2 wheel


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Posts: 7305 | Location: South East Missouri | Registered: 23 November 2005Reply With Quote
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The blades are brittle and they can pop off. The Lawyers changed the verbage to read only for skinning.


Golf is for people that don't know how to Hunt and Fish.
The Al-Bino Vest

http://www.huntfishnw.com
 
Posts: 2208 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Schrodinger's Cat:
Interesting statement Dogleg about being too sharp. Do you mean that it is too easy to cut a hole in the pelt? That would make sense



Sorry, I missed this question. Yes, for light skinning of such paper thin things like martens they are just a nuisance. On coyotes there are too many holes. Most trappers I know just use a quality paring knife, and those are far from razor sharp. Likewise taxidermists, although there are those who like scalpel blades which the Havalons are. Bears are where they really come into their own, when there's gallons of lard its nice to leave some of it on the bear. Paws, claws and jaws respond well to the Havalon.

Off the subject but I like the Gerber knife a little more now, and it takes the same blades.
 
Posts: 1928 | Location: Saskatchewan, Canada | Registered: 30 November 2006Reply With Quote
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