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Scorpyd Orion Ravin R9
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been using the same buck knife with a gut hook for the last 7-8 years, and it has been a great knife over that span of years. It just doesn't seem to retain its sharpness as well after I sharpen it these days (like a chain for a chainsaw, it doesn't seem to keep its sharp cutting ability as long as it once did). That being said, what do you guys recommend as a replacement? I would definitely want a knife with a gut hook (very convenient). I am certainly not opposed to another Buck knife, but don't know if there are even better knives out there. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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This one from Tim Olt over in Michigan. S35VN steel that sharpens up VERY toothy and is a cutting SOB. It stays sharp better than anything I have tried in the past, nothing seems to stain it. I have two of Tim's knives in S35VN, and both have done a fair amount of work for me . and I really like them.
Wood Gadget Hardwood Metal Tool
 

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Beautiful knife!
I see a common denominator here… S35VN makes a great blade when properly executed.
What I have seen of S35VN leads me to believe if you properly heat treat it, and make something out of it that generally looks like a knife blade, Sharpen it and it will cut well. Proper heat treating and good blade design will give you an excellent cutting tool. The capability is in the steel. Don't suppress it by poor blade design, and heat treat it to take advantage of what it has and you can't go too far wrong. Choose your maker in no small part by who he chooses for his heat treater.
 

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I'm kind of a knife nut bought em made em big ones little ones etc. I have come to the conclusion you don't need much for dressing one deer. It doesn't need to be big, expensive,latest or greatest steel, fixed or folder. Any sharp average steel works just fine. Think about it, field dressing a deer does not really require much cutting!
 

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Excalibur Vortex 330, Centerpoint Sniper 370, Centerpoint Patriot 425
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No gutting for me as I dont field dress deer. Instead I hang 'em, skin 'em cut the meat off the carcass. Rest goes into gut bucket and hauled off.;)
 
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Scorpyd Orion Ravin R9
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Let me rephrase my question: What knife would you recommend for field dressing, skinning, and cutting the meat from the bone? One that holds up for years.
 

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I'm kind of a knife nut bought em made em big ones little ones etc. I have come to the conclusion you don't need much for dressing one deer. It doesn't need to be big, expensive,latest or greatest steel, fixed or folder. Any sharp average steel works just fine. Think about it, field dressing a deer does not really require much cutting!
This! I've done them with tiny 2 inch blade pocket knives and for just gutting that's all I need. The knife I posted a picture of in Post 3 I had Tim build with a 4 inch blade with the intent of making it good for butchering (it's outstanding) and using it to filet out large sunfish that I have been find a fair number of lately. The knife for breaking down the carcass and butchering needs a little more length.

I got everything I could ask for out of it so far, but I have to wait for six months to get after those sunfish and some of the jumbo perch I know where to get.

As for steel, if it's only one deer any knife with even middling steel will get you through one deer. My EDC is a Gerber LST. It disappears in my pocket and it's blade is 2 1/8 inches which is enough. I've done more than a few with it, and the steel is good enough to do a few before it needs sharpening.
 

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This is my field kit I carry with me. The knife on right, brown (Bark River Elmax steel) has dressed four deer completely, from field to freezer and I have yet to touch the edge.

The knife on the left is also a Bark River with M134 steel, I believe.

Footwear Brown Shoe Font Tints and shades
 
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Whatever you choose, pick your knife according to the steel. S30v and S35vn are almost identical with S35vn being a tad easier to sharpen, both hold a decent edge. M390 and CPM20cv are better choices as far as edge retaining through multiple animals but, both are a tad pricier then either S30v or S35vn.
 

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Excalibur Vortex 330, Centerpoint Sniper 370, Centerpoint Patriot 425
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I use 2 knives....a Wyoming knife for skinning and a Sod Buster Case carbon steel blade knife for everything else. The Wyoming knife makes real quick work out of skinning deer and hogs.;)
 

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I have used a shade sharpfinger to field dress skin and quarter the same deer. Worked great but definitely needed a touch up by the time I was done. $20 knife, did the same with a $12 mora. But with the better steels you can do 2 deer!(and take 3 times as long to ReSharper them😇)
 

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I use a $50 Kershaw Leek folding knife. It’s my every day knife I can easily open for use with 1 hand and it doesn’t open in my pocket. 3” straight blade. Easy to sharpen and stays sharp. $50 is $50, but the world wouldn’t end if I lost it after carrying it for 10+ years.
From time to time I think I’d like to try one with a gut hook, but that’s really needed for only one cut and the smallish blade is so easy to control I just don’t want to carry another. Different models have a saw-tooth option. The only time I might use a saw tooth section would be helping clear small bush in a shooting lane, but if I bought again I’d give it a think.
i just like simple and since I use mine so much it’s all I need and is comfortable. I could easily quarter a deer but like a 6-7 inch for that.
 

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Tool Nipper Font Blade Fashion accessory
 

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I don't know if you are looking for a folder but, Knifecenter.com has Benchmade griptilians in 20cv on sale now. great knife at a good price.
I quit using fixed blade knives in a sheath 50 years back and started carrying folders with gut blades which I still use today. My brother on the other hand loves fixed blade knives after borrowing my old Scharde Sharp Finger and he now has several of them plus about every fixed blade hunting knife made it seems like. I used a Gerber folder for a lot of years but now have been using a Buck Alpha Hunter 278 for probably 15 years. I love it as I gut a deer and come home and clean it up, hit a few licks on a sharpening steel and it is ready to go again.
 

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I quit using fixed blade knives in a sheath 50 years back and started carrying folders with gut blades which I still use today. My brother on the other hand loves fixed blade knives after borrowing my old Scharde Sharp Finger and he now has several of them plus about every fixed blade hunting knife made it seems like. I used a Gerber folder for a lot of years but now have been using a Buck Alpha Hunter 278 for probably 15 years. I love it as I gut a deer and come home and clean it up, hit a few licks on a sharpening steel and it is ready to go again.
I like folders except for the cleaning part of trying to get the blood and fat out of the pivot area.
 
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