After about 2 years of hearing some of my friends absolutely rave about Havalon Knives for butchering animals, I finally made the switch. The Havel company has been one of the largest manufactures of scalpels and surgical tools for sometime. Apparently, these scalpels have been popular for years with taxidermists and, upon realizing this, the company launched a outdoor division, Havalon, which if geared towards hunters.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I don't like the idea of replaceable blades. Furthermore, I like high quality, German steel and I rather enjoy keeping it sharp, but, Benchmade knives or even my Henckle boning knife have nothing on the edge of these replaceable blades. I mean these things are stupid sharp. In fact, they are so sharp, that you have to relearn some of your cutting and skinning techniques. This is not a knife that you will use to muscle your way though tendons (though, you can slice your way through tendons), nor will it split a pelvis bone, but it will skin, cut and butcher life a surgical instrument. All of a sudden my Benchmade pocket knife feels like tool I would use to pry a door open rather than a butchering instrument.

I have the Piranta knife, which is the smaller one. The larger, skinning knife might be nice for tackling moose or caribou, but for whitetails, squirrels, rabbits etc, the Piranta is the perfect size. The edge of the blade should fully handle 2-3 deer before blade replacement. At about 50 cent a blade and 5 extras taking up the space of a pack of chewing gum, its no big deal.

I do still carry a Benchmade folder when hunting as more of a "utilitarian" knife than anything else. But, when it is time to skin and butcher, I use this Havalon knife and there is no knife that comes close to this degree of precision and sharpness. If you fancy a fixed blade, "Buck" knife, this is pretty much the complete opposite. I have also gotten this thing out for the kitchen a few times as you can shave a clove of garlic into razor thin, transparent slices. Shaving silverskin off of backstraps is a breeze, too. In fact, it is a pleasure.

So, there. It is not a knife for combat, nor is it a knife for carving spear, whittling a piece of bone, prying a hub cap off, or everyday carry. It is a knife for gutting, slicing, skinning , quartering, trimming and deboning and it is far sharper or more precise than any knife I have ever used.
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