Originally Posted by bigngreen
I use a Buck knife made for dealing with gutting, skinning and quartering. The Havalon will NEVER be in my pack, it's not the correct tool for the job and we had two guys go to the emergency room this year alone because of these things!!! They are great for skinning out the head and paws but for gutting and quartering they are simply to dangerous, IMO!
Not sure what eveyone else has concluded, but "The sharper the knife - the safer the knife" is a myth, for the inexperienced user
, that I dismissed about 20 years ago. Placing a razor sharp knife into the hands of an inexperienced user is like substituting plastic explosives for dynamite, for an explosive guy who's only ever used and experienced dynamite. Sharp is nice, but razor blade sharp requires extreme caution. I use sharp knives because I've learned to use them very cautiously. I always warn anyone else that may use one of my knives to be extra careful. A nasty cut is an even greater hazard out in the remote wilderness.
There are lots of nice lightweight knives out there for the Backpack Hunter. I use locking folding knives made by Buck and Gerber, and buy models most would think are too small for big game. A knife with a 3" blade is large enough for even moose, and the smaller blade length provides better leverage and control than a longer blade. Even knives that become too small to comfortably grasp and control have long enough blades to field dress game. I will often place a really small, lightweight knife in my pack for a 3rd, backup knife. I don't normally ever use them too much, because it is possible to get too miniaturized to be a good useful, fit in an adult's hand.
But I always carry a minimum of two small folding knives for my backpack hunting. Sometimes three. They're so light, that three of them weigh substantially less than a single one of the straight blade knives I started using back in the late 60s and 70s. I don't bring a knife sharpener along. And I normally complete the entire skinning, caping, field dressing, and boning out of a deer-sized game animal with a single pre-sharpened knife. Should one get too dull during use, I'll rotate on to one of the backups. Having the backups is also insurance against a lost or misplaced knife.