What knives are y'all using?

Coyote Shadow Tracker

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We use three. Two Gerbers. The fat little one for gutting, the drop point for skinning, and the super sharp Marbles for cutting the meat. These are the most used out of all our knives.
We also have a selection of hand mades and more in our safe.
 

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Coyote Shadow Tracker

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That's quite the collection!
Thats part of our collection. Need some more presentation cases to display them in. Sometimes I say we have more knives than money. We just got a few beautiful Hen & Rooster and Carl Schlieper Solingen folders that were made in Germany from another Member on LRH. Thanks @Forcedoutage ,
We have some dedicated just for hunting and fishing. Luckly I refurbish knives, so we have many NIB and the ones we use I always go over them and make like new again. Have really expensive ones, but like the Gerbers the most for in the field. They work GREAT.
A lot of our custom handmade Damacus are given out as presents. Giving a nice knife to someone (a friend) makes a special bond especially if it is an EDC. The person that receives the knife will always think of the person that gave it.
 

Hand Skills

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On hogs, i really like the Victorinox 5" or 6" semi-flex boning knife. So long as there is a butchers steel nearby to keep up the edge, they are really hard to beat.

Unfortunately, I have found it impractical to field a butchers steel. They are heavy and cumbersome. I even got a small 6" travel version at one point, but it didn't work well for me. With no handle, it was still heavy, and just awkward.

When it comes to field dressing, anything that is sharp will get the job done, but keeping it sharp can be a real issue.

Knives just seem to get dull, and it can be a real inconvenience when conditions are poor. In an effort to find a tool that stays sharp, I tried a lot of different blades from different makers over the years. Some very exotic steels ...

They all get dull. And when they do, 'supersteels' are a bear to sharpen!

I picked up a few tricks along the way;

1. Take a knife that is sharp to begin with. It should go without saying, but this IS rule #1

2. Avoid making the knife dull.

-Don't cut hair, especially if it has dirt or mud in it. Use a separate blade, like @Wedgy said, a hook knife is ideal.

-Dont cut into bone. This takes practice and some knowledge of anatomy, but if a blade only encounters muscle and connective tissue, it can stay sharp and remain functional through *many* animals.

3. Work some 220gt lapping compound into, ideally, the knife sheath, or a small strip of leather. Free to pack, and it can revive a blade back to sharp in a few quick 'strops'.

Geometry cuts. The lid of a tin can is going to cut better than some tactical/bushcraft/wannabe prybar. Unless you expect to cut your way through a car door, or a cinder block wall, choose something with a thin blade (.090-.125") thick that is designed to cut.

Heat treat matters more than the alloy itself. Thermal processing is where the 'magic' really happens, undergoing a phase shift at high temperature, and then locking in a new crystal structure depending on how the steel is cooled or 'quenched'. The heat treat is where good knives set themselves apart from bad, and where true greatness can be achieved in terms of actual edge holding. Heat treat is the most critical step when transforming steel into a knife, and some makers do a better job than others.

I have been through a lot of knives over the years. It should be apparent at this point that I have a bit of an obsession. I like sharpening; my knives, friends' knives, family's knives. That has grown into a bit of a side gig - I have even made a few knives of my own along the way.

Great idea for a thread, it's interesting to see what everyone likes and uses.

I just received this a few weeks ago, from a maker in Alberta. Really excited to blood it!

6" Boning knife, 3/32" AEBL, 60hrc

Screenshot_2021-12-02-14-57-45~(1).jpg
 
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