You can skin a deer with pretty much any sharp knife, but there are a some knife features that can make it much easier. I’ll go over a few aspects of your chosen blade that will make processing your wild game much easier and faster. I chose the Fibrox Pro from Victorinox as the best knife for processing a deer. I’ll go over the reasons below.
There is nothing worse than getting the perfect shot and dropping that big buck than to get out your knife to gut it and realize it can’t even cut through the deer’s hide. I even recommend carrying a couple knives in the woods and a total of three to four during the entire processing event. So before you worry about having the best knife for butchering a deer, make sure you at least have a sharp knife.
Fixed Blade Knives
I’ve skinned and processed an entire deer with a pocket knife. Specifically, I used a Kershaw Leek, our recent pick for the best knife for every day carry. It went pretty well until I had to clean the knife. There are so many crevices and crannies in a folding pocket knife that you’ll be cleaning deer bits out of it for days. That’s why I recommend a fixed blade knife as the best knife for processing a deer. You don’t have to worry about a locking mechanism failing and the knife folding up on you and you certainly don’t have to worry nearly as much about cleaning the knife after processing a deer. You simply wash it off with soap and water and rub it dry with a towel. If it looks clean, it is clean – no need to get a flashlight out and inspect for hidden pieces of meat like you would with a folding knife. Definitely go with a fixed blade when looking for the best knife for processing a deer.
Size of the Knife Blade
For me, the minimum blade length for deer processing is about four inches. Anything shorter than this and I’ve run into issues where I’m jamming the handle into the surface of a ham trying to get a large cut of meat removed. You can gut a deer with a pretty short blade, but when it comes to the rest of the processing I think a longer blade is the way to go. So if you’re looking for the best knife to skin a deer with, get something with a four to six inch blade.
As much as I love a wood handle on a knife, that’s not the best option for this job. A wood grip has classic styling, but it’s also more porous than most synthetic materials. This means bacteria can get lodged in the pores of the wood and thrive. You don’t want your knife getting bacteria on your hand while your trying to cleanly process a deer. Something like a rubberized grip is the best option here. In addition to lowering the chance for growing bacteria, a rubberized handle can also give you a better grip on the knife. This can help a lot since you’ll likely be getting blood and other fluids on your hands or gloves while processing your game.
Overall, the knife that fits each of these criteria is the Victorinox Fibrox Pro. It’s a great all-round processing knife and the knife I think is the best for processing and processing a deer. You can get it on Amazon.com by clicking here: Victorinox Fibrox Pro.
Photo of deer by Garett Gabriel