Sharp findings

February 14, 2014 08:01 am

Tom Claycomb shows off his Havalon Piranta knife. Itís a small, easy-to-carry knife. (TOM CLAYCOMB photo)
Tom Claycomb shows off his Havalon Piranta knife. Itís a small, easy-to-carry knife. (TOM CLAYCOMB photo)

Claycomb discusses knives that may be flying under the radar

As with most outdoorsmen I’m into knives. I teach a lot of knife related seminars. In January I conducted one at the Dallas Safari Club Convention and Expo, in February and at the Safari Club International Convention in Vegas and in March.  

I have two at the Idaho Sports Show (If you’re free, run over to Boise for the show) and have written probably 50 articles on knives. And then I have an e-article titled “Knife Sharpening” on Amazon Kindle. So when I say that I like knives, I really like knives. 

But there’s a new one that has been flying under the radar that you need to check out. They’re called Havalon knives. They’re unique in that they use replaceable blades that are surgically sharp and when they get dull, just replace the blade. I just timed it and you can take the blade off and put it back on in 1.8 seconds. It’s safer to remove/replace the blade with a pair of pliers, but I don’t ever have a pair handy it seems.

They have various models, but I think it is safe to say that the most popular model is the Piranta (2 ¾-inch blade) that is good for skinning and caping big game which comes in 10 models and has 10 different types of blades available. Then they have the larger Baracuta (4.375-inch blade) that comes in three different models and works for filleting fish and boning game. They make three different blades for the Baracuta and this doesn’t include their six hobby blades. 

Many people are tool dyslexic. Here’s what I mean by that. They constantly mistake a knife for a screw driver! The Piranta blade is very flexible so don’t use it as a crowbar. I assume due to people using too much pressure they developed the Bolt which has a thicker blade (I’m on Prostaff with them so I guess I could ask them if this last sentence is true huh?). OK, I’m being a little hard on you because on some jobs you do need a stiffer blade, for instance, maybe when you’re skinning a thicker skinned animal such as a moose, so if you desire a stiffer blade, check out the Bolt.

The last decade or two most taxidermists have gone to using scalpels to skin out heads and feet on bears. The Piranta is the ticket for these two jobs. When I was a kid, I used a small pocket knife to skin all my unlucky trophies that I trapped. A Havalon would have worked twice as good.

I’m always trying to cut weight since I hunt and backpack in the mountains. Havalons are super lightweight. It’s a foldup knife and so it won’t take up any room whether you throw it in your pack or strap it on your belt. 

The extra blades come in a small box and are individually packed in a foil package. For the Piranta you can buy packs of 12, 50 and on some of the specialty blades even packs of 100. On the Baracuta you can buy packs of five or 20. (Be responsible when disposing of the dull blades.)

This summer my buddy is wanting to take the horses on a 200- mile ride up in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. I think I’ve got him slowed down to just do a 100-mile ride instead. We’ll ride everyday for six hours, set up camp and then catch fish for dinner. You can bet I’ll be packing my Havalon to do the filleting — and maybe to threaten Shawn if he tries to make me cover another 20 miles in one day like last year. 

Now that I’ve lined you out with a good knife, all you have to do is to drop the hammer on your deer so you have something to skin. (For more on Havalon Knives you can check and search Tom Claycomb for my article on them.)