Recently got back from New Zealand where the Havalon Piranta knife got put through its paces on the process of skinning several Fallow deer.
These $54.99 RRP knives which are in essence based on standard surgical blades, and are as the manufacturer claims, a great skinning tool, if not the very best knife this reviewer has used to skin a deer. Similar to another product the “Z-Blade” in that it uses the surgical blades, the difference is where the Z-blade uses a fixed surgical blade the Havalon Piranta has removable blades, such that when one becomes dull, it can be changed out, while the Z-blade cannot and the whole thing must be discarded.
While the surgical blades knives are less well suited to the heavier chore of gutting a large animal, in particular where any bones are involved, it made the skinning process extremely easy, and minimized the later fleshing process, by the easy removal of the flesh in the skinning process. Of course, due to the extremely sharp blade one must pay close attention to ensure no damage to the hide, however once the technique of using the blade is mastered, the knife was by far the most expedient of any used previously, with perhaps the exception of the aforementioned competitive product.
These Havalon Piranta knives can be highly recommended! Not only for their cutting ability, but also because they are lightweight adding very little to the day-pack, even with the additional 6 blades supplied. Of course, the interchangeable blades make the chore even nicer, although it was found that one could easily skin several deer with a single blade. One of the deer was also butchered using this knife, which of course meant that one had to take a little more time working around bone joints, rather than forcing them apart, but overall, took little more time due to the fact that other aspects of the process went faster.
One advantage the Piranta has over competitive products is that if need arises to sharpen the blade, although these products are not really intended to be sharpened, it can be done relatively easily, much like any regular knife during the skinning, butchering or fleshing processes, its shape allowing for the entire blade to be given a few licks of a diamond or other sharpening stick, whereas the aforementioned competitive product one can only sharpen the final inch of the blade.
More information on the Havalon Piranta can be found here.
Other versions of these knives can be found for as little as $32.99 here, $39.99 here on ebay here or sale-fire.com at a great variety of prices
A you-tube review of the product here and a more lengthy review here, actual skinning of an animal here