A Raw Feeder's Knives
Knives are an essential part of any raw feeder’s tool kit! They're needed to cut, chop, and processes hundreds of pounds of meat for our pets. Like with meat, there are some key aspects I look for in a knife and essential ones I need...
Here's a list of my essential knives and what I look for when purchasing them!
My Top 3 Essential Knives
Chef's knife: These knives are around 8" long and the best multi-purpose cutting tool. I use a chef’s knife to cut anything from muscle meats, organs, and soft bone. It’s the knife I used the most often when creating meals.
Cleaver: This knife resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. I use this to process any whole prey and heavy bone. I favor this knife when cutting any pieces of bone as well as processing my chickens.
Paring knife: The paring knife is a smaller all-purpose knife. I use it to gut and skin and whole prey as it’s small and easy to maneuver. I will often begin with this knife and switch over to a more heavy-duty one if needed.
What I Look For
Good & comfortable handle: Since I am going to be laboriously gripping onto the handle for numerous hours... I want to make sure it fits comfy in my hand when I am cutting and hopefully not get as many blisters.
The material: What material the knife is crafted from can be a factor in performance and durability. There are so many choices such as carbon steel, stainless steel, tool steel, alloy steel, cobalt, titanium alloys, ceramics, obsidian, and plastic... I usually prefer steel because it has good edge retention, toughness, and ease of sharpening.
Weight: I personally like a good weighted knife. It gives me better control and balance when I cut. But it differs with every person! While I prefer a heavy knife, you may want a lighter knife for easier mobility or grip.
Design (Western vs. Japanese): The main difference between these 2 styles is that Western knives are sharpened on both sides while Japanese knives are only sharpened on one. The style you choose can also affect the weight. Western knives are made using softer steel. IN order to give the Western-style its density and strength, more material is used making a more robust knife. The softer steel also means the Western knife becomes duller faster.
Things to consider if purchasing a Japanese knife is control when sharpening. You must ensure you have control over which side of the blade you're sharpening. If a sharpener automatically sharpens both sides... the knife will be ruined. Japanese knives are made from harder steel than Western knives. While this means the knife can withstand more wear and tear, it also means that the harder material can be brittle. Where a Western chef's knife could easily cut through a chicken bone... doing so with a Japanese chef's knife could ruin the edge.
Price: There are lots of factors that go into the price of a blade. Such as material, handle, branding, retail cost, and craftsmanship. A knife can be anywhere from $5 - $1000+. But I don't think I'll be investing in a $1000 knife any time soon... The price "sweet spot" is around $30-100. If you're thinking this is a lot to spend on a knife, consider the $30 you spend on a mug or any other kitchen tool. The investment into a mid-range knife is well worth it!
I don’t have a particular brand I am keen to but a sharp knife is a good knife! You always want to ensure your knives are sharpened for safety and ease. And make sure to correctly sharpen your knife according to the style! Whatever knife you get should fit your needs to add to the raw feeding ease.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and... Always Keep Exploring!