View Full Version : Knife to trim and breakdown large cuts of venison

05-05-2013, 08:12 PM
Long time lurker, first time poster.

Like most, I come from the world of stainless "high end" German knives. Purchased a Tojiro stainless clad Chinese style cleaver used a few years ago, along with a set of shapton glass/ceramic stones. Been using it almost exclusively, sharpening it with success, and loving it other than for paring and as the title suggests, breaking down meat. I do cut steaks out of whole loins, etc with the cleaver, though it could be a little longer for that task. I'm likely going to stay with the cleaver for veggies of all kinds, but I am tired of having to sharpen my 6" utility Henkel and 8" dexter filet knife every time I take them out, and even then not getting the edge I want.

So, I'm looking for suggestions on a path forward. I'm really liking the idea of the hiro AS. I need something to use for trimming silverskin and taking apart whole on the bone venison quarters. My wife wants a smallish gyuto or santoku. I'm leaning towards getting a hiro as gyuto that would serve both purposes. My worry is that it's too tall to work around curves etc like a filet knife will, and that it's too long and the wrong shape for cutting apart the different roasts from the quarter. As i type this, I'm wondering why I'm even considering it. I suppose I should just order one as "her" knife and try it out. Comments/suggestions?

Side note: does hiro still make a suji? Can't seem to find one listed anywhere.

05-05-2013, 08:44 PM
I use my hankotsu for breaking down venison quarters,silver skin, etc. It works around bone and is stiff enough not to steer too bad. I either use a gyuto, suji or my scimitar for slicing steaks.

05-05-2013, 08:52 PM
I use a Scimitar and a Petty whenever I am trimming New York strip primals at work, that is probably similar to what you need. I have never worked with venison in that capacity though. Also I recommend giving the wife several options and letting her choose.

05-05-2013, 10:25 PM
I would get a 210 suji/petty...you might like the Hiromoto G3 version. A slimmer blade works better for silver skin, IME.

05-05-2013, 11:22 PM
What Mike said.

To de-bone the leg quarters, I want more torsional strength than I get from a petty, suji or filet knife. For silverskin, thin and sharp with minimal flex works for me. Hankotsu does both well, petty can do both.



05-05-2013, 11:23 PM
That is the reason I picked up a bunch of forgecraft boning and butcher knives. Cost very little and good old school carbon. Old school Dexters work good too.

sachem allison
05-06-2013, 12:17 AM

05-06-2013, 12:24 AM
Welcome. I would be picking up the hankotsu, and then something long for slicing.

05-06-2013, 12:24 PM
welcome to the forums

05-09-2013, 09:07 PM
Speaking a professional whole animal butcher who is also a knife enthusiast, and who has tried honkotus, honesukis, and sujis while breaking and trimming all types of animals, I always find myself coming back to forschners and wenger swibo knives. They both hold an edge decently well, and quickly get back to a very sharp edge from a few licks on a steel. I keep the Japanese stuff for home use. If you really want high carbon blades, the next best thing is to grab some nice vintage american made knives on e-bay. Those hold up very well.

05-10-2013, 07:32 PM
i use a 210mm suji too on beigger cuts. slim enough to trim, long enough to portion.

05-10-2013, 10:42 PM
Petty's and suji's don't have the meat to muscle through the big joints IMO. You want a stiff blade with a tough point that can really take the bone beating and still touch up easy enough to go back for more. I just happen to like the shape and feel of a hankotsu and the way it works on the pull as well as the push strokes around the bones.

There is no one knife to do it all for breaking down animals - it's really a team effort. Like cleaning 34" stripers last weekend - I used my little deba for the bull work and my hankotsu for skinning. I should have brought a small suji with me, but only have so many hands and figured these two would work and guess what - they did.

05-10-2013, 11:03 PM
Can't speak for breaking down. But for silver skin, I really like my Nenohi 150mm petty. #2 would probably be my Miyabi petty.


Salty dog
05-10-2013, 11:33 PM
A Western boner and scimitar.

05-11-2013, 08:58 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Just a little clarification: I understand and agree that breaking joints etc will require a much different knife than silver-skinning. I have tools for skinning and quartering, including cutting bones and breaking joints. A set of large tree loppers from Home Depot takes care of the bones nicely.

My need is for the silver skin and for separating the large muscle groups. Knife may scrap along a bone, but usually it's the tip cutting along a bone instead. Fairly delicate, if large, work. I'm really thinking a 150 petty is what I need, and I kind of need one anyway..

05-11-2013, 11:30 AM
My need is for the silver skin and for separating the large muscle groups. Knife may scrap along a bone, but usually it's the tip cutting along a bone instead. Fairly delicate, if large, work. I'm really thinking a 150 petty is what I need, and I kind of need one anyway..

a hankotsu gets my vote or a tojiro western boning (gokujo) knife

05-11-2013, 11:38 AM
I would use a 150mm Fujiwara Teruyasu Nashiji petty to trim the silver skin and a hankotsu for the harder work. I use my old Armstrong Forge bullnose cimeter for the bigger stuff.