A Raw Feeder's Knives
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
Knives are an essential part of any raw feeder’s tool kit. They are needed to cut, chop, and processes hundreds of kilos of meat for our pets. Like with meat, there are some key categories that every feeder needs.
Here's a list of essential knives that every raw feeder needs and what to look for when purchasing them.
Top Essential Knives -
Chef's knife: These knives are around 8" long and the best multi-purpose cutting tool. They are used to cut anything from muscle meats, organs, and soft bone. It’s the knife used most often when creating meals.
Cleaver: This knife resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. This can be used to process any whole prey and heavy bone. Most favor this knife for cutting smaller bones and processing whole prey.
Paring knife: The paring knife is a smaller all-purpose knife. It is popularly used to gut and skin and whole prey as it’s small and easy to maneuver—a great knife to begin with and switch over to a more heavy-duty one if needed.
Kitchen Shears: Although not a knife, shears can be helpful and easier to use for certain meat cuts. Kitchen shears versus a knife easily conquer slimy cuts such as lung.
What I Look For -
Good & comfortable handle: Since these knives are going to be used laboriously,
make sure it fits comfy in your hand to avoid blisters, hopefully.
The material: What material the knife is crafted from can be a factor in performance and durability. There are many carbon steel choices, stainless steel, tool steel, alloy steel, cobalt, titanium alloys, ceramics, obsidian, and plastic. Steel is often preferred because it has good edge retention, toughness, and ease of sharpening.
Weight: The weight of the tool can help give better control and balance. But it differs with every person! Some prefer a heavier knife, while 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. More material is used to give the Western-style its density and strength, making a more robust knife. The softer steel also means the Western knife becomes duller faster.
Things to consider if purchasing a Japanese knife are 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. 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: Many factors go into the price of a blade, such as material, handle, branding, retail cost, and craftsmanship. A knife can be anywhere from $5 - $1000+. The price of "the sweet spot" is around $30-100. If you think 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!
There are no favored brands of knives, but a sharp knife is a good knife! You always want to ensure your knives are sharpened for safety and ease. Make sure to sharpen your knife according to the style correctly. Whatever knife you get should fit your needs to add to the raw feeding ease.
I hope you learned something new & Always Keep Exploring!