• Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

A Raw Feeder's Knives

Updated: Oct 27

Knives are an essential part of any raw feeder’s tool kit. They are needed to cut, chop, and process 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.


Essential Knives

Chef's knife

These knives are 8" long and the best multi-purpose cutting tool. They are used to cut anything from muscle meats, organs, and soft bones. 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, 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 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. Many carbon steel choices exist, including 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 tool's weight can help give better control and balance. But it differs for 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 and faster.


Things to consider when purchasing a Japanese knife are control when sharpening. You must ensure you control 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.


Top is a Japanese knife (hidden tang), bottom is a Western knife (full tang)

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!

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