Top 7 Best Game & Deer Processing Knife Sets: Which One Would You Choose?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 03/06/21 •  11 min read

Did you know?

Since its invention thousands of years ago, the knife is still one of the most serviceable, indispensable tools anyone can ever have.

There are many improvements done on this tool but one important thing our ancestors learned then rings so true now: you can’t use one type of blade for everything.

For example, the hardest, sharpest Chef’s knife – that which is deemed versatile by professionals – can’t be used for butchering, dressing, or boning fresh game.

This very particular job will require very particular tools. And I’ve listed some of the best sets here for you.

If you’re still looking for a good game-processing knife set, then take a look at my list below.

Best Game Processing Knife Sets – Quick Comparison

Buying Guide

There are several things you need to take note of on your first hunting excursion.

But let’s focus on one of the most important: knives. Or, more specifically, the various tasks these tools need to accomplish.

Knowing these will help you find the field to freezer knife set which has everything you require.

Gutting

Removing the internal organs or innards is one of the first chores in dressing a game, big or small, to preserve the meat properly.

A short but sharp blade with a gut hook at the tip is necessary here.

Skinning

The next job is to flay the animal, carefully removing the skin and not tearing the muscles in the process.

For this job, a short, curved, and the extremely thin blade will work.

Deboning

After gutting and skinning your game, you will remove the meat from the bone.

A long, narrow knife that is usually straight at the spine but gently curved at the belly is the best.

This should have a little bend to it to slice near oddly-shaped bones.

Butchering

Cutting the large hunks of meat into smaller pieces requires a hard, thick, and sharp blade.

Some butcher knives are durable enough to cut through bone but it’s best to use a cleaver for this.

Caping

This refers to skinning the head of the animal, especially when making a hunting trophy.

Resembling a scalpel, this blade’s tip is curved upwards like a spear to get into crevices.

It is quite recognizable because the length of the blade is often shorter than the handle.

Some barer sets do not include this since not a lot of people do taxidermy on their own.

Although some still adhere to more traditional methods of dressing their game (that is, with the help from just a few knives), you should also check if the set includes essential hunting accessories because these will make the task easier.

The ribcage spreader and a saw, for example, are must-haves with large animals.

It would also be great if the set came in a box so that you can organize your tools better.

Product Reviews

Mossy Oak 8-Piece Hunting Field Dressing Kit (Best Overall)

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01/18/2022 02:36 pm GMT

Knives included: 10” Boning, 9.5” Gut Hook Skinner, 7.5” Caper, 8.75 Serrated Wood/Bone Saw, Steel Stick or Brisket Spreader, Tungsten Carbide Sharpener, a pair of Cleaning Gloves, and a storage case

*Measurements are from tip to tang

Mossy Oak’s blades and accessories are stamped from solid 3CR13, a blend of stainless steel from China known for its high corrosion and wear resistance, and amazingly low price.

All four knives (saw included) have full tangs where the camo-style, contoured handles are screwed on.

The polymer handles are smooth but not slippery – a must-have trait especially when the knife gets spattered with blood.

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Outdoor Edge 12-Piece Game Processor (2nd Best)

Knives included: 8.3” Butcher’s, 6.0” Boning and Filet, 4.4” Gut-Hook Skinner, 3” Caper, 10.2” Serrated Wood/Bone Saw, Ribcage Spreader, Carving Fork, a pair of heavy-duty Shears, Cutting Board, a pair of Cleaning Gloves, Carbide Sharpener, and a storage case.

*Measurements are just for the blades

The manufacturer used high-Chromium 420J2 steel to make the knives and metal tools (shears, fork, and spreader) in the set.

The four main knives have full tangs and rubberized TPR handles, contoured to ensure a tight but comfortable grip.

This kit from Outdoor Edge is one of the most complete that you will ever find.

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GVDV 6-Piece Hunting Dressing Gear (Best for Durability)

Knives included: 9.6” Boning or Filet, 8.7” Hunting with gut hook, 8.1” Caper, Rib Cage Spreader, a pair of Cleaning Gloves, and a Hard Plastic Container

*Measurements are from tip to tang

The blades in this GVDV set are stamped from 5CR15, a superb type of stainless steel known for its strength, durability, edge retention, and rust resistance.

The handles, featuring a camo-style print, are made from polypropylene material.

Aside from the narrow yet slightly curved contour, the handles have grooves on the surface (not quite obvious because of the design) to ensure a sure but comfortable handhold.

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Outdoor Edge WL-6 Wild Lite Butcher Kit (Best for Heavy-duty Tasks)

Knives included: 2.5” Caper, 4” Gut-Hook Skinner, 5” Boning, Two-Stage Sharpener – Fine Ceramic and Coarse Carbide, a pair of Cleaning Gloves and a Carry Case

*Measurements are just for the blades

Just like the first Outdoor Edge set, the knives here are stamped from 420J2 stainless steel.

However, the blades are hand-finished, yielding an incredibly sharp edge that will stay sharp for long.

The rubberized handles are contoured and embossed with three curving spines on the surface, like an elk’s horn, for superior grip.

The bright orange hue ensures that the piece won’t get lost easily.

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Lancergear 7-Piece Portable Hunting Accessories (Best for Sharpness)

Knives included: 8.3 Caper, 8.7” Gut-Hook Skinner, 9.5” Boning and Fileting, 9.85” Wood / Bone Saw, Rib Cage Spreader, a pair of Cleaning Gloves, a Two-Stage Sharpening Stone and a Sturdy Case

Lancegear’s blades and tools are stamped from two types of stainless steel: 8Cr14MoV and 5Cr15Mov.

Both are favorites among high-quality brands because these result in hard, durable, and corrosion-resistant steel.

These can also be given a razor-sharp edge that will last for a long time.

The handles are wrapped in a camouflage-printed material that feels smooth but won’t slip from your hands when wet.

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Mossy Oak 3-Piece Knife Set (Best for Convenience)

Knives included: 10.5” Large Knife, 10” Gut Hook Blade, 6.75” Caper / Small Knife

*Measurements are from tip to tang

This is Mossy Oak’s barest set – with only three knives.

Like other items made by this company, the steel used for the construction is 3CR13 – high in strength, hardness, and abrasion resistance.

All have full tangs, the leather handle firmly wrapped around it with double rivets.

Created with safety in mind, this features full bolsters, anti-skid grooves on the spine, and finger grooves on the handles.

The whole set comes in a black oxford bag with separate compartments for the knives.

The buckles and button closures prevent accidents.

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Outdoor Edge 9-Piece Game Processor (Best for Slip-resistance)

Knives included: 2.5” Caper, 4” Gut-Hook Skinner, 5” Boning or Fileting, Axe, 6” Wood / Bone Saw, Rib Cage Spreader, a pair of Cleaning Gloves, Two-Stage Sharpener, and a Nylon Roll

*Measurements are just for the blades

Outdoor Edge uses various blends of stainless steel for its blades.

But similar to the other sets described here, this too is tip-to-tang stamped from a solid 420J2.

The handles are made from rubberized and non-slip TPR that is colored orange for high visibility.

The three-fold nylon roll has individual slots for every tool in the set.

However, they added a belt bag with protective sleeves for the caper and skinner and a separate sheath for the axe.

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FAQ’s

Do the knives have individual sheaths?

Not all. Most are kept in plastic cases for safe storage. Check with the brand if they sell sheaths. If not, you can have one made from your local tailor since effective and durable scabbards are made from leather.

Are the knives full-tang?

Most are, thankfully. Because game processing is labor-intensive, go for fully tanged blades to ensure safety.

What are the accessories included in the kit?

The more complete sets come with spreaders, gloves, and carbide sharpeners. If you don’t go for those, you can always buy the aforementioned accessories separately.

Does the set come in a case?

Most have storage containers.

Are products available and individually sold to replace lost or damaged items in the kit?

Some companies do offer these. Check their websites to make sure. Others that do not sell single items from the set may offer repair services for your tools. Again, it is best to check their websites to get more info about these.

Where is the company based?

Most of these brands have head offices in the United States. But like many cutlery companies, they outsource their materials from China then assemble the knives in their US factories.

Is the set backed by a warranty?

Except for Lancergear which does not have complete information regarding this, all sets described above are offered with money-back guarantees and limited warranties.

Conclusion

A good hunter will tell you that any outdoorsy activity – whether that’s actively going after a large deer or waiting for hours for a salmon – will be infinitely less stressful and more fun if you’ve got everything you need.

A complete game processing kit is one of these indispensable provisions.

Even if you only go on these outings once a year, consider getting one of the following as an investment.

Mossy Oak has a full 8-piece dressing kit which includes three special knives, a saw, a spreader, a sharpener, and a pair of cleaning gloves inside a durable plastic casing.

Outdoor Edge’s game processor is quite the same except that this has more tools including an extra knife, a pair of shears, and a large fork. Many go for this option because of their great warranty offer in terms of replacement and repair services.

For those who don’t need a whole lot of tools, GVDV’s hunting kit only has the basics: three knives, a spreader, and a pair of rubber gloves in a hard case.

All those mentioned above are some of the best game processing knife sets in the market today.

You just need to figure out which suits your needs best and which will fit your budget best.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.