Video: A Butchering Knife Actually Designed for Hunters

Say there’s a deer hanging in your garage. It might be in quarters or just missing its guts, but you know you’ve got a solid afternoon—minimum—to get all that venison in shape for the freezer and a year’s worth of meals to come. Triple that time and effort with an elk. Quadruple it with a moose.

Some people loathe this work and end up hacking up their kill in a hurry and grind it all or just give it over to a butcher shop to deal with. Some of us cherish the work.

As much as I enjoy carefully dissecting the musculature of a hind quarter, or imagining big family meals to come, or preparing gifts for friends and neighbors, for years I’ve struggled to find a knife for butchering and processing wild game that I really love. And I tried everything—stout hunting knives, expensive chef’s knives, shitty fillet knives, disposable razor blade knives, even a weird little boot knife I bought off a cowboy in Argentina that got dull after every five or six cuts. Some were great for some things and bad for others. Some were bad all around.

There are already many great hunting knives on the market, but your needs in the field are different than in the garage or the kitchen. Benchmade has been making some of the very best of those hunting knives for decades but had yet to really venture into the culinary world. We decide to partner up to make my ideal knife. We wanted to make a tool that could flex around a femur, delicately trim silver skin, and slice cleanly through big hunks of meat—and do it all well.

What we created is the Meatcrafter, the boning knife I always wanted.

We designed it to combine the strength and durability of a hunting knife with the flex and finesse of a fillet knife. It took many prototypes, 18 months and a lot of trial and error to get there, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with the final product. With high-grade S45VN steel and a unique 14° cutting angle, the Meatcrafter is optimized for push-cut performance and excellent edge retention. Every one of them is assembled, finished, and sharpened by hand in Benchmade’s Oregon City, Oregon, factory, all with materials sourced within the USA. The textured grip feels secure in your hand even when it’s covered in deer blood or fish slime. And the vacuum-molded composite and full-grain leather sheath holds tight and just looks downright cool.

I imagined this knife as the gift you’d get a friend or family member to commemorate their first buck, graduation, marriage, retirement, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, or a milestone birthday. I’d like to think that person would hand it down to someone else after that, a son or daughter, grandchild or brother, hunting mentor or mentee. The Meatcrafter is meant to stick around, filling freezers for years. I promise, come November, when a deer is hanging from the rafters in your garage once again, you’ll be looking forward to breaking out your Meatcrafter and going to work.