One of the items that quickly caught my eye in the Camillus booth in a recent trade show was a handy looking “Field Kit” produced by their sister company, Clauss Cutlery. When you consider that most game processing knives only see use during a short period of the fall each year, a durable roll to store them in the rest of the time starts seeming like an excellent idea. Clauss’ kit includes a set of heavy-duty game shears, a straight 5-inch boning knife, a curved 6-inch boning, a 6.5-inch slicing/filet knife, and a 10-inch chef knife.
All of these Clauss knives include something they call a “Titanium Bonded” coating on the surface of the blades. To quote from their website “Titanium Bonded is not painted or plated, but an application of a unique formulation of titanium and chromium nitride to the surface of cutting blades that actually penetrates and treats the metal to create a permanent bond. The patented Titanium Bonding process provides the following benefits; corrosion resistance, adhesive resistance and the process itself makes the stainless steel 3x harder than untreated stainless providing a blade that stays sharper longer.” It is hard to measure something like surface hardness of a blade finish in use but I did find the knives held their edges very well.
Over the years I have discovered I do about 80% of my deer processing with two blades, a straight 6-inch and a curved 6-inch boning knife. The other 20%, or maybe a little more depending on the size of the deer, involves slicing the larger cuts into steaks with a longer blade. While the 5-inch straight boning in this roll was a little shorter and stiffer than my longtime favorite F. Dick blade, it didn’t seem to be a handicap. Stiffness in boning knives seems to be a matter of personal preference, but then my older knife started life as a flexible filet for processing large quantities Puget Sound true cod. The Clauss curved 6-inch boning was pretty much a duplicate of the knife I’ve used for meat cutting for roughly 30 years and worked equally well.