Havels Inc., the parent company of Havalon Knives, started supplying razor-sharp surgical knives to the medical industry in 1981. Their handy products featuring easily replaceable blades also became popular with craftsmen, graphics designers, and taxidermists among others. The Havalon Knives divisions came into being when Havels decided to make knives with the same concept, but built for the hunter and fisherman.
Havalon knives work like any other folding hunter except that the blades keep the same functional system as a modern surgeon’s scalpel. Instead of sharpening the blade, you simply switch it out by sliding the old blade off the shank and sliding a new blade on. The blades are inexpensive and lightweight, so you don’t have worries about carrying a heavy chunk of new blades in your pack or breaking your budget to get them. The thickness of the Havalon blade steel is much less than in a regular hunting knife.
Havalon didn’t design their outdoorsman’s knives to be pry bars and camp tools — the company warns that if you twist and pry and gouge with these knives, you’ll snap the blade off. The blade steel is tempered hard enough to hold a cutting edge, but it doesn’t respond well to leverage. The adjustment to Havalon isn’t hard to make, since you can work your way through heavy joints and ligaments as well as tough hides by using the cutting edge and a straight slicing motion. If you find yourself pressing down hard to make a cut, it’s time to change the blade. One blade will field dress a deer.
Havalon makes knives with blades specially designed for skinning and butchering game animals, caping trophies and filleting fish. In addition to the basic blade choices the company offers several unique handle designs including simple Zytel handles with rubber grip inserts and stronger stainless steel frame builds with G10 inserts. Havalon also makes a few designer pieces with unusual grips like scrimshaw.
Some of Our Favorite Havalon Knives:
The original Piranta Pro offers a heavier stainless steel handle frame build and a compact size.
With changes deer hunters will appreciate, the Piranta-Z improves the knife’s grip without adding weight.
For maintenance-free fish cleaning, the Baracuta-Edge applies the Havalon design to fillet work.