All my life one thing that hunting season meant was sharpening knives. Yes, there is a ton of other stuff to do in preparation for season but one extremely important tool that I always had on hand was a sharp knife. I’ve found a couple brands that I’ve stuck too over the years and have used folding and fixed blades both. I’ve used stones and ceramic sharpeners and even recently got an electrical belt type sharpener. I have to admit though I had never used one of the replaceable blade knives that have somewhat recently joined the scene. Fortunately for me I was introduced to Wiebe Knives who happen to have several different replaceable blade cutting tools to choose from. Specifically I tested out the Arctic Fox and was impressed with my first foray into simply replacing my blade rather than sharpening it.
SHARP! Not only sharp, but scalpel sharp. I can’t put an actual sharpness number to it but this is most likely the sharpest knife I’ve ever used. The knurled polymer handle fit nicely in my grip and gave the sense I could get a confident hold on it once things got bloody. The Arctic Fox was light in weight but still felt like it was more than sturdy enough to handle field dressing and skinning activities.
In the closed position the knife is 4.125″ long.
When opened it measures 7.125″ long.
The knife comes with 24 replaceable blades and a nylon sheath that holds the knife and extra blades.
The knife, extra blades, and pouch weigh less than 7 oz so you won’t even know it’s on your belt or in your pack.
Skinning and Quartering
The hunts I used the Arctic Fox on required I store my meat in a cooler so I needed to not only skin but quarter the fine boar hogs I was able to shoot for the ride home. As I previously stated I likely have not used a knife this sharp before and it made the job a relative piece of cake. If you’ve never dealt with a hog then let me tell you they are not the most delicate of animals to care for in the field. I was able to easily and precisely make the incisions around and down the back legs once the animal was hung. Often times this initial process can lead leaving a little meat behind and getting unwanted hair on the hams. I was pleasantly surprised as the cuts were so easy to make that I was able to get the skin on the back legs peeled back without any issues. The remainder of the skinning job was pretty straight forward and unlike other instances I have performed similar duties, I had little to no fatigue in my wrist.
As far as quartering goes, the knife continued to impress. The cuts for the backstraps were like cutting warm butter. Pulling off the front quarters was a breeze as well. The knife was amply sized to handle the task and of course was plenty sharp. I was able to maneuver around the back quarters all the way down to the ball easily. Popping the ball out of socket was a little more of an art than a use of force. If you’ve read anything about the difference between fixed and replaceable blade knives you know that replaceable blades are not made for prying. But with the slender blade cutting the tendons and cartilage around the ball went much better than I’m accustomed too and with a little tug on the leg they easily snapped out.
Having a thinner and razor sharp blade also made trimming the meat a breeze. I was able to get any unwanted fat and silver skin off without sacrificing as much meat as I usually do.
The Artic Fox gave me no troubles from a durability standpoint. I was able skin an entire hog with a single blade and never once thought about changing it out. As a matter of fact I continued to use the same blade to cleanly slice chunks of hog liver one afternoon as I fished for catfish. The blade remained secure during the whole process except for when I used it in a fashion it was not intended. When I shot one hog I found the bullet lodged in the front shoulder. Against my better judgement I used the blade to try and pry the bullet out. While no damage was done to the knife the blade did pop off during the process. I simply snapped it back on and got a tool more suitable for the job. When I was done cleaning the hog I washed the knife off and it was as good as new.
Swapping out and old blade for a new one is a very quick and simple process. It doesn’t require any tools and is easy to do in the field. With your finger you push up on the back of the blade and carefully slide it forward with your other hand.
To install a new blade you line up the slot on the blade with the receiver on the knife and carefully push it back until it snaps into place. That’s it. Pretty straightforward.
This being my first experience with a replaceable blade knife I wasn’t sure what to expect. After having used it on several hogs I have to admit I’ve become a fan. That’s not to say it will replace the fixed blade in my pack but it will certainly be a welcomed addition. The Arctic Fox performed better than I expected. Rather than use one of my kitchen knives for the final butchering process I elected to go ahead and use the Arctic Fox to slice all the meat up. A razor sharp knife is handy to have when slicing meat for the vacuum packer. I would certainly recommend giving this knife a shot for all phases of preparing your trophy for the table.
Disclaimer: I received this knife at no charge in return for an honest and fair review. The above article details my experiences and thoughts on the knife. I receive no additional compensation whether you choose to purchase one or not.