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The Hunting Knife Reinvented
If there’s one category a company new to the hunting industry might want to avoid, it would probably be knives. Knives come in every shape and size, with every possible handle and blade configuration, using every metallurgical steel formula, under every brand name. Many brands are formidable competitors, and hunters are sometimes so devoted to a particular brand that they’ll try no other. Could a newcomer choose a tougher category to compete in?
Yet that’s the category Havalon has built its brand in, and it has expanded a small niche in the hunting knife field to a category it virtually owns—the replaceable blade hunting knife.
The Genesis of an Idea
Long before Havalon invented the hunter’s scalpel that folds like a pocket knife, its parent company Havels had been providing medical professionals around the world with the quality cutting tools. That’s why doctors who hunt use Havels surgical scalpels not only in their profession, but also to field dress their harvests.
Professional taxidermists were also using surgical scalpels daily on all kinds of animal hides. Since there’s nothing better than a scalpel for accurate, precise cutting through flesh, it was natural for doctors and taxidermists to carry one into the field.
Surgical-Edge Technology for the Sporting Market
Why wouldn’t hunters want the same performance doctors and taxidermists need? That question led Havels to create a reliable folding mechanism that was strong enough for hunters. The first Havalon style was a model with a stainless steel handle. They named this new knife the “Piranta,” a name that conveyed sharpness and strength because it’s reminiscent of the toothy Piranha fish of the Amazon that makes short work of any flesh. The rugged Piranta-Original, a true surgical knife, was ready for hunters to carry into the woods. Next came the Piranta-Edge, in bright orange because no hunter wants to lose a knife.
Breaking into the Market
When the Havalon team attended its first sportsman’s trade show, hunting outfitters were impressed. They had close relationships with taxidermists and had seen them using surgical scalpels for skinning. Some said, “That is the coolest idea I’ve seen. I’ll buy 20 for my guides to use.”
These guides might process 200 animals a year. They loved the fact that Havalon knives weigh only a few ounces, including extra blades, so they’d never need to carry sharpening tools. If hunting guides thought it was a great knife, it was sure to be a hit in the larger hunting market—especially when hunters saw guides using Havalon knives.
A Fillet Knife
Soon Havalon moved into the fishing market with a larger “Baracuta” fillet knife (also perfect for boning big game), and then a deeper blade and a bone saw blade to fit the Baracuta—all with the same Quik-Change™ blade technology the scalpel has, but in a larger size.
More Styles, More Innovation
Over the years, Havalon has continued to introduce improvements that went far beyond new handle styles. Havalon redesigned the blade so that it will better resist breaking when the user makes a twisting motion. The new blade is 20% thicker and includes a small tab at the base to assist in blade removal. No other surgical scalpel can boast the thickness, the sharpness, or the ease of removal of Havalon’s proprietary 60A blade.
Havalon continues to advance with various handle styles, from the anodized aluminum Torch model to various camouflaged models, to the Bolt, the Forge, and the contoured Stag and others.
Havalon didn’t stop there. With Jim Shockey’s design help, Havalon added the Titan, a two-bladed model with a classic AUS-8 stainless steel clip blade on one end and the Havalon 60A surgical scalpel on the other. Like every Havalon knife, the Titan comes with extra blades and a handy nylon holster that accommodates both the knife and extra blades.
Next up was the double-bladed Hydra, probably the most versatile knife ever created, with a total of 17 blades in 7 different styles. Whether you’re field dressing a trophy buck, filleting walleye for the pan, or sawing limbs from your shooting lane, the multi-bladed Havalon Hydra kit is the only tool you need.
A Multi-Tool Evolves
Now Havalon was ready to create a multi-tool with one thing in mind—a more efficient hunting experience. The Evolve Multi-Tool features the tools a hunter needs in the woods; a knife (60A blade), replaceable saw blade, pliers/wire cutters/strippers, fixed gut hook, and a universal bit driver. It also comes with a flathead/Phillips reversible bit and extra room to store two additional ¼" bits of any variety you want to add. Hunters have the option of carrying it with the carabineer clip or a zippered holster that holds extra blades.
The Newest Knives
The latest Havalon innovation? Two new series of double-bladed knives called the Signature Series Rebel and the Havalon EXP, the first Havalon knives designed specifically for everyday carry.
The all black design of the EXP is tactically inspired. With a Tanto-style blade and a 60A scalpel, it’s the perfect combination of traditional and modern. The Rebel, designed under the direction of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector Team, features a classic drop point folding blade on one side and a Havalon Quik-Change fitment on the other. The Rebel and the EXP both feature AUS-8 stainless steel blades, cryo-hardened and finished with a black titanium coating for the perfect balance between strength and sharpness.
With its origins in the medical industry, Havalon was never really a newcomer to the world of knives. Havalon has played its advantage—the best surgical scalpel in the industry—into big success. The Havalon replaceable blade knife effortlessly outperforms any knife in field dressing and skinning. Through quality and innovation, Havalon has cut its way into the hunting knife world with surgical precision to become the iconic brand in replaceable blade knives.