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Thread: reciprocating meat saw?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 45-70bpcr's Avatar
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    reciprocating meat saw?

    Been wanting an old Wellsaw carcass saw for splitting deer but for all the more I would use it I can't justify the price they seem to bring. Anyone try a sawzall? What kind of blade would work best?

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    Last moose I took 4 years ago we did use a sawzall and used just the plain wood blade on it. steve k
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    We call it the Dewalt butcher kit. We use a fine tooth blade. Makes short work of quartering elk, bear, etc. No reason though that the coarser wood blade wouldn't work.

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    Boolit Master
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    I use a dewaly battery power saw for in the field and use the cheep Harbor frieght saw at home. Both using a regular wood blade. The bigger teeth dont clog as much as a fine tooth blade

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    Boolit Master

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    i use a fresh wrecking blade 8 inch , my neighbor used his on a 600 pound steer that got hurt, darned tastiest beef i ever had I have a pig coming in a month , i may have to get a finer blade for cutting chops but the wrecking blade sure cuts in a hurry

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    For anything smaller than a moose or bison, I'm really against cutting bone. Smaller things like deer and antelope should just be boned out. The saw drags the marrow back through the meat, that gives it a nasty taste. Large animals like moose and bison have true marrow bones, that are worth processing to eat the marrow, and they won't put an off flavor in the meat.
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    Boolit Master
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    I used a Black and Decker cordless for several years to split lambs and to take the ribs and shanks off. Spliting the spine really gave me pretty rib racks. A fine blade help keep bone chips to a minimum and cuts at a reasonalbe speed in the relative small and soft bones. As the battery wore down, I had a hard time getting through a couple of lambs on a charge. My inlaws bought me a heavy duty 110v sawzall for Christmas and it will split a steer with a 12 inch demo blade, no problem, but it is too heavy to run one handed like I could the cordless. While they work great, cleaning them is always an issue. Remove the blade and anything else you get off. I then hold the saw with the business end down in the sink, and use my hand to direct hot water up into the chuck area. This gets 90 percent of the gunk, and doesn't seem to bother the saw at all. The remainder I go after with an old tooth brush and a bamboo skewer. A real germophobe would probably follow up with bleach water, but I have never bothered. Just don't let it sit before you clean it, I only did that once! My wife handles the packaging and always makes sure all the bone dust and smeared marrow gets washed off before packing.
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    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    For anything smaller than a moose or bison, I'm really against cutting bone. Smaller things like deer and antelope should just be boned out. The saw drags the marrow back through the meat, that gives it a nasty taste. Large animals like moose and bison have true marrow bones, that are worth processing to eat the marrow, and they won't put an off flavor in the meat.
    I have to agree there, i have plenty of experience cutting beef and hogs which do require a saw to split and a sepparate bandsaw with a fence to make your T-bones/loin chops, rib steaks/chops and process the chuck and round properly on a beef. However on a deer i see no point at all to going though the work to split it, as well as expose yourself to the SRM's (specified risk matriels) that are where CWD hides. It is simple to bone out the loin (what people call the backstrap) and tenderloin on the inside and make chops out of them. As i was always told by the butcher that taught me, if you have to use much more than a sharp knife your working too hard, the good Lord made almost every critter with key points to "break" a carcass. I would also worry about getting the saw clean after i was done.

    If you do choose to use a saw to help you cut you can get a scraper that removes the bone dust from the meat just as is used on beef steaks wherever bone has to be sawed.
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    Boolit Master 45-70bpcr's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! Really only looking to use the saw to split down the spine so I can quarter it to fit in my fridge. I will bone everything then over the course of a few evenings. Last few years I have been canning as much as possible minus the loins and burger. Really like the canned meat and loose none to freezer burn or to the bottom of the chest freezer. For now so far in NW PA we have not seen CWD so cutting down the back I hope is not a problem.

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    I have a US Berkel Bandsaw , a sawzall, and a large meatsaw as well as a pack saw for the field. They all have fairly coarse teeth and work well for cutting up Moose and caribou. I find the best cutting ,especially for Steaks is when the meat is semi frozen.
    It takes 2 people when using a sawzall , one to hold and one to cut.

    Rich
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Regular sawsall here with a wrecking blade. Makes short work of deer quartering and cutting up the rib cage.
    I do cover the end with an old T shirt to keep most of the big globs off the tool.

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    Boolit Man
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    I use a sawsall and a sharp felet knife to quarter and bone out my critters you really don't kneed a saw for deer and pigs. Beef and other large critters it would be verry handy

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    My first experience with a sawzall on meat was a buffalo hacked up by a "guide" who drove six of us into a pasture containing a few dozen. He had been at the the job three days a week for several weeks. Selling off culls from a local herd.
    Took the carcass home and hung it up.
    It started to spoil quickly where the sawzall was used.
    Most likley a dirty blade left an inoculation of bacteria.
    If I ever use a sawzall on meat, the blade will be new.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Just 2 weeks ago this Wednesday, my friend put his set aside sawzall blade in his saw and cut down the back, the brisket and two cuts to finish quartering my big and barren cow elk.

    WOW, a year ago, we did it all on the ground before hauling the quarters out on the 4wheelers to his big walk in cooler, washing up the cuts and putting in the cooler.

    This year, we got smart and when Doug suggested the tractor, I just kept dragging the cow out to where he could get his tractor to the critter.

    This critter dropped less the 50yds from where last years dropped, and I suggested dragging it out to a shady spot instead of doing a repeat of last year..

    This was sooooo much easier on this Ol'Coot.

    Dealing with the heat and working hard to get the meat process and into the cooler just about did me in last year. This year, it was a piece of cake dressing, skinning and processing that big thing while it hung from the front end loader.

    The sawzall was just frosting on the cake.

    Doug has a blade he just keeps for such things, so if we can get to power, it saves a lot of work and in some cases, blisters from some of those little saws.

    CDOC

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    An Inverter and extension cord hooked to your tractor or 4 wheeler or truck battery and you have 115v ac power for a saw .
    I dont have to use my stone knife now....
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    As i was always told by the butcher that taught me, if you have to use much more than a sharp knife your working too hard, the good Lord made almost every critter with key points to "break" a carcass.
    Growing up I had an uncle who was a butcher and I learned pretty quick about the fine art of taking a critter from whole to packaged. In my 20's I worked for a friend on a corporate deer lease for hunting privileges. My job was filling feeders, scouting and butchering.
    It wasn't uncommon for me to dress and quarter a half dozen or more deer both morning and evening depending on how many folks were there. I had it down to a fine art and could hit every socket, and joint with ease. I used an 8" skinning knife, a paring knife, and a short set of curved tip limb loppers.

    Now some 20 years later I can still put one in the cooler but it takes a bit longer since I don't do it with as much regularity. Usually about the time I get back into the hang of it, the season is over. I do however try and practice on the hogs year round, and depending on how big they are, I can have one done in 15-20 minutes.

    I find the loppers work much better for splitting the ribs off, as well as taking a leg joint apart. I prefer to hit the joint with the little knife but depending on the temp, sometimes you simply have to move along. With something large like an elk or moose I would definitely go with the powered saw for sure. Blades are cheap and having a new one every time wouldn't be an issue. Just remember to do the clean up as pointed out above, otherwise your not going to want to use the saw much after a couple of days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhawk View Post
    Last moose I took 4 years ago we did use a sawzall and used just the plain wood blade on it. steve k
    ding ding ding. We have a winner!

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    I watched an African quarter my kudu with a panga Machete and a knife that our very own Waksupi made. It was pretty darn impressive. Especially since it was done in the dark, by flashlight.
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    Boolit Master nanuk's Avatar
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    I bought a wood blade for my sawzall, it is very deep to keep a straight line. coarse teeth too.

    now, I need to kill a moose to try it out.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Good luck nanuk!

    As you likely already know, it is Ooooooooooh so great a distance from one end of a moose to the other with a hand saw, you'll really like the sawzal!

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

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