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A good pair of game shears is handy bit of gear to have with you out on your hunting trip.
The small to medium sized shears really help to make quick work of cutting down the smaller game and birds such as ducks, pheasants, and turkeys. You can just snip away at the necks, wings and legs.
For larger game meanwhile, you can find extra large shears specifically designed with larger game like deer in mind.
Shears are generally a lightweight piece of gear, and they take up next to no room in your backpack, and then when you consider how cheap and inexpensive they are to buy, there’s no reason not to take game shears with you on your trip.
We’ve found that there’s a lot of different models of game shears out on the market at the moment, but we’ve identified and hand picked our favorite 5 which we think are the best of what’s out there.
Our in depth product reviews are coming up shortly, and they should help you decide which ones you need. Later on we’ll also share some of our top tips on choosing the best one for your needs, answer some of your most frequently asked questions, and then we’ll leave you with our final thoughts.
Want to get a super tough pair of game shears? You need look no further – these bad boys from Camillus have got you covered!
Their blades are made from 4Cr13 steel. But that’s not all – they’re also treated with Carbonitride Titanium Non-Stick, and what this does is to strengthen them so they are 3 times stronger than they previously were. AND it protects them from all kinds of corrosion and rust.
What makes them perfect for dressing birds and small game is the serrated edges and drop point shape.
We love that the handles come in camouflage, designed to match the rest of your hunting gear. The handles are made from rugged ABS, making them almost as durable as the blades.
What makes the blades so tough is that they’re tempered to HRC54 hardness. And then the titanium treatment it receives adds to their durability further still. Altogether they achieve that perfect heft you need when dressing birds and small game.
And when you get back home, the shears come apart for easy cleaning.
They’re not 100% perfect however, and it all comes down to the centre pin. Whilst it’s nice that the shears come apart when you want to clean them, it can be frustrating when the center pin breaks on you during your tougher cutting jobs.
It’s a shame really, as it should be a super easy thing for the manufacturer to fix and bring the shears to a whole new level.
That said, they’re still an amazing pair of shears – in fact our favorite for 2020. They’re tough, treated with titanium, and the hard blades have a super sharp serrated edge. All that and they’re super affordable too, one of the cheapest on our list in fact.
If they fixed that center pin, it would make a really amazing pair of shears.
Gerber has really lived up to it’s name with this beauty! They may be small, but they’re also sharp, tough and durable.
The blaze orange handles are rubberized for comfort. This makes them both easy to find and spot, and it also makes them very easy to grip.
The blades are each composed of 420J2 steel, and of the two blades, you get one which is scallop serrated, which is great for cutting through small game, and the other blade is straight.
The shears are very compact, at just 8 inches in length, and they come with fabric sheaf which can attach to your belt. The fabric sheaf matches the shears in that it features blaze orange in it too – so easy to spot.
Being so compact, these shears are best suited for cutting small game, say ducks, quails, chicken and squirrel.
The thing is though, it would be kind of a struggle to cut anything larger than that.
In summary, it’s a really good pick if you’re after a small pair of shears specifically for shearing small animals.
One thing we love about these shears is that they’re full tang – that means that the solid piece of metal that constitutes the blade also runs down the handle as well. So sturdy, and you can really feel the heft on them.
The blades are 3.5 inches long and are made of tough 420J2 stainless steel. The blades are also serrated and curved which makes them great for tough cutting jobs.
We just love the bone breaking notch on the end of the handle, making cracking the bones a breeze when you’re dressing the game. You could use it for a variety of game, including birds, ducks, geese or even turkeys.
They also have a rubberized TPR handle for comfort.
Unfortunately even with their super durable heft, they’re not built for cutting large game. You won’t be able to dress any deer with them, and if you wanted to cut through large bones you should really be looking at bone saws rather than shears.
The other problem with them is that the center pin is not as tight as we’d like it to be, it would be a little better if the blades were held more tightly together.
Overall, they’re still very much a really good pair of sheets, that will last you well and with repeated heavy use and wear.
Although these shears are marketed as poultry shears, and are great for use in the kitchen, they are just as handy for hunters wanting to dress game in the field.
They feature a heavy duty stainless steel construction, and are spring loaded to give you that extra cutting strength, allowing you to slice through raw meat and tough tendons.
In addition to the micro serrated edge, the blades also feature that all important curve which helps you cut through all those awkward areas you get with small game like birds.
It also has a bone notch so you can cut straight though any small thin bones.
The handles feature an anti-slip grip which is a good thing, but we wish there was a loop on both handles. Just personal preference.
We also like that you can separate the blades when you’re ready to clean them, but the drawback to this is that it becomes hard to screw them back tightly enough when you’re ready to use them again. Having a slack juncture means you would have to apply extra strength when cutting the stronger, thicker chunks of your game.
We just love how tough and versatile these little poultry shears are. Their sharp curved blades taper down gradually which is really good for reaching those harder to access parts of the game.
Their spring loaded handle is great, keeping you from straining your hand, lending additional cutting power. And the handle loop and bolster help prevent your hand from slipping around.
The blades are constructed from traditional stainless steel, and they’re perfectly sharp, with one serrated side on each blade.
They’re a good, solid pair of shears that cut easily, and the handles provide good grip.
When you’re ready to clean the shears they separate easily and can be washed with warm water and soap.
The only thing we didn’t like was that we would have liked to have seen a loop on both handles. Having an open handle on one side makes it tougher to grip when you’re cutting a hard and thick piece of game. We weren’t too keen on the latch that keeps them closed either, seemed a bit cheap if you ask us.
All in all they’re a good, sturdy and sharp little pair of shears, and they are good value for money. And the curved blade is particularly good for cutting small animals with awkward curves and corners
In this buying guide, we go through all the different things you might like to think about before you buy.
Game shears are set apart from regular scissors in a number of ways, but particularly in size and cutting strength. In addition to being larger than your typical household scissors, they have thicker, sharper blades and provide a much greater cutting strength.
Our recommendation is that you go shears with blades that are 3 to 4 inches long or more that will cut through whatever form of game that you want to hunt.
Blade Edge and Shape
Game shears typically have at least one serrated edge, enabling them to make clean cuts through skin and meat with ease. (They won’t cut through bone though.)
Blade shape is also a factor in your game shear’s performance. Unlike household scissors which are straight, game shears tend to have blades which are slightly curved, and this is really handy for getting into all those nooks and crannies and turns you get when you’re dressing the game.
What material the shears are made of makes a huge difference to their cutting strength. Many game shears are made with traditional stainless steel, which is very tough in it’s own right. But to get real value for money, you should look out for shears made of hardened steel. This is the hardest type you can get, and you can bet they hold their edge the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use a Special Pair of Game Shears Over Regular Ones?
As many hunters know, it can be quite a painstaking process to dress and clean game in the field. And to be frank a bog standard pair of multipurpose is simply not up to the job.
There is a stark difference between how well game shears will perform compared to generic household scissors, whether you’re dealing with pheasant, squirrels, ducks or deer.
Despite how similar the two sometimes look, you can take it from us that the blades on games shears are much sharper than their household counterparts, and their construction is designed to give them extra cutting strength.
This additional sharpness and strength is what makes them so much better at cutting through small bones and cartilage, trying to cut your game down for cooking or temporary storage. Makes all the difference.
Our strong recommendation to you hunters, is that you really should invest in a pair of specifically designed game shears. Not only will the job get done more quickly and easily, but you will also get a lot less mess too.
Although you can get kitchen and poultry shears that can do a pretty similar job, they need a lot more effort and strength on your part, and cannot deliver as clean a cut as the ones you’d get with dedicated game shears.
You will always be better off using the correct, specifically dedicated equipment to dress your game. Using a good pair of game shears like the ones we have shown you can really speed up the process of dressing your game with the least amount of faff and fuss.
Our top choice that we can recommend to help you dress your game is our Number 1 pick, the Camillus 8-inch Game Shear. They have so much going for them – tough hardened steel blades, treated with titanium for real durability, with their perfectly shaped serrated drop point blade sharp enough for just about any game dressing job.
And at such an affordable price too.
That said, every one of the game shears we’ve reviewed here should be to the job, and the only thing you really need to watch out for is whether they suit your size of game.