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Mini-Flesher vs. Dakota V

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by KYTaxidermist, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. I'm thinking about upgrading from my air mini-flesher to a Dakota V flesher. Not sure if that is good move on my part or not. (Money wise). I only do about 8 deer a year. It takes me 45 min to an hour to shave down a tanned cape. (I use pressure washer for fleshing before tan). Just wanted some opinions. Will the Dakota save me that much time over the mini-flesher? I know the min-flesher was probably not designed to shave down a entire deer cape, but it's been working pretty good for about 5 years now. I just don't want to drop hundreds of dollars to find it takes about the same amount of time with a Dakota flesher.
  2. mark73

    mark73 New Member

    Donno why I waited so long to get my v. No more this tool and that and hours. 15 to20 min. And I'm done. You want regret it. I will say it doesn't hurt to no how to shave one down without a machine besides elbow grease

  3. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    Just wait for a good used one to pop up in the for sale section.I waited a year and managed to get a floor model for only 750!! You won't regret it one bit and will be mad at yourself that you didn't get one sooner
  4. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    My mistake i have a Pro not a V.. I would get a Pro if i were you.
  5. lashkk

    lashkk New Member

    I have used both. Mini throws meat everywhere. V slices it and takes 10min to do a hide and im slow.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I used to have a Dakota flesher and now use a Mini-flesher exclusively, but my process is a lot different than yours. I rough flesh mine with a knife first removing most of the meat and fat along with opening the ears, lips and nostrils. I freeze them at that point. When it's time to tan them, I thaw them out, then salt overnight and then flesh/thin them with the Mini-flesher which takes about 30-40 minutes per cape. Then they go into the pickle/tanning process. I do them in batches of four. The Dakota is certainly going to be faster at doing the shoulder/neck area of the cape, but the mini-flesher is great at doing from the neck up. I used to use both, but the cleanup got to be a pain, and since I wasn't saving that much time with the Dakota, I just use the Mini-flesher now and sold my Dakota. I'm not a high volume taxidermist though. I do fewer than 30 deer heads a year.
  7. Not to get of topic but why not have a tannery,do your turning,shaving and tanning.

    you will save a lot in the long run.A world champion taxidermist,told me to do one or the other.So consider being a taxidermist and let a tannery do the messy work.I get my hides tanned for $80.00,my guy turns everything,shaves and tans .Save your self money and time .But if you must buy one you will not go wrong with the Dakota.
  8. If I was doing a large amount of deer a year I would consider sending all my hides out. But I'm a part timer with a 40 hour a week job. The most deer I have gotten in in one year was 13. Usually I average around 8. It's more of a hobby instead of a business, at least that's the way it started. I will definitely look into sending them out one day if I ever decide to quit my job and take this on full time. Thanks for everybody that responded.
  9. Been there, done that. Started with a mini flesher, went to a Dakota 4 and recently got a deal on a Quebec. Should have skipped the first two and went right to the bigger machine. BIG difference.
  10. Skin Deep

    Skin Deep Member

    I use the mini flesher and my next big investment is a table flesher. I have used them in the past and i know first hand they are half the time to clean up and a better stretch in the hide.
  11. Kytaxidermist, I would suggest going too the tutorial section going to the thread labeled mini flesher 3/4 down the page or going to list by subject and wartch the videos I have posted. I would recommend the same to some od the others who also posted. I think you might view your mini differently

    While I have both a big wheel and two minis, an air and electric model, I use my mini for rough fleshing. Some use a wheel flesher for rough fleshing. For the neck and the body this is fine but the mini is quite adequate if you don't have a wheel flesher or can't afford one. Fleshing the face and turning the ear butts, lips and eyes can be done wiith a mini with little practice. This is all shown in the different videos I have posted. Watch them all from start to finish.

    There is no mess if used properly. I show this as well. Why anyone would use a knife to rough flesh is beyond me unless they are speaking of a draw knife. I just use my big wheel for final shaving and a skife knife for the detail work.

    I show how to tweek your mini it get the best performance and how to get the most out of it. I've had several PM's sent to me after posting thanking me for the help. Some were about to throw it out the door until they tried what I do and they changed thei mind immediately. Like I said I use a wheel during the pickle process. I own an Eager Beaver but I would never trade my mini. I use the air model since it has more umph during rough fleshing. I use the electric to clean my ears up prior to inserting my liners. So please watch the videos. If you have any questions don't hesitate to PM me.
  12. sergeant133,

    Thanks for the info. I have watched your videos and have to say you are very good with the mini. I don't use it for rough fleshing like you have more for the final fleshing. I do my rough fleshing with pressure washer. However I do still have to use knife for splitting the lips, eyes etc. So I can see how using the mini would save time. I may have to try that on a spare cape of coarse. I think for now I am going to stick with my mini. Mainly because I can't justify spending 450.00 dollars or more on a wheel flesher when I just don't do a lot of deer a year. Plus I do really like my mini. I've gotten pretty good with it over the years. If I try splitting lips and eyes, I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks a lot for your input, and that great video.
    fishnl8 likes this.
  13. KYTaxidermist,

    I've never tried the pressure washer technique but have watch videos. Due to the cold area and no area to do that type of fleshing it isn't an option for me. I try to avoid adding moisture to a cape when at all possible. That's my only question as to using that method. I'm trying to get moisture out and adding water by pressure washing fleshing just makes that task that much more cumbersome IMO. Again I've never done it so if it works for you and you like it, by all means keep doing it! You might try rough fleshing with the mini once and immediately after salt and let hang. It' amazing how much moisture will be drawn from the cape because the penetration is much greater. Anyway I'm glad the videos have helped in some way. Good Luck!!!!
  14. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I watched some of those mini-fleshing videos and learned some things, thanks. One thing I will add though is that you should always wear hearing and eye protection when you are using a Mini-Flesher. They are loud and could damage your ears. Also, I would never operate one without having a Kevlar glove on my left hand (I'm right handed). That thing can cut you bad in a hurry.