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Best Saw For Cutting Skull Plates (hackzall Vs. Sawzall)

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by northwoods, Dec 2, 2022.

  1. northwoods

    northwoods Member

    Question for you guys that do this all the time. I used a hand bone saw for years but I’m getting a little older and it’s not as easy as it once was on my shoulder. I got a cordless reciprocating saw (Milwaukee Hackzall) and thought that would be the cat’s meow but it won’t cut through the hide and skin to get to the actual bone. It binds up in the hair and skin, almost like the stroke of the blade is not long enough to tare through it. I’m using a long tree pruning blade with aggressive teeth. It’ll work okay if I cape the skull so the blade contacts the bone directly, but not as good as I had hoped.

    I know a lot of guys use just a regular Sawzall (not the Hackzall) and like it. The Sawzall does have a longer stoke than the Hackzall which should help. Can anybody comment on if a Sawzall will cut through the hide and skin and into the skull to remove the skull plate any better than a Hackzall will? Or would I have to cape the skull out either way?

    Thanks for any feedback!
  2. northwoods

    northwoods Member

    I use this technique to quickly remove horns/antlers for plaque mounts.

  3. rickey logan

    rickey logan Active Member

    cut through the hide First with a knife
    tem and Tanglewood Taxidermy like this.
  4. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    like rickey said. I cut the hide where I'm going to cut the skull. I trim it back a little so I can see where I'm cutting and don't get into the hide.
  5. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

  6. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Ditto on cutting the skin first. I use a DeWalt reciprocating saw.
    tem likes this.
  7. moonshine

    moonshine Active Member

    Harbor freight sawzall, its $20 and i do 150 deer plus a yr, this saw ive had for 3 seasons, ther cheep enough to have a spare on hand
    Lee Lackey likes this.
  8. Rausch

    Rausch Well-Known Member

    If you don’t want to cut the skin with a knife first you can always freeze it first. Sawzall or Hackzall will both work better that way. What’s going on is the skin when not frozen has enough movement to move the full length of the stroke.
  9. northwoods

    northwoods Member

    Thanks for the replies. Looks like cutting the skin back from the top of the head might be my best option. Or stick with the hand bone saw. Any other replies are welcomed. Thanks!
  10. northwoods

    northwoods Member

    EXACTLY!!! I was unsure if a Sawzall's stoke is long enough to overcome the skin movement and quickly cut through it??