If you’re a hunter or just have an outdoor hobby, you’re going to need to process your game. This means you will need tools for dressing, trimming, and cutting the animal. Well, the best game shears are designed to handle such tasks with ease.
A good pair of game shears will help you snip the bones of small game, including squirrels, game birds, and poultry. Plus, it can slice effortlessly through tough meats while remaining lightweight and compact enough to take with you anywhere.
However, finding the right game shears for processing small game can be quite tricky. That’s because there are many different types of game shears that vary in their purpose, design, and price.
This article narrows down our top 10 picks for the best game shears on the market. In addition, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about choosing the right shears for your needs.
Best Game Shears for Squirrels and Small Game
1. Leatherman Raptor with Utility Holster
Leatherman Raptor isn’t just any multitool; it’s an overkill. This tool really does have everything you need for the job at hand. Whether you need a survival kit for emergencies or a pair of game shears for kitchen prep time, Raptor has your back.
The array of tools that set it apart from other products on the list are both innovative and practical. It has a carbide glass breaker at the back of the handle, making it an excellent responder’s tool. At the mid-section is a nice strap cutter that looks more like a Raptor’s claw. It’s larger than strap cutters in other multitools, making it super useful.
Also, on the strap cutter is a cutout for the oxygen tank wrench. And at the back of where the blades connect, this multitool has a ring cutter. Though small, it’s just the perfect size for cutting things like wedding rings. To top it all, it has an engraved ruler on the blade for precise measurements.
And perhaps what you’ve been waiting to hear, Raptor multitool is also a great pair of shears. It has thick 420HC Stainless Steel blades that slice through solid poultry bones with ease. Instead of a sliding edge, the blades have micro serrations for grabbing and cutting stuff – just what you need for cutting wet, slippery meats.
Raptor not only offers 6 tools in one product. There are also multiple ways to carry it.
It comes with a heavy-duty plastic sheath that holds the shears in both open and folded positions. Plus, it allows the shears to click in place for a secure fit. Not to mention the sheath is MOLLE compatible.
Other carry methods include a pocket clip and an integrated loophole for a lanyard.
Two spring-loaded buttons make folding easy. As for the weight, this multitool weighs 5.8 ounces without the holster and 7.3 ounces with the holster. So, it’s no heavier than a standard multitool.
Raptor multitool is certainly above the price range of standard game shears. But hey, we don’t judge. You get more than you bargained for. No wonder it’s the best rated game shears on the market.
✅ 6-in-1 tool
✅ Well thought out carrying methods
✅ Sleek, compact design
✅ Folds for easy storage
✅ Multiple color options
✅ 25-year warranty
✖️ Expensive but worth it
2. Gerior Spring Loaded 9-Inch Poultry Shears
Is your old pair of kitchen shears driving you nuts by always falling apart and getting stuck on your food? Gerior Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears will give you a break. From cutting up those vegetables to prepping chicken, your work will be as easy as pie!
This pair of shears use food-grade, rust-resistant stainless steel blades. They’re easy to sharpen and with good edge retention.
The bottom blade has micro serrations to grip slippery food, while the top blade has a smooth edge for clean cuts. It’s the perfect combination for scaling and cutting fish and poultry.
In addition, there’s a bone notch where the blades connect. It makes easy work of solid poultry bones and wild turkey.
To ensure that no job is too difficult, Gerior designs these shears with a spring-loaded mechanism. And as though that wasn’t enough, these shears have a large handle enough to fit all fingers for better leverage. It makes it a lot easier to use, especially for someone who doesn’t have a lot of hand strength.
A nice little lever allows you to adjust how wide you want the blades to open to match your preferences. Not only that, but it also locks the blades when not in use. Plus, you can flip the lever all the way down to separate the blades for easy cleaning.
The ergonomic handle has an easy grip over the entire surface area. Thus, it provides the perfect balance between comfort and control during use. Moreover, it has an integrated bottle opener at the back to expand its use.
✅ Spring-loaded for easy cutting
✅ Come-apart blades
✅ Integrated bottle opener
✅ Large finger loop with thumb rest
✅ Two colors
✖️ The handle has only one loop
✖️ No carry sheath
3. Gerber Vital Take-A-Part Shears
Are you looking for a pair of shears to break down a small game at home or on the field? Whatever your needs, Gerber Take-A-Part Shears answers loud and clear!
With stainless steel blades, it cuts through tough pieces of the game with speed and efficiency. It’s ideal for removing a rib bone from wild turkey or cutting through any other meat. Plus, it digs into whatever stuff you’re cutting, so it doesn’t slip away.
As the name implies, you can take the blades apart after use for easy cleaning. Just turn the pivot point to release the pin, and you’re good to go.
When not in use, simply slide the shears into the included nylon sheath. It has a loop at the back that clips onto your belt for easy access on the go. Also, the sheath has a Velcro closure for easy opening and closing.
Rubber over-molded nylon handles provide a secure grip. Also, they have a bright orange color, so you can spot them easily when dropped out there in the field.
One handle has a bigger loop for your four fingers, while the other has a small loop for your thumb. Hence, you can operate this pair of shears using your entire hand for better leverage.
✅ Come-apart blades for easy cleaning
✅ Easy to spot orange handle
✅ Includes Velcro sheath
✅ Comfortable rubber over-mold handles
✅ Bigger loop fits all your fingers
✖️ Bone notch is a bit shallow
✖️ The pivot screw tends to rust with time
4. Camillus 9-Inch Multifunction Game Shear
What do you need in a pair of game shears? Do you want it for cutting, dressing, trimming, or cleaning game? With Camillus Multifunctional Game Shears, you don’t have to choose. It offers all these functions and a lot more.
The blades have serrated cutting edges for cutting and trimming game birds. Also, they come in handy when scaling or trimming fish.
In addition, the 4-inch blades are designed to handle solid bones. They have not only a bone notch but also a titanium triple-edge for sawing through bone and wood. Well, this is one feature that makes it the best rated game shears for squirrels.
This pair of game shears also have a nutcracker, jar opener, and bottle opener, making it easy to have a snack on the trail. Plus, it has flathead screws at the back of the handle for adjusting stuff in your hunting gear.
The blades come apart and slide back together without the need for tools. So now you can get into all the little crevices for easy cleaning.
Once done, stuff this game shears into the included injection-molded plastic sheath. It, too, has loops to mount on your belt for easy access on the go.
✅ 6-in-1 tool
✅ Durable titanium-coated blades
✅ Come-apart blades
✅ Includes custom-molded sheath
✅ Lifetime warranty
✖️ The shears tend to slide out of the plastic sheath
✖️ Camo handles are hard to spot if you lose them in the bush
5. Kershaw Taskmaster 9-Inch Multipurpose Shears
Taskmaster Shears is a multitool but with a more scissor-like design. Despite the straightforward design, it accomplishes more stuff than your standard game shears.
The 3.5-inch high carbon stainless steel blades put these game shears one step ahead of the competition. They hold a razor-sharp edge longer than your standard game shears and deliver cleaner cuts.
The bottom blade also has micro serrations for dressing game and cleaning fish. And with a bone notch, these game shears make easy work of cutting poultry bones, ligaments, and tendons.
Taskmaster Multipurpose Shears is also packed with other features.
It has a bottle opener for popping up that cold drink as you cut away your game. Also, it includes a nut cracker and a jar opener for snack time. In addition, it has flathead screws that double as lid lifters.
The injection-molded rubber handles are extremely comfortable. Plus, they’re non-slip all the way, so you don’t lose your grip.
When done with the day’s work, open the blades fully, and they’ll come apart for easy cleaning, sharpening, or putting in the dry rack. If a new job comes up, pop them back together, and they’re ready to go.
✅ 5-in-1 tool
✅ High-performance carbon steel blades
✅ Razor-sharp edge
✅ Over-mold handles are non-slip all the way
✅ Easy to separate blades
✅ Lifetime warranty
- ✖️ The loops on the handles are a bit too big
6. Camillus 8-Inch Multifunction Game Shear with Sheath
Another excellent multifunctional shears from Camillus. Only this time, it’s slightly shorter and with a less aggressive look than the 9-inch model.
The serrated blade cuts, dresses, trims, and cleans game – just like its larger cousin. It can do poultry, game birds, squirrels, fillet, and other small bone game. It doesn’t, however, have a triple-edge blade for sawing through wood and tough bones.
Also, it’s stripped of other extras like the nut cracker, jar opener, bottle opener, and flathead screws. It’s certainly a more simplistic yet effective design that does the job.
Well, the blades come in titanium-coated 420 stainless steel. It’s three times as hard as untreated stainless steel blades, meaning they hold their sharpness longer.
The camo handles are of rugged ABS material. They’re not only ergonomic but can also hold up to serious use.
A small pivot holds the blades firmly. But with a simple twist, it allows you to separate the blades when it’s time to clean or sharpen.
The sheath, too, is heavy-duty. It comes in ballistic nylon that’s tough, water-resistant, and durable. Also, it includes a belt loop for extra security on the go.
✅ Simple, sleek design
✅ Titanium-coated blades
✅ Detachable blades
✅ Tough ballistic nylon sheath
✅ Lifetime warranty
✖️ Camo handles make it hard to spot if you drop in the bush
7. Outdoor Edge 10-inch Game Shears
Small game, fish, and birds are no match for this game shears. From skinning, dressing to the quartering game, it does its job with ease and precision.
The 3.5-inch 420 stainless steel blades are pretty sharp. Plus, they’ll never dull or rust under good care.
The lower blade has a serrated cutting edge for extra strength in cutting through tough meats. Also, there’s a notch for cutting sinew, ligament, and small bones.
Since the blades are spring-loaded, user fatigue is also kept at a minimum. In addition, it provides more leverage, allowing you to make repeated cuts with ease.
With a full tang design, there’s little chance the blades will snap at the bolster. Hence, you can apply more force when cutting.
The TPR handles are designed with slip-resistance grooves to provide superior grip, even when wet. So, you can get a firm hold of them and not worry about your hands slipping. Also, the handles have a lock at the back to keep the shears closed when not in use.
Compared to most game shears, Outdoor Edge Game Shears are pretty sleek. So, they won’t easily get snagged on branches while you’re out in the woods. Plus, they come with a heavy-duty nylon sheath that mounts to your belt for quick access when you need it.
✅ Sleek design
✅ Sharp rust-resistant blades
✅ Clasp lock for safety
✅ Solid slip-resistant TPR handles
✅ Includes heavy-duty nylon sheath
✖️ Clasp lock is hard to engage and disengage
✖️ Blades don’t come apart for easy cleaning
8. Gerber Take-A-Part 8-Inch Game Shears
This is another great pair of game shears from Geber. The design is ergonomically sound and lets you get through any job with ease and comfort.
The stainless steel blades are super sharp for clean cuts. They are perfect for dressing game birds, trimming fish, and cleaning small game like squirrels. Also, one of the blades has a serrated edge for tough jobs. Plus, with a cutout notch, it can grip and snip small bones with ease.
And as you might have guessed, the blades come apart for easy cleaning and safe storage. Simply twist the pivot pin, and the shears will separate in two halves!
The handles come in a tough nylon material that is durable enough for all but the most rugged of field chores. Though the finger loops are a bit on the small side, the grip is pretty nice.
The sleek design is perfect for your hunting backpack if you’re on the go. But you won’t be needing these because the shears come with a belt sheath. Made of tough Cordura material, it will hold your shears safely without fearing it will puncture through.
✅ Take-apart blades
✅ Sharp blades with good edge retention
✅ Heavy-duty Cordura sheath
✅ Lifetime warranty
✖️ Handle loops are only designed for small hands
9. Rapala Fish and Game Shears
Do you have a difficult time cutting trout, catfish, or even chicken with a regular kitchen knife? It happens! But don’t worry, this is where Rapala shears come in.
Rapala Fish and Game Shears are Japanese-style shears that cut cleanly through the toughest of foods. From trout filleting to cutting rib bones, these shears are top-notch!
The blades come in surgical stainless steel to resist corrosion and provide a sharp edge. Also, one has a serrated for scaling fish and making quick work of tough meats.
As mentioned, small rib bones are no match either. The blade has a non-slip notch that grips and snips bones clean.
But this pair of game shears isn’t just for cutting. It comes accomplishes a multitude of other tasks. It has a bottle opener that doubles as a nut cracker. Also, it has a cutout on the straight edge blade for peeling vegetables.
The oversized loops make it easier to wrap all fingers around the handles so you can put more power in every cut. Moreover, the sizeable loops means can fit large hands, even with the gloves on.
Cleaning time is also fun. Just open the blades wide, and they’ll come apart for thorough cleaning.
✅ 3-in-1 tool
✅ Oversized loops don’t come in the way of hand gloves
✅ Detachable blades
✅ Tiny protrusions for excellent grip
✖️ Doesn’t come with a sheath
10. AccuSharp Sportsman’s 11-in-1 Multitool
It’s not always easy to carry all the tools you need for a field dressing game. That’s why the AccuSharp Sportsman’s 11-in-1 Multitool Game Shears were designed.
This tool can help with anything from skinning, gutting, and cutting through bones to making feather sticks for fire starting. It has 11 different functions in one tool, all of which are essential for any hunting or fishing trip. So you can do more than just skin your game.
The shears are comfortable to use, and the blades will not corrode. Plus, the blades are one of the thickest, so they can cut solid poultry bones clean off. And with a spring-loaded mechanism, you can do repeated cuts without getting your hands overworked.
This multitool can be used as a knife, saw, nail puller, pruner. It also includes a ruler, screwdrivers, a hook remover, and a nail file for those necessary last-minute touchups.
Though it packs so much, this multitool is still compact and lightweight. It weighs only 9.9 ounces, and every flip-out feature tucks in nicely after use to fit in the included carry case. Also, it includes a loop for mounting on your belt.
✅ 11-in-1 tool
✅ Thicker rust-resistant blades
✅ Spring-loaded for effortless repeated cuts
✅ Includes a carry case
✅ Two colors
✖️ Shorter blades
✖️ A bit less comfortable to handle
Best Game Shears Buying Guide
There’s much to consider before you buy. This guide will go through some essential features and considerations that will help you make an informed decision. You want to make sure you get your money’s worth, after all.
Type of Game
When choosing game shears, the first thing you want to do is figure out what type of game you’ll be cutting. There are game shears for both big and small games, so make sure you’re getting the right ones for the job.
The next thing you want to figure out is what blade size you need. The size of the game shears blade is based on the size of the animal. The blade should come to a point at the end and be sharp enough to penetrate skin yet not cut too deep.
A 2-3/4 to 4-1/2-inch blade should easily penetrate a small medium-sized animal’s skin. Bigger blades will cut through thicker material. For example, blades that are longer than 10 inches are often used for heavier duty tasks or larger animals.
For everyday use, however, any blade between 3 and 9 inches should do the trick.
Blades are made from different materials, each with its own properties and limitations on use, including sharpness, toughness, resistance to rust or corrosion, and wear on edge.
The best blade material for game shears is the one that doesn’t get dull quickly and can’t rust easily. For this reason, stainless steel blades are the best blade material for game shears.
Now, there’s the choice between stainless steel and carbon steel blade.
Choose carbon steel for a generally stronger blade that’s easy to hone to a razor-sharp edge. Also, it’s wear-resistant, hence stays sharper longer.
However, if you’re constantly exposing your blade to a lot of moisture, the stainless steel blade is a better choice. It’s excellent, especially for cleaning fish.
Generally, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel or carbon stainless steel blades. But if you’re looking for something more durable than that, you might want to consider titanium-coated blades. These blades don’t peel or chip and hold their edge longer.
The best blade edge for game shears is a very sharp one and has a narrow, straight cutting edge. While they are not necessary in most cases, they are beneficial when you need to cut through tough materials or something that can’t be easily cut with your regular shears.
Also, choose one that has micro serrations on one of the blades. A serrated blade edge for game shears is perfect for cutting through tough skin and thick fur. It prevents the inevitable need to use a knife to cut the skin away from the meat.
Also, a serrated edge is great for cutting rope, twine, and other materials. This is because it’s less likely to become dull or damaged due to contact with a hard surface.
One important aspect when buying game shears is the shape of the blades. The blade should have a curved edge. Curved edges help cut through tough meat or feathers more easily. Straight blades are not ideal because they can’t get through some foods as easily.
The weight of a pair of shears is crucial to the balance, grip, and cutting power. Generally, lightweight shears are great for people who have to use their hands for extended periods.
So, if you want to spend more time cutting and less time lugging around heavy equipment, choose lighter game shears. They’ll not wear you out and will cut cleaner than a pair of bulky game shears.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you sharpen game shears?
Yes, you can sharpen game shears. It’s even easier if you choose one that comes with high carbon stainless steel blades. But always seek professional help if you don’t have the right equipment to do so.
Are game shears dishwasher-safe?
All products on the list are dishwasher-safe. But before you put them in the dishwashing machine, try removing the large debris as much as possible. The reason is to avoid clogging up the dishwasher.
Do all game shears come apart for cleaning?
No, but most do. A pair of game shears with detachable blades not only provides easy cleaning. It’s also easier to sanitize, put in the drying rack, and store away safely.
That winds up our review of the best game shears. Whether you want them for squirrels, rabbits, game birds, or other small games, rest assured that our top recommendations are up for the task.
Leatherman Raptor and Camillus 9-Inch are our best overall picks. They’re not only multifunctional but also excel better in the job. Not to mention, the quality is top notch.
But you may have a different opinion or something to add to the review. So, feel free to share in the comments below.