Hunting knives – Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison

 

If you want to find the best hunting gear, but you don’t have time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best hunting knife. After analyzing a lot of feedback coming from both amateur and professional hunters and target shooters, we have concluded that the Buck Knives PakLite Field Master is the best set on the market today. Since it includes a 3.5-inch skinning blade, a gut hook ring, and a 2.5-inch caping blade, it should be at the top of your list. Best of all, the blades are made of high-quality stainless steel, which means that you don’t have anything to worry about in terms of durability. If the Buck Knives 0141VP PakLite Field Master is unavailable, you should consider a great all-around knife, the Buck Knives 0119.

 

Our top choices – Find the best knife for your needs

 

Best hunting knife set

 

Buying an entire knife set not only reduces the time you have to spend researching about various items but also offers real value for money. A hunting knife set is a real bonus, as you get a host of different items in a single package. With just one product, you get the versatility of individual knives shipped to you in a single package.

Each knife in the set is suitable for different tasks, so you get what you need for slicing, skinning, puncturing, piercing, gutting and all the other preparations needed for game to be fit for serving on the dinner table. Professional hunting knife sets also run larger than those sold alone.

 

 

Buck Knives PakLite Field Master

 

There’s so much to love about the US-made Buck Knives 0141VP PakLite Field Master than just the Buck Forever Warranty it ships with. With just one product, you get the following items: a 3.5-inch skinning blade; a 2.5-inch caping blade; a gut hook ring, making this the best hunting knife set.

Offering versatility in a single package, this knife set has all its components designed with an orange traction coating for sure bite and secure hold onto the cut surface. The 420HC steel provides remarkable strength, rust resistance and edge retention. Each component in the set carries a minimalist design for simplicity of use and effortless storage and transport.

The skeletal steel frame comes with innovative blade control cutouts for easy maneuvering when performing detailed movements or cutting. Each knife boasts Advanced Edge 2x blade technology that ensures superb sharpness holding as well as an easy-to-clean design.

The heavy-duty black nylon sheath has removable liners for easy maintenance, with a zipper storage compartment built in for safety and capacity to hold all three knives in the set.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Best all-around knife

 

The hunter can’t prepare the edible game for eating without a good quality all-around hunting knife. The hunting knife enables the hunter to clean, skin, cut and cook the animal, and even when it’s already cooked, the prepared food will have to be eaten so a hunting knife can go on the dinner table as well. This is how vital an all-around hunting knife really is. A good quality hunting knife can even enable you to get yourself out of tight places.

A truly dynamic knife comes with premium quality materials from the handle to the blade and even to the carrying case. The blade length should be as you prefer or need. The handle needs to be light but not overly so, yet balanced and strong. You should be able to grip the knife tightly using the handle, so the tool doesn’t slip out of your grasp. The handle can be made of plastic, wood or other material like bone, leather, aluminum or steel. Most people prefer stainless steel blades. Make sure the knife demonstrates a great fusion of weight, balance, quality workmanship and easy use.

 

 

Buck Knives 0119

 

Made in the USA, the Buck Knives 0119 is crafted using 420HC steel, ensuring you of toughness and quality that truly deserves the Buck Forever warranty. The standard steel material delivers excellent edge retention along with dependable resistance to corrosion. The knife itself is easy to re-sharpen, thus giving you years of use.

The 6-inch blade length provides just enough length to maneuver around tight spaces while providing good reach. Lightweight at just 7.5 ounces, this hunting knife ensures total product quality thanks to its US construction.

This knife has an overall length of 10.5 inches to provide the perfect balance of weight, length, balance and durability. The fixed clip blade design demonstrates reliable solidity due to the absence of any point of weakness.

This hunting knife is great for outdoor use, detail work and also cutting in tight places, ensuring all-around functionality or versatility. The black phenolic handle offers a great grip, and it is supplemented with an aluminum pommel/guard for light hammering applications. This knife ships with its own genuine leather fitted sheath for secure and safe storage and transport.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

Best boning knife

 

A boning knife is one of the sharpest cutting tools you can ever own. Generally, this type of knife comes with a long, thin blade while still being solid or strong. A boning knife enables you to cut along the shape of bones while ensuring that most of the meat remains preserved.

A boning knife is the best tool to own for people who intend to butcher the animals they have caught. This implement should be able to hold its sharp edge really well. A boning knife is not exactly rock hard, with most products at around 56 Rockwell, and this makes them quite easy to maintain or sharpen using a stone or steel.

Some hunters use a fine diamond rod to sharpen the edge, but if you get a boning knife with a toothy edge, there may be no need to touch up the polished edge using a diamond rod. The edge of the knife should easily slide around the bones for easy maneuverability. Some knives have a thin Scandinavian grind that tends to buckle and fold because they can’t handle the pressure of working around bone. Look for a convex grind, which is stronger and offers good results when working on cartilage and bone or meat.

 

 

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Hunts Point

 

Undoubtedly the best boning knife, the SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Hunts Point has a crafty and agile 3.6-inch fixed blade with a drop point shape that enables easy maneuvering out of tight spaces, perfect for working around bones.

Constructed using AUS-8 stainless steel, this boning knife ensures reliable cutting performance and resistance to corrosion.

The satin finish ensures smooth and easy resharpening. The co-molded orange and black rubberized handle is finger- grooved for slip-free, ergonomic gripping. The handle also features black glass-reinforced nylon in its construction to ensure a comfy fit and great balance in hand, for easy, deft cutting following the contours of bone.

The USA-made leather sheath with belt loop attachment and snap closure provides easy storage and safe and secure transport. Shipped to you with a limited lifetime warranty, this boning knife has a smart flat-ground skinning shape that enables easy handling and stamina to handle the delicate boning task. The lanyard hole on the GRN- and TPR-co-molded handle allows effortless carrying on the neck.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Top skinning knife

 

Skinning knives come in a variety of lengths depending on the type of game being hunted. For big game, a 5- to 7-inch length should be adequate to carry out the skinning task. A skinning knife with a three- to four-inch length should be able to work well on medium game. For small game, look for skinning knives that are 2 to 3 inches long.

Popular brands offer good, durable skinning knives that are worth the investment for lasting use. A good skinning knife doesn’t have to be sharpened on a regular basis. This is essential since it can take a long time to skin the animal. The knife should hold its sharp edge longer.

 

 

Elk Ridge ER-300CA

 

Doubtlessly the best hunting knife under 50, the Elk Ridge ER-300CA comes as a set of two cutting implements to ensure value for money.

The blades on the two knives are constructed of 440 stainless steel to ensure outstanding strength and rigidity as well as dependable retention of the sharp edge.

The 7-inch knife is outfitted with a non-slip camo ABS handle for easy gripping and maneuverability around the contours of the animal to help with deft skinning.

The lanyard hole on the 7-inch knife’s handle enables easy threading of a visibility string to aid in easy locating of the knife. The 6.5-inch gut hook knife helps in the easy handling of the animal’s guts for field dressing.

The gut hook knife also comes with a camo ABS handle and finger hole for digit assist and control when pulling out the guts of the animal. The two-knife set comes with a black nylon carry sheath to ensure safe and effortless storage and transport.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.75)

 

 

 

 

Top tactical knife

 

Designed to carry out multiple functionalities, a tactical knife can also come with several features to enable use in extreme circumstances. A tactical knife is frequently used as a utility tool with a specific application. A top quality tactical knife is not intended for use as a weapon but when you are caught in extreme situations, can easily cross over that very boundary.

Pilots, SWAT crew members, fire personnel, EMTs, police and military can carry a tactical knife just as capers, hunters, survivalists and outdoor adventurers also do. Tactical knives can be in the form of a small fixed blade hunting knife that is durable and strong aside from being thicker and longer than a folding hunting knife.

 

 

TAC-FORCE TF-723EM

 

Designed for tactical, rescue and outdoor use, the TAC-FORCE TF-723EM is equipped with a spring-assisted blade that provides effortless release when needed. This hunting knife comes with a pocketable design that enables easy carrying.

The stainless steel black half-serrated blade enables sawing into material as well as easy piercing at the start. The black and orange aluminum handle ensure easy visibility and resistance to corrosion.

This knife offers multiple functionalities with an included glass breaker and seatbelt cutter for extreme situations.

The 3mm thick blade has a short but agile 3.25-inch length for easy slipping into tight spaces. The pocket clip enables hassle-free attachment to your pants or shirt pocket for easy carrying. The EMT medallion delivers a professional look.

This product comes as a set of two knives to give consumers value for money. The knives in the set are solidly constructed to ensure years of use for a variety of purposes.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.99)

 

 

 

 

With a replaceable blade

 

If you want your hunting knife to be consistently scalpel-sharp, why not go for one with a replaceable blade? A replaceable blade gives you a perpetually sharp edge with which to execute every cut. This also means sharpening will never need to be done again. Besides, since replacement blades are relatively cheap, you need not worry about having to change the blade every now and then, which gives you the added advantage of using the knife for a variety of tasks including slicing and skinning.

Just pop in a replacement blade and you’re ready to carry on with the slicing, skinning or cutting task. For knives with permanent blades, you will still have to invest in a sharpening rod or stone, and bringing one during the hunt can mean added weight to your backpack, which needs to be filled only with essential cargo.

 

 

Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite

 

If you want consistently sharp blades, make the Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite your first choice in a hunting knife. This replaceable blade hunting knife comes with six replacement blades so you can go on with your skinning and slicing tasks without the need to sharpen the blade regularly.

When one blade becomes dull, you can simply pop in a new one and presto! You are ready to go at the task again.

Changing blades is extremely easy thanks to the push-button replacement blade system. This means no-fuss, hassle-free use.

The rubberized thermoplastic rubber (TPR) handle provides a firm, non-slip grip even when wet so you won’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your grasp.

Each blade in the set is made of 420J2 stainless steel to ensure dependable corrosion resistance. The mossy oak nylon belt sheath provides safe and easy storage and carrying while protecting the knife components from damage and extreme weather conditions.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

With fixed blade

 

Any serious hunter knows how hard it is to find a good hunting knife. With so many options out there, and with more and more models and brands coming out every year, the decision-making process becomes even more overwhelming. However, the truly discerning buyer knows that a lightweight yet well-balanced knife is a good choice.

Top rated hunting knives come with a skeletonized construction that ensures easy grip in hand without compromising on quality. Many hunting knives come with a black powdered finish for amazing corrosion resistance.

The handle should be easy to grip securely without the risk of slipping during critical moments. A premium quality hunting knife offers optimal functionality through the years.

 

 

Buck Knives 0119

 

Equipped with a Cocobolo Dymondwood handle, the Buck Knives 0119 9207-PARENT comes with a classy, elegant look that will make you proud for owning it.

This great-looking knife has a brass pommel/guard that can be used to do light hammering while keeping your hand steady on the handle. This solid fixed blade knife works well for outdoor use as well as detail work and also cutting in challenging situations, as in tight places.

You’ll love the Buck Forever warranty that demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in this IS-crafted hunting knife with high-quality materials and construction.

Made of 420HC steel, this hunting knife offers dependable cutting performance while being resistant to corrosion. The blade is solidly constructed and has the strength to last a lifetime.

It also boasts incredible edge retention so you sharpen the blade significantly less frequently between uses. The hilt provides effortless control every time. This is one hunting knife you can’t afford to leave home without.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

With folding blade

 

A hunting knife is every avid hunter’s go-to implement for slicing, cutting, skinning or even boning the edible catch for ready consumption. Without one, hunting won’t ever be the same. It provides a purpose for every hunter: to catch animals for food. A good hunting knife can have either a fixed blade or folding blade.

Although fixed blade models have the advantage of a straight, single-body configuration with no weak points to consider, a folding knife offers convenience via easy storage and transport. Make sure your folding knife is made of premium quality materials and its features truly contribute to its overall functionality, as even a folding knife can take you out of critical situations.

 

 

TAC Force TF-705-Parent

 

Delivering multiple functionalities in one convenient, easy-to-carry product, the TAC Force TF-705-Parent is a must for every avid hunter. This amazing hunting knife releases its blade through innovative spring assist, enabling quick one-handed deployment when needed.

The blade locks securely in place via the liner lock, so the component doesn’t simply slip back into the handle when the knife is used for demanding applications.

The black half-serrated stainless steel blade proves to be useful for cutting branches and twigs or rope. The aluminum handle has a built-in bottle opener and glass breaker for handling emergencies while offering versatility.

The aluminum construction offers a lightweight design along with dependable corrosion resistance.

This knife has a handy pocket clip for safe and effortless carrying. The 4.5-inch closed length enables easy placement in your pocket. The 3.25-inch blade enables you to get out of tight places. The 3mm blade thickness offers easy cutting or slicing application.

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Best electric sharpener

 

Because you need to keep your hunting knife in running condition, you will also have to invest in a premium quality knife sharpener. Knife sharpening is an art, even though it only involves making the edge of your hunting knife sharp. With a knife sharpener, you enjoy longer cutting tool life since you won’t need to buy a replacement knife when your existing one dulls down.

A dull hunting knife is useless, considering the many uses of the tool. Choosing a hunting knife sharpener depends a lot on your needs along with your skill level. Although your choice of knife is still paramount to a successful hunting experience, the knife sharpener ensures optimal knife usage and lifetime.

Manual sharpening can be done, as this offers a clean and controlled method of sharpening the tool. However, if the one doing manual sharpening does not have the needed skills for this method, the knife can turn out uneven and even duller and more useless than when the user first started sharpening it.

Electric knife sharpeners offer an automated means of sharpening the hunting implement, delivering faster results compared to manual sharpeners.

Electric sharpening machines are equipped with a unique polishing disk that works on the edges of the knife while the user simply switches the machine on and off. Simplicity in task completion is the greatest advantage to using an electric hunting knife sharpener.

 

 

Presto 08810

 

Constructed of plastic, the Presto 08810 is easily the best electric hunting knife sharpener that can be used anywhere because of its lightweight build. This knife sharpener is a professional-grade product equipped with an innovative three-stage sharpening system.

Get professional results at home because of that technology.

Easy to use, this electric knife sharpener offers versatility by being flexible enough for use in sharpening kitchen knives as well as sports knives utilized by hunters, anglers, boaters, campers, hikers, the police or military and other individuals who employ knives in their jobs or activities.

This knife sharpener polishes the knife edge speedily and effortlessly.

All you need to do is turn the machine on and off. It’s that easy! To ensure optimal sharpening angles, this knife sharpener is outfitted with interchangeable blade guides. The blade guides eliminate the guesswork when sharpening thanks to how they are geared to hold the knife in place at the perfect sharpening angle for convenient functionality.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.99)

 

 

 

 

All you need to know about hunting knife handle materials

 

The knife handle of your hunting knife plays a huge role in ensuring optimal functionality of your cutting tool. Any serious hunter knows it is not just the blade that ensures proper knife use; the handle also has to offer a good fusion of weight, texture, maneuverability, handling or grip and overall blade assistance to ensure good cutting, slicing, skinning and even boning results.

Wood handles are classic. They are widely used in hunting knives because of how they deliver an exceptional grip. That said, wooden handles do require diligent care. They should not come in contact with water, which can affect the integrity of the wooden handle. If possible, rub this type of handle with mineral oil occasionally to preserve its craftsmanship.

Plastic offers a lightweight and smooth, sleek look. Plastic hunting knife handles also provide a good, secure grip. However, remember that any plastic material becomes brittle with time and continuous use. Plastic also tends to take up stains easily, or become rough and even abrasive. A slippery handle can be difficult to hold in hand and can pose a hazard during use.

Wash the handle off of slime, grease and any other items that can stick to it, which ensures longer functionality. Plastic-reinforced wood lasts longer and needs less care than plain plastic or wood handles, while incorporating the strengths of both materials.

Handles made of composite or synthetic materials and which include polyimide such as thermoplastic rubber, G10, Kraton and Micarta, among many others, are designed to provide a dependable grip for secure handling of the entire tool. One of the best things about synthetic handles is how they are engineered for longer lasting use compared to natural handle materials. Moreover, synthetic grips also provide a comfortable grip.

Metal hunting knife handles are comparatively indestructible, with many knives demonstrating a patterned metal grip for texture and secure holding of the tool. This ensures slip-free handling of the knife. Metal handles can vary from firm to slippery, depending on their design.

Regardless of the hunting knife handle you prefer, do keep in mind that every type has its own advantages and drawbacks, and no single handle offers perfection in all aspects. The sooner you realize that fact, the less demanding you will be in choosing your product.

 

 

Best hunting knife with wood handle

 

Valtev Pocket

 

The Valtev pocket knife is equipped with a premium quality sharp locking blade that ensures effortless and quick deployment while staying in place for safety. The convenient nail groove on the blade is an innovative feature as it enables easy opening of the knife to the usable cutting position.

The Rockwell hardness rating for this knife is pegged at 56, which enables it to keep its sharpness without being extremely hard so it won’t resist sharpening as needed.

The classy natural bamboo grain and polished stainless steel handle provide a comfortable fit in hand for optimal control and functionality along with effortless use, for young scouters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.75)

 

 

 

 

Best hunting knife with plastic handle

 

Morakniv Companion M-11827-Parent

 

The ultimate all-in-one knife for those who love outdoor adventures, the Morakniv Companion M-11827-Parent comes with a patterned high-friction handle that supports your grip for comfortable knife holding and effortless use.

This hunting knife is outfitted with a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik blade of stainless steel for superior resistance to corrosion and chipping. You’ll love the low oxidation potential of the stainless steel material, which ensures a rust-free blade for years of use.

The included plastic sheath with a belt clip enables worry-free storage and carrying of the tool. The black powder-coated finish ensures non-reflectivity for comfortable use while providing an added layer of rust resistance. This product is made in Sweden, ensuring you of high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

Best hunting knife with synthetic handle

 

Spyderco C122GBBKP

 

Characterized as a tenacious folding knife, the Spyderco C122GBBKP boasts high-quality craftsmanship and components to deliver top quality features and dependable functionality in the outdoors. This knife has been tested for quality and durability, from its G10 Black Handle to its neat plain-edged black blade.

Made using premium quality materials, this hunting knife is a mid-sized cutting tool with a laminate handle that has been ergonomically crafted to support fatigue-free prolonged cutting applications.

Tucked inside the revolutionary handle are skeletonized steel liners that reinforce the implement’s strength and rigidity without adding to the knife’s thickness and weight. Encased in non-reflective protective coating, the 8Cr13MoV stainless blade is also ground flat from its spine to the slicing edge for easy cutting use.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($44.97)

 

 

 

 

Best hunting knife with metal handle

 

Mercator 154S

 

The Mercator 154S is a sleek-looking cutting implement made for the modern hunting enthusiast. It features a cool Black cat logo on the classy-looking handle that speaks of good taste in hunting tools. This knife is a lockback knife that enables fast deployment using a nail groove on the blade.

The stainless steel blade not only bears the Mercator tang stamp but also boasts superb resistance against corrosion, for years of dependable performance or use. The black metal handle has a shackle to keep the blade tucked safely and neatly in it, preventing accidental deployment.

It also provides a neat way of attachment to a lanyard for effortless and safe carrying of the tool. This is a German-made product, ensuring you of top quality materials and craftsmanship.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.54)

 

 

 

 

How to choose the best hunting knife

 

A hunting knife does more than just cut and slice things, unlike ordinary kitchen knives. This type of implement is used for boning, skinning and doing other tasks relevant to the entire preparation of the game. Some hunting knife blades even come with a unique gut hook that is useful for anglers. These are the elements to look into when prospecting for this type of hunting tool.

 

Determine the application you need the knife for

For deboning purposes, you want a 5- to 6-inch thin blade that is fairly stiff to handle big game boning. Flexible blades are for boning turkeys or upland birds. The area of impact that a knife provides for skinning is due to its generally short length and deep drop. This type of blade enables working in confined areas when skinning an animal.

The narrow, thin, 8- to 12-inch long blade of a hunting knife is effective for slicing ultra-thin cuts of meat. Small and light, Everyday Carry or EDC blades in adequately small and light knives offer a good balance of functionality and compactness. Tactical blades are used for self-defense while also serving as Everyday Carry tools.

Replaceable blade knives do not need regular sharpening. They have disposable blades that are comparatively cheap so once the component dulls, you can easily replace the cutting edge with a fresh one. These types are suitable both for slicing and skinning. Fixed blade knives are stronger while folding blade models offer easier storage and transport.

Make sure the knife is made of quality materials

Knife blades can be made of various types of material. Crucible steel is tempered for hardness so the blade can hold an edge, just like high-carbon or cutlery steel, which is also easy to sharpen. All-purpose knives boast titanium blades, which are durable, lightweight and hold their sharpness longer compared to steel. Stainless steel blades don’t discolor but can be hard to sharpen. Hard yet lightweight, ceramic blades are stronger than steel ones.

Stainless steel comes with some forms of standard assignation or labels. The labelings include a number and an alphabetic designation. The numeric segment refers to how much of the element is used while the alphabetic segment tells you the alloys present.

 

Check if the construction of the blade is as you prefer

The hardness of the knife blade is measured using a Rockwell machine, which pushes a small component that penetrates the surface of the blade. The penetration depth is then categorized on the A, B or C scales to indicate the blade’s Rockwell hardness level. Harder steel that shows less penetration is assigned a higher number.

High-quality steel is typically forged, which is ideal for most applications. Forged knives have a distinctive bolster between the blade and handle but there are some knives that have no bolster. Stamped knives are stamped or cut out of flat metal pieces and don’t go through the various steps that forged knives are subjected to so they are lighter in weight but also not as well balanced.

Sintered knives undergo a revolutionary process that provides them with flexibility, durability and the light weight along with the remarkable edge retention capability of titanium.

Blade types also vary. Choose from spear point, which shows a symmetrical design from the point down to the blade; trailing point knives, which are cut upward at a higher level than the blade’s spine; sheepsfoot, which has a straight cutting edge and distinct blunt, rounded tip; drop point, which has a lowered point designed to deliver additional tip strength and control; tanto point, which is ideal for piercing, with an impact-absorbing thick point; clip point, which offers all-around functionality with a lowered tip similar to that of a drop point, along with a long belly section; saw blade, which has a toothed edge; gut hook, which is used to split the skin of the animal.

You can also choose between a serrated edge, which is saw-like and delivers unrefined cuts, or plain edges, which are sharpened and smooth with no teeth or serrations. Blade grinds are classified as: chisel, which is ground on just one side; hollow, which delivers an extremely thin edge perfect for slicing; sabre, which provides a fairly thick and extra strong edge; flat, which ensures a strong enough blade for chopping and slicing; convex, which gives plenty of steel behind the edge for absolute rigidity.



Make sure the knife looks good

For knife finishes, choose from Teflon, which is smooth and ensures less friction for better cuts; black electroplating, which utilizes a non-reflective coating bonded to steel to minimize the reflectivity of the material; black coated, which provides a dark matte finish to the blade; satin, which is distinguished by a medium luster.

The lock and joint mechanism can be lockback, slip joint or frame and liner. Tactical knives have frame and liner locks that enable one-handed opening. The blade in a slip joint type doesn’t lock but is held in place by a spring device. Lockbacks carry a design similar to that of a fixed blade knife.

The handle can be made of any one of the following materials: wood, plastic, metal and synthetics. The bottom line: choose the knife that has all the components you prefer and is suitable for your purpose. This ensures a sensible investment in a hunting knife.

 

 

 

Questions you need to ask yourself when shopping for the best hunting knife

 

The hunting knife is one of those hunting essentials that you need to be nitpicky about. The best all-around hunting knife does more than just cut and slice; it is used to prepare the game for consumption. These are the questions to be answered when prospecting for the perfect hunting knife for your needs.

Should my knife suit the game I am after? The answer here is yes, as knives are designed differently according to the type of game you are hunting. There are hunting knives for rabbits as there are models for big game. The size of the knife has nothing to do with its overall functionality. An overly large hunting knife can even cause injuries aside from not being helpful in the actual skinning of the game (too difficult to maneuver) or gutting it (too large to get into the deep internal organs without causing a mess) just the way you want.

How frequently are you going to use the knife? While some hunters do the activity full-time, others only have the passion to do hunting on the weekends. Smaller knives are suitable for weekend hunters who can still use the knife for other tasks at home. Full-time hunters are best equipped with a full fixed blade knife exclusively for the activity.

Is the knife going to be used to kill the game or just for trimming? This can be answered with another question, “Is hunting a regular means to put food on the table or is it just to get bragging rights to the season’s catch?”. For trophy hunting, it pays to invest in a caping knife, which is a smaller and easier-to-use hunting knife for the delicate operation of removing the skin and its vital components while keeping everything intact such as the eyelids, for mounting or taxidermy.

Which one is right for me, a fixed blade or a folding blade knife? A fixed blade knife is the avid hunter’s ultimate cutting tool as it is geared with a fixed blade that can’t be folded into the handle. The absence of the folding section generally offers greater strength as there’s no weak point to talk about. Fixed blade knives are useful for skinning and gutting. The weekend hunter had best get a folding blade knife for easy storage and a smaller footprint.

Is blade design essential? Again, the answer to this question is based on the type of hunter you are. A skinning/spear point/modified clip and drop point blade is used primarily for removing the skin from the game aside from being suitable for both clip point and drop point blade tasks. Equipped with a fine point and concave back, a clip point knife is useful for creating small punctures such as when the rectum has to be freed by cutting around the anus of the deer during field dressing. The convex back of a drop point blade also facilitates fine puncture making but it is better at skinning compared to clip point blades.

What type of handle suits your needs? You can choose from metal, wood and bone handles as well as newer composite materials on the handle. An ergonomic and firm grip should be provided by the handle.

What type of steel are today’s hunting knives equipped with? You can select from the basic steel types: 420HC, which requires proper maintenance; 44O-A/B/C or stainless steel, which is rust-resistant but needs heat treatment; AUS-6/8/10, which is the Japanese counterpart of 440 steel, only a bit stronger.

Is a serrated blade suitable for me? That depends on your hunting needs. A serrated edge is typically on the blade’s top edge. It simplifies some intricate hunting tasks, making them a tad easier to do, including pelvis or rib cage opening.

Down the road, it is going to be your needs that determine the type of knife you should get. Hunting knives are one of those items that are not available in a one-size-fits-all configuration, allowing you to choose wisely and to choose well.

 

 

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