The 15 Best Hunting Knives for 2021 – Reviews & Beginner’s Guide

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Any serious hunter and outdoor survivor want to carry the best hunting knives out there. Whether it is for cleaning a fish, field dressing or cutting some rope, you want a reliable knife that gets the job done.

In our knife reviews, durability and performance are primary but aesthetics are important as well. We picked the best hunting knives for any budget and for various hunting tasks.

Here is our list of the best hunting knives for 2021.

The 15 Best Hunting Knives for 2021

Overal best fixed hunting knife – Buck 656, 657 Pursuit Pro Knives

Overall Length WeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
8″ to 9.5″3.3 oz. to 6.4 oz.S30V Stainless steelDrop Point & Gut Hook Option

The 656 Pursuit Pro is a new hunting knife from Buck Knives. The 656 Pursuit Pro has a durable full tang construction making it a strong reliable knife that is fit for various hunting and outdoor tasks.

Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Large

Its glass-filled nylon/versaflex sure grip contoured handle is comfortable to hold and designed to prevent hand fatigue ness.

Its drop point style blade is fully bellied with a string thick point. The blade has a thickness of 0.140 inches and a satin finish. The blade is forged from Buck’s S35VN stainless steel that is hardened to a Rockwell hardness of Rc 59-61.

S35VN stainless steel offers great edge retention with a combination of ductility, toughness, hardness, and is corrosion-resistant. The steel provides the same edge retention as S30V steel but its properties allow it to be resharpened easier making it a great knife for skinning multiple animals with the option to sharpen it in the field when necessary.

The Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Large is also available with a gut hook.

Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Large Guthook Knife

There is also a smaller version available; the Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Small. The Pursuit Pro Small does not have a gut hook option.

These Buck 656 Pursuit Pro knives are carried by a black heavy-duty nylon sheath with a belt loop, are made in the USA and comes with Buck’s Forever warranty.

Full review coming soon!

Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Large
Buck 657 Pursuit Pro Large with Guthook
Buck 658 Pursuit Pro Small
Buck Knives 656 Pursuit Pro Fixed Blade Hunting Knife, 4-1/2" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
Buck Knives 657 Pursuit Pro Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with Guthook, 4-1/2" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
Buck Knives 661 Folding Pursuit Pro Small Hunting Knife, 3" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$99.33
$114.99
$84.99
Buck 656 Pursuit Pro Large
Buck Knives 656 Pursuit Pro Fixed Blade Hunting Knife, 4-1/2" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$99.33
Buck 657 Pursuit Pro Large with Guthook
Buck Knives 657 Pursuit Pro Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with Guthook, 4-1/2" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$114.99
Buck 658 Pursuit Pro Small
Buck Knives 661 Folding Pursuit Pro Small Hunting Knife, 3" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$84.99

Second best fixed hunting knife – Benchmade Altitude 15200

Overall lengthWeightBlade materialBlade Shape
7.38″1.67 oz.CPM-S90V Stainless steelDrop Point

The Altitude 15200 is a lightweight hunting knife from Benchmade. The Altitude 15200 is designed for the hunter who counts every ounce. It has a full tang construction providing great strength and reliability and features incredible edge performance.

Benchmade - Altitude 15200

The 0.35-inch thick carbon fiber and G10 micro-scales(Carbon fiber and Orange) G10 handle offers extreme durability and stability with minimal weight.

The Altitude 15200’s 3.08-inch long stainless steel has a Rockwell hardness of 59-61HRC. The blade has exceptional edge retention while still maintaining great strength and toughness. The drop point blade is well-balanced and versatile, making it ideal for hunting purposes. Its simplistic design makes the knife easy to clean.

This all-around hunting knife comes with a Fusion Kydex sheath for protection and accessibility, Benchmade’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, and LifeSharp Service.

Full review coming soon!

Sale
Benchmade - 15200ORG Altitude Knife, Drop-Point Blade, Plain Edge, Orange G10 Handle
  • HIGH-QUALITY: The CPM-S90V stainless steel blade has exceptional edge retention while still maintaining great strength and toughness. The carbon fiber and G10 handle offers extreme durability and stability with minimal weight.
  • WELL-DESIGNED: The Altitude 15200 is a fixed blade, full tang knife, providing great strength and reliability. The simplicity of the knife also makes it easy to clean.
  • MADE FOR HUNTING: The Altitude 15200's drop-point blade is well-balanced and versatile, making it ideal for hunting purposes.
  • ALWAYS READY: This all-around hunting blade features a Fusion Kydex sheath for protection and ultimate accessibility.

Best budget fixed hunting knife – Cold Steel Finn Hawk

Overall LengthWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
8.5″5.1 oz. German 4116 Cryo QuenchedScandi

The Cold Steel Finn Hawk is an inexpensive and hard-wearing bushcraft outdoor hunting knife. I’s traditional Nordic-styled “Scandi Ground” German 4116 steel blade is sub-zero cryo-quenched for superior edge holding potential.

Cold Steel Finn Hawk

The Finn Hawk’s handle is two-time injection molded. The first layer of high-impact polypropylene is strong, durable, and highly weather-resistant, while the outer layer (made of TPR rubber) has a whorled spiral pattern providing a food-safe, comfortable and secure grip in even the worst conditions.

Its 4-inch blade is more than big enough for most game processing tasks. The Finn Hawk is supplied complete with a slimline secure-ex polymer sheath with an integrated belt loop.

Full review coming soon!

Sale
Cold Steel Finn Hawk & Finn Bear Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with Sheath, Finn Hawk
  • Collectibles knives & blades fixed blade
  • Versatile top of the line
  • Another quality product
  • Country of Origin:Taiwan

Second best budget fixed hunting knife – Morakniv Companion

Overall LengthWeightBlade materialBlade Shape
8.5″4.1 oz.Sandvik 12C27 steelClip Point
Morakniv Companion

The Morakniv Companion is a fixed heavy-duty knife that comes for a low price. The handle is well designed and sits comfortably in the hand. The Morakniv companion’s stainless steel, drop-point blade is razor-sharp and exceptionally tough. Its edge makes it incredibly easy to sharpen.

Read our full review of the Morakniv Companion.

Sale
Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 4.1-Inch, Black (M-12141)
  • Versatile fixed-blade outdoor knife with a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is ideal for carving, food prep, and cutting tinder
  • High-quality Swedish steel is razor sharp and exceptionally tough; stainless steel blade stays sharp longer than carbon steel, and is less prone to rust
  • Patterned, high-friction grip sits comfortably in the hand, for greater control, safety, and performance, especially in wet and cold conditions
  • Blade length: 4.1 inches (104 mm), blade thickness: 0.1 inch (2.5 mm), overall length: 8.6 inches (218 mm), weight w/ sheath: 4.1 oz. (116 g)
  • Includes a color-matching plastic sheath with belt clip; manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty; made in Sweden

Top 5 Morakniv Knives.

Best hunting knife with exchangable blades – Gerber Randy Newberg EBS

Handle LengthWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
4.5″6.01 oz.440C steelMultiple shapes

The ESB from Gerber is a hunting knife with a exchangable blade system that is designed by Randy Newberg. Randy has been harvesting animals for a long time. He learned a lot about hunting knives and what they should offer.

Randy Newberg EBS Knife

The EBS has a lightweight skeleton construction with ergonomic handles. The task-specific blades are made from durable 440C steel.

The EBS has an improved Split Sec Tech exchangeable blade system. This is one of the safest systems on the market. Safe operation and precise utility are available at the push of a button.

Randy Newberg EBS Knife with Exchangable Blades

The EBS includes 3 blades, they are not replacements but are individually unique from each other, intended to serve different purposes. The 440C exchangeable blades have shapes for backstrap, caping/breakdown, and multi-purpose.

The EBS has retroreflective material for night locating.

Gerber Vital Replacement Blades for the ESB.

Full review coming soon!

Gerber Randy Newberg EBS Lightweight Hunting Knife
  • Utility knife includes 440C backstrap, breakdown, and multipurpose exchangeable blade shapes
  • Handle nests into the box for minimal footprint and compact EDC gear storage
  • Lightweight skeletonized design with hand-hugging ergonomics for a comfortable tactical knife
  • Retroreflective material makes night locating easy while hunting, camping, or fishing
  • Exchangeable blade system includes 3 exchangeable blades; 2 plain edge blades and 1 serrated blade

Best Clip Point Hunting Knife – Buck 119

Overall LengthWeightBlade materialBlade Shape
10.5″7.5 oz.420HC Stainless steelClip Point

The Buck 119 is a classic fixed hunting knife that is durable and effictive. The Buck Knives 119 special comes with a black Phenolic handle, which is a type of high-density quality plastic.

Its high carbon steel clip point blade has a sharp edge and is perfect for skinning and field dressing. It’s not the hardest knife steel out there, but it holds an edge really well and is quite easy to resharpen.

Buck 119 Special

A solid brass pommel extends downward to prevent backward slippage of the hand while gripping. Finger grooves on the belly of the handle allow for a firmer grip and a brass bolster/finger guard prevents forward slippage.

The Buck 119 comes with a high quality genuine leather sheath, a big plus!

Read our full review of the Buck 119.

Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath - Black Handle
  • RAZOR SHARP CLIP POINT BLADE - 6" Clip Point 420HC steel blade has excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for lasting durability. The clip blade is good for piercing, detail work, and cutting in tight places
  • COMFORTABLE GRIP & BALANCE - Traditional black phenolic handle has palm swells for a comfortable grip. The aluminum pommel/guard provide the perfect combination of beauty and balance. Overall length 10-1/2", Weighs 7.5 oz.
  • AN AMERICAN ICON - Classic phenolic handle and aluminum pommel/guard provide a perfect combination of beauty and balance. One of Buck's top selling knives, the 119 Special is one that's handed down from generation to generation
  • CONVENIENT CARRY- Includes a genuine high quality protective leather sheath with snap fastener. The integrated belt loop allows you to carry the knife securely and safely on your belt
  • MADE IN THE USA - FOREVER WARRANTY - Since 1902 Buck Knives has offered a lifetime warranty on our knives because we believe in the integrity of our products. This knife is proudly made in the USA

Best Small Hunting Knife – Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter

Overall LengthWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
6.32″6.4 oz.CPM S30V Stainless steelDrop Point

Benchmade’s Hidden Canyon Hunter is a small fixed hunting knife that is perfect for those who are looking to save space.

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter Knife

Its Dymondwood handle is of high quality and durable. The full-tang blade has a good balance of durability, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. The blade is designed really well for keeping your finger on the tip of the blade so that you can guide it through your cuts. It’s a short blade so the belly is a little deep for some applications, but it’s a great little knife for skinning.

Read our full review of the Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter.

Benchmade - 15017 Hidden Canyon Hunter Knife, Drop Point Blade, Plain Edge, Brown Stabilized Wood Handle
  • BUILT FOR THE HUNT: Despite it’s compact profile, this knife provides ample real estate throughout the handle and cutting edge, making it just as effective on big game as it is on smaller species.
  • COMFORTABLE IN HAND: The thoughtful geometry and ergonomic design of the knife will make the last cut feel just as effortless as the first.
  • HIGH QUALITY: A satin CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC) steel blade with stabilized wood handle.
  • MADE IN THE USA : Proudly made in the USA.

Overal best folding hunting knife – Buck 660, 661, and 659 Pursuit Pro Folding Knifes

Overall length(closed)WeightBlade materialBlade Shape
4.375″ to 4.25″2.5 oz. to 3.8 oz.S35VN Stainless steelDrop Point

The 659 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Knife is a large folding knife from Buck knives with a reliable lockback mechanism that covers all field needs. The folding knife features a highly visible, sure grip contoured handle made from nylon/Versaflex that is comfortable to hold and is designed to reduce hand fatiqueness.

Buck 659 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Knife

Its expandable blade is 3.625 inches long and 0/120 inches thick and features a drop point shape and a satin finish.

The blade is forged from Buck’s S35VN steel that is hardened to hardened to a rockwell hardness of Rc 59-61. The steel offers great cutting quality with a combination of ductility, toughness, hardness and is corrosion resistant. The steel offers the same cutting quality as S30V steel, but its properties allow it to be sharpened more easily, making it a great knife for skinning multiple animals with the option to sharpen it in the field if needed.

The blade secured with a reliable lock-back mechanism for safe use. The knife has a thumb stud so you can easily open and close the knife with one hand.

The knife is carried by a black heavy-duty nylon sheath with a belt loop. The knife is made in the USA and comes with Buck’s Forever Warranty. This folding knife is also available with a gut hook option for field dressing tasks.

There is also a smaller version available;’ the 661 Pursuit Pro Small Folding Knife that is 3.8 inches once closed and features a 3-inch long blade. This small folding knife does not come with a gut hook option.

Full review coming soon!

Buck 659 Pursuit Pro Small Folding Knife with a Gut Hook
Buck 660 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Knife
Buck 661 Pursuit Pro Small Folding Knife
Buck Knives 660 Pursuit Pro Folding Hunting Knife with Guthook, 3-5/8" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
Buck Knives 659 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Hunting Knife, 3-5/8" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
Buck Knives 661 Folding Pursuit Pro Small Hunting Knife, 3" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$104.99
$99.99
$84.99
Buck 659 Pursuit Pro Small Folding Knife with a Gut Hook
Buck Knives 660 Pursuit Pro Folding Hunting Knife with Guthook, 3-5/8" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$104.99
Buck 660 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Knife
Buck Knives 659 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Hunting Knife, 3-5/8" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$99.99
Buck 661 Pursuit Pro Small Folding Knife
Buck Knives 661 Folding Pursuit Pro Small Hunting Knife, 3" S35VN Stainless Steel Blade, Polyester Sheath Included
$84.99

Second best folding hunting knife – Kershaw Emerson Knife 6031 CQC-11K

Kershaw Emerson Knife 6031 CQC-11K. Kershaw and Emerson have teamed up again to get this great survival and hunting knife.

Kershaw Emerson Knife 6031 CQC-11K

Its brown handle has a nice large finger-hold groove and G-10 scales on the front to help secure your grip. The backside is smooth and made with bead-blasted 410 steel, has a lanyard hole.

The pocket clip can be changed from left to right carry in the tip-up position. Opens manual style and with the wave disk opener- slide on your pants pocket and this blade will deploy. Frame lock system. The 8Cr14MoV steel blade is 3.5 inches long and has a stonewash finish.

Full review coming soon!

Kershaw Emerson CQC-11K D2 Steel Folding Pocket Knife, 3.5 inch Manual Open, G10 Front, 5.8 oz
  • D2 steel, big-bellied blade is tough with strong high point perfect for multiple tactical uses including piercing hard material.
  • G10 front handle with stainless steel back, bead-blasted finish
  • Designed by Emerson, built by Kershaw with a manual opening, No mechanical assist mechanism.
  • Hunting - This knife is part of Kershaw’s series of hunting knives—for the toughness, durability, and edge-holding capabilities your next hunting trip demands.
  • Blade length: 3. 5 in. (9 cm) closed length: 4. 75 in. (12. 1 cm) overall length: 8. 5 in. (21. 6 cm) weight: (Heavy) 5.8 oz. (161. 6 g)

Best budget folding hunting knife – Opinel No. 8 Bushwhacker

Overall Length(closed/open)WeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
4.25″/7.5″45 gr.Sandvik(R) 12C27 Modified stainless steelStraight Back
N°08 Bushwhacker Natural

The Opinel No. 8 Bushwacker is a folding knife that comes cheap and is great for some hunting and camping chores.

The knife has a simple design. It consists of a wooden handle, blade, fixed ferrule, rivet, and the rotating Virobloc locking ring. The beechwood handle is comfortable in the hand. It has a sharp stainless steel corrosion-resistant blade. The security system is reliable and works great. The Virobloc blocks the blade in the open position and closed position.

Full review coming soon!

Opinel No.08 Stainless Steel Folding Knife with Beechwood Handle
  • This essential tool is unchanged since 1890 and is a must have for outdoorsmen and handymen alike
  • The Stainless Virobloc safety ring has two sections, one fixed and one sliding for secure locking
  • Opinel's stainless steel blades are made of Sandvik 12C27 modified stainless steel
  • Handle is made from hard, durable Beechwood from France
  • Opinel products are guaranteed under normal use and exchanged in case of manufacturing defects

Best skinner knife – Buck 140 PackLite Skinner

Overall LengthWeightBlade marerial Blade Shape
6 5/8″2.5 oz.420HC Stainless SteelSkinner

The 140 PackLite Skinner from Buck Knives is a lightweight and sturdy skinner with a skeletal steel frame that reduces weight while still being heavy-duty and easy to carry.

Buck 140 PackLite Skinner Knife

The 140 PackLite Skinner has a 420HC steel handle and blade hardened to a rockwell hardness of Rc58. This steel approuches the resistance of high carbon alloys while delivering the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steels.

The tip is narrow and the curved belly gives a nice skinning sweep that aids in getting through thick layers. The downward angled, more blunt point makes it harder to make an accidental slice through the hide of the animal.

The 140 PackLite Skinner is offered in a Cerakote coated Plum Brown. This ceramic composite coating enhances physical performance like impact strength and hardness and enhances the knife’s abrasion/wear resistance and corrosion resistance and chemical resistance.

The Buck 140 PackLite Skinner comes with a heavy-duty polyester sheath with a belt loop, is made in the USA and comes with Buck’s Forever Warranty.

Full review coming soon!

Best caper knife – Buck 135 PakLite Caper Knife

Overall LengthWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
6.75″1.1 oz.420HC Stainless steel Caper

The 135 PakLite Caper Knife from Buck Knives is a lightweight, sturdy and effective precision knife with a modified caper blade for small game hunting.

Buck 135 PakLite Caper Knife

The blade is almost scalpel-like in shape, it has a mild drop point shape with nearly a spear tip that is used for removal of the hide of the face of a trophy animal. It is a perfect shape for small animals and birds. The blade is 2.5 inches long and 0.1 inches thick.

The Buck 135 PakLite Caper Knife is made in the USA and comes with a heavy-duty polyester sheath with a belt loop and with Buck’s Forever Warranty.

Full review coming soon!

Buck Knives 135 PakLite Caper Knife with Heavy-Duty Polyester Sheath
  • PACK LITE, CUT EASY - 2-1/2" Modified Caping 420HC Steel Blade delivers excellent strength, edge retention and corrosion resistance. Overall Length 6-3/4", Weight 1.1 oz.
  • DURABLE – The 135 Paklite Caper knife is coated with Cerakote coating to enhance physical properties including abrasion/wear resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength and hardness
  • LIGHTWIEGHT, SURGICALLY PRECISE – Minimalist design is lightweight for easy carry and easy to clean. The skeletal frame has blade control cutouts for quick detailed movements in field dressing
  • VERSATILE - The Caping knife can be carried alone, or as a companion to any hunting knife.
  • HEAVY-DUTY SHEATH- The Heavy-Duty Polyester Sheath has a snap closure and integrated belt loop for safe and secure carry on your belt for quick and easy access

Best boning knife – Fibrox Victorinox Boning Knife

Length of bladeWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
5,91″3.49 oz.Stainless SteelCurved

The Fibrox Victorinox Boning Knife is a professional boning knife that delivers the precision and efficiency that butchers and chefs require.

Fibrox Boning Knife

The Fibrox Victorinox Boning Knife features a sharp, narrow, curved blade and a non-slip handle that has been ergonomically designed so that cutting without resistance and separating meat from the bone becomes a simple, swift task.

Full review coming soon!

Victorinox Boning Curved Flexible Fibrox Pro Handle, Black, 5"
  • Package length: 5.1 cm
  • Package width: 5.1 cm
  • Package height: 27.9 cm
  • Product Type: KITCHEN KNIFE

Best skeleton hunting knife – Gerber Gear EXO-MOD Drop Point 

Overall LengthWeightBlade MaterialBlade Shape
8.56″2.6 oz70R SteelDrop Point
Gerber Gear EXO-MOD Drop Point

The Gerber Gear EXO-MOD Drop Point is a versatile hunting knife with a skeletonized full-tang design. The knife has a lightweight structure while maintaining durability, offers excellent performance, and is easy to sharpen.

The Gerber Gear EXO-MOD Drop Point comes with a Exo-Mod snap-together sheath system allows users to carry what they need and nothing more.

Full review coming soon!

Gerber Gear EXO-MOD Drop Point Fixed Hunting Knife, Black (31-003919)
  • Snap-together sheathes allow users to select specific products for their kit
  • Lightweight, skeletonized handle
  • Slender design for pack or hip carry
  • Full tang construction improves durability

Best survival hunting knife – Ka-Bar Becker BK2

Overall LengthWeightBlade materialBlade style
10.5″1 lb.Stainless steelDrop Point

The Becker BK2 is a fixed knife with a strong full extended tang build featuring a thick high carbon steel drop point style blade. The BK2 is fit for any hunting or survival task you can think of.

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Knife

The handle is durable and comfortable to hold. The high carbon steel blade with a classic drop point shape has a high flat grind and a sturdy tip. The blade is powder-coated with a nonreflective, really nice looking, black layer of paint, which is very resistant and it avoids the oxidation of the blade. It also prevents sparks from being removed with a ferrocerium. It is easy to sharpen the blade and it holds a nice edge.

The BK2 comes with a, hard shell, glass filled, black nylon sheath, which is of decent quality.

Read our full review of the Ka Bar Becker BK2.

Sale
KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
  • Full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores.
  • Made in Olean New York, U.S.A
  • Designed by Ethan Becker
  • Manufactured by KA-BAR Knives Inc.
  • Comes with a hard shell black nylon sheath.

Hunting Knives Beginner’s Guide

There are many factors to consider when you are looking for the best hunting knives out there. We will cover the basics below.

Size and Weight

A good or great hunting knife should fit the hand well and feel good. It should fit your hand size and strength. A good grip is most important; an uncomfortable grip can cause you to slip and make mistakes. If a knife is too heavy for you, you may tire your arm or muscles. Compare and try out knives of different sizes, handles, and weights.

Blade Material

You want a hunting knife to be sharpest and durable. Material comes into play here as well as the construction of the knife. You have two main steel types used for knife blades, carbon steel, and stainless steel. Carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen and hold an edge longer but rust rustier. Stainless steel knives are sharper but do not hold their edge long compared to carbon steel knives. Carbon steel knives are preferred by those who want a sharp, long-lasting edge.

Tang

Tang is a technical term. Full tangs mean that the blade continues all the way through the handle. The reason for this is the longevity of the knife. You also have reduced tang or stick tang knives, where the tang extends all the way to the pommel but is hidden inside the handle.

Blade Shape

Hunting knives come in many shapes for different practices as well as more multi-functional hunting knives. There are three main types, clip point, drop point, and skinners.

Clip Point

Clip-point hunting knives have been around for centuries. It looks like a part of the blade is clipped off. The blade is ideal for puncturing. Mind that when you puncture your game while field dressing you risk rupturing the gut sack.

Drop Point

The drop point is a style of blade characterized by a convex spine that curves down from the handle to the tip of the blade. The drop point style blade is typically thicker, especially at the tip, compared to a clip point style blade. Drop point is the perfect shape for a general-purpose knife that needs to handle various butchering tasks like cutting, skinning, and carving. Because of that, many hunters out there are of the opinion that all the best hunting knives out there have a drop point style blade.

Skinner

A skinner knife is a type of hunting knife with a very sharp edge, made for skinning animals with ease. Skinners are the best hunting knives to use when you want to keep flesh damage at a minimum.

Serrated Blade

A serrated blade is a type of blade with a cutting edge. It is also known as a sawtooth, or toothed blade. By having less contact area than a smooth blade, the applied pressure at each point of contact is relatively greater.

Cuts with a serrated blade are usually less smooth and precise than those with a smooth blade. Serrated blades are sometimes more difficult to sharpen than non-serrated blades. Serrated blades also stay sharp longer than regular blades with a straight edge. Also, a serrated blade cuts faster, while a regular blade cuts cleaner.

A well-known example of a serrated knife is a knife with a gut hook, which is useful for cutting open the abdominal cavity of an animal, but the disadvantage of hunting knives with a gut hook is that they can also ruin game if not used properly.

Grind

The grind of the blade refers to the shape of the blade’s metal as it tapers to the cutting edge.

Sharpness

Whether you are skinning a dear or butchering a bear, you will need a sharp knife to make smooth, precise cuts. No matter what steel material you choose, you must maintain it once in a while to keep it sharp

Folding Knives

Folding knives are more lightweight and can be carried in your pocket.

Handle

The handle is the backbone of any knife. The best hunting knives should be strong and tough and offer the user a comfortable and good grip. You have synthetic handles, wooden handles, or handles made of bone.

Wooden handles are the most common and often the cheapest options on the market. Wooden handles work fine but they may become slippery in wet weather, possibly causing you to lose your grip. Wooden handles do require some taking care of to preserve them.

Bone handles are durable and tough, but they do not provide a good grip when they get wet. The upside for bone handles is that they require little to no maintenance.

Synthetic handles are the best for skinning and field dressing tasks, they provide more grip in wet weather and require little to no maintenance.

Metal handles are becoming more popular in the hunting community these days. Titanium and stainless steel are used for these handles. 

Functionality

You have hunting knives that are multi-functional and should be able to be used for a variety of tasks and knives that are designed for specific tasks. Hunting knives are generally used for skinning and field dressing but can also be used for building a fire and various other outdoor, survival, or camping tasks.

Skinning

Skinning is a practice where you carefully cut through an animal’s skin without tearing muscles or abdominal tissue. A skinner has a sharp short thin blade that is curved.

Caping

Caping is the technique of felting the head and neck of an animal, such as a deer or bear, for the purpose of making it into a hunting trophy. The skin around the shoulder, chest, and neck is cut away from the rest of the animal..

Gutting

Gutting is the practice where you remove the organs of an animal. A knife with a gut hook is used for this purpose.

Deboning

After gutting and skinning, the meat must be removed from the bones. This process is called deboning.

Butchering

Time to cut the meat! You will need a very sharp knife to make good cuts.

Cost

What is your budget? What you want is good value for money. Hunting knives can range from five dollars to hundreds of dollars. The cheaper knives are usually less durable and perform worse. If you want to use the best hunting knives, it is wise to spend a little more money. A more expensive knife will last longer and perform better. More expensive knives also come with better warranties.

Storage

It is important to store your knives properly, especially fixed blades. If you store them in their blades, they will retain moisture and the blades will corrode after a certain amount of time. Ideally, you would want to have a specific area where you store your knives dry, such as a dry cabinet. There are even hunters who store their knives in cabinets with built-in moisture management technology.

How to sharpen your hunting knives

There are many different ways to sharpen knives. Sharpening with stone, electric sharpeners, with leather. Each practice takes some effort, time, and practice to learn properly. For beginners, I recommend a basic knife sharpening stone of good quality.

Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone- Whetstone Knife Sharpener- NonSlip Bamboo Base & Angle Guide
$38.99
Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone- Whetstone Knife Sharpener- NonSlip Bamboo Base & Angle Guide
$38.99

For seasoned knife owners, I recommend the edge pro apex 1 knife sharpener.

Edge Pro Apex 1 Knife Sharpener
Edge Pro Apex 1 Knife Sharpener Kit
$165.00
Edge Pro Apex 1 Knife Sharpener
Edge Pro Apex 1 Knife Sharpener Kit
$165.00

Best Brands

There are some great brands that have been providing the hunting community with the best hunting knives for decades. Many of them have good warranties and excellent customer service. The following is a list of brands that we prefer and recommend.

  • Buck
  • Ka-bar
  • Kershaw
  • Benchmade
  • ESEE
  • Gerber
  • Havalon
  • Morakniv

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