A hunting knife is one of the most versatile tools in your arsenal. Not only can you clean your game on-site with this tool, but you can take care of any cutting or carving needs you have out in the wild. Not every knife has been created equally, so the best hunting knife reviews will help you make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Don’t just settle for any blade in this category. Accept only the very best.
The Best Chart for Hunting Knives
A hunting knife is a very personal tool. Ask 100 different hunters what the best knife will be and you’ll likely receive 100 different opinions. We’ve taken real feedback from public reviews to create the chart below so that you can see the best hunting knives as rated by hunters just like you.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Blade Type||Price|
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Blade Type||Price|
|Buck Knives 0119 w/ Leather Sheath|| 4.8 ||Fixed|| $$$$ |
|BlizeTec Titanium Hunting Knife|| 4.7 ||Fixed|| $$ |
|Kershaw LoneRock w/ Gut Hook|| 4.8 ||Folding|| $$ |
|Elk Ridge Hunting Knife Two Piece Set|| 4.4 ||Fixed|| $$ |
|Armory Replicas Night Stalkers Mariner Force Hunting/Survivors Knife|| 4.5 ||Fixed|| $ |
|Buck Knives 110 Famous Hunter Knife|| 4.8 ||Folding|| $$ |
|Kershaw Clash Knife w/ SpeedSafe|| 4.7 ||Folding|| $$ |
|Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife|| 4.6 ||Fixed|| $$$ |
|Master Collection Rescue Tactical and Hunting Knife|| 4.3 ||Folding|| $ |
|Tac Force Assisted Opening Hunting Knife|| 4.4 ||Folding|| $ |
The 4 Key Features of a Quality Hunting Knife
Every hunting knife will give you a certain number of strengths. By looking at the key features a hunting knife may have, you’ll be able to better determine if a particular knife can meet your specific needs. Here are the 4 key features you’ll want to look at as you go through each review.
- What is the style of the knife? Hunting knives have either a fixed blade or a have a folding blade. Folders should lock into place, especially when the blade is exposed to be used. Fixed blades typically come with a sheath so they can be safely carried on a belt or with one of the best hunting backpacks on the market today.
- What is the size of the blade? Big game hunters need a blade that is lengthy and strong. Small game hunters need a hunting knife that is smaller and allows you to make precision cuts as you skin and dress.
- What is the material of the blade? Most hunting knives today are made from a carbon steel because this material holds its edge very well. Stainless steel knives are also pretty common since they resist corrosion fairly well.
- What is the shape of the blade? Certain blade shapes work better for skinning and dressing than others. Check out this infographic for more information about the pros and cons of each blade type.
No hunter is going to answer these questions in exactly the same way. That’s why the best hunting knife reviews from the public, along with in-depth product trials from trusted sources, are useful information to take under consideration. No one but you can determine what the best hunting knife for your needs will be.
Don’t Overlook the Handle on Your Hunting Knife
Most hunters will look at the quality of the blade on a hunting knife, but not look at the quality of the handle. With metal, natural, and synthetic materials all in use in this category, the strengths or weaknesses of each hunting knife will be magnified based on the design of the handle. Here are some of the pros and cons of each common material type.
- Stainless steel. This metal is strong and it resists corrosion well. It also tends to be heavier than other handles and can get quite slippery when it gets wet, even with checkering in place.
- Aluminum. This is also resistant to corrosion. It also picks up scratches pretty easy and can be cold to hold when conditions are unfavorable.
- Titanium. This might be the best metal in terms of strength, but it is also the most expensive. It is also susceptible to scratching.
- Carbon fiber. This handle is very common because it is strong, light, and affordable. It can also be pretty brittle in the extreme cold.
- Fiberglass. This might also be called G-10 or Garolite. It lacks elegance, but is remarkably tough. You can also print checkering and camouflage onto the handle pretty easily.
- Nylon. Most nylon handles are FRN produced by DuPoint. It feels cheap, but it is super strong and requires no maintenance at all.
- Wood. It’s porous. It’s unstable. It’s also very attractive and comfortable and you have an almost infinite variety of options.
Bone and leather handles are also somewhat common on hunting knives today. These traditional options are inexpensive, but lack the same integrity and overall strength as some of the more modern materials that are used today. The bottom line is this: if you’re comfortable with the material, then your hunting knife will be useful. There isn’t a perfect answer here for the best hunting knife handle. There’s only your preference.
How to Care For Your Hunting Knife
The worst enemy to a hunting knife is corrosion. Yes – hunting knife manufacturers will make blades that are resistant to corrosion, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Even stainless steel can rust, especially if you hunt in coastal regions. If you keep your blade coated with a thin layer of oil, then you’ll be able to prevent most of the corrosion. A household lubricating oil will work. Folding knives need to have their pivot lubricated as well.
A sharp blade on your hunting knife is always safer than a dull blade. Sharpening may be considered a self-repair, however, and that may void the warranty on your hunting knife. If you do have a dull blade and an expired warranty, however, the video below will take you through the sharpening process.
The best thing you can do with your hunting knife is to make sure it is consistently clean. This is particularly true for any moving parts a knife may have or the locking mechanism on hunting folders. Polishing pastes are the best option, but in a pinch you can use anything from nail polish remover to paint thinner to clean your blade. Just make sure you don’t get solvents or cleansers on your handle. Avoid chlorine-based cleansers.
What Are the Prices of the Best Hunting Knives?
There is a hunting knife available for virtually every budget right now. Some entry-level folding knives in this category are available for less than $10. On the other end of the pricing spectrum, some fixed blade knifes can be around $50. Most hunters can find a solid hunting knife for around $25 that will provide them with multiple seasons of support.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
This hunting knife gives you the classic experience. The 6 inch blade is made from 420HC steel so you know you’ve got a strong knife. It’s a fixed blade design that lets you accomplish detailed work for skinning and dressing. The phenolic handle offers and aluminum guard to stop a slippery finger from getting in the way of the blade. At 7.5 ounces, the knife is lightweight, balanced well, and the leather sheath gives you a comfortable carrying option. Easily one of the best hunting knives available right now.
This titanium coated blade isn’t the longest you’ll find in this category, but it is one of the strongest and lightest that you will find. We particularly like the design of the blade with its slight curve, giving you a lot of precision with each cut. Grooves in the handle give you a decent grip, although wet hands might struggle to stay in place with this knife. It also stays relatively sharp over time with a minimal level of maintenance. All in all, it’s not a bad deal.
Ever notice how so many hunting knives are designed with only one purpose in mind? That’s not the case with this folder. It works great as a skinning knife and the edge is sharp enough that you can even work through a joint without much difficulty. The inclusion of the gut hook is nice because you can get through even a tough hide pretty easily – or take this knife fishing if you want for on-site cleaning that is a snap. The handle has a good grip on it, even with wet hands, and you can choke up pretty well for more leverage. At this price, you will struggle to find a nicer knife in this category.
This set of two hunting knives is one of the best values in our industry today. Made from 440 stainless steel, the harness is just right. The grip is just right and your sheath will carry both knives at once. Edge retention struggles after a tough job, but a little sharpening maintenance with a belt sharpener will go a long way to maintaining these knives. Works great for white-tailed deer and small game. At this price, it could also qualify as one of the best gifts for hunters if needed.
The versatility of this sawback knife is beyond compare. It’s razor sharp, especially along the serrations, so watch your fingers. The finger guard is effective with the handle ergonomics to keep fingers from getting in the way. A black finish covers a 440 stainless steel blade that will last season after season. The sheath isn’t anything to write home about, but you want the knife anyway and at this bargain price, you’ll want to give this knife a strong look.
The best hunting knife reviews will let you see if you really are getting the value you need for each season. Find your preferred knife today and you’ll have a favorite tool to take along with you every day if you want.