For any hunting trip, one of the most essential pieces of gear to bring along is a knife. You will need a strong and durable knife for tasks such as skinning animals and dressing game.
This article will give an overview of the features to consider when investing in hunting knives, along with product reviews of some of the best hunting knives available on the market.
Factors to Consider
1. Types of Hunting Knives
There are two types of hunting knives available: fixed blade and folders.
In general, fixed blade knives are the best types of knives for hunting. A fixed blade knife with a full tang design will ensure that the knife is strong and unbreakable. If a knife is made with a partial tang design, they’re prone to failure. Folding knives are easier to carry around, but they’re usually not heavy duty enough for hunting.
2. Blade Style
There are many blade styles available, such as a drop point, trailing point, modified trailing point, straight back, spear point, straight edge, clip point and skinning blade. For hunting, the most popular styles used are the clip point, drop point and skinning blade.
As for hunting knives, size matters. Size depends on the size of animals you intend to hunt. For smaller game, such as rabbit, it’s easier to dress them with a smaller knife. Bigger knives are recommended when hunting large game, such as deer. Generally, a good hunting knife will have a blade length of about 4 inches.
4. Blade Material
When choosing a hunting knife, it’s important that you invest in a blade made out of sturdy steel. The two types of steel most frequently used to manufacture hunting knives are carbon steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is generally cheaper, durable and easier to sharpen than stainless steel. Unfortunately, it’s more prone to rusting. Stainless steel is a popular choice for high-quality blades, but they can be harder to sharpen, and don’t keep their edge like carbon steel does.
5. Handle Material
It’s also important to consider the handle material of your hunting knife to ensure that it can hold up in the toughest situations and environments. Your hunting knife handle should provide you with a comfortable grip even under wet conditions. The best weather resistant handles are made out of synthetic materials, such as polymer, nylon and rubbery plastic. Avoid materials such as leather, bone and wood because they can be fragile or slippery when wet.
With all of these factors in mind, it’s time to take a look at some of the best hunting knives on the market.
Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife
Buck’s 119 model is made with a durable 420HC steel with a satin finish for strength, corrosion resistance and edge retention. The knife is made with a full tang construction and features a fixed clip blade that’s 6” long and 0.175” thick. The overall length of the knife is 10.5” and weighs 7.5 ounces. The easy to grip handle is made out of phenolic and features an aluminum pommel guard. Also, included is a fitted leather sheath to keep your knife safe and secure on your belt or in your bag. Buck knives are made in the USA, and the company proudly gives customers a Buck Forever Warranty.
Buck Open Season Skinner Gut Hook Fixed Blade Knife
Buck’s Gut Hook fixed blade knife is made with a full tang construction, and a contoured Rosewood DymaLux handle with the Buck logo. The blade is made out of S30V steel and measures 4.5” in length. The blade has great edge retention, high ductility and is corrosion resistance. The overall length of the knife is 8.25” and weighs 5.7 ounces. Its shape, size, balance and sharpened edge make the knife ideal for dressing game. Also, included is a black leather sheath.
Mossy Oak 2-Piece Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
Mossy Oak has created a set of hunting knives to ensure that you’re prepared to hunt small and large game. The larger knife has a 6” stainless steel blade and an overall length of 10”, while the smaller knife has a 4” stainless steel blade and an overall length of 7.75”. They’re made with a full tang construction and sturdy design. They come with razor sharp edges that sharpen well when sharpening is needed. The handles are made with stacked leather that offer a sturdy grip. Also, included with the set are two leather sheaths with metal snap button closures.
Gerber Moment Field Dress Kit
Gerber’s Moment Field Dress Kit comes with a small fixed blade knife ideal for detailed hunting tasks, such as caping and cutting along leg bones, and a large fixed blade gut hook for larger cuts. This field dress kit is perfect for dressing and processing deer. The larger blade is strong enough to split a deer’s sternum and pelvis. Both hunting knives are made with a full tang construction and a glass bead blade finish. The blades have fine, sharp edges and comfortable handles made out of textured rubber with scales. Also, included is a paddle style nylon sheath with metal snaps.
Damascus Knife Blank Drop Point Blade
This Damascus knife is a hunting knife blank that allows you to attach your handle of choice. The knife blank is handmade with a full tang construction and a raindrop Damascus pattern. The blade is a drop point that’s 0.125” thick and 4.5” long. The blank is made out of 1095 high carbon layered with 15n20 nickel for strength and optimal performance as a hunting and fishing knife. The blade comes sharpened, but may need some additional sharpening for an even sharper razor edge. To complete your knife’s handle, you will need to buy your handle material of choice, and the pins to fasten it to the knife blank.
When investing in a hunting knife, it’s important to assess your intended purpose(s) and hunting style. This will help you find the hunting knife that will be the most suitable for your hunting needs. To make any hunting excursion successful, a high-quality hunting knife is your biggest asset.