HUNTING

Best Hunting Knife: Most Important Features & Top 8 Product Reviews

Best Hunting Knife
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

The best hunting knife is without a doubt one of the most important items in your bug-out-bag. By one’s very nature, choosing a knife is a very personal decision.

There are all sorts of knives in the market therefore the choice can be rather overwhelming. But you should keep in mind that the finest hunting edge tool is one that meets your individual requirements. By design, a hunting knife should be rather simple to use and maintain.

Nonetheless, there is more to knives, including some specific characteristics that make certain knives better for hunting. The list of product reviews below provides you with knowledge on the best products so, if you’re interested, keep reading

Most Important Features

Knife Type

There are two types of knives that you can choose: fixed and folding. Fixed blade knives do not fold and are forged for heavy applications, such as hunting. The extension of the edge into the handle and absence of movable parts make them stronger.

They are usually safer when compared to folding blades. There are many blade shapes and styles made of different steel materials. Keep in mind that a good fixed blade doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be rugged.

Folding knives have movable parts and they can be folded when not in use. However, there are a number of considerations that you must make when shopping for these knives. The very first consideration is the locking mechanism.

Hunting Knife Type

There are several types of locking mechanism: lock back, liner lock, frame lock, axis lock, and slip joint. The most recommended locking system for hunting is liner lock. It is the best because its strength is derived from the triangle.

The best folding knives can be more convenient to carry around. However, strength is compromised at the folding point and they can easily break if used vigorously. If you must buy a folding knife for hunting, then make sure it is tactical.

This simply means that the blade length should be convenient for your cutting activities and the blade material should be durable, resistant to corrosion and easy to sharpen. The handle should not be too long to the extent that it compromises balance.

Blade Profile

This is a very important consideration, which includes: blade length, blade design, blade material, and finishing. The blade length is very important when shopping for the best hunting knives. You should not go for a big length that may be difficult to carry and use. The most resourceful and versatile length should range between 3 and 6 inches. This should be comfortable and legal to carry.

The blade design determines how tactical and reliable a knife can be, especially when dealing a cutting blow and penetrating blow.

Cutting is simply basic to a cutting tool and depends both on the curvature of the tip and sharpness of the edge. The most popular designs are: drop point, dagger type, Tanto point type, and clip point. The most recommended of the four designs is the drop point.

Blade Profile

The drop point edge is characterized by a spine that drops progressively in a convex angle towards the tip, meeting with the bottom at a sharp point. The sharp point offers the knife more control and allows it to retain more strength. This design provides a strong wide tip that makes the blade less susceptible to breaking. In addition, there is a wide cutting area at the middle for slicing.

Edge tool blades are made of different types of steel: high carbon stainless steel, stainless steel and carbon.

Carbon steel is fairly soft and very easy to sharpen, but it is prone to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel blades are the hardest and somewhat difficult to sharpen. Though, they hold an edge almost forever once sharpened. They are not prone to rust and corrosion.

High carbon stainless steel blades are the best of the three. This material combines the qualities of carbon steel and stainless steel. The majority of hunting, bush crafting and survival knife blades are forged from high carbon stainless steel. These blades are fairly easy to sharpen and they hold an edge for a desirable length of time. Furthermore, they do not rust easily when compared to carbon steel.

Top 8 Hunting Knife Reviews

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Weight: 11.2 oz.

Blade Length: 4.8in

Specific Features: Serrated edge; high carbon stainless steel; drop point style; reflection-limiting matte black finish; full tang; stainless steel pommel; lanyard hole; lashing holes; temperature resistant handle; & over-wrapped rubberized grip.

Best Use: Hunting

Description: Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife is an ultimate serrated knife designed for hunting. It is fitted with a drop point serrated blade that is devised from high carbon stainless. The knife’s blade is mounted to a user-friendly rubber handle. The handle is textured and has a stainless steel pommel and lashing holes.

These unique features allow you to use it as a hammer. The serrations are well-sharpened and they are not easily chewed up, as long as you do not excessively abuse the edge.

The straight part is sharp enough to allow you to feather as well as carve sticks with no problems at all. The handle is temperature resistant; therefore, you can comfortably handle the Gerber Bear in cold as well as wet weather conditions.

The high carbon stainless steel blade material is heavy-duty and hard-hitting for some serious cutting activity. The sheath is made of molded nylon and it only weighs 3.5 oz. Moreover, this edge tool is integrated with a diamond sharpener and fire starter.

Ka-bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Ka-bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Weight: 16 oz.

Blade Length: 5.5in

Specific Features: fixed blade design; Zytel handle material; full tang heavy-duty design; 1095 cro-van steel blade; drop point shape; versatile 20° blade angle; nylon sheath.

Best Use: Hunting, Skinning game, Splitting Kindling, & Chopping Onions

Description: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is one of the best edge tool for hunting and bush crafting. Weighing sixteen ounces, it is lightweight and it features a heavy-duty 1095 cro-van steel blade that is perfect for hunting and bush crafting, including skinning game, splitting kindling and chopping onions.

The drop shape offers a large cutting area and it provides a strong wide tip, which is not prone to breaking. The handle is forged from Grivory; this offers you a balanced grip for hunting and bush crafting.

If you are in search of a small, versatile survival cutting tool, something with a blade length range of five to six inches, then you should settle for Ka-Bar Becker BK2. The edge is shaving sharp right out of the box and it will serve you in a number of cutting activities before you can sharpen it again.

It comes with a heavy-duty plastic sheath, which does not only keep the blade sharp, but also safe from unnecessary damage. However, you have to handle the knife with care and do not over abuse it, in order to avoid loosening the handle nuts.

Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Weight: 7.5 oz.

Blade Length: 6in

Specific Features: Solid fixed blade; 420HC blade steel; black phenolic handle w/ guard and aluminum pommel; satin finish; & genuine leather fitted sheath.

Best Use: Hunting & Cutting in Tight Places

Description: Buck knives 0119 is indeed a special fixed blade edge tool for work and cutting in tight places. Its design is classic with minimal flaws. It is full tang – the blade goes all the way to the handle and into the pommel/guard.

It comes shaving sharp right out of the box and it is unbelievably easy to sharpen. The six-inch large clip blade is forged from 420HC steel, which offers edge retention and exceptional strength for serious cutting jobs.

The blade remains durable even after constant use and it is easy to sharpen. The black phenolic handle is highly user-friendly and the integrated aluminum pommel/ guard provide the perfect handgrip. At first glance, you will realize that the Buck knives 0119 will offer you the best.

The edge is resistance to corrosion and it will present no problem at all when you use it in wet conditions. The manufacturer’s attention to detail and craftsmanship is remarkable. You will definitely be happy with this knife.

Outdoor Edge Swingblaze-pak

Outdoor Edge Swingblaze-pak

Weight: 14 oz.

Blade Length: Skinning (3.6in), Gutting (3.2in), Kodi-Saw (6in)

Specific Features: Swingblade combo; rubberized Kraton handle; razor sharp AUS-8 stainless blade; & full grain leather belt sheath.

Best Use: Hunting

Description: Outdoor Edge SwingBlaze Pak is a versatile and resourceful combination of skinning blade, gutting blade and Kodi-saw. The Pak is a well-thought design for a hunter and a camper.

Both the skinning and gutting edges are sharp and you will admire how the tipping on the tops of the edges crosses each other when you put the gutting blade to use.

You can easily change the SwingBlade from a drop-point skinner to a decisive gutting tool by simply pushing the lock button. The gutting blade cuts beneath the skin of a game without cutting hair.

In addition, it is fitted with a blunt tip for preventing any unnecessary puncturing of your game’s internal organs. Well, this makes Outdoor Edge SwingBlaze Pak the perfect gear for game hunting.

The six-inch t-handle saw is fitted with a 65Mn spring-steel edge along with a triple ground tooth configuration, which provides a reliable cutting edge for slicing through wood and tough bone. The whole Pak comes fully equipped with a quality leather belt sheath for securing the blades when not in use.

Buck 193 Alpha Hunter, Gut Hook Fixed Blade Knife

Buck 193 Alpha Hunter, Gut Hook Fixed Blade Knife

Weight: 7.2 oz.

Blade Length: 3.75in

Specific Features: Drop point, gut-hook, Full length tang, stainless blade; 0.140in thickness; Rosewood Dymondwood handle; & genuine leather sheath.

Best Use: Hunting

Description: Buck 193 Alpha is the premium knife for a serious big game hunter. Its ergonomic design and full tang construction make it the ideal hunting gear. This pro level edge tool is forged to be used in the most demanding cutting activities.

The manufacturer has used revolutionary design and premium material along with quality craftsmanship. The edge is heavy duty characterized by full length tang, gut-hook, 3.75 drop point, 12C27Mod Sandvik steel for tough cutting jobs.

The blade is also shaving sharp right out of the box and it is exceptionally easy to sharpen after extensive use.

The drop point edge provides a wide cutting area in the middle for slicing and a strong wide tip that is not susceptible to breaking. You can use the knife to skin your game without necessarily sharpening it every now and then.

The Rosewood Dymondwood handle is uniquely forged, exposing the outer parts of the steel material. The handle is ideal for small hands. Moreover, the knife comes with a quality, genuine leather sheath for storing and safeguarding the blade.

Kershaw S30V Blur Knife With Steel Blade With Speedsafe

Kershaw S30V Blur Knife With Steel Blade With Speedsafe

Weight: 4 oz.

Blade Length: 3-3/8in

Specific Features: SpeedSafe ambidextrous assisted opening mechanism; pre-drilled holes; liner lock; S30V pocket clip-steel; easy-grip Trac-Tec handle; & stonewashed finish handle.

Best Use: Hunting

Description: Made in the United States, Kershaw S30V is a contemporary knife designed for the hunt. The very first thing that you will notice about this knife is the patented SpeedSafe opening system. This system helps you open the blade by simply applying physical pressure to the blade protrusion or thumb stud.

The system is farther installed with a torsion bar for preventing gravity from opening the blade. The integrated liner locking mechanism locks the edge open when in use.

The handle design has pre-drilled holes that allow you to change the knife’s position (reversible pocket clip). It has chamfered thumb studs that are scalloped and well-angled, allowing you to easily open the blade by pushing your thumb in the forward position.

The blade is practically sharp right out of the box, but it will need some sharpening after some serious cutting business. Sharpening it is easy, you will need no more than twenty strokes to get it razor sharp. The stonewashed finish on the handle is amazing. When shopping for a SpeedSafe knife, you should look no farther than Kershaw S30V.

Cold Steel Mini Tac Skinner Serrated Knife

Cold Steel Mini Tac Skinner Serrated Knife

Weight: 2.1 oz.

Blade Length: 3-3/8in

Specific Features: Serrated edge; 2.5 mm thickness; G-10 Griv-Ex style; Japanese AUS 8A stainless; & secure-Ex neck sheath.

Best Use: Hunting & Camping

Description: Cold Steel Mini TAC has a unique design that distinguishes it from other skinning knives. It is unbelievably lightweight, making it highly portable. You can wear comfortably and conveniently wear it for twenty fours without even noticing that you are carrying an edge tool.

This masterpiece is forged from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel, providing it with inconceivable toughness for such a lightweight and small cutting tool.

It is fitted with thin genuine black G-10 Griv-Ex style handle scales, providing it with toughness and roughness required for game skinning. It is really sharp and well-made for a neck knife, especially for campers. The grip architecture ensures that your hand doesn’t slide over the edge during use.

This ability makes it the best cutting gear to use in a stressful situation. You do not have to buy a pocket knife; Cold Steel Mini TAC lightweight nature should give you more than enough reasons to buy it for camping or hunting.

Lone Wolf Skinner Hunting Knife With Plain-edged Blade

Lone Wolf Skinner Hunting Knife With Plain-edged Blade

Weight: 4.8 oz.

Blade Length: 2.65in

Specifi Features: Fixed lock system; N680 design material; 7.05in overall length; plain-edged drop point blade; & genuine leather sheath.

Best Use: Hunting

Description: Lone Wolf is the ideal plain-edged blade for skinning game. The design is particularly dedicated for outdoor cutting activities. This is a full-sized fixed blade with a skinner edge. The fixed-lock system is ideal for hunting.

The drop point blade gives the edge tool a lot of control whereas retaining more strength. The blade’s belly has a wide surface for skinning and slicing. With that said, this is the ideal all-purpose edge tool to buy.

The Very Best Knife for Your Needs

Hunting requires a good knife, one that feels good in your hands. The products we just discussed should help you do more than just a compare the products. You should be able to choose a blade that will work best for you.

Choose your Hunting Knife

You should always remember that the hardness of an edge tool varies based on the size and intended use. A tactical style blade will help you do all your cutting activities during hunting and present minimal flaws, if any. As you’ve read, the knife type and blade profile are the two most important factors when shopping for hunting blades.

Do you think we have missed any of the great hunting knives? If so, please let us know in comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Marvin Gomez

    I love my buck alpha 279 because it’s sharp and easy to sharpen. The only downside is that blood and fats easily get caught up in the recesses and it’s difficult to clean it. After butchering, it would be nice if you would just sit and scrub your knife without any hassle.

    • Shawn Harrison

      I agree with the downside you’ve mentioned. It is quite a problem especially for owners who don’t like putting too much effort in cleaning their knives. Cleaning is also quite risky when done for extended periods so this should be part of your consideration.

  • Daniel Hardwick

    Whilst in my local DIY store last month, I broke my cardinal rule of shopping when at the store’s register and made an impulse purchase, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife.

    Despite spending the whole journey home cursing myself for falling victim to clever marketing tricks, I’m now glad I bought it.

    The blade holds a pretty nice edge for a knife that cost $50 and it is surprisingly well made, the blade is made from a good quality steel, the handle feels solid and is easy to grip and the sheath is pretty well constructed.

    OK, so it doesn’t hold a candle to my Spyderco, however, for a budget hunting knife, I think it’s pretty hard to top.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Spyderco always got your back when it comes to budget-friendly knife options, and despite being affordable, the quality is not compromised, not at all. Its blade is very durable, and the overall construction is very firm and balanced – something you won’t find in conventionally cheap knives.

  • Timothy Whittaker

    I’m a custom knife maker, and I’ve been experimenting with different designs both for me and for my customers. Usually people want a knife with a short blade made of hard steel, a handle with a good grip and a finger dent or guard to keep hands safe. Many people want handles in distinctive colors so they could find their knives if they lose them.

    • Shawn Harrison

      You can always give your tools a vivid personal touch with colors and patterns. I just want to remind you that the grip and overall balance of the knife should not be compromised. Adding some personality to your knife is good, but safety should always be the priority.

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