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Best Hunting Knife (The Complete Breakdown) | Hunters Tech World

Best Hunting Knife

Purchasing a knife for hunting is no easy task given the broad scope of shapes, sizes and styles. To make the task even more difficult, you have to sort through all of the gimmicks to get to the true value of the knife and how it will serve you when you are in the field. To get your hands on the best hunting knife, you will really need to know what you’re doing.You’re in luck, because our best hunting knife reviews will allow you to make a comparison of some of the best blades in various shapes, sizes and styles. In addition, our buyer’s guide at the end of our review will help educate you on the best features to look for in various types of knives as well as the benefits you will derive from having the best hunting knife when you go out into the field.Let’s get started with our complete guide by taking a look at some of the best hunting knife blades to choose from.

Best Hunting Knife Buying Guide

Havalon Baracuta-Blaze Skinning Knife

Havalon Baracuta-Blaze Skinning Knife

When it comes to quality in a blade, the SOG Huntspoint has plenty of it built in. The blade on this 3.6” fixed-blade knife is a flat, rounded skinning shape made of stainless steel, which gives it more durability for skinning and boning. The handle is made of shock resistant GRN and is overlaid with TPR for a better grip when the handle is wet.

What I like

The fixed blade and the durability of the handle on this knife are great pluses for the big game hunter. The TPR grip is an important safety feature for when the handle and your hands are wet from dressing your game.

What I don’t like

There isn’t much of a hilt on this knife and the blade is a bit too rounded for big game hunting, especially when it comes time to split that pelvis.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• The SV30 steel holds an edge well.• It’s pretty lightweight for a fixed blade.• Very good grip on this knife.• Just about the right size to be pretty versatile.Cons:• The durability and functionality of the sheath leaves a little to be desired, so you might want to have another ready or be ready to replace it.• The blade might be a little thin for big game hunting.

Who is this knife for?

This knife will work well for a hunter who tends to hunt a wide variety of game. It will work with bigger game and smaller game alike. If you are looking for a true big game knife, this one doesn’t quite make the cut.

ESEE ESLSP-BRK Laser Strike

ESEE ESLSP-BRK Laser Strike

There is no lack of features on the BRK Laser Strike. This is a durable knife with a 4 7/8” black, 1095 carbon steel blade which will hold an edge. It features a thumb ridge, full tang and a canvas micarta handle to provide a solid grip. Ferro rod and tinder tabs come within its handle and it is designed for survival situations where you can use the knife as a socket for bow method fire starting. It comes in a moulded black sheath that will fit on your knife or boot.

What I like

The carbon steel blade is of high quality for keeping an edge as well as for durability. The spear point shape has a little bit more balance to it when it comes to the various purposes in which a blade is used in the field. The canvas grip is going to perform well under all conditions. Great overall blade length on the ESEE knife.

What I don’t like

The lack of a hilt is a drawback on this knife.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with a lifetime warranty.• Thicker, more durable blade which holds an edge.• Better blade length and the spear point is better for big game hunters.• This hunting knife can double as a survival knife, which adds to its value as well.Cons:• The grip is a little too square and not ergonomic.• Needs additional washers to remove the handle.• The length of the handle is questionable, and not a full tang fixed blade knife

Who is this knife for?

This is a very versatile hunting knife for those who get a little farther off the beaten path and might run into a situation that requires a survival knife. Those who are not frequent hunters will have a difficult time justifying the price of this knife.

SOG Specialty Knives Huntspoint Fixed Blade

SOG Huntspoint Boning Fixed Blade HT024L-CP - Satin Polished 3.6

When it comes to quality in a blade, the SOG Huntspoint has plenty of it built in. The blade on this 3.6” fixed-blade knife is a flat, rounded skinning shape made of stainless steel, which gives it more durability for skinning and boning. The handle is made of shock resistant GRN and is overlaid with TPR for a better grip when the handle is wet.

What I like

The fixed blade and the durability of the handle on this knife are great pluses for the big game hunter. The TPR grip is an important safety feature for when the handle and your hands are wet from dressing your game.

What I don’t like

There isn’t much of a hilt on this knife and the blade is a bit too rounded for big game hunting, especially when it comes time to split that pelvis.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• The SV30 steel holds an edge well.• It’s pretty lightweight for a fixed blade.• Very good grip on this knife.• Just about the right size to be pretty versatile.Cons:• The durability and functionality of the sheath leaves a little to be desired, so you might want to have another ready or be ready to replace it.• The blade might be a little thin for big game hunting.

Who is this knife for?

This knife will work well for a hunter who tends to hunt a wide variety of game. It will work with bigger game and smaller game alike. If you are looking for a true big game knife, this one doesn’t quite make the cut.

Benchmade Steep Country Knife Drop-Point

Benchmade 15008-BLK Steep Country Hunter Fb Mold Hunting Knife

When it comes to talking about knife steel, few can rival that of the Steep Country 15008. The 3.5” drop-point blade on this knife is made of CPM-S30V stainless steel, which means it is durable and will also hold an edge like a champ. The santoprene handle also provides durability and versatility. The simplicity of this knife makes it easy to clean and easy to use.

What I like

The blade is definitely the highlight of this blade. Both the shape and material make this one of the best blades you can attach to your belt for multipurpose hunting.

What I don’t like

The lack of a hilt on this knife and the design of the grip might be a little hard on your hand if you have to use it for very long or with force.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with a lifetime warranty.• High quality blade for durability and holding an edge.• Drop-point shape is good for all aspects of dressing game.• Lightweight and easy to carry in the field.Cons:• Handle is a little bit small for larger hands.• The metal on the back of the grip cuts into your hands.• The sheath is not quite up to par with others in its class.

Who is this knife for?

This knife is for those who are infrequent hunters who want a quality blade when they need a blade. If you have larger hands and/or have to use this blade a lot you’re not going to be happy with its grip.

Benchmade – Mini Barrage 585 Knife, Plain Drop-Point, Satin Finish, Black Handle

Benchmade - Mini Barrage 585 Knife, Plain Drop-Point, Satin Finish, Black Handle

The Mini Barrage is a lightweight choice for those who hunt smaller game or just like to carry a heavier duty pocket knife with them. The 2 7/8” stainless steel blade on this knife is designed to hold a good edge and its drop point makes it versatile in the field. The locking blade adds safety to this folding type blade which has a convenient belt clip built into the handle.

What I like

The steel and the shape of this blade are of good quality. For a skinning knife on smaller game, this is a good knife to take into the field when you want to travel light.

What I don’t like

This is a folding knife, which means that it will fold up on you at some point. Additionally, the belt clip on the grip is going to rub a blister on your hand or worse.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• High quality steel with a lifetime warranty.• Drop-point blade is versatile for hunting uses.• Durable handle construction is still lightweight.• The axis lock is the best locking mechanism among those on the market.Cons:• The handle doesn’t grip well.• Has a partially serrated edge, which is neither talked about nor shown in photos.• More of a higher end pocket knife than hunting knife.

Who is this knife for?

This knife is okay for hunting small game or for carrying around to use for things other than hunting. A serious hunter, especially a big game hunter will not even take a second look at this knife. Great for those looking for pocket hunting knife.

Buck Knives Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

Quality, balance and safety are built into the Buck Knives 0119. The 6” 420HC steel blade on this knife is not only rust resistant and durable, but it will keep a good edge as well. The shape of the tip of this blade is good for piercing and detailed work. The grip is durable and ergonomic, and has a well-balanced feel to it. You can really dig into your work due to the hilt of this knife.

What I like

When it comes to splitting a pelvis, you won’t find a better knife. The butt and hilt of this knife are perfect for that task. These knives are heavy-duty and the high carbon steel holds an edge well. Arguably, the best fixed blade hunting knife you can buy today.

What I don’t like

The grip on this model can get a little slippery when wet.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with a Forever warranty.• High carbon steel blade is thick, durable, corrosion resistant and holds an edge well.• Blade tip is stronger than any other and performs beautifully.• The hilt and butt on this knife allow you to really dig into your work.Cons:• The sheath with this knife leaves a little something to be desired, so you’re advised to purchase your sheath separately.• The durability of the handle can be called into question and it seems a little light weight.

Who is this knife for?

This knife is for a serious big game hunter who might use it occasionally for smaller game. This knife is a little bulky and cumbersome for a small game hunter.

CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Outdoor

CELTIBEROCOCO - Outdoor / Survival / Hunting / Tactical Knife - Cocobolo Wood Handle, Stainless Steel MOVA-58 with Genuine Leather Multi-positioned Sheath + Sharpener Stone + Firesteel

You are going to like the feel and quality of the CDS-Survival MOVA-58 knife. The 5 ¾” drop-point blade is made of stainless molybdenum/vanadium steel and is heavy duty enough to survive the toughest conditions. The cocobolo wood handle on this knife has a natural and balanced feel to it for a more secure grip. The genuine leather sheath with the included sharpening stone and firesteel makes it a true survivor’s knife.

What I like

The durability and feel of this knife is enough to capture attention. It comes with quality built in and good balance as well. It is rounded out with a higher end sheath than the other knives we’ve looked at. Those survival additions are something to keep in mind as well.

What I don’t like

The lack of a hilt and the design of the butt are drawbacks on this knife.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Excellent for a wide variety of survival uses.• Quality steel which holds a good edge and is thick enough to last.• Well-designed high-quality leather sheath is durable.• Great feel, grip and balance to the handle.Cons:• Corrosion is a possibility with these blades.• This knife does not come sharp and well-honed from the factory, so you’ll have to put your own edge on it. May need a good sharpening stone to remedy this issue.• Sharpening angles on the blade are not equal.

Who is this knife for?

This is a survival knife which can also be used for hunting. Those who are looking for a true hunting knife are going to feel a little bit disappointed with this knife.

Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter Knife, Drop-Point

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016-2 Hunting Knife, Drop-Point, Wood Handle

You cannot bring into question the quality of the steel used in the Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016-1 knife. The 2 5/8” drop-point blade on this knife is made of CPM-S30V, which is one of the highest quality steels you can get your hands on. The blade’s shape and size make it ideal for skinning and boning. It features a natural wood grip for better feel and versatility and comes in a high-quality leather sheath.

What I like

Good design and quality is featured in blade, grip and sheath of this knife. This is a great skinner’s knife that you will get a lot of good use out of in the field. It will stay sharp and last a long time as well.

What I don’t like

The lack of a hilt and butt are drawbacks on this knife as is the exposed steel on the top of the blade handle, which look as though they might rub a blister on your hand or pinch you when used more heavily.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with a lifetime warranty and Lifesharp service.• High quality steel holds an edge well and can be honed to razor sharpness.• Blade shape and size make it an excellent skinning and boning knife.• Lightweight and compact enough that you forget you have it on you.Cons:• The keeper design of the sheath is a little cumbersome and tends to get cut easily from being put in and taken out while attached to your belt.• There are complaints of an uneven grind angle on the blade.• Handle and blade are a little small for some applications.

Who is this knife for?

This is a pretty versatile knife for skinning and boning. Those who hunt big game on a regular basis are going to want a little more knife than this model offers.

Buck Knives Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

The quality build and smart design of the Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman is going to capture and keep your attention. This 6 ¼” blade is razor sharpened in the straight backed, Bowie design and features 420HC steel for a durable, long-lasting edge. A micarta handle with ergonomic design gives you a more comfortable and better grip and its full hilt will allow you to stay safe while you use it.

What I like

The full hilt, butt and quality steel of this knife are hard to beat. The overall feel, balance and design of this knife make it an excellent choice for a big game hunter who might also find himself in a survival situation. One of the best fixed blade hunting knives for sale.

What I don’t like

This knife is heavy and bulky, and the sheath quality should be upgraded to make this a great buy.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with a Forever warranty.• Blade quality for durability and holding an edge cannot be beat.• The flat-back, Bowie shape is very versatile for hunting as well as survival applications.• The handle and balance of this blade make it easy and safe to use.Cons:• The sheath does not match the quality of the knife and you will want to find a better one for it.• A little bit too big, heavy and bulky for some hunters.• Completely useless for small game hunters.

Who is this knife for?

This is a big game hunter’s knife, which can double as a survival knife. You will not be happy with this knife for small game hunting and it is far from being lightweight.

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion has the features you can expect from this brand. This knife features a 5 ¼” drop-point blade made from high carbon steel and it is thick, durable and holds an edge well. The handle has an ergonomic shape and feel to it to help you get a good grip while you work.

What I like

The drop-point blade makes this a versatile knife out in the field and its high carbon steel is both durable and stays sharp. It has the size to be a decent big game hunter’s knife, but it’s not too big for smaller game.

What I don’t like

The hollow plastic handle is a major drawback on this knife. It throws off the balance puts the longevity of this knife in question.

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Made in the U.S.A. with lifetime warranty.• High carbon steel blade is durable and keeps an edge.• Drop-point blade shape is excellent for a wide variety of applications.• Glass filled nylon sheath with a sure lock keeper reduced the risk of the knife coming out.Cons:• The hollow plastic handle isn’t quite up to snuff for this knife.• Factory edge leaves a great deal to be desired on this knife.• A little bit bulky and heavy for some hunters.

Who is this knife for?

The blade shape and steel quality of this knife make it a pretty versatile choice for a big game hunter or a good camp knife. It is a bit bulky and heavy for a small game hunter.

Fallkniven NL4 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife

Fallkniven NL4 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Brown

When it comes to higher end hunting knives the Fallkniven NL4 is a solid choice to keep in mind. Made from laminated VG10 stainless steel, the thick, drop-point 5 ¼” blade will last a lifetime and keep an edge. The handle is made of specially selected oxhide which is both durable, feels natural in your hand and provides perfect balance. The hilt and butt of this knife are of the same high quality steel as its blade.

What I like

This is a solid blade which will hold a great edge and is versatile for just about all hunting related applications. The feel and durability of a leather handle is something that you will cherish forever if you get your hands on one, because they grip well and don’t get slippery.

What I don’t like

Used as a hunting knife, the steel grade on this knife is excellent, but the users will try to use it for other woodcraft tasks and ruin a pretty costly knife. Great deer hunting knife

Pros/Cons

Pros:• Makes use of the gold standard in chef’s steel with the VG10, which is durable and stays sharp.• It has great balance and fits your hand well with its leather grip or leather handle.• The steel hilt and butt on this knife make it a more durable choice for big game hunting.Cons:• Fallkniven only has a 10 year warranty on knives purchased directly from their dealers.• Should not be used for woodcraft; hunting only.• Pretty pricey for a knife without versatility.

Who is this knife for?

This is a high end knife that is meant for the specific tasks of field dressing game. If you are going to use this knife for woodcraft, then you will find a very hard time justifying the high price.

What do you look for in the best hunting knife?

Questions to Ask Yourself

A hunting knife means different things to different people. If you ask 100 people what makes the best hunting knife, you’re apt to get 100 different answers. To get a feel for what works best for you, it is best to ask yourself a few questions before you select a knife. Take the following into consideration:• Are you hunting big game, small game or a combination of game? What type of hunting are you doing? This will mean the difference between a deer hunting knife, survival knife, skinning knives and every day pocket knives.• Are you a frequent hunter who needs longevity in your tools who can justify paying a higher price or an occasional hunter who can get by with something more economically priced?• Are you going to be field dressing your game or only trimming it back at the house?• Do you go far enough afield when you hunt to find yourself in a survival situation?• Can you afford different knives for different outings or do you want one to fit all occasions? Do you want a fixed blade hunting knife?

With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at the various characteristics of hunting knives and how each can be beneficial when used under various circumstances.

Characteristics to look for

There are primarily three aspects of hunting knives to keep in mind: the blade, the handle, and a fixed or folding style. Pay attention to specs such as blade length, blade material and type of blade. There are benefits and drawbacks to be examined and various characteristics to look for in relation to these three aspects. Let’s take a closer look at each one. Manufacturers, such as cold steel, Ken Onion do not always make the best product. So, do not be fooled go with a product based strictly on brand name. Many of the same features you would look for in a survival knife are the same you would look for in a blade type for a hunter. Sure big brands due make some great knives such as the cold steel mini tac skinner, esee knives lsp, crkt onion skinner, swiss army knife and Spyderco’s Bill Moran drop point blade .

Fixed or Folding Blade

This is something of a style preference and something of a convenience issue, but it can also become a safety and durability issue as well.A folding blade is more compact, convenient and can easily be used for everyday carry. It can be stuffed in your pocket like a pocket knife or carried in a sheath. Folding blades work fine for lighter skinning and trimming work, but tend to be a little less reliable when it comes to field dressing big game.  The havalon piranta is an example of a great skinning knife, however it does not come with gut hooks. The major issue of a folding blade is that it can and will fold up under heavy pressure, like when splitting the pelvis of an elk in the field. By the way for some elk hunting tips check out this article.The locking mechanisms on these knives are what makes one folding blade better than another.If you are going to be doing heavy field dressing of big game, do yourself a favor and leave your folding blade at home. A fixed blade knife tends to be more durable and safer for the heavier work required in the field. The drawback of fixed blade knives is that they require a durable sheath, and they are heavier and bulkier. Getting a quality sheath becomes an added issue with these knives, but that issue pales next to the comparison in durability and longevity.

Knife Blade

Getting your hand on the best hunting knife requires that you have some basic knowledge of knife blades. There are a couple of items to keep in mind as you consider knife blades: the blade design, total length and the type of steel.Hunting knives tend to have one of four types of blades, which have a variety of strengths and weaknesses to them. These types include:• Clip Point. A clip point has a well-defined sharp point for piercing which gradually rounds on the edge, but is mostly flat across the back. These work well for gutting and field dressing, but aren’t that great for skinning.• Spear Point. A spear point is a type of drop point which is more rounded on the top side and tends to have an edge on the back side of the tip as well. These tend to be very versatile for a number of hunting, camp and survival tasks.• Drop Point. A drop point does not have an edge on the back side of the point, but can have varying degrees of roundness on the back side. These are also versatile knives in the field because they work for field dressing as well as skinning and other camp tasks. These can make for great outdoor knives.• Rounded. Rounded points have a wide rounded edge which is perfect for skinning and some trimming, but is really not a great knife for field dressing and other camp tasks.The shape and design of the blade help to determine how they can best be used, but unless there is quality steel used in the blade material, none of that makes any difference. In fact, if you do not have quality steel in a blade, you really just have another item to maintain, rather than a helpful tool. Let’s take a closer look at various characteristics of blade steel:• Steel quality. Higher quality steel not only makes the blade more durable, but also helps it to stay sharp or hold an edge longer.• Corrosion resistance. Rusting is the worst thing that can happen to your hunting knife. Stainless steel and laminated steel tend to resist corrosion more than others.• Edge angle. The edge angle on your blade needs to be thick enough at the edge to resist damage from bones and other hard items. An angle of 15 to 17 degrees works very well on a kitchen knife, but hunting knives need to be between 17 and 20 degrees in order to stay sharp in the field.Having a good blade on your hunting knife is critical and being able to keep it sharp is the difference between a good knife and one that’s not as good. The top knives on the market should hopefully be easy to sharpen. A good sharpening stone can make the job of keeping your blade razor sharp.

Knife Handle

Being able to hold onto your knife is another critical part of being able to use it. Various materials and designs make an enormous difference in selecting the best hunting knife, but balance and safety are even more important when it comes time to use them.Handles with a full hilt and butt are the safest and tend to allow you the most comfortable grip on your knife when you are really bearing down into the job. In addition, nothing beats this design when it comes to splitting the pelvis on big game.A natural feel in your hand is a combination of the material used and the ergonomics of its shape. Having a natural feel which allows for a more comfortable grip is an important part of staying safe while you’re using your knife as well.Balance in a knife is related to the weight distribution on the handle end of the knife in contrast to the weight of the blade. Balance makes a knife feel like an extension of your hand rather than something that you are struggling against.Materials used in handles range from wood, bone, plastic, steel, polymers, canvas and leather. As a general rule, natural materials to end to have a better feel to them than synthetic materials, but technology is allowing manufacturers to create better synthetic materials with a more natural feel.

Benefits of the Best Hunting Knife

The benefit of owning the best hunting knife becomes obvious when you bring down your game and prepare to field dress it. However, there are additional issues that sometimes come along when out in the woods where the right knife can come in handy as well. Consequently, the best hunting knife is not only best as skinning, boning, breaking a pelvis or cutting through flesh, but it might also need to help you survive under critical circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the best hunting knife creates a significant challenge given the broad variety of shapes styles and sizes available. Looking past the gimmicks to get down to the clear value of the knife itself is the best way to ensure that you will get the most value for your investment once you get out into the field and need to use the knife. You might also consider carrying a few hunting knife sets as having a backup never hurts.Making use of our buyer’s guide and reviews of some of the top knives available, you can compare various features and benefits, pros and cons of the different shapes, styles and sizes in order to come up with the hunting knife that best fits your needs. Keep in mind that how you intend to use your hunting knife and the frequency with which you use it will be major determining factors in justifying the purchase you make. You should also consider the type of hunting when considering hunting gear. In the end, the knife that best fits your needs can help you choose the best hunting knife.

Hopefully this complete guide has left you with cutting edge information on everything to bladed hunting knives, skinning knives and folding hunting knives to give you an outdoor edge on the competition. The alpha hunter in you deserves a great an excellent blade type for maximum edge retention.

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