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Best Hunting Knife Reviews – Our Favorite Skinning Knives

What is the best hunting knife?

Owning the best hunting knife on the market would be a wise move for every serious or recreational hunter. If you were ever in a situation that required you to have a good knife on hand, would you have come prepared? What if that particular situation had something to do with cleaning a fish, cutting some rope, or dressing a deer? Would you happen to have a blade on hand? Hunting is a VERY popular sport, that attracts many each year, from all over the world. It’s also necessary to hunt for survival, otherwise we would all face hunger (unless you’re vegetarian). This means it’s extremely important to not only have a good, but the best you can find. If you’re looking for a good one to take hunting and don’t know where to look, check our hunting knife reviews!

Hunting Knives Comparison Guide

Below you’ll see a comparison matrix displaying some of the top best-selling hunting knives, and you can use this guide to find the model that’s right for you by clicking on one of the column tabs to filter them by ratings, price, etc. Also, the guide is pretty self-explanatory, but I’m sure you’re wondering about their price.

As you can see, I’ve used a $ symbol in place of an actual price.  One $ symbol means that the knife is under $60, whereas $$ symbols would mean its price is between $60 – $100 and so on..

Hunting Knives
Overall Length (inches)
Blade Length (inches)
Weight (ounces)
Blade Material
Price
Rating
Buck Knives 0119 10 1/267.5 oz420HC Stainless Steel$4.5
Leatherman Wingman Multi-Tool6.42.67.2Stainless Steel$4.6
Gerber Bear Grylls 104.811.2Stainless Steel$4.5
Buck 110BRS Fld 83.57.2420HC Stainless Steel$4.9
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion 10.55.5161095 cro-van steel blade$4.6
Kershaw 1555TI Cryo SpeedSafe 62.45.6Stainless Steel$4.5
Schrade SCHF9 126.415.91095 High Carbon Steel$4.5
Cold Steel 80PGTK GI Tanto 7" Carbon1271.21055 Carbon$4.6
Spyderco Tenacious 8348CR13MOV Steel$4.7

Really Good Hunting Knives That I Personally Own

I actually own several from the above chart, but these are my favorite:

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated KnifeIt’s no doubt Bear Grylls is a survivor, and when he teamed up with Gerber, they put out a damn good knife! This is one of the newer knives I’ve gotten my hands on and I can honestly say it’s pretty decent for the money. It features a molded rubber grip, a saw ground black blade, a fire starter and diamond sharpener as well as a whistle. Its overall length  is 10″ and it weighs about 11.2 oz. Although the knife was made in China, I still think it’s a great one to have in your collection. The fact that it came with a fire starter and sharpener were enough to get me off of the fence. If you’re looking for an all around “ultimate” hunting/survival knife, this serrated blade is just that.

Ka-Bar Becker BK2

Ka-Bar Becker BK2Not only does this knife look the part, it acts it too. One of the best survival knives currently on the market, with excellent features. If you’re looking for a truly ultimate survival, hunting and camping blade, then you can’t go wrong with the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion. After all, it was designed by famed mountain climber and survivalist Ethan Becker, and carries his seal of approval.

As far as looks go, this is sexy. The handle is made from Grivory, and provides a firm grip, feeling solid and heavy in the hand, very reassuring. Obviously, the most important part is the blade, and this blade is a doozy. A 1095 cro-van steel blade that keeps it edge for longer than most, it’s a thick, high-quality fixed blade, that isn’t going to break or split from the handle. The steel itself feels solid, and there’s no movement of the blade in the handle however tough the task is that you put the knife to. At a quarter inch thick, it’s a beast of a blade. The blade itself is five and a half inches, a drop point shape, with a twenty-degree angle, making it perfect for anything you want to do. From chopping onions to cutting wood, to skinning that deer you just got, this knife can do anything. It’s by far one of the best hunting knives you can get, given its versatility and serious sharpness.

Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-Tool

Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-ToolMore than just your average knife, this bad boy is equipped with more weaponry than the United States Army itself. Spring-action pliers, wire cutter, scissors, can opener and bottle opener, and a wood/metal fire barely scratch the surface. The leather 831426 Wingamn Multi-Tool is pretty much the Swiss Army knife (not to be mistaking for the “Swiss Army” brand) of knives. If there’s something this knife can’t do, I’d really be amazed! It weighs around 2 lb., made of stainless-steel and is backed by Leatherman’s 25-year warranty.

The Best Skinning Knife:

Buck Ranger Skinner

 

How to Choose the Right One

How do you go about choosing a good hunting knife? Well, quality can be determined by its versatility – meaning it can do everything the average hunter would need it to do. This can be anything from dressing a deer or skinning a hog, to splitting through bone or a carcass. In many cases, this is more than enough for most hunters. Before choosing any kind of knife – especially for hunting – it’s important to know what you’ll be using it for and what type of game you are hunting for. Obviously, anyone hunting for big game will want to be using a knife that differs from what you would use to hunt a rabbit. However, if you think going for the biggest game in the forest is better, you could be wrong. Using a big knife to clean smaller animals will make your job that more difficult, and you could possibly end up cutting yourself.

Take some time to think about what size game you plan on hunting, then you should consider how often it is that you hunt. Some people may only hunt occasionally and want a knife that will allow them to do a variety of different things, so having a smaller folding knife is usually just fine. But if you’re dedicated to the woods and the hunting game, a strong one with a fixed blade will probably make a lot more sense. It’s really just a personal preference.

You’ll then need to decide how (and where) you want to carry it – this could be in a sheath or just your pocket – and this is VERY important. Carrying a large blade in your pocket can lead to slicing your leg wide open, and carrying a loose blade in your hand or elsewhere could lead to losing it. However, it really is dependent upon your budget. There are knives that fit within everyone’s budget so choose wisely, you don’t want to end up with something you do not like. But hey, almost any knife is capable of getting whatever job it is you need done.

Choosing the best deer hunting knife

We have always covered why we need to pay attention to aspects such as blade type, handle and material composition when considering a knife. Here we will be a bit more specific. We are going to talk about what knife to choose for deer hunting.

Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way here, which is the knife type. Between a fixed-blade and a folding-blade knife, it can safely be said that going with a fixed-blade knife would be the best choice, not compromising on strength which could be a bit of an issue with folding blade types which consist of moving parts. With a fixed-blade, full-tang knife, you have on your hands, a very powerful knife fit for the purpose.

Now that we have the knife type out of the way, let’s move on to the blade itself. A drop point blade is the one you would want to go for, considering that it is the best type of blade that can handle tasks such as field dressing and skinning of the game. Other blade types such as clip point or tanto are not as efficient as a drop point blade as far as deer hunting is concerned. There are knives out there with a drop point blade and a partially serrated edge. If you do prefer serrated edges as well, partially serrated drop point knives are perhaps the best purchase you can make. A blade with a guthook can be a matter of preference. A guthook can be handy to cut open the deer’s abdomen, although the drawbacks far outweigh the advantages, as they can often ruin the game if not used properly, and do not serve as all-round, multi-purpose knives. The main problem with guthooks is that they are very difficult to sharpen. In fact, guthooks can be much more difficult to sharpen than even serrated edge blades.

Now that the blade type is taken care of, let’s talk a bit about the blade’s metal composition. What we want to go for is a material that won’t corrode and rust easily. A blade with high carbon steel concentration is a good choice. There are blades with chromium and vanadium composition that prevent corrosion and abrasion of the blade.

With the metal composition taken care of, let’s move on to the handle and the sheath. The handle and sheath should be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. For that, we need a handle that won’t slip easily. A hard rubber handle can get the job done, providing a good grip. As for the sheath, you might want to choose a Kydex or nylon sheath. They are a little more expensive than leather sheaths, but they are worth the money. We will get into the details of sheath types on a separate page dedicated to it.

So, in summary, a fixed-blade, full-tang, drop point knife is what we’d recommend for deer hunting. Scoring perfect on strength, usability, and longevity, you cannot go wrong with a drop point, fixed-blade knife for hunting.

A list of the top brands famous for producing quality hunting knives

When you are going to buy a knife, you do not want to settle for an inferior quality knife which is not going to last long. So, which brand should you consider buying from? There is no single answer to that, so we have made a list of brands, in no rank, which you should certainly look into. Below is a list of five well known knife manufacturers that have been in the business since a long time.

 

Logo of Buck knives

Buck: Buck is one of the famous manufacturers of knives which has been in the business since a long time(over a hundred years now). Selling some of the finest knives that are heat-treated and tampered blade knives made to last, Buck is one of the most renowned manufacturers of knives. Buck also provides lifetime 4-ever Warranty on with its knives. A Buck knife is built to last. You can go over to the Buck website where we see that the product listing has been simplified for easy navigation. Not only can you select the kind of knife you want, but also the length of the blade as well as the price range within which you’d like to see knives. This is excellent because several other well known knife manufacturers out there do not have this on their sites.

Gerber knives logo

Gerber: Gerber started out in the year 1939 producing handmade cutlery. By just the 1960s, Gerber had become one of the most well known knife manufacturers. They are known for their high quality and even innovative knives. As far as quality and longevity is concerned, Gerber is right up there with other well known names in the business. Gerber offers 25 years’ warranty on their knives and guarantees to the consumer that their knives will be free of defects in material and workmanship for the designated warranty timeframe. On their website, you can even visit the maintenance section where frequently asked questions about knife maintenance are answered by Gerber.

 

Logo of Kershaw

Kershaw:Kershaw is one of the finest brands of knives that you should consider when you want to buy a knife. Kershaw knives are high quality even when it comes to their entry-level products. Kershaw introduced knives with interchangeable blades. They’re also known for using what they call the Composite Blade technology, wherein the knife is made up of two different types of steels. So you have a steel capable of edge retention for the blade and a steel of good strength for the spine of the knife. Kershaw provides limited lifetime warranty on its products. They will also sharpen your knife for free when you send it to them for warranty service.

Logo of Cold Steel

Cold Steel: Cold Steel is a Ventura, California based manufacturer of knives, swords, machetes and other tools. Many of their products use VG-1 stainless steel, which has a good resistance to abrasion and corrosion. Almost all of their knives are very highly rated and some of them are best-selling on Amazon. They even provide the DVDs demonstrating their products, which isn’t something you’d see other manufacturers do. On their website, they have many knives which are categorized properly where you can choose which ones you wish to view.

Logo of Case knives

Case: The oldest manufacturer of knives on this list, Case has been in the business since the late 1800s. They sell premium quality knives, many of which have chromium vanadium steel, which make the steel more hardened and prevents corrosion, abrasion and rusting of the steel.

There are several other well known names that have been around in the business since a long time, including Schrade and even Smith & Wesson. So check out the products of these brands by going to their website and look into Amazon user reviews to help you determine the brand you wish to go with.

Finding the best hunting knife is highly dependand upon your needs.

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