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!
- Really Good Hunting Knives That I Personally Own
- 1. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife
- 2. Ka-Bar Becker BK2
- 3. Buck Knives 119
- 4. Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter
- 5. ESEE ESLSP-BRK Laser Strike
- 6. Gerber Strongarm Fixed Blade Coyote
- 7. ESEE Knives 5P Fixed Blade Knife
- 8. Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman
- 9. Buck Knives 390 Omni Hunter
- 10. Havalon Piranta Edge Blaze
- Best Skinning Knife Reviews:
- How to Choose the Right One
- A list of the top brands famous for producing the best hunting knives
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.
Really Good Hunting Knives That I Personally Own
I own more than 30+ different hunting knives; I collected them throughout the years. I am always on the search for the best hunting knife and since the cost of them is low, I test a lot. Below are some reviews:
It’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.
Not only does this knife look the part, it acts it too. One of the best hunting 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.
Shipped to you with a dependable Buck Forever warranty, the US-made Buck Knives 119 boasts a large six-inch clip blade made of 420HC steel to ensure outstanding strength and longer retention of its sharp edge, so you won’t be cutting with a blunt knife during those most critical hunting applications. This hunting knife has an overall length of 10.5 inches for problem-free cutting and maneuvering. This solid fixed blade knife is designed for outdoor use, giving you an effective cutting tool that doesn’t have weak joints or components that may make the blade incapable of doing its job.
Lightweight yet substantial at 7.5 ounces, this knife will make easy carrying in a knife holder on your belt so you have easy access to it consistently. The genuine leather sheath included in the package enables secure and safe portability in a bag or on your belt.
The black phenolic handle has an aluminum pommel / guard that you can use for simple hammering and driving applications.
This fixed blade, full tang knife should definitely be on your list of products to consider if you’re looking for a quality option that’s capable of withstanding the test of time. Its blade is made out of stainless steel, which means that it is rust-resistant and well-balanced. The handle is made from stabilized wood, and this material is known to put up with the abuse of the elements far better than natural wood.
What’s really neat about this unit is its simplicity. The handle is easy to hold and the blade retains its sharpness over time, allowing you to benefit from a useful tool for as long as possible. The product is compact and versatile, and it has been deemed to be effective by many hunters.
On top of everything, it is accompanied by a sheath made out of leather which is both durable and ambidextrous. You can conveniently attach it to your belt if that’s how you intend to use it especially since you’ll always have the knife at hand, in this way.
The unique design of this knife makes it the perfect tool for hunting purposes since it boasts a drop-point large-radius blade that can be used effectively for meat removal and skinning.
If you decide to go for this option, you will get 10 inches of full tang 1095 carbon steel, with a blade approximately as thick as 3 US quarters when stacked together. The blade measures 4.75 inches and 4.5 of them are sharpened. The overall weight of the knife is 9.5 ounces, so it’s not exactly lightweight. Some have compared its weight with around half of that of a youth-sized baseball bat made out of aluminum.
In terms of the effort you will have to make in order to maintain this product, we’ll be straightforward and tell you that carbon steel does require a bit more maintenance compared to stainless steel, but it should make up through its capability to take and hold an excellent edge.
The handle is another aspect that makes this item stand out from the crowd since it is molded from canvas-laminated micarta. Given that it comes with a woven surface texture, it can be held effectively even when it’s raining or when it’s soaked in blood.
The handle has an ergonomic design and since it comes with a finger groove located behind the choil as well as a bolster at the pommel end, you’ll definitely be able to hold it properly.
If what you are in the market for is a knife manufactured in the United States and that can be used for a variety of applications from survival to hunting, you should check out the features of this Gerber model. The item is made specifically for people who want to know that they can always rely on their knife. Whether you’re in the woods, the desert, or the jungle, the Strongarm will be able to assist you in all of these situations.
The blade of this alternative is crafted from 420 HC steel that’s quite solid. On the other hand, that doesn’t make the tool hefty or overly heavy. The ceramic coating boasted by the blade renders it rust-resistant, but another aspect that’s rather important about it is that its matte black color doesn’t make it reflect light, thereby ensuring the hunter’s stealth.
The handle is constructed of FRN, which is a glass reinforced nylon. What that means for you is that it is both strong and lightweight, and to increase its usability and grip, the brand has also added an extra rubber overmold around its core.
This knife is accompanied by its own eye-catching sheath that’s ambidextrous. It can be attached either horizontally or vertically to your belt or to a MOLLE vest.
Even though it might not be as affordable as some of the other models we have tackled here, this one from ESEE is definitely worthy of your consideration as it has received quite a bit of appreciation on the part of the hunters and survivalists that have given it a shot. It is a heavy-duty knife that comes with a perfect coating. The micarta handle is rugged and capable of standing the test of time, so much so that some buyers have noted that they feel like it’s going to last for around two to three generations.
The handle is ergonomically designed and ensures a safe grip, but there have been folks that have noted that it can be a little rough on the skin. The sheath is also something to look forward to with this product since it has a safety slide that prevents the knife from being pulled out by someone who shouldn’t do just that.
The ESEE 5P is a highly functional, excellent all-around survival knife that can be used for a variety of purposes. You can even utilize it to defend yourself. While it is technically designed primarily for tactical applications, it can definitely give you a hand if you want to use it for hunting.
Looking for a lightweight hunting knife? If that’s so, you should consider the 124 Frontsman by Buck Knives. It’s equipped with a 6.25-inch straight back bowie that features a black Micarta handle. Its full tang construction, along with its blade quality and superb strength are the things that recommend it the most. It has amazing corrosion-resistance features, which means that it will both stand the test of time and allow you to sharpen it without affecting its capabilities.
The versatility ensured by the design of this product is another aspect that should be of interest to you. You can utilize it for a wide array of applications and its functionality is superb. Its blade is very sharp and can be used for performing heavy-duty tasks.
As with some of the other units in this line, it comes with its own leather sheath. Since it weighs in at 13.3 ounces, it is more or less lightweight, especially when looked at side by side with some of its competitors.
One area where the Buck Knives 124 Frontiersman doesn’t really shine is the handle since it doesn’t come with a rubberized grip, so it definitely has to be used with a bit more care than others.
The flawless design of the Buck Knives 390 is what should convince you to give it a try. After all, it is manufactured by one of the most reputable companies in the industry, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s ergonomic and easy to maneuver when skinning or gutting animals.
The index finger groove boasted by this option is undoubtedly convenient since you can place your index finger in such a way so as to gain even more precision when performing your tasks. The handle is safe to use since it is covered in rubber that should give you the grip you need even in wet environments or if there’s any blood involved and the risk of slippages is high.
In short, you do not have to worry about hurting yourself when you use this knife. Some of the most remarkable features of this option range from a lanyard hole that enables you to attach the knife to your belt to a full length tang. The sheath comes with snap closures, which means that it will remain safely closed.
Some of the hunters that have tried this knife in the past describe it as being razor sharp. The nylon sheath comes in handy, too, and the size of the unit is user-friendly as well, since it’s neither too small nor too big.
This folding knife comes with a unique design since its blades are replaceable and somewhat look like the surgical blades used by doctors. It comes with as many as 12 ones for replacement and it includes a black nylon holster. Due to its design and capabilities, you don’t have to worry about the blade durability with this one since you can just replace it once it has lost its keen.
The holster that comes alongside the product includes two pockets on the inside which you can use to store your knife as well as one of your blades. There’s a wide belt loop at the back that’s perfectly capable of keeping your knife secure and close at hand.
The handle of this choice is made of ABS plastic, which means that it has a pretty good chance of standing the test of time. Since it boasts ambidextrous thumb studs, it can be used both by left-handed and right-handed individuals.
The knife is compatible with two blade sizes – #60A and #60XT. Weighing in at just three ounces, it’s one of the lightest alternatives in this line. Just take some extra blades with you to ensure that you have the means of skinning your prey.
Best Skinning Knife Reviews:
There are several brand names to choose from, when purchasing the best skinning knife. The best skinning knife will have a sharp edge blade, with a curved finish, making slicing, cutting, and dicing easier to do. The top rated skinning knife will also have a long lasting blade edge, eliminating the need to sharpen regularly, and should be made with the top quality steel materials, for longevity, and to avoid the possible damage or rust, when being used in rain or other outdoor conditions.
A sturdy handle is also something that the top rated skinning knife will provide. Easy to grip, ergonomic handle, and a handle that retains moisture well, are some features to look for when purchasing. Materials from fiberglass to titanium are used, but should provide a comfortable grip, and durable finish, to avoid easy wear.
Comfortable use and an affordable price, are some features which will make for the best skinning knife for the money. Whether it is a fixed blade or folding design, it should provide a comfortable grip handle, easy to maneuver design, and a lightweight finish, so that the knife is not going to weigh you down, when you are using it in certain conditions, or need to pull it out quickly for use.
With a 3 3/8” blade length, and 2.2 oz light in weight design, this knife is extremely tactical, and easy to hold. The secure ex-sheaths allow you to wear these outside the clothes, without causing any damage. The handle shape, along with G10 handle, allow you to lock up the knife extremely quickly and easily, without it getting jammed or caught up on any material. An extremely sharp edge, is great for skinning, cutting, dicing, or slicing, with the slightest of ease.
Owners appreciate the rugged design, comfortable grip handle, and batoning capabilities which this knife features. Further, the solid construction, and extremely comfortable grip, make it ideal to hold in any situation, and grip for extended periods, without causing pain to the user. As far as negative feedback goes, the only negative complaints we have hear is that the knife was not made in the US.
Overall, you will appreciate the quality, sturdy, lightweight design, and comfortable grip handle, making most outdoor skinning or cutting activities, extremely easy to do, and quick to complete, with the sharp blade handle and mini serrated edges which this knife has to offer to users. Check out our detailed review here.
A bit pricier than other models on the list, this is one of
the best skinning knife models available to hunters. A fixed lock mechanism, provides a nice safety feature, and also ensures the knife won’t get jammed, if you need it in an instant. A plain edge drop point, 2.65” blade is short, yet tactile enough to skin and easily slice any surface; with a leather sheath, and overall length of under 8”, it is extremely ergonomic, comfortable to grip, and easy to use, in any outdoor situation that you may find yourself in.
We feel that this knife can easily perform any task, from skinning, to sealing or quartering, with the slightest of ease. The finger slot at the top of the blade works easily, and provides a far more comfortable grip, and the sheath carrying case, provides a nice cover, and safe place to store the knife. A comfortable grip, light design, and sharp edge, are all great features. If you choose this knife for outdoor use skinning and outdoor hunting activities you will most likely be completely satisfied by what it has to offer. Check out our detailed review here.
With an extremely bright handle, you will never lose this knife; a razor sharp, AUS 8 stainless steel blade won’t dull easily, and a rotating skinning and gutting edge, serves a dual purpose for outdoor use. A durable nylon sheath, has a simple design, allowing you to pull the knife out easily, and the light 8 oz weight, is simple to use in any setting.
The warranty for defects is an added bonus, and provides an added quality finish, consumers can rely on, knowing they are covered if the knife fails in terms of design or intended outdoor use.
The gut hook is an added bonus consumers appreciate; it eliminates the need to have separate tools, and allows you to do it all with one blade. The highest quality stainless steel, and extremely slim design, allows for easy skinning, dexterity, and ease of use, regardless of which animal or surface you are cutting or dicing.
One thing we noticed though, is the fact that switching the blades was a bit tough; and, when doing so, one has to be extremely careful, as the blade’s edge is so sharp, which is a great benefit for quick and easy dicing and skinning. Check out our detailed review here.
A quick change hunter skinner, at only 6” in total length when open, provides a very slim grip
handle, for extra comfort in the grip. A 4 3/8” stainless steel blade is extremely sharp, and includes 5 optional easy on/ easy off, quick change features, allowing users to do more than just skin, when they are using these knives outside.
The replacement blades are just as sharp, and a blade orange ABS plastic handle, is extremely comfortable, ergonomic, won’t rust, and is highly visible. A lanyard hole, and removable stainless steel pocket clip, provide simple storage solutions as well.
You will appreciate the disposable blades, and quick easy change style; it allows you to work with the ideal blade, based on what you are using the knife to do. You will also like the larger blade length, making it easy to cut and dice game, with fewer swipes of the blade.
One drawback is that it may not be as sharp as other manufacturers’ products, but the longer length of this knife kind of makes up for this minor issue. Other than this, you will really appreciate the design, length, and sharpness of this outdoor skinning knife. Check out our detailed review here.
The curved, 6” black skinning knife, provides a comfortable grip design, plain edge, high stainless steel blade finish. With an extremely ergonomic grip design, you can use either your left or right hand easily when skinning, and the high carbon steel, Fibrox, grip material, provides a very comfortable base for users to work with. The sharp edge design is made with the best grade stainless steel material, and carrying sheath provides a place to store the knife when it is not being used for skinning, or for other outdoor uses.
The knife’s edge and sharpness, are long lasting, and the blade does not dull easily, which is a feature to look for in a hunting knife. The fact that it can also be used to skin all types of animals, easily, and with a light blade swipe, make it the perfect knife for outdoor use and skinning.
The great shape is an appreciated feature, and curved edge means you don’t have to angle the knife, when skinning. Overall we like evertything about this blade including the design and the sharpness of the knife for skinning and outdoor hunting use. Check out our detailed review here.
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 much 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. So choosing between the best folding hunting knife and the best fixed blade hunting knife is 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.
Now that you know what to look for, you can easily choose the best hunting knife for deer.
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 the best 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. These are the best hunting knife brands in the world.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.