A hunting knife is one of the tools a hunter keeps handy before he commences his hunt. It is a type of knife used during hunts for preparing the game used for food.
The knife is usually used for skinning the captured animal and cutting it up for meat. A hunting knife is totally different from a hunting dagger which is used to kill wild game.
Now, what is a good hunting knife? A good hunting knife basically has one purpose and that is to process meat after an animal has been killed. Other uses may include survival, setting up camps and other utilities.
However, the real deal and utmost use for which hunters tag along with it is to get meat dressed quickly. Using a hunting knife makes meat taste great especially when served on a dinner plate.
What do you look out for? The hunting knife should have an edge and be easily sharpened. Also, it should fit well when held to prevent any accidental injury upon the user. More so, a good hunting knife should be very stout in other to crack bones.
A good hunting knife doesn’t necessarily need to be bulky or big like some weapons. It is a known fact that the animal is confirmed to be dead before the knife gets into use.
Before delving into the specifics, here are some facts you need to know that informed our selections. Huge knives are not good for hunting as they are more dangerous to users when everywhere is dark, slippery, rainy or other different temperatures.
You also don’t need gut-hooks when you can lay your hands on a good knife that will open the animal cavity very well for you. If you like the gut-hooks, it’s also fine.
In this article, we have reviewed the best hunting knife brands and this will help you make good selections the next time you want to buy one.
Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife
This is a big camp knife that is relatively cheap and good for preparing small games. This is the only knife on this list that we would hesitate to select for the big game because it doesn’t have finger protection. This means that excellent palm swelling on the wooden handle provides support and a good grip.
For the sake of money, it’s a very good knife. No wonder it’s been here since it was launched in the 1880s. Its 3.25-inch blade is perfect for cleaning small and medium-sized wildlife. Its high-carbon steel takes a very keen clip point.
This knife might not be your first choice but it’s certainly a good ride for your money and it is capable of doing a nice job too. It is manufactured in France.
This is a cheap knife to beat and is very suitable for hunting big games. It is a stainless-steel knife with a light blue plastic handle that is easy to find when setting. It is razor-sharp, lightweight, easy to replace and sharpen. It’s not fancy at all, but that’s all you need. Made in Sweden.
Gerber Gear Vital Big Game Folder
After using the Gerber Gear Vital folder for large games, we discovered it’s much easier for us to replace the blades while in the field hunting. And this means it’s safer and generally easier to use than most of its competitors. Most guides have switched to this knife and so have we.
The knife has the safest removable blade system in the market with a sharp surgical blade that is ready to be replaced in seconds. 3.75-inch knives are not suitable for batoning wood or breaking a bone. Instead, they are for complex and perfect cuts. This is what you need for good quality meat.
This model comes with four additional blades, 2 drop-point and two blunt blades to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Buck Omni Hunter
Buck Knives have been into the processing of big games for more than 100 years, and Hunter Omni was specifically designed to work at a reasonable price.
This knife consists of a 420HC steel blade (a well-hardened blade) with a thickness of 3.25 inches and a contoured rubber handle. It sits well in the arms and does not slip even when bloody or wet. Made in the United States.
SOG Huntspoint Boning & Skinning Blades
This knife is intended for boning big games. Fortunately, with a 3.6-inch AUS-8 steel blade, it seems to be the perfect machine for all games. It has an ergonomic nylon handle that is reinforced with glass and pulls away at the top and bottom of the blade to ensure a safe grip.
It comes in wider blade skin models and can be upgraded to exclusive S30V steel at additional costs. Assembled in the US.
CQC-11K is a revised model of Kershaw’s hunting trail. It replaced Diskin Hunter in 2018, which was previously introduced as an excellent knife for hunting and can also enter survival areas and vice versa. CQC-11K is produced in conjunction with renowned knife manufacturer Ernest Emerson and boasts of a 3.5-inch blade made of 8Cr14MoV stainless steel.
The Knife is a great asset for hunters with its deep bellies for game processing or skinning. It’s a folding knife that can save space in packages or bags. The G10 front scales offer good grip even when wet or bleeding.
Deep jumps on the back of the handle help ensure your grip is secure, and the pin or shaft opening system allows fast installation for EDC. The strong stainless steel back and lock keep it open and safe. It has a switchable pocket clip to carry from left or right.
Case Leather Hunter Drop Point
Probably one of the best in the market presently. This is a classy knife with a broad Tru-sharp surgical steel blade and leather grip. It has a 4-inch blade with a general length of 8-inches.
The burly design serves when you need to slice meat cleanly, skin and even break a bone if needed. This knife is manufactured in the USA.
Benchmade Steep Country Family
The steep side of Benchmade was developed to reach the hunter’s preference deadlock. It has a S30V 3.5 inch drop blade.
Add a bright orange Santoprene handle (easy to find) with an aggressive jump for a better grip, you have the tools to complete the job in the field. Gut-hook models are also available. This knife is made in the United States.
Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point
Bill Moran boasts of more than fifty years of experience in knife design. All this knowledge is in the Spyderco hunting knife that bears his name.
The knife has a large FRN / Kraton handle that gives hunters a solid understanding of the project. The tip of the knife business is the 3.87-inch VG-10 blade to hold the tip.
And it is sharpened: from thick, where the blade is connected to the hilt, to the thin end of the earth. The shape is very good and has the characteristics of Moran. Made in Japan.
Benchmade Altitude Fixed Blade Knife
First manufactured in 2019, Benchmade Altitude is very light with only 1.67 ounces. Thanks to the S90V premium steel construction, this ultra-lightweight package offers enormous possibilities. The sleek design is made almost entirely of steel, with some carbon fiber and many jeeps for extra grip.
But be mindful of the simplicity as that’s not all. With a total of 7.38 inches, it has a 3.08-inch blade and a cutting edge of 2.875 inches. And thanks to ultra-high steel, this steel lasts long enough to process deer, deer, or large game in North America.
DiamondBlade Pinnacle I Skinner
If it feels nice to throw in $ 299 per knife, this is an amazing choice and is considered one of the best hunting knives in the world. The D2 steel blade is made using a process called “forging friction” and hardens to become 65-68 crazy on the Rockwell scale.
That means it will take a long time to get dull – and the same to resharpen.
This short 2.55-inch blade is specially designed for skinning. Look at the shape, it will function properly for processing tasks. The micarta handle forms a large chunk of an overall length of 7.2 inches. It is curved to sit in your hand while you work to put dinner on the table.
If you are looking for a knife that you can use for a lifetime hunt, you should check it out. Made in the United States.
Maintaining a hunting knife
The basic principle for cleaning a knife is to clean it every time you use it. Even if you only hold and admire the knife in your hand, you still have to clean it. This is because our hands release oil and if you have sweaty hands, the remnants on the blades can rust from metal.
Also note that sweat contains minimal chemicals such as ammonia, urea, and salt. These substances can penetrate metals quickly.
Here are some of the most common steps for cleaning a hunting knife:
- Clean your knife with soap and water
- Use a scratch-resistant cloth to dry the blade immediately after use. This ensures that the blade is not scratched.
- Avoid strong detergents that can affect your knife.
- It is recommended to mix vinegar and salt and remove strong spots with cork.
- Finally, clean the hunting knife with soapy water and dry it with a soft cloth. Store your knife in a clean, dry and safe place.
We hope this article was helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.
You can also check out the best hunting rifle here.