If you’ve spent any time hunting, you know how important a good hunting knife is. Whether you’re hunting, fishing, or even just camping, the odds are that you’ll need to cut some rope, clean a fish or dress a deer.
You’ll need the best hunting knife on the market if you want to make the most of your hunting experience. There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to prepare a kill for processing and not having the proper equipment. So, we have rounded up the best hunting knives to make your experience worthwhile.
Table of Contents
Best Hunting Knives
Buck knives have made a name for themselves when it comes to best hunting knives. They are one of the leading companies in the industry. Buck is a family-owned company that has been making knives for over 100 years. The knives are made in the United States of America.
The 119 is a 6-inch large clip blade made of steel. The overall length of the knife is 10 ½ inches. The handle is made of cocobolo Dymondwood with a brass pommel and guard. The knife also comes with a genuine leather sheath.
Buck Knives 119 Fixed Blade Knife is Suitable For:
The classic design and extreme durability is a good combination for beginners. The classic design helps you get used to the grip once you can handle the grip weight because it can be slightly heavy.
- This knife comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The classic design is a huge hit if you are starting out.
- The build quality is good, and the knife is extremely durable.
- The knife may feel slightly grip heavy.
- It is comparatively pricey at around $54 but worth it.
- The blade might need to be polished.
The KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is one of the top choices out there. This is a full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores. Designed by Ethan Becker, this knife comes from a brand whose reputation dates back to the 20th century.
The drop point of this knife is one of its promising features as it is great for skinning big wild game.
The biggest drawback for this knife is its price at around $74, but the quality pretty much makes up for it. Made in Olean New York, the USA, this knife boasts of a handle made from Grivory, which is Swiss-made glass-reinforced nylon. The extended pommel on the knife can also be used to shatter glass.
KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is Suitable For:
It is best for skinning, but honestly, it is a great knife overall. If you can afford the high price-point, then I would definitely suggest going for it.
- Full tang heavy duty field knife suited for camping chores.
- Made in Olean New York, U.S.A
- Designed by Ethan Becker
- This knife is versatile.
- The build is strong, and it is durable.
- The handle is comfortable and is easy to control.
- The edge retention on this knife is great.
- For being the most expensive knife on the list, the sheath is the worst.
- If your hands are wet, it can get a little slippery.
- Because of being heavy-duty, it can be tricky for detailed work.
- It is the most expensive knife on the list.
The TAC Force Tf-705 Series Assisted Folding-Knife is a spring-assisted folding knife that offers quick one-handed open. The blade is stainless steel, 3mm thick, and half-serrated. The blade is 3 ¼ inches long, and when the knife is closed, it is 4 ½ inches long.
The handle is aluminum and has a bottle opener and a glass breaker for emergencies. The handle design is camouflaged and dappled with ridges for some better grip. This is the cheapest option on our list at around $11 but provides a lot more than most, which is why it is one of our Best Value options rather than a Best Budget option.
TAC Force Tf-705 Series Assisted Folding-Knife is Suitable For:
If you want to get a knife with maximum value and for less budget, then this is the perfect knife for you. The price difference between our best value knife and our best value runner-up knife is huge; hence, this is a great alternative to the other one.
- It is very durable for the price.
- It is versatile as it can be used for hunting, skinning, cleaning, but along with that it also has a bottle opener and a glass breaker.
- It has one of the best smooth opens for a folding knife.
- The liner click wears out eventually.
- The bottle opener is difficult to use.
- It needs sharpening.
With a nylon handle and AUS-8 blade steel, this simple Ontario folding-knife is great for small, simple cleaning jobs. The blade length is 3.5 inches long, and when the blade is open, the knife is 8.5 inches long, and when it is folded, it is 4.5 inches long.
This folding knife is designed with an open post-construction, which makes it easier to clean than some. It has a liner lock locking mechanism. This is a little knife that is easy and safe to carry with you. It is perfect for cleaning and preparing small games.
Ontario 8848 Rat Folding-knife is Suitable For:
If you need something nifty that is easy to carry and clean, then this is the perfect option for you. It is a good alternative to our Best Value option, in the sense that it can be used to clean and prepare small games, can be stored easily, and is also a budget option.
- The make of this knife is stout and uses a very strong steel blade.
- The grip is comfortable, and the handle has enough room for a full grip.
- It is not too skinny to cause pain when in use.
- It comes with a versatile pocket clip.
- Comparatively cheap at around $25.
- Not the smoothest flip you can find in a folding knife.
- Not a good quality grip
- Slight wiggle to the blade.
This Morakniv Companion Fixed-blade Knife is a sleek and versatile outdoor knife. The blade is 4.1 inches long, with a blade thickness of 2.5mm. The total length of the knife is 8.6 inches.
There are seven different colors to choose from for the plastic sheath and belt clip that comes with the Morakniv Companion Fixed-blade knife. The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty. This is a stainless steel Swedish knife that has a padded handle for a comfortable grip.
Morakniv Companion Fixed-blade Knife is Suitable For:
If you struggle with grip, then the padded handle in this knife will ensure a comfortable and solid grip, although the handle can feel heavy. But, overall, the knife feels light to use, so it is good for starting out.
- The all-in-one knife for outdoor buffs
- Blade of Swedish cold-rolled special stainless steel
- Patterned high-friction grip makes the knife pleasant to hold and easy to handle
- This knife is very light.
- The blade comes sharp.
- This knife boasts a solid grip, which is important for safety and accuracy.
- It is affordable at around $15.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Since it is carbon steel, it will rust if you do not oil it and maintain it.
- The sheath feels cheap.
- It is difficult to replicate the angle of the knife when you sharpen it.
- The handle can feel heavy.
The Mtech USA Fixed-blade Hunting Knife has a straight edge blade design. It is 12 and ¼ inch long in total with 7 inches of blade. The ABS handle has wing walk inserts to help keep your grip firm and secure even in wet conditions.
The handle also has a glass breaker built-in for emergencies. The MTech USA Fixed-Blade hunting knife comes with a black nylon sheath.
Mtech USA Fixed-blade Hunting Knife is Suitable For:
If you want a well-balanced blade, then this is a good option for you. It is a budget alternative to many good knives mentioned here. The cherry on the top is the built-in glass breaker.
- Fixed blade outdoor knife ideal for camping expeditions or survival training
- Stainless steel blade with straight edge
- ABS handle with wing walk inserts for a superior grip even in wet conditions
- This knife comes very sharp.
- It is quite affordable at around $17.
- It features a well-balanced ratio between blade and handle.
- It comes with a built-in glass breaker.
- The handle is built for larger hands
- Sandpaper-like inserts peel off and have no purpose.
- The sheath is cheaply made.
Which knife is the best?
If you’re hunting or spending any serious amount of time outdoors, you’ll need a good knife. Hunters use their knives to prepare traps, skin and dress game and to protect themselves. Having the proper knife can make your hunting experience much more efficient and pleasant.
There is a wide variety of knives on the market and a large range of quality. You could spend $10 on a knife, or $200. That’s how much diversity there is in the market. But no matter the price, you need a knife that will meet your needs.
The best hunting knife in terms of quality and durability is the Buck fixed-blade knife. They are made of the highest caliber. Their design makes them easy and intuitive. The handle is comfortable and smart. With a Buck hunting knife, you’ll be ready to take care of any knife needs you’ll have while you’re on the road.
What is the best steel for hunting knives?
When it comes to knives for hunting, a lot rides on the blade quality and sharpness. At the end of the day, it is the blade that matters the most, which is why the material of the blade needs to be paid attention to.
Two common materials that you will come across are stainless steel and carbon steel when it comes to blades.
Stainless steel comprises several components like iron, nickel, carbon, chromium, etc. This material is very resistant to rust, which can be a great thing for longevity. Carbon steel blades rust very easily.
While a stainless steel blade can stain in certain environments, a carbon steel blade can easily show discoloration. In honesty, your hunting knife is anyway not going to stay shiny, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Carbon steel is the sharpest of the two and also maintains its sharpness. They are ready to go, and dulling is not an issue and is also easy to fix. But, while the stainless steel blade lacks razor sharpness, it makes up for longevity.
What are hunting knives used for?
Hunting knives are traditionally designed for, as you guessed it, hunting, which comprises mainly cutting. You poke and cut to hunt an animal, so you need the point and the blade to be sharp. These knives usually sport a single sharpened edge to give it a smooth swish when making your mark on the animal.
The blade is slightly curved on most models, as you can see from the ones we talked about. Most hunting knives will have both a curved portion for skinning the game and a straight portion for cutting the meat. A quality hunting knife is supposed to be versatile; it can be used for cutting, slicing, skinning, and cleaning.
What is the sharpest knife in the world?
When it comes to most knives, steel is used to make the blade. Steel can only be sharpened to a certain degree that is allowed by its molecular structure. So, you won’t find the sharpest blade in your typical hunting knives.
The sharpest knives in the world are the obsidian knives, which are used as surgical scalpels. This material can fracture down to the molecular level. They are also the thinnest blades and are three nanometres wide at the edge, which is 10 times sharper than a razor blade. These are made by flaking a long, thin sliver from a core of obsidian (volcanic glass).
Since they could leave glass fragments in the wound, they aren’t licensed for use on humans, but some sources seem to see it as being used for delicate surgeries.
What is the best skinning knife?
Skinning knives are sharp and made of carbon steel because sharpness is key. They aren’t usually folding knives as they aren’t suitable for skinning big games like deer, so it is recommended to use a fixed blade for skinning.
The knife should be easy to maintain and shouldn’t require frequent washing after use. It should fit perfectly in your hands and should be easy to operate as you perform skinning. Having a thicker handle helps as it improves knife handling. A light knife is ideal for skinning as your hand wouldn’t get tired while using it.
As mentioned above, the blade should be sharp, as blunt blades would make your task tedious. The shape of the blade can make a huge difference; the drop point blade provides more control and maneuverability, whereas the clip point helps in piercing and puncturing in areas where the drop point wouldn’t be able to reach.
As long as the knife has these features, it can be the best one for the purpose. But, from the ones we have mentioned, KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is the best skinning knife.
As we have discussed, hunters use their knives to prepare traps, skin and dress game, and to protect themselves. Having a good hunting knife is essential when you are outdoors; it makes your hunting experience much more efficient and pleasant.
From our research, Buck Knives 119 Fixed Blade Knife is the best overall knife. The KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife is the close contender, it ranks second because of its high price point but makes up with the fact that it is one of the best skinning knives for even big games. If not these, you can easily look at our best value and best budget options to suit your needs.
If you care for your knife, clean and maintain it regularly, then even a cheap knife can last you for a long time. So, make sure to learn about the care and maintenance of the knife as well to get the most out of it.