If you’re going to be spending days, weeks, or months in the outdoors, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a trusty knife to help you cut your food, carve up some wood, or make other survival-type chores. If you’re interested in hunting, there are dozens of reliable knives that will get the job done. From simple skinning knives to complex, task-specific camp knifes, there’s a knife for every type of user. However, if you’re just looking to get a knife so you’ll be prepared if you ever need it for bushcraft or survival, there are a few essential features to look for, and a few models that will get the job done.
We’re lucky enough that there are many different ways to adventure off the beaten path, whether it’s hunting or fishing. But no matter what type of hunting or fishing you do, you’ll need a good knife in the woods. Here is our list of the best hunting knives to carry about.
Hunting is a huge part of our heritage, and the tools we use reflect that. The best hunting knives are made for the job. You wouldn’t trust your life to a knife shaped like a fork, so why would you use one designed for carpentry?
Derrek Sigler 29.04.21 A wise man once told me, when I was much younger than I am now, that you should never, ever go into the wilderness without a good knife. He added that anyone who goes hunting should carry a knife – period. It was very wise advice, and I took it to heart. But what makes a good hunting knife? There are a lot of little things that come into play. Construction, fit, balance and finish are essential, as well as how the knife fits you personally. There are many knives on the market, but we want to share with you what we think are the best hunting knives to carry. Unfortunately, some knives would be on that list if the company still existed. Being from Michigan, I always wanted a real marble knife. You know, one of the classic knives handmade in Gladstone, Michigan. Yes, there are marble knives for sale, but they cost about $30 and are not made in the US. Part of what makes hunting knives so good is that they are connected to our hunting traditions. Fortunately, there are many new hunting knives that you can use to create new traditions. Cover photos: Shutterstock/VZWER Table of contents
1. Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunting Knife – Editor’s Choice
I have been impressed with all the Benchmade knives I have owned. I have a set of their table knives and they are absolutely the best for home cooking and at the table for cutting a perfectly cooked venison steak. The Hidden Canyon is a top of the line knife that is just excellent as a hunting knife. The decision to be at the top of this list was an easy one. I don’t like folding knives, I like knives with a fixed blade, and this one will do. It has an excellent balance and is made of CPM-S90V stainless steel. It has a 2.79 inch drop point blade, which is short for very large game, but perfect for most animals you will hunt. The handle is made from a combination of Richlite and G10 and has hi-vis orange accents to help you find it in the woods. The sheath is also hi-vis orange and made of durable and discreet Boltaron synthetic material. It is a knife that you will be proud of and can pass on to the next generation. Advantages / Good balance and excellent edge retention Disadvantages: I’m not going to lie, a little expensive, the blade is a little short for some applications. In short, a sharp and balanced hunting knife that is just perfect.
2. Ontario Knife Company Hunt Plus is the affordablechoice.
I chose the drop point version of these knives and I must admit it is a great hunting knife. The Ontario Knife Company has applied the technology of one of its most popular survival knives to hunting. These knives are made in America and have a stainless steel blade, a skeletonized head and a rubber handle. The four inch blade has a hardness of 55-57HRC, and for me it holds the edge just as well as other, more expensive hunting knives. It comes in a simple nylon sheath and sells for less than $60. I found them for less than $35, which is a good discount for a knife of this quality. Pro/Star knife with sturdy handle and blade at an unbeatable price. Against / I have not found one yet. Conclusion/ If you want a really good hunting knife that you don’t have to pay much for, you should definitely try one of these knives.
3. Buck Knives 119 Special knives – Classic Pick
The Buck 119 has been around for decades and is one of the classic hunting knives that is appreciated by many. I even had one that my dad passed on to me. I say this because it was stolen from my truck. These knives feature the classic clip point blade design and black resin handle that Buck has used for some time. The knife is made of 420HC stainless steel and is made in the USA. Maybe it’s nostalgia, but when I hear the name Buck Knives, I think of that particular knife. I know I’m not the only one. I picked this one as a classic because it’s been around for years and sells for around $65. This is very good for a high quality American hunting knife. Benefits / Classic blade with clip point and comfortable handle Cons/ I find that the balance is not as good as other hunting knives. Conclusion Great classic American hunting knife
4. CRKT Homefront – the best folding knife
Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) is a unique company. They hire knife makers and designers from around the world and help them produce and sell their knives. It’s great to see the knives that these creative artisans have come up with. If you like knives, you know the name Ken Luca. He designed the CRKT Homefront, and it is my favorite folding knife for hunting. I played with this knife for the first time at the SHOT show. What makes it so cool is the field strip. What I generally don’t like about folding knives for hunting is that blood and other things get into the mechanism and hard to reach places. This knife allows you to cut a knife on both sides of the handle and blade in seconds. This is a liner lock folding knife with an aluminum handle and an AUS 8 stainless steel blade. You can find them for under $100 and you’ll love them as much or more than I do. Pro/Strips for easy cleaning, excellent blade steel. Cons/ As folding knives should be, this knife has no cons. Conclusion: An excellent hunting knife that retains its sharpness and is easier to clean than any other folding knife.
5. Outdoor Edge Razor Lite – the best replacement blades
Hunting knives with interchangeable blades have become very popular among hunting enthusiasts. If the knife becomes blunt, simply remove the blade and insert a new one and the knife will instantly become sharp again. For this price, I really like the Razor Lite from Outdoor Edge. Outdoor Edge has a long history of making quality hunting knives. They have developed a knife whose blades are safe and easy to change at the push of a button. The black oxidized blade holder supports the razor with the durability of a normal blade. 3.5 Japanese 420J2 stainless steel razor blades are heat-treated and hand-sharpened for exceptional sharpness. The knife has a rubber handle and comes in a camouflage nylon sheath. The Razor Lite comes with 6 interchangeable blades, and you can purchase additional blades if needed. Advantages / Easy blade change at the push of a button Cons / More moving parts means more cleaning up after the job. Conclusion/ As the popularity of knives with interchangeable blades continues to grow, this knife will be one that will be around for a long time to come.
6. Gerber Myth – the bestcombination
This is another one of those knives you have to try for yourself. I can’t tell you how many times people have looked at my Gerber Mythos set. This knife is actually two knives in one sheath. Both knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel, have a full-length blade and a soft, rubberized handle that reduces the risk of slipping when cutting game. The main blade has widely spaced gut hooks that quickly dislodge the animal. The small winged blade facilitates accurate work. It comes in handy when you need to do things like skinning and removing capes. Both knives sit comfortably in a composite sheath with a velcro closure for added security. There is also a sharpener built into the sheath. My friends bought this set for themselves and as gifts for family members. I think that shows how good these hunting knives are. For / Very sharp knife set, can handle everything you need while hunting. Cons/ It can be difficult to sharpen the badge hook. Bottom Line / A great set of hunting knives that can do it all.
Knife manufacturers use different steels to make their knives, which plays an important role in performance and cost. When you see a knife from a really high-end segment, the price tag is often due to the steel the blade is made of. The various tool steels are premium steels used in the highest quality hunting knives. These precision steels maintain an excellent cut and allow knife makers to create very interesting objects. If you look at the Rockwell hardness scale, tool steel is usually in the 55-57 range, which is considered optimal. This means that the steel is extremely strong, but still usable. They keep a sharp edge, but also provide the opportunity to re-sharpen them if necessary. Harder steels are harder to grind, but the edge is generally very strong. Stainless steel is very popular, especially for mid-range knives. It’s just carbon steel with chrome added to protect it from rusting. These knives do not rust, but the steel often becomes softer, affecting the durability of the cut. Carbon steel is considered very strong, has excellent wear resistance and can be ground and re-sharpened. The biggest compromise is corrosion resistance. If you don’t clean your carbon steel hunting knife, it will rust.
How we grade hunting knives
Knives are often discussed on this site, and each of us has our own way of evaluating them. I handle most hunting knives and have my own way of testing them. The first thing I do is assess the sharpness right out of the box. There are many ways to do that, but since they are hunting knives, I use them to cut meat and other foods. If the blade cuts a raw steak in one motion without pressure, it is sharp. You can also slice the tomato. From now on, I’m gonna treat it like a hunting knife. That means I throw it in the mud, I throw it in the back of a truck. I smear mud on it and forget to clean it for days. All those things that usually happen with hunting knives in my house. Then I’ll sharpen them. I should be able to get a good edge without too much effort. I also look at the handle and the balance of the tool. The handle should be good too. I tend to opt for rubber handles for hunting knives, simply because I’ve slipped and gotten cuts before, and it’s very uncomfortable when you’re in the field. My wife also teases me because I usually bring 4-5 knives with me on my hunting trips, so if a deer shows up, I can experiment in the field with as many knives as possible. Oh, the life of a writer.
What should I look for in a hunting knife?
You want a hunting knife that both fits your budget and is sharp enough to fully dissect your game. I also recommend getting a model with good balance and a strong grip.
What is the best hunting knife?
It’s a matter of personal opinion. If budget is not a factor, you can use Benchmade, CRKT and other top brands to find a knife with excellent steel and the features you need. For a more economical choice, check out hunting knives from OKC and Gerber. You won’t be disappointed.
What is the sharpest hunting knife?
For an ordinary knife, you should choose steel of the best quality, as it retains its sharpness better. Knives with interchangeable blades, like the Outdoor Edge Razor Lite, are extremely sharp and probably come out of the box the sharpest.
About the author
Derrek Siegler. Derrek Sigler has been writing professionally about the natural world for over twenty years, ever since he earned his master’s degree in creative writing with an essay on fishing humor. But if you ask anyone who knows him, he’s been telling fishing stories since he was old enough to hold a fishing pole. He has written for Cabela’s and was editorial director of Gun Digest books. Over the years he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands, and Bone Collector. Successful Farming invited him to write an article for their magazine, and he appeared several times on their television show to talk about hunting and ATVs. He writes about what he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boats, snowmobiles, and the outdoor life he leads with his family in their home state of Michigan, as well as his adventures across North America. We are committed to finding, researching and recommending the best products. We receive commissions for purchases you make through the links in our product reviews. Learn more about how it works.As the weather warms up, we’re all looking forward to the outdoors—whether in the woods or at the local hunting club. There are a lot of items that you’ll need out in the woods (from food to clothing) and a lot of different knives you can carry. While there are hundreds of choices when it comes to hunting knives, it can still be confusing to pick which ones are the best to carry.. Read more about sharp brand hunting knife and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best hunting knife for field dressing a deer?
When it comes to weapons, the choice of a hunting knife depends on what you’ll be using the knife for. For example, if you’re a big game hunter, it’s best to look for a fixed blade knife that can handle heavy use. However, if you’re a survivalist, a folding knife would be the better choice. In either case, you’ll want to choose a knife that has a sturdy and sharp blade. Regardless of your needs, the best hunting knives are made from stainless steel. If you want to get into the fun stuff on the backside of the North American continent, you need to be prepared. With that in mind, here are some of the best hunting knives to carry with you on your next hunting expedition.
What is the best quality hunting knife?
There are plenty of options when it comes to a quality hunting knife or pocket knife, but we narrowed down what we believe to be the best hunting knives available for the money. There have been many different hunting knives used throughout history. From the dagger to the Garand rifle, many tools have been developed to assist the hunter in the field. One of the most often used tools in the wilderness for centuries has been the hunting knife.
What hunting knife holds the best edge?
In the outdoorsman’s lexicon, a knife is a combination of a tool, a weapon, and a tool for killing. The right knife will take the place of a number of other tools, all in one. Whether it’s a knife for camping, hunting, fishing, or even just cutting branches, it’s important to have the right tool for the job. If you’re heading out into the wilderness to bag some game, you’ll need a knife to help get you there. Choosing the right one is crucial to ensure that your hunt ends up a success. There are a number of factors to consider, with the most important being the type of skin you’re hunting. Most beginners start with a folder, and there are a lot of good ones out there. The best folder will hold a good edge, and be easy to sharpen.
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