Best Hunting Knives: Buyer’s Guide

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Hunting knives are primarily for processing meat after you have made a kill. But this is not entirely true. There are many uses for the blade when you are out hunting. It is a handy tool to have as it has diverse use, including opening cans, cutting through things, and self-defense when needed. 

A lot of thought should go into the decision to get your next best hunting knife. There are many specifics that you must check for every individual user. Some people prefer short blades while others love the long blade. Regardless, your knife handling skills will determine your choice. 

While many hunting gears have transformed, nothing seems to change much about hunting blades. Perhaps the only difference lies in making them and the materials used to make the knife. 

In this review, you will find the best hunting blades and their uses for your next hunting trip. Each hunting knife has a different purpose. You will need the following set of hunting knives to be sufficient for your trip.

Best Caping Knife:

Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 

When you go hunting, there will be many other uses of a knife besides killing game. A camping knife has all the attributes of a hunting knife but with a larger drop point. It is what makes this have a variety of uses around the campsite. 

The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 is a survival knife that has an innovative design special for all situations. The handle grip uses resin-soaked fiberglass to give a comfortable feeling and grip. Because of this, it is impervious to wet and other weather conditions. 

It is a fixed blade hunting knife which contributes to its sturdy construction. Together with the comfortable grip, the strength of the blade can power through many camping obstacles. You can split, baton, or remove barks from a tree. 

The knife is also safe to use. The top of the handle has a curve that prevents your hand from slipping to the blade. It prevents injuries that could otherwise make your hunting experience a bad one. 

The Benchmade Bushcrafter 162 is a stainless steel hunting knife that is resistant to corrosion. You can use it all through the year as it is both environment and weather friendly. It comes with a leather sheath that makes it safe to carry around your hip as it keeps it in place. 

It is a lightweight knife that weighs only seven oZ with a short 4.40-inch blade and an overall length of 9.15-inches.  

Pros

  • It has an innovative design
  • The handle grip is comfortable and protects your hands from injuries
  • Both environmental and weather friendly
  • Stainless steel blade that is corrosion free
  • Versatile uses in a cam setup. 

Cons

  • People complain of difficulty in sharpening. 

See product details and price here. (From using it for years I can assure you that you will use this knife whenever you can as it’s awesome!)

Best Bowie Hunting Knife:

Ka-Bar Becker BK9

A bowie knife is useful for hunting because of its blade design. The Ka-Bar Becker Bk9 has a sharp double edge tip, which makes it lethal from both fronts.  You can pierce through most things, even hogs that have a thick skin with ease. 

Hunters can rely on this blade for self-defense when the jungle poses life-threatening situations. The bowie knife design is one that is strong and has a long blade. It is a 14-inch knife with a 9-inch 1905 Cro-Van carbon steel blade.  

The carbon steel blade is sleek covered in black epoxy powder to make it weatherproof. It is a stronger blade than stainless steel and sharpens easily make it the sharpest bowie hunting knife. It is a full pound and not as light as other bowie hunting knives, but that is what makes it sturdy and durable.

The handle grip is comfortable and is made from nylon. It is also ergonomic, which means it takes the shape of the hand, and you can use it for a long period continuously without growing tired. Because it is a full tang, the knife is sturdy and will not break even when you have intensive use for it. 

Pros

  • Full tang hunting knife makes it a durable and robust knife
  • Cro-Van carbon steel with black epoxy powder
  • Comfortable ergonomic grip handle
  • Sharpens easy
  • Double edge tip blade for lethal use

Cons

  • At one pound it is a heavy hunting knife
  • Carbon steel will corrode with time. 

See more product details here on Amazon.

Best Boning Deer Hunting Knife:

Dalstrong Shogun Series

Boning hunter’s knife has the primary purpose of ensuring you get most meat from the bones of the deer. Unlike other hunting knives under review here, the Dalstrong Shogun Series is a slim hunters knife. 

It has a sleek design that comes from the 66 compressed layers of stainless carbon steel. It is an extremely sharp 12-degree blade with high edge retention. With mild usage, you may spend a long time without the need of ever sharpening it. 

The Dalstrong Shogun Series hunting boning knife is a full tang blade that makes it durable and strong. It has a comfortable grip handle with three rivets to hold the blade tightly in place. The material of the handle is a G-10 premium impervious to moisture, heat, and cold. 

It is a six-inch boning knife that cuts through fat, muscle, and ligament effortlessly and precisely. The tapered tip and the narrow blade make it squeeze through bone contours giving you a clean separation of bone and meat. 

Easy to clean finish and corrosion-resistant stainless steel blade is durable and will serve you for many years. It comes with a sheath for safekeeping and maintenance. 

Pros

  • It has excellent edge retention and high flexibility
  • Features 66 layers of compressed steel 
  • It is among the sharpest boning knives in the market
  • Mirror polish finish that makes it easy to clean. 
  • It has G-10 ultra-premium handle 
  • It comes with a sheath 

Cons

  • Beginners may struggle at first to get used to it.

See more product details here on Amazon!

Best Knife for Skinning Elk

Buck Knives 113

A skinning hunters knife is often of a short but sharp blade. It curves to make your skinning perfect without destroying the hide as it approaches the tip of the knife. It is a high-end skinner hunters knife that is durable to last a long time. 

The four-inch blade is short but razor-sharp with excellent edge retention. The Buck Knives 113 has a carbon steel blade with a polished finish. It gives it the perfect combination of strength and resistance to corrosion. 

It has a curve-shaped wooden handle with a comfortable grip and two rivets to secure the blade firmly. The narrow tip and the curve on the blade make it perfect for slicing through thick layers with ease. It is a fixed blade, which makes it one of the best pro skinning knives available in the market today. 

The is sleek design gives it a somewhat luxurious look and it is crafted to skin both large and small games with ease. The knife can take a beating and still perform for many years, it sharpens easily and is safe to use as the handle is non-slip. 

It comes with a fitting leather sheath that you can attach to your belt on your waist, giving you easy access. 

Pros

  • Excellent edge retention 
  • It has a comfortable non-slip wooden handle
  • Beside being a short blade, it is extremely sharp for removing the skin
  • It also comes with a leather sheath for safekeeping your knife when not in use

Cons

  • Suits experienced hunters with excellent skinning skills so it can be hard to use for beginners.

See more product details here here on Amazon!

Best Knife For Gutting Deer

Outdoor Edge Razor Pro 

The Outdoor Edge Razor Pro gutting knife is modern and among the best for field dressing. After you have made your kill, you need to gut out the internal organs to preserve your meat. A hunter’s gut knife must be one that can remove out the internal organs without rupturing them. 

It is an innovative blade that overcomes traditional gutting blades. The design features a foldable twin-blade knife. It is a short but sharp blade that can slide in between the gut and the skin. It has a 420 stainless steel blade with a smooth and even finishes making it easy to clean. 

The Outdoor Edge Razor Pro foldable gut knife comes with six other replaceable blades and one.  The blades are only 3.5-inches and a 3.1-inch gut blade that are strong and durable, lasting you a long time. It weighs 0.8 ounces and has a length of 6.7-inches. 

The handle features a comfortable, rubberized non-slip grip. You can work with the knife for a long time without feeling the need to adjust your grip or put it down. It is lightweight and comes with a small pouch bag for safekeeping. 

Pros

  • It is lightweight and has an innovative design
  • It is a foldable twin-blade hunting knife for gutting
  • The handle is rubberized for a comfortable non-slip grip
  • The gut hook design speeds the gutting process
  • The blade is also useful in skinning

Cons

  • Not suitable for cutting leg joints
  • It has no feature for hanging it on your pants

See more product details here and prices on Amazon!

Best Butcher Knife for Hogs 

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 

The Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter butcher knife has a flawless design that makes it easy to maneuver your way around the game when skinning and gutting your game. If you are looking for a butcher knife to serve you for many years, then you have found it in this brand. 

It is a full tang fixed blade knife, which means it is durable and strong enough for multiple uses. The blade is stainless steel and well polished to make it easy to clean. It is also weather and environmentally friendly, making it the best among a hunters choice knife. 

It has excellent edge retention and is versatile and compact with a simple but sleek design. The blade will retain its sharpness and is also easy to sharpen as well. The handle is of a wooden model with two rivets to hold the blade tightly in place, and an index finger spot to make you have the best hand placement. 

It curves at the top of the handle and protects your hands from slipping onto the blade when butchering your game. The large drop point blade, which makes it useful for skinning and meat removal.

The butcher hunters knife comes with a leather sheath that you can strap on your belt when going hunting. It is only 6.32-inches long with a 2.67-inch blade and 0.14-inches thick. 

Pros

  • Lightweight hunting knife 
  • Comfortable wooden handle with non-slip grip
  • It is a fixed blade and full tang knife that will serve you for many years
  • Stainless steel blade that is easy to clean
  • It has a corrugated top side.

Cons

  • Some people find the blade to be too small

See more product details here on Amazon

Best for Caping

Knives of Alaska Alpha Wolf

Caping knives are a favorite for hunters when they want to get the perfect trophy. It offers precision cutting and leaves a smooth finish of the trophy head. The Knives of Alaska Alpha Wolf combines two blades to give you a duo experience for the price of one. 

The Alpha wolf is the best for skinning and gutting, as it is efficient for animals with thicker skin like bears. It is also versatile, debones easily, and cuts through large muscles. The blade is 3.75-inches, which is an ideal length for most deer and bears. 

The Cub Bear is the caping knife that is slightly smaller with a 2.75-inch blade suitable for oriented and meticulous incisions. Both sets use D2 steel blades that are easy to sharpen and better at retaining its edge. 

The caping knife resembles a scalpel but with a tight grip handle. You have comfortable non-slip grip handles. It is also ergonomic with finger notches for control and when cutting. The rubber handles make it suitable for use over a long period. 

Pros

  • It is a duo set of knives that gives you a complete hunting gear
  • The handles are rubber and have an ergonomic, comfortable grip
  • Lightweight and can use continuously for a long time
  • D2 stainless steel blades that are easy to clean

Cons

  • Needs hunters with experience in skinning and caping

See more product details here on Amazon!

The Best Hunting Knives Buyers Guide 

Before you buy a hunting knife, you must consider the following attributes of these knives. 

The Shape of the Blade

The blade shape determines the use you will have for the knife. You can choose between the common types of blades that include drop points and clip points. The drop point blades are durable and lethal. They have a curved double edge tip, and this makes them deadly from both sides. 

The clip point hunting knives are the sharpest and best for more detailed work like caping. The problem with clip point knives is they are susceptible and can easily break. Drop points can take lots of lateral pressure and will serve you for many years with proper maintenance.

There are other types of blades, which include the trailing point, spear, and tanto. If it is your first time buying a hunting knife, you should consider choosing the drop point and clip point blades. You can see our article on the Best Hunting Spears.

Type of Steel 

Most hunting knives use two types of steel,  high carbon or HC steel and stainless steel. The difference is that with the HC steel, you will have more robust features. Though they are more expensive, they are easy to sharpen, corrosion, and rust-free. They also have better edge retention. All these attributes make the HC steel low maintenance and the most durable. 

Most people do not mind using stainless steel blades. Though not as extravagant as the HC steel blades, they are also durable and work efficiently. However, stainless steel blades are slightly challenging to sharpen. 

When you are looking for a new knife, you should look out for the label HC, which means High Carbon. Your hunting knife should compose of quality materials. 

The Handle

It is the most crucial part of the blade. You must look for comfort and stability as most of the things you will do with the knife requires better handling skills. 

Here the shape of the handles matters a lot. Among the things you look for in a good handle is safety. Some have better finger placement that allows the use for a long time. In other handles, your hands are protected from going to the blade and harming yourself. Getting injured on a hunting trip will make the entire adventure dull or end abruptly if the wound is fatal. 

The best handles should be ergonomic and non-slip so that you can get precision cutting when skinning and caping. Many types of handles include the ever-fresh wooden handle that always looks great. There are rubberized handles, and the G10 is also becoming popular. 

The best way to buy a knife is to get a hold of different types and feel the grip in your hand. Handles also determine if a knife is a full tang. If the handle of the knife is hollow, then it is not a full tang. 

The Tang

There are two types of knives that define a Tang. Most people new to hunting always inquire what tang means. A knife with a full tang is one that the blade does not end at the handle and runs through to the end. 

Most hunting knives are full tangs because it offers more stability for the vigorous use that they serve. If the blade were to end at the handle, it would easily break or get loose sooner than expected. Full tang blades reduce the pressure and distribute it evenly on the blade, making it efficient. 

Hollow handles are also not considered to be a full tang blade. Even though they might be more reliable and more durable than half tangs, they are not the easiest to use. 

Serrated Blades

Most hunting knives come in two options that include the straight blade and the serrated blade. The difference is perhaps in the appeal as they look cooler but serve no purpose. Many argue that they cut both ways while, in truth, they are difficult to sharpen, and when blunt, they are not as effective. 

Serrated blades get stuck more often where straight blades just glide through. 

The Length of the Knife

Knives come in many sizes and shapes. Some are slim and short as a scalpel, while others are long. Most beginners do not know what type of knife to buy. As a general rule, when choosing your hunting knife, you should buy the kind of knife for the job you need it to do. 

But if you want a multi-purpose knife which is flexible for all kinds of work, then a six-inch blade will work fine. 

The Type of Knife

The only two primary delineations of hunting knives are the fixed blade and the foldable blade. Both have strengths and weaknesses that you should know before settling for either.

Fixed Blades

As the name suggests, the blades are fixed to the handles and cannot move or be folded. These kinds of knives need extra safety and maintenance measures. Because you cannot fold the blade away, you need a sheath that will keep the blade from dulling. The sheath also protects you from accidental injuries with the sharp blade. 

Professional hunters prefer fixed-blade knives because they have a greater strength and no weak points to make the blade break. These knives are reliable as they have no mechanism that can jam them when you need it. 

Foldable Blades

They are familiar to the average hunter because they are compact and secure. The foldable blade knives are not as strong as the fixed blade knives, but they are also reliable. The folding mechanism of most blades are simple and have a smooth locking mechanism that stows the blade away from danger. 

You can easily store them in your pocket or backpack and never fear of getting injuries or punctures. 

The best hunting knife in the market is the one that is reliable, versatile, and right for the job you want to do.

If you are specifically looking for knives for Hog Hunting we have an entire article right here.

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