Best hunting knife - buying guide

Best Hunting Knives 2016 – Ultimate Buying Guide

A hunter is incomplete without his knife. He needs a knife not only to skin an animal but also to cut its meat. A hunting knife is a very important gear that a hunter carries with him when he sets out for hunting. From the variety of knives available which one to select is a difficult choice that a hunter has to make while selecting his gears for hunting.

​A wide range of hunting knives is present in the market. The decision to select the best hunting knife can be made only if the hunter knows which type of knife he might need in hunting. Some hunters have also replaced hunting knives with hunting daggers, but that has not made the hunting knife lose its value.


Make a point to question yourself as how do you want to use the knife. If in case you are searching for a knife which will carry out one definite task properly like skinning a deer; for instance, you would like to choose a knife which is designed especially for it.

On the contrary, if you decide to purchase a specialty knife to carry out many tasks then it might fail to complete even one task properly. Always try to decide the objective first before selecting any knife as to why you need it and for what purpose you need to complete with it.

If in case you wish for a general-purpose knife which you can use to carry out different tasks then make sure that the knife you select has all the features inside it that you need. For instance, a good established fixed-blade hunting knife is sufficient for field-dressing as well as for skinning game and few other tasks like cutting rope or twine.

By the type of hunting, you plan to do you will have to decide whether you need one knife or more. For deer hunting, you may need a knife other than the one you may need to peel skin or meat. The brands that are available in the world in different markets offer a wide range of knives. You have to select the best hunting knife from the alternatives present.


There are two types of the blade that are used in manufacturing a hunter knife. They are fixed blade and folding blade. They are explained below in brief.

1. Fixed Blade

A hunting knife that has a fixed blade is also known as a sheath knife. Such knives do not fold or slide. It is also usually stronger because of the tang, the addition of the blade hooked on the handle, and the deficiency of moving parts in the knife which makes it unfoldable. This is why it is called a fixed blade. The fixed blade knife is easiest to clean and is also very reliable. But they are riskier as compared to folding blade knives.

​2. Folding Blade

A knife which has a folding blade attaches the blade toward the handle of the knife all the way through a pivot, which allows the blade to fold in the handle. To avert injury to the user because of the blade which might accidentally close on the knife user's hand, these folding knives normally have a locking mechanism in them. Well-liked and common locking mechanisms mostly include the following which is explained in brief:

  • Slip joint – It is mostly found on conventional pocket knives. In this, the blade that is opened does not lock but is detained in place with the help of a spring device that lets the blade fold when a particular amount of pressure is put on it.
  • Lock-back – It is also acknowledged as the spine lock. It involves a pivoted latch attached to spring, and can be detached only when the latch is pressed down to liberate the blade.
  • Liner lock – A Liner Lock is a folding knife which has a side-spring lock in it which allows the knife to open and close with the help of one hand devoid of relocating the knife in the other hand.
  • Compression Lock – Compression lock utilizes a tiny piece of metal on the tip of the lock to lock the knife into a tiny consequent impression inside the blade. It is unrestricted when the tab of metal is pressed to the side.
  • Frame Lock – It is also identified as the integral lock. This lock was invented by a tradition knife maker Chris Reeve. The working of a frame lock is somehow similar to linear lock, but frame lock exercises a fractional cutout of the real knife handle, instead of a different liner within the handle to hold the blade in its place.
  • ​Button Lock – This lock is mostly found on automatic knives. It utilizes a minute push-button to open and discharge the knife from the lock.
  • Axis Lock –A cylindrical bearing is affixed so that it will hop amid the knife blade and a little feature of the handle to lock the opened blade.
  • Ball Bearing Lock – Ball bearing lock is theoretically similar to the axis as well as the arc locks but the bearing used is a ball bearing instead of the ball bearing.


Knives for hunting, for big game, for small game, for deer hunting all differ from each other because of the difference in the features needed in a knife for carrying out these different tasks. You can find almost every knife on Amazon.

​The knife reviews of few best knives available on the market are given below in short. These reviews will help you to know more about hunting knives so that you can choose wisely.

1. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife - Good Hunting Knife on a Budget

This knife is an all in one knife. It is patterned and has a high-friction grip which makes it comfortable to grasp and simple to handle.

​Features and specifications:

  • ​The length of the blade is 4.1 inches; its thickness is 0.1 inch, and the overall length of the knife is 8.6 inches.
  • The weight of the same is 4.1 oz.
  • It comes along with a matching plastic sheath of the same color of the knife.
  • It also has a belt clip.
  • It is very sharp.
  • The warranty of the knife is for whole life.


  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • It is corrosion resistant.
  • The nominal price makes it desirable and worthy.


  • The belt clip is lost, which makes it easy for the knife to get out of the belt.
  • This makes it risky for users when sitting down.

2. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife - The Best Under 50

It includes 10% plastic in it. The handle is coated with DLC 6061-T6 anodized aluminum making it look good. The blade is made of 14C28N Steel.

Features and specifications:

  • It is a folding knife.
  • It contains features for speed safe.
  • It comes along with reversible pocket clips.
  • It is light in weight.
  • The design is good and is well built.


  • The folding blade opens and closes smoothly and with ease.
  • The handle is light in weight.
  • It is extremely sharp.


  • The thumb button to open the knife is very small making it tough to open the blade.
  • The locking mechanism is prone to fail in this folding knife.

3. Buck Knives 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife - Favorite & Quality

The 110 Folding Hunter knife was introduced in the year 1962. It is outfitted along with a nail notch lock design which opens easily and also closes back safely.

Features and specifications:

  • The length of the blade is 3-3/4 inches.
  • The weight of the knife is 7.2 ounces.
  • It comes with a black colored leather sheath.
  • The warranty offered is for a lifetime.


  • It offers a lifetime warranty.
  • The handle is made out of natural food grain.
  • It is very sharp and gives high performance.
  • The lock is safe and secure as well as easy.


  • The knife doesn’t have a highly tactical design.
  • The knife is not equipped with a smooth, engaging lock.

4. Timber Rattler Western Outlaw Bowie Knife - A Good Bowie Knife

It has an 11 3/8” razor sharp blade. This blade is made of stainless steel.

Features and specifications:

  • It has an amazing grass plated guard.
  • The blade is full-tang.
  • The handle is made of hardwood and is of gray color.
  • It comes with sheath made of genuine leather.


  • The genuine leather used to make sheath increases the value of the knife.
  • It is huge and heavy.
  • It is durable.


  • There are flaws in the cosmetic impression of the knife.

5. Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife - Best for Deer Hunting

It is made in the USA. It uses a fixed blade and is very much advantageous for outdoor camping or hunting activities.

Features and specifications:

  • ​It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The sheath is made of genuine leather making it easy to carry in a bag or attached to the belt.
  • It has a phenolic handle of black color along with an aluminum pommel.
  • The fixed blade allows detail work to be done with precision.


  • It is easy and comfortable to carry a bag or fix it on the belt.
  • The quality which it offers is amazing.
  • It is durable if taken proper care.


  • It is designed with a rough ground edge.
  • The sheath that holds the loop on of the belt is made of two rivets.

6. KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife - Best Blade Length

The Ka-Bar' was particularly made to serve the troops all through the WW II and now also is serving with same sincerity and honors even after 70 years of its inception. The brand is very popular and is well known by people. The knife is made in the USA, and its sheath is made in Mexico.

Features and specifications:

  • It comes along with a 100% leather sheath.
  • The blade is made of 1095 Cro-van steel.
  • The blade is 7” straight edge.
  • This fixed blade knife is most famous in the world.
  • The handle to is made of leather.


  • It is world famous which adds to its plus points.
  • The 100% leather sheath also adds to its value.


  • The knife does not possess lanyard holes.
  • The sheath isn’t wide enough to fit belts of any size.

7. Buck Knives 0691BKG Buck Zipper Fixed Blade Knife - Best Gut Hook Knife

Just as its name suggests, this is a gut hook knife which works like a zipper. The design of the same is like a zipper. It is made in the USA. It comes with around under 50 best knives for hunting.

Features and specifications:

  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The size of the blade is 4-1/8”.
  • The length is 8-1-2".
  • The weight is 6.6 oz.
  • To make sure of safety and grip the handle is made of textured rubber along with brass butt.
  • It is corrosion resistant.
  • The steel used to make the blade offers excellent performance.


  • The handle assures safety and grip.
  • It suits perfectly for the price it charges.


  • This knife is not suitable for those who prefer a wooden handle.

8. Buck Knives 0141VP PackLite Field Master Knife Kit - Best Hunting Knife Set

It is made in USA. The makers of this hunting knife have focused on cutouts for detailed movements.

Features and specifications:

  • It offers a lifetime warranty.
  • It is built with accuracy.
  • It offers high quality.
  • It is useful for the outdoor purpose.
  • It is light in weight.
  • The blade is made of stainless steel.
  • It also has a coating of black traction.
  • The nylon sheath and zipper storage compartment make it easy to carry it.


  • It is easy and safe to carry it anywhere from one place to another.
  • It is one of the best knives for outdoor activities.
  • It is easy to clean it and so is designed accordingly.


  • The size of the knife is smaller than expected.

9. FieldTorq Viscerator Hunting Knife (Currently unavailable on

It can be used for carrying out many activities. It can be used as a knife, as a zipper to unzip and it also divides the pelvic bone and rib cage.

Features and specifications:

  • The sharp edges are given very less exposure.
  • The inside job blade is patented and is very sharp.
  • It is also very safe.
  • The entire field dressing can be done alone with this knife.
  • The area in the middle of both the edges is sharpened.


  • It can be used to do many tasks which avoid you to carry many knives while outing.
  • The blade remains sharp for a long time.


  • The blade isn’t designed to straight-cut the ribs.

10. Black Soul Tactical Neck Knife (Black) - Design Highlights

It is full tang made of stainless steel. Its overall length is 7-1/2”. The length of the blade is 4”. It has a black handle which has a metal hole for the finger. The sheath is made of black nylon cloth which also has a neck cord.

Features and specifications:

  • It has a stainless steel blade which has a black finish.
  • The handle can be molded and has a metal finger hole too.
  • It is a full tang knife.


  • It is small and sharp.
  • The metal finger hole gives support to the finger.
  • It is cheap and very affordable.


  • The knife is not reliable enough to hang around the neck.

These are knives that you can consider and look at when you are in the dilemma of choosing the right hunting knife for your outing camp. All of them are unique and special in their way and possess features which make it different from the other.


There are some things that you should consider before buying a knife. You should look at the handle, material of the blade, its sheath and for how many activities you can use the knife which means it should be multipurpose.


Naturally, you should first decide on a budget when it comes to shopping for a knife. For a basic cutlery used for outdoor purposes, you can get one for a cheap price of about $50 to $65. However, if you are keener on buying something with top-notch quality, then you may be better of with pricier knives with a price range of $100 to even $1000 in some cases. Still, there is no need to go beyond your budget if what you want is a quality knife. The most important thing is you know key features to consider, which should be more than enough when you want total satisfaction for your purchase.

A basic hunting knife set is useful for its standard purpose, which is to skin the animal or dress the game. With this in mind, you need a durable knife that can withstand abuse. What’s more, a big knife does not necessarily mean it is always the best option.

For instance, if you are supposed to dress a small game such as a rabbit, then it can be tough using a large knife for this animal. To stay on the safe side, you should be good with a blade length of about 4 inches. This is, of course, unless you are hunting much bigger animals that require larger cutting tools.

Now that you know these practical things to start with before you go shopping for a hunting knife, you are all set in going through various features to take into account to get the best value for every dollar you pay.

Blade Material

It is very important to consider the material of the blade at the time of purchasing a knife for hunting or your survival in campaigns. You should look for a knife which you can retain for a long period like for 20-50 years and not a piece of metal that breaks when you use it for the first time itself. You should know whether the knife you need should be of stainless steel or carbon steel.

Stainless steel is frequently cheaper than carbon steel and is more widespread. It is also defiant to rust. Stainless steel is not as durable as carbon steel and because of that, it loses its edge faster than carbon steel. On the contrary, carbon steel can be sharpened to any sharpness you want. To avoid them from rusting overnight, you have to take proper care of it. A huge variety of knives come who use carbon steel in their blade.

Both the materials have their importance. If you are looking for a durable knife, then you will automatically prefer carbon steel blade knife. First, know for which activity you need a knife then make the choice about the material of the blade.


The handle of the knife can be changed with the change in the purpose. Whatever the purpose or situation may e, you will need a handle which is comfortable and also provides good grip to you when you hold it.

Materials such as G10 and Micarta are very much in trend these days, but many people also prefer conventional handles such as wood and rubber. Do make sure that when you choose a handle, you are comfortable with it if you have to do the chopping activity again and again for a long period.

It should not become slippery in the monsoon and should not break easily within the initial days of its use. It should also fit in your hand properly so that you can get a proper tight grip which is required. Try to avoid those knives which store things inside their handle because they may not be very comfortable.


Carrying a knife in the hand every time is risky as it can hurt your hand majorly. It involves high risk. You need something in which you can put the knife back when it is not in use. This is called a sheath. This sheath is properly attached to your belt so that you can comfortably take it out whenever you are in need of it. You can also put it inside your bag that you carry.

The sheath should fit your body well. Avoid choosing sheath which is either too long or too heavy. Make sure that it is highly durable and lasts long. You should be able to draw your knife quickly from it with ease and comfort. It should not be obnoxious.

A high-quality sheath is made with the help of durable materials. Try to stay away from drop-down sheaths.


Try looking for a knife which can be used for carrying out many activities successfully. Until and unless you are searching for a knife which is specially designed to perform one particular task, you should opt for a multipurpose knife. This helps you to avoid the burden of carrying more than one knife when going outdoors. A multipurpose knife is always better than a particular knife that can perform a single activity.


It is a tough choice to decide which knife will suit you best. Money can buy any knife, but money cannot help you to know which knife will fit your requirement. You may think that the knife you buy for the money is not worth it, or the price is very high but on the contrary, these expensive hunting knives are the ones who offer precision and quality.

A hunting knife is a very important tool that you are supposed to carry along with you when you go for hunting or any outdoor activity. So do not take the choice of selecting a proper knife lightly. For skinning knife look for the features you want to have in one such knife. The same goes for other knives too. Make your choice wisely and have happy hunting hours.

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