The Top Choices For The Best Hunting Knife
|Best Buy Hunting Knife
Best All Around Hunting Knife
The Best Hunting Knife Ever
The Best Deer Hunting Knife
|Best Hunting Knife Reviews
Best Skinning Knife
The Best Cheap Hunting Knives
You may also be interested in our tactical and survival knife reviews that you can find here:
Buying a hunting knife shouldn’t be very difficult when knowing what you are looking for. But this may be also tricky if you know your field of activity (for example deer hunting) but not things like the brands, the quality of manufacturers, or the specific details that constitutes a quality hunting knife.
Here is where this article comes in handy. It will give you a sense of what to look for when buying your next hunting knife and a variety of carefully chosen models in which our opinion are the best hunting knives on the market to make this process easier for you.
In order to get a knife that will satisfy your needs you need to look at certain aspects:
First is the purpose of using the knife. You can begin by asking yourself how do you intend to use this knife? If you are particularly interested in a knife that does one specific activity very well like deer skinning you may want to choose one that is designed to do that activity the best. So in this case, you don’t want a multi-tool one for skinning because it will not be as you may want it to. Be very specific and objective on this topic because it is highly important to take one that will act exactly as you expect.
Then it’s size. It may be sometimes benefic to have a large blade with you for various activities when in the woods, but for sure none of those activities will be hunting. Hunters don’t need big knives because they are not adventurers that need to crack wood for a fire, so there is no real practical use to take a huge blade knife with you when out hunting. If you are into elk, deer hunting or any other big animals you will need a blade length of between 5 and 7 but no more than 8 inches(which is already too big for a hunting knife), however if you’re cleaning small birds or squirrels you will totally need a 2 to 4.8-5 inches blade. This aspect also falls into personal preference and hand types. So don’t take all the sizes we mentioned as a rule.
Other aspects include:
- Fixed blade or folding knife types
We said it before in our reviews. At any time in every situation, a fixed blade knife should be your to-go choice, mainly because fixed blade knives don’t have hinges to break and no moving parts. And as a plus, they are easier to clean. However, if you want portability so much that other aspects fall on secondary places then you might want a folder. We mainly covered fixed blades on our reviews but also recommended some good folders underneath the top choices.
- Knife blade design and material
A very important aspect when buying a hunting knife is the blade type. There are three main blades: clip point, skinning, and drop point. If you aggressively hunt consider a drop point hunting knife because you will get a thick, curved blade that is the strongest in all three. It is perfect for skinning or even splitting bones or a pelvis but it is not limited only to these. The clip point is thin, flat and of course, it’s main plus is the point. Basically, you could use it in most of the activities where the drop-point shines, but you won’t get the same results.
As a bonus fact, skinning knives have a sweeping blade because it makes the separation of flesh from skin a very easy activity. The ones with a gut hook help to extend the incision without puncturing the animals internals. That is why it is a real time saver for hunters that know their stuff.
Another important aspect is the blade material. Here there are two main types: stainless steel and carbon steel from which derive multiple sub-types. In general, a stainless steel blade is corrosion resistant and the carbon steel is sharper for longer periods has a higher wear resistance and is easier to sharpen.
Last but not least is the feel in the hand. If it doesn’t fit well in your hand it’s gonna make you a hard time when using the knife intensively, so aim for the best fit.
With these in mind let’s proceed to the knives themselves
- 1. Best buy hunting knife
- 2. Best all around hunting knife
- 3. The Best hunting knife ever
- 4. The Best deer hunting knife
- 5. Best hunting knife reviews
- 6. Best skinning knife
- 7. The Best cheap hunting knives
- Schrade 165OT Old Timer Fixed Blade
- Gerber Moment Fixed Blade Knife, Drop Point [31-002197]
- SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Huntspoint Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with 3.6-inch, Boning Blade – HT021L-CP
- Columbia River Knife and Tool 2040 Kommer Free Range Hunter Fixed Blade
- Browning Kommer Sig Drop Point Knife
- Buck Knives 0120BRS Cocobola Dymondwood General Knife
1. Best buy hunting knife
Buck has always made knives with the quality in mind. They actually released the most best buys on the market because they always thought that a good knife isn’t always an expensive one. The Buck knife Paradigm is no exception.
The Pro series comes with the latest innovations from Buck and cutting edge materials for the best comfort. It offers a 3.25 inches stainless steel drop point blade that is perfect for many hunting activities from skinning to bone splitting and much more. The handle is a black CNC contoured G10 that is very comfortable and also has stainless steel bolsters and stainless steel reversible tip-up carry clip.
As speaking of dimensions and other aspects it has a closed length of 4.375 inches an overall length of 7.625 inches, a weight of 4.2 ounces, a beautiful design with an ASAP (Advanced Spring Assisted Performance) technology with a dual-spring blade pivot along with the blade safety and the blade release ridge offers a smooth and reliable blade opening system.
You will see that the bolster screw is detachable and makes it possible to oil the closing mechanism. However, we don’t recommend doing this because after some time of repetitive pull the screw becomes loose and makes the blade hard to deploy. Try to figure out how to disassemble it to clean or oil the knife. The blade releasing ridge and ASAP assist for ambidextrous one hand opening add up to the overall good experience when using the knife.
It comes with the Buck Forever Warranty for any situations and it is made in the USA. We think it’s a great piece because it combines both portability and features in an affordable and reputable knife. With all the specs and price the Buck Paradigm is a true companion for hunters that want quality at a decent price.
2. Best all around hunting knife
Straight off, if you keep this knife in your hand just for a couple of seconds, you can feel the absolute quality of a hand-made knife. This knife is also called Frej which is a god in the Norwegian mythology.
It has a 5.1 inches blade which is made of laminated steel. The inner core is a VG10 steel that is surrounded by 420G2 steel. Fallkniven choose this combination to get the best of both worlds, because the high vanadium steel is very good at perfect cuts and is why it was used in the interior and at the edge of the blade, and the 420G2 is a tougher steel that makes the sides in order to get more resistance to pervasive usage.
A very interesting thing is that the laminated line where the different steels meet each other is barely visible. You need to squiggle your eyes to really see the laminated line as opposed to many other knives where the intersection is obvious. That is an indicator of how much effort the craftsmen at Fallkniven have put into this knife to make it as tough as possible but also without any aspect drawbacks.
The handle is as good as it can be, made of stacked leather with an aluminum butt cap, and I can really say that the feel in the hand is ideal. It pretty much has one of the best ergonomics you will ever see on a hunting knife and it can’t get any better than that for the price.
- Total length of 9.6 inches with a blade thickness of 0.2 inches near the handle (it narrows to the top)
- 59 HRC Laminated VG10 blade
- Weight of 0.32 lbs
- High-quality leather sheath with beautiful design and cravings.
- Aluminium butt cap
- Drop point plain edge blade
- Overall tremendously beautiful and high quality at a somehow reasonable price for the quality and features you get.
3. The Best hunting knife ever
From the beginning, you need to know this aspect before going further. If you are not interested in anything else but quality and money are not a problem for you, then this knife is your best pick. If you want the true exclusive hand-made quality in a limited edition knife, then this is the one for you.
The Fallkniven Volcano V1 is not just tremendously though but also an art piece when looking at it. In order to get the most out of this knife, you need to be experienced in handling knives and an active seeker for the best in the industry.
The blade is a laminated cobalt steel which has a nice curve with a convex edge and as you would expect from a knife of this caliber it has a full tang design which means that the blade continues in one piece until the end of the handle. A misconception that many fall into among Fallkniven knife buyers is that the knife itself is made in Japan. That is of course not true. Only the laminated steel is made in Japan and it is shipped to Sweden where it gets combined with all the other elements by Scandinavian knife craftsmen. What else to say other than this is the best blade on a hunting knife that you will ever find? Nothing. It is simply the best.
The handle is very ergonomic and is made from a very rare high-value and high-quality reddish-brown cocobolo wood that lends even after the processing that it passed through a bit of a floral odor that is very pleasurable for the overall experience. From the same wood, the Jerry Garcia’s Tiger guitar was made. And this trend has spread to many guitar manufacturers because of the surprising acoustic qualities of this wood.
- Black leather high-quality sheath
- High quality and carefully crafted Cocobolo Wood handle with a stainless steel butt cap and pommel
- Overall length of 11.8 inches
- Laminated CoS with a 60 HRC Blade steel which is one of the most resistant and razor-sharp on the market
- Weight of 13 ounces
Do you have a chunk of money that want to spend on the ultimate hunting or outdoors knife? Then the Fallkniven V1 Volcano is the one for you.
4. The Best deer hunting knife
You see how many high-quality knives are made in the Scandinavian peninsula? Well, that’s because in the past the Scandinavians were great hunters and knife makers (forced to hunt their food by the harsh environment of Scandinavia) that began with rudimentary techniques, as time passed they improved their skills and passed their knowledge to the descendants.
The Sylvestein is yet another Helle classic. The design and the shape of the knife are highly appreciated by hunters and outdoor persons around the world because of the great ergonomics combined with a fantastic blade. Now let’s get a little in the details.
The triple laminated stainless steel blade ensures an incredibly sharp edge while also being resistant in the face of various elements. The core is made of alloy steel and is covered in two layers of stainless steel on the surface to give you a feel of the inside structure.
If you ever got the opportunity to keep a Helle knife in your hands you now know that the Sylvestein resembles the same style and design with some differences and as a bonus fact there are no two Helle knives that are the same. That is because they make their products with extreme care by hand. The handle is made of curly birch and as said and it has a great grip and feel in the hand. Your hand won’t feel a high amount of fatigue when using this knife because of the cleverly designed handle.
It comes with the same classic leather sheath that Helle used to make for a long time. Overall a great knife for deer hunting it can be a clever pick to take with you when out in the woods.
5. Best hunting knife reviews
Puma Knives is a company based in Germany. They have an experience in manufacturing all sorts of hunting and outdoor gear of over two centuries. This was possible by passing down the knowledge and skills of the first generation to their sons and so on, resulting in a combination of unsurpassed quality between the artisan and his art.
The knife comes with a top grain leather sheath which is 100% vegetable tanned featuring a durable aniline finish. The Stag handle is fine but is not the absolute best you will find on a knife. Generally, a Micarta handle is more recommendable. The main way the Stag handle outperforms a Micarta one is that even when wet, it will not slip from your hand. Speaking about the ergonomics it feels somehow fine in the hand in most conditions but for sure it is way behind other more ergonomic and more comfortable ones that you can find on most Fallkniven knives or even other Puma knives like the Puma Skinner.
It has a full tang drop point blade that is good for working on the hip of a moose/deer or the hide of a whitetail. We think that for this knife the real shining part is the blade. It is very resistant and manufactured with high responsibility in order to get your job done quick.
- 8 inches blade which is the practical ideal size for a hunting knife, 8 inches total length
- 440A German Stainless steel with an HRC of 55-57
- Fine edge type
- Blade thickness of 0.12 inches and a weight of 5.1 ounces
If you are looking for a fine hunting knife at a reasonable price, then the puma Coyote should be a good pick. However, if you are looking for the best we advise you to check other knives.
The Fallkniven Tre Kronor or shortly TK2 is yet another genuine masterpiece that Fallkniven manufactured.
The blade is made of high quality laminated 3G steel which means that three types of steel have been used in the manufacturing of this knife. In the core, it has a powdered steel which you may already know is one of the best alloys you can get on a hunting knife. At a Rockwell hardness of a whopping 62 or shorter 62 HRC, it definitely is one of the toughest steels to put in a knife. This is highly benefic when out hunting because you won’t bother with sharpening the blade too often or taking too much care of it, and even when sharpening is needed it will be a very easy and smooth process. On the outside, it features two softer pieces of steel. Also worth specifying is that it has a convex edge with good retention and toughness.
The handle is made of Black thermorun elastomer which is a high-performance rubber-like material with various qualities and characteristics. To only say a few of them, it has excellent physical properties like a low density which allows an overall lightweight design, it is able to provide wide range hardness so you get both lightweight and toughness at the same time and also has a great durability capable of resisting to chemical sprinkles, besides the heat aging, water, or weather resistance.
We think we only specified just the tip of the iceberg with this review and even if you watched our recommended YouTube review made by the professionals at knives town, you still didn’t get the most important thing in the equation. The experience. This is a true experience knife that can be understood not by facts but by having one to master your hunting skills on. Do you really want an excellent hunting knife to pass further to your children? Then you just nailed it with the TK2 Tre Kronor. We highly recommend this knife to be your next hunting companion.
If you ever had a Benchmade knife before, you may know that at Benchmade they are really into manufacturing high-quality knives for as many categories of users as possible. They create from tactical and military knives to hunting and outdoors knives and even professional for industrial use.
The handle is fine and offers a good grip even in wet conditions. It has a good look and most hunters would be delighted with the form factor. But the blade is where the Benchmade Hidden Canyon shines. It is razor-sharp straight out of the box and can perfectly cut pieces of paper with only a small hand movement. The S30V premium stainless steel from which it is made of ensures that it won’t rust after intense usage and endless blood flow on the blade. So it gets a good score on reliability and resistance.
The only issue we see with this knife is that the sheath has a fixed belt loop which only offers horizontal positions on the belt. For some, this may not be a problem but we think that in some ways it does feel pretty awkward, and Benchmade could have easily done an adjustable one to fit all tastes.
- Fixed Blade made of S30V Premium Stainless Steel with very sharp edge right out of the box
- Leather Sheath with integrated guard
- Blade length of 2.67 inches, overall length of 6.32 inches weight of 3.41 ounces
- 58-60 HRC
- Modified clip-point blade
- Dymondwood handle with good grip and added comfort
Benchmade did a great job with this knife in many aspects. It has the ideal size for a hunting knife, it has a razor-sharp blade to ensure that you can cut from thin bird skin to large deer skins, all at a reasonable price. It comes pretty close to the best buy so if you think it might fit your needs, go on and make the purchase. You won’t be disappointed.
6. Best skinning knife
Handarbeit! That means handmade in german. Puma knives have a long tradition in manufacturing quality knives by hand. It is true that their products are made in China, but that is for a good reason and if you can leave the „All made in China products are bad” bias behind then you can understand that all the knife components are made in Germany but are assembled in China because of an economic reason. They prefer to create high-quality knives in China and deliver them to the world at a reasonable price as opposed to other manufacturers that make their products in their homeland countries but offer the knives for twice or even more than the Puma Skinner Stag and other Puma knives.
The blade is razor-sharp as you would expect from a skinner and has a great edge retention. It has a curved form to help peel off the skin from various animals with more ease, and at an HRC of 55-57, you can be sure that it is tough enough for most of the activities you will use it besides skinning.
The handle is also good although Stag handles are not the best out there. A Micarta one, for example, would do the job better in most cases. It feels somehow good in the hand but after a long period of usage, it may cause fatigue because it doesn’t have the best ergonomics. We think that in most situations this handle would be good enough but if you are interested in a knife that can be used without causing fatigue you need to look elsewhere, maybe for a Fallkniven or a Buck.
Technical Specs and features:
- Blade length of 4.7 inches and total length of 9.4 inches
- 57-60 Rockwell hardness(HRC)
- Leather sheath
- 440C steel that is very resistant and reliable
- 6 ounces
- Stag handle that is fine but far from the best
If you think the Puma Skinner would be good enough for your requirements then it would make for a great buy.
7. The Best cheap hunting knives
From the beginning, you need to know that if you decide yourself on a cheap knife you won’t get the quality on more expensive ones. Well, that’s pretty obvious but what do you do when you still don’t want to spend more on a knife but want the best for that money? Well, we think that we made a pretty good selection here, based on facts that can help you choose one that fits you best. And the Schrade Old Timer is a good example of a pretty good knife at a good price.
It has a high carbon stainless steel blade that is truly impressive when you think about it. $100+ blades don’t offer a high carbon stainless steel blade but the Schrade does. It is very sharp and has a good edge retention, and as incredible as it may sound it has a real full tang construction. It is mind-blowing. A high carbon stainless steel blade with a full tang design on a knife cheaper than a shopping round is a no brainer. For real. The curved edge will help you in most situations as a hunter. From skinning, cutting, to even wood splitting the blade will work like a charm as long as you keep it razor-sharp. We also recommend if you don’t already have one, buy a knife sharpener. It will make your life easier.
The handle is also good but not a thing that they can praise about. It is a basic molded Delrin handle with a brass finger guard. People also speak of the sheath being cheaply manufactured. And for the most part, they are right. It does feel cheap. But if you prefer utility over beauty and feel it will be just fine.
If you want a cheap knife that will do the job in your next hunting schemes, we think that the Schrade blade is a sure hit for the money if you consider buying it.
Watch this video. It gives you an idea of how it looks. I think it’s darn beautiful.
Among our selection of cheap hunting knives, we genuinely think that this one is the best. It has the most beautiful design and feel, it has the best blade and the best handle.
Gerber is also well-known to manufacture high-quality knives at an affordable price. And it seems that the Gerber Moment Large Drop Point is the embodiment of just that.
If on the previous knife the blade was awesome but the handle not so much, on the Gerber both are great. The first thing you will notice when handling this knife is the comfortable feel in the hand and the incredibly good ergonomics, featuring a well-placed guard with a thumb traction jimping. The textured rubber handle is an overall great choice Gerber made on this knife.
Now speaking of the blade it is a full tang type so durability is a key feature on this knife, it is a drop point type and has a fine and razor-sharp edge straight out of the box. It will be great for most hunting activities and will stay sharp for long periods although we recommend having at all times with you a knife sharpener to avoid any unpleasant moments.
- Fine edge blade
- Nylon sheath with metal snaps
- Ergonomic shape that instills confidence to the owner.
- Overall length of 8.63 inches with a blade length of 3.63 inches and a weight of 7.2 ounces
- Full tang construction for added durability and resistance to the metal fatigue effect
From our description of the Gerber knife you only get a sense of what the knife will feel and look but to convince yourself that a knife so cheap can be this well made you need to have one for yourself so if you weighed the pros and cons we highly recommend this knife to be your next hunting blade.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Huntspoint Fixed Blade Hunting Knife with 3.6-inch, Boning Blade – HT021L-CP
SOG is well-known for the quality blades it produces. They are more into tactical knives but hunting is not an unknown domain either for them. With this model, they tried to bring a modern design and feel on a hunting knife that incorporates lots of functionalities and comes at a great price.
- Drop point straight edge blade made of AUS-8 stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 56-58
- Overall length of 8.2 inches and blade length of 3.6 inches
- Weight of 3.7 ounces
- Orange and black co-molded handle with glass-reinforced nylon
- Limited lifetime warranty straight from the producer
The blade is very sharp straight out of the box and is made of a high-quality stainless steel that will resist most abuses. There is an even better blade on a slightly more expensive one from the same series with a S30V Steel Boning Blade that is overall better and sharper, but this one will do the job just fine, the single inconvenience you might encounter is the necessity of a sharpening now and then. That’s why we recommend every time to have a preferably diamond sharpener with you when out hunting.
This SOG knife is actually pretty good for skinning because it offers a slightly curved blade that is very sharp at the same time and due to its size, peeling the skin from a deer or any other large animals should be pretty easy.
Now speaking of the handle which is also impressive, it is a black and orange reinforced nylon and rubber with a rubber over mold that offers a great non-slip grip.
SOG did a really great job with this knife. It is beautiful and works beautifully at a good price. If you think it has what it takes, make the purchase with confidence.
Also a modern looking knife, the Columbia River Knife Kommer Hunter knife is a great combination of high-quality materials in an ergonomic knife with a stunning blade and a beautiful design at a very competitive price.
It features a fixed clip point blade at a length of 4.25 inches with small serrations on the back of the blade and it is made of stainless steel. It is also curved so skinning with this knife will work very smooth, and last but not least it is very sharp. Probably sharp enough for shaving.
At Columbia River Knives or shorter CRKT, they are craftsmen. They test the knives several times before releasing them on the market. Check the story of the Onion Skinner to get an insight of what they are all about.
The handle is comfortably shaped and the optimally sized finger grooves provide great ergonomics and grip no matter if your hands are small or large. It is made using an injection mold process of different types of polymers which create an ideal all-weather suitable handle.
We highly recommend any Columbia River knife because they are so good at providing unmatched quality for such a low price and the CRKT Kommer Fixed Blade is no exception. Feel great when using the Kommer and make the purchase with confidence. It costs as low as a meal.
The Browning Kommer Sig Drop Point comes in a slightly weirder form factor. The handle has a more punch-like look that in a certain position forms a straight line with your hand. This may be good but may also not be. Let’s see what it has and let you decide if it is good enough for you.
It has a sharp AUS-8 steel blade with a very good edge retention, however, a sharpener is required in order to get the best out of it in most situations.
The handle is made of rubber that is fine to some extent and the design seems to have been carefully crafted offering a somewhat good grip but it is not even near the more professional ones from Buck Knives or Fallkniven. But again, for the price you probably can’t get more than that.
- Nylon sheath
- AUS-8 high-quality steel that is very sharp and reliable
- Rubber handle
- Satin blade finish
- High durability
There is also a version with a Gut hook blade but for hunting, we recommend the straight blade with a drop point. But this depends on your taste. All in all, it is a good knife at a good price. We recommend you to hop off the fence and make the purchase.
Nobody can argue that nothing compares to a quality Buck knife (maybe just Fallkniven). Buck makes such a good job with both their expensive and cheaper knives that people associated the name with basically any knife that resembles the original Buck. Needless to say that the Buck 0120 General is no exception.
It comes with a slightly curved 7.37 inches 420HC steel blade with very good edge retention and sharpness. You may think that the blade is a little too big for a hunter considering that at 7.37 inches is at the maximum acceptable length limit for a hunting knife. It may be true, if you don’t like big blades at all for hunting activities and you may be better off choosing a shorter one from above, but we think that the blade on this one is great for what is intended to do. And we mean large animal hunting. You won’t be able to peel the skin off of a bird with the Buck General very well but on a deer, things start to look better.
So the blade is great but what about the handle? The handle is as good as it may be on a so cheap hunting knife. It is a Cocobola Dymondwood handle with a brass pommel that offers a great vintage feel and, more importantly, good grip and ergonomics. It also comes with a genuine leather sheath to carry it with you in the woods more easily.
Of course, as always it comes with the Buck forever warranty, a great way to have your blade covered and you be stress-free. Among the cheaper hunting knives, we reviewed we think that the Buck General is the absolute winner. If you want a big blade cheap and reliable hunting knife we highly recommend you the Buck General.
On today’s market, the variety of knives to choose from is so overwhelming that you may not be so sure what brand, type or size would the perfect hunting knife be. That is where these reviews should come in handy because we tried to include the best hunting knives the money can buy from cheap ones that do the job just fine to more fancy and expensive ones and even absolute unbeatable handmade Fallkniven masterpieces. We hope we helped you find the one that you will be proud of when going out for your prey. Good luck and see you soon!