Top 6 Best Hunting Knife Reviews 2020

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Best Hunting Knives

Hunting is one of the greatest and most fulfilling things you could ever do. It brightens your mood, exercises your body, and gives you a wonderful experience with your loved ones.

However, you can make your hunting experience even more enjoyable by having the right tools. A knife is one of the most critical tools to consider when you are hunting. You should find one that meets specific criteria for the area and game you are hunting.

Here is a comprehensive overview of how to choose the best hunting knife for your situation.

The Top 6 Hunting Knives

The knives below make a great choice to carry while hunting.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best Knives for Hunting

Any hunter or outdoor lover will mention the numerous ways he or she can use a hunting knife.

Uses range from camp work to skinning and cleaning your game. That is why choosing a hunting knife with the qualities you need is important. Here are some of the best hunting knives and their features.

1. Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

A classic all purpose hunting knife.

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The Buck Knives 119 special fixed blade is a durable, all-purpose knife that will meet all your hunting and outdoor activities. This is the knife of choice in my family, and it is the first hunting knife I was given as a child. The Buck Knives 119 is a knife that can be passed down from generation to generation.

This Buck knife shines for all purpose usage. Field dressing a buck, hacking away branches, or cutting some hot dog sticks. This is a great multi-purpose hunting knife that will virtually last forever.

The knife feels very comfortable and safe in your hand with palm swells on the handle and the aluminum guard.

Buck Knives 119 Features:

  • 420HC Steel Blade – This high carbon stainless steel blade resists corrosion and is extremely strong. Buck Knives puts each blade through a heat treating process which hardens the blades to an RC 58 Rockwell hardness level. This blade is easy to sharpen and will hold up over time.
  • Clip Point Blade – The clip point blade is perfect for detail trim work or puncture holes. It won’t we quite as strong as other blade types, but it is a good sacrifice for the improved control.
  • Leather Sheath – This knife includes a genuine leather sheath with a belt fastener.

If you are an outdoor fanatic looking for a multi-purpose blade, Buck Knives 119 special fixed blade may just what you are looking for. In addition to its fair price, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

Things we like

  • 420HC Steel is a highly durable material.
  • It is razor sharp when out of package and easily maintainable.
  • Suitable for cutting in tight places.
  • It’s a perfect blade for making piercing and punctures.
  • Comes at a reasonable price.
  • Has a lifetime warranty.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • A little heavy compared to recent utility knives.
  • Lacks lanyard holes for simplistic attachment to poles.
  • Water and blood can make the handle slick.
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2. KA-BAR 1214 Fighting/Utility Knife

Military grade fighting knife that holds it own in the field.

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A KA-BAR Fighting blade is strong. It also has power and durability making it suitable for cutting wood, digging fire pits, cutting ropes, carving, or field dressing your game. This knife is better as a survival, utility or fighting knife. However, it is a good choice is you want to invest in a multi-purpose knife that you can use while hunting.

KA-BAR 1214 Features:

  • Serrated Edge – The serrated edge makes it easy to cut through small branches or bone.
  • Kraton Handle – This knife has a solid synthetic rubber Kraton handle and a protective hilt.
  • Cro-Van Steel Blade – The blade is made of 1095 Cro-Van steel. This is a carbon steel that is easy to sharpen.

The KA-BAR Fighting blade is ideal for rugged and heavy duty work. However, you should be warned that this is not a lightweight knife and therefore, you should examine the benefits of having it before you decide to use it.

Read the full detailed review of the KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife.

Pros

Things we like

  • Serration increases the blades utility abilities.
  • CroVan steel is durable and it is easy to sharpen.
  • Sheath repels water and moisture hence protecting the blade from elements.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • 7 inch blade makes it difficult to carve it tight areas.
  • CroVan steel can rust if exposed or left in a wet case.
  • Kraton grip is a bit slippery compared to a leather grip.
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3. Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter

Perfect size hunting knife to handle all the tasks.

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The Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter is a great knife capable of performing all of your hunting chores. This knife is small enough for detail work, but also big enough to handle large tasks like field dressing a deer.

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Features:

  • CPM S30V Steel Blade – This is premium grade steel only found on the best blades. This knife will hold its sharpness longer than others.
  • Stabilized Wood Handle – A durable composite that is stronger than natural wood.
  • Large Blade Radius – The special shape and radius of the blade make it small but very effective when processing game.

The Benchmade Hidden Canyon is a premium hunting knife that is ideal to carry. The Hidden Canyon is an extremely capable knife considering its small form factor and light weight.

Pros

Things we like

  • CPM S30V hardened steel blade that will stay shart. Premium!
  • Full tang fixed blade construction.
  • Stabilized wood handle that can withstand harsh environments.
  • Size and shape make it easy to maneuver.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • Sheath isn’t very secure (keep it in a pack)
  • Premium priced product.
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4. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Knife

A high quality knife at an incredible price.

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The Morakniv Companion is a great all around knife perfect for using around a campsite, but capable of holding its own when skinning an animal. This knife is preferred due to its sharp cutting edge in addition to its plastic and rubber molded handle that gives it a fine grip.

Morakniv Companion Features:

  • Sandvik 12C27 Stainless Steel Blade – Increases the durability and versatility of the knife for outdoor purposes.
  • High Friction Grip – Rubber plastic molded grip makes the knife easy to hold and use.
  • Plastic Sheath – It comes with a plastic sheath that matches the color of the grip.

Read the full detailed review of the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade.

If you want an attractive and functional knife available at a low price, then this knife is the best choice for you.

Pros

Things we like

  • Extremely affordable knife.
  • Made of stainless steel so it stays sharper longer and is less prone to rust.
  • Knife handle and sheath come in multiple colors.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • Plastic sheath is rather weak if you compare to leather sheath.
  • Only has 3/4 tang.
  • Smaller compared to other hunting knife options.
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Best Knives for Skinning

A good skinning knife is a great tool for every hunter. These knives are very sharp and are perfectly designed to make skinning an animal easier. The knives below are a great choice to add a specialty skinning knife to your collection.

1. Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite Knife

Folding hunting knife with replaceable stainless steel blades.

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Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite Blade is compact and lightweight making it a reliable knife anytime you go on a hunting trip. It comes with a replaceable stainless steel blade, and a Kraton handle.

Outdoor Edge Razor Lite Features:

  • Replaceable Blade – You can easily replace the blade using the push and lock replacement system.
  • Lightweight – It only weighs 6.4 ounces making it a suitable tool when planning a lightweight backpacking trip.
  • Non-slip Grip – Rubberized handle gives it a firm grip when you are using the knife. This is important when skinning an animal.

If you are looking to own a set of blades that will save you from the constant trouble of sharpening the knife when you are on a trip, then the Outdoor Edge razor-Lite Blade is your perfect choice.

Pros

Things we like

  • Replaceable blades mean you never have to sharpen the knife.
  • Lightweight knife and sheath makes carrying the blades effortless.
  • Rubberized grip that is ideal for skinning.
  • 3.5″ blade makes it easy to get into small spaces.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • The push button used for replacing the blades can be difficult at times.
  • Not a sturdy as a fixed blade knife.
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2. Havalon Piranta Edge Knife

Surgically sharp knife with replaceable blades.

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Surgical is a word you hear a lot when people describe this knife. The Havalon Piranta Edge knife ensures you always have an extra sharp blade when you are skinning. If the blade starts to dull in the middle of the process, just swap it out for a new blade that is surgically sharp.

Havalon Piranta Edge Features:

  • Surgically Sharp Blades – The knife comes with 12 replaceable, stainless steel blades that are crazy sharp.
  • Easy Grip Handle – The polymer handle has a rubber grip insert to ensure the knife doesn’t slip in your hand.
  • Holster/Sheath – Black nylon sheath holds your knife and spare blades so you are always ready to swap them out.

The Havalon Piranta Edge has become a go-to skinning knife for hunters.

Pros

Things we like

  • Knife includes 12 surgically sharp blades.
  • Rubber inserts on the handle provide a sure grip when wet.
  • 2.75″ blade is easy to maneuver and handle.

Cons

Things that could be better

  • Thin blades are flimsy.
  • Replaceable blades always have a risk of coming off.
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Hunting Knife Buying Guide

Every hunter needs to have a reliable hunting knife, that’s a given. In fact, a hunting knife could be the single most used tool you when hunting. From cutting down branches to skinning the animal, you will spend a lot of time with your hunting knife. That means you need to have one that will not let you down.

Things to Consider

If you want to carry a single knife, then that knife needs to perform all the activities you might need. This includes heavy work like cutting branches and splitting rib cages to detail work like skinning. Here are a few things you should consider when selecting the best hunting knife for your situation.

  • What kind of animal you will be hunting
  • How you intend to use the knife
  • Your budget
  • How often you intend to use the knife for hunting

If you intend to hunt big game, you will obviously need a larger knife than the one hunters have when they are going for a smaller game like rabbits. When it comes to hunting knives, bigger does not necessarily mean better. If you primarily hunt small game then a large knife will make your job harder and increases your chances of cutting yourself.

Knife Use

If you only use a hunting knife occasionally, then you might want to consider a multipurpose knife. For example, you could use a survival knife or utility knife on an annual hunting trip and it should suffice.

However, if you are a more serious hunter that pursues multiple types of game, then you should definitely purchase a dedicated hunting knife.

Budget

There is a wide variety of hunting knives available. They go from cheap to affordable to downright expensive. Consider the amount of work you intend to put your knife through to determine your investment in a knife.

Fixed Blades or Folding Knives?

One of the most important decisions you must make is if you want folding knife or a fixed blade knife.

  • Fixed Blade Knives – These are good for all reasons except the fact that they are always open and not easy to carry around. You must carry it in a sheath and give it room, meaning it will be bulkier than a folding knife with a similar blade size. However, they are stronger due to the lack of moving parts and they are more reliable.
  • Folding Knives – The blades of folding knives fold back into the handle. The fact that they fold is their biggest advantage and disadvantage. An advantage because they are compact and come with a locking feature to prevent any accidents. A disadvantage because the pivot point and the hollow handle are weak points. That makes a folding knife weaker when compared to a fixed blade knife.

Hunting Knife Blade

There are a few blade types found on most knives. Each type of blade has advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. The two primary types of knife blades you should consider for a hunting knife are as follows:

  • Clip Point – A clip point has a thin well-defined point that excels in piercing, slicing and detail work. The point is thin and sharp, which makes it weaker than a drop point.
  • Drop Point – A drop point has a thick and curved point. The fact that the point is not defined makes skinning very easy and very fast. The point is easy to control on this knife, which makes it great for gutting animals.

Do You Need a Serrated Blade?

Some knives have a serrated area of the blade near the handle. A serrated blade helps you saw through things bones and branches. Serrated blades can make a knife more difficult to use for skinning since you want a clean cut.

Knife Blade Quality

There are two popular materials for hunting knife blades.

  • Stainless steel
  • Carbon or High Carbon Steel

Stainless steel is popular because it is rust resistant and durable. Stainless steel knives are low maintenance and suitable for wet conditions. The drawback is that they are harder to sharpen than carbon steel blades.

High Carbon (HC) Steel blades are gaining in popularity. Carbon steel is very easy to sharpen and maintains a sharp edge longer than stainless steel. However, carbon steel is prone to rusting. High Carbon (HC) steel blades can also rust, but they are much better at resisting corrosion than standard Carbon Steel. High Carbon steel blades are typically the most expensive knives on the market.

Hunting Knife Handle

There are many varieties of handles but the most important thing you should consider is a good grip. A hunting knife needs to perform well in wet conditions. You don’t want your knife to slip in your hands while field dressing an animal. The handle, more than anything, should be sturdy, strong, and heavy in your grip.

Knife Sheath

If you choose to go with the fixed-blade hunting knife, then you definitely need a knife sheath. The sheath will protect your knife from the elements and it will protect you from the knife when you carry it.

Conclusion

When choosing the best hunting knife, look for a quality blade, a sturdy handle, and a strong intersection of the two. A high-quality well-maintained knife will last a long time.

You can buy a single knife that performs well all around. But consider investing in two knives (multipurpose and skinning) if you want the absolute best knife for every job you will encounter on a hunt.

Your hunting knife is an investment. It can even be an heirloom to hand down from generation to generation. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a quality knife.

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