Blades have been around since millions of years, starting from the first Stone Age cutting to this date. It is not possible to exactly pinpoint when the first hunting knife was made or used, but it won’t be wrong to say that it has been in use for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest tools. In the many years, the hunting knife has evolved from bronze and iron blades to carbon and stainless steel alloys. A hunting knife serves different purposes from a deadly weapon to a tool used for skinning or cutting an animal, a hunter’s kit is incomplete without a proper hunting knife.
But what is a proper hunting knife? There is no correct answer to that question, as to determine the quality of a knife, one first has to know what it will be used for. When it comes to choosing the right hunting knife, it solely depends on the user and their intentions. But, once you find a hunting knife that works best for you, you may hold onto it forever.
Before we discuss some of the best hunting knives available in the market today, let’s first learn about some important features that matter when it comes to choosing the right hunting knife.
As always, we want to hear from you in the comments section at the bottom. Did we miss any that should have made the list? Do you use any of these currently? What are your thoughts?
Fixed or Folding Knives – Is Either One Better?
There are two types of hunting knife blades, fixed and folded. Old hunters usually prefer the fixed blade, while some are now in favor of the folding blade. Both have their pros and cons, and one is no better than the other, it always comes down to the preference of the user. If you want durability, then a fixed blade is a better choice, as there are less mechanical parts involved, it can’t break very easily. It is also easy to maintain and clean a fixed blade as compared to the folding one. Although, folding blades have more versatility, they are quicker and can be hidden easily. Carrying them around in a pocket is a plus point, and because all folding blades come with a locking system, it makes them safer than fixed blade knives.
What Is The Best Blade Material For A Hunting Knife?
Choosing the right blade material is crucial, as the blade is the most essential part of a knife. The two most famous types of blades available in the market today, are stainless steel, and carbon steel. They both are the most popular ones, and one can’t be said to be better than the other. Stainless steel is made up of different components like chromium, iron, carbon, nickel, etc., and has a good resistant against rust. But, if sharpness is what you are looking for, then carbon steel should be your first choice as its sharpness wins over stainless steel. But taking carbon steel requires more care as it gets rusty and changes its color quickly.
What Is The Best Handle Type For A Hunting Knife?
After the blade, the handle is the second thing that you should check. A good or bad handle makes a big difference in usability. Hunting knives come in different types of handles, and one can choose according to their preference. A good handle is the one which is sturdy and fits well in both small and large hands. Flexible blade knives are known to have the most comfortable handles. Before you purchase a knife, make sure to properly check its grip — a handle which offers a good grip is safer and easy to use.
How To Choose The Best Sheath For a Knife?
A sheath is a close-fitting cover for the blade, so it only comes with fixed blade hunting knives. A good sheath matters a lot to avoid dangerous accidents. The purpose of the sheath is not just to prevent the user from getting injured, but it also keeps the knife protected. The most common sheath materials are leather, kydex, and nylon. Leather and kydex are advisable, whereas nylon is said to be the worst option. Leather sheaths are classic, and have been around for several years. They not only look good, but are durable. Kydex is a thermoplastic material which has gained popularity in recent years, what’s great about is, that it does not need a strap to hold it in place, which makes a good option for people who want to carry their knives with no such extra materials.
To help you buy the best knife for hunting, we have made a list of some of the best models, keeping different user preferences in mind.
Top 10 Knives Used For Hunting
Here is the 2020 list for the best knives that you can use while hunting. In no particular order.
ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handle Review
Looking for a hunting knife that is unique? Then the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles is what you should be looking at. This knife is not only different but also highly creative. The entire length of the fixed blade is 10 inches, made up of 1095 High Carbon Steel blade of 4.75 inches. The blade is clean, glistening, and has a black power finish, and because it is made of carbon, the edge has great sharpness for a long period of time. The handle of the knife is made up of high end Micarta, and the sheath is made up of Kydex, which has a sheath tensioner, a paraord lynord with lock, and a double dealing clip plate. The handle has grey scales, which can be removed with a washer included in the package. The kydex sheath is great for hunters looking for something non-traditional. The knife is highly durable and stands amongst the top tier hunting knives you’ll find in Knives Shops today. Everything about the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles speaks about quality. It is also good on the pocket, money wise, and comes with a warranty.
Puma SGB Skinner Stag Hunting Knife with Leather Sheath Review
Another great option for a fixed blade hunting knife is the SGB Skinner Stag from Puma, which offers great quality and stability. The entire knife is of 9.4 aches, and the blade rests at a good length of 4.7 inches. The design of the knife is what makes it such a catch, it has been handmade by several professional craftsmen, has a 440A German manufactured steel, a 55-57 Rockwell hardness rating, and weighs only 8.8 ounces which is just half a pound. The sheath of the knife is made out of leather, a good choice for those looking for something classic, and has a brown aniline finish with a vegetable tan. The knife includes a stag handle, but because of its size it is more suitable for people with large hands. Other prominent features includes brass lined lanyard holes and brass finger guards and pins. All parts of the knife guarantee high quality and durability. This knife has good performance, value for money, and a good size, making it an acceptable choice for many users.
Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife Review
Holding up the reputable company name of the Buck Knives, the 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is a great choice for hunters looking for something both traditional and modern. This knife is a remake of the old version which was made in the year 1962, and was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company. That is why “1964 50 years” has been added on the knife’s handle. If you have used the original version of the knife, then you will not be disappointed as this one has also been made with great perfection. The knife offers a 3 ¾ inch 420HC steel chip blade with a closed length of 4 7/8 inches. The handle is made from Dymonwood wood-grain and has polished bolsters. Although the knife has a folding blade with a locking mechanism, it still comes with a high quality leather sheath for comprehensive use. The knife weighs only 7.2 ounces, making it one of the lightest knife in the market. The knife is ideal for both heavy duty, and normal tasks. It comes with the Buck standard lifetime warranty, and comes out sharp right out of the box.\
Buck Knives 279 Folding Alpha Hunter Knife with Heavy Duty Sheath Review
If you want a hunting knife that is not expensive and offers great quality, then the Buck Knives 279 Folding Alpha Hunter Knife with Heavy Duty Sheath is what you should be looking at. This innovative hunting knife is a winner when it comes to affordable folding hunting knives. The entire length of the knife is 5 inches, with a 3.5 inch modified wide drop pint S30V stainless steel blade. It has a beautiful crafted design with a handle made of Rosewood Dymonwood, along with a lanyard hole. The knife only weighs 8 ounces which makes it easy to carry. One great feature of the knife that you cannot overlook is that it has a one-handed opening, which allows you to open the lock with a strong liner, and also has a traditional flat top edge for finger positioning. The knife comes with Buck life time warranty, and has several uses.
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife Review
If the knife’s appearance is what matters the most to you, then you will most likely not find anything better than the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife. A beautiful looking and reliable hunting knife which can be a good addition to any hunter’s collection. The length of the knife is 10.5 inches, out of which the 5.5 inch is a thick blade made of 1095 cro-van steel. The blade has a thickness of 1/4 inches, weighs up to 2 pounds, and has a 20-degree edge angle. The handle of the knife is made out of Grivory material, which has gained popularity in the industry. It also features lanyard holes which makes up for a nice addition. The sheath of the knife is made up of glass-filled nylon which does a decent job, but if the material could have been something else then it would have been a lot better.
Fallkniven NL4 Leather handle Plain Leather Sheath Review
If you are willing to spend some good amount of money, then don’t miss the chance of grabbing this amazing hunting knife by Fallkniven. This knife is packed with great features, offers durability, and has got the looks, but this is one of those hunting knives which may be good for one user, while not so good for the other. So, before you purchase it make sure it meets your requirements. It comes with a 5.12 fixed plain edge blade, laminated with VG10 steel at 4.48 inches, and also has a drop point. The handle of the knife is made out of high quality brown leather, and the leather sheath is of the same material. The knife can be used for various purposes. It comes dead sharp out of the box making it ready to use. With so many packed features, the knife only weighs 6.7 ounces, which is a great catch for users looking for a light weight knife. It comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty, but not as good as the Buck’s standard.
Boker Traditional Series Folding Hunter Knife with Jigged Bone Handle Review
The Boker Traditional Series Folding Hunter Knife with Jigged Bone Handle is not the best hunting knife out there, but it still makes it to the list because of its multi-functionality. The knife is a good piece of weapon to look at, with its 4.5 inch high carbon stainless steel blades and nickel silver secure slip joint lock, making it safe to use. Because it is a multipurpose knife, it uses a fingernail groove to open, which can be frustrating for users who are used to the one handed technology. When the knife closes, it measures 5 1/4 inches, making it easy to fit in most pockets. It has a brown Jagged Bone handle, and comes with a leather case. This knife may not be your go to option, but it is still a good piece to add to your collection.
Schrade 165OT Old Timer Fixed Blade Review
The Schrade 165OT Old Timer Fixed Blade is a 9 1/2 inch long hunting knife made up of a fixed high carbon stainless steel blade. It weighs 9.6 ounces so you can’t expect it to be very handy. The handle of the knife is more suitable for people with large hands, but would also do a decent job for anyone who has small hands. The handle has scales on it made out of standard nylon, so the quality is not very high. The knife is ideal for general hunting, skinning and preparation. It comes with a leather sheath, which gives it an old classic look. The Schrade name has its own reputation in the market, which promises durability and offers limited lifetime warranty. This hunting knife is not packed with many features, but at the price it comes, it is completely justified. The knife costs less than a movie ticket. So, if you are looking for something that works well and is light on the pocket then the Schrade 165OT Old Timer Fixed Blade is a great choice for you.
Buck Knives 337 Paradigm Pro Folding Knife Review
Here is another one of the Buck Knives on the list, and that is only because of the great quality this company offers. The Buck Knives 337 Paradigm Pro Folding Knife has a S30V steel blade of 3 ¼ inch drop point with a 4 3/8 closed length. The total weight of the knife is 4.8 ounces which makes it a winner of the lightest hunting knife on the list. The handle is CNC contoured G10, and comes with steel bolsters and a stainless steel reversible tip-up carry clip. For those users for whom safety matters the most, this knife is a good catch as it comes with a Shift Mechanism bolster lock. It comes with Buck standard lifetime warranty.
Cold Steel Voyager XL Tanto Plain Edge 29TXCT Review
The Cold Steel Voyager XL Tanto Plain Edge 29TXCT makes for a great hunting knife, whose best feature is its strength. The knife has a folding blade of a length of 5.5 inches, and a thickness of 4mm. The complete length of the knife when unfolded is 12 1/4 inches, making it one of the largest folding hunting knives, but it surprisingly only weighs 6.5 ounces which also makes it easy to hide away. The blade of the knife is of high quality and is extra wide as compare to most knives. It promises great safety as it comes with a tri-Ad lock mechanism, which is known to be one of the best low maintenance knife locks in the world. It is also packed with other good features like durability, great sharpness, and ambidextrous usage.
These are some of the best knives used for hunting. Read and understand what meets your preferences the most and then make a decision. All hunter knives has one thing in common — all of them are sharp. The more the sharpness, the better the knife.