The 12 Best Hunting Knife Reviews in 2018 – Buying Guide
Hunting and hunting knives are not new, and this passion goes back many centuries. It is tough to know how long the first use of a knife – but certainly in the Stone Age. Already at the time, a good knife was essential to good practice be it the cutting of the animals or the boning and cutting of the meat.
But you say that since that time, the structure of the hunting knife has not changed! Only materials have undergone a revolution. It was in America that we saw the birth of the first metal blade that we owe to Jim Bowie – hence the famous Bowie knife.
For many years, the world of the cutlery of hunting no longer experienced a change continuing the reputation of the Bowie. It was when the Swiss knife made its appearance that it had a little novelty. These foldable and multifunctional versions are always appreciated for the same reasons: their ergonomics and their compactness.
The last change in knife appears in the fifties with the Bourbon blade. As a reminder, this type of blade has the particularity of having a blade lower than its axis. It is now very common to be confronted with this type of blade.
Every good hunter has in his possession a hunting-knife. Like the gun, it is a tool that is indispensable to the practice of hunting. Do not even imagine going hunting without a knife! It’s a big mistake.
Although the knife is no longer the tool in charge of the abatement of a game, this one will allow the hunter to clean and cut an animal for the meat but also for that skin. There is therefore not a specific hunting knife but several types of knives. Before looking at these different types, let’s first see the utility of a best hunting knife.
CDS Survival has a relatively large stainless steel blade. With a length of 14.5 cm and a thickness of 5 mm, you will have no difficulty in overcoming any animal or any obstacle. It has been laser cut and then polished by hand to have perfect finishes.
Its total length is 27.5 cm, we deduce therefore that it is a good and big knife that we have there! But on top of that, it’s a model with a beautiful aesthetic.
Its excellent handle was made from an exotic wood of Cocobolo. This wood has the characteristic of being reddish brown and having purplish veins. The CDS Survival Celtibero is a very elegant knife that will appeal to all lovers of cutlery.
But his aesthetic does not end there. Knife enthusiasts will particularly like his carrying case since connoisseurs often tend to say that a good knife never goes without its leather case.
This case has been sewn by hand, and the leather is of outstanding quality. It is multi-position, i.e., it is possible to fix it horizontally and vertically on your belt. It is also equipped to support the two elements offered with the Cocobolo Celtibero.
Indeed, the knife comes with a firelight and a sharpening stone, which is rather appreciable! With all this little equipment, you can be sure not to miss anything.
This is very reasonable money side. It features a molded rubber handle, a sawn black blade, a fire starter, a diamond sharpener and a whistle.
Its total length is 25.4 cm and weighs about 317 gr. Although the knife is made in China, it is always a good thing to own in your collection.
The fact that he was accompanied by a fire starter and a sharpener was enough to get me out of the barrier. If you are looking for an “ultimate” hunting/survival knife, this toothed blade is made for you.
Not only does this knife seem very satisfactory, but it is true. One of the best hunting knives currently on the market, with excellent options.
If you are watching for an ultimate survival, hunting and camping blade, then you will not be disappointed with the Becker Companion. After all, it was designed by the famous mountain climber and the surviving Ethan Becker, that’s why it bears his name.
As for the design, it is nice. The handle is made from Grivory, and ensures a firm grip, feeling solid and heavy in hand, it’s very reassuring. Obviously, the most important part of the knife is the blade, and this blade is exceptional.
A 1095 Cro-Van steel blade that keeps its sharp edge for longer than most other knives, it is a thick, high-quality fixed blade that will not break or disengage from the handle.
The steel itself is solid, and there is no movement of the blade in the handle regardless of the hardness of the task that the knife has to perform. The blade measures 14 cm, Drop point type, with an angle of twenty degrees, making it perfect for anything you want to do.
Ranging from cutting onions to cutting wood, and slaughtering a deer you just hunt, this knife can do anything. This is one of the greatest hunting knives you can get, given its versatility and its sharp blade.
Delivered with a Buck Forever Warranty, the Buck Knives 119 manufactured in the United States have a large 15.24 cm clip blade made of 420HC steel for exceptional durability and longer edge strength sharp, so that you will not be cutting with a blunt knife during the most important hunting moments.
This best hunting knife has a total length of 26.67 cm to facilitate the cutting without a problem. This solidly fixed blade edge is designed for outdoor use, offering you an efficient cutting tool that does not contain inferior quality components that can make the blade unable to perform the desired tasks.
With a lightweight of 212g, this knife will make it easy to carry in a knife holder on your belt so you can have easy access. The leather case included in the package allows for a secure carrying in a bag or on your belt.
The black phenolic handle has an aluminum knob/guard that you can use for simple hammering and driving applications.
Sweden is a country where hunting and fishing are national sports but also great passions. You will infer logically that knives of Swedish origin have every interest to be of excellent quality. The Morakniv brand, for its part, is a little Swedish Opinel. Its knives are specially designed for hunting, fishing, and survival. Moreover, they are also known to be excellent value for money.
The Mora Companion MG Carbon knife is no exception. As you can get it with that name there, it’s a knife made from a carbon steel. Its hardness is 54/59 HRC. It is a robust model with a fixed blade of 10 cm. As for its thickness, I would say that it is 2.5 mm in sight. Its edge is rather good. The total length of this hunting knife is 22 cm.
It has a rubber sleeve that makes it non-slip. This best hunting knife is kind enough to take in hand – not to mention its maneuverability. It is, therefore, a tool that can be suitable for several types of activities: hunting and fishing of course, but also bushcraft.
If you know cutlery, you should know that carbon steel is oxidizable and therefore should be used with caution. Even if Mora Companion MG Carbon sharpens easily, it requires additional maintenance if you do not want your knife to rust.
It is therefore important to keep it as dry as possible. If you use it in a humid environment, you have a protective plastic sleeve and clips that will protect it from moisture. It is also feasible to attach the case directly to your belt.
Always think of always cleaning the blade after any activity, even if only pass with a small rag.
Made by the reference of the Swedish Morakniv knife, the Morakniv Craftline HighQ Robust Trade Knife is a carbon steel knife. There is thus a 9.1 cm and 3.2 mm thick rough and oxidizable blade. This Scandinavian type blade can make any cut and is ultra solid. It also sharpens very easily. It is a knife that will hold you for several years provided you maintain it well.
Carbon steel is not treated. The blade is, therefore, as mentioned above, oxidizable and must be dealt with. With regular maintenance and cleaning after each use, it should not be too much trouble.
Besides, if you want to bring Morakniv Craftline Trade Knife into wet environments as it can be in the forest or by the sea, do not be afraid.
Its protective sleeve will keep the knife dry. All you have to do is wash it off with a clean, dry cloth.
In addition to having a good edge, the Morakniv Craftline HighQ Robust Trade Knife does not leave much to be desired at the level of its outfit! Indeed, its handling is excellent, and this knife owes this to its handle very ergonomic of 12.1 cm.
But what’s special about it? Well, it’s its double-material coating that makes the difference! Combining rubber and plastic, the handle of the Robust knife holds perfectly in hand thanks to the non-slip effect.
Once it is finished, it can be stored very easily in its case, which itself can be attached to your belt. The Morakniv Craftline HighQ Robust Knife is, therefore, a very nice knife to use.
At only 15 cm in total length when open, it provides a thin knife for more comfort at the grip. A sophisticated stainless steel blade features five quick change functions, allowing users to do things other than skinning when using these knives on the outside.
The replacement blades are also pointed and an orange ABS plastic blade with a handle that is extremely comfortable, ergonomic, rusty and highly visible. A removable stainless steel pocket clip also offers simple storage solutions.
You will appreciate disposable blades, and the style of change fast and easy; It allows you to work with the ideal blade, depending on the task you wish to do. You will also appreciate the long blade length, which facilitates cutting, with less tipping of the blade.
A disadvantage is that it may not be as sharp as the products of other manufacturers, but the longer length of this type of knife makes this minor problem exceedable.
Apart from this, you will truly appreciate the design, length and sharp edge of this cutting knife.
Leatherman Crater Combo Blade is a dual function knife that I propose to discover today! It is, however, of better quality than the latter. This is the Leatherman Crater C33X version which is slightly different from its C33 version.
If you are passionate about knives or you’ve already done some research, you most certainly know Leatherman. This American company has specialized in pocket knife since 1983 and is known for its quality products.
The brand is also renowned in multifunctional tools. Besides, the Leatherman Crater knife fills its two images marvelously since it is a folding knife equipped with a bottle opener-carabiner.
This pocket hunting knife is called X thanks to its blade. Indeed, with a length of 6.6 cm, it is equipped with a smooth part and a rough part. This allows it to meet several needs such as cutting. It is used especially for a small game since this blade is a bit short for the big game. It can also be used to skin an animal.
The Leatherman Crater was made using stainless steel with beautiful finishes. Concerning its handle, it was made from fiberglass reinforced nylon.
Since it has a blade mixed, the sharpening of this knife is also done in two methods. For the smooth blade, you do not have any constraint; it is a sharpening of the most standard. But for the rough part, it is necessary to use a sharpener for the serrations.
When it comes to maintenance, you only need to ensure that you regularly lubricate your knife after cleaning and drying. If you have a problem with this knife, know that it is guaranteed 25 years by its manufacturer!
In addition to being a very good quality model, the Leatherman Crater C33X hunting knife is also a very ergonomic model. With a weight of 67 grams, it can be said that it is a rather lightweight and compact model since it is foldable.
Moreover, when folded, it is only 10 cm in length. It, therefore, holds easily enough in the pocket without disturbing.
It also has a leather case for storage. You can also hook it to your belt thanks to its carabiner.
As for its use, this knife is very fast to draw. When you hold it in your hand, you have only to place your thumb in the notch that is specially dedicated to him. Finally, it has a safety lock for the blade to avoid an accident.
9. Elk Ridge ER-059 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
Elk Ridge is a fairly recent brand, but it is slowly beginning to make a name for itself in the world of hunting knives. She is notably known for offering knives of quality at an affordable price but especially with a very beautiful aesthetic.
The Elk Ridge ER059 is equipped with an 8.57 cm stainless steel blade. It is built on the base of its blade, that is to say, that the handle is made up of two inserts of maple brushed screwed. The handle is therefore firmly attached, and there is no risk of play.
Unlike the majority of versatile bucks models shown here, this knife is a Skinner type design. It will allow you to dismember your game by taking care not to damage the meat as well as the organs.
The total length of the Elk Ridge ER059 is 17.78 cm, making it a medium-sized hunting knife, but enough to handle big game like a deer. It is easily transportable thanks to its leather sheath that clings to your belt.
But it is particularly at the design level that the Skinner Elk Ridge ER059 stands out from its competition. As mentioned earlier, this brand offers very sophisticated hunting knives. It is therefore without a doubt that this model is a breathtaking aesthetics.
Its blade has been carefully cut with a laser. Nothing extraordinary will tell you since almost all knife blades are cut this way. Except on this one, we see a small deer appear that is perfectly realized.
But this is not the only place where it can be seen. Indeed, when one takes his case of leather of very high quality also but mainly handmade, one notices there another deer engraved in the leather and another one on the closing button of the ” case.
When we look at the whole, we can only notice the perfect combo that brings us the Elk Ridge ER059 regarding design.
With an incredibly brilliant handle, you will never lose this knife; A stainless steel blade AUS 8 will not wear out easily, and a sharp cutting edge and rotating edge serves for dual use for outdoor use.
A durable nylon case, with a simple design, allowing you to pull the knife easily, the weight is light, 226 gr, easy to use in any use.
The warranty for defects is a bonus; it offers a quality finish added, users can count on this guarantee, knowing that they are covered if the knife is not satisfactory regarding design or outside use planned.
The Gut Hook is also a bonus that users enjoy; It avoids the need to have several separate tools and allows you to do everything with a single blade.
The stainless steel of the highest quality and the incredibly slim design allow easy cutting and ease of use, regardless of the animal or surface you want to cut.
One thing that was noticed however was the fact that changing the blades was a bit hard; And, in doing so, one must be extremely careful because the edge of the blade is so pointed, which is an excellent advantage for cutting and cutting fast and easy.
With a blade length of 7.62cm and a lightweight design of 62 gr, this knife is extremely tactical and easy to use. Secure cases allow you to wear them outside clothing without causing damage. The shape of the handle, with the G10 handle, allows you to lock the knife extremely quickly and easily, without being stuck to any material.
An extremely sharp edge, ideal for cutting, cutting or slicing, with ease. Users appreciate the robust design, the comfortable grip and the slaughtering capabilities of this knife. Also, the solid construction and the extremely comfortable grip make it ideal to hold in any situation, and for long periods without causing harm to the user.
As for the negative comments, the only negative complaints were that the knife was not manufactured in the United States.
All in all, you will appreciate the sturdy, lightweight design, and the comfortable handle, which makes most outdoor cutting activities incredibly easy and quick to achieve, with the sharp-edged handle and the mini-serrated edges this knife must offer users.
As I announced in the title, the JCH KT35 is a knife with a blade of 7.6 cm which is more or less short. It can be used for small game hunting, but its effectiveness will certainly be more recognized in the field of fishing or outdoor. Its 3 mm thick still makes it a solid model.
Its handle is quite long since it measures 10.2 cm. It is made using a rosewood that makes it pleasant to touch but also pleasant to look at. It is a beautiful knife that holds well in hand.
Moreover, the JCH KT35 has thumb slots on each side, which makes its use ambidextrous. This is quite rare since hunting knives usually have only the right-hand positions.
In the end, this knife has a locking system in the open position as well as in the closed position which reinforces its ergonomics.
Even if the JCH KT35 is a knife that will seem to you more gadget or for the collection, its quality does not remain to be desired.
Designed in stainless steel, it is a knife that can hold you several years without maintenance. Moreover, it is delivered perfectly sharpened. You can notice this thanks to its cutting quality.
In terms of its manufacture, it is impeccable. Its finishes are impeccable, and its assembly is very solid. There is no game between the parties what one might dread when buying a folding knife.
Finally, the JCH KT35 has been perfectly designed to ensure that the blade does not touch the handle when folded. Thus, no part degrades with time!
First of all, if you do not already know, there are several kinds of hunting knives and each type has a different purpose. This is why most hunters are equipped with two or three knives. However, you will also discover that some knives will allow you to carry out any manipulation. So here’s all you must to know about hunting knives!
The Bowie type knife is a very old style that was designed by the American James Bowie. It is recognized thanks to its fixed blade ranging from 10 to 30 cm and its handle in bone. It has a raised point that is useful for the cutting of an animal. As for the other side of the blade, it will be perfect for cutting the pieces of meat.
Like the Bowie knife, the skinning knife, also known as Skinner, is used to cut the skin without tearing it. It is a painstaking task; the blade must not belong but fine enough. In general, the tip is rising. It is also imperative that it be perfectly sharpened to avoid damage to the skin.
Skinning Blade for the Head
As the name suggests, the head skinning knife serves not only to tear the skin of the game but also to keep the neck, shoulders, and chest intact the shot of the animal. The goal is to make it a beautiful hunting trophy! It is a delicate step; it requires a little experience. I advise you to inquire before performing a stripping of the head.
This knife is specially designed to remove the meat from a carcass without worry and damage. Its blade is thicker than conventional knives. It is also important that it be short and very rigid. Several forms of boning knives can be adapted to different types of carcasses.
Unlike Skinner-type knives, evisceration knives consist of removing the viscera, and therefore the organs, from an animal without perforating them. Stripping an animal is an important operation since you can not leave a game with organs in it, it risks contaminating the meat and making it inedible.
These knives have the specialty and the obligation to have a curved part to carry out evisceration. Its point is used to open the animal delicately. They are also used to clean fish.
This knife can be combined with the butcher knife. It allows the cutting of the meat in a clean way. It is a general a large knife with a good thickness and a rigid handle.
Daggers are known by several names as daggers or even a knife drop point. They are long and fine blades. They serve to pierce the heart of the game without damaging the skin and the viscera. It is a type of knife that hunters particularly appreciated for its effectiveness. It is recommended to the beginner hunter!
In the end, the versatile knife is the one I talked about the most. It is also known as camping knife or Buck. Depending on the model, it can be used to perform several operations such as cutting, drafting or boning an animal.
Criteria to Consider Before Buying a Hunting Knife
A hunting knife is not a simple knife; it is even less a toy, it is an object which must be of an almost irreproachable efficiency. Although it can help you in your tasks, you must keep in mind that it can also save you in case of danger.
Hunting is a passion, and it is especially serious! The hunting knives must therefore also be. Hazards can happen very quickly if the equipment is not of quality. So here are my criteria for choosing the best hunting knife. Attention this obviously depends on your needs! Your colleague will not necessarily be the same!
The Type of Hunting
The first thing to do before choosing your knife is to define your type of hunt. Be aware that there are various kinds of hunting but in France, only some of these types are regulated. Here are the most common!
Large game hunting is a hunt that includes large or large animals. Among these are wild boar, deer, chamois, moufflon and Isard. It requires the biggest knives except for the remains that require a knife neither too large nor too small at the risk of damaging the meat.
Among the small game, one understands, therefore, all the smaller animals like the rabbits, the hares, the pheasants, the woodcocks or the partridges. These small animals do not require very long knives.
Waterfowl refers to wild aquatic birds such as ducks, goose, wader, or Galliformes. For this kind of game, I advise you to bring both types of knife depending on the size of the animal.
Okay, fishing is not really hunting. But hunting knives are also used in this area. Small knives will be enough for this type of activity!
As you have understood, each type has the right to its model. There are also other types of hunting, if you do not have too much to which you must categorize, I advise you to choose a more versatile knife as is the case of Celtibero! But I’m not proceeding to lie to you. In general, hunters purchase several types of knives.
There are dozens of different materials for the manufacture of hunting knives. The choice of good material is together since it is this one that will testify to the quality of the knife that it is at the level of a blade as the handle.
On the side of the blades, there is mainly a steel composition, then an alloy is added. Stainless steel and carbon are the two most commonly used alloys.
Stainless steel is widely known for its strength and durability, especially in wet environments. Moreover, it remains sharpened longer which can be useful if you use it regularly. I, therefore, advise the stainless steel knives if you want a knife that does not ask that you take care of it too.
Carbon steel is known for being easier to sharpen but also for its more precise cutting. However, carbon steel blades are likely to rust if not well maintained.
In the sleeves, there are also different types of materials such as plastic, wood, aluminum or fiberglass. There are no great differences except that some are more aesthetic than others.
The frequency of use of your hunting knife also plays a major role in its choice. Indeed, it is especially at the level of quality that you will have to look. For regular use, I advise you to choose a high-quality and resistant hunting knife. If the use is occasional, a model with good value for money should be enough.
The interview meets a bit all the previous criteria. Before choosing a knife but also to be satisfied with your choice, you must think about the maintenance.
It’s like cars, what good is it to choose an exception if it’s not to pay attention? But this applies, particularly to carbon steel hunting knives. These knives are, in my opinion, better billed when they are maintained.
But on the different hand, if you ignore the interview, it can also become one of your worst knives! The question is: Are you willing to maintain and pay attention to your knife? The amateurs will say yes since they love them.
A carbon steel knife must be maintained after each use and must be protected from moisture. If you do not want to spend time maintaining your knives, then prefer stainless steel which they can last for years without maintenance.
Folding or Not
There are different types of knives as I explained to you a little higher. Large, long, heavy, thin, shorter, but also folding.
Folding knives are most often pocket knives. They are however appreciated for their ease of transport since they are more compact and lighter. However, by choosing a folding knife, you often limit the performance since there will be very simple and small knives.
There are several selection criteria relating to the sheath. First of all, not all knives are necessarily supplied with their protective sleeve but still have a belt clip directly on their sleeve. Choose according to which one corresponds the most to your mode of hunting and which one puts you most at ease.
Then come the different materials of a sheath of which one finds mainly the leather “the traditional” or the plastic “the version lower range” – finally it depends only on your personal opinion. Regarding protection, it is relatively equivalent. It is simply important to check that the blade is well protected and that the case holds well at the level of the belt.
How to Properly Maintain a Hunting Knife?
To close this page, I suggest you know a little more about the maintenance of your hunting knife. When buying a knife, it is important to take care of it.
However, as I have already explained, some models require more maintenance than others. Moreover, to get an idea, the maintenance can depend on several factors: the alloy in which the blade is manufactured, its fineness, or even if your knife is foldable for example. Here is how to maintain your knife without damaging it!
Always clean the blade after use
Always wipe the blade after cleaning
Ensure the quality of the cutting edge before use
Practice sharpening on an old knife if you do not know how to do it
Keeping your knife dry
Not to Do
Do not put in the dishwasher!
Never leave a damp knife
Avoid soaking a handle, especially of wood
Never use a knife for anything different than cutting, it is not a hammer or a screwdriver
Now that you have a base of things to do or not to do, I suggest you discover the interview on a case by case basis!
Stainless steel is a steel that is coveted enough for the good reason that it is easier to maintain. It is also sharpened longer and does not fear oxidation thanks to its stainless steel alloy.
However, it is harder to sharpen and long. It is necessary to take care to wipe it before storing it in its sheath. If you do not have anything to clean it, wipe it off simply with your clothes or with leaves of trees. You can clean it later.
In contrast, carbon steel is a harder material and easier to sharpen. Moreover, it makes it possible to achieve a better cut. The problem with carbon steel is that it is very sensitive to moisture.
You must make sure that it is always clean and dry. The slightest residue is likely to oxidize your blade. It is not recommended to put this blade in direct contact with the water or to soak it. For storage, be sure to store it in a dry place.
The folding knife requires maintenance also at the level of its blades. You can refer to the two previous tabs for this. But it is also important to keep it dry for another reason: its mechanics.
If your folding system starts to rust, hello the dangers. It is therefore important to never soak it, never leave it wet and keep it dry. To clean it, it is simply wiped with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth.
Special Blade Knife
Some forms of blades such as notched blades, for example, require a slightly different sharpening than the traditional one. Before starting this operation, check that the sharpener matches your blade type. It would be a pity to leave your pretty knife there!
Sharpening with Stone
Sharpening with stone is, in my opinion, the most effective. There are several kinds of stones: the water stone and the oil stone. At the level of the models, I advise you the Japanese stones, the Belgian coticules but the best stones remain most certainly the stone of Arkansas.
To sharpen your knife with a stone, you must first soak it in water or oil according to its nature. It is then important to fix it. Some models offer small wooden bases that are relatively useful.
If this is not the case, its position must remain intact when sharpening. Otherwise, it can be very dangerous. Be sure to find an effective blocking means so that it does not move anymore.
Once your stone is fixed, position your knife as if you were going to cut the stone, incline it between 20 ° C and 30 ° C on the right side and then forcefully push your knife forward.
When the blade is blunt, it is called sharpening the blade in about twenty times. The number of recoveries depends on the condition of your blade. You must then reproduce the same process on the other side of the cutting edge.
The hardest part in sharpening is always to keep the same angle. This is why you must train on old knives beforehand.You can place your available hand along the length of the top of the blade to help maintain the angle. It is important to test the blade wire as you sharpen it, but also to remove the deposits.
Sharpening remains the same regardless of blade material, size or type (fixed or foldable). The only form counts. I advise you to oil your blade with a drop of oil at the end.
Now that you know how to sharpen your hunting knife, I will give you some tips! Personally, I pay a lot of attention to my knives. And I advise you to do it too. A blunt knife is much more dangerous than a sharp knife since it is likely to lose its direction. You never know where he can land.
Moreover, when a blade is well-blunted, catching it at the sharpener is a job that can be very long and tedious. What I do is that I need the time to re-sharpen my blade regularly if not after each use. A few small shots are enough.
This allows to have a blade always at the top of its performance and avoids me the long work of sharpening. I also make sure to oil my knives regularly and check them out.
As for the storage, they are tidy and hung in my living room. This allows first to contemplate them, but also to keep them dry and within reach of nobody. I do not want to risk damaging them or endangering anyone.
This technique is rather simple and effective, I have never had problems with my knives and that is why I recommend it to all.
Finally, you may not be good at sharpening. If even after training on your old knives, you still do not manage to have a sharp blade, do not despair either. If I can reassure you, many hunters neglect their knives because they are bored by this task. You can always go for a lap in hardware.