Best Hunting Knife: 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

Hunting can be much fun and enjoyable but it can also be stressful when done without the right tools such as a hunting knife. With a hunting knife, you get to dress and skin game in the field. Also, it can help with survival if the need arises. In this article, we will review the top 10 models on the market and also prepare a buying guide to help you identify the best hunting knife. 

Top 10 Best Hunting Knife

Our team of experts embarked on thorough research and consulted the best knife smiths to identify the best hunting knives available on the market. Below, we will review the top 10 knives they’ve identified. 

1 – Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife (Best Pick 🥇)

Are you looking for a reliable hunting knife that can help you survive the toughest environments? This knife is just right for you. Featuring a 4.75-inch drop-point blade, versatility is assured. Also, this blade is half-serrated so as to enable easy and fast cutting of rope as well as other fibrous materials you may encounter when hunting. With a full-tang and high carbon stainless steel construction, this blade also promises overall durability and sharp edge retention. 

When it comes to easy handling, this hunting knife doesn’t disappoint with a rubber handle that’s made to protect against slippage. In addition, the base of this handle features a pommel made of stainless steel that can help to pound or hammer. 

Furthermore, this knife comes with a nylon sheath that is made from military-grade, lightweight materials to help protect your hunting tool efficiently. Also, with the sheath is a fire starter rod that can be very beneficial when hunting. 

Key Features

  • Half-serrated edge
  • High Carbon Stainless Steel blade
  • Drop-point blade
  • Rubber handle
  • Stainless steel pommel
  • Fire Starter
  • Nylon sheath

Pros

  • Comes with reliable and durable blade
  • Blade has excellent edge retention
  • Easy to handle
  • Features a sheath for safe storage

Cons

  • Sheath is not durable

2 – KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

This Ka-bar knife is another hardworking hunting tool that can be used to pry apart joints and skin game. It boasts of a durable and reliable 1095 cro-van steel blade that makes it the ideal hunting companion. With a drop-point shape and a 20-degree angle, this blade is quite efficient. 

Also, this knife features a comfortable handle that is crafted from Grivory, thus providing a convenient and balanced grip for your hunting tasks. With this handle, you get to use your hunting tool with ease and zero inconvenience that can hamper performance. 

In addition, this knife comes with a nylon sheath that is present to keep your blade sharp and safe at all times. This sheath sports an impressive locking mechanism that ensures your tool locks into place for optimum safety. 

Key Features

  • Cro-van steel blade
  • Drop-point blade 
  • Comfortable handle
  • Glass-filled nylon sheath

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Blade is durable
  • Handle gives a comfortable grip
  • Features sheath for safety

Cons

  • Sheath is not reliable

3 – Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

This fixed blade knife boasts of several enabling features to ensure you have a smooth hunting session. It features a 6-inch clip point 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel that promises excellent strength, corrosion resistance, and edge retention for impressive durability. With this blade, you can do detail work, pierce, and cut in tight places, thus making it quite versatile. 

This knife also promises a comfortable balance and grip with the hardwood Cocobolo handle. Thanks to the palm swells on this handle, you get a comfortable and convenient grip for easy use. Apart from the handle, there’s also a brass pommel that provides the ideal combination of balance and beauty. 

In addition, this knife is quite easy to carry on your hunting trip thanks to the included high-quality leather sheath accompanied with a snap fastener. With an integrated belt loop, you get to carry your hunting tool safely and securely on your belt. Also, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty that boosts your confidence to invest in this product. 

Key Features 

  • Fixed blade
  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Corrosion-resistant blade
  • Classic hardwood handle
  • Brass pommel
  • Leather sheath

Pros

  • Blade is strong and reliable
  • Blade is corrosion-resistant
  • Features safe and secure leather sheath
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Handle is poorly designed

4 – Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

This knife is another impressive companion to keep when on a hunting trip with several impressive applications. With this product, you can easily carve tinder to help with starting a fire. Also, this tool is your ideal solution when it comes to chopping small limbs, prepping tinder, and carving tools that can help with ease of hunting and survival. Featuring a 4.1-inch Swedish Sandvik 12C27 steel blade, preparing delicate hunting foods is easier with this product thanks to its filleting and skinning capabilities. This high quality steel blade promises exceptional toughness, corrosion resistance, and great edge performance, thus enabling razor sharpness with a high hardness rating of HRC 56-58. 

With a high-friction, patterned grip, this knife’s handle performs well in cold and wet conditions. While sitting comfortably in your hand, you get better control, performance, safety for the best of experience. 

Furthermore, this knife comes with a hard, color-matching plastic sheath to help keep the tool safe and secure. It features a drain hole and a belt clip to ensure convenient carrying. Also, this manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty to boost your confidence in the product. 

Key Features

  • Fixed blade
  • Swedish Sandvik 12C27 steel
  • High friction grip
  • Plastic sheath

Pros

  • Blade has exceptional sharpness and toughness
  • Corrosion-resistant blade
  • Handle works well in any weather condition
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Blade may chip quickly

5 – Columbia River Knife & Tool Hunt’N Fisch Fixed Blade Knife 

If you’re on the market for an efficient knife that makes hunting much easier, this product is an ideal choice for you. It comes with an 8Cr13Mov steel blade of length, 2.99 inches, and thickness, 0.13 inches. With a satin finish, you get a shiny and quite sharp blade tough enough for the hardest of cutting tasks. 

Moreover, the manufacturer designed this knife with several friction grooves along its spine for excellent blade control. There’s also a multicolored, stylish G10 handle in place to complement the grooves. Hence, you can be able to get excellent performance out of this product when hunting. 

In addition, this knife comes with a high-quality leather sheath that can be strapped to your belt with an incorporated belt loop. Therefore, you’re presented with an easily accessible tool that stays safe and secure when not in use. Meanwhile, the manufacturer also offers a limited lifetime warranty to cover any defect in workmanship or materials.

Key Features

  • Fixed blade
  • 8Cr13Mov steel blade
  • Plain edge
  • G10 handle
  • Leather sheath

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Handles give great control
  • Sheath ensures safety
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Sheath is not too secure

6 – Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016-2 Compact Fixed Hunting Knife 

As a hunter, getting your hands on this knife will be a dream come true thanks to its simplicity and unmatched function. It is capable of several tasks on the hunting field. With this compact knife, you can save space and process your harvest effectively. It boasts of American-made CPM-S30V (58-60 HRC) steel that promises corrosion resistance and excellent edge retention. Also, the drop-point shape with a wide radius ensures that the 2.78-inch blade excels at meat removal and skinning. 

With this hunting knife, you get a stabilized and balanced wood handle crafted from a composite material backfilled with resin. In fact, when it comes to strength, this wood is superior to natural wood. Hence, it can stand up to various harsh environments and elements. 

Furthermore, the fixed blade, full tang construction ensures great stability when in use while the leather sheath ensures easy access and secure storage when not in use. With an incorporated lanyard hole on the knife’s handle, you also get different carry options. 

Key Features

  • Fixed blade
  • CPM-S30V steel blade
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Full tang construction
  • Wood handle
  • Leather sheath
  • Lanyard hole

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Blade has impressive edge retention
  • Strong and reliable handle
  • Sheath provides secure storage

Cons

  • Sheath may be a bit difficult to use

7 – Gerber Strong-arm Fixed Blade Coyote Brown FE 30-001058

This is another hunting knife we can vouch for thanks to its many survival applications. Made from 420HC steel, the incorporated blade features a full tang construction and plain cutting edge with black ceramic coating. No doubt, this 4.88-inch blade is very useful for cutting through several elements. Designed with military survival training fundamentals, this product is the ideal tool for survival when hunting. 

Moreover, this knife utilizes a diamond-textured rubber grip to ensure comfortable handling. Hence, this tool can be used easily and conveniently. Also, it adds a lanyard hole and striking pommel at its base for multiple carry options and hammering purposes. 

In addition, this knife features a versatile sheath system that allows the option of horizontal carry, vertical carry, or a traditional drop-leg mount. Therefore, the ease of use is assured. 

Key Features

  • Fixed blade
  • 420HC steel blade
  • Plain edge
  • Full tang construction
  • Rubberized grip
  • Modular sheath system
  • Striking pommel
  • Lanyard hole

Pros

  • Very reliable
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Blade may chip easily

8 – ESEE 5P Black Tactical Survival Knife 

This survival knife has everything it takes to handle the roughest survival conditions, thus making it the ideal hunting knife that exudes confidence. It features a blade that is crafted from 1095 high carbon steel and promises reliable performance. Apart from that, with a full tang construction, this 5.25-inch blade is coated with black powder for increased durability. Also, for an excellent thumb grip, it features jimping on its spine. 

Furthermore, the handle of this knife is made from tan Micarta canvas to ensure a convenient grip and handling. Not only that, but the incorporated pommel also features a glass breaker, underlining this product’s versatility. In addition, this tool comes with a durable polymer-molded sheath that possesses a removable clip for easy access and secure storage. 

Meanwhile, you should know that it’s not safe to clean this knife with a dishwasher, but rather wash with your hands and dry to avoid rusting. 

Key Features

  • High carbon steel blade
  • Full tang construction
  • Polymer-molded sheath
  • Micarta handle
  • Pommel

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to grip
  • Sheath ensures safe storage

Cons

  • Handle is a bit bulky

9 – HELLE Knives – Folkekniven – Sandvik 12C27 Stainless Steel – Traditional Field Knife 

This knife is another great tool for hunting thanks to its impressive build. It sports a 3.5-inch blade crafted from non-laminated Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel with extraordinary edge retention, thus enabling high hardness, razor sharpness, corrosion resistance, and exceptional toughness. Hence, this tool is built to perform and last for a long period of time.  

Also, this knife fits conveniently in the hand thanks to the impressive handle made from curly birch. Apart from its comfortable fit, this handle is quite durable for years of assured grip. 

In addition, this knife features a leather sheath that helps to keep it safe when not in use. This sheath is coated with saddle grease to ensure increased durability and luster. Therefore, your safety and that of your knife are guaranteed. 

Key Features

  • Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel
  • Curly birch handle
  • Leather sheath

Pros

  • Durable
  • Blade is very sharp
  • Blade is corrosion-resistant
  • Convenient to handle

Cons

  • Sheath doesn’t last long

10 – Havalon Piranta-Edge Blaze Orange Handle 12 Additional Crazy Sharp Blades

This knife is the last product on our list and it also promises great performance. It features a stainless steel blade that is very sharp and cuts with ease. This blade is ideal for dressing game and filleting fish, making it a great companion for hunting trips. Also, this product comes with 12 additional 60A blades for adequate replacement when needed. With the blade removal tool, you can easily replace a blade. 

Furthermore, this knife features a liner-lock construction that ensures the blade stays secure to ensure your safety. Apart from that, a pocket clip is included to ensure easy transportation. With this clip, you can carry the tool in your pocket. 

In addition, this tool features a blaze orange handle that boasts of an ergonomic grip, thus making it quite easy to use. 

Key Features

  • Stainless steel blade
  • 12 additional 60A blades
  • Orange handle
  • Liner-lock construction
  • Pocket clip

Pros

  • Extremely sharp blade
  • Comes with 12 replacement blades
  • Easy to carry
  • Offers ergonomic grip

Cons

  • Blade may fall off easily

Buying Guide For The Best Hunting Knife

There are several knives available on the market but not all of them can serve your hunting needs, hence the need to have the right details so you can buy the right hunting knife. After consulting the best knifesmiths and experienced hunters, we got to know more about the most important features to look out for to help you buy the best hunting knife. With the right information and guide, you will get to buy the right model for your hunting trips. 

Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Hunting Knife

Several features make up the best hunting knives and there are some important features that distinguish each model from the other. Below, we will examine the most important factors to consider when in the market for the best hunting knife so as to ensure that you make an informed choice. 

Folding Blade or Fixed Blade

Hunting knives feature either folding or fixed blades. With a folding knife, you get a portable and safer tool that can be carried around without any fear of injury. However, it can be limited when it comes to heavy-duty works like perfect skinning jobs. It is not as durable or strong as its counterparts.

On the other hand, fixed blades are ideal for smoother skinning jobs as well as other heavy-duty tasks. With them, you get more reliable knives that won’t break or loose easily. However, carrying them with a sheath can be less portable and bulkier compared to their folding counterparts. But we still recommend fixed knives thanks to their overall superiority. 

Size

No one enjoys working with a tool that is incompatible with the task. You sure don’t want a too-big or too-small knife, you want a model with the right size for your intended purposes. Therefore, the type of game you often hunt should guide your choice of size. The bigger the game, the bigger the knife should be for efficiency. While a 6-inch blade may be ideal for hunting big games and a 3 – 3.5-inch blade may be great for hunting small games, it’s still up to you to make a choice based on your preference and how convenient you find a certain size. 

Blade Style

There are three main types of blade design and they are skinning blade, clip point, and drop point as seen in our reviewed products. A drop point blade is usually thick and curved, making it ideal for skinning game in no time. The clip point blade, on the other hand, looks like a part of it is clipped off, and is flatter and thinner with a well-defined point. It can be used for puncturing but is better used for general purposes. Lastly, skinning blades, just like their name suggests, are specialty blades that are specially designed for skinning medium to big prey. While the type you use is also based on your preference, we favor the drop point blade because it offers durability and more control to protect against nicks. 

Blade Material

Blades are made of different steel materials that determine their efficiency in the field. Also, the type of steel determines how easy it is to sharpen your knife and how great it can hold an edge. The best steel materials promise toughness, corrosion & tear resistance, and high edge retention. Below, we will examine some of the best materials used in the best hunting knives. 

The VG-10 steel is a high wear-resistant stainless steel with great edge retention as well as impressive corrosion resistance. 

The 154CM steel is also a high wear-resistant stainless steel with more thinner blades and more ideal for the smaller knives. 

The S30V steel is a high-end, high-vanadium material with great resistance against rust and wear. Also, it is tough and a bit hard to sharpen but retains an edge better than several other blades made of other materials. 

Lastly, the 420HC is medium-carbon stainless steel that is highly corrosion-resistant but is not as hard compared to other types, thus making it quite easy to sharpen. This material’s edge retention level is also mid-range. 

Handle

Before using any tool, the first thing to do it hold it. An uncomfortable handle can be a disaster because it makes your job harder and the case isn’t different here with a hunting knife. You want a knife with an ergonomic, non-slip handle that won’t slip even in wet conditions. This ensures you can dress or skin game with more comfort. You should ensure you pick an ergonomic handle that will stay comfortably in your hand. 

Sheath

If you are going for a fixed blade knife then this is a feature you need to pay attention to. A sheath can help to protect you and your knife from damaging elements, thus allowing easy carry. You should strongly consider a sheath made of leather because of its durability. 

Advantages Of Hunting Knife

  • You can use it for butchering tasks
  • It can be used for skinning game
  • It’s great for preparing and handling food
  • It is the perfect tool if you want to survive in the wild
  • It can be used for trimming and tearing clothes

Disadvantages Of Hunting Knife

  • It can cause injury if not handled properly
  • It can be difficult to maintain

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best knife for deer hunting?

Deer hunting can be fun and very exciting. When you catch a game, there’s a need for a razor-sharp knife to do the skinning job. When it comes to skinning a deer, a kitchen knife will find it quite difficult to do the job, hence the need for a sharper, specialist hunting knife. Most of the products on our list are suitable for hunting and skinning deer thanks to their extremely sharp, tough, and durable blades. Just like the Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife, the best knife for deer hunting should possess excellent strength, corrosion resistance, and edge retention for impressive durability.

What should I look for in a hunting knife?

The ideal hunting knife possesses several features and qualities that ensure optimum performance. When looking to buy a hunting knife, you should look for an option with a fixed blade for better performance. Also, you should ensure the size you’re buying is commensurate with the type of game you’ll be hunting. In addition, you should look for a knife with the right blade material and comfortable handle.

How long should a hunting knife be?

You surely don’t want to cut yourself when using your hunting knife. With a long knife, you run the risk of cutting yourself due to lesser control. A longer knife offers less control and precision when compared to a shorter knife. Also, when you’re dealing with the inside of a game, a long knife can be quite difficult to maneuver and can even cut your fingers. On the other hand, a much shorter knife can be hard to grip, thus reducing your leverage when cutting. Therefore, you should think of the most common tasks you plan to use the knife for to ensure you buy just the right size for it. We recommend you consider a blade length of between three and six inches.

What is the best steel for a hunting knife?

The type of steel alloy your blade is made of is essential to how well your hunting experience is; good or bad. There are two basic categories of steel and they are carbon steel and stainless steel. The carbon steel is easier to maintain and retains an edge better. But it’s not as durable as its counterpart in performance as it is more prone to discoloration and rust. The stainless steel, on the other hand, possesses high chromium to prevent oxidation from causing rust, thus protecting the blade. It doesn’t maintain an edge as well, hence the need to sharpen it more. Overall, we favor stainless steel because it requires less maintenance and less likely to rust.

Who makes the best skinning knife?

While there are many brands with very efficient products on the market, Benchmade seems to be the manufacturer with the best skinning knife. It sports quite powerful and durable stainless steel to ensure efficient skinning. If you’re looking to achieve the perfect skinning jobs, you should consider a knife from Benchmade.

Final Verdict

Hunting knives abound on the market but not all of them ensure smooth hunting experience. In this article, we reviewed some of the best models on the market, highlighting their top functions. When looking to buy the best hunting knife, you should consider a model with a reliable steel, comfortable handle, and the right size. Hence, you get to experience enjoyable and memorable hunting sessions.