Best Hunting Knife Reviews for Hunting Enthusiasts – 2017 Edition
After reviewing multiple hunting knives across various different brands, we think the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike is the best hunting knife for most people, while the Fallkniven No 4 Frej is a superb but costlier alternative. If you're tight on budget, Buck Knives 110BRS might be what you're looking for.
Any hunter would not be foolish enough to head to the woods armed without essential tools like a hunting knife. This is a type of knife that is particularly used for skinning the animal.
The hunting knife is not your ordinary knife. It is designed particularly for cutting, with its single sharpened edge. It has a slightly curved blade for that purpose, and some models have a straight portion that is designed for cutting slices of meat.
When shopping for a hunting knife, you’ll have to consider the type of animals you desire to hunt. Obviously, a hunter on the lookout for a bear will use a knife different from someone who hunts rodents. Bringing an oversized knife can make cleaning harder and worse, increase the risks of cutting yourself.
Best Hunting Knife - Our Choices
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Top 10 Hunting Knives
So what is the best hunting knife today? The word ‘best’ is tricky, as a hunting knife may be the best for one user but not exactly great for another.
Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you pick your hunting knife from any in this list:
ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles
The main selling point of this hunting knife is its Micarta handles. Micarta is known for its durability and strength, aside from providing a good grip.
Aside from having Micarta handles, the knife is made of superior quality, 1095 high carbon steel that measures 4.75 inches. The handle is around 5.25 inches, giving the knife a total length of 10 inches.
Going back to the blade, it has a black powder finish that further prevents corrosion. It’s a sleek and attractive blade, but strong and thick enough to take on any task.
If there’s any beef that you may have with this hunting knife, it would have to be the relatively short handle. But overall, this is one of the best hunting knives today.
Ka Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife
Quick trivia on this knife - it was designed by knife maker, mountain climber and chef Ethan Becker. The man is the same guy who designed blades for the now-defunct Camillus. And that good reputation of Becker is in full display in this fixed blade knife, with its ergonomically designed handle and beautifully designed blade.
This Ka-Bar unit has a 5.5 inch blade made of 1095 cro-van steel. The handle is about the same length; measuring 5 inches. T
he blade is of a drop point design, with a 20-degree angle.The blade is rugged, with a thickness of about ¼ of an inch. It weighs 2 pounds, which isn’t lightweight by any standard but it looks durable enough to hold up wel for many years.
The only problem with this knife is its nylon, glass-filled sheath. It would have been better if Ka-Bar used a higher grade sheath instead. The sheath is also a bit heavy at 1.5 pounds.
Puma Skinner Stag Handle Blade Hunting Knife, 4.7-Inch
Puma is one of the top makers of hunting knives, having been doing so since 1769. All that experience is evident in this 4.7 inch fixed blade hunting knife that is highly recommended for its sturdiness and sharpness.
With a total length of 9.4 inches (including the handle), this is one capable hunting knife. Its blade is made from 440A German manufactured steel, which can resist corrosion while being able to cut through any skin. What’s more amazing is that it is generally lightweight at a less than a pound.
Included in the package is a leather sheathe with a nice, brown finish. There are also stag handles, brass finger pins and guards, and lanyard holes. But what you may notice right away is that the handle is quite large, which means it is designed for users with meatier hands.
That’s why you’d rather check this one out at retail stores so that you will determine if it fits your hands well.
Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife
One of the lightest hunting knives you can find in the market today, the 110BRS from Buck Knives comes in at just 7.2 ounces. With such a lightweight design, this the hunting knife that you can carry around in your backpack.
The knife has a 3.7 inch steel chip blade. When it is closed, the knife measures just a shade under 5 inches. Included in the package is a high quality , leather sheath to protect the knife. The blade itself has a working locking mechanism. The wooden handle has polished bolsters, with a natural wood grain.
Interestingly, the first version of this knife came out as early as 1962. The latest model has an emblem that reads “1964 50 years” to commemorate the storied history of the company.
With a good design and reasonable price tag, this Buck Knives folding hunter knife is definitely a keeper.
Fallkniven No 4 Frej Fixed Blade Knife, 5.125in, Stainless Blade, Stacked Leather Handle
This is a fairly expensive hunting knife, but you’ll realize that you’re getting your money’s worth with this product.
The blade, for one, is made of VG10 steel. It is a superior Japanese chef steel that is considered the gold standard among chef steels. It is easy to sharpen, and remains sharp for a long, long time. The 4.48 inch long blade is held together by a brown leather handle.
Another noticeable feature of the blade is that it is only 6.7 ounces in weight, or less than a pound. It makes transport of the blade even more convenient, without sacrificing sharpness and durability.
The sheath of the knife isn’t the best, however, as users complain that it can be tough to pull the knife out of it. But that is the only issue you will likely have with this premium hunting knife. Overall, this is a pretty solid tool that you would want to take in your next camping trip.
Buck Knives S30V Steel Blade 0277RWS1 Folding Alpha Hunter Knife
Most traditionalists aren’t fond of folding hunting knives, but that perception may be shattered once they try this one from Buck Knives.
This is an eight ounce knife that measures only 5 inches when closed. It’s the perfect camping companion as you can easily hide it in your pockets or bag. Upon opening the knife, a 3.5-inch blade made of S30V stainless steel greets you. The blade is incredibly rugged and sharp.
Another characteristic of this Buck Knives folding hunter knife is its excellent Rosewood Dymonwood handle. It has a lanyard hole that further makes storage and carriage of the hunting knife convenient. There’s a one-handed opening that quickly locks open and a traditional flat top edge for ease in gripping.
The main issue users have with this knife is its absurd price, as it is one of the most expensive in this list. It is hard to contest the fact that you can basically get the same performance from other cheaper hunting knives. But if price isn’t much of an issue with you, then go buy this one from Buck Knives.
Benchmade 15016-2 Hidden Canyon Hunter
Another expensive hunting knife, this is a small, fixed hunting type with a length of 6.3 inches. The blade isn’t the longest with a measure of 2.7 inches, and is actually a modified clip-point type.
While you might want a longer blade, you can’t mock the toughness of the blade as it is made of CPM-S30V premium stainless steel. Corrosion will not be an issue at all, plus the short size has its advantages as well. One, there should be no problem with the control of the blade, and two, you can enjoy full range of movement.
The handle is also well-crafted, made of moisture-resistant Dymond wood. The knife benefits from its small size, as it translates to better handling. You should have no problems skinning animals thanks to its superior handling and range of movement. The fact that the knife comes out of the box sharp and ready to use is another bonus.
Like most of the knives in the list, the leather sheath is the main weakness of the Canyon Hunter. The knife fits too snugly in the sheath that you may have troubles getting it out. But with a superior construction and durable blade, you will likely forget that flaw.
Cold Steel Voyager XL Vaquero Plain Edge Knife
Making the list is this relatively affordable knife with a cool name. The Cold Steel Voyager XL has a blade that is around 4 mm thick and 5.5 inches long. Overall, it has a lightweight 6.5 ounce frame.
When unfolded, the knife extended to 12 inches, which is long for a hunting knife. The blade is also wide enough for some great hunting.
The blade is made from Japanese AUS 8A steel. It’s sharp and tough, with a thin edge designed for maximum shearing power. The thin edge also makes it easy to hone the blades and maintain its sharpness.
Cold Steel is known for its tri-ad lock mechanism, a strong lock that ensures the safety of its users. The Voyager XL Vaquero has the same feature, minimizing the risks of accidental slicing or cuts.
You might have issues closing the knife with one hand. But then again, it’s a very minor annoyance that should not make you forget how reasonably priced and durable this knife is.
Buck Knives 337 Paradigm Pro Folding Knife
This is already the third Buck Knives entry in this list; a proof of how reputable the maker is when it comes to knives.
This is one of the good hunting knives with a reasonable price tag. The steel blade has a 3 ¼ inch drop point, with a closed length of 4 3/8 inches. It weighs less than half a pound, so carriage and movement won’t be a problem at all.
Controlling the knife won’t be an issue, too, thanks to its CNC contoured handle with steel. Another feature that is worthy to mention is its reversible, tip-up carry clip that makes carriage even more convenient.
Buck is known for its knife designs for quick, one-hand deployment. It equipped this knife with advanced ASAP technology for that purpose. It also has a shift mechanism bolster that prevents knife accidents by bolstering the lock.
There’s no such thing as a perfect hunting knife, and this one has its flaws. One is that it is not designed for ambidextrous people. The knife is more appropriate for right-handed users. Despite those flaws, there is no denying that this is an excellent knife from Buck.
MTech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife, Straight Edge Blade
If you’re looking for a good hunting and camping survival knife without paying a lot, then this one from MTech USA should be in your list. It’s an affordable, tough, and well-crafted fixed blade hunting knife.
Measuring a little over 12 inches in length, the full tang knife has a 7-inch long blade with a thickness of 3mm. The ABS handle has wing walk inserts designed to give users enough grip even when the handle is wet. It also features a glass breaker on the other end, making this tool useful during emergencies.
It’s just a shame, though, that the basic nylon sheath won’t last long. But then again, you can’t expect a low-priced hunting knife to have everything. For a very low price tag, this is a hunting knife that delivers beyond expectations.
There are many factors that come into play when shopping for a hunting knife.
One is the frequency of your hunting trips. If you’re the type of hunter who goes out on hunting trips once in a while, you might want to settle for a small, folding blade knife. If you’re a big game hunter, then a solidly built, fixed blade knife may be more suited.
The design of the knife is also something you need to consider. There are actually two types of design—fixed stationary and folding-type. Both types have their pros and cons, so it really comes down to user preference.
For example, the fixed stationary type is more durable because there are fewer mechanical parts to deal with. Maintenance and care is also easier, and it is ready for use right out of the box. But the problem is that this type of hunting knife is very risky to transport, unlike the folding type that can easily be hidden.
On the other hand, the folding type can be carried in the pockets. However, most traditionalists scoff at the weaknesses of this kind of hunting knife. They argue that it is less durable, and isn’t as durable and tough as a fixed blade.
Just like in buying any type of knife, you will have to be concerned with the blade material as well. The two most common materials used in hunting knife blades are stainless steel and carbon steel blade. Again, each material has its own pros and cons.
Stainless steel, as the name indicates, is resistant to rust. You’d want one if you’re looking for a hunting knife that can last for years. The problem is that you are giving up the razor sharpness that carbon steel blade is known for. Carbon steel is also easier to care for, but then again it discolors very easily.
The handle of the knife is yet another factor that you’ll have to take into consideration. You need to buy a knife with a good handle; one that provides good grip and ideally has ambidextrous features. In terms of comfortable handles, fixed blade hunting knives are better than their folding counterparts.
In case you’re leaning towards a fixed blade, you must also look into the sheath. While it is an accessory, the sheath serves multiple purposes ranging from knife protection against damage, ease of access, and cut prevention on the part of the user. Sheaths are usually made of nylon.
There are also the optional features that you may want to be incorporated in the hunting knife you are considering to get.
There’s the gut hook, or a type of blade that is used for field dressing. This is a sharp, semi-circle ground that allows users to unzip the skin of an animal so that they can easily clean it.
The hand guard is yet another convenient feature to have in a hunting knife. It prevents the hand from slipping onto the blade and causing you a wound. Remember that dressing an animal can get very dirty and slippery, and a hand guard can prevent accidents.
A similar feature is the ergonomic handle that prevents the handle from slipping when it is wet. It can also make dressing an animal more comfy and secure.
Those are the 10 best hunting knives that you can buy today. Start shopping now and determine the best model depending on your preferences. You’d be surprised at how wonderfully crafted these hunting knives are, which would help make your next hunting expedition an enjoyable and memorable experience.