Best Hunting Knives

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 30, 2018
Hunting is one of the most exciting and challenging pastimes. No hunter arsenal will be complete without a secure hunting knife that will help you cope with all cutting tasks while hunting, fishing or backpacking. Check our review and choose your trusty companion for outdoor adventures!  ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
DESIGN
BLADE TYPE
BLADE EDGE
BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL
HANDLE
USABILITY
OVERALL LENGTH
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS
An aluminum pommel will not only look stylish and attractive but also ensure maximum control for precise cutting to polish up your cutting skills.
CONS
A cave in the blade might require some extra care due to filth accumulation.
OUR VERDICT
With a legendary solid knife from Buck Knives, you can go hunting and be absolutely sure that your 10.5"-knife will never fail whatever happens! The model is also available with a Cocobolo Dymondwood handle.
detailed parameters
DESIGN
Fixed
BLADE TYPE
Clip point
BLADE EDGE

Straight-edged

BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL

6" 420HC stainless steel

HANDLE
Black phenolic handle with aluminum pommel
USABILITY
Genuine leather fitted sheath with a snap closure (transportation on a belt or in a bag)
OVERALL LENGTH
10.5"
WEIGHT
7.5 oz
WARRANTY
Lifetime
PROS

A special strap-together sheath system allows 3 mounting options (horizontal, vertical on Molle, drop-leg) ensuring convenient handling and meeting different field needs.

CONS

Somewhat uneven grind on the bevel. 

OUR VERDICT

Made from top-quality materials and designed with user convenience and safety in mind, the StrongArm fixed knife from Gerber will become your reliable companion not only when hunting, but also when camping, trekking, and doing all sorts of trips and outings. It will also prove useful for household use.

detailed parameters
DESIGN

Fixed

BLADE TYPE

Drop point

BLADE EDGE

Straight-edged

BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL

4.8" 420HC stainless steel

HANDLE

Glass-filled nylon with a rubber overmold

USABILITY

Nylon webbing for drop-leg carrying and secondary retention, Detachable belt hoops for horizontal belt carrying, Snap-in MOLLE strap (transportation on a belt, in a bag, or attaching to the bag with molle)

OVERALL LENGTH

9.8"

WEIGHT

7.2 oz

WARRANTY

Lifetime 

PROS
A unique Lockback mechanism has been improved within several years to avoid blade loosening, ensure maximum safety and give the folding knife the strength and reliability of a fixed-blade knife.
CONS
Brass might eventually tarnish without an appropriate care.
OUR VERDICT
It's a famous Buck Knives hunting knife backed up by many years' experience and craftsmanship. Buck 110 is one of the USA best sellers that is highly appreciated by all blade weapons collectors.
detailed parameters
DESIGN
Folding
BLADE TYPE
Clip point
BLADE EDGE
Straight-edged
BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL
3.75" 420HC stainless steel
HANDLE
Dymondwood handle with brass bolsters
USABILITY
Nail nick, Lockback mechanism, Genuine leather sheath with a snap closure (transportation on a belt or in a bag)
OVERALL LENGTH
Closed - 4.9", Opened - 8.6"
WEIGHT
7.2 oz
WARRANTY
Lifetime
PROS

Thanks to 6 first-class stainless steel replaceable blades, your knife will always be shaving sharp while a pushbutton replacement blade system ensures hassle-free blade replacement. 

CONS

It will take you some effort to accommodate both a knife and all blades in a sheath. 

OUR VERDICT

Are you going hunting and looking for a solid sharp knife to become a part of your camouflage outfit? Then this state-of-the-art model with a Mossy Oak sheath offers the performance, reliability, and versatility you deserve. Meanwhile, a gutting blade will add functionality and let you dress out the catch right in the field.  

detailed parameters
DESIGN

Folding

BLADE TYPE

Drop point 

BLADE EDGE

Straight-edged

BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL

Knife: 3.5" 420J2 stainless steel

Gut Blade: 3.1" 7Cr17 stainless steel

HANDLE

Rubberized TPR with 420J2 stainless steel liners

USABILITY

Lockback mechanism, Push-button replacement blade system: 6 blades included, Mossy Oak™ nylon sheath with a snap closure (transportation on a belt or in a bag)

OVERALL LENGTH

Closed - 4.5", Opened - 8"

WEIGHT

8.3 oz

WARRANTY

Lifetime 

PROS

At the bottom of the hande is a special glass breaker pommel meant to help you quickly break the glass (including car glass) if needed. This option will come in handy for some tactical tasks and survival situations when in the wild.

CONS

Some users claim that the blade is prone to corrosion. 

OUR VERDICT

The Mtech hunting knife offers a really good value for the money. At a fraction of the cost of top-of-the-line models, you'll get a decent quality knife distinguished by a well-balanced design and a perfectly sized blade. It's an optimal choice for hunting, camp duties, and utility purposes.

detailed parameters
DESIGN

Fixed

BLADE TYPE

Drop point 

BLADE EDGE

Straight-edged

BLADE LENGTH AND MATERIAL

7" 440 stainless steel

HANDLE

ABS handle with wing walk inserts

USABILITY

Glass breaker at the bottom of the handle, Nylon sheath (transportation on a belt or in a bag)

OVERALL LENGTH

12.25"

WEIGHT

~9 oz

WARRANTY

Lifetime 

Buck Knives 119 Special

Standard by Which Others are Measured

With a century experience behind, Buck Knives knows exactly how to make a high-quality knife. 119 Special knife is a product the company is extremely proud of. It was designed and manufactured to become a standard for the competitors to align to. And it is truly so! This superior fixed-blade knife from a legendary American manufacturer will astonish you with its reliability and durability. The blade is made of 420 HC steel to stay razor-sharp and ensure high performance for years. Though competent experts constantly argue what steel grade is better and cannot reach a common ground, it is precisely known that owing to a unique steel hardening method, you will be impressed with cutting characteristics of this knife. The blade will never break or fail in an extreme situation as it features a Rc58 hardness on the Rockwell scale. Hence, the blade boasts an excellent strength for high wear resistance. Besides, a clip point blade design will allow cutting in the narrows, thanks to a concave spine. For an ultimate balance, a black phenolic handle with an aluminum pommel will ensure a superior cutting control. Keeping user safety and security in mind, manufacturer fitted the knife with a genuine leather sheath for storage and transportation. This 10.5-inch hunting knife offers you an absolute quality and time-proven design.

Review of Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

A Sharp Knife is a Safe Knife

A sharp blade on your best-ever Buck knife is essential in terms of safety. Cutting with a blunt knife, you'll have to put more effort and always avoid cuts. That is why any knife should be regularly sharpened. Below you will find several useful recommendations on knife sharpening from Buck Knives:

- Never use a power-driven grinding wheel if it is not meant for sharpening since it can destroy steel tempering, make the blade fragile and prone to cracks or even shears. In case of inappropriate sharpening, the manufacturer disclaims responsibility under a forever warranty.

- Al Buck (1910-1991) used to say the following about knives sharpening: "Always cut into the stone, never drag your knife edge back over the stone and always maintain your angle." Meanwhile, he shared an interesting method how to sharpen knives in a proper way. Take a black felt pen and color the blade bevel. Then make several strokes on a sharpener and look at the blade edges. If there are no color traces you did everything properly. When a top part remains colored, it means that a sharpening angle is too big while black color on the bottom edge indicates that your blade is laying too flat on the sharpener. Perform this procedure several times until you get the desired sharpening result and simply remember the optimal sharpening angle.

You can get some more tips and download a knife sharpening instruction on the company's web site

Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath in the use

Additional Info

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VIDEO
Buck 119 Special Review: Timeless Camp Knife Excellence

What customers say about this product

Blade

The blade is super sharp out of the box and it has excellent balance. Nice all around knife.

Size & Weight

This knife holds an edge, and when it does need sharpening it's the easiest blade I've ever sharpened this size.

Features

Over all this is just a great knife and the leather wrap around sheath is great.
 

Gerber StrongArm

A Knife You Can Really Rely on

You can’t go wrong choosing Gerber. Backed by a truly extensive experience in knife making, the manufacturer is known for delivering products of the highest quality, with the StrongArm fixed blade knife being one of the best evidence of this.

To start with, the blade of this knife is made of top class 420 high carbon steel, which allows it to perfectly hold its sharp edge and efficiently cut through different types of soft and solid materials, and is coated with ceramics for added rust and corrosion resistance. Meanwhile, the handle is made of wear-resistant glass-reinforced nylon and features a rubber overmold with a diamond texture to ensure a secure and comfortable grip. As for the knife design, it’s a full tang model with a perfectly proportioned construction. The total knife length is 9.8”, whereas the blade is 4.8” long so it nicely balances the handle making the knife easier and more convenient to hold. A black matte blade, paired with a light-brown handle and an ideally-sized construction, not only contributes to the knife’s usability but also gives it a finished good look.

A solid steel blade is straight-edged and has a fine squared-off spine. Though it doesn’t come razor-sharp right out of the box, its sharpness is good enough as is and will allow you to perform a variety of cutting jobs. Skinning, field dressing, stripping bark, processing wood, preparing food, scraping metal rods and wires or cutting straps, the StrongArm knife from Gerber is fit for all of these tasks and then some. You could also use it in emergency situations. It comes with a pommel with an exposed point which you could use to break glass, for example, if you ever found yourself locked, or simply to crack nuts.

Review of Gerber StrongArm 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Survival Tactical Knife

Enjoy Multiple Mounting Options

A sheath system the StrongArm tactical knife comes complete with deserves a special attention too. It stands out for the versatility you'll not find in rival models of the same class and with the same price tag. What differs it is a modular system which drastically expands its mounting options. The knife clips into a sturdy plastic sheath that can be attached to straps or a bracket holder and safely carried in a vertical or horizontal position, which suits you better. In total, there are three configurations in which the sheath can be attached: horizontally on your belt to carry it along the waistline, vertically on the Molle, or traditionally on the hip. Which position you choose totally depends on what you find more convenient or in what task or activity you're currently engaged.

To sum up, the Gerber StrongArm combines so many benefits we wouldn't be able to call it a simple hunting knife. It's strongly built, cleverly designed, and can become a fully-fledged survival tool suitable for all types of outdoor activities, be it hunting, trekking, camping or tactical survival trips.

Gerber StrongArm 420 High Carbon Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Survival Tactical Knife in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Blade

Love how the blade looks and how well it's balanced.

Size & Weight

Strong blade, with a good thick spine. Very good weight and feels good in your hand.

Features

Beautiful and tough. Nice finish on blade.
 

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter (0110BRS)

The Hottest Knife in the Industry

A folding hunting knife Buck 110 is a true American legacy from a top American manufacturer. Though today for the production of this model Buck Knives uses a newer steel and upgraded materials, an old-school design of the knife has remained unchanged since 1963. It is a perfect classic model for those who want to have a decent lock-back knife with all the features and characteristics of a fixed-blade knife but compact enough to fit your pocket. The length of a folded knife is only 4.9 inches and a 3.75-inch blade is made of high-class 420HC stainless steel. It is safely accommodated protecting you from cuts and injuries. But as soon as you need your Buck 110, you can open it in a matter of seconds by means of special nail nicks. A lock-back mechanism of this model is unique as well. The manufacturer tailored it to perfection to prevent the blade loosening while using the knife. This is what makes this model a real leader and best seller on the folding knives market. A knife handle is not only durable and ergonomically shaped but also stylish and attractive. Made of Dymondwood, it is elegantly decorated by brass bolsters. Hence, the knives collectors and outdoorsmen are craving for having this gorgeous knife in their arsenal. In addition, you will get a genuine leather sheath with a snap closure that can be fastened to you belt so you can keep it handy. Famed for its durability and elegant, simple design, the Buck 110 is the kind of tool that is great both when it comes to cutting and how it feels in hands.

Review of Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter (0110BRS) Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath

Interesting Facts About Buck Knives

- It often happens that owners of Buck knives, they inherited from their fathers or grandfathers, can’t even imagine how old their knives are  and what historical value they represent. You can check the age of your knife by a special symbol stamped on the blade. Refer to a special chart to find out which year your knife was made.

- From the very first day Buck Knives was a family company and it remains a family business to this day. CJ Buck, a son of Chuck Buck and a grandson of Al Buck, is a company President and CEO. He represents the 4th generation and has been running the company since 1978. He is still focused on family values and keeps producing state-of-the-art knives following the traditions and standards laid down by his great grandfather Hoyt Buck. Since their name appears on the knives, CJ Buck considers that production of premium-quality products with close attention to every tiny detail is their personal responsibility.

- Anyone can visit a plant and see how Buck knives are made. Buck invites you to free 45-minute plant tours from Monday to Thursday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For safety reasons, you must wear fully closed shoes while visiting the plant. As for the children, only seven-years-old and up kids are allowed. To book a tour call 800-326-2825 x172. Buck factory is located at 660 S. Lochsa St. in Post Falls, Idaho. For your ultimate convenience, a visitor parking is available.

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter (0110BRS) Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath in the use

More Products to Consider

In addition to the knife, we also recommend a Leatherman - Wingman Multi-Tool. It features 14 tools that will be of great use at the campsite or anywhere away from civilization. A spring-action needlenose pliers, spring action regular pliers, wire stripper, 420HC combo knife, spring-action scissors, package opener, ruler, can opener and other items are ergonomically accommodated in a pocket-size steel tool that weighs only 7 ounces. Though compact, it offers the whole range of uses.

Detailed review of Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter (0110BRS) Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
BUCK KNIVES 110 FOLDING HUNTER KNIFE! GOOD VALUE!

What customers say about this product

Blade

The blade was super sharp out of the box and is still as sharp after all the abuse I put it through.

Size & Weight

Appears to be excellent craftsmanship. The weight is what you want in a hunting knife.

Features

In addition, the quality of the handle materials, fit and finish is over and above what you would expect to get from a knife with this price tag.
 

Outdoor Edge RazorPro RO-10

A Replaceable Blade for the Best-ever Performance

Do you often use knives but have no skills to sharpen them? Or do you find this process too boring? If so, then this model from Razor-Lite is definitely for you! It offers the benefit of replacing the blunt cutter with a razor-sharp blade in a matter of seconds and keep cutting with almost no effort. This great option is especially useful while dressing a big animal that is usually a time-consuming and tiresome procedure.

A knife set comes with 6 replaceable blades and a rather simple, yet, reliable push-button blade replacement system. When all 6 blades go blunt you can sharpen them all at once by yourself or address a professional. Each blade is 3.5 inches long and is made of first-class Japanese 420j2 steel well-known and widely spread owing to its remarkable sharpness and durability.

Another option that sets this model apart from competitors and makes it one of the best hunting knives out there is a gutting blade the knife comes fitted with. Whether you go duck hunting or managed to bring down a deer, with the help of a round-point gutting blade, you’ll be able to carve your prey right in the field.

A rubberized TPR handle will ensure a convenient and secure grip for a safe use even if you take it with wet or dirty hands that often happens in the wild. Besides, a bright orange colored handle allows for easy spotting the knife on the ground when you lose the sight of it. Additionally, a nylon camouflage Mossy Oak™ sheath will perfectly match almost any hunting outfit. This immaculate Razor-Lite folding knife offers you an unparalleled strength of a solid regular knife and a precise sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel! You’ll never regret your choice!


Review of Outdoor Edge RazorPro RO-10 Replaceable Razor Blade Hunting Knife with Gutting Tool

Safe Hunting Tips

  1. When you go hunting you should stick to certain rules not only for personal safety reasons but also to come back with prey. One of the truly useful tools that should be in the arsenal of a real hunter is a tree stand that will ensure a clear elevated view of a surrounding terrain. Moreover, a game will not detect you by the scent easily picked up when you stay on the ground. A Guide Gear Deluxe Hunting Hang-On Tree Stand is a decent and affordable option to check. 
  2. Never go hunting alone. Take at least one partner to watch out for one another and provide aid in an extreme situation or whenever needed. If you still prefer hunting alone, tell somebody where and when you’ll be hunting. And finally, establish an approximate time you are going to come back.
  3. Always wear a bright orange hunter jacket that will allow other hunters to identify you since you may not be the only hunter out there. For additional safety, put on a hat of the same color.
Outdoor Edge RazorPro RO-10 Replaceable Razor Blade Hunting Knife with Gutting Tool in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Mtech USA MT-086 Series

Good Value for Money

Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts know that a good hunting or tactical knife rarely costs less than a hundred bucks. However, not all people are ready to spend that much on a knife. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, the MTech MT-086 may be the best option. Though less expensive than sophisticated high-end models, it doesn't lack in performance and quality. See for yourself.

The MTech MT-086 is a large knife. It is fitted with a strong nylon sheath which lets you safely carry it in your backpack or attach it to your belt, if necessary. When it comes to design, it's no slouch either and can easily give top-liners a run for the money. With the overall length of 12.25” and the weight of about 9 oz the MTech MT-086 feels solid and durable. The blade of the knife is rather thick which allows it to counterbalance its big handle. And the rubberized handle with those wavy grippy inserts you normally see in swimming pools ensures a firm grip allowing you to handle it in all conditions.

A fixed-blade full-tang construction makes this knife suitable for all sorts of jobs including heavy-duty tasks where folding knives or smaller models would fail. A 7” blade made of 440 carbon steel comes razor sharp and can cut wood, cardboard, ropes, and wires, not so say about foods, soft materials, and fabrics. In addition, a drop point shape with a smooth cutting edge will let you use this knife for dressing and skinning as well.

Review of Mtech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife

A Life-saver Feature

The feature that distinguishes this knife from many other similar models is a glass breaker. It's interesting that not all people give it a lot of significance though in certain cases it can turn out a real life savior. Of course, car accidents aren't something you usually think about but if you ever have one (we do hope you won't) this knife will help you out. It has an exposed point at the bottom of the handle with the help of which you can break the glass of a car and get free. Aside from breaking glass, you could also use it simply for cracking nuts, which makes it a useful addition however you look at it.

All in all, for the rock-bottom price you will pay, you’ll get a full-scale tactical knife that will be of great use no matter whether you need it for hunting, survival and camp duties, or some utility purposes.

Mtech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife in the use

 

What Is a Hunting Knife?

Hunting is a kind of heavy-duty hobby that requires not only a certain level of skills and training but also a whole arsenal of tools and accessories, which may vary, depending on what animals you're hunting - a bear, an elk, a deer, a fox, or fowl. That's where a hunting knife has you covered. It can become an indispensable attribute and a reliable companion of any enthusiastic hunter no matter the needs. That said, a hunting knife is not the same as a dagger. Unlike the latter, a hunting knife is rarely used for killing animals. What it is used, at least in most cases, is for skinning and dressing prey. Hunting knives come in various sizes and designs, and everyone can find the best suitable option. Most of them can offer versatility, serving the user for many more tasks than simply dressing prey. A hunting knife can become a real savior when pitching a camp, arranging a night shelter, cooking, and performing many other tasks.

Check our knife sets review to get high-quality shaving-sharp knives allowing you to realize most challenging culinary tasks. And if you like cooking meals outdoors make sure to read our reviews of solar cookers designed for this exact purpose.

What Features to Compare

Design

The first thing to pay attention to when choosing a solid hunting knife is its design. Modern manufacturers offer a variety of fixed-blade and folded knives. Fixed-blade models have an obvious advantage of durability and functionality since they have no additional elements, unlike folded knives. It is a kind of a classic knife largely used by our predecessors many centuries ago. As for a folding knife, it offers a benefit of a compact size requiring considerably less space for handling and transportation. Besides, folding knives are much safer since all cutting components are folded inside to protect users from accidental cuts and injuries.

Blade Type

The next aspect most modern knife models are distinguished by is a blade type offering different advantages. A drop point is one of the most popular blade types where the upper part of the blade (spine) slopes to the tip along the convex curve. This blade is ideal for big hunting and dressing the kill. A clip point is a blade type with a spine tapered along a concave curve. This type of a blade is less convenient for animal skinning or dressing but perfect for opening tins and cans, pointing pickets for a tent and many other occasional cutting tasks. A spear point is a symmetric blade with the pointer strictly aligning the center of the blade for deep stabs. A dagger has sharp blade edges on both sides for efficient punctures. And finally, a Tanto blade is another widely spread type where the front blade edge meets the back edge at an angle. As a result, a Tanto knife has two points. As for a blade edge, most knives are usually straight-edged for efficient smooth cutting. However, you can find hunting knives with a serrated edge performing like a saw for cutting solid materials.

Materials

The materials from which the chosen knife is made of determine its service life and durability. The blade should be made of first-class stainless steel to remain maximum sharp without growing blunt too quickly. The steel grade specified by manufacturers characterizes the steel content. Thus, 420 and modified 420j2 steel grades prove to be the best on the market having positive feedback. At the same time, the longer the blade is the bigger cutting area it will run through and the more efficient it will be for dressing a big animal. Speaking of a handle, the major criterion here is a convenient and secure grip even in a wet hand to avoid injuries.

Usability

Extra features and accessories will directly affect usability of your hunting knife. A sheath will allow for a safe knife storage and transportation. Thanks to a belt clip option, your knife will be always at hand. For the folders quick and easy blade opening and folding is very important. Hence, a groove on the blade along with a special pull mechanism will be extremely useful for opening the blade. A lock-back mechanism will hold the blade in a working position preventing occasional blade folding and ensuring a safe use. A comfortable grip and handling greatly depend on an overall hunting knife length that basically ranges from 8 to 11 inches. In terms of weight, it is worth mentioning that a knife should have an optimal weight for smooth, effortless cutting and convenient use. The ideal knife weight is 6 to 12 ounces.

Sources:

1. 10 Safety Tips for All Hunters, Ducks Unlimited.

2. Robert Richardson Hunting Safety: Tips for being a Safe Hunter, Off Grid Survival.

3. Chris Black How to Choose the Best Knife for Hunting, Survivopedia. January 29, 2014.

4. Timothy Martinez Jr. The Complete Hunting Knife Buying Guide, Knife Depot.

5. Sarah Siddons How Knife Hunting Works, HowStuffWorks.

6. Knife, Wikipedia. October 6, 2016.

7. The Best Hunting Knife -- How to Recognize Good Quality, HowStuffWorks.

8. Steven Musumeche Fixed Blade vs. Folding Blade Knives, Knife Depot.

9. Anthony Sculimbrene Blade Boot Camp: A Buyer’s Guide To Choosing Your Knife, GEAR JUNKIE. May 5, 2015.

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