A successful hunt is always due to the combination of the best gun and the best knife.
If you already have your hunting rifle, all you need to do is find the best hunting knife to complement it.
Knives are a specialty tool. They aren’t like hunting rifles in the way that anyone can use any variation.
The best knives for hunting are the knives you’ll actually be able to use to accomplish your goals.
If you’re just starting to investigate the best hunting knives, you’ll want to do some research before you come to a decision. One of the ways you can do this is through reading hunting knife reviews.
You can narrow down your decisions by asking yourself a few important questions and knowing the marks of quality.
- Features to Look for in the Best Hunting Knife
- Questions To Ask Before You Buy a Hunting Knife
- TOP 4 Best Hunting Knives Reviewed 2020
- Deciding on the Best Hunting Knife for You
Features to Look for in the Best Hunting Knife
There are a few quality markers that apply to nearly every hunting knife. Knowing what to look for can save you money in the long run.
If you purchase a high-quality hunting knife the first time, you’ll never need to purchase a replacement.
You want to know that you’re getting the most for your money. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the value of a hunting knife, and there are three that matter the most.
The right handle can make a knife a lot safer to use. Handles without grips or textures are difficult to hold, which means the knife can slide right out of your hand.
A great blade with a terrible handle won’t do you any favors, which is precisely why you need to make sure the handle will offer you the support you need.
Hunting knives are intended to be used outdoors. Because of that, you want something with a grip that can hold up to wet weather.
You can’t control rain or snow, and the act of using a hunting knife just by itself can be a wet and messy process. The handle needs to be able to mesh with your palm without sliding around.
Another important feature of the handle is the material it’s made of.
Cheap, hollow plastic doesn’t provide any weight and is likely to crack. You want balance and durability in a handle.
A handle that will snap apart on you is a serious liability. Things like hardwood, glass-filled nylon, and industrial grade solid plastics are safer than their cheap counterparts.
The best hunting knives need to have versatile blades made of quality materials. High carbon steel is pretty close to the top of the list in terms of reliability.
What you choose should depend on the way you intend to use your hunting knife.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the tang of the knife.
The best hunting knife will almost always be full tang, which means the blade runs all the way through the handle.
If you’re looking for the best folding hunting knife, that may be a different story. Full tang knives can’t fold. In the case of folding knives, you’ll want a hunting knife where the blade locks safely.
A sheath is a vastly important accessory for your knife. Whether you intend to carry it on your person or store it in your bag of equipment, your knife should always be sheathed when not in use.
Leaving the blade exposed can lead to a pretty gnarly injury that would have been entirely preventable if you’d only stored your knife properly.
Nylon sheaths work in a pinch, but they aren’t good for long term use. Every time you take a knife out of a nylon sheath, you’re cutting it up just a little bit.
This is especially true for saw back or serrated knives, because the edges grab onto the fibers and tear them.
Nylon sheaths will need to be replaced if you use your knife frequently.
Leather sheaths are much better.
If you properly maintain your knife and your sheath, a good leather one will last you a lifetime. You won’t cut through it, and it isn’t composed of vulnerable fibers that are prone to snagging.
Questions To Ask Before You Buy a Hunting Knife
Buying a hunting knife is almost as personal as buying a car or a smartphone.
It may not be a tech gadget, but the specifications are always designed with a specific kind of user in mind.
There is no one and an only hunting knife that will satisfy everyone’s needs. Make sure the knife you ultimately decide on will work well for the kinds of hunting you do.
You may need to get more than one knife if you hunt multiple animals.
What Are You Hunting?
Smaller prey requires a smaller knife.
A buck knife could ruin a rabbit, and a rabbit knife would make a buck way more complicated than it needs to be. Getting a tool that’s the right size is just as important as getting a tool that works well.
Knives that work on a universal scale are few and far between. If you’re a variety hunter, you’re going to want tools specific to each job.
What Do You Need Your Knife to Do?
Some people prefer to handle an entire animal with one knife.
Other people prefer being able to have a variety of tools for separate jobs. Skinners and gut hooks are dedicated tools that make the process a little easier.
Some general purpose hunting knives have features that make it simpler to perform a wide range of tasks with a single tool.
TOP 4 Best Hunting Knives Reviewed 2020
These hunting knife reviews will give you a run down on what makes these knives the best hunting knives.
Buck Knives Folding Hunter Knife
Buck is easily recognizable as the best hunting knife brand. It’s difficult to find a good folding hunting knife, which is why anyone would be glad to see that this particular knife exists.
It’s built like a classic gentleman’s pocket knife, but designed to be a little more rugged. The blade itself is 3 3/4 inches, making the knife a modest 4 7/8 inches when closed.
- Blade features a crescent tip that’s perfect for fine detail work. This knife can be used to skin and fillet any small to a medium-sized animal with ease.
- Handle is constructed of Dymond wood and secured with brass. It’s never going to fall apart.
- Comes in a full leather holster with button closure. It’s easy to affix the holster to your belt, and it will also look nice there.
- Since this knife is so small, it may not be ideal for deer or hog hunting.
Snake Eye Tactical Hunting Knife
This is a combination of a tactical knife and a hunting knife.
The knife itself is manufactured by MTech USA, which is a company that specializes in tactical knives that can be used for many different things.
This knife features a 7-inch blade that’s 3.5 millimeters thick. The thickness makes it easy to sharpen, and will help it keep its edge for longer than a thin knife.
- Blade features a full saw back. You never know when you’re going to need a saw back at your hunting camp. It can be used for separating bones as well as basic camp tasks like sawing branches.
- Blade has a black finish, which will keep it looking newer for longer. Silver blades can sometimes stain from blood or sap, where a black blade will hide its age much better.
- This knife is large enough to do real work without being too big to carry around with you.
- Comes with a nylon sheath.
- Knife is not full tang, so it may be unwise to use it for chopping.
Elk Ridge ER-052 Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
This is a great mid-sized hunting knife, and there’s nothing to complain about in terms of its reasonable price.
It features a straight hawksbill blade, which is an ideal shape for the casual hunter.
The blade itself is forged of 440 stainless steel, making it durable and easy to sharpen. The handle is full tang, and the knife is designed for maximum performance.
- Hand is made of solid pakkawood with grooves that help you get the perfect grip.
- Comes with a real leather sheath that you won’t ever need to replace.
- Tip and shape of the knife will allow you to puncture and fillet with the same tool.
- Grooves in the top of the blade make the knife easy to use, but difficult to clean.
Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife
This is a premium knife, making it an obvious choice for the outdoorsman who considers tools to be a serious matter.
You’re getting a 6-inch full tang blade set on a cocobolo Dymond wood handle.
This knife is just as good for detail work as it is for rough, rugged tasks. The blade is 0.175 inch thick, making it easy to sharpen and helping it retain an edge without the need for frequent touch-ups.
- Comes with a fitted genuine leather sheath.
- Blade is long enough for tasks like skinning bucks.
- Polished handles feature grip grooves to help you hang on.
- Rivet on the sheath gently rubs against the blade, which might leave small wear marks over time.
Deciding on the Best Hunting Knife for You
The best hunting knife will always be a matter of personal preference, but there are plenty out there that deserve attention and praise.
You might choose to build a kit of hunting knives and create a perfect arsenal of tools you can carry with you on every hunting trip.
These hunting knife reviews have shown you the advantages and disadvantages of every top-rated hunting knife.
All you need to do is build a balanced set.