Hunting and most other outdoor activities are fun, but terms and conditions apply.
If you do not have the right tools and gadgets for the activities, you might have to improvise. But how do you make do without a knife in the jungle?
This is why there are hunting knives of different types for different activities. Skinning is one of the most common tasks while one is hunting.
There are hunting knives meant for skinning and others for cleaning. Self-protection is paramount when you are in a potentially dangerous environment such as in the jungle. A hunting knife can do that for you.
Tips To Select The Best Hunting Knife
Type of game you hunt
The knife used for big game hunters is very different from the one used by rabbit hunters. When it comes to hunting knives, bigger does not always translate into better. If you get a knife that is oversized, it will make the skinning process harder on top of increasing the chances of slicing through your flesh. A drop-point knife is perfect for those people who hunt big game, the likes of deer. If you prefer the smaller animals, a clip-point knife is what you will need.
Frequency of hunting
If you are an avid hunter, you should always go for the knives with a solid build. This way you will not have to repair frequently. Occasional hunters will find more value in a knife that can be used to carry out different tasks. A smaller folding knife is enough. The blade folds inward and locks making it safe. It may not be as strong as other bigger knives, but it is extremely portable. It is highly recommended for the small game away.
How do you want to carry the knife?
Do you want to keep the knife in a sheath or carry it in your pocket? A large blade will need a sheath to hang on your belt unless of course, you want to slice through your leg carrying it in your pocket. The folding knives can be carried in the pocket, or you can opt for the pocket knives. The only problem with pocket knives is that they are best used as spare tools and not for the action.
Location of your expedition
Are you going to hunt in the deep Amazonian jungles or the meadow-like area? Do you need to carry a tent for hunting multiple days? If you are hunting in a place with thick vegetation, you will need a machete or a bushcraft knife to go with. This will help you clear out the vegetation and create a path. It also comes highly recommended if you are dealing with large potentially dangerous animals.
Our Top 10 Hunting Knife Picks Go To…
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife
This knife by a collaboration of Gerber and Bear Grylls. Gerber has a 75+ years of experience on the field and Bear Grylls is one of the top brands on survival gear out there.
This is a great knife, and if you read some bad reviews out there, try again.
The first version of the knife had some problems with the pommel falling of. This is the new generation, and all of that is fixed.
Quote from a company representative: “The first run of this knife has an orange stripe just north of the pommel measuring 1/8 of an inch.
The corrected version has an orange stripe measuring 1/4 inch. Thicker and reinforced.”
Blade made of 7Cr17Mov stainless steel with a 57-59 HRC hardness rating, this knife will not let you down.
The sheath is well constructed and retains the knife well in position so you can easily attach it to any gear.
It has a ferro rod that strikes well on a section of the spine specifically designed for fire striking and a diamond sharpener on the back of the hard shell sheath.
- Weight: 0.70 pounds
- Blade length: 7 inches
- Overall length: 11 7/8 inches
- Shape: Clip
- Stamp: USMC
- Edge angle: 20 degrees
- Steel: 1095 Cro-Van
- Grind: Flat
- Handle material: Leather
KA-BAR Full Size Knife
This KA-BAR utility knife comes with a partially serrated edge that makes piece of cake the cutting of synthetic of looped materials.
The blade of the knife is extremely sharp and strong, another reason I have had no problems keeping it in shape.
This great knife features a 7 inch blade made from 1095 Cro-Van steel with a black powder coat finish. The blade comes fully sharpened, so you can start cutting right away.
The handle is made from Kraton G, which offers a comfortable grip with a steady feel. The knife also comes with a leather sheath to store the knife safely when not in use.
The perfect manmade Kraton G handle offers a great grip with a steady feel.
This knife is an excellent choice for outdoor activities, survival situations or any other time you need a durable and rugged knife.
The blade has a serrated edge that is great for cutting through tough material such as ropes, synthetic material, and more.
Having used this knife, its obvious that it would hold anything i could throw at it. Is very well made and comes at an affordable price.
Priced affordably, the Full Size comes with a partially serrated edge that makes piece of cake the cutting of synthetic or looped materials.
- Stamp: USA
- Edge angle: 20 degrees
- Blade: 1095 Cro-Van steel
- Pocket clip: N/A
- Lock style: N/A
- Grind: Flat
- Handle material: Kraton G
- Blade length: 7 inches
- Overall length: 11-3/4 inches
- Weight: 0.65 pounds
Buck 119BR Special Fixed Blade Knife
This knife will take you back in time. 47 years ago Hoyt and Al Buck used this knife to build by hand in their two-man shop.
This knife may not be fancy, but it’s well made and reliable. It’s definitely worth taking a look at if you’re in the market for a new knife.
Even if you’re not a knife collector, this Buck 119BR Special fixed blade knife will impress you with its beauty.
Its large 6-inch clip blade made of 420HC stainless-steel with an amazing Cocobola handle, makes this knife ideal for detail work, cutting and piercing.
The full tang makes it durable when skinning an animal, and the Cocobola handle feels good in your hand, even after hours of use.
Its classic design is just perfectly executed and all corrosion resistance tests on the blade gave an A+.
Tightly held together with the help of brass pins and liners, it has a solid feel and the weight of 10.5 ounces ensures that this is a knife that you can use anywhere, anytime.
The quality of this knife is absolutely amazing. It is extremely sharp out of the box and easily cuts through paper and cardboard with minimal effort. The sheath is also high-quality and fits on a belt easily.
- Blade length: 6 inches
- Blade material: 420HC stainless steel
- Fixed blade: Yes
- Handle material: Cocobola
- Carrying system: Brown leather sheath
- Weight: 10.5 ounces
Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife Review
Buck Knives has been making blades in America for over 100 years. Buck Knives remains a family-owned business that puts your safety and confidence first.
The Ranger Skinner was designed by Darrel Ralph and is the perfect knife for hunting and skinning small game. It’s lightweight, short, and very sharp.
This model is very similar to a couple of other models, but it has its own unique qualities that separate it from all other knives.
The 113 Skinner is the perfect knife to bring on any hunting trip. It even comes with a leather sheath to protect the blade, and a belt loop so it can be carried easily.
The 113 Ranger Skinner is not a small knife, despite being considerably smaller than the original. It features a 3-1/4 inch blade with the classic Buck skinning shape.
The blades on the Ranger Skinner are made of 420HC stainless steel. 420HC is a high carbon, low chromium stainless steel that is similar in composition to 440A, 440B and AUS-8.
It comes in at just over 7 inches overall with a weight of 5.2 ounces. The sheath is genuine leather and comes with a snap closure.
The long clip point allows you to use this knife for skinning animals for your next meal during your camping trip or hunting excursion.
The beautiful genuine Ebony handle will feel great in your hand and provide exceptional grip.
The handle ensures you have a good grip on the knife while cutting or skinning your game. This knife is a great option for any hunter, backpacker or survivalist.
This is one of my favorite knives that I take hunting every year.
Gerber 45860 air ranger
The Gerber Air Ranger is a knife that is built for the outdoors. The serrated edge and light weight construction of this knife make it a great tool for things like camping, hiking, hunting and so on.
The knife features an easy one-handed opening that allows people to use the knife with ease. The lightweight blade gives the user more control over the blade and allows for more precision when cutting through objects.
The handle of the knife is made out of aluminum, and the blade is made out of high carbon stainless steel. The blade opens with one hand making it incredibly easy to use.
The handle also features finger grooves, which help reduce slipping when wet or greasy.
This serrated edge knife comes with an aluminum handle. It has an overall length of 7.32 inches and a blade length of 3.26 inches.
The blade has a black oxide coating on it which provides extra corrosion protection.
This makes the knife incredibly versatile, as it can be used for just about anything from cutting rope to skinning an animal to slicing through cake at a wedding.
It weighs 2-3/5 ounces which makes it lightweight enough to carry around without ever noticing it’s there.
This is the kind of knife that you will not want to leave the house without. It can be used for just about anything from slicing through some deer to cutting a wedding cake (as crazy as that may sound).
It is very tough and ridiculously lightweight. The downside is that this knife is not all that attractive to the eyes.
- Folding clip-point knife with serrated blade
- Made of long-lasting 7Cr17MoV stainless steel.
- Anodized aluminum handle with a textured surface
- It’s simple to open it one-handed.
- Limited lifetime warranty
These are the 10 best-hunting knives on the market today. The best thing about them is that they are all available for purchase online. You can buy them from any corner of this world as you please.
Once you get any of them, you will not wait long to try their performance when you are out camping or hunting. Can’t wait for your next hunting trip?
Check out our other knife guides and selection tutorial.
FAQ’s Purchasing the best hunting knife: A Buyer Guide
Now we’re going to discuss the most common questions people have when deciding to invest in a hunting knife; we focus on what you need to know before buying a hunting knife and we also tell you what you need to do to take care of your new tool after you purchase it.
I never bought a hunting knife before.
What elements should I consider?
First of all, you will need to identify the type of game you usually hunt and the most common activities where you plan to use the knife.For example, if you are a deer hunter and you would like a knife that’s suitable for deer skinning as well, a hunting knife with a drop point Gut hook blade will do the job just fine.It’s really important to identify these things, so you will have an idea on what to look after, rather than just wasting time reading about some products that won’t be reliable for your tasks.The second thing you need to do is to research. Read customer reviews, read special forums that are related to hunting or ask a specialist. Make sure to read about both features and benefits; don’t read just a list, you need to know exactly how a certain knife can be suitable for you.
Can I use the same knife with both small and big game?
Some knives guarantee that they are suitable for both small and big game; this is true, but a fair answer would be: it depends.Think about it: let’s say you usually hunt rabbits but one day you need to skin a bull; of course a bull will require a stronger blade.Usually, a blade of 5″ will be ideal for the big game hunter and a blade of 2-3″ will get the job done for a small game hunter.
Does brand matter?
While we consider that brands have already an established name and a history of satisfied clients, of course you can also choose a new brand or a new product. Just make sure you read the customer reviews, both positive and negative.
Should I choose a knife that’s not made in America?
Of course! Many great hunting knives are made in Sweden, China or Germany.
What to choose between fixed and folding?
As stated earlier in this article, if you plan to use your knife for everyday hunting, a fixed blade tool will be great for you.
Are folding knives reliable?
Yes, they are, I even recommend some great folding knives in my reviews; they are just more useful for the occasional hunter, who doesn’t perform complicated tasks.You can use them for activities that are not related to hunting as well, such as camping, hiking or survivalism.
What blade shape should I choose?
The most common blade shapes are clip point, drop point and gut hook. All of them have their own advantages, but it’s true that the most suitable blade for hunting tasks is the drop point.
What does full tang mean?
Full tang means that the steel goes all the way from the tip to the bottom of the knife. A full tang is recommended, since it guarantees you will get a strong and durable knife.
What should I choose between a stainless steel and a carbon steel?
My advice would be to go with the stainless steel blade, because they are rust resistant.A carbon steel is not rust resistant, so it will require special attention and cleaning after you finish your hunting job.
What’s the ideal hunting knife length and weight?
It’s hard to assume the ideal length or weight; you just need to find something that feels comfortable, it’s not too large to get in the way and it’s light weight enough, so you can easily carry it in a pocket or bag.Generally speaking, a blade length of 4.8″ is excellent for hunting activities.Another thing that you need to be aware of is the activity you usually perform: a smaller blade is ideal for detail work such as skinning and a larger blade is perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as chopping or hammering.
How can I choose a knife with a good handle?
The perfect handle needs to meet three main conditions:
- It needs to feel solid and comfortable in the hand;
- It needs to offer control, so you can easily maneuver the knife;
- It’s build of materials that can be used in any weather condition, especially during rain. For example, you can choose a handle made of textured rubber.
Another condition, but not a required one, would be to choose a handle that has a bright color, such as orange or magenta, so you won’t loose it when it’s dark outside.
Are the knives with replaceable blades reliable?
Of course! A knife like this can be really useful if your blade gets dull in the middle of your hunting task and all you have to do is to replace it with a new one.
I’m left handed. What folding knife is suitable for me?
Many folding hunting knives feature Ambidextrous thumb studs, which enables you to easily open your knife.
Is a good quality hunting knife expensive?
Not really. A hunting knife doesn’t need to be expensive to be considered valuable. You would be surprised at how innovative and strong a cheap knife can be.On my site, you can find recommendations and reviews for any budget.
Do I receive a warranty?
Many companies offer a warranty when you purchase a hunting knife from them. They can offer different conditions though, so pay attention and do some research; most hunting knives company offer a Lifetime Warranty.
After purchasing a hunting knife
How to know if my knife is sharp?
Most hunting knives come razor sharp right from the factory, but the easiest method to test them is to easily and cautiously rub your thumb across the blade. Another method would be to analyze the blade back and forth and any gleams of light that appear will reflect its flaws.
How to sharpen a knife?
The whetstone sharpening is considered the most professional technique. It’s true that you will need practice to set and keep the right angle, but it’s not complicated to master.
What are some useful tips to take care of my knife?
It’s not hard to maintain your hunting knife. First of all, make sure you always have a sharp blade; a dull blade is useless and not reliable at all.It’s essential that after each hunting task you wash your knife with soap and water; this step will be even more important if you own a folding knife. Don’t let pieces of meat or blood on your blade because it can easily be deteriorated.You can use a special oil to apply it to the blade and the pivot points; this will keep the knife lubricated. It’s not necessary to apply oil after each use, twice a year is fine.
How to carry a hunting knife?
A fixed blade knife can be carried in a sheath; most hunting knives come with a sheath that can be made of nylon or leather. Some sheaths have a snap closure, that enable you to attach it to your belt; other sheaths can give you the option to attach it to MOLLE.A folding knife can be carried in a pocket.
How much will my hunting knife last?
Chosen wisely, a hunting knife can last for many years, but of course you will need to take care of it as well and not abuse it in any way.