A hunting knife is a very important tool for hunters and campers. So, searching for best hunting knife means you need one of the best companions during hunting or camping.
One thing all users of hunting knives agree on is that for it to be the best hunting knife, it must be able to process meat easily. No one wants to struggle with meat after killing it. So, it is imperative that the hunting knife has the capacity to handle such responsibility with ease.
Asides being sharp enough for meat processing, there are several other qualities I am sure you want your hunting knife to possess. After all, what good is the best hunting knife if it can’t be used as an all-around utility knife when camping?
All-in-all the most important requirement for a knife to be referred to as one of the best hunting knives is that it must be able to dress meat with speed and precision, making ready for dinner right on time.
A few other hunting knives are more peculiar, they have both sides sharp. What stands them out is that while the blade on one side is curved, the one on the other is straight as a line.
The curve in the blade makes it efficient for skinning meat while the straight edge is used in dissection or cutting the meat into slices.
Another set of blades, this one mostly used by fishermen, have a “gut hook” attached. This makes them a triple threat as they can be used for skinning, slicing, and catching fish.
We strongly encourage you to take time and read all about hunting knife in this post because it will guide you on how to maximize the use of it.
10 Best Hunting Knives
Okay, so we have gotten to the crux, best hunting knife. The truth about it is that you can scarcely pick out one knife as the best because different hunting knives possess special qualities peculiar to them that make them gain above others.
There are so many hunting knives on the market and choosing one for your next expedition might be a really annoying task. That is why we decided to come to your aid by narrowing the long list of over 40 hunting knives that can be classified as the best to just a few that you could choose from.
Our list is the result of studying customer reviews and responses, product characteristics, and of course personal experience with some of the knives.
You can pick the best hunting knife here because they are all top rated ones that have been tested and proved to be reliable by fellow hunters or campers.
1. KA-BAR Becker BK2
With a very high rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars by over 1,500 reviewers, it is obvious that we are not wrong in placing KA-BAR Becker BK2 as our top pick. To be precise, 77% of hunters and camper gave it all by rating it 5 stars.
Most hunters and campers are very happy with the hunting knife because it makes a skinning game and prying apart joint very easily. Also, it can be used for other minor cases such as chopping onions for campfire
It is a very lightweight hunting knife, which makes it easy for you to handle it with precision.
It is one of the safest hunting knives you can go for because the knife locks into the sheath to avoiding falling off on the user.
You can only release the knife from the sheath by applying pressure using your thumb on a spot on the back of the sheath.
KA BAR Becker BK2 features the drop point blade shape and a versatile 20 –degree blade angle.
The handle is made of Grivory, which make it easy for a perfect and balanced grip for any outdoor chores.
With the flat blade of five and a half inches long and overall length of ten and a half inches, it is suitable for skinning game and other uses.
If you need a tool that will give you confidence and feels reliable in the field then go for this best hunting knife.
The blade angle facilitates a variety of uses, and blade steel is of a working class. KA-BAR Becker is the most versatile hunting knife I have ever used in my 15 years of being a hunter.
If you are really searching for the best hunting knife then look no further because KA-BAR Becker has all it takes.
2. ESSE Knives 5P Hunting Knife
The quality and durability of ESSE hunting knife speak for itself. Yes, over 200 customers rated it 4.9 stars out of 5 stars as at the time of writing this review. In fact, 92% of the buyers gave it all by rating it 5 stars hunting knife.
It is a heavy duty knife that comes with a perfect coating. You will enjoy the rugged design of the handle because it ensures perfect grip even when soaked.
The safety mechanism of this best hunting knife is superb. It is designed such that an unauthorized user cannot pull it out of the sheath. It is popularly regarded as the best survival knife and the best friend of the hunters.
It is made of carbon steel of tough coating, which means it is built to last and cannot corrode or rust even when in constant contact with water.
ESSE hunting knife has a Canvas Micarta handle that features divot that can be used as a socket for the fire bow drill method.
It comes with a lifetime warranty that is transferable, which means no matter how many times it’s been traded, sold or given away you are still covered.
J.T a verified Amazon buyer wrote “do not bother reading any other review on the best hunting knife. This knife is an all-rounder because you can use it for various reasons.
I’ve used so many knives but no one has a very high score of basic features found in this ESSE Knife. It is worth every dime I spent on buying it.”
3. Benchmade – Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife, Drop-Point
As an American, the name Benchmade gives you a sense of belonging when it comes to design and manufacturing of knives in the world.
The hidden canyon hunter 15016 model of Benchmade hunting knife for sure made this list.
As at the time of writing this review, Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife, has a high rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. This high rating is a clear sign of users’ satisfaction.
It is specifically designed for hunters because of its simplicity and style that meets unmatched functions. You will enjoy its versatility in all areas of field stay.
Built with American made CPM S30V steel this best hunting knife is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. The wide blade radius and the drop point design makes breaking down game size an easy one.
It is a lightweight knife with a slim profile and compact size, which makes it a perfect addition to your EDC collection, backpack, survival kit, and more. Also, you can easily carry it around owing to its portability.
The handle is made of a stabilized wood, which means durability and safety. It can withstand any weather condition because of the strength of the composite material used for the handle.
LifeSharp service from Benchmade knives eliminates the work on how to sharpen your hunting knife. As long as you have the genuine Benchmade knives then you will enjoy free sharpening service all through the lifespan of the knife.
In fact, Benchmade will generally maintain your knife by cleaning, oiling, and adjusting your knife for maximum performance.
Above all, you will enjoy a lifetime warranty for buying this best hunting knife.
Jeff Raines has this to say “This is my first Benchmade hunting knife and will never be the last.
Looking at the size, you may not like it but the reality is that size doesn’t matter when it comes to what you can achieve with this best hunting knife.
I was able to process an entire deer and no issue because the knife is razor sharp. You can’t beat the ever-sharp guarantee, either”
4. Gerber Strong-arm Fixed Blade Coyote Brown FE 30-001058
This is another highly rated best hunting knife by over 80 Amazon’s verified buyers. As at the time of filing this post, it has a very high star rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Over 70% of hunters gave it a maximum rating of 5 stars, which is why it made our list of best hunting knives.
Click Here to Read Reviews and See Details on Amazon
Strong- Arm is known to be a major manufacturer of survival knife for the United States of American military since 1968. Therefore, you always expect the best from them, which was why we deemed it fit to include it in this list.
It is made of full tang 420HC steel with black ceramic coating. It utilizes coyote brown rubberized diamond texture grip and adds a striking pommel and lanyard hole at the base.
Gerber 30-001058 comes with modular sheath system that allows users to carry it vertically in a mole and horizontally with a standard 1.75” tactical belt.
The ceramic blade coating makes this best hunting knife practically impossible to corrode or rust no matter the situation.
5. Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife
This knife is generally accepted as one of the best knives a hunter or camper can easily work with.
Over 1000 customer reviews show that you can’t go wrong in case you decide to go for it, by rating it 4.7 stars out of 5 stars.
This shows that with less than $100 you can get a quality and reliable hunting knife.
It has a razor sharp clip point blade. The blade is made of 420HC steel, which has excellent edge retention, and strength.
The quality of the steel makes it almost impossible for it to corrode or rust. It is a perfect knife for all type of work such as piercing, cutting and skinning.
The handle is designed for comfortable grip and balance because it has a palm swell. The aluminum pommel/guard provides a perfect combination of beauty and balance.
The sheath is made of high-quality protective leather, which means you can easily carry the knife around. Also, it is a lightweight knife just weighing 7.5 oz
Like other best hunting knives, Buck Knives comes with forever warranty. This is a sign of reliability and durability.
6. Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Plain Edge Knife
This particular best hunting knife is designed by knife making legend Bill Moran. As at the time of looking into the details on this knife, it has over 20 reviewers with an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 stars.
The high ratings show that hunters and campers are satisfied with the overall performance of the knife.
Spyderco patterned with Bill Moran to use the highest quality material in making this knife. Using the full-flat-ground VG-10 stainless steel blade this knife can never rust or corrode.
It is a lightweight hunting/camping knife ideal for game preparation and other outdoor chores.
To enjoy a secured and perfect grip this hunting knife has a handle formed through injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced-nylon handle with Kraton rubber.
It comes complete with a molded Boltaron (Kydex) sheath and multi-position G-Clip fastening system.
7. Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife
This is another model of hunting knife by Buck Knives that has been widely accepted as one of the best by over 200 hunter and campers.
The details of this best hunting knife as at the time of writing this review show it has a very high rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Like every other Buck Knives, this model is highly resistant to corrosion. It has great retention and excellent strength for long lasting durability. It is made with a 3-1/8” 420 HC Drop point Skinner blade, which is optimized for skinning game.
Buck Knives 113 skinner hunting knife is built for maximum safety. Because it has a downward angled point that helps prevent an accidental slice through the hide.
With a narrow tip and curved belly, you will enjoy smooth skinning through thick layer skin. The handle is designed for perfect grip because it is made of America Walnut with brass Bolster fits.
Above all, your purchase is covered with a lifetime warranty because the manufacturer believes in the integrity of the product.
8. Outdoor Edge SwingBlade Hunting Knife
The SwingBlade is the latest innovation when it comes to hunting knife. It is perfectly designed for skinning and gutting that is why it has 2 blades in 1.
A very high rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars by about 80 Amazon verified customers’ is a strong sign of durability, strength, portability, and general acceptance.
The blade is made of stainless steel, vacuum heat treatment and subzero quenched that is why it can never corrode or rust. The rubberized TRP handle is for non-slip grip.
Just weighing 7.2 ounces you can easily carry it around because it is a lightweight hunting knife. This best hunting knife looks complex but it is very easy to operate.
With just a push of the lock button, the blade changes from a drop point skinner to the most functional gutting knife for big game.
The SwingBlade comes complete with a quality nylon belt sheath and is lifetime guaranteed.
9. Buck n Bear Custom Handmade Fixed Blade Damascus Hunting Knife
To many hunters out there, this is the most versatile knife every hunter must acquire. It can easily be used in fishing, hunting, camping, utility, hiking, everyday carry, deer skinning and many more.
In fact, this Buck n Bear custom handmade hunting knife is considered the best skinning hunting knife on the market. It is built to last, which is why the hunter blade is made of 1095 Damascus non-corrosive steel. Also, the steel blade is strong and reinforced with a full tang.
You will surely enjoy the grip structure of the handle because it is designed to fit your hands even when it is soaked with blood or water.
As at the time of writing this best hunting knife review, there are 18 hunters and campers that have used and tested this knife. They gave it a high rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars.
Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
If your goal as a hunter is to get the toughest best hunting knife then Morakniv remains the only option.
The blade is made of top grade Swedish Sandvik 14C28N stainless steel that is highly resistant to corrosion. Also, the blade has excellent edge performance, razor sharpness, and high hardness.
This hunting knife is best used for batoning, carving, feathering and fire starting. Other essential functions of this best hunting knife are that is great for skinning and piercing.
As at the time of reviewing Morakniv, it has average customer reviews of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars by over 300 hunters and campers.
What a great sign of great, reliable, portable and strong hunting knife.
What is a Hunting Knife?
I realized it will be great to give a brief description of what a hunting knife is before we move ahead to discuss the best hunting knife.
How exactly are we to be able to discuss the best if we have no idea what a hunting knife is? Just in case you didn’t have prior knowledge or you were a bit confused here it is.
Simply put, a hunting knife is that knife used by the hunter to prepare the game after the kill has been made. I’m sure it must have occurred to you before, maybe not just like this.
The major functions of the hunting knife include skinning and boning. You could add dissecting and cutting the meat into smaller sizes. Okay, those are the basic uses; as we go further in this article we shall discuss a few more.
One thing you must consider in the purchase of a hunting knife is what you plan to use it for. Definitely, a person hunting rabbits is going to need a different hunting knife from someone planning to hunt a deer.
Maintaining Your Hunting Knife
Now that you’ve got your hunting knife there is one more thing, caring for your knife to ensure it lasts. In rounding up this article we decided to give you a few useful tips to help you maintain your new hunting knife.
- Ensure that you use your hunting knife the way it was prescribed by the manufacturer. Don’t use it in cutting tree branches when it was designed to skin game.
- After each use clean every part of the knife. In doing this, wash the knife under clean running water and do not soak it. Dry off the knife immediately to prevent rust.
- Lubricate the knife with some oil once in a while. This way you create a protective layer on the blade while preventing it from corroding. You don’t need to lubricate the handle, and if you must lubricate a wooden handle then use linseed oil while you lubricate a leather handle with mink oil.
- As soon as you notice the blade is losing its shine or sharpness make sure you service it. You can’t do it yourself then take it to an expert to hone it properly.
- Store the knife in a cool dry place, preferably in the leather sheath when out of doors. When indoors don’t let it stay too long in the sheath, just ensure it is left dry as much as you can.
Factors to Consider in Choosing Your Hunting Knife
If you are being sincere with yourself you know that making a choice when faced with the several brands is one hell of a task. This is why we decided to help you out with specific factors to look out for when choosing your hunting knife. Check them out below:
One fact we have established all through this article is the importance of having a hunting knife as a hunter or frequent camper.
As long as you have dealings with preparing game (either skinning or deboning) regardless of whether you are a veteran or a novice, you need the best hunting knife in your kit.
In choosing a hunting knife you need one that is versatile, bringing you as many functions as possible in one knife. You should have noticed by now that there are several hunting knives on the market.
Other factors to consider are:
To rate a hunting knife as strong it must be able to cut through several kinds of material without breaking. If a hunting knife does not possess this singular attribute it is likely to be deformed during use and possibly cause the user some form of injury.
Asides cutting through a material, it is always stressful and frustrating trying to sharpen a hunting knife made of soft metal. More so, a hunting knife made of soft material is likely to not maintain sharpness for long periods.
At the end of the day, it ends up being a total waste of money getting such a knife. Ensure you check the kind of steel used in the manufacture of the knife before purchase to be on the safer side.
The hunting knife edge.
When choosing a hunting knife you should check out its ability to take an edge and maintain it for as long as possible. For a hunting knife to be described as having a great edge, the edge must be one that easily sharpens and is firm on the grip.
The twist to this, however, is that, the thinner the edge is, the sharper it is likely to be. Relating that to how long the knife can maintain that edge, the thinner the edge, the faster it will depreciate and be lost.
So more than being thin and sharp, you must watch out for the knife’s edge that can be maintained for a longer period.
Toughness is a great feature of the best hunting knife. Most people are confused when comparing the toughness with the strength of the hunting knife. I agree it can be quite confusing.
While strength is the ability the knife possesses in cutting through a material, the toughness speaks about the knife’s reaction to impact or compressive forces.
The question that begs to be answered here is “how well can the knife withstand impact forces when in use without getting damaged?”
Sometimes you are going to need to dig up the soil or cut a piece of wood and the only tool at your disposal will be your hunting knife. Will your knife be able to withstand such pressure without losing shape or showing signs of damage? This means that in choosing the best hunting knife you must get a sturdy knife.
Resistance to Corrosion.
The blade of your hunting is made from metal. This means when moisture and air act on it for a while it has the tendency to rust or corrode. That kind of stain does not look great on knives;
moreover, it is not safe for you. Nowadays the blades of hunting knives have been modified. They are now made from stain and corrosion resistant metal.
This tells you that when making a choice for which hunting knife to buy, check that the blade is made from such metal to save you the stress and cash of changing blades every other time.
Wear Resistance of The Hunting Knife.
The use of a hunting knife over a period of time will definitely cause it to wear. The challenge, however, is how fast it wears due to friction. This property is similar to being able to maintain the edge.
The only difference is while maintaining, the edge speaks of the cutting blade alone. The ability to resist wearing focuses on the whole knife. Both the knife blade and handle must possess the ability to resist wear and it must be way above average.
You should also know that even materials sporting similar levels of toughness or strength are likely to display differing levels of resistance. So do not let the toughness or strength of the knife be the judge of this property.
Sharpening Your Hunting knife
If you have tried preparing game, either skinning it, dissecting it, or deboning it with a hunting knife possessing a dull blade you can tell that it is the most frustrating bit of business ever.
This is the reason hunters make it a ritual to ensure that their hunting knives are kept pinpoint sharp always. The question then is this, how do you figure out the appropriate time to sharpen your knife? Do you wait till it is completely dull or you sharpen before every use?
We think it is based on your personal preferences. As for me as soon as I noticed there is a negative difference in the operation of the blade sharpen it. There are two famous tricks for checking if your blade is dull and requires sharpening.
The first is trying to shave off some hair off your wrist with the knife blade. If you can achieve this without any bit of stress or effort, then your blade is still intact. Else, you need to sharpen it.
The second trick is the thumb pad trick. You probably do this unconsciously already. It entails perpendicularly running your thumb against the knife blade. This way you can test easily how sharp the blade is.
Another question that we need to answer is, what is the best tool for sharpening your hunting knife? There is a myriad of tools on the market; sometimes I tend to wonder which are more on the market, the hunting knives or the knife sharpeners?
Let’s check out our top blade sharpeners below.
Till date, this is the most common tool used for sharpening on the market. People have made use of it for several generations. All you need to do is purchase a set of twin stones, one smooth and the other, coarse.
Start off with the coarse stone and then finish up using the smooth stone. This method has been used for generations and it is still viable.
The disadvantage of this method is that the stone wears off after a while of use. Once you notice the indentation on the stone getting wide, it means it is time to replace it. They are very cheap so it shouldn’t be much of a bother.
These are more expensive than stone sharpeners but are also more durable. They hardly wear, in fact, they are likely to get lost or broken before wearing.
Ceramic sharpeners usually come in a rod form which can be put in your pocket as you go hunting. They are smooth, just like the fine stone above means they are better for keeping a knife blade sharp. Rather than being used in sharpening an already dull blade.
Diamond Sharpening Stones.
This is the most recent of all the types of blade sharpeners. They are made from industrial diamonds, which make them quite cheap and durable.
The diamond dust is embedded on the stone which has multiple faces, one fine and the other, coarse. They are however able to sharpen an already dull blade very fast and are very portable.
You should note that a very important part of the sharpening process is the use of lubricants. Especially when making use of the Arkansas or diamond stone sharpeners.
It is best to use honing, but if that isn’t available then you can opt for motor oil. The advantage is that the oil gathers the metal shavings that come off the knife from the sharpening process.
Best Hunting Knife – Wrap Up
With hundreds of hunting knife on the market, we have finally brought to you the 10 overall best on Amazon. They all have been tested and rated so high by other customers. They all have a common feature of durability, portability, and versatility.
Above all, they are all affordable and comes with a lifetime warranty, which shows you are really buying the best.