Best skinning knife [2023] – Fixed Blade, Gut Hook, And Folding

After making a comprehensive list of skinning knives sold online, and some which are sold in bricks and mortar stores which was nearly 70 models, we found out that Top Knives B.O.B remains the best skinning knife with a fixed blade on sale today.

Top B.O.B is the best skinning knife because it has very high customer ratings and it is made of very strong material. This means it maintains a very sharp edge over a long period.

We, first of all, made away with those with consistent poor customer reviews and those that cannot withstand a simple stress test. So, we were left with overall 7 best skinning knives that give users value for their money.

So, if you are a hunter or you are planning to go camping and searching for the best skinning knife then you are on the right page.

Before, we go into details of best skinning knives; we will like to introduce you to all the types of skinning knives we considered in the course of our research and the best from each type.

Types of Skinning Knives

We took a deep look into the 3 types of skinning knives and were able to figure out the best skinning knife from each of the models. The basic types are:

  • Folding knife
  • Fixed-blade knife
  • Gut hook.

Fixed – Blade Knife

This is the most popular skinner among hunters and campers. The blades are not foldable and irreplaceable. Some of the fixed blade skinning knives have double sharpened edges, while some are not.

Foldable Skinning Knife

These are skinning knives that you can easily fold to a smaller size. In fact, they are also known as pocket-sized skinning knives because you can pocket them without much hassle. Some of them come with one or more blades that fit inside the handle.

Gut Hooks

These are special skinning knives because they have added features that allows skinning in a very straight line. This is perfect for case skinning and open skinning. Though professional hunters pay little or no attention to the hook gut, still it is useful if you really understand how to use it.

Having known the 3 types of skinning knives, let’s consider the best skinning knife in all the types.

Best Skinning Knives (Fixed Blade)

1.  Top B.O.B (Brothers of BushCraft) Knife (Top Pick)

We considered this to be the best deer skinning knife on the market today for so many reasons. Firstly, it has very high user ratings from over 70 unique and genuine reviews found online. In fact, it has a star rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars as at the time of writing this review.

After undergoing heavy duty abuse and testing in the wilderness of Canada by local survival experts Mors Kochanski and Dr. Gine Ferri, Top B.O.B proved to be the skinning knife every hunter and camper should go for.

It is designed for perfect grip and the blade is full tang. Also, it is a fieldcraft knife, so may not be necessarily considered as a tactical knife. It is very versatile because you can use it for carving, cutting and skinning.

The gimping feels amazing along that back spine, very aggressive. It’s a little uncomfortable when you’re carving without gloves on, although, I usually have some form of gloves on.

The Tops BoB gives you really, really good traction. I like that the cutting edge of the blade is uncoated. That makes it just slide through the material you’re cutting through a lot easier.


Overall Length:                   10”

Blade Length:                      4- 1/2”

Blade Material (Strength): 1095 High Carbon RC 56-58

 2.  Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife (Another Great Pick)

This is another best skinning knife that has enjoyed the patronage of hunters and campers.

 Detailed online research shows that over 200 hunters and camper penned down their experiences with this skinner hunting knife.

They averagely rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars, which shows that it is really worth being on this list of the best skinning knife.

It is the best skinning knife with the highest corrosion resistant property. Also, it has great edge retention due to the high quality of metal.

The design of this knife makes even a novice skin like a pro because it has a narrow tip and wide curved belly, which tears thick skin easily. You will definitely like the safety built –in safety measure in this knife. Yes, it has a downward angled point that helps prevent accidental slice through the hide.

The ergonomic design makes it fit perfectly into your hand because it is made of American Walnut handle with brass Bolster.

Above all, this knife is made in the USA, which means it meets the best standard for skinning. Also, it comes with a lifetime warranty, which shows the confidence of the manufacturer on the product.


Overall Length:   7- ¼”

Blade Size:          3-1/8”

Overall weight:  5.2oz

3. Benchmade – Saddle Mountain Skinner 15001 Knife, Drop-Point

This list of best skinning knives would not be complete without including the Benchmade skinner 15001 knife. It is a well balanced skinning knife with high rust resistance because it is made of CPM -30V stainless steel.


The handle is specially made with a stabilized wood, which is why it can withstand any hard environmental situation. The saddle sinner is a full tang knife, providing strength and reliability.

The size of the blade makes it perfect for skinning and meat removal.  It is solely for hunters. The leather sheath is durable and pressure fitted for your safety.

It comes with a lifetime warranty and lifesharp service that keeps your knife in good condition always. To enjoy lifetime support of sharpening or repair, you must buy Saddle mountain siknner 15001 from an authorized dealer.

Amazon is one of the authorized dealers you can buy this best skinning knife from.


Blade Length:         4.17 inches

Blade thickness:    0.140 inches

Overall length:       8.73 inches

Handle thickness:  0.58 inches

Weight:                    5.13 oz

Best Skinning Knives (Folding)

1. Cold Steel (4005065) Ultimate Knife (Folding Skinning Knife)

When it comes to best foldable skinning knife Cold steel 4005065 top our list with a very high rating of 4.6 stars from firsthand users. In fact, 89% of the customers interviewed gave it all by rating it 5 stars.


As at the time of writing this best skinning knife review, cold steel 4005065 is the most durable on the market because it is made of American XHP steel with Rockwell hardness of 60-61.

The size of the belly makes it perfect for skinning game and a drop point to enable the deft slicing of the body cavity without puncturing the viscera.

The handle is designed for maximum grip even when it is wet or soaked with blood. The handle is heavily bead blasted and CNC machined smooth grip.

You will also love the extra safety measure of this best skinning knife because it has a tri-ad locking mechanism.

Above all, it is highly resistant to corrosion and comes with a lifetime warranty.


Blade thickness:  3.5mm

Handle Lenght:   5” long. G-10

Blade Length:     3.5”

2.  Zero Tolerance 0562CF Hinderer Slicer Folding Knife

This is another great folding skinning knife with an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 stars by more than 90 users as at the time of writing this review. The high rating is why it is included as the best skinning knife for hunters.


We placed it second on our list owing to its high price. But it has all the qualities that made it expensive. It is very durable because the handle is made of a titanium metal, which is lightweight and offers excellent corrosion resistance.

Your safety is paramount when using any type of hunting knife. Therefore, ZT 0562 is secured and quicker for one-handed blade deployment.

The knife handle, or frame, has two metal plates on either side of the blade, and when open, the lock bar butts up against the blade’s backend to prevent blade closure. To close the knife blade, push the frame to the side to unlock the blade and fold the blade back into the handle.

It is an all-purpose knife because you can use it for hunting, fishing, camping, working and many more. It is made in the USA so be rest assured of quality.


Blade Length:                     3.5 inches

Closed Length:                   4.8 inches

Overall Length:                 8.3 inches

Blade thickness:                0.156 inches

Weight:                               5.5 oz

Critical analysis of the dimension shows that it is a bit bulky skinning knife. But every other feature is pointing to an overall excellent hunting or skinning knife

Best Skinning Knife with Gut Hook

1.  Buck Knives 393 Omni Hunter 12pt Gut Hook Knife

If you are interested in best deer skinning knife with a gut hook then Buck knives 393 Omni may be all you need. It is a razor sharp blade knife that lasts so long because of the 420HC steel the knife is made of.

The 4’ Gut hook delivers excellent strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. If you are a professional hunter, you will believe with me that the gut hook is perfect for a skinning game.

The handle is ergonomically designed for perfect grip even when it is soaked in water or blood. Also, your safety is paramount in using this best deer skinning knife that is why it comes with a heavy-duty sheath. The sheath has a snap closure and integrated belt loop for safe and secure carry on your belt.

It is obvious that the name buck knives is synonymous reliability and durability. That is why since 1902 Buck Knives has offered a lifetime warranty on any of the model of knives they manufactured.

As at the time of writing this best skinning knife with gut hook review, Buck knives 393 has over 100 positive reviews online. In fact, it has user ratings of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars, which is a clear sign that the buyers got the value for their money.

Over 80% of the users gave it all by rating it a 5-star skinning knife. It is a knife to reckon with for hunting and camping.

Above all, it is very affordable when compared to another skinning knife of its quality on the market.

Short Coming

  • It takes a professional hunter or experienced skinner to use any skinning knife with gut hook. Therefore, if you are just a beginner then be very careful when using this best deer skinning knife with gut hook. Or avoid it totally

2.  Elk Ridge Hunting Knife With Gut Hook Blade

It is a set of two hunting knives that includes 7-inches straight edge hunting/skinning knife and 6-1/2 – inch gut hook knife blades made of 440 stainless steel.


Elk Ridge hunting knife with gut hook blade is one of the skinning knives that hunters enjoy using. Its sharpness and gut distance makes it perfect for skinning.

As at the time of writing this review, over 300 users have rated it 4.2 stars out of 5 stars. This high rating is a clear sign of customer satisfaction.

One of the unedited testimonies about this best deer skinning knife shows that you will never go wrong in buying it. Joe Lam has this to say “As a hunter all I needed was the best hunting and skinning knife because I know how to make a kill easily.

I did my research on the best skinning knife and ELK hunting knife keeps coming up as one of the best. I decided to give a try and was not disappointed with the result. Having used this skinning knife for the past 6 years and it still remains sound and great.

I will always recommend this knife for any serious-minded hunter that wants to enjoy precision in skinning.

Also, Check Out [Best Hunting Knives]

Best Skinning Knives – 7 Things to Consider When Buying

You must be familiar with the things to consider before buying a skinning knife or else you end up buying nonsense. We considered all the features of the best skinning knife before coming to a conclusion with those above.

Therefore, you need to know some of the factors we considered. Things to consider are:

  • Blade material
  • Construction
  • Blade type
  • Edges
  • Blade Grinds
  • Handle material
  • Lock and Joint mechanism

Let’s dig deep into each of the factors to consider before paying for a skinning knife.

1.  Blade Material

Skinning knives blades are made up of different materials, and each material has its ups and downs. The 5 basic materials used for making skinning knives are:

  • Crucible
  • High carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • Ceramics


The crucible steel is considered as the best metal for making blades. It is known for hardness, which makes it excellent at holding an edge. It has high corrosion resistant ability, which means it can last for years. The only problem with the blade made of a crucible is that it is very difficult to sharpen.

High-Carbon Steel

The carbon content in this steel makes it very hard thereby making it retain its edge over a long time. Also, it is very easy to sharpen. The downside of buying a skinning knife made of this material is that it is somewhat brittle. It has the tendency to rust and react to both acids and alkalis, causing it to change color. The discoloration doesn’t affect the performance.

To avoid high carbon steel blade from rusting, make sure you clean and dry immediately after use.

Stainless Steel

As the name implies, the best skinning knife made of this steel hardly rusts or discolor. They are very easy to sharpen. The steel is very hard, therefore can retain its edge for a long time. The downside of this material is that it usually comes with a very thin thickness


This is another excellent material used in making skinning knives. It is lightweight, durable and retains sharpness longer than any other blade made of other materials. You can easily sharpen the best skinning knife made of titanium.

The downside of this material is that the blade has a short life span because sharpening removes some portions of the surface.


Lightweight, hard, dense space-age material that is stronger than steel, but far more brittle. Ceramic blades hold an edge significantly longer than steel and can be manufactured into much thinner blades, which makes cutting considerably easier.

They are best used for slicing and should never be used for chopping due to their brittleness. Unlike steel, their hardness makes them impervious to chemical reactions with either acidic or alkaline foods. Diamond hones are used for sharpening and repairing chips.

2.  Construction

This is very vital because it determines the safety of the hunter or camper when using the knife. Some of the best skinning knives come with hand guard, while some a designed for maximum grip. This means that even when it is soaked with blood it would not be slippery to a point of the user being injured

3.  Blade Type

There are several blade types found in skinning knives such as spear point, trailing point, sheepsfoot, drop point, clip point, tanto point, Gut hook, and Saw blade.

The best of all these mentioned above is the trailing point blade type. It is excellent for skinning and caping because it cuts upward, higher than the spine of the blade. Another blade type you can go for is the gut hook because it is great in opening and skin easily.

4. Edges

The shape of the edge greatly affects the performance of a skinning knife. There different types of skinning knives edge such as plain and. The best remains the plain edge skinning knife. It produces an excellent and clean cut because the edge is plain and smooth.

5. Blade Grinds

We are still on the blade because the bulk of the job is done by the skinning blade. Now we are talking of the grinds. There are 4 types of grinds in skinning knives, which are full hollow, semi-hollow, Rolled edge, and V grind.

Whenever you are considering buying a skinning knife then consider going for the full hollow grind. Because it produces an extremely thin edge that is excellent for slicing and skinning.

6.  Handle Material

When considering the best deer skinning knife to buy, you must consider the material the handle is made of. There are basically 4 materials used in making hunting or skinning knives, which are wood, plastic, synthetics, and metals.


Best skinning knife made of wood offers a great grip but requires extraordinary care. To maintain it, you must keep it out water and usually rub occasionally with mineral oil.


Handles made of plastic equally offer good grip but sometimes are brittle and can be slippery.

 Synthetic (G10, Kraton, Micrata, Polymide etc)

Provide a phenomenal grip and comfort and last longer than any other handles made of natural material.


Handles made of metal is fairly indestructible. The metals used for the handle is patented and they provide a perfect grip. The downside is that it gets rust over a long period of usage.

Above all, you should always go for an ergonomic and non-slippery handle, which is the synthetic handle material.

7.  Lock and Joint Mechanism

You have to pay attention to this feature if you are considering going for the best folding skinning knife. The lock and joint mechanism determine the strength and durability of the knife. Always go for a frame and liner locks.

Other features you can consider when buying the best skinning knife are blade length, overall length, and blade thickness. Though, most skinning knives on market today met the desired measurement for a perfect hunting knife.

How to Sharpen a Skinning Knife

Experience has shown that some of the best skinning knives do not come sharpened as the sellers claimed. Will you return a quality knife just because it is not sharp? Even if you got delivery of skinning knife well sharpened, it will get weak or blurred as time goes on.

Therefore, to continuously enjoying your best deer skinning knife, you must learn how to keep it very active at any given time by sharpening it.

The simple secret of sharpening your best skinning knife is by maintaining the original angle. To get it right, you need a warthog knife sharpener.

Watch this video to learn how to sharpen you skinning knife with warthog

Click Here For The Best Warthog on the Market

Best Skinning Knife- Wrap Up

Obviously, we have done the job by bringing to you the best skinning knives out of hundreds on the market today. All these knives found above have been tested and proved by thousands of users. They all have a high user rating of 4.0 stars and above, which is a clear sign of users’ satisfaction.

They are durable, reliable, portable, and above all affordable. Above all, they all have a lifetime warranty and are sold through Amazon. This means that for any reasons you are not satisfied with the knife, you can ask for a refund or a change unconditionally. So, choose and buy with confidence.

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