The use of a hunting knife can date back to ancient times when man primarily lived on hunting and gathering. Over the centuries, hunting knives have evolved only to make them more efficient, which includes variations in the material used to make them. Still, their essential use has broadly remained the same.
As such, the best hunting knife will not be the flashiest with fancy designs and bells. It will be the one that you can rely on it when you need to. A practical piece that you can count on when your survival outdoors depends on it. So, whether you are planning to go fishing, scouting, camping, or hunting, make sure to carry the hunting knife that won’t let you down.
Here is what you need to know about hunting knives as well as reviews from our experts to help you make the best choice.
Hunting Knives Blade Shapes
Hunting knives have different types of blades, and each is designed for a specific purpose. Some of the main types of blades are described below:
Drop Point Blades
Most hunting knives come with the drop point blades as they can generally be ideal for all purposes. From the name, the blade’s spine drops off towards the tip of the blade, making it pointed and sharp. This is effect creates a curved belly that allows you to perform most of the outdoor tasks that require a knife.
Clip Point Blades
Designed to make precision possible when hunting or camping, hunting knives with clip point blades have their spines slightly curved towards the tip. This feature ensures that the blade’s tip is pointy and sharp for details work. They are the second most popular types of blades. The downside to this pointy tip is the ease with which it can break if you apply too much force.
This type of blade borrowed its name from an ancient Japanese Samurai sword whose history dates 1,000 years back. It is short and ideal for use in enclosed spaces where the other blades cannot work well. The standout feature of this blade is its geometry, where the belly extends beyond the tip of the blade, pushing the spine upwards. It is usually used on heavy-duty knives and is worth consideration to include in your collection.
The other type of blades on hunting knives is the sheepsfoot blade. Think of its shape as the opposite of the tanto blade. The blade angles downwards towards the end of the blade. This blade would be ideal for camping and scouting where you need force to cut through stuff like wood.
Sharpening Your Hunting Knife
The good news is that with the KnifePlanet’s Sharpening stone, you will never have to worry about keeping your knife sharp. Besides, you get a free guide on how to use the stone safely with no accidents.
Factor to Consider When Buying Hunting Knives
With a large variety of options to choose from on the market, it can get confusing on whether you should go for the sharp-tipped knife or the one made of stainless steel.
To help you filter out the noise, below are the primary considerations to land a practical and reliable hunting knife.
Type of Blade
As mentioned before, the different types of blades are meant to be used for specific purposes. For instance, the sharp tip on a hunting blade might not be ideal for camping, where you need a lot of force to cut things like wood. It is likely to break.
In other words, the functionality of your hunting can very much depend on the type of blade it has. However, if you are not sure what you will engage in during your next outdoor trip, the drop point blade, as described above, would be the best pick. It can handle most tasks, and you can count on its durability.
Hunting knives, unlike your typical kitchen knife, will be subjected to some of the harshest conditions. Because of this, you need to be sure that the blade material can handle the tough outdoors. Best hunting knives blades are made of two types of materials: stainless steel and high carbon (HC) steel.
The presence and concentration of carbon in the blade material push the price of the knife up, meaning the HC knives are more expensive than those with stainless steel. The advantages of the high carbon steel include ease of sharpening, holding sharp edges longer, and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel blades require less strict maintenance and are durable, although sharpening them can be harder.
A comfortable grip, safe and smooth operation of your hunting knife will depend majorly on its handle. Slipping handles, besides making the knife ineffective, can also lead to accidents and injuries. While most modern knives come with rubber handles to promote grip and make them non-slipping, some of the most common handles are made from wood.
Before buying your hunting knife, check that the handle size will perfectly fit in your hand.
Tang describes the extension of the blade into the handle. Full tang, therefore, means that the blade extends the entire length of the handle. But why is this important? A full tang means that the weight of the knife is well balanced between the blade and the handle. This would give you complete control of the movements of the knife. Besides, a full tang promotes the durability of the knife.
Whether or not a hunting knife has a sheath should not be the primary determinant of whether it is the best pick. However, it is an important consideration, especially since it makes your knife easily accessible and easy to carry around. In fact, most sheaths come with a loop to attach to the belt.
Reviews of the Best Hunting Knives
Buck Knives have been making hunting knives for many years. They are known for unparalleled quality and reliable hunting knives that you can rely on to serve you for years thanks to their durability. The other good thing about this manufacturer is that all knives can be used by both novices as well as veterans of the hunt.
The 124 Frontiersman follows from the previous productions to give you a practical hunting knife with a comfortable handle. Its 6.25″ blade is made from high carbon stainless steel to retain its sharp edge and resist stain and corrosion. Other impressive features include a full tang to distribute the weight of the knife for comfortable handling evenly. You also get a genuine leather sheath for carrying your knife around.
Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Hunt’n Fisch comes with a 3” blade with ridges on the spine to improve your handling. Its compact design makes it ideal for precision and detail for most tasks of any hunter, experienced and new alike.
The handle of the knife is contoured to ensure grip with a full tang to enhance handling and boost its longevity. A lanyard hole at the end of the handle, as well as a leather sheath, makes carrying the knife and locating it when needed, easy and fast.
The 5P from ESEE is distinctively designed to make it a dependable hunting knife for any hunter. It features a Micarta canvas handle to enhance grip and eliminate slips. The 5.25” blade is made from carbon steel, making sharpening of the edge easy. A black powder coating makes it retain these sharp edges for long.
Like most ESEE knives, the 5P can also double as a survival knife. This tells you of its sturdiness. The butt of the handle (pommel) can come in handy when you need to break glass or protect yourself. You can be sure that this knife feels as good in hand as it looks.
With a blade made from hardened chromium vanadium and a full tang, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion is a beast of a hunting knife. The weight of its drop point blade measuring about 5.5″ long balances well with the importance of the handle to enhance its handling and give you control over its operation and movements.
The total length of the knife is about 10.5” with a protruding butt for breaking glass and self-defense. Furthermore, the handle is designed to be slip-proof and offer nothing short of a firm grip. Corrosion will be the least of your worries, although you may need to carry your sharpening stone with you.
Benchmade is another manufacturer that boasts several years of producing quality hunting knives. The Hidden Canyon Hunter knife features a simple design without sacrificing its practicality and efficiency. It has a stainless-steel drop point design with a rugged spine.
This knife’s handle is made from wood, and a full tang means it is well balanced for comfortable handling. The shape and design of this knife make it excellent for skinning and meat removal from your game.
To sum it up, you want to be confident when you reach out for your hinting knife when a situation calls for it. Our list of top hinting knives will give you the best starting point and bearing in mind the key considerations will help you land a reliable one.