Knives are one of the most important tools when it comes to survival and outdoor activities like camping or hunting. However, not all blades are fit for such tasks.
In particular, hunting knives stand out due to their broad and long blades with a hefty grip. These big fixed blades make hunting knives suitable and proficient at almost any cutting task.
Still, choosing a good quality hunting knife can be challenging for a beginner and sometimes even a professional.
This is because a hunting knife’s performance is influenced by a variety of factors. So, what are some of the best hunting knives? Here are our top 5 picks.
What Are Some of the Best Hunting Knives?
- Gerber StrongArm – Best Overall Hunting Knife
- Buck Knives 119 Special – Best Traditional Knife
- Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite – Best Folding Knife
- Bushcraft Survival Knife – Best Outdoor Knife
- Buck Knives 656 Pursuit – Best Looking Hunting Knife
1. GERBER StrongArm Tactical Knife
Gerber is well known in the hunting community as one of the best knife makers. Consequently, the company has a variety of top-tier knives that are very compact, lightweight, and highly durable.
The Gerber StrongArm is their most well-rounded knife, in our opinion. Whether it’s for hunting, survival, or outdoor activities, you’ll find it capable of all you need.
The Strongarm comes with a decent 4.8-inch blade length which is not too long or too short. Additionally, Gerber uses full tang blades on almost all their knives, which is the case here.
The blade also has a beautiful ceramic coating, making the knife very stealthy. The blade is made of an outstanding quality 420HC steel.
This material helps the knife retain its edge for longer while the ceramic coating protects the blade against rust and corrosion.
In addition, the grip on the handle is diamond texture rubber. This grip allows you to hold the knife comfortably and sturdily.
Lastly, the variety of mounting options allows you to mount your knife however you like. With the included snap-together mounting components, you’re covered vertically on the MOLLE, on your belt, or on your drop-leg belt.
- Medium blade length
- Full tang blade
- Ceramic coating
- Variety of included mounting equipment
- Comfortable handle and grip
- Too big for concealed carrying
2. Buck Knives 119 Special
Buck Knives is the most recognized knife maker in America. They have 120 years of knife-making experience; hence, they are also the oldest knife company that still provides excellent quality products.
On top of making quality knives, Buck also gives a lifetime warranty on all of their blades. Additionally, they have over 200 unique items, and each one is specialized to be durable, reliable, and good-looking at the same time.
Buck knives use a good combination of an aluminum pommel and a guard to keep the weight distribution perfect.
The Buck 119’s handle is well designed, and the black color contrasts perfectly with the knife’s silver finish. So, in addition to excellent performance, the knife is also aesthetically pleasing.
- Long blade
- Genuine leather sheath and snap fastener
- Integrated belt loop
- Perfect weight balance
- Lifetime warranty
- Too long and flashy to be stealthy
3. Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite
In comparison to the other companies on our list, Outdoor Edge is a newer manufacturer of knives. However, their products are unique and functional.
They have a variety of models with different grips, colors, and blade lengths. Moreover, Outdoor edge provides lifetime service for every product. Hence, they are quick to entertain all replacement and service requests.
For this review, we chose the 3.5″ RazorLite for its functionality. Firstly, the blades of this hunting knife are replaceable. Furthermore, the handle has dual thumb studs, which help unfold the knife easier.
The RazorLite also comes in two different sizes, which allows you to choose the one that suits your needs. However, we recommend the 3.5-inch version since it’s a lot more comfortable to hold because of the long handle.
- Foldable design
- Replaceable blades
- Stylish design
- Durable pocket clip
- Very lightweight
- Lifetime service
- The blade edge is not long-lasting
Although the bushcraft survival knife is the most expensive one on our list, it is the only complete outdoor camping and hunting knife package.
When you purchase the bushcraft survival knife, you get a lot of other survival tools with it, like a flint rod for starting fires and an Allen Wrench that holds all the tools neatly on the stylish sheath.
This is an excellent knife for anyone who loves the outdoors. The 1095 high carbon steel blade is razor sharp and can easily handle any task you put it to, whether it’s cutting wood, paper, or plastic.
The G10 handle with orange lining is very comfortable to hold and provides a good grip even when wet. The Kydex sheath is top quality and keeps the knife safely stored when not in use.
The included Flint rod and scraper are great additions that will come in handy if you ever need to start a fire in the wilderness. This is a great gift for any nature lover in your life who enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, or hiking.
- Stealthy look
- Full tang 4″ blade
- Stylish sheath
- Different outdoor tools included
- It comes in a gift box
- Lower quality blade material (1095HC)
5. Buck Knife 656 Pursuit
The Buck Knife 119 Special we discussed earlier has only one flaw: too long for ease of carrying. However, that issue is fixed in the 656 Pursuit Large.
This knife has a 4.5″ blade length. The blade material, however, is the same high-quality 420HC steel. Hence, it allows for a durable and long-lasting edge.
The sheath included is also made of polyester instead of leather. And the handle and the sheath are an army green color, giving the knife a modern look overall.
- 4.5″ blade length
- Good color combination
- High-quality full tang blade (420HC)
- Lifetime warranty
- It might be too flashy for some people’s taste
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hunting Knife
When purchasing a new hunting knife, we recommend you consider the following factors.
When choosing a hunting knife, think about what you will be using it for. If you plan on doing a lot of skinning and gutting, then you will want a knife with a strong, sharp blade.
A Bowie knife is a good option for this purpose. If you just need a general all-purpose knife, then something like a Swiss Army Knife will suffice.
When it comes to choosing a hunting knife, blade material is an important consideration. The most common materials used for hunting knife blades are carbon steel and stainless steel.
Carbon steel is often prized for its ease of sharpening, but it can be more susceptible to rusting. Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion, but it can be more difficult to keep sharp.
Ultimately, the best blade material for a hunting knife is one that strikes a balance between these two attributes. Another factor to consider is the type of game you will be hunting.
For example, if you will be hunting small game, you will want a blade that is thin and delicate. However, if you will be hunting large game, you will want a blade that is thicker and more durable.
There are a variety of blade materials used in different knives. However, we recommend sticking to 420HC steel or 1095 HC steel. These are durable, stain-resistant, and hold the edge a lot longer.
A skinner blade shape is much better for hunting than a drop point. However, a drop point knife like the buck knives we listed is better for woodwork and general utility. A skinner blade allows you to skin hunt games easier. Hence the name “skinner.”
The size of a hunting knife is an important consideration for any hunter. A too-large knife can be unwieldy and difficult to control, while a too-small knife may not be able to handle the tough hide and bone of larger game animals.
The ideal size of a hunting knife depends on the type of game being hunted, as well as the hunter’s personal preferences.
For example, a smaller knife may be perfectly adequate for hunting rabbits or squirrels, but it would be completely ineffective for taking down a deer or elk.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the ideal size of hunting knife is to experiment with different sizes and see what feels most comfortable and effective.
While most knives use textured rubber as the grip on the handle, it can sometimes be harder to manipulate and move around with. Some hunters wrap their handles with cotton or fabric for more fluid control.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does my hunting knife need a gut hook?
A gut hook is a good feature in a hunting knife. But it also makes the knife harder to carry around. So a skinner knife is still a better option for hunting and everyday use combined.
2. What is a hunting knife used for?
A hunting knife is a perfect tool for preparing the hunted game for cooking and eating.
For example, skinning, gutting, and boning the hunted game.
3. What steel is the best for hunting knives?
There are a variety of steel types depending on carbon composition. For mid-range knives, you should look for 420HC or 1095HC.
4. How long do hunting knives last?
Depending on the durability and build materials of the knife, your hunting knife can last a lifetime. Especially the ones from Buck Knives, since they offer a lifetime warranty.
We hope you found the perfect hunting knife for your use case in our round-up. These are all extremely durable and functional.
Knives that are well made will last you for years before needing to be replaced. Good luck with all your camping and hunting activities, and remember always to stay safe.