How do you choose the best hunting knife? Most of us do not think about the knife in our pocket, but for new hunters outfitting themselves, the knife choices available can be overwhelming. Choosing a knife comes down to personal preference and your style because knives come in all shapes and sizes.
How to Choose the Best Hunting Knife
Fixed Blade or Folding Knife
Your first big choice when picking out your knife is whether to select a fixed blade or folding. The upsides of the folding knife is it’s more compact, safer to transport, and can be easy to deploy. The downside of these knives is that they are not as strong as a fixed blade. It is easy to get blood or tissue stuck in them, and sometimes the release mechanisms are hard to operate. The upside of fixed blade knives is that they are stronger, easier to clean, and more durable. The downside is you must have a sheath so they can be more dangerous to carry and are bulkier.
When you are looking to choose the best hunting knife for you, remember that knives come in a variety of tips. To see most of them, you can go check them out at KnifeBuzz. Many hunters typically select clip point, straight back, or drop point. These edges are all great for getting into small places, particularly the clip or drop point knives. This is important for cutting meat off the bone, breasting, and filleting. Drop point knives are the most versatile for big game hunters as they excel at each of these.
You can also opt for a specialty knife, like a skinning knife or gut hook knife/attachment. These knives are designed for one thing. It is designed to easily peel away the skin. Having never had a specific skinning knife before, this is something I plan to add to my repertoire as I like having knives to use back at the ranch/lodge/home for specific uses.
Type of Blade
Disposable blades are up and coming in knives. I have a Gerber Vital Pocket Folder and like how the knife works overall. However, the blades do dull faster than a comparable knife and when you are skinning. The part that you use to change the blades quickly fills with blood and tissue which hampers blade exchange. I also always feel like I cannot find the extra blades or need to buy more. My preference is to sharpen a blade and I just must carry my sharpener as compared to many small blades in a little box. As with all things hunting, it comes down to preferences.
The next thing to think about when choosing the best hunting knife is the material of the blade. Blades come in a variety of types of steel and other metals. For all the different types, you have a trade-off between hardness, wear resistance, and rust resistance. The harder the steel, the harder it will be to sharpen but it will maintain its sharpness longer. If you use a knife more, you will want it to have a higher level of wear and rust resistance.
Choosing the best hunting knife overall is a personal journey and one that you may have to try many different knives before you get to your perfect one or collection. I use many different knives when I have the comfort of home but always will find a 3-4 inch foldable blade with a drop point for multipurpose uses in the field.