If your last Google search was anywhere near "Best Hunting Knives", then you're definitely at the right place. Well when going into Hunting knives, the basics are to be kept in mind, right? I mean, you wouldn't want a Knife that is 42 inches long, no matter how sharp it is, right? On the other hand, you'd also not want it to be so small that you can't even hold it.
So technically, this review on the hunting knives covers only the best possible options for you ( How the "best"? Don't worry I've answered that in the next section ), or else you could find bullshit written all over the internet.
Best Hunting Knives Reviews - Quick Overview!
1. Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife
Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is a very popular, loved and one of the favorite knives among hunters. The Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is complete in itself with all qualities of being capable in the hunting knife marketplace.
This knife has a 3 ¾ inch 420HC steel chip blade, with a closed length of 4 7/8 inches. It comes in the category of one of the lightest knives, with weight at under a half pound, weighing only 7.2 ounces. So there's no doubt on its mobility or use. The brand, Buck gives a lifetime warranty to its customers who opt for these knives and also, it is well used, without any hassle.
Buck knives have a wooden handle, Dymonwood wood-grain with polished bolsters, a competent and natural wood grain. The handle is further enhanced with a high-quality leather sheath that increases its life and increased its usage, even though there is a working locking mechanism on the blade itself.
Buck’s unconditional warranty is an attraction for customers to purchase it. It has one of the easiest warranties to take advantage of if something goes wrong anyway. Its small design is not an issue as the Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is fit for usage at normal chores as well as at some heavy duty tasks as well.
As this is a remake, and anniversary stock so the company has embarked an emblem on the knife handle that reads “1964 50 years” to celebrate the company’s history. When unwrapped the knives comes out incredibly sharp, and even maintaining the Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is less of a chore and more of joy because of the craftsmanship.
If you are old users of the original knife, then you will get a bit disappointed, and if you are a new user then you will surely love this creation from Buck. As of this posting this model like its predecessor has been discontinued, although the conditional lifetime warranty is still intact.
Well, being an expired product Buck knives has huge demand and are searched by the savvy searcher. This reflects that how well and perfect the Buck Knives 110BRS Folding Hunter Knife is compared to other models and that its value even to this day has stayed intact. So, I would say Buck hunting knives are among the best knives of the times, classic or remade, to hold onto them.
2. Fallkniven NL4 Leather handle Plain Leather Sheath
Fallkniven NL4 Leather Handle Plain Leather Sheath is one of the most expensive blades on our list. ( There's a reason for it, and the price is well justified so don't look the other way just yet ). The Fallkniven NL4 handle, Plain Leather Sheath is a great option on the list for hunters but can be overlooked if you are looking for features versus value.
The knife has a 5.12 fixed plain edge blade with a drop point. The blade has lamination embedded on it with VG10 steel at 4.48 inches. The brown leather handle doesn’t go off with feel or quality. It adds on to the craftsmanship when it comes towards the leather sheath.
This knife comes in at 6.7 ounces, all without sacrificing any of its long-term durability. This makes its durability extend beyond normal use all while maintaining a razor sharp blade.
This knife doesn't carry a lot of prestige if you are looking for it and you are going for its purchase. It does not give a clear cut warranty information.Just like an iron clad you won't find unconditional lifetime warranty with Buck.
This knife can possibly be a diamond in the rough purchase for the correct hunter. What really attracts the buyers to purchase Fallkniven NL4 Leather handle Plain Leather Sheath is the real feel of the knife as well as durability.
This knife is a perfect choice for a brave hunter. So, you can look at the Fallkniven NL4 Leather handle Plain Leather Sheath, in different ways and even out of the box. I am well aware of the fact that the best hunting knife for one person may not be the perfect choice for another. So, one should not argue about the quality of this knife, even if the price point is on the high side.
What matters is the features of the knife and its price and quality ratio, which I'm sure about this knife because it has all the reasons to demand the price at which it's priced.
3. ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles
In this competitive world, The market has a lot of unique knives for hunting, but one best among these unique ones is the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles.
This knife is one in many and is not only different but different and rather innovative. The knife is 10 inches long with fixed blade, and also with the 1095 High Carbon Steel blade reaching at 4.75 inches.
The material used to make a handle is high quality and composed of Micarta while the sheath is made up of the controversial Kydex. Well, I called the sheath controversial due to different opinions from different hunters. This knife is just too perfect for any weather.
It comes to the packaging , and even that screams quality, going to the skeletonized 1095 construction with black powder finish. This knife has a sleek and clean looking blade with jimping on the lower spine and index choil on the front.
The gray Micarta scales can be removed with the included washer piece which is a smooth to touch. The aforementioned Kydex sheath features many things, right from the sheath tensioner, paracord lanyard with lock and ambidextrous clip plate.
This knife cleverly escapes from the critics who clamor for a traditional leather case due to its various included features with the Kydex sheath, the ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles.
The edge of this knife is claimed to maintain sharpness over a long period of time due to the Carbon material used in its manufacture. Talking about the pricing, I have found that there is not even one point that proved that the knife is overpriced or underdone.
The ESEE Knives LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife with Canvas Micarta Handles is a ranked among the top tier hunting knife. The warranty is same as like Bucks; it also comes up with the lifetime warranty. This knife has a long durability with thick blades and are perfect when used while working. This knife from ESEE is high on demand by the hunters and also it is leading the best knives list.
4. Kershaw 1780CB Knife
The Kershaw 1780CB Cutting knife,popularly called as the Kershaw Rake, is a composite folding knife. And, Kershaw is one the top knife brands in the market.
The knife has various features like wear-resistant D2 steel on its cutting edge and Sandvik 14C28N steel on the spine. Kershaw has a unique SpeedSafe opening system which allows you to open the knife with either hand.
This knife is highly rated with high reviews and reasonable price. The Kershaw 1780CB Cutting Knife has a length of 4-5/8 inches when closed and weighs 4.8 ounces. The knife has 3-1/2 inches long blade. When you open the knife than it comes at 8-1/8 inches.
In addition to this, the knife has some inbuilt features that include a built-in switch that allows quick and easy access to the blade. You can see the curved belly around the wide blade that provides an impressive slashing capability.
The textured, black G-10 handle it has its unique customers. The Kershaw 1780CB Rake is thin in shape which allows it to get fitted in your pockets while sitting. The customers who own this knife have high praises for the handle, which has a thumb rest and finger recess to make a wonderful grip over the knife.
The knife has great reviews online and with the opinion from of many clients, the knife has high approval for the ergonomic shape. The knife does not have a long blade, and it's exactly the kind of blade you should be looking for, as most tasks can be accomplished by this single blade.
The Kershaw 1780CB Rake has a solid build even while retaining it's light weight. The blade deployment is very smooth and has got positive reviews online. The knife has a high-quality sharpness with a balanced pocket clip making it the choice of most of the customers.
So, all, in all the Kershaw 1780CB Rake is ranked pretty high as per reviews are considered. The knife delivers a quality slicing performance. Well, as a product is made in the United States, the quality stands high satisfying most of the preferences of the consumer’s. If all the features suit your need than the Kershaw 1780CB Rake Cutting Knife is the product made for you.
5. Gerber 22-01874 Mark II
One of the invention from Gerber, the 22-01874 Mark II, is a fixed blade hunting knife. Let's find out more about the features of the knife and its specifications so that you can easily decide if this knife is right piece for you.
The Gerber 22-01874 Mark II is a 420 HC steel fixed blade knife coated with the black oxide. The knife's blade has two edges; one edge is serrated in one section, and the other one is plain on the other.
The handle of this knife is made of die cast aluminum. The knife comes with a ballistic nylon sheath. It is 11.6 inches long and has the blade making up 6.6 inches of that length. The Gerber 22-018974 Mark II has a weight of 12.5 ounces.
Talking about the warranty, the knife has a limited lifetime warranty. The Gerber Mark II tactical knife was launched in the year 1966. Since then, the knife has become a serialized collector’s item and one of the best selling knives of all time.
The Gerber 22-01874 Mark II cutting knife is a decent beginner’s blade at a given price. It's Specifically designed with the self-protection aspect in mind. The knife is not meant to be used as a field knife, but If you are hunting, the Gerber 22-01874 is a great device for sidelining the prey.
This knife fulfills the purpose of offending off the attacks in cases of self-defense by fencing with the blade and is capable of making skull indentations with the pommel. Well it's more of a beginner's kind of knife, means if you're not the expert hunter in your team, and you are working on the back-end then it's definitely your choice. Read my article to know more about best folding knife for defense.
How did I Choose these Hunting knives:-
There are thousands, if not millions of hunting knives available on the market today, and choosing the best one out of them is no easy task, take my word for it. All of them process a kill and meat, right? They do their job well, so how can I decide which one is "better" than the other? That's precisely the reason of me getting into this section of the article.
So well, when you're going for a hunting knife, the first aspect that you need to consider is, what you're trying to achieve with the knife. For, e.g., you aren't trying to slay a dragon, so there's no point in going one that costs 800-1200$ or so, right? ( Oh yes some knives cost way above that too !)
So what technically is the "main goal" of your knife ? In most cases it's skinning the kill, going through it's bones and ribcage and getting it a good look on your dinner plate, right?
So I said in the initial section of this article, it's no use for you to get a 42-inches long knife, which might be the sharpest blade, but still not effective in doing it's job right, so yes I kept in mind that these blades have an effective and usable length, without compromising their other factors.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is, How frequently do you hunt? I mean like, if you're not much of that frequent hunter, and it's just an occasional sport, I'd say you need to be going for the "folder" knives, right? While on the other hand, if you're more of a frequent hunter, the fixed blade is a better option, so I did keep in mind that a mix of both of these kinds are present in this review, so that it suits you no matter which kind of hunter you are.
The manufacturing material plays a great role in getting any knife done, so that was another factor I kept in mind while getting this review done, so you can get something that's durable, long lasting and not a quick, one-time deal.
And off course, the budget, yes I did keep in mind that too, I know most of you here aren't offsprings of billionaires, (neither Am I ) , so it's important to get you the best piece possible, in the most affordable budget, right? So all of the knives were taken into consideration after making sure that neither the quality is comprised, nor does it burn a hole in your pocket.
What to look for in the best knives designed for hunting:-
As I said, there are thousands of reviews online to confuse you, and get the sale done, yes that's pretty much the general concept almost everywhere. But, how will you actually get the best possible piece if all of the reviews are profit-oriented?
Well, here's how you can choose your best friend in hunting on your own, without relying solely on some exaggerated reviews online. ( I've kept in mind to serve your best interests, economically, practically and honestly while writing this review, but still you should know to choose for yourselves too, right ? )
1. Manufacturing Material:-
If you're going for the best hunting knives I've listed below, you need to understand the aspects that I've listed there, right? So that you can judge it a better way.
So there practically are three kinds of manufacturing materials, which you probably know but still let me get you a better picture:-
Carbon:- Okay so first of all, it's a lot cheaper, and it's rugged so it gets additional durability, as it's a basic kind it's also easy to sharpen, the only downside is, it's pronto rusting, as it's not stainless, so it does rust over time, and so it might not be a good option in the long run.
Stainless :- Well it's the "advanced" version of the Carbon knives, the upgrade is that it doesn't rust, obviously. Also, it doesn't need as much maintenance, the one downside they've got is they need a bit more work on the "sharpening" process.
Carbon Stainless :- These are the best types, and so naturally the most expensive. The upside is that it almost never rusts, if you keep it oiled, or work out on the more "modern" way of keeping it silicon waxed, but the downside definitely is the price. But it's still your call.
Okay, so that was more of a general specification right? Let's get you a detailed note on the blade material. While choosing the blade material, you need to make sure that the blade is easily sharpened, hold a good edge after sharpening, and hold the quality for a longer time to come.
The following list comprises of the best hunting knives blade manufacturing materials-
154Cm :- The first benefit of this is that it's high carbon-stainless steel material. So you know it won't rust, and it's easy to maintain. Additionally , it has added hardness which doesn't let its edges corrode over time, if your blade is a small one, then this is the perfect blend for it.
S30V: It's extremely high profile kind of material, made with high-vanadium steel . It provides exceptionally well resistance against wearing out and rusting, not only that; it combines extreme toughness along with it too.
VG-10: It's like the advanced version of the 154 cm, advanced in the sense that it has superior corrosion resistance and retains the edge longer than the 154cm .
This is the guy who does most of the work, right? The blade.
So you need to make sure you have a friend who doesn't betray you in the middle of a game, and that's why I've given special attention to bringing it up to your notice. While choosing the blade, you'd be generally confronted with two options:- Full Tang and Partial Tang designs.
Full tang designs are what you should be going after, well why? Because full tang means that the blade is made of a single, continuous metal piece, so needless to say it's a lot more stronger and durable.
While, the Partial tang is what you should look out for so that you can avoid it as it's made of 2-3 different pieces of a blade, and is something that breaks more often, and is not as comfortable for strong kills.
Types of Blades:
That's not all, the knife-science has come way beyond just blade and handles, so I'm listing here the 3 general types of knife blades available, and then you can be the judge of which one suits your needs best:
Drop Point:- This is the best kind of knife blade tech ever invented for the big game. Well primarily because it has a thick, curved edge, which is stronger than other types. It's also preferred because you don't need to rely only on the tip to skin the animal. Instead, you can use the whole of the edge. Now that is a big thing as it results in less meat loss, and not just that it can cut through the rib cage and bones with a lot more ease than the other types.
Clip point:- This blade is more of a "multi-purpose" types. It is thinner and has a more flat edge then the Drop point, so it's not as efficient for skinning or gutting the animal, but it does the task. Additionally, it can be used for more than just hunting, for general purposes as well, so if you're looking for a "budget knife" this blade type should do it.
Skinning blades:- Okay so this is the "all-in-one" blade type, specifically designed for Skinning the animal. With this blade, you can be sure that you won't be losing any additional meat, and at the same time, it saves a lot of time. Not just that, this blade can very well accomplish the other tasks associated with the Drop point or the Clip point as well, so if it's complicated for you, or you're not sure what specifications you exactly need, then this is the blade for you.
3. The Handle
This is one of the aspects that you need to keep in mind, and calculate according to your convenience while deciding your hunting knife .
While deciding the handle of the knife, you need to make sure that it's comfortable in your grip, and doesn't change its comfort, or get slippery during weather changed, or that it doesn't moist your hand out.
You should be looking out for blades that have high carbon concentration , or at least Titanium nitride coating. (No you don't need to be a chemistry geek for that, I've just simplified all this for your in this section ).
So I'd just list out the general, common handle materials here and of course, get you a brief description into them, so that you can go about the decision easily.
Leather handles:- They look cool, yes they do, but no don't go for them. why? Well, it's general knowledge that leather would get slippery when it gets wet, sample applies for the Bone or Wooden handles.
I'd say the best option to go about it is going for the Synthetic materials made ,like Nylon, rubbery plastic, polymer , etc. Well because they don't get slippery in wet condition. Don't moist your hand out in humid conditions and are comfortable at the same time.
Well, that's about the quality of the handle, but you shouldn't practically overlook the safety measures. As a knife is "literally" something capable to kill you, safety is a factor you should look out to, so look for a knife that has a finger-stop, a junction-guard and off course a stop that won't let your hand slide towards the blade.
So just go about choosing a knife, that suits your hands, feel good, and suits your environment. For e.g.,. if you live in the Sahara, there's almost no possibility of your handle being wet in the rain, so you can be sure about that. So that was about how you should be choosing your knives.
Major types of Knives:
- Fixed blade - More durable.
- Folding blades - More versatile.
You can take out Folding blades quickly from your pocket than a fixed blade. Folding blades have a great advantage of being carried in the pocket. So, when we look at the locking mechanisms of all folding blades than they are favored more than fixed blades in terms of the safety. But considering the cleaning part I will give a mark extra to fixed blades as folding blades are harder to clean, less durable, and many can’t handle the heavy duty tasks as like fixed blade.
Well, Fixed blades are more durable because they're most of the times a single metal piece, right? So fewer chances of breaking. Bear Grylls, yes that "I wanna die, but nature can't kill me" kinda guy from discovery channel said in a recent interview, that he always prefers fixed blades more than Flexible ones ( And generally when a guy of that level says something, you should heed it. )
The fixed blade is definitely a good option if you're more into rugged field work, but if you're more into migrating from places and need something that can be carried with ease, then you should be going for the folding ones.
Of course, folding knives aren't as durable or strong as fixed ones, but they do have some other "pro" points for themselves. For, e.g., they are easy to be carried around; they can be reduced in size, folding them reduces to about half of their size, so you need to decide which kind suits you the best.
A sheath of the knife can be used to satisfy the various purpose.
It has multiple uses right from the protection of the user from getting cut, to keeping the knife safe and clean and also adds to the looks of the knife making it look attractive to the hunters. From many years, Knife Sheath made of Leather is the traditional material used to protect the time, not just to sheath hunting knives but other weapons as well.
Sheath increases the durability of the knife and increases the life of a knife. So, the outcome here comes that there are many knives out on the market, with a no bullshit approach made to handle the most complicated hunting tasks without failure.
The hunter has plentiful choices among the best hunting knives. The above list covers more than just the basics of what is needed for the best hunting knife.
Wrapping it Up!
These knives are the best hunting knives . And, the reason I've included a diversified list is so that you can find your exact match, one which suits both your pocket and needs.
There are definitely a lot more knives in the industry , but as I already mentioned, I took into consideration some solid factors before compiling up this list.
It's your choice to go with any of one of them, as all of them are equally deserving of their position, but it is matter of your choice and needs, although most of these knives are suitable for almost all kind of users, so doesn't matter if you are a pro or a hobby kind of hunter, this list have got you covered everything.