Best Hunting Knife: Buying Guide, Top Picks & Reviews in 2017

A gun or crossbow isn’t the only thing that you need for a hunting trip. Hunting knives are also a vital tool to have in your gear. Having the best hunting knife for your needs at your fingertips simplifies everything from field dressing to cutting branches that might be in your path, but finding the right one can be a little challenging since there are so many different models out there. Not to worry, though, my guide to the best hunting knives will help you focus on the top models, so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Hunting Knife: Complete Buying Guide

Before we get into the top hunting knife list, here is a quick rundown on what you need to consider when choosing a knife.

  • Size

The size of knife affects how easy it is to carry and what types of tasks it can be used for. Generally, experts typically recommend purchasing a knife with a blade that is no smaller than 3.5 inches if you want to be assured ease of use.

  • Blade Style

Fixed blades are stronger than their folding counterparts and are usually easier to clean. You’ll need a sheath to safely carry one.

Folding blades are safer and easier to carry because they fold into their own handles and do not need sheaths. They are usually more compact as well.

  • Knife Blade Type

Drop Point knives have a thick curved blade that is very strong and engineered specifically for skinning and field dressing.

Clip Point knives have thinner blades that are a little slower for skinning but able to be used for other tasks like cutting branches and cord.

Serrated knives have teeth that saw as well as cut. They can be handy for tearing but are not ideal for precision work like skinning.

  • Knife Blade Material

154CM is a high carbon steel that is very resistant to wear and tear and does not need to be frequently sharpened. It’s best for small blades as it can be brittle in large pieces and could potentially break.

420HC is a medium carbon steel that is very simple to sharpen, making it easy to maintain. Because it is not as hard, you will have to sharpen more regularly than some other types of metal.

High Vanadium steels. Blades that have a high vanadium content are very rust resistant and able to hold their sharp edges better than other knives, reducing the need for frequent sharpening. They are the most difficult to sharpen when the time comes, though.

  • Handle Material

Wood handles are visibly appealing and easy to grip but they are not as durable as synthetics in most cases.

Nylon handles are incredibly strong and usually very lightweight for easy gripping and comfortable carrying. They are usually more expensive than other types of synthetic handles.

Kraton handles are usually very easy to grip and less likely to slip out of your hand. Kraton is a type of synthetic that has properties similar to rubber, making it durable but flexible.

ABS Plastic handles are lightweight and very inexpensive.  ABS is impact-resistant, but these handles may not last as long as some other synthetics.

Best Hunting Knives: Detailed Comparison Table

Buck Knives 100 Morakniv Companion CDS-Survival MOVA-58 Outdoor Edge Ontario RAT II Hoffman Richter HR-30 Victorinox Swiss KA-BAR Kershaw 1605CKTST Schrade SCHF9
Blade Size 3.75" 4.1” 5.7” 3.5” 3” 3.75” 2” 7” 3.1” 6.4”
Fixed or Folding Folding Fixed Fixed Folding, interchangeable Folding Folding Folding Fixed Folding Fixed
Blade Type Clip point Clip point Drop point Clip point Clip point Notched drop point Multi-tool Clip point Drop point with serrated edge Drop point
Blade Material 420HC 12C27 Stainless steel Stainless Steel Molyb denum-Vanadium 420J2 stainless steel AUS-8 stainless steel 440C Steel coated with titanium Stainless Steel 1095 Cro-van steel 8Cr13MoV 1095 high carbon steep
Handle Material Dymond wood Synthetic Wood Look Material Synthetic Cocobolo wood Kraton Nylon polymer Metal Hammered sterling silver-plated steel Wood Glass-filled nylon Kraton
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime N/A N/A N/A Lifetime Lifetime N/A Lifetime Lifetime
Origin USA Sweden Spain Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Switzerland USA Unspecified Unspecified
Our Ratings 9.6 9.6 9.4 9.6 9.6 9 9.4 9.6 9.4 9.2
Amazon Price Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here Find Here

Hunting Knife Reviews

Buck Knives 110

Buck Knives 110

One of the few knives out there to be made in the America and worthy of a spot on the best hunting knife list, the Buck Knives 110 is a folding knife with a 3-3/4-inch clip point 420HC medium carbon stainless steel blade. At first glance, the knife appears to have a wood handle, but its gleaming attractive design actually features Dymondwood, a synthetic polymer that is far more durable but just as pleasing to the eye. Its lock-back mechanism helps to keep the blade secure when you’re cutting and when you’re cleaning.

PROS:

  • Folding blade with strong locking mechanism
  • Versatile clip point blade
  • Easy-to-sharpen 420HC blade
  • Durable, lightweight handle that looks like wood
  • Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
  • Made in the USA for quality craftsmanship
  • Leather sheath for attaching to a belt included
  • Economical price

CONS:

  • Blade is on the smaller side
  • Blade will need sharpened often

Overall, this knife gives you more for your money with better quality materials and more features than what you would expect for a knife of its price. A good all-around option, this one will come in handy for virtually any job that you might need to tackle when you’re on a hunting expedition.

Buck Knives is the top brand in this industry and nearly all its products are highly appreciated by hunters. This particular model even receives an incredible high rating on Amazon.

Check how other users comment this knive here!

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

Morakniv Companion

The least expensive model on this list, the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade is a good choice for someone who is shopping on a budget. A fixed blade design, the knife has a 4.1-inch 12C7 stainless steel blade and measures 8.6 inches overall with the length of its synthetic handle included. Sold with a plastic sheath that comes in multiple colors, the knife comes with a lifetime guarantee and boasts a comfortable, soft touch handle with a non-slip grip for easy handling.

PROS:

  • Very low price
  • Nicely sized blade
  • Clip point blade will work for many tasks
  • Sheath is included but it’s made from a pretty low quality plastic
  • Soft grip is easy to hold onto
  • Corrosion-resistant blade
  • Quality Swedish craftsmanship
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • On the long side so it may be difficult to carry
  • 12C7 stainless steel is softer and will need to be sharpened often
  • Softer steel could break more easily

For a model in its price range, this is definitely the best affordable hunting knife you can buy. While its materials leave a little to be desired, the workmanship and lifetime warranty mean you’re still getting a good quality piece of cutlery.

Check the low price on amazon here!

CDS-Survival MOVA-58

CDS Survival MOVA-58

This one is a fixed blade drop point knife with a large 5.7-inch MOVA-58 Stainless Steel Molybdenum-Vanadium 58 blade. Very visually appealing, the tool has an exotic cocobolo wood handle and measures 10.82 inches overall. Handcrafted in Spain, it comes with a complete accessories set.

PROS:

  • Handsome cocobolo wood handle
  • Drop point blade will make skinning very simple
  • MOVA-58 has a high vanadium content to hold its edge well
  • Handmade construction with laser-cut blade to ensure quality
  • Comes with premium genuine leather sheath, sharpening stone and fire sharpener

CONS:

  • High price
  • Very large in size so it could be hard to carry
  • Handle may suffer wear and tear
  • No warranty information available
  • Blade may be challenging to sharpen due to its hardness
  • Drop point blade is not as conducive for cutting tasks beyond field dressing

If you’re looking for something exclusively for skinning and field dressing that you won’t have to sharpen often, this item may just be the best hunting knife for your needs. Although it’s more expensive than other options, when you consider the fact that you get three accessories with it and take its quality into account, it offers value for the money.

Find out its latest price on amazon here!

Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite Folding Hunting Knife

Outdoor Edge

The unit was designed with convenience foremost in mind, as it features an interchangeable blade system that allows you to eject the blade with a touch of a button and add a fresh one. Blades are 3.5 inches long and fitted on an anti-slip TPR-wrapped Kraton-wrapped handle that is very strong and durable, certain to outlast the inexpensive 420J2 stainless steel blades. You get six replacement blades with your purchase plus a nylon sheath for carrying. When unfolded, the knife measures 8 inches overall.

PROS:

  • Folds for easy carrying
  • Replaceable blades eliminate need to sharpen
  • Clip point blade can be used for many different tasks
  • Anti-slip handle
  • Quality camo nylon sheath included
  • Push-button mechanism makes changing blades simple
  • Economical price

CONS:

  • Blade material is not designed to last or retain its edge
  • Requires frequent blade changes so it’s maintenance intensive
  • No warranty information available

If you hate having to sharpen knife blades, this might be your best hunting knife. The low cost of replacement blades makes it possible to just dispose of the blade over time; however, this does mean ongoing costs that offset the low price you’ll pay to buy the knife.

Find amazon price & customer reviews here!

Ontario RAT II

Ontario RAT II

The Ontario RAT II Folder is a mini pocket knife available for an equally small price. Its 3-inch AUS-8 stainless steel clip point blade folds away safely into its high quality nylon polymer handle, making it only 4.1 inches when closed. When opened, the knife is still compact in size at 7 inches overall. Designed for left-handed and right-handed users, it has thumb studs on both sides, and it includes a liner lock to keep the blade from closing when you’re in the middle of a cutting task.

PROS:

  • Ultra compact folding design for easy carrying
  • Clip point blade is ideal for many tasks
  • Heavy-duty nylon polymer handle
  • Economical price
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Liner-lock frame keeps blade stable while you work
  • Dual thumb studs let you use knife left or right handed
  • Pocket clip on the outside for easy carrying

CONS:

  • Blade is on the small side at 3 inches
  • AUS-8 stainless steel is less durable and needs frequent sharpening
  • No warranty information

If easy carrying is your top priority, then this tool is your best choice. Its compact size makes it very convenient to take anywhere, and the pocket clip will keep it in place throughout your journey. Just keep in mind that the blade is a little less long wearing than others and invest in a good sharpener to keep it maintained.

It also gets a very high rating. check here!

Hoffman Richter HR-30

Hoffman Richter HR-30

The Hoffman Richter HR-30 Tactical Folding Knife is a folding knife with a 3.75-inch 440C high-carbon steel blade coated in titanium. Its blade is unique in that it is a drop point but with an added notch that can cut through materials that you usually could not use a drop point style to cut. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the device has a metal handle and a spring assist mechanism for fast opening and closing. A lock keeps the blade stabilized while you’re working.

PROS:

  • Drop point blade is great for skinning and field dressing
  • Notch allows you to cut through more items than you can with a conventional drop point
  • Titanium coating increases blade durability
  • High carbon steel blade does not need frequent sharpening
  • Spring mechanism allows for fast open
  • Frame lock switch keeps knife open
  • Folds for easy carrying
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Metal handle may be slippery and cold
  • Limited availability

If you want to be able to open your knife fast and are most concerned with being able to skin with ease, this may be the best knife for your needs. Its spring-mechanism sets it apart from other folding models, and its unique notched drop point gives you a nice balance of field dressing convenience and versatility.

Click here to check customers’ comments!

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

Intended to be an everyday pocket knife multi-tool rather than a traditional hunting knife for skinning, the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Knife is part of the legendary collection of Swiss-made knives. Warrantied for a lifetime, the design includes a mini stainless steel blade plus a number of other handy tools that can be used on a daily basis for making repairs and even grooming. Very aesthetically appealing, the folding knife has a stainless steel handle encased in shimmering hammered sterling silver. A key ring allows you to carry it on your house or car keys or attach it to a belt or pack.

PROS:

  • Very small folding design for easy carrying
  • Attractive sterling silver-plated handle
  • Locking mechanism keeps blade from moving
  • Includes Nail File, Screwdriver and Scissors
  • Key ring attachment for easy carrying
  • Lifetime warranty with Swiss-made quality

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Blade is very small and not able to be used for skinning

If you’re more concerned with being able to cut small items like sticks and cord in an emergency on the trail and want a model with more functionality than just cutting, this one may be the best option for you. Its attractive design makes it an excellent gift knife, and its multifunctionality is sure to be appreciated by the sportsman who wants to be able to carry his knife every day.

Click to read more than 4,400 amazon customer feedbacks now!

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

KA BAR Knife

One of the biggest knives on our list, it has a 7-inch straight edge clip point blade and was actually designed for hand-to-hand combat for the U.S. Marine Corps. Well known for the strength of its 1095 cro-van steel blade, this tool can be used for skinning and other tasks when you’re hunting, and its wooden handle is comfortable and stylish. A leather sheath is included for storing the knife.

PROS:

  • Clip point blade can be used for many tasks
  • Large blade for big jobs
  • Vanadium steel is ultra strong
  • Blade will not need frequent sharpening
  • Leather sheath included

CONS:

  • Made for combat not hunting
  • Fixed blade and overall long length can make it hard to carry
  • Sharpening may be difficult due to hardness of the blade
  • Wood handle grips may suffer wear and tear
  • No warranty information

If you’re looking for something that has a big blade and will make a big impression on your hunting buddies, this what you are looking for. Its huge blade and sleek overall design makes it a great showpiece, but it’s still highly functional due to its top quality blade.

Click to find out why more than 1,500 users give it posiitve comments!

Kershaw 1605CKTST

Kershaw 1605CKTST

The Kershaw 1605CKTST is a drop point knife with a 3.1-inch 8Cr13MoV blade and a glass-filled nylon flat handle. Equipped with SpeedSafe technology, the device opens and closes very quickly and has a secure locking mechanism to ensure safety. Unlike ordinary drop point knives that have limited use, this model has serrated teeth built into its design that allow it to perform some tearing types of tasks with greater ease.

PROS:

  • Low price
  • Drop point blade is great for skinning
  • Serrated teeth for cutting
  • Folds for easy carrying
  • SpeedSafe allows you to quickly open and close the knife
  • Locking mechanism keeps blade stable
  • Durable, strong vanadium steel blade
  • Will hold its edge well with no need for frequent sharpening
  • Glass-filled nylon handle is sturdy and light
  • Pocket clip for easy carrying
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Blade size is a little small, limiting use
  • May not be ideal for all types of cutting tasks
  • Handle may be uncomfortable to hold due to its flatness

If you’d prefer a drop point folding design that can still be used for a few other tasks, this model can be your top choice. Its serrated teeth expand its functionality, and the model is made from very high quality materials, especially for a knife at its price point.

Click to check the available discount on amazon now!

Schrade SCHF9

Schrade SCHF9

The Schrade SCHF9 Extreme Survival Knife is a fixed blade drop point knife with a 1095 high carbon steel blade that is 6.4 inches long and mounted on an anti-slip, ergonomic Kraton handle that is 5.6 inches long for an overall length of 12 inches. Sold with a nylon sheath, it is backed by a lifetime warranty and weighs less than 1 pound despite its large size.

PROS:

  • Compact for a fixed blade knife
  • Drop point blade is great for skinning
  • Economical price
  • High carbon steel blade is strong and will hold its edge
  • Durable handle material
  • Non-slip ergonomic handle design
  • Nylon sheath included
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight for less wrist fatigue while cutting
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • May not be able to be used for some types of cutting tasks due to drop point
  • Very large size may be hard to carry
  • Blade may be hard to sharpen

If you’d prefer a drop point style fixed blade but want something that is relatively inexpensive, this one is the best knife for you. While it’s value priced compared to its direct competitors, the model gives you a lot for your money with its high quality handle and blade materials.

Click to check the latest amazon price!

Final Thoughts

While any of the models on this list will work well for you when you’re on a hunting trip, the Buck Knives 110 gets my vote for the overall best hunting knife. With its versatile clip point blade, safe folding design and lifetime warranty, it gets top marks for quality and usability. Plus, you get all of its great features for an affordable price, giving you real value for the money.