There’s more to picking out a hunting knife or a survival knife than you might think. A lot of people assume that the most important thing when choosing a hunting knife is its durability and strength. While those are both extremely important, there are other factors to consider as well. The design of your hunting knife can make or break your hunt, so it’s important to know what to look for when picking one out. Manufacturers tend to create their knives with specific users in mind, which means that different options cater to different needs like an everyday carry knife vs a hunting knife. If you want the best chance at bagging game with whatever knife you choose, it’s worth taking some time to understand the features available and how they might affect your performance in the wild before you buy.
Fixed Blade Or Folder Hunting Knife?
The discussion of the best hunting knife almost always starts with the question of whether to go with a folding knife or a fixed blade. The best way to decide between the two is to think about how you’ll be using your knife while hunting. If you’re planning on hunting in a place where there’s a chance of getting your knife caught up on branches or fences, a folding knife might be a better option. The ease with which you can close and retract the blade means that you’re less likely to get it stuck on something and break it. If you’re planning on hunting in a place where you might have to make a kill, a folding knife might not be the best option because you might have to use a blade that isn’t sharp enough to kill game humanely. This might not be an issue if you’re only planning on hunting small game, but large game requires a more substantial blade. If you’re planning on using your hunting knife for other purposes that might involve chopping, a folding knife might not be the best option. Because it’s designed to be small and lightweight, a folder might not have the strength or durability that you need for these larger uses. While a fixed blade knife can be clunky and heavy, it’s designed to be strong enough to handle a wide range of activities.
Top Picks for Fixed Blade:
Top Picks for Folding:
Blade Material for Your Hunting Knife
When it comes to blade material, stainless steel is the most common option in the hunting knife world. It’s strong and durable, but it’s also affordable, making it easy to find a hunting knife or deer skinning knife with this material. There are different types of stainless steel, but 440A and 420HC are the two that you’re most likely to encounter. 440A is a higher-quality material, but it’s also more expensive. 420HC is a lower-quality material that doesn’t hold an edge as well, but it’s also less expensive. If you want a hunting knife that will last you a lifetime no matter what you do with it, 440A is the best option. It’s made to be strong and durable, and it has the edge retention that you need to keep a sharp edge while hunting. 420HC is a lower-quality material that’s a bit softer. While it’s fine for basic everyday use, it’s not something that you want in a hunting knife. If you’re going to be doing serious work with your knife, you want 440A.
Handle Material And Size
For people who are uncomfortable with the idea of a knife with a fixed blade, folding knives are often a better option. They’re a bit less durable and strong, but they’re also easier to carry around and fold up into a more compact size when you don’t need them. The material that a folding knife’s handle is made out of is important when picking out a hunting knife. For durability, most hunting knives use a rubber or polymer-based material. The material you pick out will determine both the strength and weight of your knife. Stronger materials will be heavier, and lighter, less durable materials will be more likely to tear and rip. Hunting knives with handles made out of wood are rare and tend to be more expensive. They’re a good option if you’re after something unique, but they’re not as durable and strong as other materials.
The shape of your knife’s blade and handle can have a big impact on how you use it in the field, carry it on your side or around your neck. If you’re planning on hunting with a fixed blade knife, you’ll want something that’s long enough to be useful but short enough to be easy to carry and maneuver. For people who are after a knife that’s easy to use, but that you don’t have to worry about breaking, the best option is a drop point or clip point design. These types of knives have a strong point, but they taper off towards the end, making them good all-around knives that are easy to use. The end of the handle of your knife is important as well. You want something that’s easy to hold on to, no matter how wet or slippery your hands get while hunting. Knives with a thick, rounded handle that fits comfortably in your hand are good all-around choices. If you like to use gloves while hunting, you might want to consider something with a thinner handle that’s easier to grip while wearing gloves.
Tang And Edge Quality
If you’re using a folding knife that you plan to use to make a kill, you want to make sure that the knife is strong enough to make a cut that’s long enough to effectively kill your prey. While hunting regulations vary from place to place, a knife with a blade that’s at least three-quarters of an inch long is usually considered strong enough to kill a large animal humanely. You also have to make sure that the rest of the knife is strong enough to hold up to the rigors of hunting. The best hunting knife will have a full tang that extends all the way to the handle. A full tang knife is stronger than a partial tang knife and less likely to break. You also want to make sure that the blade is made out of a high-quality material like stainless steel that’s strong enough to handle the abuse that hunting can put it through.
Finding the best hunting knife can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that’s worth taking on. Once you find the perfect knife, you’ll have a tool that you can use for years to come. Finding the best hunting knife for you isn’t about picking the flashiest or most expensive option on the market. It’s about finding the one that’s the best fit for your needs and your lifestyle. No two people are the same, and your ideal hunting knife is different than someone else’s. Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to find the perfect knife for you.