8 Best Hunting Knives For The AVERAGE Hunter

by John Wren
8 Best Hunting Knives For The AVERAGE Hunter

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:

Bestseller No. 1
Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B 9in High Carbon S.S. Fixed Blade Knife with 4.7in Dual Edge Blade and TPE Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival,EDC, Multi
  • Dimensions: 9 inch (22.9 centimeter) overall length with a blade length of 4.7 inches (12.1 centimeter) and a weight of 7.7 ounces
  • Durable: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel with a black rubber wrapped handle
  • Dependable: Quick and easy access with the convenient belt or boot sheath making it ideal for everyday carry
  • Secure: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the hand guard
  • BE PREPARED: Knife Features Lanyard Hole Makes For Ideal Neck Knife
Bestseller No. 2
Smith & Wesson SWHRT3BF 7.5in High Carbon S.S. Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife with 3.5in False Edge Blade and TPR Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival and EDC,Black
  • DIMENSIONS: 7.5 inch (19.1 cm) overall length with a blade length of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) and a weight of 4.4 ounces
  • DURABLE: Blade is made of reliable 7Cr17MoV Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel with a black, thermoplastic rubber handle
  • DEPENDABLE: Quick and easy access with the convenient nylon fiberglass sheath making it ideal for everyday carry
  • SECURE: Have confidence that the blade will not slip with the security of the finger guards and thumb press
  • BE PREPARED: Knife features lanyard hole
Bestseller No. 3
SOG Survival Knife with Sheath - Field Knife Fixed Blade Knives 4 Inch Tactical Knife and Bushcraft Knife w/Full Tang Hunting Knife Blade (FK1001-CP)
  • 4 INCH STAINLESS STEEL KNIFE BLADE: The Field Knife is a strong full-tang outdoor knife, camping knife, boot knife and combat knife with sheath; measures 8. 5 inches in overall length
  • 3. 8 OUNCE WT. W/ TPR GRIP: Made with a grippy, hunting survival handle for hand tools, utility knives and military knives; thermoplastic rubber offers great grip with zero maintenance
  • FULL-TANG CLIP-POINT DESIGN: Great as an all-weather camp knife, fixed blade belt knife and lightweight field knife; these sharp knives have excellent edge retention and resist rust
  • NOTCHED GRN SHEATH: A very versatile carry; great as a hunting knife, camp knife or fishing knife sheath with a notch for cutting cord or fishing line without exposing the sharp knife blade
  • SOG KNIFE FOR LIFE: Take care of your hunting knife and we’ll take care of you; SOG fixed blade knives with sheath are built to last, and we consider all repair and replacement requests
Bestseller No. 4
CIVIVI EDC Fixed Blade Knife with Kydex Sheath, T-clip, Lanyard for Outdoor Carry, Propugnator Knife PG KNIVES Designed, 4.15" D2 Blade Ultem Handle C23002-3
  • Razor Sharp Blade --- D2 steel provides exceptional corrosion resistance, toughness, edge retention and is easy to sharpen.
  • Ergonomic Comfort Handle --- The milled handle provides a slip-free grip, and jimping on the blade spine ensures superior control. With an effective guard, this fixed-blade knife prevents the user’s...
  • Full Tang Design --- Full tang fixed blade knife with a stronger structure is more durable and well-balanced, suitable for outdoor activities and general use.
  • Secure Kydex Sheath --- The fixed blade knife is secured with perfect retention inside the kydex sheath. The T-Clip can support vertical and horizontal carry on the belt or waistband.
  • Pay Attention To Details --- This fixed blade knife features a distinctive and eye-catching design with difficult grinds and clean workmanship.
Bestseller No. 5
KCCEDGE Tactical Knife Hunting Knife Survival Knife 9" Full Tang Fixed Blade Knives Camping Accessories Camping Gear Survival Kit Survival Gear And Equipment Tactical Gear 80213 (Coyote Brown)
  • ▶️ 9 INCH FIXED BLADE KNIFE - A MUST HAVE knife for emergencies. The knife is designed to fit perfectly into your palm. A solid grip is necessary. It's safer and good to know the knife in your...
  • ▶️ 4.5 INCH FULL TANG BLADE - Each blade is professionally heat treated to balance hardness and toughness, increasing blade durability and capabilities. A harder knife blade can perform better...
  • ▶️ 3cr13 STAINLESS STEEL BLADE - Excellent Balance of Hardness and Toughness. Provides Razor Sharp Cutting Performance, High Durability and Easy Edge Maintenance. We chose this steel so the blade...
  • ▶️ PRESSURE RETENTION SECURE MOUNT SHEATH - This multi-purpose knife is perfect for all occasions; you can use it for camping, hiking, hunting and any outdoor activity. A MUST HAVE item for...
  • ▶️ GREAT GIFTS - For Husband or Wife, Mom & Dad, Gifts for Men and Women, Brother and Sister, Son and Daughter, Grand Parents, Relatives, and Friends. We have many styles of pocket knife for men,...

Top Picks for Folding:

Bestseller No. 1
Gerber Gear EAB Lite Pocket Knife with Money Clip - 1.5" Blade Length Folding Knife - EDC Gear and Equipment - Stainless Steel
  • QUALITY CRAFTED: Features easily replaceable contractor grade utility blade, liner lock capability, handle, and money clip
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made from stainless steel that will stand the test of time, a lightweight pocket knife that can conveniently travel with you
  • SLIM DESIGN: Easily accessible and fits compactly in a pocket; Handle doubles as a pocket or money clip
  • EVERYDAY CARRY ACCESSORIES: Great for any hunter, tradesman, and the everyday carry; Perfect addition to camping essentials, backpacking gear, your toolbox, work wear, and fishing and hiking gear
  • CONVENIENT SIZE: 1.5" blade length and 5.1" overall length; 2.2 oz weight; Backed by the Gerber Guarantee, a limited lifetime warranty
Bestseller No. 2
KATA 4-PACK Folding Utility Knife, Heavy Duty Box Cutter with 20pcs SK5 Quick Change Blades, Safety Lock Back Design, Used for Cutting Cartons, Cardboards and Boxes
  • 【EXQUISITE DESIGN】 The textured plastic handle provides a more comfortable and portable grip, increases the anti-skid control ability,and reduces the fatigue caused by work. It is a good helper...
  • 【PORTABLE CARRY】Equipped with a belt clip, which improves the convenience of daily carrying. The belt, pocket, and work belt can be safely clamped and carried.
  • 【QUICK CHANGE MECHANISM】Simple and easy to install and release the blade, just press the button to operate, safe and prevent injury.
  • 【MULTI-ANGLE USE】Locking design, it is more convenient to provide the demand for precise cutting of different materials.
  • 【MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS】Equipped with ultra-sharp and double-hardness blades, durability guarantee, fully qualified for various work needs, used for DIY projects, can cut through paper, plastic,...
Bestseller No. 3
Smith & Wesson Accessories Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife with 3.1in Serrated Clip Point Blade and Aluminum Handle for Outdoor, Tactical, Survival and EDC
  • Dimensions: 7.1 Inch (18 Cm) Overall Length With A Blade Length Of 3.1 Inches (7.9 Cm) And A Weight Of 3.5 Ounces
  • Durable: Blade Is Made Of Reliable 7Cr17Mov Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel With A Black, Aluminum Handle
  • Dependable: Quick And Easy Access With The Convenient Pocket Clip, Finger Flipper And Ambidextrous Thumb Knobs Making It Ideal For Everyday Carry
  • Secure: Have Confidence That The Blade Will Not Slip With The Security Of The Liner Lock
  • Be Prepared: Knife Features Jimping And Serrations
Bestseller No. 4
2.95” Serrated Blade Pocket Knife - Black Folding Knife with Glass Breaker and Seatbelt Cutter - Small EDC Knife with Pocket Clip for Men Women - Sharp Tactical Camping Survival Hiking Knives 6680
  • Black pocket knife with serrated blade and aluminum ergonomic handle. Pocket knife is made of 440C stainless steel. Lock type - liner lock. Blade length - 2.95”; Handle length - 4.2”; Overall...
  • Folding knife with glass breaker and strap cutter. A glass breaker is a structural element of a knife intended for breaking glass in various emergencies. Strap cutter suitable for cutting rope,...
  • Perfect knife for EDC, urban knife, work knife. Box, letter, envelope opening knife. Compact combat knife to be carried in a purse, backpack, pocket. Good for indoor and outdoor use. Small pocket...
  • Stylish design. Compact functional and stylish tactical knife. This common pocketknife is legal to carry in all states of the United States. With the handy pocket clip and hole for the lanyard, it is...
  • Perfect gift for Christmas, Graduation, Anniversary, Birthday, Thanksgiving day, Father's Day gift. Surprise your mother, sister, girlfriend. Gifts for husband from wife, brother, college gifts for...
Bestseller No. 5
Firebird GANZO FH91-GB Pocket Folding Knife D2 Steel Blade Ergonomic G10 Anti Slip Handle with Deep Carry Clip Camping Fishing Hunting Gear Outdoor Folipper EDC Pocket Knife (Green)
  • Folding knife with D2 steel blade. It is very simple and easy to work with – the cutting properties are remarkable, the sharpening is kept for a long time. The action on it is incredibly smooth and...
  • Flipper has ergonomic G10 fiberglass handle - strength, resistance to temperatures, mechanical damage, and wear. It is comfortable to hold, the knife will not slip, will not shift
  • The versatility of the profile allows using products with blades of this type as hunting and tourist, household, tactical, EDC and others. The knife is protected from rust, designed for long-term...
  • Pocket, compact size, metal clip for ease of use. Neat, easy to grip. You can easily work even with wet hands: the knife will not slip out, will not move. Application safety. The mechanics are...
  • The type of sharpening is straight. This is a pocket-sized knife with a drop-point blade shape

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.

Knife Design

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.

Conclusion

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.

You may also like

Outdoors Magazine

Embracing the Great Outdoors is a compelling blog dedicated to celebrating the beauty and thrill of outdoor activities, weaving tales of awe-inspiring hiking trails, serene fishing spots, strategic hunting expeditions, and invigorating camping adventures to inspire and guide like-minded enthusiasts.

Edtior's Picks

Latest Articles

©2023 Outdoors Magazine. All Right Reserved.