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Hunting for the Best Hunting Knife – Our Top Choices for 2017

Are you looking for the best hunting knife that suits your needs? Whether you’re a dedicated hunter or just an occasional outdoorsman, a hunting knife is essential when you’re going out into the field. It’s so important that it’s postulated that the hunting knife was among the first tools that people of the Stone Age came up with, right after the club and the stone hammer.

Some hunters get a knife set that has knives for gutting, skinning, and other steps. But you may also want a single multi-purpose hunting knife for all these tasks. You can also use this knife for other camping tasks, such as cutting cords and branches, preparing food, and whittling tinder.

10 Best Hunting Knife - Comparisons

So which hunting knives should you get? Here are 10 of the best options you need to look at:

Best Hunting Knife For 2017 - Reviews

1. Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

Buck Knives 119 Special Fixed Blade Knife

The blade of the Buck 119 is made from industry-standard 420HC steel, and it’s been hardened to a 58 Rockwell hardness rating. It is sharp right out of the box and keeps its sharpness for a long while. It’s also easy to sharpen, and it’s resistant to corrosion.

That sharp blade is matched with a gorgeous cocobolo handle. This classic hardwood is extremely durable, resistant to insect attack and can withstand wet and dry cycles. It’s been shaped with palm swells for a more comfortable grip and has a brass guard to provide balance and to protect your hand from slipping. 

It comes with a genuine, high-quality leather sheath with a snap fastener, along with a belt loop to make it easier to carry. 

What we liked

  • It’s great for a wide variety of tasks, from general camping tasks to gutting and skinning. 
  • It’s absolutely gorgeous. 
  • It’s safe to use, as the grip has a guard. 
  • The steel blade is sharp, and it’s easy to sharpen.

What we didn't like

  • The 75th Anniversary edition may be too good-looking, and you may be tempted to keep it around as a sort of collector’s item instead of a workhorse knife for hunting.

2. ESEE LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife

ESEE LSP Laser Strike Fixed Blade Knife

The LSP Laster Strike is really unique in its innovative design. Inside the removable handle areFerrocerium fire starting flint and tinder tabs. The sheath is made from Kydex, and it has a paracord lanyard with a lock, a sheath tensioner and a clip plate for ambidextrous use.

The LSP Laster Strike has a gray Micarta handle, and the blade is made of 1095 high carbon steel with black powder finish. There’s an index choil at the front and jimping on the lower spine for easier use.

What we liked

  • The 1095 high carbon steel blade is designed for difficult hunting tasks. It’s extremely sharp and stays that way for a very long time. 
  • The Micarta handle can be removed, and you can put in a custom handle if you want. 
  • The handle comes with fire-starting tools. 
  • The sheath is tough and comfortable to use. But if you don’t like Kydex, you can always replace it. 
  • The design makes it easy to use, and it’s absolutely terrific for any hunting chore. 

What we didn't like

  • The high carbon steel isn’t all that resistant to corrosion, which is why it needs the black powder finish. You need to take care of it with a dry film rust inhibitor around the edge and the laser engraving to keep it from staining and rusting.

3. Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

If you think that all hunting knives should come with a fixed blade, you better reconsider that assumption. The Freeman Guide isn’t an EDC that you can use for hunting. Instead, it’s really a hunting knife that you can use as an everyday carry knife.

Once you get the blade out, you’ll find that it locks up so tight that it’s like a fixed blade knife. It’s a bit hefty (which makes it better for hunting than for EDC), but it’s lighter than other hunting knives. The blade uses 5Cr15MoV stainless steel.

The Freeman Guide uses the superb TacHide inlay that offers a comfortable, sure grip even with wet hands, and it has large finger grooves as well. It also comes with nylon sheath that you can fasten to your belt. 

What we liked

  • This is a hunting knife that can also be used for EDC because of its compact size and light weight.
  • It is solid enough for hunting tasks. 
  • The blade works very well, and it’s quite sharp out of the box.
  • The grip is both secure and comfortable.

What we didn't like

  • This was designed as a hunting knife that can be used for EDC. But if you already have an EDC knife, then you may find more effective knives that are designed purely for hunting.

4. KA-BAR Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife

KA-BAR Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife

The KA-BAR Becker BK2 Companion design comes from the famous outdoorsman Ethan Becker, who founded the Becker Knife and Tool Company in the 1980s.The Becker BK2 Companion is designed to split kindling, skin game or even just chop onions in the outdoors.

To actually work for all these tasks, the blade uses durable 1095 Cro-Van steel, with a 20-degree angle and a typical drop point design. This steel is tough due to the high carbon content, and it’s easy to sharpen as well.

The handle is made from Grivory, a tough nylon reinforced with fiberglass. It has a nice balance and has been shaped for a secure grip. The full-tang blade has triple rivets, so the handle won’t loosen up at any time. This knife comes with aweather-resistant hard shell nylon sheath.

What we liked

  • This is a very solid knife, so you can use it to chop wood, for field dressing or for building shelter.
  • The blade is extremely sharp and stays that way for a long while. 
  • The handle is durable and comes with a lanyard hole.
  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

What we didn't like

  • The sheath could be better. In fact, most of the complaints about this knife are about the sheath and not the knife itself.

5. Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter

Like Buck Knives’s fixed blades, the 110 Folding Hunter blade comes from specially treated 420HC steel with a 58 Rc hardness rating, excellent corrosion resistance, and terrific edge retention.

The handle is like a gleaming work of art, as it uses classic walnut reinforced by brass bolsters. It curves nicely to offer a more comfortable and secure grip. It also comes with a very nice leather sheath with a snap fastener and an integrated belt loop.

Like all the other Buck Knives, this 110 comes with the incredible Forever warranty. There’s no need for registration, receipt, proof of purchase or anything else. You don’t have to be the original owner either. 

What we liked

  • The classic design works for hunting as well as for everyday tasks around the house. 
  • It’s lightweight and compact, so it can work for EDC. 
  • It’s stunning to look at. 
  • It’s virtually indestructible. 
  • It comes with an amazing “no questions asked” lifetime warranty. 
  • Even the leather sheath is very nice. 

What we didn't like

  • There’s really nothing bad you can say about the iconic 110 Folding Hunter, unless you’re biased against folding knives for hunting.

6. Puma SGB Skinner Stag Hunting Knife

Puma SGB Skinner Stag Hunting Knife

You can always trust the German knifemakers in Solingen to produce excellent knives consistently, and this classic Puma SGB Skinner is the definitive proof of that. This knife features the classic 1950s design that includes the tailing point upswept blade. The blade itself is made with 4mm 1.4116 German Cutlery steel (440A) with an Rc hardness rating of 55 to 57.

The Skinner is supremely suitable for skinning game with its sharp edge. The genuine stag handle looks good and feels great in your hand, and it comes with a guard and a lanyard hole. It also comes in a leather sheath.

The Skinner works well as a skinning knife, but it also looks elegant enough to use in the office for various cutting tasks. Even the leather for the sheath is premium quality. 

What we liked

  • Its fantastic look makes it an elegant letter or package opener in the office. 
  • The stag handle is comfortable to hold, while the brass guard keeps your hand from slipping down to the blade. 
  • The weight is great, and the balance is outstanding.

What we didn't like

  • The specialized design doesn’t make it a multipurpose hunting knife. So if you want just one knife for hunting, this isn’t it.

7. Fallkniven NL4

Fallkniven NL4

Fallkniven is another highly regarded premium knife brand that proudly showcases its Scandinavian roots. They’re so good that they are a Purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden.

On the face of it, the NL4 does look a bit plain. However, it’s one of the most expensive knives on this list. The blade is made of excellent VG10 laminated steel, while the handle is covered by leather. It’s a full-tang knife with a convex grind, and its craftsmanship is astounding. 

What we liked

  • It uses premium VG10 steel and the blade is extremely sharp and very strong.
  • It won’t rust easily and the blade can retain its sharpness for a very long while. 
  • The handle is very comfortable, and it can become even more so as it ages and conforms to your grip just like a baseball glove. 
  • The classy look of the knife is strikingly elegant without being too gaudy. 

What we didn't like

  • The warranty is a bit too limited. It’s just for 10 years, and the warranty doesn’t cover wear and tear on the blade tip and edge. This warranty also only applies if you get the knife from authorized Fallkniven dealers, and you better have the receipt.

8. Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016 Knife

You can get the Hidden Canyon Hunter with a striking handle made from reliable G10, or you can opt for a more subtle and natural-looking handle made from stabilized wood.

Either way, you have a tough blade made from CPM-S30V stainless steel. It’s a fixed blade with a full tang, and the blade has a drop point and a large radius that really does the job when you’re skinning your game and removing the meat.

The Hidden Canyon Hunter is a tough little knife, and Benchmade offers a limited lifetime warranty on it. In fact, you can send it to them to be resharpened or repaired for free. 

What we liked

  • You can get the 15016-1 version with the G10 handle and the Kydex sheath or the 15016-2 with the stabilized wood and the leather sheath. 
  • The blade steel is very tough, with a Rockwell hardness rating of 58 to 60. 
  • The blade is a legal length to carry around in many jurisdictions. 
  • It’s extremely compact and lightweight.
  • The free repair and sharpening service is excellent. 

What we didn't like

  • On the leather sheath, the loop is a bit big because it’s designed to fit different belt sizes. So it might hang loosely on smaller belts.

9. Cold Steel XL Voyager Tanto Plain Edge

Cold Steel XL Voyager Tanto Plain Edge

Here’s another hunting knife that everyone seems to really like, and a closer look easily explains why. It’s been updated so that it now uses the new CTS BD1 steel blade that is easier to sharpen and holds its edge longer than the previous AUS8. This even has excellent rust-proofing.

The XL Voyager is a massive knife for hunting, as its overall length is 12.13 inches. But when you fold it back, it’s actually quite compact.

The handle comes with an innovative design, with a substantial curved length that fits even large hands comfortably. The textured surface helps offer a secure grip, and the whole shape keeps your hands from slipping down.

What we liked

  • Despite the huge size, it’s easy enough to carry because of the folding design. 
  • The triad lock keeps the blade from moving when you’ve opened it. 
  • The handle gives you a secure grip regardless of how wet your hands get. 
  • The quality of the knife is solid overall.

What we didn't like

  • It doesn’t come with a sheath, because it’s supposed to be for your pocket. But it’s actually a bit inconveniently large for regular pockets.

10. Old Timer 165OT Woodsman Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife

Old Timer 165OT Woodsman Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife

What if you have a limited budget? Are you then limited cheap, inferior knives? That’s not necessarily the case with the Old Timer 165OT Woodsman. This doesn’t look cheap at all, and its performance is actually good.

The blade is made of7Cr17 High Carbon Stainless Steel,and its shape makes it suitable for skinning game as well as for other camping tasks. The 1665OT Woodsman also features a solid sawcut handle with a nickel-silver guard to keep your hand away from the sharp edge. It also comes with a leather sheath. 

What we liked

  • This will get the job done, whether it’s cutting cords and wood or skinning game. 
  • It’s safe to use with a comfortable handle and a knife guard. 
  • The classic design feels familiar and very comfortable. 
  • This full tang blade looks great and is afffordable.

What we didn't like

  • You need to break in the leather sheath so that it molds to the knife shape over time. At the start, it’s extremely snug.

Final Verdict

We’ve listed a wide variety of knives here. There are fixed blade knives along with folding knives that can double as EDC knives. Some are premium-priced, while others are extremely affordable. You can find a nice multipurpose knife on this list, but you can add a good skinning knife as well. When it comes to the best hunting knife, you do have a lot of options. With this list, we just want to make sure you stick to the good ones that can actually do the job for a very long time. 

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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