How to Choose the Right Hunting Knife?
How do you go about choosing a good hunting knife? Well, quality can be determined by its versatility – meaning it can do everything the average hunter would need it to do. This can be anything from dressing a deer or skinning a hog, to splitting through bone or a carcass. In many cases, this is more than enough for most hunters. Before choosing any kind of knife especially for hunting ,it’s important to know what you’ll be using it for and what type of game you are hunting for. Obviously, anyone hunting for big game will want to be using a knife that differs from what you would use to hunt a rabbit. However, if you think going for the biggest game in the forest is better, you could be wrong. Using a big knife to clean smaller animals will make your job much more difficult, and you could possibly end up cutting yourself.
Take some time to think about what size game you plan on hunting; then you should consider how often it is that you hunt. Some people may only hunt occasionally and want a knife that will allow them to do a variety of different things, so having a smaller folding knife is usually just fine. But if you’re dedicated to the woods and the hunting game, a strong one with a fixed blade will probably make a lot more sense. So choosing between the best folding hunting knife and the best fixed blade hunting knife is really just a personal preference.
You’ll then need to decide how (and where) you want to carry it – this could be in a sheath or just your pocket – and this is VERY important. Carrying a large blade in your pocket can lead to slicing your leg wide open, and carrying a loose blade in your hand or elsewhere could lead to losing it. However, it really is dependent upon your budget. There are knives that fit within everyone’s budget so choose wisely, you don’t want to end up with something you do not like. But hey, almost any knife is capable of getting whatever job it is you need done.
Choosing the best hunting knife
We have always covered why we need to pay attention to aspects such as blade type, handle and material composition when considering a knife. Here we will be a bit more specific. We are going to talk about what knife to choose for deer hunting.
Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way here, which is the knife type. Between a fixed-blade and a folding-blade knife, it can safely be said that going with a fixed-blade knife would be the best choice, not compromising on strength which could be a bit of an issue with folding blade types which consist of moving parts. With a fixed-blade, full-tang knife, you have on your hands, a very powerful knife fit for the purpose.
Now that we have the knife type out of the way, let’s move on to the blade itself. A drop point blade is the one you would want to go for, considering that it is the best type of blade that can handle tasks such as field dressing and skinning of the game. Other blade types such as clip point or tanto are not as efficient as a drop point blade as far as deer hunting is concerned. There are knives out there with a drop point blade and a partially serrated edge. If you do prefer serrated edges as well, partially serrated drop point knives are perhaps the best purchase you can make. A blade with a guthook can be a matter of preference. A guthook can be handy to cut open the deer’s abdomen, although the drawbacks far outweigh the advantages, as they can often ruin the game if not used properly, and do not serve as all-round, multi-purpose knives. The main problem with guthooks is that they are very difficult to sharpen. In fact, guthooks can be much more difficult to sharpen than even serrated edge blades.
Now that the blade type is taken care of, let’s talk a bit about the blade’s metal composition. What we want to go for is a material that won’t corrode and rust easily. A blade with high carbon steel concentration is a good choice. There are blades with chromium and vanadium composition that prevent corrosion and abrasion of the blade.
With the metal composition taken care of, let’s move on to the handle and the sheath. The handle and sheath should be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. For that, we need a handle that won’t slip easily. A hard rubber handle can get the job done, providing a good grip. As for the sheath, you might want to choose a Kydex or nylon sheath. They are a little more expensive than leather sheaths, but they are worth the money. We will get into the details of sheath types on a separate page dedicated to it.
Now that you know what to look for, you can easily choose the best hunting knife for deer.
So, in summary, a fixed-blade, full-tang, drop point knife is what we’d recommend for deer hunting. Scoring perfect on strength, usability, and longevity, you cannot go wrong with a drop point, fixed-blade knife for hunting.