Best Hunting Knives for 2017

Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts cannot imagine venturing into the great outdoors without their trusty cutting blade.

buck knives 0119 special review
  • BUCK KNIVES 0119
  • Blade: 6"
  • Blade material: 420HC Stainless steel
  • Warranty: Lifetime
mTech USA MT 086 review
  • MTECH USA MT-086
  • Blade: 7"
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Warranty: Not specified
tactical hunting survival skinner review
  • TACTICAL HUNTING SURVIVAL KNIFE
  • Blade: 9"
  • Blade material: 420 stailess steel
  • Warranty: 1 year
SHEFFIELD Rogue 10
  • SHEFFIELD ROGUE 10"
  • Blade: 10"
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Warranty: Not specified
gelindo hunting knife review
  • GELINDO POCKET KNIFE
  • Blade: 3"
  • Blade material: Carbon
  • Warranty: Lifetime

This essential tool is useful in a wide variety of situations and thanks to its simple design there isn’t a possibility of failure. Hunting knives are purpose-built to be used for heavy duty work and their service record is impeccable. We have a list of some of the best models on the market that we tested out in the field and rated according to their performance. We hope that our reviews will help you pick the right model that will accompany you on your hunting trips.

Top Rated Products on the Market

Buck Knives 0119 Special Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

buck knives 0119 special review

Buck Knives is perhaps the most famous of all hunting knife manufacturers in the world. They have a great tradition of making high-quality accessories for hunters and outdoor adventurers. Their 119 Special Fixed Blade knife represents a reliable option for every hunting trip.

FEATURES:

• 6″ Large Clip Blade with 420HC Steel for Excellent Strength and Edge Retention


• Solid Fixed Blade Knife Great for the Outdoors, Detail Work and Cutting in tight places


• Black Phenolic Handle with Aluminum Pommel / Guard


• Genuine Leather Fitted Sheath for safe and secure transportation on your belt or in a bag


• Overall Length 10-1/2″


• Weighs only 7.5 oz.


• Buck Forever Warranty, Made in the USA


The blade is made from a 420 carbon steel which is then further hardened to ensure a lifetime of reliable operation. Use of high-quality materials is affirmed with a forever guarantee for every knife that Buck Knives make. The special treatment method ensures that the sharpness of the edge lasts longer without the need to be sharpened anytime soon. The 119 model measures 10 – ½ inches in length with a weight of 7.5 oz.

The fixed type blade itself is 6 inches long. The handle is made from a lightweight combination of Phenolic and Aluminum for the pommel guard. The protective sheet is made out of high-quality leather. The knife feels great in hand and thanks to the weight distribution it is nicely balanced. The handle is heavy duty although it can get slippery in wet conditions. This can be remedied by using gloves in the field. The 119 is great for gutting and skinning and thanks to the special blade treatment the edge doesn’t get dull fast.

buck knives 0119 special review

PROS

• Superb build quality
• Balanced weight
• Great universal purpose knife
• Blade treatment ensures lasting edge sharpness
• Lifetime warranty included

CONS

• Handle can get slippery when wet
• Pretty basic knife design

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Hunters who are looking for a reliable knife won’t go wrong with Buck’s 119 Special Fixed Blade model. It is a standard design knife that will last you for a long time with little maintenance for the blade.

MTech USA MT-086 Series Fixed Blade Hunting Knife

mTech USA MT 086 review

The attractive looking MT-086 Fixed Blade Hunting Knife is a useful tool no matter the outdoor activity it’s taken on. MTech is a well-known US-based hunting gear manufacturer that makes hunting oriented products that are very affordable.

FEATURES:

• Fixed blade outdoor knife ideal for camping expeditions or survival training


• Black stainless steel blade with straight edge


• ABS handle with wing walk inserts for a superior grip even in wet conditions


• Includes black nylon sheath for easy and safe carry


• 12-1/4-inch overall length, 7-inch blade length with 3mm thickness


We find this knife to be stealthy and very professional looking. The small details on the blade and handle show the dedication of the manufacturer to pack as many useful features possible. This model can also be bought with a digital camo pattern which also looks great. The all black 440-grade stainless steel blade is a fixed type with a straight edge. The dimensions are 12-1/4 inches for total length while the blade itself is 7 inches long and 3mm thick.

The sturdy handle is made from ABS plastic and provides great grip and comfort even when it’s wet. The superb handling is mostly possible thanks to the texture and grooves for the fingers on the bottom side of the grip. The bottom of the handle includes a hole for a band and a very useful small breaker tip. The carrying protection is in the form of a black nylon made sheath which is a durable and long lasting material. This is a perfect knife to take on a hunting trip or on any kind of outdoor adventure where you never know when it might come in handy.

mTech USA MT 086 review

PROS

• Decent build quality
• Great looking design
• Provides great grip and handling
• Affordable price

CONS

• Grip texture quality issues
• Blade needs sharpening out of the box

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • What you pay is what you get – is very true in the case of MTech MT-86 Knife. The product has some minor quality control issues which can easily be alleviated. We still feel that it is a good value deal nevertheless.

9″ Tactical Hunting Survival Knife Skinner Gut Hook Fixed Blade

tactical hunting survival skinner review

MH-H079 knife is a heavy-duty gutting and skinning tool made by Yes 4 All. For hunters who are prepping their game out in the field, this blade is an essential tool which comes with all the functionality you will ever need. Let’s see what this model has to offer.

FEATURES:

• Heavy duty for hunting, camping, skinning, survival, and outdoor activities


• 420 stainless steel fixed blade – Gut hook on the back


• Partially serrated edge for carving and cutting rope


• 4.5” Pakkawood finger groove handle


• Measures 8.6” overall length


• Lightweight and portable with a black nylon sheath included


Judging solely by the looks of the whole package you could easily make a mistake to think that this is a premium quality knife with a premium price tag. This is indeed a great quality tool with a surprisingly affordable price. It is a full tang construction made out of a 420-stainless steel for good durability and high tensile strength. It is a fixed type with a straight blade with sharpened edges which makes it useful for cutting, gutting and skinning.

The serrated section of the lower part of the blade is perfect for cutting through bones. The hook on the top of the knife is purpose designed to allow field dress and skinning. The handle is made out of Pakkawood and measures 4.5 inches thick. It feels great in the hand and makes for a non-slip grip even when completely wet and covered in mud and dirt. The forefinger groove is especially useful for bone cutting stability. The protective sheet is made out of nylon and has a belt loop and snap fasteners.

tactical hunting survival skinner review

PROS

• Good quality build
• Plenty of useful functionality
• Good weight and balance
• High-quality grip
• Bargain price

CONS

• Requires sharpening out of the box
• Lower grade stainless steel blade

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Small nitpicks that we noticed about Yes 4 All MH-H079 knife do not take away the positive experience that we had while using this knife in the field. Hunters who are looking for a versatile blade should consider this model for sure.

SHEFFIELD Rogue 10-inch Fixed Blade Hunting Knife

This hunting knife model is, in fact, a 3-in-1 kit that brings plenty of convenience in a single product. Sheffield’s Rogue 10-inch Hunting knife looks like a useful outdoor piece of equipment, at least on paper. Read on to find out how it performs in practical use.

FEATURES:

• 10″ stainless steel fixed blade


• Fixed blade outdoor knife ideal for camping expeditions, survival training and hunting


• Longer ergonomic TPR handle offers comfortable grip


• Partially serrated tanto point tactical blade


Included sharpener, fire starter and bonus sheath which actually makes Rogue Hunting a 3-in-1 outdoor tool. The 10-inch-long fixed blade is made of 440 stainless steel. Note that it isn’t a full tang but a simple metal rod welded onto the blade type of construction. This puts long-term reliability into question. It features partially serrated tanto tip which is great for making clean cuts and piercing the animal skin.

The whole knife measures 14.5 inches in length. It comes sharp out of the box and there will be no issues on that front thanks to the included sharpener tool which can get the edge back in perfect cutting shape in no time at all. The Firestarter is extremely useful for camping trips and even in emergency situations. The handle grip is made out of plastic and even though comfortable we found out that it gets slippery when used in wet conditions. The two-part hand guards are there to prevent injury and further increase grip levels. The bottom of the handle is where the breaker tip is located.

SHEFFIELD Rogue 10" review

PROS

• Decent quality blade
• Comes with a Firestarter and Sharpener included
• Very sharp edge
• Affordable price

CONS

• Unreliable quality of blade and grip connection
• Not balanced at all

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Sheffield Rogue is a difficult knife to recommend. The build quality issues prevent us from suggesting this model for any kind of serious use. As a basic use knife – it is a good enough choice.

Gelindo Hunting Pocket Knife, Black – Made of Stainless Steel

gelindo hunting knife review

Gelindo made hunting knives are famous for their great looking design and practicality. This is also the case with their best-selling Hunting Pocket Knife, Black Carbon which uses skeleton design with a safety fold lock mechanism.

FEATURES:

• Robust construction for maximum durability


• Includes pouch for convenient carrying


• Sharp and robust blade for versatility


• Built-in safety lock mechanism during storage


• Backed by a lifetime warranty


We would describe this knife as being both attractive looking and very practical. The form serves a purpose and in this case, it is designed to allow precise cutting movement with its very sharp carbon blade. The rest of it is built using black stainless steel. The compact size is easy to carry along and very lightweight. It measures 4.25 inches in length when folded and 7.1 inches when the 2.8-inch blade is fully extended. The whole construction feels very sturdy and well balanced in hand.

The locking mechanism transforms the handle into a storage space for the blade. It also ensures safety when the knife is not in use. Folding requires users to pay attention as there is a possibility of injury. The carbon blade cuts through various types of materials with ease which makes this a universally usable hunting knife. You won’t have to worry about sharpening anytime soon. A convenient carrying pouch is included which can be attached to a belt. Gelindo guarantees the quality of this knife with a lifetime warranty.

gelindo hunting knife review

PROS

• Superb build quality
• Great folding design
• Carbon blade
• Sturdy construction
• Compact size
• Lifetime warranty
• Affordable price

CONS

• Not so easy to fold and unfold
• Folding requires care to prevent injury

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Gelindo Hunting Pocket Knife is a great compact size folding cutter that doesn’t cost too much. If you need a convenient and useful, small hunter’s knife, then this is the one to go for.

Brand We Recommend – Buck Hunting Knife

Out of all manufacturers that specialise in hunting tool gear, only few can match the great reputation and cult following that Buck Knives has. The quality and reliability of their knives is appreciated beyond the borders of US and this is mostly because of the history a great tradition of the company.

Buck Knives is more than 100 years old and their first model was made in 1902. It was their 110 Folding Hunter series of knives that revolutionised the industry and introduced a new design standard. Due to the high-quality manufacturing process, the brand is recognised for the reliability of its products. Each and every knife model comes with a lifetime warranty and there are plenty of hunters out there that passed their Buck knife to their children. There is no better proof for quality and reliability than that.

Their modern knives retain the same level of golden quality standard with innovations and improvements to the classical design. Most hunters prefer to use their Buck in the field as a tool of choice due to their long-lasting edge sharpness. The patented heat treatment further improves the durability of the blade edge. To sum it all up, if you require a purpose made tool that will last you a lifetime then Buck Knives is the manufacturer of choice for your next knife.

Buck 110 Famous Folding Hunter Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath

buck 110 review

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter Knife has gained a loyal fellowship of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its quality and reliability out in the field. Read on to find out what makes this a great hunter’s tool.

FEATURES:

• 3-3/4″ Clip Blade made with 420HC Steel. Closed Length 4-7/8″


• The crescent tip blade has a very sharp point that is good for detail work.


• The lock back design gives you maximum strength and safety.


• Dymondwood Handle with Brass Bolsters


• Includes Genuine Leather Sheath with a snap closure and can be carried on your belt

• An American Icon! Made in the USA and Forever Lifetime Warranty


The basic looking design dates from 1962 and it might fool some to think that this is not a premium quality product. The truth is that when you want a reliable blade that is easy and convenient to carry – this knife is a perfect choice. The 420-stainless steel blade keeps its edge longer thanks to the specialised treatment. The blade tip is very sharp and crescent shape and great for piercing and precision cutting. The folding mechanism includes a lock back design which ensures safety.

The dimensions are 3-3/4 inches for the blade length and 4-7/8 inches when the knife is fully closed. The handle grip is beautiful to look at with a combination of natural wood and polished brass bolsters. This standout design with the classic shape of the blade makes this a really nice looking hunting knife. The included black leather sheath offers a secure way to carry your cutter in the field. To top it all additionally, Buck Knives offers a lifetime warranty which ensures the high-quality standard of all of their models.

buck 110 review

PROS

• Premium build quality
• Timeless design
• Folding mechanism
• Compact size
• Durable edge sharpness

CONS

• The sheath has quality issues
• Heavy for its size

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • If you are looking for a timeless classic knife that you can even pass on to your kids to last them a lifetime as well – Buck 110 Hunting Knife is a perfect choice.

Buck Knives 105 Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

buck knives 105 reviews

Another great classic hunters knife with a fixed blade design is Buck Knives 105 Pathfinder. This is a reliable outdoor tool that can come handy in all kinds of outdoor situations – be it hunting or camping.

FEATURES:

• 5″ Modified Clip 420HC Steel Blade with Excellent Strength and Edge Retention


• 9-1/8″ Overall Length, Full Tang Construction with Finger Guard Integrated into the Blade


• Total Weight 5.8 oz.


• Traditional Cocobolo Wood Handle with Brass Pommel / Guard


• A Smaller version of the 119 Special and perfect for general outdoor Use


• Includes Genuine Leather Fitted Sheath for safe and secure transportation on your belt or in a bag


• Buck Forever Warranty and Made in the USA


This basic looking design of the 105 series will prove to be more than enough for any kind of use that you might need it for on your hunting trip. It works great for skinning and gutting. The compact size means that it is convenient to carry along and comfortable in the hand. The 5-inch-long 420 stainless steel blade is extremely sharp and keeps its edge for a very long time – no matter what you cut.

The whole knife measures 9-1/8 inches in length from its very sharp point to the end of the wooden handle grip. The full tang construction also features an integrated finger guard. The cocobolo wood handling grip is gorgeous and compliments the overall look of the knife. The included leather sheath is made to keep the 105 secure and convenient to carry.

buck knives 105 reviews

PROS

• Premium build quality
• Great looking knife
• Compact and easy to carry
• Well balanced weight
• Lifetime warranty

CONS

• Low-quality sheath
• Small handle grip size

  • Design
  • Quality
  • Price
  • This is another one of those knives that impress with their quality and usefulness despite their basic design. Buck’s 105 Pathfinder hunting knife offers great quality and an unbeatable reliability in all situations.

Reasons We Chose This Brand?

Reliability, golden standard of quality and a timeless design are the main reasons that will make you stick with one particular manufacturer and their products. In the case of Buck Knives, it is their tradition of making specialised hunting tools which is more than 100 years old that made them into a powerhouse brand name that they are today.

Their knives are built to last and stay reliable no matter the weather conditions they’re used in. The use of high-quality carbon steel keeps the blades durable and long lasting. You won’t hear stories about broken parts or rust with Buck made models. The lifetime guarantee that is given for each product speaks volumes about the high-quality manufacturing standard. The post-manufacturing treatment is patented and it is the secret sauce of the company. This heat treatment ensures that the sharpness of the blade lasts longer and requires low maintenance even with heavy duty use.

Buck Knives is also one of the few US-based manufacturers that didn’t choose to use foreign workforce in order to chase profits. This was the only way to keep the same quality standard for more than 100 years. How many manufacturers can state such a fact? Long tradition and experience are what attracts customers from all over the world. There is a cult following among knife collectors for some of the models that the factory makes.

Hunters who are looking a reliable knife that keeps its edge and never fails in the field already use one of the Buck Knives iconic 105 or 119 series models. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it all started as a family business which makes customers feel like being a part of it too. Once you learn to appreciate their build quality and reliability is what will make you a loyal customer and a fan.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Hunting Knife

Hunting knives should always be considered as being specialised tools that must be reliable in the field no matter the conditions of use. Going on a hunting trip with a useless knife will ruin your experience and sometimes even jeopardise your life. They are a survival tool and as such must be a high-quality non-failing piece of essential carrying equipment. Always consider your blade as a means to keep you safe in the great outdoors. Cutting, gutting and field dressing is their secondary function which must be performed flawlessly and efficiently. Our guide will help you pick the perfect model that will be universally useful in the field. Read on to find out more.
knives types

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPE

The choice comes down to two variants – fixed or folding type of knife. This will mostly depend on what your priorities are when it comes to gear carrying. When you want a compact size blade that doesn’t take much space, you go for a folding mechanism type of knife. They are great for general use and their locking mechanism ensures that they are reliable. This type is more convenient to carry around although do not count on it to be useful for some heavy-duty tasks such as bone cutting.

On the other hand, the fixed blade knives are unmatched when it comes to ruggedness and usefulness. These are true all-purpose tools that can cut through anything in their way. If you don’t mind the longer size, this type of knives will prove essential for any kind of task. They are easy to maintain and clean and generally have no moving parts that can possibly fail. In order to ensure personal safety always choose models that come with a high-quality sheath that will prevent the possibility of accidents.

knives types
hunting knives blade

LENGTH OF THE BLADE PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE

To avoid limitations that short knife blades have – always make sure that you do not go hunting with a knife whose blade is shorter than 3 inches. Generally, we suggest going out with a blade that is at least 4 inches long as this is considered a minimum useful length for hunting. If you plan on dressing game then consider carrying a longer fixed blade knife.

This will ensure that you will be able to cut even through rib cage and bones of even bigger animals with ease. If you plan on camping too – then the longer blade will prove useful for collecting and chopping smaller wood for making fire. You can always use small logs to strike the top of the long blade in order to chop thicker branches into pieces.

hunting knives quality

HANDLE GRIP QUALITY MATTERS

Using a knife with a low-quality handle can spell disaster. What good is a high-quality blade if you cannot hold it firmly in your hand? If you do not use gloves when you’re out hunting, make sure that your knife handle has any kind of grooves or texture that will allow stable and controllable operation.

We generally advise against knives with abs plastic handles that are smooth. As soon as it gets wet is will become slippery and useless exactly in situations when you need it most. In case you already own a model with such an issue – you can wrap the handle with rubber and rough texture cloth and tie it up. This will somewhat alleviate the issue and improve grip handling.

hunting knives quality

In general, wood and metal grips are best for good weight and handling balance. They are both durable materials that will last for a long time and endure any kind of damage during use.

Before choosing the right hunting knife you must set your priorities. Know what size of animals you will be hunting and the terrain you will be threading on and choose your model accordingly. As with the rest of your equipment – proper maintenance will ensure that your cutting tool will stay reliable and last you a lifetime of use.

Conclusion

Going outdoors for any kind of activity is considered unimaginable without carrying some sort of a survival tool. Hunting knives are versatile for both serious and recreational activity. Their convenience makes them an essential piece of gear which can come in handy in all kinds of situations. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes for a variety of different tasks. They’ve even become a collector’s item over the years thanks to their quality and design. There is no better companion to rely on during your outdoor adventure than then hunting blade. The simple design means that they will never fail in situations when they are needed most.

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