If you’re after folding knives, these nine will fulfill your needs.
There are a lot of great hunting and fishing knives available on the market right now, from fixed sheath knives to fillet knives. But while we love these products as much as anyone, there’s something about the sheer “Everyday carry” convenience offered by folding knives.
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With that thought in mind, we decided to put together a list of nine of our favorite folding knives. Running a range of different brands, styles, and price ranges, we believe that this list will include a folding knife that is perfect for everyone’s uses – no matter what those are.
View the slideshow and share your own folding knife recommendations in the comments!
Let’s start with affordability. The Gerber Ripstop I can be had new for just $17.99, but don’t let the low dollar amount on the knife fool you into thinking it’s just another knock-off throwaway. Gerber has been a trusted name in hunting knives and tools for years, and their simple, affordable folding blades are a big part of the reason why. The Ripstop I is no exception to that rule, offering a beautiful, sleek, and lightweight stainless steel design that ranks with the least bulky folding knives on the market. Trust us when we say that this is the kind of knife you will want to carry with you everywhere.
Havalon is one of the more popular names in hunting knives, largely for their ability to consistently deliver some of the sharpest and easiest to use skinning blades on the market. The Havalon Barracuda-Blaze, a knife meant specifically for skinning purposes, brings that selling point to the folding knife market. At $49.99, the knife is more expensive than the Gerber Ripstop, but remains an affordable blade nonetheless. You also get what you pay for here, with a long, narrow, and razor-sharp blade that offers perfect finesse for relieving animals of their hides. The product also comes with five replaceable blades, so that you can always be slicing and dicing with a knife that feels like you bought it yesterday. The blaze orange handle – a Havalon trademark at this point – makes the knife easy to find if you happen to drop it in the field.
If you’ve got budget to spare, you might consider the Benchmade Osbourne Axis, a beautiful $210 blade that offers pretty much everything you could ever want from a hunting knife. Quite simply, the Osbourne Axis is one of the most well-made folding knives on the market, built only from the best materials and offering a lightweight design in spite of its obvious durability and quality. You’ll feel the extra value of this knife simply by holding it in your hand, as Benchmade has perfected this blade to the point where it will feel like an extension of your arm rather than an auxiliary tool. It’s a splurge, sure, but for how easy it is to use, it’s one we think is completely worth it.
Similar to the Benchmade Osbourne Axis, this Spyderco lockback was designed with ergonomics in mind, meaning that it feels right at home in the human hand. When combined with the blade – which boasts a razor-sharp tip and a serrated center – the Native Lockback becomes a force to be reckoned with convenience and cutting strength.
It also costs about $100 less than the Osbourne Axis, giving you a similar feeling of luxury at a lower price.
It’s all there in the name. This blade, called the Buck Alpha Hunter Folding Knife, was designed with the deer hunting obsessive in mind. The blade is perfectly balanced for field dressing, and the handle – which comes in both rubber and wooden style – gives buyers the opportunity to choose between modern grip and rustic, old-fashioned aesthetics. A $65 price tag keeps this one in the affordable range.
The short and rounded blade on this knife, built by German knife manufacturer Böker, is perfect for making close, precise, and strong cuts. Furthermore, the small size of the knife makes it incredibly easy to fit into a pocket, tuck into a backpack compartment, or clip onto a belt. A $40 price makes this knife one of the least expensive on the list.
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Speaking of the “$40 and under” price range, if that’s where you’d like to gravitate towards with your next hunting knife purchase, then the Browning 111 may well be the blade for you. Boasting a beautiful design and classic construction, this no-frills knife can serve just about any field purpose you can imagine, from skinning a deer to trimming branches for deer camp kindling.
Sure, the fact that this knife pulls inspiration from the AK-47 rifle is a bit of a gimmick, but Cold Steel’s determination to build a knife as durable and reliable as that venerable firearm is something that should be admired, not spurned.
After all, this $100 blade offers near unprecedented levels of ruggedness and durability, from its strong, Japanese stainless steel blade to its rigid grip. The knife is even coated in a black material called Tuff-Ex, which allows for corrosion resistance and generally safeguards against wear and tear. If you want to buy a knife that has been built to last, we recommend that you think seriously about this one.
The Leatherman MUT (which stands for “Military Utility Tool”) may not qualify as a hunting knife, and probably doesn’t have a blade that is either strong or sharp enough for skinning, field dressing, or most of the tasks necessitated by a hunting knife. Still, this $160 essential packs a wide range of tools that every hunter will need in the field someday, from wire cutters to screwdrivers. It also has a number of specialized tools meant specifically for gun repair, so you can troubleshoot a jammed or malfunctioning rifle on the spot instead of having to lose a hunting day because of it.