You know you need a hunting knife, but how do you know which one is the “right” one? We’re here to help.
Modern hunting knives are available in numerous different blade shapes, blade lengths, and blade materials, which is good for us because certain types of hunting knives tend to be better suited for particular purposes than others. However, this can make picking a knife a little tricky. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re figuring out how to choose the right hunting knife:
Decide whether you want a fixed blade or a folding blade
Ask yourself this: what are you primarily going to be using your knife for?
- Fixed blades: These are typically used for heavy duty jobs, like gutting and cleaning. While fixed blades are known for the ruggedness and reliability, they’re bulkier and heavier than your average knife. If you hike and hunt in tough terrain, you’ll have to find a safe way to transport a fixed blade. Keep a sheath and give your fixed blade knife ample space in your pack.
- Folding blades: For more general use, we definitely recommend going with a folding blade. Available as a pocket knife or a lockback, folding blades come in a variety of sizes with different locking mechanisms. If you’re looking for a small blade that can take on easy tasks, pocket knives are the way to go. But while much more compact, pocket knives are only as safe as their lock (make sure yours is secure). Lockback blades are generally safer to use and can handle general hunting jobs, but tend to be bigger in size.
So what’s your point?
While there are many types of blades on the market today, here’s a general overview of the big three:
- Clip point: Ideal for making a small, sharp punctures, the clip point blade features a fine point and a concave back. Perfect for everything from daily camp chores to specialized jobs, this knife blade comes especially in handy for field dressing and skinning. The clip point is definitely the hunter’s all-around knife.
- Drop point: Designed with a convex back, the drop point is more of a specialized blade made almost specifically for skinning and cleaning. Unlike clip point blades, drop points reduce the chances of puncturing the hide. Because of its undefined point, it’s perfect for a speedy clean.
- Skinning: Some people assume these bad boys are made strictly for big game animals. Designed to quickly separate the skin, these performance blades can actually be used for daily camp chores as well.
Regardless of what blade you choose, we recommend you get a blade length of at least 4″. This measurement offers a wide range of versatility, while a smaller blade would be limited in its abilities and a bigger one may go beyond what you actually need.
Get a grip
Don’t forget the handle. While wooden and bone handles are nice to look at, their metal trim can often cause a slippery grip and are cold to the touch depending on the weather. Polymer and nylon materials tend to offer a better hold and warmth. Be sure to also grab a handle with a good contour, that fits and feels comfortable in your hand.
Use the comments section below to add any more thoughts on the topic. Do you have more tips on how to choose the right hunting knife?
Featured image via Game and Fish Mag