Contrary to popular belief, the hunting knife you use is one of the most important aspects that go into a hunting trip. Most people tend to think that after you pull the trigger, the hunt is over. This is simply not true. Using the best hunting knife will make your hunt that much better. Because, the hunt does not end after you pull the trigger. The knife you use can make the difference between an okay hunt and an excellent hunt. We have compiled all of our information we have gained over the last years and created an excellent database of hunting knife reviews.
There have been so many times where I have only brought cheap hunting knives with me out in to the field. This was a huge mistake, as it makes the whole hunt a lot hard especially after you pull the trigger. The difference between the best and cheap hunting knives is huge. It can be the difference between spending 6 hours skinning and field dressing a deer, or 30 minutes.
You see, not all knives are made equal. There are the best hunting knives, mediocre hunting knives, and terrible hunting knives. If you really want to take your game to the next level, you need to know how to find the best hunting knives, and bring them into the field with you. It really does make a huge difference, and once you experience it, I guarantee you will never be satisfied with a cheap hunting knife ever again.
There are a lot of different factors that go into making the best hunting knife. There are also two different types of hunting knives. We will be going much more in depth into these in our buyers guide.
Different Types Of Hunting knives
There are two different types of hunting knives. Each have their pros and cons. It really depends on the person with which style you want to go with. Most hunters will bring both with them out in the field, but once again, it is all up to you with how you take this information and what you do with it.
The folding knife is has always been and always will be a classic. Some of the best hunting knives are folders. Folding knives are great because they protect the blade from the elements and accidental cuts.
With a folding knife, the blade is only exposed when you want it to be. This makes it much safer and will make the people around you feel much more comfortable. This also makes it great for self defense as well. You can easily clip it to the inside of your pocket, and no one will even know you have a knife on you. As where with a fixed blade knife, it is very obvious if you are carrying one.
Contrary to popular belief, folding knives perform just as well as fixed knives. Old school hunters will tell you that only fixed blade knives are the best hunting knives, but this is not true. Folding hunting knives have evolved a lot in the last few years, and now are able to perform on the same level as fixed blade knives. It is true that years ago fixed blade knives were the best hunting knives, but times have changed, and now folders are on the same level as fixed blade knives.
Fixed blade knife
Fixed blade knives are loved by old school hunters. There was a time when they out performed folding knives in every aspect. Fixed blade knives are great for the actual skinning and field dressing of the big game. Unlike folding blade knives, fixed blade knives do not have any mechanisms where hair, guts, and fat can get stuck in the mechanism.
Fixed blade knives are also much less likely to fail under pressure. By this I mean that they are able to take a lot more of whatever you throw at them. They are a lot more sturdier and able to perform better on big tasks such as skinning a huge big game animal or even cutting wood.
Blade size is also huge when choosing the best hunting knife for you. It can be pretty confusing when trying to choose the right blade size. But basically what it comes down to is what type of animals you will be using it on. If you are going to be using it on huge elk or deer, you are obviously going to want a bigger blade. However, if you are using it on animals like rabbits or squirrels, you are going to want a smaller blade.
I recommend getting two different sizes. It can be near impossible and very time consuming trying to skin a deer with a very small blade. Likewise, it is also very hard to attempt to skin an animal such as a rabbit with a large blade. The fact of the matter is, that with either of these, the animal simply does not match the blade.
So, there are two solutions to this problem. The first one being is that you could get two different knife sizes. This is what most hunters do, as they are able to bring a different one depending on the type of hunt they are going on.
The other option is to get a medium sized knife. With this you have a knife that is able to skin both big game and smaller animals.
The decision is ultimately up to you. If you think you will be doing hunting of both big game and small game animals, I recommend you get both blade sizes. However, if you are on a limited budget, it might be in your best interest to simply get a medium sized blade.
A gut hook is the little curl you see at the end of the knife. Most of the hunting knives usually have a gut hook, although it is not necessary, it does come in handy. Basically what it does is tear the hide of the animal and the guts, making it much easier on yourself and it can save you a lot of time.
There are a few disadvantages. One being is that it can be quite difficult to sharpen the knife when it has a gut hook. It’s weird shape makes it very awkward to sharpen. This can be overcome by using a round sharpener or getting a speciality sharpener.
Another problem with gut hooks is that sometimes guts and other animal parts will get stuck in the hook. This can get very annoying and slow down the whole process.
A gut hook should not be a deal breaker for you. Most models are sold with or without the gut hook.
The materials that the knife is constructed with also make a huge difference when buying a knife. There is no single material that can make a hunting knife the best hunting knife, but there are definitely certain materials you should look out for or avoid all together.
Wood is a classic knife material. Some of the best hunting knives are made of wood, and it is very popular. Wood is very heavy duty and makes the perfect knife handle.
Stainless steel is commonly used in kitchen knives, but that does not mean it can’t make a great hunting knife. It is not always as sharp as other knives, but is near impossible to rust, making it a great backup knife.
Carbon steel is very easy to sharpen and is very popular among hunters. It is very easy to rust however, so it is recommend you clean it right after using it.
There are other materials that can be used on knives. The above are just a few of the more popular ones.
5 Cheap Hunting Knives of 2023
We have compiled a list of our favorite and the best cheap hunting knives in our opinion. Keep in mind, there are plenty of other great hunting knives. But, these are just a few of my favorite. All of these knives are very high quality and durable and can withstand anything that comes their way. None of these are in order, they are just what we see fit as some of the best cheap hunting knives on the market.
Tac Force TF-705
The Tac Force is an all around great knife for both hunting and personal defense. It has a very sharp blade right out of the box, which is very uncommon in this price range. The blade is about 4 inches, making it the perfect blade for both large and small game.
Survivor Outdoor HK-1036S
- Full tang fixed blade outdoor knife for rugged camping expeditions
- Black stainless steel straight edge blade
- Black rubber handle offers a comfortable grip
- Nylon sheath for easy and safe carry; magnesium alloy fire starter enables you to effortlessly start a fire in no time
- 10-1/2-inch or 13-inch overall lengths
The HK is a classic fixed blade knife. It is not the sharpest knife right out of the box, but with some help from a sharpener, you will be ready to go in no time. The price makes it very attractive and it is the perfect knife for both hunting and camping due to its multi purpose use.
Ridge Runner Executive Wood Bowie Knife
- Razor-sharp AUS-6 stainless steel full-tang blade
- Measures: 5" blade; 10" overall
- Custom handle etched with intricate scrollwork details
- Handsome wooden inlays in handle
This is one of the best knives for larger game. The knife measures in at 10 inches with a 5 inch handle and 5 inch blade. The blade is a little large for small game, but is the perfect size for animals such as deer or elk.
MTECH USA MT-086 Fixed Blade Knife
- 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
This is another great fixed blade knife. It is very sharp right out of the box making it perfect for those without a sharpener. The grip is also very rugged and fits perfectly in your hand. This knife is an all around great multi purpose knife.
Bowie Knife with Sheath Full Tang Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
- 【Durable】This hunting knife's blade is made of 440C steel with the thickness of 0.16inches, which featuring excellent strength and corrosion resistance, that makes the knife durable and sharp enough.
- 【Perfect for Outdoor Activities】This knife is 12 inches long and weighs 13.4 ounces, which can be flexibly used with one hand and take quick reaction when hunting.
- 【Clip Point Blade】Clip point blade has better puncture and cutting performance, it can well complete outdoor activities such as cutting rope, wood and meat.
- 【Free Nylon Sheath】It comes with a nylon sheath which can be easily buckled on the belt and protected from scratches.
- 【Ideal Gift for Men】This is the standard configuration for every tough guy. It's a perfect gift for father, boyfriend on Christmas, birthday.
This is another great fixed blade knife. The best thing about this knife is the gut hook, however, it does need a little sharpening out of the box. But once the gut hook is sharpened, you are ready to go. This knife is also very cheap, making it the perfect knife on a budget.
As you can see, there are so many different factors that go into making the best hunting knife. It really comes down to personal preference. What might be the best knife for someone, might not be the best for another. If you follow all the advice in our guide and our hunting knife reviews, you will surely find the right one.