Hunting Knives for Performance in the Field
It’s an essential utility on your hunt – find the right hunting knife for field dressing your buck, cutting down limbs, prepping your campsite and more.
Look for a knife that is the right match for your excursion. Consider how you will use the tool and if you’re seeking a specialty knife for a specific task or a multi-purpose model that performs a variety of functions.
- Bowie knives are designed for heavy-duty but general use; these knives have blood grooves for field dressing but can be bulky, making carrying difficult.
- Gutting knives are suited for cleaning out your game
- Skinning knives are built with a wide blade and fine edge for skinning big game
Fixed knives are built to include a blade and handle together in one piece. Folding knives can be easily carried and stowed away in a pocket or other compartment. Turn to brands like Outdoor Edge, Browning, Gerber and Real Avid for reliable, work-ready hunting knives.
Your knife should be rugged, durable and dependable. Look for a knife that can stand up to whatever you put it through.
When choosing knife, consider the size and grip of the tool. The blade of most hunting knives is typically no longer than 4-and-a-half inches, though longer blades are optimal for heavy-duty tasks like gutting and skinning.
Make sure the handle of your knife enables you to comfortably grip with your fist. Wood, leather and bone knives make for an attractive knife. Knife handles constructed of textured plastic or wrapped with tape offer optimal grip for easy handling.
Look for a knife built with stainless steel to retain its sharp edge. Consider whether you want a gut hook on your knife. While dressing or skinning your game, use the gut hook to easily extend the incision without puncturing entrails.
Keep in mind blade material when selecting your knife. High-end vanadium steel is tough and wear-resistant. High-carbon, stainless steel deliver high-stain resistance. Medium-carbon stainless steel resists corrosion but is not as hard as other blade constructions.
Look for a finger stop, contour or guard on your knife handle as a safety measure. Guards prevent the user’s hand or finger from sliding forward toward the blade.