It’s almost impossible to believe, but October begins next week—and so does hunting season. Hunting is embraced by a decent amount of our customers, so we’re embracing it on the Knife Blog this week, too. I am not much of a hunter, but I asked around and got some excellent knife suggestions. If you’re looking for the best hunting knife, take a look at this list of stellar hunting knives we’ve compiled for you.
(This list doesn’t include every stellar hunting knife ever made, so feel free to add to it. We want to know what your favorite hunting knives are too!)
This is a knife you should probably learn the backstory on. The Onion Skinner, as many call it, was in the works for quite a while before it actually went into production. For more than five years, Ken perfected the Onion Skinner through extensive field testing. The testing involved Alaskan guides, professional hunters, and taxidermists who used the knife and then offered their opinions and suggestions for improvement. After additional modifying and testing, the Onion Skinner has become an excellent hunting companion that’s great for skinning, gutting, deboning, and fine detail cuts.
The Onion Skinner is an extremely high-functioning knife because it has features that minimize drag, increase user control, and offer great precision.
Benchmade Saddle Mountain
I’ve heard a lot of promising things about Benchmade’s new HUNT series. These knives feature CPM-S30V steel which has great corrosion resistance, edge retention, and durability. It’s also available with G10 and Dymondwood handles, and also different blades including drop point, drop point with a pronounced belly, and a gut hook blade.
Benchmade Hidden Canyon
Also from Benchmade’s new HUNT series, the Benchmade Hidden Canyon is a great hunting companion. These also have CPM-S30V steel and are available in G10 or Dymondwood.
The Gerber Moment is a great option that’s not going to break the bank. Its full-tang, drop-point blade makes it a trusty companion.
CRKT Free Range Hunter
The Free Range Hunter has a lot of things going for it; its hollow-ground, clip-point blade is fit for gutting, deboning, caping, and skinning. It also has an extremely comfortable Polymer handle that has great gripping.
SOG Huntspoint Boning
As evidenced by its name, this knife is great for boning. It has a flat-ground blade, and the handle provides excellent gripping for optimal user control.
LionSteel M2 Hunting Fixed Blade
LionSteel knives always have great quality, and this M2 Hunting Knife is a great one to have on you this hunting season. It has a great drop point shape and blade size, and the D2 steel is excellent. It holds an edge very well and it is very tough.
TOPS Knives Wolf Pup XL Fixed Blade
I actually found out about this knife via the Blade HQ customer service department. From talking with customers, one customer service rep found that a lot of people seem to really like the Wolf Pup for skinning because it has a really nice curved blade.
The ESEE Candiru is perfect for small tasks like small game skinning. It’s also great for the delicate precision work that you’d need a smaller blade for. Using a carbon steel might be a concern for lots of people because of the risk of corrosion, but one Blade HQ customer service representative told me that “it’s nothing a little olive oil won’t fix.” This customer service rep lightly coats his blades before using the knife on his catch, and he says it protects the blade just fine. Olive oil also is a great option because it won’t contaminate the meat like most others blade cleaners and protectors will.
ESEE Izula or Izula II
The Izula is another excellent choice from ESEE. It’s one of the most solid fixed blades out there, it can handle a crazy amount of work, and it’s excellent for skinning.
Benchmade Grizzly Creek Folder
As far as folders go, the folding knives from Benchmade’s HUNT series are great as well. The Grizzly Creek has Benchmade’s AXIS lock and a folding gut hook. This folding knife also has CPM-S30V steel.
As always, this list is not exhaustive. What do you think is the best hunting knife around?
If you haven’t already, check out the Hunting Knives section on our website. It’s filled with all sorts of wonderful hunting knives! For even more hunting knife info, check out our guide to the Best Hunting Knives.
For expert opinions and articles on hunting, be sure to check out our friends at The Big Game Hunting Blog.