It is every hunter’s best friend.
It doesn’t matter how you hunt, alone or with a crew, bow or rifle, there is one important companion to every great hunt – the hunting knife. Used to skin game and dress (cut and prepare) the meat, hunting knives come in a wide variety of brands, sizes and designs.
Every single one of us has a different use for a hunting knife, finding the best hunting knife is not easy, so I have put together this complete and ultimate guide that includes all the info you will need to chose the best hunting knife for your own, specific needs.
I hate long and windy reviews so this page starts with the bottom line – a clear, easy to understand table that includes the best hunting knives for 2014. Take my word for it – there are no better knives on the market today.
Below the table you will find review summaries for each of these knives.
For the new kids in the bush (it’s okay, we were all new once upon a time,) I have created an in depth buying guide to help you find the exact kind of knife you’re looking for. Now go hunting!
Best hunting knife for 2014 (a.k.a. the bottom line.)
2014 saw a million new products trying to push the old classics out. After trying out some, and sorting hundreds of hunting knife reviews, these are the top hunting knives for 2014, one for each category. You can sort the table by almost any column:
|Fixed||4.1"||$||User Reviews||Click to buy now!
|Folded||3.8"||$||User Reviews||Click to buy now!
Benchmade 585 Mini-Barrage Osborne
|Assisted Opening||2.9"||$$$$||User Reviews||Click to buy now!
Schrade 165OT Old Timer
|Fixed||5"||$||User Reviews||Click to buy now!
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion
|Fixed||5.25"||$$$||User Reviews||Click to buy now!
|Fixed||4"||$$$$$||NA||Click to Buy Now
Types of Hunting Knives
There are a number of categories that you can divide hinting knives into:
- Folding knives vs. fixed blade knives. Folders have a blade that folds into the handle, like your average pocketknife. Fixed blade knives are just that – fixed blades that do not fold but are usually strapped onto the hunter with a sheath. There is serious debate which is the best type for the modern hunter. To see pros and cons of folding vs. fixed blade knives, click here.
- Blade size. When purchasing a hunting knife, ask yourself – what is my target game? If you are a big game hunter, you will need a long strong blade. If on the other hand you are after rabbits or coyotes, a smaller, more delicate knife will be needed. To read an in depth explanation, click here.
- Blade material. Hunting knife blades fall in two major groups – Carbon steel knives that maintain their edge longer, vs. stainless steel knives that resist rust. Click here to read more about the pros and cons of both materials.
- Blade Shape. Hunting knives have an optimal shape that assists the hunter in skinning and dressing the game. Check out this short video for an explanation of the different blade types:
Fallkniven H1 Review
For an in depth review, click here.
The Fallkniven H1 is an 8.3 inches long, full-tang designed knife that weighs about 6.3 ounces (180 g). It is very strong and specially designed for hunting. It is not designed to hack vegetation, chopping wood or anything else other than skinning and dressing. It has a single minded purpose and it performs pretty dang well. Its light weight makes it very easy to carry around and the curve and length of the blade makes it perfect for its job.
The Fallkniven H1 does not have the bells and whistles of some of the knives half its price but then again, it does not have to. For the experienced hunter, the H1 is the ultimate skinning and dressing knife. It is a strong and reliable knife that will perform its task for a very, very long time.
Introduction to the Benchmade Osborne Design 585 Mini-Barrage
For the hunterblade.com in depth review, click here.
The Benchmade Osborne is an every day carry knife and also a very useful hunting knife. You can use the 585 for everyday tasks like opening boxes and other office and house stuff but the fact that it has a very strong and durable 154CM stainless steel blade that holds an edge extremely well makes it perfect for hunting trips too. As a hunter, you want a knife that you can use often and does not need sharpening after every outing. You want a knife that holds up well to abuse and does not break easily. The Benchmade Osborne just might be the right knife for you
The Benchmade Osborne is a great knife for everyday use and shows great potential for a hunting knife as well. It has its own pros and cons but the thickness and weight is an advantage when set in a hunting situation. The rugged design is definitely an advantage for hunters who want a more durable in their knife.
Ka Bar review: Introduction to the Ka-Bar Becker BK2
For the in depth hunterblades.com review of the Ka BarBK2, click here.
The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is a hulk of a knife. It is a thick, full-tang knife that is the definitive massive knife. Its 5.5 inches long and 0.25 inch thick blade is capable of taking a lot of abuse and I mean a lot. The whole knife is over 10 inches long and has an ergonomically designed handle that will, even with the absence of conventional “grippy” surface, ensure that it will not slip off your hands.
The BK2’s business end is a 5.5 inch long 0.25 inch thick hunk of steel that is very hard and can withstand great amount of punishment. As mentioned by one Amazon.com customer “I use this hunting and have yet to see a limb or bone stand up to it.” It is definitely a strong knife meant for hardcore usage. It weighs 16 ounces so using it for delicate hunting functions like skinning would not be ideal. You might even take out a deer if you hit one with a BK2. It’s that solid. Ka bar reviews have all mentioned how strong it feels in the hand but the same ka bar reviews also include some complaints about the sheath. But I promise you – if you’re in the market for a massive, strong hunting knife – look no further.
For the in depth hunterblades.com review of the Morakniv Companion, click here.
The Morakniv Companion is a tough and durable knife that can perform well in the outdoors. The Mora Companion has a very sturdy blade made from high carbon steel that holds an edge extremely well. The blade is attached to a patterned high-friction grip that ensures you a safe and dependable handle on things. This knife is great for filleting, skinning and other minor camping or outdoors activity but is not your knife of choice for hardcore outdoors tasks like bush-whacking. With that being said, the only issue with Mora knives is that the blade is made from high carbon steel which is not resistant to rusting. Just make sure that you take appropriate measures against rust and you can expect the Mora knives like this to perform for you for a very long time. It is a very high quality knife at a very affordable price.
Introduction To the Buck 110 Folding Knife
For the in depth hunterblades.com review of the Buck 110, click here.
The Buck 110 Folding Knife is the all time classic. It is the knife your dad took hunting as a child, and will probably be just as popular when your grandchild goes to the field. It is one of the most recognizable and most imitated folding knives in world. Hundreds of knock-offs have surfaced but they are easily distinguishable from the real thing by the sheer difference in quality and look of the Buck 110 to the knock-offs. Even if you’ve never met the Buck 110 you will easily notice that the real deal has a seamless build compared to the copies. The quality of the handle and the blade itself sets it apart from the rest of the knives in the market and it has that timeless look that many try to copy but fail horribly. It is an everyday knife that can be very useful outdoors for hunting, fishing and even cutting down vegetation. The Buck 110 is a great and dependable folding knife for the weekend warrior or the hardcore outdoors man.
The Buck 110 weighs about 7.2 ounces and is relatively heavy so it’s a good idea to use the leather sheath and wear it on your belt. Lately, the Buck 110 has been delivered with a relatively cheaper plastic sheath. The Buck 110 is not a tactical knife as mentioned earlier but its lock back mechanism is so well-designed that it closely resembles the performance of fixed knives giving its users’ peace of mind that it will not just slip back and cut their own fingers. The Buck 110 is not a fancy knife but it has a winning formula of durability, dependability and beauty that made it last a lot longer than other knife design out there.
Introduction to the Schrade Old Timer 165OT Fixed Blade
For the in depth hunterblades.com review of the Schrade Old Timer, click here.
The Schrade Old Timer is a quality hunting knife. The shape is perfect for field dressing and many have attested to the strength and flexibility of the blade. The 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel blade also retains an edge very well allowing one user to field dress multiple game and still be able to shave some hair from their arm (if that’s your thing). The Schrade old timer is a beautiful, classic and useful hunting knife.
The Schrade old timer is 9.5 inches long and has a 4.5 inches long blade. The whole knife weighs about 8.3 ounces and that is just perfect for a knife its size. The Delrin handle material is pretty much straight and has minimal grip features but does have a brass finger guard for safety. The Schrade old timer is a full-tang constructed knife which makes it durable and strong, easily able to withstand the demands of a hunting trip. The blade also can easily be sharpened so there is little concern of it being useless in the field. The Schrade old timer also comes with a leather sheath that adds to its “old timer” look. All in all, the Schrade old timer is a great package at a very reasonable price.