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The 7 Best Hunting & Skinning Knives Reviewed For 2019

The 7 Best Hunting & Skinning Knives Reviewed For 2019

Having owned and operated a blacksmithing enterprise, I understand how a lot misinformation surrounds the making of a terrific knife.

What’s apparent to anybody, nevertheless, is that one of the best searching knives need to serve a reasonably clear objective – skinning and gutting recreation.  I’ll assist you determine what to search for and what to keep away from solely.

To be sure to can spend extra time searching and fewer time purchasing I’ll additionally advocate a couple of of the highest searching knives you should purchase immediately!

Let’s bounce proper into so you’ll be able to discover ways to select a knife that fits your wants.

For extra of my prime gear suggestions, take a look via these in style Outdoors Pursuits information hyperlinks: Survival Knives, Recurve Bows, Compound Bows.

Fast Reply: The 7 Best Rated Hunting Knives For 2019

  1. Gerber Second Subject Gown Package III
  2. Meyerco MSG6241-BRK Guthook Skinner
  3. HELLE Mandra Fastened Blade Knife
  4. Chilly Metal Canadian Belt Knife 20CBL
  5. Spyderco SC122GPBBN Tenacious Brown G10
  6. Buck Knives 119 Particular Fastened Blade Knife
  7. Gerber StrongArm Fastened Blade Survival Tactical Knife

Here’s a function comparability of my prime rated searching knives, with our consumers information and comparability desk that will help you select a knife under.

Hunting Knives

#1 Gerber Second Subject Gown Package III

Gerber Second Subject Gown Package III at a Look:

  • Tang – Full
  • Blade Size – three.6”
  • Blade Form – Drop Level
  • Consists of – Bone Noticed

Gerber has lengthy been one among my favourite knife makers. They appear to all the time produce simply the fitting product on the proper worth – not too costly, however not so “cheap” that I’ve ever nervous a few knife breaking. The Second Subject Gown Package matches that invoice!

So there’s extra to this knife than it might sound. It’s a full area dressing package which incorporates the three.6” primary knife with a intestine hook, a smaller camp knife which seems nice for effective work, and a bone noticed. For the worth I feel you’d have a very arduous time discovering a greater deal that delivers all these items!

Every of the instruments is full tang and each knives have constructive entrance quillons that assist add grip and stop slips. On prime of that, the artificial deal with slabs are extremely textured to ensure you don’t slip up!

In case you’re questioning, the primary knife is a beefy drop level skinner whereas the smaller camp knife has a smaller profile with a a lot shallower drop level.

That is one of the best area dressing package on our record that features a good searching knife.

#2 Meyerco MSG6241-BRK Guthook Skinner

Meyerco MSG6241-BRK Guthook Skinner at a Look:

  • Tang – Full
  • Blade Size – three.5”
  • Blade Form – Skinner
  • Consists of – Intestine Hook

You in all probability know Mossberg for his or her legendary shotguns, however you won’t know they’ve obtained their identify on this tiny little skinner. It’s small, sharp, and trims the fats with nothing you gained’t have to get the job executed.

This knife can solely actually be described as a trailing level or skinner design. Within the hand are two artificial camo deal with slabs hooked up to the complete tang single-piece knife. A big circle is faraway from the physique of the knife which can be utilized as a finger gap or a thumb index for fantastic work.

I personally love this form for searching work as a result of I wish to choke up on my knife and maintain it partially by the backbone and partially by the deal with when skinning with lengthy sweeping strokes. Because of the closely curved design, this knife is ideal for that movement!

Sadly, due to the precise form, this knife isn’t going to be good for issues aside from skinning and issues like splitting bone are a no-no.

It’s the perfect deer skinning knife on our record that’s small and insanely reasonably priced!

#three HELLE Mandra Fastened Blade Knife

HELLE Mandra Fastened Blade Knife at a Look:

  • Tang – Full
  • Blade Size – 2.72”
  • Blade Form – Drop Level
  • Consists of – Neck Sheath

Helle is an organization I had an opportunity to get to know a couple of years in the past once they put out the Les Stroud Temagami knife. Since then I’ve watched them make tons of nice knives and I really like the standard of those handmade high-quality knives!

It’s value noting that this blade is the second Helle knife designed by Les Stroud – Survivorman. This brief, closely recurved blade is greatest fitted to skinning and gutting work although it gained’t again down from some heavy work!

I personally actually like that it’s made to be carried in a real leather-based neck sheath. It’s mild and sufficiently small to be out of the best way till you want it. In any case, most of us exit searching dozens of occasions earlier than we truly have to put the knife to work.

That is the primary knife on our record that’s handmade. It’s additionally crafted with a three-layer laminated metal. All meaning is that the blade edge itself is constructed from barely “better” metal that may hold this knife sharp longer than some others.

General the perfect skinning knife on our record that additionally has the look of a standard wanting knife and may be worn across the neck

#Four Chilly Metal Canadian Belt Knife

Chilly Metal Canadian Belt Knife 20CBL at a Look:

  • Tang – Partial
  • Blade Size – Four”
  • Blade Form – Spear Level
  • Consists of – Artificial Sheath

There’s little question about it – this knife is a little bit of a departure from modern norms in relation to design and elegance. Nevertheless, the Canadian Belt Knife is a basic design that has its roots in practicality.

It’s straightforward to see why the lengthy sweeping form is nice for parting pores and skin from flesh. Because of the skinny deal with it’s additionally straightforward to modify grips in an effort to reduce at totally different angles. In fact, the draw back to a smaller virtually rounded deal with is that the blade might twist beneath heavy load.

Chilly Metal has a status for rugged blades. Whereas there’s nothing astounding concerning the 4116 chrome steel, it’s an incredible reasonably priced and dependable blade metal for this knife that ought to go anyplace you go!

The place this blade will lag a bit is in chopping in hacking, however that’s solely actually an issue within the case of slicing into bone. As all the time I like to recommend a bone noticed for that!

If you need versatility in chopping duties, that is the perfect fastened blade searching knife on our listing!

#5 Spyderco Tenacious Brown G10

Spyderco SC122GPBBN Tenacious Brown G10 at a Look:

  • Tang – Folding
  • Blade Size – three ⅜”
  • Blade Form – Easy Drop
  • Consists of – Pocket Clip

Spyderco is a model well-loved by the plenty as a result of they appear to hit the sweet-spot of fancy supplies, average worth, and nice tactical styling. I’ve but to see a nasty Spyderco knife, in the meantime all their merchandise scream “tacti-cool”.

Truthfully, as a lot as they speak it up, I’m not the most important fan of G10 as a deal with materials often. It’s insanely sturdy, however it’s often slippery. That’s principally solved with the good texture they added to those deal with scales, nevertheless, so good on them!

I really like the blackened knife blade with a pleasant easy profile. There’s simply sufficient mild rise alongside the size of the blade to make it ergonomic for these sweeping skinning strokes.

One of many different advantages of many Spyderco knives reminiscent of this one is the Four-way reversible pocket clip. Because it’s a folder, most of us have a choice about which pocket we stock it in. You’ll be able to modify the clip so the knife is correctly oriented for a quick attract any pocket.

In case you are on the lookout for the most effective folding searching knife that’s additionally an ideal carry knife, the Spyderco is for you!

#6 Buck Knives 119 Particular Fastened Blade Knife

Buck Knives 119 Particular Fastened Blade Knife at a Look:

  • Tang – Partial
  • Blade Size – 6”
  • Blade Form – Clip Level
  • Consists of – Leather-based Sheath

Okay so it won’t be “cutting edge” (forgive me), the Buck 119 Particular is such a basic I couldn’t depart it off the record. The truth is, each hunter I do know over the age of 40 has at the least considered one of these of their gear bag.

The whole lot about this knife is loud and outstanding. In entrance of the deal with, the bolster sticks down to guard the fingers. On the pommel is a big polished (metal or brass) cap. Simply wanting on the clipped 6” blade makes a press release.

Within the subject, nevertheless, a correctly sharpened Buck knife is a steadfast companion. I’ve used them loads of occasions and I can say they’re nice for heavy work. Delicate skinning or mild obligation operation is the place these knives wrestle.

Due to the dimensions and weight of each the deal with and blade, effective work is a problem. Nevertheless, chopping and hacking your approach by means of bone or brush are each straightforward duties with this brute.

I’m unsure that is the most effective searching knife on the planet however you’d be exhausting pressed to seek out one higher for heavier duties that simply gained’t draw back from brutish work.

#7 Gerber StrongArm

Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Survival Tactical Knife

Gerber StrongArm Fastened Blade Survival Tactical Knife at a Look:

  • Tang – Full
  • Blade Size – Four.eight”
  • Blade Form – Drop Level
  • Consists of – Nylon / Kydex Sheath

In line with bigger blades and beefier duties, let’s check out the Gerber StrongArm. This fastened blade brute seems prefer it’s prepared to chop a gap by means of a concrete block wall and carry on chugging! However is it the most effective searching knife?

Whereas the knife is out there in effective edge or serrated edge, I’d extremely advocate sticking with wonderful edge. Behind the pommel the knife exhibits its utility with a glass breaking level. Clearly this heavy obligation knife is supposed to do work in all conditions.

I do actually just like the symmetry of the deal with however the general knife design is hinting at a dagger styling. It shys away from that by as an alternative profiling a delicate drop level with a pleasant lengthy flat stomach. That is truly a terrific design for bushcraft and survival in addition to brute drive duties.

Fortuitously for hunters, there simply sufficient of a sweep to the entrance of the blade that it makes a nice skinning knife although it’s not going to be nearly as good at that particular process as some.

This is perhaps the perfect deer searching knife that can also be nice for all-around woodcraft and survivalist use.

Hunting Knife Comparability Desk

Learn how to Select the Best Hunting Knife for You

  • Hunting Activity
  • Blade Shapes
  • Blade Bevels and Grinds
  • Grind Varieties
  • Knife Size
  • Knife Blade Materials
  • Deal with Development & Supplies
  • FAQs About Hunting Knives

best skinning knifeMeyerco MSG6241-BRK Guthook Skinner

There are dozens, if not a whole lot, of knife shapes on the market. Every one is beneficial for particular functions. Some are used for just one activity whereas others could also be suited to a extra generalist position. Let’s first take a look at some widespread duties and blade shapes.

Hunting Process


You’ll in all probability need to take a look at a shorter closely curved blade. These permit for nice management of the blade and the curve promotes the cautious rotating motion utilized in skinning.


A blade with a intestine hook is absolutely useful. These are sharpened hooks on the tip (backbone aspect) of the knife. In any other case, a spey level blade is a superb selection.


You’ll need a extra generalist knife. Often one thing with a fairly thick backbone, easy bevel, and average size.

Blade Shapes


This refers to a selected sort of Japanese weapon which gave rise to the form of this knife. The tip of a tanto blade could be very brief and abrupt – virtually a proper angle. This makes the blade tip extraordinarily robust and sturdy, unlikely to snap, because of the geometry of the blade.


Is a blade form flat alongside its size. Close to the tip, the backbone of the knife falls abruptly in an arc to satisfy the flat backside fringe of the blade. They’re unbelievable for splitting work in a survival setting!

Trailing Level

A blade form most recognizable as a fillet knife. The blade tip sweeps extensively backward alongside its size. Some trailing level designs could be good for skinning recreation as nicely because of their potential to carry out very lengthy even slicing strokes.

Spey Level

This blade encompasses a tip that’s flat and un-sharpened with a really minimal blade profile. Alongside its size, these blades are typically flat on the stomach and backbone. These blades are nice for skinning and gutting work!

Drop Level

This blade sort might be the most typical. These blades function a backbone that falls barely towards the stomach because it reaches the tip. They typically additionally function a comparatively giant stomach and blade. Drop factors are in style searching knives because of their generalist profile.

Clip Level

Clip level blades have a scooped form close to the tip the place the backbone dives to satisfy the stomach of the blade. This makes for a high-quality tip that’s good for tiny work however vulnerable to breaking if used improperly.

best folding hunting knife

Blade Bevels and Grinds

Plainly bevels and grinds have slight variations on names and phrases that come up each time you speak to somebody totally different. Take all of it with a grain of salt however keep in mind the details we’re about to stipulate right here.

Listed here are a pair broad phrases to remember.

Bevels are the taper from the complete thickness of the blade right down to the skinny, sharp edge.

Bevel angle refers back to the steepness of the fade from full thickness to blade edge.

Grind often refers back to the form of the sharpened blade when seen in cross part.

Grind Varieties

The minute geometry of the form of the blade edge itself is surprisingly essential to the ultimate perform of a knife. Every sort of blade grind has execs and cons. We’ll cowl a couple of of them right here:

Hole Grind

Is a concave grind that leaves a particularly skinny, extraordinarily sharp, and really fragile edge on a blade. These may be mostly seen on straight razors the place the blade is topic to delicate work that requires excessive sharpness.

Flat Grind

Is a straight, even taper from full thickness to ultimate blade edge. Seen in cross part it seems like a triangle. A real flat grind tapers all the best way to the backbone whereas variations on flat grinds could also be extra obtuse.

A brief, steep flat grind creates a blade with nice power and sturdiness whereas a shallow flat grind tapering all the best way to the backbone might create a pointy, but fragile skinny blade.

Convex Grind

Convex is the other of a hole grind. The blade profile, when seen in cross part, falls over in a sluggish arc considerably like the form of a bullet. These blades are extraordinarily sturdy as a result of they depart a most quantity of fabric to help the blade. Superb for tough work.

There are tons of other grind varieties on the market however these are the most typical and probably the most relevant to searching knives. Selecting the best grind sort could be the distinction between a chipped blade edge and a fantastic chopping device that works for years.

For skinning use, a flat grind or hole grind is suitable. Hole grinds or extraordinarily skinny flat grinds, nevertheless, could also be susceptible to chipping if used towards bone.

For common searching makes use of similar to chopping bone, splitting sticks, and slicing meat you want a cautious stability of sharpness and sturdiness. A well-sharpened convex grind or V-grind will in all probability create one of the best stability of those traits.

Professional Tip: The grind sort in your knife dramatically impacts its job-specific perform. That stated, grind profiles could be modified purposely or unintentionally – watch out to not undo the grind in your blade when sharpening at residence!

Knife Size

First let me say that you need to examine your nation, state, or native legal guidelines relating to knife size earlier than shopping for.

That stated, in sensible phrases, knife size for searching is fairly straightforward to determine. Since you want to have the ability to carry it simply, you’ll need one thing fairly brief – in all probability not a 14” Rambo knife. When you’re simply utilizing it for skinning and gutting, you possibly can in all probability get away with one thing as brief as three” or so!

Nevertheless, in case you additionally like to make use of your searching knife to whittle, cut up sticks to start out fires, or construct survival shelters you then’ll in all probability need some size and weight to it. Going as much as 6” or so ought to cowl most of your bases with out getting too lengthy.

Fairly frankly, knife size is each private selection and sensible selection. Don’t make the novice mistake of considering that “long is better”.

Knife Blade Materials

As a knife maker myself I intimately know knife blade metal varieties. Not all of them, although. The truth is, there are such a lot of totally different metal alloys on the market I’m positive I’ll by no means get an opportunity to work with everybody of them.

I’ll in all probability draw flack for this, however let me say that blade materials could be the least necessary think about knife selection for a searching knife.

Whether or not you go together with a primary chrome steel or a complicated metal resembling an oil-hardening or air-hardening metal the top outcomes would be the similar. Any of those knives will be capable of successfully pores and skin any sort of recreation for years and years of trustworthy use.

Knife blade materials is a particularly broad and deep matter. Absolutely masking blade steels and warmth treating is a subject for a full measurement e-book and it exceeds the scope of this text.

I might advocate sticking with a stainless-steel or a excessive chromium alloy that may resist rust. Even well-made, well-finished steels of some alloys are extremely vulnerable to corrosion when uncovered to searching duties like bodily fluids and water.

Assuming that the knife you’re buying has an applicable hardness for the duties at hand and that it has been correctly constructed and warmth handled, an reasonably priced knife ought to pores and skin recreation simply in addition to a top-dollar knife.

Deal with Development and Supplies

I’m not about to cowl each sort of deal with materials on the market. I’m positive somebody has coated it, however what’s extra essential are a pair ideas:

  1. Search for some sort of form (typically referred to as a quillon) on the bolster (cross-guard) that helps forestall unintentional slips the place your hand might slide onto the blade
  2. Search for textured handles that assist shed water and sweat to advertise good grip.
  3. Contemplate a metallic butt cap (pommel) in case you use the top of the knife for hammering or pounding.
  4. Keep away from polished deal with supplies as they’re extraordinarily slippery!

Whereas it will not be a precise a part of the deal with, it’s value noting right here that it is best to take note of the tang of the knife. That is the half the place the blade continues into the deal with. Full tang knives are my private favourite as a result of you understand they have to be very robust and sturdy.

Different kinds of tangs can typically be as robust (or virtually as robust) as a full tang however typically knife makers fail to assemble them correctly which results in structural failures. From nearly all of producers on the market, I’m most probably to belief a full tang knife over different tang types.

FAQs About Hunting Knives

Q: Are serrations good for sawing bone?

A: Nope.

Serrations are primarily designed to guard little pockets of the blade behind the serrated protrusions. On this approach these areas of the blade keep sharp longer than others.

Serrations are very minimally simpler at sawing than a superb edge blade. Noticed tooth function rake angles and tooth patterns that current a leading edge perpendicular to the piece being sawn which permits the removing of shavings. Critically – there’s a software for sawing referred to as a noticed they usually work nice.

Serrations are superb for slicing via a seatbelt after you grind the sting of the blade towards a rock. They get in the best way of effective duties and do little for “sawing” nevertheless.

For these causes and since serrations are virtually inconceivable to re-sharpen for the typical consumer, I like to recommend towards them.

Q: Can I exploit my knife for prying stuff?

A: Most undoubtedly not.

Knives are instruments designed to chop. Prying applies immense remoted stress to knife blades and ideas which may trigger handled steels to chip or break. Don’t be stunned for those who break the tip proper off of a knife since you caught it in someplace and began prying round.

For those who assume you’ll be utilizing your knife for tough and weird duties (typically we have now little selection) then go for the beefiest, burliest, blade you’ll find with a brief stubby level and a really stout convex grind.

Opposite to common perception, knives which are used for functions aside from slicing smart supplies are very more likely to break. Even very costly fancy warmth handled knives actually aren’t meant to be abused.

Q: What’s my favourite searching knife?

A: Personally? I like a extra generalist knife just like the Gerber Second for searching. I attempt to maintain the skinning and gutting duties to the knife. Every time potential I’ll use one thing extra sturdy and beefy just like the Gerber StrongArm for bushcraft like hacking branches or splitting sticks.

What it actually boils right down to for me is selecting a knife that has the fitting design for the duties I need to carry out. Once I acknowledge a state of affairs the place my knife isn’t meant to be environment friendly, I select a greater software for the duty.

Q: What’s warmth treating?

A: As a way to create an excellent knife, trendy metal have to be warmth handled correctly. In contrast to steels “back in the day” trendy steels are made in factories the place the precise chemical composition is exactly managed.

These trendy precision alloys are then formed into knives, hardened, after which tempered. Hardening a blade causes a chemical change inside the invisible crystal construction of the metal (okay technically it’s seen however you’d need to snap your knife in half to see). Most steels, as soon as hardened, are literally so arduous they will break like a dry twig!

So as to make a hardened metal usable, it have to be tempered. Tempering removes some hardness by relieving inner stresses within the metal itself.

Collectively hardening and tempering are often known as warmth treating.

Each trendy metal has a chemically recognized warmth treating course of that may be simply seemed up in technical manuals out there to anybody resembling this abridged reference at Hudson Metal.

Q: How do I sharpen a searching knife?

A: There in all probability isn’t a single “best” method to sharpen a knife. Nevertheless, one of many best methods to get it persistently right is to make use of a sharpening jig set to the angle of your blade.

Each knife has a remaining edge angle which have to be matched when sharpening. Utilizing a jig makes it straightforward to do it proper each time. When you get it found out, write down the angle and ensure to sharpen at that angle each time sooner or later!

Video: The way to Sharpen a Knife.

Remaining Ideas

Keep in mind that every knife is a software designed for a selected process. Discovering the correct one for you means searching knife work like skinning and subject dressing will probably be straightforward! Simply keep in mind to consider how you’re more than likely to make use of your knife and discover a blade that matches up.

In the long run, nobody can select the perfect searching knife for you. Ensure to revisit our purchaser’s information to study all the things it’s worthwhile to know so that you simply make an knowledgeable shopping for determination!

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