Best Hunting Knife 2017
Owning the best hunting knife on the market would be a wise move for every serious or recreational hunter. If you were ever in a situation that required you to have a good knife on hand, would you have come prepared? What if that particular situation had something to do with cleaning a fish, cutting some rope, or dressing a deer? Would you happen to have a blade on hand?
Knives for hunting, for big game, for small game, for deer hunting all differ from each other because of the difference in the features needed in a knife for carrying out these different tasks.
How to Tell the Best Hunting Knives
In the vast world of hunting knives, there is the existence of many different levels or ‘grades’ of hunting knives. But every rookie outdoors-man asks one question, How to tell the best hunting knife? Their classification differs from one person to another, but the one thing that everyone’s opinion has that three main grades of hunting knives exist, low-grade, good-grade, and a best-grade.
Well, how to tell the best hunting knife depends on several factors like Size, Type of blade, Blade Material, The design of the blade and the handle.
Size- Well, the size of the knife you choose depends solely on your personal preference, liking and experience. What you can do to determine where a hunting knife stands by its size is to see what the knife is used for. While looking at the size of a knife, we must consider what the knife is used for, and not just the quality of the knife. For example, a Kershaw Ken onion black blur being used for skinning an elk, is a best grade knife being put to its true purpose.
Handle- A good outdoors-man can easily identify the quality of a knife just by looking at its handle. A good knife always has a handle made of synthetics which is in almost cases water proof, lightweight, almost unbreakable and also very easy to handle giving a firm and tight grip while hunting. A handle should also have a little joint or some border between the handle and the blade so the hunters hand does not slip onto the blade. A handle should also not be too big, or too small, depending on the purpose the knife is being bought for.
Type of blade- The quality of a hunting knife can also be determined by analyzing the type of blade and how it is manufactured. There are two main types of blades, fixed and folding type blades. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Fixed blade knives are stronger than the folding blade knives, and can endure heavy duty work, unlike a folding blade knife. A fixed blade knife is much durable as it doesn’t have any moving parts and is easy to clean unlike the folding knives. A folding knife is smaller and much easier to carry than the long and dangerous fixed blade knife. Also does the work of an everyday use knife.
Design of the Blade- There are three main blade designs, Clip point blade, Drop point blade and the more sophisticated skinning type blade but the design of the blade does not play a big role in telling the best hunting knives.
Blade Material- The material of the blade plays the biggest role in the quality of a blade, the low grade knives contain poor steal that gets weary and stained by blood or even mud, while the best grade knives contain steel and the best iron plus, the high end knives are also made of vanadium which is pure and some other pure elements. The best known material used for the best knife making is S30V, while others are also present like 154CM, VG-10, 420HC and more lower steel materials.
Read more: The Parts of a Knife
Pros and Cons on the best hunting knives
In the minute by minute enlarging world of hunting knives, some knives are different, unique, and special. These knives go on to being the best of the best, they are the best of their kind and can beat any other knife that challenges them. But even the best have their strengths and weaknesses, their pros and cons. This section lists the pros and cons on the best hunting knives that exist. The following is the list housing the best of the best, along with their pros and cons:
This knife created by the finest and the oldest manufacturer in the industry is nothing but perfection.
The handle of the knife, which is a natural, polished grained wood handle with durable, heavy and polished bolsters. Foldable, with nail-notch locking system which is easy to open and close during activity and safe to carry as it can be folded. 3-3/4 inch stainless-steel clip blade for elegant and detailed work.
Contains moving parts, so it can be rusty. Very hard to clean as blood gets clogged in the sides of the handle and in the place where the blade rests. It is reasonably dangerous while opening as it opens with pressure and with uncontrollable speed.
A knife manufactured by the sole competitor of Buck, and manufactured with perfection and class.
Best fixed blade design in the world, and is multipurpose. Made of 1095 Cro-van plus S30V steel, making it durable, wear resistant and very hard. Clip style, ground flat blade making it easier to cut through many objects with ease.
It is a fixed blade knife, so it cannot be carried everywhere without a sheath. It is very sharp and dangerous. It can be misused if not handled correctly. It has to be maintained every once in a while as it tends to lose its edge frequently.
Also designed to perfection by Ka-Bar, it is a first class hunting knife which can be used in many ways.
It has a Carbon-steel blade so it is easier to maintain and sharpen. It has a ground flat blade, so it can virtually cut through anything. Fire resistant, leather handle makes it easier to grip. It is virtually unbreakable and as strong and tough as anything. The effective build of the Kukri machete is the sign of a force to be reckoned with.
It is too large for a sheath and has to be carried from one place to the other in hand. The blade of the knife is too sharp and as a matter of fact, too dangerous.
This marvel has earned its place in the list of the best of the best not just because of its overwhelming design, but also because of its excellent quality.
It is very small as it is a folding blade knife and can be taken anywhere by keeping it in your pocket and is also very safe.
It contains moving parts so it can be victim to rust and blood also tends to clog in places where it cannot be easily cleaned.
These were some of the best knives with their pros and cons and some of their features.
High quality Hunting knives
There are different qualities of hunting knives available in the global market, each knife, competing with the other. The quality of a knife differs from where it has been made, what material has been used, who is the manufacturer and what is the purpose of the knife.
The exemplary high quality hunting knives of Buck and Ka-Bar are used as bench marks for assessing a knife around the globe as the knives manufactured by these brands are known around the globe as the best of the best and there is no doubt about it.
These knives are designed to perfection and class. These manufacturers create their knives right in the US with only the finest of raw materials and the best metals possible. The vanadium used in the S30V knives made by Buck is an example of elegance, strength, quality and class for all the traditional knife makers.
For a knife to be noted as a high quality hunting knife, it must have some essential qualities. It should have the finest and toughest of material used in the making of its blade, and it should also have a synthetic handle either of wood or steel which is durable, comfy, and tough, and should also have a nice grip.
An example of a quality handle is a Zentyl handle used in the making of many of the best folding blade knives. A quality knife should also have a tough and wear resistant barrier which separates the blade from the handle somewhat like a bolster which should ensure the users’ safety.
A high quality knife should have a blade that is as thin as a sheet of paper so it can slice through the hardest of materials with ease and comfort, and a good knife should also be so tough, that its edge lasts for the maximum number of days.
Not any ordinary knife can be claimed as one of the best, to be in that spot, a knife has to have all the qualities mentioned above, although not all, but a knife should have the main qualities. Addictive hunters provide the highest of honors to a high quality hunting knife and collectors often offer much money for such simple, but sophisticated objects.
A rookie hunters’ desire is to own a high quality hunting knife which he can take with him for company to his adventures and hunting expeditions. Owning the perfect knife is the ultimate dream for any hunter who has the sense of knives.
That is why manufacturers like Buck and Ka-Bar try their best to create knives which have never been seen before and are new to the world of hunting knives. The leading brands in the business continuously struggle for a breakthrough where they can create a hunting sensation in order to get high rankings and create knives which will be loved across the globe. To make high quality knives is the dream of a manufacturer and to own them, is the dream of a hunter.
Top Hunting knives manufacturers
The question that arises on every outdoorsman’s mind is that, who is the top hunting knives manufacturer, and when they think of this, consequently, they think that which manufacturer’s knives should we buy? Which knife from which manufacturer will be the best buy to fulfill our hunting needs?
That is the reason this list of the top hunting knives manufacturers has been compiled which shows the best and only the best manufacturers. These manufacturers have signature types of knives, but, some of the manufacturers do have a vast variety, designs, sizes, and different features in their range of knives. The sole purpose of a knife varies from person to person depending on the purpose they want to use the knife for. Knives differ in sizes, types, designs, blades, materials and all ways possible.
While picking out the best knife, a hunter should not only see the quality of the knife but should also see the finishing, manufacturing and all other aspects. Below is the list of the top manufacturers in this industry, with of course, a little description:
Buck- The majority of hunters, regards this company as the leading trader and manufacturer of the hunting knife industry, which may be true, because Buck has a vast variety and different ranges of knives from machetes, to skinners, to military fighting knives, straight, durable cut through knives, custom made knives and folding blade knives too. Buck is said to be the oldest dealer in the business.
Ka-Bar- This particular manufacturer is said to be the only one in competition with Buck, with its range of knives similar to the range of its competitor. Ka-Bar has all the skills to confront the mighty Buck. Many elite hunters prefer to use knives that are from either Buck or Ka-Bar.
Kershaw- Assuming the range of this brands folding knife empire, Kershaw can be said to be the leading manufacturer of folding blade knives, which are made of top class material.
Spyderco- A leading brand an a well-known name in the world of hunting knives, Spyderco is famous for its elegant and agile, lightweight folding knives and it’s sharp, edgy flat surface fixed blade knives. Although it specializes in just two types of knives, its manufacturing is to die for, and the way it uses dense material and turns it into really lightweight and safe knives is truly an art. And the fact that it only specializes in small knives and not hatchets or machetes has not yet affected its popularity.
Mora- If you need to purchase knives that are small, easy to handle, and used for either wounding, skinning or cutting open small game, this is the manufacturer you need to go to for the best knives in this area.
Uses for Hunting Knives
The uses of hunting knives differ from knife to knife. What a knife can be used for depends on factors like its material, size and the sharpness. Different hunting knives can perform different tasks other than the task they are designed for. And identifying these tasks is a skill of a hunter. Some knives can be used as everyday use knives so a hunter can save space by not taking any cutlery with him. Hunting knives are not only used for hunting but can be used for different uses according to the design and structure of the knife.
Hunting knives are known to be more sophisticated than most knives but can also perform the tasks of other everyday use knives without any problem. This section explains some of the common uses for hunting knives other than the uses they are designed for. The following is a list of the types of hunting knives which can be used for other uses than just hunting:
Machetes- Because of their size, machetes have to be carried from one place to the other by hand, and hunters have to go through thick and thin forests and the machete the user carries can be used as an axe to cut down the various ranges of vines, plants and can also help in fighting off small snakes and other animals.
Hatchets- Because of their large size and reasonably sharp blades hatchets can be used to cut wood to light a campfire and to light o fire on which a hunter in the wild can cook a meal on. Hatchets can also be used for the same reason of clearing way through the forest as machetes because of the similarity of size. Making way through the forests can be a lot easier if a hunter has with him either a machete or a hatchet.
Skinning Knives- Because of their small size and really sharp blades, skinning knives can also be used to cut fruits, vegetables and meat into small pieces as the small sharp blade cuts through these objects easily and if a hunter carries a skinning knife with him, which many do, they do not need to pack kitchen cutlery with them because a skinning knife can be used to cut anything which is used for making meals in the wilderness.
Combat knives- Although the only main purpose of these types of knives is to support its wielder in combat, it also has another prominent purpose. Because combat knives are almost always fixed blade knives, they can fulfill the tasks which a skinning knife cannot. The things which a skinning knife cannot perform, a combat knife can almost surely do it as it is bigger in size and it has a higher width, it has a straight design, and it is larger than a skinning knife.
Read more: Best combat knife
These are some knives which have other uses than just hunting and this also explains uses for hunting knives other than just hunting, Knives have to more to themselves than just skinning, combat, butchering and slaughtering.
The right hunting knives for your activity
A new and inexperienced hunter always gets confused when it comes to choosing the right hunting knife for your activity. When choosing the right knife, a rookie must be very careful as a knife is a hunters’ apprentice. A hunter must feel the connection between him and his knife because they have to work together. A knife must pass in some tests before it can be placed into a hunters’ sheath.
The sole thing that a hunter must keep in mind while choosing the right hunting knife is the purpose of the hunting knife, what will he use the knife for? And if the hunter manages to find the answer of this question, his choosing will be made a lot easier.
This section has been created to help all the rookie hunters out there in deciding the right knife according to the activity they are going to use it for. Here is a list:
Combat- If a hunter means to use a knife for combat, the knife must be large, preferably a fixed blade knife with a 6-7 inch straight edge blade that can easily cut through flesh. A combat knife must have a handle with which a hunter is comfortable so the knife does not slip out of their hands. Another factor a hunter has to keep in mind is that the knife should be neither too large nor too small, as it needs to give good grip, smooth feel and a tough offensive arsenal.
Skinning- If you want to buy a knife simply for skinning game, the ideal knife would be small, but not too small, preferably easy to carry so a folding blade knife would be better. The blade of the knife should be as thin as possible because it has to cut through fat and a lot of insides. The knife should also have an edge which does not get weary too fast and does not start losing its edge too frequently. In conclusion, a skinning knife should be compact, sharp, durable, and strong, and should have a great blade.
Butchering- If you are a hunter who likes to slaughter and butcher his own game than what you will need is something bug, something fit for butchering, something that is big, durable and sharp at the same time, something like a hatchet or a machete. A knife that has to go through flesh and bones has to be big and sharp and it should be not too thin, but reasonably thin and should provide enough pressure to cut through bones. In short, a knife that has to be used for butchering must be a huge, mean bone cracking machine.
Killing Small Game- If you are inexperienced and play with small game like quails, rabbits, pigeons and some larger birds, and then you surely don’t need something big and ugly like a machete, but need something that is just sharp and small, preferably a folding blade knife for easy transportation. A folding blade knife is easy carry, safe, and the best buy for hunting small game which makes it the ideal knife for rookies.
American Hunting Knives
American hunting knives are considered to be the best hunting knives in the world, yesterday, today, and if no heavy competitor comes in the way, always. Traditional manufacturers like Buck, Ka-Bar, Gerber and Spyderco have manufactured their excellent quality knives in America, since all of them have come into this field.
Although the people in the media today, either television or social, have always seized the opportunity to defame and degrade these traditional American knives makers by claiming that they are manufacturing their knives outside of America, in places like Taiwan, Japan, China and other countries. This however, is not true, and this section can prove it.
Well, the material used in Buck’s traditional 119 hunting knife is S30V, which has a high content of vanadium which makes the knife easy to use, sharpen, hunt and it is very powerful and dangerous, and not to mention, the blade is virtually unbreakable, wear and stain resistant.
Hunting knives which are made in China and other places do not at all contain S30V, as it is not that much cheap. And truthfully speaking, even though the cost of pure American hunting knives is too much in a way, it is worth it as it is the best buy for any outdoors-man.
As a matter of fact, many of the experienced outdoors-men prefer to use traditionally made American knives than to use some cheap junk from another country. American hunting knives are said to be the best there is in quality, durability and performance. Hunting and other types of outdoor activities like fishing and camping were practically invented in the United States so there is no doubt that the equipment available here, will not be available anywhere else with that same quality, and this also proves that American made hunting knives can also be known as ‘the best’.
Now, because of some bad fish in the media who like to defame the American hunting knives industry, people have a doubt on the back of their mind that whether a hunting knife which is available at the outlets of a reputed and traditional company like Gerber, is really made in America, or from some other country even the name of which, cannot be pronounced by a normal person.
The answer to this question is that if you are getting the knife from a known place and it has the original packing and seal of the company plus it is stated that it is made in America, it probably is. Manufacturers can import raw materials from another country and turn them into the finest of hunting knives but to state that their knives are manufactured in America and they are really made in China, is simply lying and playing with the economy.
If well reputed companies like Buck and Gerber are really undertaking this action, then legal action should be taken against them as they are defaming the name of our country in many ways and deliberately destroying the name of America on the world map, and as a first world country.
Hunting Knives 101
This is all about the basics of hunting knives plus some tips and tricks. The basic qualities that should be present in a hunting knife are clever design, reasonable size, and sharp blades. Of course that every person has a different opinion on what basic qualities a hunting knife should have, but these are the main qualities.
When buying a knife, always determine which knife is the best buy for you and what your requirements are. Always hold the knife in your hand, if possible, before purchasing it, this gives you a clear idea on what it will feel like and you can also check for the grip of the knife in your hand. W
hen you have found the correct knife for yourself, always first test it before using it practically, preferably on some small game like birds or squirrels, and also check for the sharpness of its blade. When tested the knife, you will be truly ready to test it in the open wilderness and if you succeed, then you have probably found the perfect knife for yourself.
Now, when it comes to maintaining your knife, check your knife before and after every hunting trip to examine for the sharpness of the edge. If you see that your knife is losing its edge, then you should probably sharpen it right away, and always test for the sharpness of your knife by testing it on any objects or paper.
The most important thing a hunter has to keep in mind that his hunting knife also has rights, and one of them is that it needs to be correctly maintained. That is why a good hunter should always sharpen, clean and probably sterilize it before and after every outdoor trip. A knife works as an extension of the arm for a hunter.
Although it sounds too unreal, a hunter should have that type of connection with his knife that his knife does not feel like a different object but should feel like an extension of his own body and that is why a hunter should always choose wisely while electing his first ever knife.
That hunter who possesses a knife but does not maintain, sharpen and clean it is nothing more than a disgrace to hunters worldwide. Hunting is not just a sport, it’s every hunter’s passion, it’s an ancient art which our ancestors used to practice and today, we do the same.
A good hunter has different knives for different purposes and not just one knife for every purpose. A good hunter should be able to coordinate and balance between his ranges of knives. A hunter’s arsenal can never be closed; it has to be open for new members at every time. And a hunter should always keep enlarging his family of knives not just for the sake of collecting but for the reason that new knives can teach a hunter new skills and allow a hunter to challenge himself continuously by using different types of knives in every hunting trip.
This was a small basics guide to Hunting knives for rookie outdoors-men and newbie hunters.
How to keep your hunting knives sharp and in good condition
Many rookie hunters have a question on their mind as soon as their first knife starts losing its edge, How to keep your hunting knives sharp and in a good condition.
When a knife loses its edge, it is very near to being useless. You cannot use a knife that does not have an edge while hunting; it causes your work to be inaccurate, disturbing, elongated and frustrating. If you can skin a rabbit in 20 minutes using a sharp and well maintained knife with a strong edge, it would take you at least 40 minutes to skin the same rabbit with a knife which is not sharp, and has lost its edge.
So if you want to excel in your hunting career, then you should learn the sole skill that is knife sharpening and maintenance.
The answer to the question, how to keep your hunting knife sharp and in good condition, isn’t that simple if you do not know how to sharpen a knife, but of you know the basics, then it won’t be that much of a problem.
The first two things you need to determine which will tell you how much the blade of your knife should be sharp, the angles of sharpening and a bunch of other stuff are, What your knife is used for- For what task do you use your knife, if it’s simply hunting than your knife needs to be reasonably sharp, if it’s for skinning then your knife has to be really sharp and so on.
And the next thing you need to determine is what your knife is made of- if it is carbon then it is really easy to maintain and sharpen, if its stainless steel and iron, it is equitably hard and if it’s a hard element like vanadium or pure iron, then the knife would need to be thoroughly and completely sharpened. Its relatively hard to have a machine that sharpens knife in your garage so first, you need to find a set of rocks, around four would be enough- one flat, grainy stone, to build a foundation, a reasonably fine stone to build the edge, a really fine stone or brick, to further enhance the edge, and an ultimately fine stone, too polish the blade.
First thing that you need to do is fix the knife in a medium in which it will not move in the middle of the process, and remember to only detach the knife from the medium when sharpening is complete to maintain the angle. Then, you need to decide the angle of sharpening according to the material of your knife; the average angle is about 20-30 degrees.
Accordingly, recut the blade’s angle, and be sure to make it accurate for the best result. Now, applying full pressure, run the blade over the course of the stone and repeat this on both sides with full pressure until you feel that it is sharpened. To testify that, touch the sensitive part of your finger on the top of the blade carefully and check if you feel a distinctive brogue, if you do, then you are on the right track.
Now repeat the same from stone to stone, in the order of least finest to the most, decreasing the pressure every time. You will have a sharpened blade when you can feel that the edge of the knife is back and polished.
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