The 10 Best Hunting Knives
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in February of 2018. There are few tools as useful when you're out in the wild as a good hunting knife. These selections are sharp, durable, and capable of quickly and easily handling any tasks you ask of them, from field dressing and breaking down game to chopping and batoning kindling for a camp fire. Most of these are formidable enough to last for decades without losing their capabilities. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 05, 2020:
A hunting knife is really any knife that you can carry with you while out hunting and perhaps also generally in the wilderness. We decided that for the purposes of this category, we should include only fixed-blade knives. It is very common for hunters to carry at least two knives with them - a fixed blade on their belt or pack, and a folding knife in their pocket. I carry a Buck 119 on my belt and one of my folders in my pocket. The purpose of having a hunting knife is having a larger and tougher knife than folders that can also be used for many different tasks. Fixed-blade knives usually have larger blade profiles with much larger tangs which make them much more difficult to break since it eliminates a failure point at the locking mechanism. As such, I take fixed-blade knives to fill the role of hunting knife in the gear that you carry out with you.
Both the Buck 119 and the Tops Silent Hero are excellent hunting knives. I like the beefier handle on the 119 but others enjoy the slim scales and the lighter weight on the Silent Hero. Both the micarta and the phenolic handles are extremely durable handle materials. Both take a quick edge with a pocket sharpener. You'll have to hold each in your hand to determine which you'll be most comfortable with.
September 15, 2019:
Every huntsman knows the value of a good knife. There is nothing worse than carrying a poor-quality blade with you and having it experience some form of catastrophic failure in the field. Not only can this be dangerous, but it also leaves you without a way to skin your catch, cut meat, hack through brush, or whatever else you may need to do. Because we never want you to find yourself in that position, we focused on only including blades that have proven themselves in real world use.
If versatility is what you are after, there are few choices better than the Woodman's Pal 2.0. Though it may have an unusual design, it is well-suited to a variety of tasks, from chopping through brush to splitting small logs to clearing a campground. It is definitely a smart choice if you will be blazing trails through dense foliage.
Those who prefer something a bit smaller may want to look at the Ka-Bar Game Hook, Benchmade North Fork, Buck Knives 113 Ranger, and Benchmade Hidden Canyon, all of which have a three-inch or shorter blade and are light enough as to barely be noticeable when worn on a belt.
The Tops Silent Hero would be just as suitable for the hunter as the outdoor survivalist. Anyone who has ever owned a knife from this company can attest to their quality and durability. This model's 5-5/8-inch blade puts it on the larger side of hunting knives, but makes it a beast when it comes to cutting brush or hacking through bone.
While some of these models can certainly handle some basic chopping, especially the aforementioned Woodman's Pal 2.0, if you want something that will work a bit better for cutting firewood, you may want to check out our list of hunting axes.
Case® Winkler Skinner The Winkler Skinner has a utilitarian design that has a focus on function and dependability. It features a flat ground, distal tapered trailing point blade that both retains its edge well and is easy to resharpen when needed. Plus, its black walnut handle fits comfortably in the palm. caseknives.com
DiamondBlade Knives Summit With three mosaic pins and graceful curves, the Summit is a striking daily carry knife. Don't let though fool you into thinking it can't handle some serious field use, though. Its blade is made via a proprietary friction forging process that utilizes a differential heat treatment, resulting in an edge with excellent durability and impact resistance. diamondbladeknives.com