How to Pick a Hunting Knife

How to Pick a Hunting Knife

Hunters, campers and all outdoor enthusiasts know that to survive in the outdoors you have to have a cutting tool that can perform diligently in the field. A hunter’s knife is an extension of his personality and possessing a quality sidekick ensures you can not only perform all the tasks needed but also tackle the elements. Choosing a hunting knife doesn’t have to be difficult and really depends on several factors.

What will you be hunting?

First you have to decide if your going after big or small game. For instance if your going after larger animals such as elk or deer your not going to want a pocket knife. Chances are you will want a larger more traditional fixed blade knife with a solid handle and durable blade that can handle field dressing and skinning as well cutting firewood, kindling and setting up camp.

I like to go with a drop point blade in this instance with a sawback spine capable of cutting through flesh and bone as well as cutting trees, kindling and other camp related necessities.

If your going after smaller animals like rabbit or squirrel then you might wanna go with a fowl hooked folding knife with a clip point blade. It is lighter weight and does not interfere when on the move.

What Type of Blade Should I Choose?

When deciding on a blade it’s all about strength and durability and most hunters go with one of three options, drop point, clip point, or skinning.

  • Skinning blades are common for hunters that like to skin medium to large game and dress them in the field. A skinner features a sweeping style blade that separates bone and flesh with ease and saves time in the field. skinning knives perform chores as well as drop or clip points.
  • Drop point blades are great skinning and gutting as well as sawing or separating bones. It features a thicker less defined tip capable of utilizing more of the blade. Bark River Knives often feature drop points in many of their bushcraft knives like the above Aurora or Bravo series.
  • Clip point blades have a point like that of a normal looking pocket knife or traditional bowie knife. The sharp tip is capable of getting in tight areas and hunters often go with this type as it is capable of handling many tasks and therefore recommended for those looking to use it outside of hunting.

So What Size Knife do I Need?

The truth is whatever you are comfortable with. Bigger is not always better unless you are John Rambo and honestly a 13 inch bowie knife is not very practical when your hunting. Personal preference is key here so if your after birds then a smaller pocket knife might be your choice. For larger prey go with something a bit larger just make sure it handles well ergonomically and feels good in the hand.

Always ask yourself these 3 questions when choosing a hunting knife.

  • Can I sharpen it in the field?
  • Does the handle grip well and feel good in my hand?
  • Is it durable and strong?

Drake is an avid hunter, fisher and outdoor enthusiast. When he is not hunting or fishing he is writing for his cutlery blog @ and a weekly contributor to some eCommerce websites that such topics are about men’s clothing, men’s accessories and some apparels.