Every hunter wants a knife that fits their purpose and there are some considerations they should address before deciding on a knife, and handmade knives are no different.
Knives are as unique as the hunter and knowing what features make the best hunting knife, depending on the type of game hunted for, is important.
Besides the purpose of the knife, other considerations are size, blade design, the material of handle, type of steel, and whether it is folding or fixed.
Once a hunter determines what features their knife needs to meet their needs, it is time to begin looking for the best knife for the individual hunter.
How To Choose A Hunting Knife
Choosing a knife starts with the purpose it will serve, hunters may need specialty knives, all-purpose knives, and may even need more than one knife.
Specialty knives are made for specific reasons such as skinning, all-purpose knives are used for skinning, field dressing, and many other tasks.
Depending on the type of hunting, more than one knives could be necessary. When it comes to size, smaller knives work best for small game and larger knives are better for large game.
A fixed blade is stronger, more durable, reliable and easier to clean then folding knives; however, folding knives are more convenient to carry as they do not require a sheath.
Fixed knives are good for hunting and folding knives are the best for everyday use.
Other considerations when choosing a hunting knife are the blade design and the material of both the blade and handle.
The blade designs have different purposes for tasks and the common designs are drop-point, clip-point, and skinning.
Drop-points are for skinning big game because of the thick, curved blade, and clip-points are effective for skinning, splitting, and gutting because of the thinner, flatter blade.
Skinning knives are specialty knives made for skinning medium to a large game because of the sweeping blade which easily removes the flesh, and it can do most another cleaning as good as drop-points and clip-points.
Knife handles made from wood, leather, and bone looks nice but is not as durable as synthetic materials for hunting purposes.
The type of material the blade is made of determines how well it sharpens, holds its edge, and lasting durability. For safety, knives with finger stops, contours, and guards are best to avoid cutting hands when using to skin or butcher the game.
Handle material options
Blade material options
- W2 carbon
- Cru-forge V
Some of the best handmade hunting knives are made by Knife King, Jason Knight, Walter Sorrells, and J. Nielson.
Knife King has made a couple of hunting knives which are popular, and they are: the Snowdown Hunter made with 200-layer Damascus steel which stays sharp after tough use and is rock forged and the Emperor is also made from DaMarcus and is sharp, sturdy, and tough.
Jason Knight made the Knight Wilderness Hunter made from W2 carbon steel with a razor-sharp blade.
Walter Sorrell made the Operator made of S30V stainless steel, and J. Nielson made the Coffin from Cru-forge V high carbon steel.
All are excellent for hunters to use because they are made to last and stay sharp after using for skinning, field dressing, and butchering game meat.