A good hunting knife can perform all the typical hunter requires, including skinning an animal and cutting through its ribs and bone. Hunting knives have a value that goes beyond what they can do in the wild. They’re also mementos that are passed from one generation to the next. It’s one reason to ensure your purchase of a new hunting knife is prudent. If properly maintained, a high-quality knife will serve you well while you go hunting and last for a very long time. Here are some things to consider before purchasing your first or next hunting knife.
- Determine Intended Use
It’s critical to consider both the intended application and the kind of game you intend to hunt when selecting a hunting knife. A hunter for a big game will use a different kind of knife than a hunter for smaller game. Furthermore, it would be incorrect to assume that bigger is all the time better. An overly big knife can make the cleaning up harder and might result to self-cutting.
If you’re searching for a knife that will do one specific duty well, such as skinning bison, you need to buy a specialized knife created with a specific function in mind. If you purchase a specialty knife to use as a multi-purpose tool, it may not be able to handle all the activities you throw at it. So, always choose a design most suited for the tasks you intend to use the knife.
- Pick A Blade
Blades come in a variety of designs, and which one you choose depends on your preferences and the kinds of game you generally hunt. Blades come in three basic varieties: clip point, drop point, and skinning blade.
The blade of a clip-point knife is narrow and has a distinct tip. The blade is remarkably flat. You can use this knife for regular camp duties and hunting tasks, such as field dressing and skinning. A clip-point blade is an excellent option for the hunter who needs a good all-purpose knife.
Drop-point knives are specifically designed for hunting. They’re used to dress and skin the animal. However, you shouldn’t use it for normal camping tasks like cutting rope or twigs.
Skinning blades are made specifically for large game animals. Despite being designed with skinning in mind, you can also utilize the knife for other hunting tasks.
- Pick Between Fixed Blade vs. Folding Knife
The cutting edge of a fixed-blade knife is fixed and always open. Fixed-blade knives are often regarded as robust and dependable because they don’t have moving parts. But there are drawbacks. You must carry the knife in a sheath since it is constantly open.
Conversely, folding or pocket knives have blades that retract into the handle. Additionally, they contain a locking mechanism to keep the blade from inadvertently closing while in use. The folding knife is smaller and easier to carry since the blade folds back into the handle. The folding knife’s major flaw is that it isn’t as sturdy as a fixed-blade knife of comparable size.
The decision between a fixed blade and a folding blade should be practical. Fixed blade designs are ideal for professional hunters who desire a specialized hunting knife. The flexible blade handle might be a preferable option for someone who rarely goes hunting and likes to keep it in their pocket.
- Choose The Right Size
A large, intimidating knife exudes a certain amount of masculinity. However, hunting doesn’t always require large-bladed knives. Simply put, bigger isn’t always better. Once you grasp this, your decision on the size of the knife will depend on your preferences and practical needs.
For example, if you only need a knife to clean game birds or squirrels, you’ll want something compact, lightweight, and pocket-friendly. However, if you’re hunting wapiti, something larger and more durable might be more practical. The most important thing is to make sure the knife, regardless of its size, fits properly in your hand and you can grip it securely, so it doesn’t slide or fall from your grasp.
- Choose A Quality Knife
The blades of high-quality hunting knives are often made of carbon steel or stainless steel. There are benefits and drawbacks to each kind of blade. Blades made of carbon steel must be treated with care since they rust. Knife blades made of stainless steel don’t rust easily. Because of this, they’re incredibly well-liked by hunters that hunt in rainy environments. However, blades made of stainless-steel cost more and are more expensive to sharpen than carbon steel knives.
- Choose A Comfortable Knife Handle
The handles of hunting knives were traditionally constructed of wood, leather, or bone. However, these materials cannot provide the durability that many hunters need and can be challenging to hold firmly when covered with water or blood. Synthetic handle materials with a nice balance of tight grip and affordability, like rubber, are a great alternative. Additionally, synthetics are lightweight and nearly unbreakable.
- Consider Your Budget
There are several different price points for hunting knives. The price you pay will depend on what you’re looking for. Generally, a stainless-steel blade costs more than a carbon-steel blade. Prioritize spending money on a high-quality blade. Then, if you have the money, get a fancier handle. Buying a cheap, light blade will likely end in frustration or disappointment.
When choosing a hunting knife, you must put your practical needs first. Determine exactly how you intend to use the knife and then buy one according to your needs. There are several variations to choose from. So, it would help if you had a clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for. Aside from that, try to buy a high-quality and comfortable knife. Quality knives will last longer if you maintain them properly.