For a serious hunter, the knife is one of the most important pieces of equipment he or she will ever buy. It serves so many functions while in the forest that it should never be neglected or left behind. A good knife can be used to clear a trail, cutting the branches from trees to make for better shooting lanes. It can be used to help in the construction of a deer blind, another thing that the hunter must do well in order to succeed. It can also, of course, be used to skin and gut a deer or other prey once it has been taken down with a rifle or bow. At this stage more than any other, a knife needs to be of the highest quality and the best construction so as not to inhibit the process. There are many knives on the market, and the hunter would be well-advised to pick out the best one they can find, the knife that is the most well-built and that fits their needs most completely.
Now, there are three different blade shapes to be chosen from, and all have their upsides, depending what the hunter will be using the knife for. In order to get a sense of the best knives on the market, one should consider all different blade shapes, as they are all examples of the best knives for certain purposes. The main three shapes are the Skinner, the Drop Point, and the Clip Point. Each one needs to be broken down in detail in order for the hunter to make an educated decision that he or she will not regret when out in the field.
First, the Skinner. As the name implies, this is a great knife for skinning game. It also works well for gutting game, meaning it is very good at the primary functions that a hunting knife needs to excel at. The shape of the blade is more blunt and rounded than other knives. This may seem like a poor idea; one may wonder how a knife shaped this way can work very well at all. In truth, however, this is a great shape for a skinning knife. The shape helps to keep the hunter from damaging the meat of the animal, something tricky to do with other knives. Maybe more importantly, depending what reasons one has for hunting the game, this type of knife also keeps from damaging the skin, which can then be dried and kept as a memento of a successful hunt. A good example of this knife is the Buck 103 Skinner Fixed Blade, which is a good deal at under fifty dollars.
Next, the Drop Point. This is quite similar to the Skinner, but has more of a pronounced point. This point can serve may uses, and makes the knife more of an all-purpose knife, great for camping and working at other tasks — such as clearing those shooting lanes or building up the blind. This is a well-balanced knife, as it can do more in the forest than the Skinner, though it is not as good at the actual skinning of an animal. Still, if one plans on doing anything else with the knife, this type of blade is a great choice. A good example is the Big Rock Fixed Blade Knife, from Gerber Knives.
Finally, the Clip Point. Even more than the above, this is a general, all-purpose knife. It has a sharper point that is more pronounced and a long blade. For skinning alone, this is not that highly recommended — though it is up to the task, it does not excel at it. Still, the experienced hunter knows that many other situations arise in the forest. For those situations, this is an excellent choice. A good example is the sleek and lethal-looking Black Fighting Knife, a seven inch weapon from Ka-Bar Knives.
What it comes down to overall is the hunter deciding what best suits their needs. There are many great knives out there, and many that will do all they are supposed to and more. While the above are some of the best on the market, the hunter will have to inventory what they need and buy appropriately in order to be satisfied.