Choosing the right hunting knife can be somewhat difficult and tedious at times. If you choose wrong, you will probably end up with just a new addition to the bottom of your toolbox. Your first step will be to ask yourself a few important questions like….
-What type of hunting do you do?
-Do you trophy hunt or do you hunt for food?
-Do you hunt big game or small game?
-Are you looking for a knife you can carry concealed when you’re not hunting?
-What is the largest animal you can see yourself using the knife on?
-How often do you hunt?
These are all necessary questions if you want to choose a reliable knife based on your hunting style. Use your answers to the above questions to evaluate what you need and don’t need in your knife.
Lets start off by explaining the two most common knife styles: a fixed blade and a folding blade. A fixed blade is exactly that, meaning the blade is permanently fixed in the open position. Because the blade is always open, this style of knife usually comes with a sheath of some sort, which allows you to carry it in a safe manner. These knives are typically stronger than folding knives, because the blade runs all the way through the center of the handle. There are usually no extra parts on a fixed blade, so they are very sturdy and reliable.
Folding knives on the other hand, have a pivot point and lock mechanism, which allows the blade to fold and close into the handle. These knives are excellent for those who hunt only on occasion, and to whom may also want a knife for everyday use. Folding knives are not as strong as fixed blade knives. However, they are much easier to carry in your pocket or on your belt.
Next, we will get into the blade design. This is where you need to be careful in your decisions. There are four main types of hunting blade designs; drop point, clip point, skinning and the gut hook blade.
-The drop point blade is an excellent design for big game hunting. This style generally features a curved blade made of relatively thick steel. This allows the hunter to cut the skin off the animal using the entire edge of the blade, rather than just the point, making skinning much easier.
-The clip point blade has a thinner blade than the drop point and has a more defined point. The flatter blade is more utilitarian and will fit the needs of many hunters, especially those wishing to use the knife as a general work knife and not as a full-time hunting knife. The clip point blade will perform all of the tasks the drop point will, only not as efficiently.
-The skinning blade is designed to cut and remove the skin of larger animals. Skinning blades have sweeping blades that are designed to easily separate the flesh from skin. A good skinning knife can be a great option for the bigger game hunters that do the skinning themselves.
-The gut hook was designed for easier skinning. This style can be used to open the abdomen or to crack the pelvis.
The last thing you’ll need to look at is the handle. Do not overlook the handle when searching for the right knife. Many hunters put a lot of thought into the blade design of their hunting knife, but very little thought into the handle’s material. The classic wood or bone handles are very strong and nice looking. However, you should not overlook the newer handle designs. Though they may not be as good looking as the classic handle designs, the newer handle materials offer greatly enhanced control in various conditions.
Choosing the right hunting knife has more to do with personal preference than anything else. By doing your research and making an educated decision, you can assure yourself that the knife you choose is the very best hunting knife for you and your personal needs. If you remember to ask yourself the above questions, then you should be able to establish at least a good idea of what type of knife you need.