Hunting Knife

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William B. Wallace
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Hunting Knife

Post by William B. Wallace »

What is the best quality hunting knife brand skin, gut, and animal processing.
taz575
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by taz575 »

It depends on what you are looking for and what size animals.

For gutting/field dressing, small game, a nice, nimble caping knife with a pointy tip works well. Deer sized game, a 3-4" drop point works well. Larger animals people often like a larger knife. Skinning, I like some belly to the blade.

I do a variety of hunting style blades from capers to larger blades in a variety of stainless and carbon steels.
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For processing deer after it is skinned and quartered, a good boning knife is essential, but most of the western ones dont hold an edge very long and many of the Japanese ones are stiffer than I like. I like a mid flexible boning knife in a tough stainless like AEBL or Nitro V that are easy to sharpen but hold an edge better than carbon steels that are still very tough.


Cleaning silverskin and fat, the boning knife works well, as do the Japanese Honesuki, Garusuki, hankotsu, etc. Stiffer and with a good point, they aren't making much board or bone contact, so the Japanese blades work well. Others prefer a 165mm to 180mm petty with a little flex for these tasks. For steaking out larger cuts, a nice, stiff sujihiki works very well. A gyuto has more drag along the sides.
William B. Wallace
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by William B. Wallace »

Thanks for your reply...
Kalaeb
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by Kalaeb »

Some good looking knives right there. Nice work.
taz575
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by taz575 »

Thanks! For factory field dressing/gutting knives, Bark River makes some really nice hunters as well as Benchmade. TOPS, ESEE and Falkniven are good to go as well as Cold Steel. Buck has nice stuff in S30V, too. For processing larger game, Dexter carbon knives are pretty nice for those tasks. Trimming and slicing, a nice Japanese petty/sujihiki work really well.
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Drewski
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by Drewski »

Benchmade Steep Country is a great knife for deer.
Bark River are nice as well, Classic Drop Point Hunter and Fox River are what I have and like. I find I use the Benchmade more as I like the shortness/maneuverability of the blade.
homechef
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by homechef »

I think you're looking at two different needs.

For gut/skin:
I like straight blade knives for this work. I've been using a Benchmade Bushcrafter the past couple seasons and am planning to move to something a little smaller overall. The Bushcrafter option has thick blade stock and feels like it's trying to cover everything you may need while out bushcrafting... I'm realizing I overbought and my bushcrafting days are long gone! (Plus what was I thinking buying a 1 knife only solution!) The knife is well built and the steel feels indestructible, but I think an overall thinner edge would be nicer.

I used a swiss army back in the early days for my field dressing and like the shorter blade height, especially when cutting the colon loose before pulling the gut pile out. The Benchmade Steep Country knives have my attention. Also their saddle mountain skinner and a knife about to release, Raghorn look interesting. Getting pricey, but a classic randall model #7 could be cool.

Processing (fully butchering):
I bring the kitchen knives over. Mainly 150-180 pettys, a curved boning knife, and an old forgecraft stiff boning knife from ebay ($20). I'll bring multiple knives of the same size because I typically don't want to take a break to sharpen anything. A saw if useful if you want the ribs with the meat on (instead of trimming the meat off the bone).

Good luck with your all of your hunting - knife and animal - this upcoming season!
taz575
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by taz575 »

Sharpening when processing deer sucks (deer fat is VERY sticky and a PITA to remove.) I do the same and have 3 or 4 smaller boning knives, but I like a longer gyuto/suji with a steel with good edge retention for slicing so I don't have to sharpen.

Skinning, I also like a higher end steel with good edge retention, so a modern tool or CPM steel (S35VN, MagnaCut, CruWear, CPM 4V, M390, etc) with a thin behind the edge blade grind in the 3-3.5" range. I use a lot of 3/32" stock for my hunting/EDC blades and hidden frame tangs.

Raghorn looks nice, but you can get customs in the same steel for a good bit less than the MSRP I saw! Bark River uses nice steels and has options in handle material so you can go with a basic model or fancier model depending on your budget.
Kekoa
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by Kekoa »

Mora makes great quality blades for literally dirt cheap. I have a Robust model, which is a bit thicker than necessary for most things to be frank, but I love the thing for yard work. Never hunted with it, but I know people who have used Mora's Companion series for hunting and speak well of them. They are scandi ground, which is a bit different to sharpen. I do the whole bevel on a coarse stone then micro bevel to my preferred edge finish and that little carbon blade gets sharp fast!

Another knife that I have heard highly suggested by some experienced hunters is a Havalon knife. They use replaceable blades so you can easily just swap them when they dull. Very handy.
ex1580
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Re: Hunting Knife

Post by ex1580 »

Kekoa wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 8:10 pm Mora makes great quality blades for literally dirt cheap. I have a Robust model, which is a bit thicker than necessary for most things to be frank, but I love the thing for yard work. Never hunted with it, but I know people who have used Mora's Companion series for hunting and speak well of them. They are scandi ground, which is a bit different to sharpen. I do the whole bevel on a coarse stone then micro bevel to my preferred edge finish and that little carbon blade gets sharp fast!

Another knife that I have heard highly suggested by some experienced hunters is a Havalon knife. They use replaceable blades so you can easily just swap them when they dull. Very handy.
I have to second this. There are plenty of really nice looking and performing hunting knives out there if money is no object, but dollar for dollar I have not found anything that can compete with Mora for hunting and bushcraft knives.

EDIT: I looked around the internet and found the hunting knife I used when I was younger and before I found Mora. My grandfather had lots of knives and we all had really fancy custom made hunting knives but I felt they didn't perform well. So, after getting really annoyed about that I ended up getting the Knives of Alaska Cub Bear below and using it in combination with a cheapo gut hook from the local store. It worked well for field dressing deer and turkeys, nice and compact too. We never really had to drag them very far so we didn't quarter them, less than a mile. I carried a pocket knife always for trimming branches and things. Once we got an animal home we just used the kitchen knives.

https://www.knivesofalaska.com/Store/cu ... --suregrip
Sam
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