Best Folding Knives For Hunting

Buying Folding Knives ?

hunting knifeThere are several folding knives suitable for hunting,  many are made by well known brands such as Buck, Gerber or SOG, folding knives from solid brands like these have proven popular with hunters for many years, due in part to their compact size and light weight – I brought a small Gerber Folding Knife about 4 years ago I always carry this and an Australian  fixed blade boning knife when I’m hunting deer… this knife combination hasn’t let me down yet.

Most of the major Knife Makers produce good  folding knives, many of the best designs on the market today are based on fixed blade knives that have been adapted to become  folders they offer quality steel and hold their edge, but if you are looking for a cheap knife there are a few Chinese made folding knives on the market that are OK – if you don’t expect to much and treat them right.

Over the years I’ve been disappointed by, and outgrown, quite a few cheap hunting  knives, what seems like a good deal when I  first buy it… often disappoints when I’m  in the “middle of nowhere gutting a deer” – I do expect quite a lot from my knives… so now I tend to buy Gerber or Buck they don’t cost a fortune and they both make some of the best hunting knives available today,  they are designed to be used hard and survive it.

Knife Design

Blade shape is very important when choosing a knife, you need to match the intended use with the best blade shape,  for a skinning knife I prefer a drop point blade – my Gerber pocket knife is a drop point and despite being a small blade it is quick and easy to use – it has proven to be a  great knife for skinning deer.

Gut hooks have become popular ? or have they ?  I guess the idea is good,  gut hook knives are designed to quickly open up an animal,  normally larger animals like deer, without puncturing  internal organs, some people love them others hate them.  The actual hook is usually on the tip of the knife – I owned one for a while but never got to like  it… the hook gets caught up in places it shouldn’t ! – it could be just me with the problem so try one and decide for yourselves.

If you are skinning a deer you don’t need a survival knife !  you need a knife that is well balanced and comfortable to hold, easy to sharpen, holds a good  edge and is light to carry.

Choosing the correct blade length is important, but often involves a compromise… don’t buy a knife with a blade that is to long,  just because the knife is bench made and  looks cool. ( I’ve done this ?) now I’m older and more sensible I find a 4″ blade is all I need when skinning  deer  or even a 3″ blade is fine if most of your knife work is skinning small game.

Choosing blade steel ? when I buy a Buck or Gerber hunting knife I don’t even look at the stainless steel type or number, I trust the knife maker to make the right blade choice. If I was looking for an investment knife or custom made knife  I would be more choosy about steel grades.

154CM, ATS34, and 440C are popular for blade steel they often used by custom knife makers… since they contain greater than 12.5% Chromium they are considered to be stainless steels.

Folding Knives Should Have …

  • quality stainless steel blade – a good brand will always use quality knife steel
  • blade should open smoothly and lock open securely
  • non-slip comfortable knife handle
  • correct blade shape for intended use – drop point is the most practical for skinning and general use
  • when open the blade should not wiggle
  • hold a good edge and be easy to sharpen
  • light weight

Folding Knives are a great option when buying a new hunting knife … If you have trouble deciding which knife is best for you ?  then buy two,  these knives  are so light and compact you won’t notice you are carrying the spare one until you need it !!