To hunters, knives are more than just items in our pack. They are status symbols, specialized cutting instruments, cherished heirlooms, and campsite multi-tools. Each knife has a unique history, but together knives share a heritage as humankind’s oldest tool.

From sharpened bone and broken stone to knapped flint and whetted metal, throughout history nothing has so consistently helped hunters perform their tasks or offered sure solutions to myriad challenges as the implement they use to cut, scrape, slice, stab, and pry.

These days, there are more knife choices than early man could have imagined. But even in all of its newfangled incarnations, the knife remains our most reliable tool. Whatever the need or circumstance, from whittling a toothpick to rendering a 1,000-pound elk into meat for the table, the knife is the trusted companion of the hand and the great edged icon of the outdoors.

With this sentiment in mind, here’s what you need to know about hunting knives…
Best Hunting Knife: Fixed Blade or Folding Knife
The Difference Between a Drop Point Knife and a Clip Point Knife
R.W. Loveless: The Grandfather of All Hunting Knives
How a 36-Year-Old Physical Therapist Became a Custom Knife Maker

Best Hunting Knife: 8 Features of the Perfect Knife
Gallery: Best Survival Knives
Best New Knives from SHOT Show 2012