How to Pick a Hunting Knife

Fixed blade, folding blade or a straight pocketknife, how do you know which is best for your hunting needs? Well, … Continued

For general-purpose hunting use, a folding knife is plenty strong enough. This style comes in two varieties: pocketknives and lock-backs. The Buck has a modified spear-point blade, plus a combination saw and deer-gutting hook blade that stays in the handle when the straight-edge blade is in use.
Featuring a blade designed by renowned knife maker Mel Pardue, the Griptilian will ready a deer from hoof to freezer in short order.
Traditional pocketknives like the Bonestag Trapper might include a clip point and spey blades for dressing and skinning smaller game. They are compact and functional when it comes to small jobs. Lock-back knives are safer to use, and some offer the additional advantage of one-hand operation to open the blade. One-hand-operable lock-backs are favored by many hunters. Some operate by means of a thumb spur, while others have locking liners. ($40; 800-523-6350; wrcase.com)
For most hunting purposes, and when anything but the largest game species are involved, you need a blade no longer than 4 inches. Three inches is even better. For big jobs on moose-size game, pick a knife like combo. Created by famed designer Gil Hib-ben, the set includes a drop-point all-steel knife for caping and the beefy Alaskan Pro Guide Hunter with gut-hook blade for the bigger stuff. The set comes with a leather sheath. ($85; 800-548-0835; unitedcutlery.com)
For most hunting purposes, and when anything but the largest game species are involved, you need a blade no longer than 4 inches. Three inches is even better. For big jobs on moose-size game, pick a knife like combo. Created by famed designer Gil Hib-ben, the set includes a drop-point all-steel knife for caping and the beefy Alaskan Pro Guide Hunter with gut-hook blade for the bigger stuff. The set comes with a leather sheath. ($85; 800-548-0835; unitedcutlery.com)
Although knife blades once were limited to one or two basic types, today there are dozens of styles and variations. For most hunting applications, however, one of three popular types of blade shapes will work.
Although knife blades once were limited to one or two basic types, today there are dozens of styles and variations. For most hunting applications, however, one of three popular types of blade shapes will work.
The drop-point blade (as shown on this Gerber Gator) has a convex back. A drop-point might also be excellent for fine punctures, as long as the blade is not too deep from top to bottom. Drop-point blades are better for skinning than clip-point blades, since they reduce the chance of accidental puncture of the hide.
These hybrid blades (such as the Alpha Crosslock, Griptilian and Alaskan) are popular on lock-back folding knives. They offer the best advantages of clip- and drop-point blades.
These hybrid blades (such as the Alpha Crosslock, Griptilian and Alaskan) are popular on lock-back folding knives. They offer the best advantages of clip- and drop-point blades.

Fixed blade, folding blade or a straight pocketknife, how do you know which is best for your hunting needs? Well, you can start by reading this review of several knife and blade types.