How to Evaluate your Hunting Knife?

How to Evaluate your Hunting KnifeIf want to cut the meat or skin off wild animals, a hunting knife can help you do the job perfectly. While there are a variety of hunting knives available on the market today, it can be difficult to choose one that will be suitable for you. Choosing the right hunting knife for your needs is equally essential as compared to the price, ease of use, sharpness, durability, edge retention and design.

While some hunting knives are meant to do specific task like skinning animals, others may be used for multi-purpose activities like; survival, camping, field dressing, and etc. Below are some of the characteristics which can be used to evaluate the quality and worthiness of a hunting knife.

Hunting Knife Evaluation Criteria

How to Evaluate your Hunting Knife– Sharpness

A Sharp knife is essential for whittling, cutting, cleaning, dressing, picking, and etc. While some knives may be round, angled, hooked, spear pointed or straight tips, a sharp hunting knife with a sharp pointed tip is always essential. The sharper your knife is, the easier it is to cut through the thickness of the animal skin or fur. An Allen wrench can help sharpen your knife in case you have subjected it to heavy wear and tear. A good hunter always chooses razor sharp hunting knives. Hard steel blades are much sharper, compared to other more delicate blades.

– Edge Retention

In the wilderness there may not be much chance to sharpen your knife. Hence, edge retention is another important factor a hunter needs to consider before buying a knife. One needs to have a lot of patience if you are buying a knife that will need frequent sharpening. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you buy an edge retention hunting knife.

How to Evaluate your Hunting Knife– Sharpen-ability

An easily sharpened hunting blade can always come handy.  Delicate blades are easier to lose their sharpness, but they are easier to sharpen compared to the harder blades. These knives should be easily sharpened using a strong object such as a diamond, knife sharpener, or any other hard object.

Evaluate your Hunting Knife– Tip Durability

While some hunting knives may come with replacement blades, it is always advisable to buy knives with tip durability. Good quality hunting knives have sharp pointed tips for cutting animal fur and skin effortlessly. Therefore, it is essential to have a hunting knife with a strong tip so as to not have to sharpen after every use.

– Design

The design of a Hunting knife contributes to its utility, simplicity, ease of use and craftsmanship. Traditionally, most of the hunting knives are designed for cutting pieces of game meat, skinning animals and carving. A few others are multi-purpose knives. Multi-purpose hunting knives might have a straight portion for cutting meat and a curved portion for skinning. While some other knives might be equipped with a gut hook, few others may have a rounded point used to keep from damaging the skin. The blade is usually very thin and is used for slicing game meat.

– Material

How to Evaluate your Hunting KnifeUsually hunting knives are made of stainless steel as it is more durable, strong and safe from corrosion. Depending on the quality of the blade, one can decide if the blade is rigid, soft, bendable, or sharp edged. A rigid nylon sheath gives much more strength and durability to the knife. Some knives even come with rubber, polymer, micarta, or wooden handles and antique carvings.

– Length

Hunting knives range anywhere from 7” to 8.5” in overall length. Blade length might differ depending upon its utility usually around 3” to 3.8” in length. Ideally a perfect hunting knife has a 3.5” blade and 8” length overall. Too short or too long can be a stressful while skinning, cutting and handling.

– Ease of Use

Hunting knives can endure any type of weather changes and are most preferred by hunters. A knife that won’t slip when covered in blood is a good knife to use. Fixed blade sheath knives are known to be the easiest ones to use. Good hunting knives should have a very sharp point, by easy to pierce, have a great cutting edge, and be easily storable.

– Price/Value

Hunting knives can be purchased online or in stores. Prices will differ based on store, quality, features, feasibility and durability. Knives can cost somewhere between $30 to $200 US depending upon where you buy and what features you need. Certain places and times of the year can get you a deal on hunting knives.


Now that you have evaluated hunting knives and you what to look for. You are ready to make your purchase. Ultimately, the knife you choose will be determined by the type of hunting and activities you plan on doing.