When you’re out on a hunt, you need your mind and body to be focused on the task at hand. Any distraction can not only be incredibly frustrating but potentially life-threatening. The tools and knives you carry have a huge impact here, so you’ll want the best hunting knife for your style and needs by your side.
There is an incredible number of hunting knife options available on the market and choosing the right one is harder than ever before. Our guide will help you learn exactly what you need to look for, how much you’ll need to spend to get what you’re looking for, and the real-world performance you can expect from a quality hunting knife.
You’ll have all the information and knowledge you need to choose the perfect knife for you. Objectively speaking, there is no perfect hunting knife – there’s always a little give and take. That’s why it’s so important that you note what you’re looking for now.
It’d be a good idea to write down 3-5 features you need in your next hunting knife (this will be easier if you have experience with buying these knives). If this is your first hunting knife, note down how you plan on using the knife and the different types of situations it will be needed. With all this in mind, let’s get started!
Top 7 Best Hunting Knife Reviews in 2023
We’ve carefully selected 7 hunting knives/sets that we feel offer you some of the best value for money and practical functionality on the market. You’ll find knives that suit different budgets and needs sets without compromising on the foundational qualities and features you’d expect from the best hunting knife.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for a big and powerful hunting knife, we have options that might be just right for you. Let’s dive into our best hunting knife reviews!
Outdoor Edge RazorLite EDC Hunting Knife
If you hate having to waste precious time on your hunts sharpening and touching up dull blades then this option might be perfect for you! You’ll get 5 replacement blades with the main knife that can be changed in seconds. They have excellent edge retention and come sharp out of the box. 420J2 Japanese steel is used and this gives the blades fantastic corrosion and chipping resistance.
They’re well-suited to the outdoors and perform well in harsher environments. The handle is bright, large, and ergonomic, so you’ll have no trouble gripping it in various ways – even if you have abnormally large hands (or with gloves on). Overall, you’re getting one of the best hunting knife options on the market and in this price range.
- Bright and easy to spot handle
- Non-slip and extremely ergonomic handle
- Excellent corrosion resistance
- Blades can be changed out quickly
- Replacement blades aren’t designed to re-sharpened
- It can be a hassle to carry all those replacement blades around with you on a hunt
MTech USA Fixed Blade Hunting Knife
Here’s an excellent value for money fixed-blade hunting knife. At just over 12” it’s extremely capable and can easily handle heavier-duty skinning and cutting. We loved the long straight cutting edge for how smooth and accurate it is. It’s coated in a black corrosion-resistant coating that makes the knife quite a bit more durable.
You’ll find the ABS handle is lightweight and comfortable for its size. You can hold it ambidextrously and not worry about it slipping during heavier cutting. When combined with the provided black nylon sheath, this fixed blade knife is a top pick for the best hunting knife for the money.
- Lightweight and mobile considering the large size
- Super-versatile and functional
- Comes with a great sheath
- Excellent value for money
- Black coating shows scratches easily
- Handle feels a little cheap compared to the rest of the handle
Mossy Oak Bowie Knife Hunting Set
If good value is important to you then you should brace yourself for this deal. You’re getting two exceptionally capable and functional fixed-blade hunting knives for a surprisingly low price. The blades can hold a razor-sharp edge without being too difficult to sharpen.
Stainless steel gives them top-notch corrosion resistance for its price and makes these knives very durable. You’re getting the super-versatile clip-point style blades that are fantastic for hunting and outdoor tactical use. Our favorite feature is the stacked-leather full-tang handles.
They are ridiculously robust and their rounded shapes feel wonderful in your hands. They’re contoured ergonomically to fit comfortably into your hands and give you excellent control over the large blade. This is a top-rated best hunting knife set and offers you great value for money and top-quality performance.
- Excellent value for money
- Full-tang design
- Stacked leather handle is robust and comfortable
- Comes very sharp out the box
- Quite heavy when both knives are carried together
- Sheaths don’t fit as cleanly as they could
Mossy Oak Survival and Hunting Knife
Here’s an extra-large 15” hunting knife. It’s large and powerful enough to be your solo carry for most hunting and outdoor trips. The rubber handle is non-slip and can be used for heavier cutting even with wet/bloody hands. Stainless steel gives this knife excellent corrosion, rust, and chip resistance, as well as having great edge retention.
We love that the heavy-duty sheath comes with a sharpener and two fire-starters that clip into the sheath safely. Overall, this is a wonderful outdoor knife with exceptional cutting power and raw functionality – well worth the money!
- Firestarter and sharpener attached to the sheath
- Excellent heavy-duty knife
- Very resistant
- Rubber handle won’t slip
- Black coating shows scratches easily
- Quite tough to sharpen
Defender Xtreme Tactical Hunting Knife
Here’s another heavy-duty 12” tactical hunting knife. It leans more towards a military design and the blade has quite a broad belly near the tip to enhance chopping power. Despite having a curved cutting edge, this knife cuts smoothly and accurately. It’s not too large to be used for intricate and detailed work, and not too small to be a viable and reliable outdoor knife.
The handguard combines excellently with the non-slip handle to bring you a knife that’s easy and safe to use in all conditions. This safety and robustness are made even more prominent with the military stealth sheath with multiple mounting options. This knife is easy to carry, quick to unsheathe, and efficient to use – all at a staggeringly affordable cost.
- Versatile and functional
- Excellent quality sheath
- Handguard for added safety
- Great cutting and striking power
- Black coating scratches off quite easily
- Quite bulky and heavy
Outdoor Edge Razor Pro Hunting Knife Set
Here’s an extremely popular and versatile knife and saw combo set. You’ll get a whole set of replacement blades so you’ll never need to worry about sharpening dull blades. There’s also a special gutting blade on the spine-side of the blade that “opens game like a zipper”. It’s super sharp and highly functional, though the location is slightly awkward at first.
The folding saw is easy to hold and made from aluminum, so it’s lightweight and easy to carry. Both knives have bright orange handles to help you keep better track of them in low light. These handles also offer a non-slip grip and high-quality construction.
- Extremely versatile set
- Great quality clip-in sheath
- Bright and comfortable handles
- Comes with several replacement blades
- Gutting knife isn’t in the most intuitive location
- It can get annoying having to carry all those replacement blades around with you
Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Hunting Knife Set
If you don’t want to sacrifice any performance and robustness, then fixed knives are your solution. With this set, you’re getting an incredible 3-piece set at a fantastically affordable price. They’re all crafted from quality stainless steel and offer all the resistance and durability you’d need from a rugged outdoor hunting knife set. The knives are all full-tang and come with matching sheaths.
You can do everything you’d need to get done in-field with these knives. The second large knife also has an excellent gut-hook. All knives have finger choils to stop your hand from slipping onto the cutting edge – and comfortable, ergonomic handles to make heavier duty cutting much easier!
- Robust and durable performance
- Abrasion-resistant steel
- Comfortable and ergonomic handles
- Quite heavy and bulky when carried together
- Not the easiest knives to sharpen
What Features Matter the Most in a Hunting Knife?
While part of this answer is subjective and will be influenced by your experience and knowledge, some features are non-negotiable when it comes to hunting knives. We’re going to briefly discuss the features you should be on the lookout for.
This feature is at the top of the list since you’re working outdoors and with the game. Your knife will often be wet or bloody and you often won’t have the time or tools to clean it mid-hunt.
The wet/bloody knife can be wiped down, but that won’t be enough to protect it from corrosion if the steel doesn’t have a high enough carbon content. You should also try to get abrasion-resistant steel if possible as it will retain the performance and look of the knife in the long run.
Ergonomic and Non-Slip Full Tang Handle
If you’re getting a fixed knife then you need to make sure it’s full-tang. Anything less won’t have the same heft and cutting power and will be prone to bending and snapping during heavier cutting work.
For the handle, you need something that’s suited to your hand size and that’s textured to be non-slip. With hunting knives, it’s also wise to get a handle that’s luminescent or at least a bright orange/green color as you’ll often be using the knife in the early evening/night.
Many hunting knife sets will include a dedicated gut hook knife. If you’re hunting bigger game, this is an essential tool. If you’re just getting a standalone knife, then try to get one that has a gut hook built into the blade’s spine for extra functionality and utility.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are Folding Hunting Knives Any Good?
A: If you’re going to be using your hunting knife for larger game such as deer or antelopes, a folding hunting knife might not cut it. If you’re just going to be cutting up some smaller game like rabbits, then yes, a folding hunting knife is perfect. It will save you having to carry around a large and bulky sheathed fixed hunting knife.
Q: Can I Sharpen the Replaceable Blade That Comes With Some Hunting Knife Sets?
A: Yes you can, but they aren’t designed to be honed or sharpened a second time. If you plan on getting replaceable blades, it would be because you don’t have the time or tools to sharpen in-field.
If you don’t mind the sharpening process and have the time to do so, your money would be much better to spend on a fixed blade knife. The edge retention is better and you get far more cutting power – without needing to carry several replacement blades with you.
By now, you should have quite a clear idea of the features and performance you’d need from a hunting knife. Take your list of requirements and combine it with your experience and our recommendations while going through the options we’ve provided you.
Doing so will help you get the best possible value for money and a knife you’d keep around for years. With the best hunting knife in your kit bag, you’ll be better prepared for the hunt – and you’ll have more time to enjoy it!