Hunting is an essential skill for any prepper or homesteader. While each type of game requires a unique set of tools and talents, nearly every hunter will need a knife at some point. However, some argue that a hunting knife is unnecessary, with some hunters saying that any quality knife will do, but that depends on the hunter’s knife skills.
An experienced hunter can skin and dress an animal with any quality blade, but an inexperienced hunter can spoil the kill. Hunting knives and blades are specialized tools that make the job of preparing a kill easier on the gatherer. This article will delve deeper into the differences between knives to help you decide if a hunting knife is right for you.
Understanding the Hunting Knife
On a fundamental level, a hunting knife is a tool you use to prepare game for food. These knives come in a variety of styles and blade types for skinning, boning and other activities. For example, the clip point blade is a thin blade that is good for skinning and dressing and versatile enough for camp chores. A more hunting specific blade is a drop point blade, which is for dressing and skinning but should never be used for cutting rope or twigs or other chores. Finally, a skinning blade is used, as the name suggests, for skinning big game.
Learning the Differences Between Normal Knives and Hunting Knives
Hunting knives are unique compared to traditional knives because they combine several functions into one knife. The blade on many hunting knives is slightly curved but with a straight portion as well. The curved section is for skinning game, and the linear part is for slicing meat. These knives may also have a Guthook incorporated into the blade.
Opting for Folding or Fixed Blade
While a good quality folding knife should fare well throughout the hunting process, most hunters prefer fixed blade models because of the numerous advantages. In comparison, fixed blade knives are stronger than most folding options. Fixed models also eliminate the potential risk of the blade closing in on you. Folding knives might be a good option for those concerned about the knife’s weight or size, but a fixed blade is more advantageous for most.
Looking at Quality Rather Than Size
Size is not everything when talking about hunting knives. Sure, there is an appeal to larger blades, but a big knife is more challenging to control than a smaller one, and for some jobs, like cleaning and preparing game, a shorter blade is best.
Regardless of the size you choose, make sure that the knife is of good quality. Blades should be stainless or carbon steel. If you decide on a folding knife, then check the pivot point, and only use a high-quality lubricant to maintain the joint. You will also want a secure and stable locking mechanism.
Whether you choose a fixed or folding knife, you will want a quality handle. The handle should feel heavy but balanced. Check the point where the blade sets into the handle, make sure everything is aligned correctly, and that the joints are reliable.
How do you feel about buying and using dedicated hunting knives? What are your preferences? Please leave a comment below.