Over the course of many years, hunting knives have remained steadfast to the entirety of what we call preparation and consumption of game. Now that we advance into the 21st century, they still assist the myriad of hunters that go out for big game or camping.
Being around since ancient times, a hunting knife has undergone some fundamental changes. The models today are of the best quality, especially those made in the USA. They feature everything you would want in an ideal knife!
Made in the USA
The US has birthed some of the finest knife companies around the globe. This fact has stayed true to reality, owing to the excellent quality of these carvers. It’s commonly believed that similar models made in China or Taiwan boast low prices, but are not at par with the American competitors in terms of quality. As western companies have started to outsource, the Chinese market is trying to catch up to the rest of the world on the matter of their knife constructing adroitness, but there’s still a long way to go.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Hunting Knife
Before you go out to buy your hunting knife, keep a tab on the following pertinent considerations.
Type Of Steel
There are two types of steel you’ll come across: stainless steel and high carbon ‘HC’ steel. Stainless steel is relatively cheaper and low maintenance, all while corroborating durability. On the other hand, high carbon steel is more expensive, but it retains its edge better. It is also corrosion-resistant and effortless in terms of sharpening.
Shape Of The Blade
There is a myriad of blade shapes that hunting knives can feature, but the most common ones are clip point and drop point blades.
The clip point has a pointier edge, and while its end is sharper and perfect for carrying out delicate tasks, it’s also susceptible to breaking easily if you handle solid objects with it.
On the other hand, the drop point ensures more durability and can endure a lot more lateral pressure.
This is another critical factor to take into account, which will form the basis of all your future gripping pursuits. The handle is a paramount feature when it comes to smooth and secure functioning. Choose a handle that’s well-suited for a firm grip and a sturdy non-slippery clasp, regardless of the weather or condition.
A good option is to opt for a rubberized handle like those manufactured from micarta or g10. It’s really a matter of personal preference. What we’d recommend is for you to go to your local store and try holding a bunch of different knife handles until you find the right one for you.
Sheaths are a notable consideration since they’ll basically be protecting your knife when you’re transporting it. These seem to feature different kinds of loops so they can be strapped to different parts of the hunter like the belt or leg. Some are MOLLE compliant, so they can be attached to various MOLLE equipment, including backpacks, straps, and pouches. Keep in mind that a sheath should be one that can aid you in carrying your knife as conveniently and safely as possible.
5 Best Hunting Knives under $200 – All Made in the USA
The following are our top contenders’ in the notable hunting affair. With such extraordinary yet distinguished features, you’ll definitely find one ideal for you.
Editor’s Choice: Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter 15016
- Made from CPM-S30V steel, providing excellent durability, edge retention, and corrosion resistance
- Compact design and light in weight for easy carrying
- Belly-shaped blade is excellent and functional for everyday use
- Feels very comfortable in hands
- Ergonomic design
- The leather sheath is of poor quality and loses its shape
- Sharpening the knife is a little hard
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter is great in terms of both design and functionality. The company stays committed to delivering a high-quality tool outfitted with a factory-quality edge. This, in turn, retains the shape and sharpness of your knife for as long as you own it.
Specially designed for hunting, this knife will prove to be an exceptional poaching companion, no matter the circumstances. Capable of delivering a myriad of tasks in the field, you’re bound to land the perfect incise every time.
The American-made CPM-S30V steel is put in place to corroborate incredible edge retention, corrosion, and resistance. In addition, the drop point with a blade, featuring a reasonably wide radius, uncomplicates the whole breaking down process.
Moreover, the stabilized wood handle is constructed from a robust composite material backfilled with resin to withstand the harsh conditions and materials. The blade is built fixed into the wood handle to intensify stability further.
Lastly, even with the countless features that this knife has to offer, it’s compact and lightweight, making it the perfect addition to your EDC collection or survival kit.
Premium: ESEE Laser Strike
- A true outdoor/survival knife
- Razor-sharp blade for extraordinary lacerating performance
- Spearpoint look for an amazing silhouette
- The product comes with a lifetime warranty
- Comes with a durable Kydex sheath
- Does not have Ferro striker or tinder tabs in the handle as advertised
ESEE is a game-changer when it comes to manufacturing phenomenal hunting knives, and the Laser strike is no exception. Making the most diverse catalog of hunting carvers, ESEE has done it again by formulating this particular model.
The fit and finish on this are incredible, unlike anything you’ll ever own. The carbon steel blade and an extremely comfortable Micarta canvas handle together amalgamate to form a fine piece of art.
The knife will act as the perfect tool for skinning or dressing, whether it’s a small or big game. For your survival pursuits, this isn’t just a knife; it’s a companion.
The easy maneuverability of this device makes it highly appropriate for bushcraft. The rounded scales really make it a solid performer. Moreover, the blade is nicely coated with black powder that’s impeccable in its edge retention no matter the task or condition.
It also comes with a durable and resilient Kydex sheath providing every bit of protection as it does comfortability. All in all, it’s a product you won’t regret buying.
Best Budget: Ontario Hunt Plus Drop Point
- Injection-molded handle for ease of handling while being cost-efficient
- Made from stainless steel ensuring longevity
- The blade is sharp but also thick for cutting-edge performance while being durable
- Extremely affordable but also high-quality
- The attached sheath covers the knife with two snaps and holds in place
- Hard to clean
- The provided sheath is low in quality
The Ontario Hunt Plus Drop Point showcases a four-inch blade constructed from hollow-ground and stainless steel that’s high carbon. It also incorporates an injection-molded rubber handle that’s skeletonized for a durable yet ergonomic design.
The design is simplistic yet functional, in the sense that it’s not ornate with any unnecessary bells and whistles. Owing to this configuration, the handle is easy to grip, and the blade is sharp-edged.
This is an impeccable choice for price-conscious buyers. The company has made the price point low without compromising on the build, finish, and compactness. This is precisely why this compact piece of craft with a versatile-shaped blade adds the perfect value to your everyday endeavors. It will prove to be a great purchase for someone looking for a solid-built.
Overall, this knife is a testament to Ontario’s ability to produce quality cutlery stateside.
Best Value for Money: KA-BAR Full-Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife
- Boasts a 1095 carbon steel blade for optimal performance
- Epoxy powder-coated blade to ensure toughness, durability, and abrasion resistance
- An excellent survival/combat knife
- The handle is constructed from compressed washers of leather for incredible grip
- Includes a protective 100% leather sheath
- Not made for everyday carrying
- Notches in the handle grip can make it hard to clean
With the KA-BAR Marine Corps Fighting Knife, you’ll basically look for excuses to use it. Offering excellent value for the money, this knife boasts some of the most top-notch features that exist.
The blade was initially devised to serve the US Troops during World War ll, and after a good 50 years, the blade hasn’t gone redundant. It still offers the renowned premium design that’s just as much dependable as it is reputable.
So what is this famed steel blade that has been the talk of the town for years? With a thick carbon steel blade that is as tough as nails and epoxy-coated, this knife is designed for robustness, resilience, and solidity. This particular contraption is less susceptible to general corrosion accidents. It’s a lot more abrasion-resistant than other types of carbon steel.
Even though the product is specially manufactured to withstand rugged conditions, it’s still remarkably light and well-balanced. Use this knife, and you’ll get done with the biggest of games in a few minutes.
Moreover, it is perfect for survival and as a combat knife since it won’t chip, crack, or break with abusive heavy work. The product includes a leather sheath that’s 100% pure, accommodating the blade well.
The Heavyweight: KA-BAR Becker BK2 Campanion
- Full tang heavy duty field knife for a multitude of camping chores
- Its blade features a staggering 1/4 inch of steel
- The blade angle facilitates a variety of uses
- Relatively heavy-weight
- Hard-shell nylon sheath is substandard
This KA-BAR Becker is essentially a minimalistic masterpiece. The powder-coated 1095 Cro-Van steel with an integrated factory edge of 20 degrees corroborates competitively high edge retention and toughness. Moreover, the chromium-vanadium drop point steel blade coupled with a fully extended tang makes this an absolute beast. You’ll constantly find yourself reaching for this device, whether your location is somewhere on a trail or you’re setting up camp.
This knife is a statement piece, so even if you’re taking on a heavy-duty task like chopping up wood, it’ll work brilliantly. The distribution of weight across this apparatus and through the blade is such that using it as a chopper allows a substantial amount of weight to be directed towards the act.
Its full length is about 10½ inches, yet it rocks a remarkably lightweight body.
There is no such thing as the perfect knife, but with the KA-BAR Becker, you’re a lot closer to perfection. The 20-degree angle embodies a completely flawless cutting process, but it might require more sharpening. The blade itself is about 5½ inches long, showcasing a full tang all while being hemmed from the end by a Grivory handle. This, in turn, promotes a solid and slip-proof clasp no matter the climate or job. The cro-van steel translates into an excellent abrasion-resistant blade.
Even after years of evolution and advancement in technology, the hunting knife still remains a modern piece of equipment. It’s a remnant of the foregoing tactile era where the most dominant form of fabrication was handcrafting.
Years later, it’s still an absolute masterpiece that hunters like to carry around for survival/combat, skinning big games, or just for the exhibition. With each new decade that descends upon us, we’re exposed to a completely new array of exquisite hunting knives, outshining their predecessors in design, functionality, and sharpness without losing track of their real essence.
Make sure that when you choose a knife, you analyze it completely so that you find the ideal hunting companion.