hunting knife questions


July 16, 2009, 11:04 AM
I've been reading a lot of threads about hunting knives and it seems that most people like a 3-4" knife for skinning deer. Would you want a larger knife for larger game like elk or moose? Would you need a tougher knife for say hogs? (many people like the Mora knives, I have one but I wonder if it's strong enough) Do you need a smaller knife for small game and birds? (those small skinners at DL knives are nice looking. drool drool drool)
Finally, if any of the Africa veterans are reading, what do you use on the big animals like elephant or buffalo?
I'm trying to think out a good versatile field kit and home kit for hunting and maybe butchering.(not for Africa game tho) It's just a mental exercise for now but I want to know what I will need when I start hunting. Kinda doing my homework.

If you enjoyed reading about "hunting knife questions" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 16, 2009, 11:53 AM
You probably won't believe this but for the last 10 years I've used a small Swiss Army knife for skinning deer. The small pocket sized variety. I keep it extremely sharp thoughout hunting season. When it comes to cutting through heavier game I generally use a 4" Puma, again extremely sharp. I also keep the sharpening stones handy so I can refresh the edge when need be.

July 16, 2009, 12:49 PM
generally i want a knife with a blade as long as my hand is wide

July 16, 2009, 01:06 PM
I have a friend who field dressed and then butcher a deer with a little swiss army pen knife with the skinny 2 inch blade. It was a stunt, of course, he just wanted to see if it could be done. A 3 to 4 inch sharp blade is excellent for field dressing hogs or deer. Did I mention it needs to be sharp. That is the key to success. I once field dressed a deer using a knife with a 6 inch blade, and poked a bunch of holes into stuff that isn't supposed to have holes poked in them. I have no experience with elk or larger critters, and would like to hear some opinions from those of you who do.

July 16, 2009, 01:41 PM
I slaughtered the 1st 2 elk I shot with a medium stockman and this was before I learned I didn't have to split the pelvis to get them apart. A fixed blade is easier to work with and I agree with paintballdude902 that a blade as long as your palm is wide is plenty. I now have one of those German hunting folders with a gut ripper that is handy for skinning (keeps more of the hair on the hide and off the meat).
Normally I skin and quarter an elk to get it to the car unless I'm close enough and uphill enough to drag it whole (that's only happened once in my life). If I'm more than 2 miles or so away I bone it out where it lays.
Your Mora is well respected as a hunting knife. There is no reason to be hacking or chopping when you slaughter big game. Even splitting the sternum is mostly cartilage and easily done with a 3-4" knife. I think a carbon steel blade stays sharper longer, but SST is pretty convenient.

July 16, 2009, 02:15 PM
IMO, large knives are not necessary for general field dressing and skinning. If overly large and heavy they only become tiring and unwieldy.

I use a Puma Duke (under 4”) folding knife to field-dress Deer and Hogs.

For larger animals (Elk, Moose) you’ll probably want a larger knife. I use a Puma Skinner along with a Knives of Alaska set for them. You’ll need a decent “Caping” knife also….unless you plan on letting your taxidermist do that chore.

These have served me well:

Add a “bone saw” (or small hatchet) and you should be good for anything on this continent from Moose to Mice.

July 16, 2009, 02:38 PM
I got the original buck knife that has been through a few whitetails. The key is getting a knife that gives you good control and keeping the knife sharp. You will regret every second that you spend cleaning an animal if you go about it with a dull or uncomfortable knife. A knife with a blade length longer than 6" is not needed.

July 17, 2009, 12:29 AM
Looks like it has already been said, but I'll say it again.
You want a sharp knife.


July 17, 2009, 12:49 AM
In my opinion fixed blade knives are the most reliable. The brands I rely on for big game hunts in Idaho are Knives of Alaska, Chris Reeve Skinner & some of the knives TOPS contracted to make for Browning (FX Series?) knives several years ago. They are all well made and rock tough.

July 17, 2009, 09:29 AM
I have a bunch of knives that I've accumulated over the years including the Mora, a few Swiss folders, and an old Buck 110. I don't really want to use the folders cause of cleaning. I guess I could use the Mora and keep the folders as backup.
For some reason I've never been good at sharpening. That's going to be a project for the fall. What do you guys think of those diamond whetstones? Are they worth it or should I just bite the bullet and get a good traditional whetstone and just learn to use it properly? Any other options? I want a system I can use easily in the field but not so minimal that it's a chore to use.
As for the larger animals, would a 6" boning knife work? I've seen them in the field dressing kits and was wondering if they would be ok.
A capping knife is a new concept for me. I gather it's for fine work for mounting? Would it be good for small game? They seem to have a special design like the one in Flintknapper's picture. Is that what I should be looking for or is any small knife ok? I don't mind buying specialty knives if it really helps. Tho I do want to keep the costs down if possible.
Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it.

July 17, 2009, 09:30 AM
I use a uncle henry M 4678 3 1/2'' fixed blade (they dont make it any more.) and for cutting up and buchering I use a felet knife works great just a wm cheep $1.50 felet knife..

July 17, 2009, 11:22 AM
i use a gerber ez zip and a "bush knife" the bush knife has an orange plastic handle and a stainles blade, it comes in a plastic sheath. the plastic sheath is good because it is dishwasher proof and stops you sticking the point in your leg through the sheath.

as for blade length i go for a knife that is long enough to reach the aorta and vesels on top of the heart when stuck in between the neck and breastbone. That way if i hang the deer in a tree i can bleed it out easily. Of course you guys have BIG stuff to shoot like moose. i don't suppose that you can lift them into a tree to bleed out!!!

so as i say to Mrs Interlock, "5 inches is plenty long enough if you know what you are doing with it"

July 17, 2009, 11:37 AM
I carry a old puma 4" folder on me and at camp i have a new, 5 year old Knives of Alaska combo. They are to about 31/2" bladed knifes one has a more typical clip type point the other has a round over tip that is sharp over the curved part. Damd sharp knife. Very happy with these 2 knives. Just don't use big knives.

July 17, 2009, 04:16 PM
i got a ka-bar last year and decided to try and skin a deer with it ....... big mistake it didnt ruin anything but it was just so big it made things alot harder

a large blade tends to be cumbersum and harder to be delicate with

ive also use a smith and wesson assisted opener 2-3 times it works well with the 3.5 inch blade

now my primary knife is an older buck knife with a 4 inch fixed blade

July 18, 2009, 03:32 PM
I have used a Victorinox Safari Hunter (discontinued) to clean over 400 Alabama whitetails. The curved gutting blade with the blunt tip is perfect for zipping them open. The rest of the work is done with the regular blade. I really don't use the saw if there is another one available. It's the only blade I don't sharpen, so I save it for emergencies. If anyone out there has one you're not using, I will gladly buy it!! The stainless steel is fairly soft, but it takes a good edge, and I use a Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker to restore it between deer.

Sav .250
July 18, 2009, 05:00 PM
Looks like everybody has a certain knife they like and if it fills their needs,so be it.
I used to carry a sheath Buck knife for for a very long time but for the last few I`ve carried a Buck 110, folding knife.
looks like my old favorite is going to be riding the pine for the fore see-able future.
The Buck has a keen edge and is compact. Plus it doesn`t dig into the ground when you sit down. I`m sure some of you guys know what I`m talking about. Makes you feel like your hung up on something.
Plus, it looks really nice and feels good in your hand. :)

jim in Anchorage
July 19, 2009, 04:37 AM
Not real happy with knifes of Alaska. Mine have chips in the edge,which tells me the steel is too hard or has imperfections.

July 19, 2009, 07:22 AM
Good suggestions, thanks all, but what about larger/smaller animals than deer? Do you need larger/smaller knives? And what should I look for in a caping knife? Is a caping knife good for smaller game?
And I'm still curious about African game.

July 19, 2009, 04:46 PM
I am a knife maker and have knives literally all over the world. The most used and bragged on knife I make is a 3 1/2"- 4" dropped point hunting knife. If a carbon steel knife is desired, I suggest 1095 and zone heat treat the blade so that you have a hard edge that can be sharpened in the field. If a hunter wants more rust resistance, I suggest D2 or ATS 34 steel. These are both good edge holders and will get the job done on just about any game most of us hunt.

July 19, 2009, 06:49 PM
I've been using this last couple of years. Excellent skinner. I'm very happy with it and it wasn't but 25 bucks or some such. You don't really want a BIG knife, too hard to get into small areas and not as precise.

July 19, 2009, 09:38 PM
Hey Alagator, do you recommend curved gutting blades? It looks like the same principle as the Outdoor Edge Zipblade. Is it worth it? Sometimes time/labor saving devices are worth it sometimes they just take up space.
GPknives do you have a website?
MCgunner, I was also looking at that same Gerber. I heard that they get dull easily tho. Is that true?
The 3.5-4" knife length makes sense to me as any longer would need really strong hands to keep control. I've seen a few makers (Old Hickory, Victorinox) offer 6" curved skinning knives and I was wondering what they are good for.

July 19, 2009, 10:23 PM
Whatever allows you to work easily - I prefer a drop point, about 3" blade - easy to work with, although I do have Buck original folding hunter, and some others, a Case pocket folder works well for me. Get two or three of them and a few good stones - that way, someone can be sharpening while you use the others and it will speed things up

July 19, 2009, 11:06 PM
I was also looking at that same Gerber. I heard that they get dull easily tho. Is that true?

Not really. Of course, I only have one relatively expensive knife, given to me by my dad for christmas in the mid 70s, a Case Kodiak Hunter. That thing is pretty awesome, holds a good edge and it will still get shaving sharp, but it's too big to use. LOL But, that Gerber will get me through about a hog, maybe a hog and a half, medium sized meat hogs, between sharpening. I've skinned 'em 3 at a time. Hogs are tough to skin, gotta use the knife all the way down, not like a deer. I won't need to sharpen it at all skinning a couple of deer. You pull the skin off once you get it off the hind quarters.

That Gerber gets REAL sharp, too, shaving sharp if you whip it on a leather strop. I like it a lot and recommend it if you're a budget minded type. I'm sure a several hundred dollar knife will hold a better edge, but the Gerber works for me.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 20, 2009, 12:00 AM
The Knives of Alaska "Muskrat" is the shiznizzle among skinning/butchering knives as far as I am concerned:

July 20, 2009, 04:24 AM
Just get a normal knife. no gut hook, no saws, no serrations, no blood fuller, no swords.

If you want to make it easy carry an axe/hatchet. Then you can chop out the pelvis and pull out the poo track.

Seriously, I feel this is overthought. That Mora is probably perfect, just use it and keep it sharp.

July 20, 2009, 01:47 PM
That Mora is probably perfect, just use it and keep it sharp.

I second this. Or if knife laws require a folder, the benchmade griptilian is tough for the $$$. There are folks that insist on full tang fixed blades, because they insist any knife must be able to be used as a hatchet. I have those kinds of knives, but they really aren't necessary for this purpose.

July 20, 2009, 09:15 PM
I'm definitely going to use my Mora and I'll carry a spare.(maybe that Gerber maybe another Mora) I'm still not sure about caping Knives. I like custom knives a lot but if my kids get into hunting I'll need to think economy.
I have an axe and I'm going to get a hatchet or short machete too.
Dr Tad and Flintknapper, those Knives of Alaska Muskrat knives look interesting. Why do you like them?
What do you guys think of game saws?

July 20, 2009, 09:33 PM
Gut hooks are REALLY nice, at least for white tail. As noted, it keeps the hair off the meat and eliminates popping the innards.

I'd agreed with most everyone else that anything longer than maybe 4" is a PITA. I've used regular pocket knives for a number of deer. Now I use a folder because that's what I have. Used to use a straight blade until I lost it.

You're really not doing a lot of cutting. Split open the middle, cut the wind pipe, and cut out the rear.

Everything else is done with a butcher knife and/or saw

For sharpening, I use a ceramic V stick. Easy, fast, and razor sharp.

July 20, 2009, 11:16 PM
My old favorite is the Puma, my new favorite is the Buck. They both have 3" blades, I think that is the perfect length for fine work...whatever the size of the animal. The Puma has cleaned a lot of deer and hog. I will probably have a custom knife made like the Buck but with a bigger handle and a little more of a drop point.

I really like the ceramic sticks for sharpening.

July 21, 2009, 12:18 PM
Hey Alagator, do you recommend curved gutting blades? It looks like the same principle as the Outdoor Edge Zipblade. Is it worth it? Sometimes time/labor saving devices are worth it sometimes they just take up space.
GPknives do you have a website?
MCgunner, I was also looking at that same Gerber. I heard that they get dull easily tho. Is that true?
The 3.5-4" knife length makes sense to me as any longer would need really strong hands to keep control. I've seen a few makers (Old Hickory, Victorinox) offer 6" curved skinning knives and I was wondering what they are good for.
Readyrod-- I like the curved blade because it lets me get up under the hide (and abdominal muscles) and cut upwards. The blunt tip helps avoid punctures. I use that blade for all hide cutting. That blunt tip just plows along between the muscle and hide on the legs. Victorinox now makes a Hunter model with a short curved blade on the opposite end from the regular blade. The only thing that bothers me is that it is serrated. That would be harder to sharpen.

July 21, 2009, 12:44 PM
OP asked about dressing smaller animals.... As far as I'm concerned, any decent hunting blade between 2.5 and 4" is adequate for anything from rabbit to moose. I like a moderate clip point with lots of deep belly and a plain edge.

Nothin' much to it, really...


July 22, 2009, 10:56 PM
+1 on a blade as long as your palm is wide, that's what I use for Elk. I take 2 good knives and a simple draw through sharpener when I go hunting, gets the job done.

July 27, 2009, 10:47 AM
SHARP is way more important than size! basicly, you need one that is SHARP, holds an edge well, and has a non-slip handle on it. other than that, it is pretty much up to your tastes in apearance.

July 27, 2009, 12:17 PM
I once ran into a guy out in the bush with a big moose down. He could drive right up to it with a suburban so I helped him with it and since he had fired of 5 shots at the thing I went back to camp with him. He was amazed that I could skin the moose out with a Buck stock knife I carry in a belt sheath. Of course he had 2 or 3 bigger knives dull enough to ride to China on and nothing to shapen them with.

July 28, 2009, 06:43 PM
It's been said a few times but, It doesn't need to be big, just sharp.

July 29, 2009, 09:34 AM
Ok, sharp, I got it. I promise I will learn to sharpen a knife properly. That will be my big project for the fall. I already ordered some diamond sharpeners and scouted out some ceramic sharpeners at the local homecenter. I found a local second hand shop that has beater knives to practice on and I will scout out Kapabashi, the kitchen supply area in Tokyo. I also have about six to a dozen kitchen and other knives to work on at home. I'm stoked.
Now what about those caping knives. And those larger curved skinning knives. Any info on those.

July 30, 2009, 11:32 PM
I've become quite the fan of the "Winchester" small hunter. It's probably cheap Chi-com steel for all I know, but it takes and holds an edge well. It is also heavy enough to easily split the sternum on a whitetail, yet handy enough to do delicate work. It will usually make it through the entire processing of a deer without having to hit it on a steel.

July 30, 2009, 11:42 PM
My favorite combination is 4 inch fixed blade and a small hatchet. Beats the heck out of the effort a bone saw requires. I don't really care for gut hooks. One other thing, don't cut across the grain of the hair, your knife will stay sharper longer. Shouldn't be an in issue while gutting, but can be sometimes when skinning.

July 30, 2009, 11:56 PM
Would you want a larger knife for larger game like elk or moose?

No. A moose can be completely disassembled with a a 4-5" fixed blade. It's all a matter of knowing where and what to cut.

I know some old Athabascan ladies that can do it with a mahahn'dinee (Athabascan for ulu).

July 31, 2009, 03:05 AM
For general use on big game I use one of these (

For skinning, i.e. removing the hide from dressed game, I use one of these (

The big curved belly allows a natural cutting motion that really peels the hide off.

I tried a guthook once. It was terrific for opening up the animal, but once I tried to clean it, the hook got caught up on something on every reverse stroke. Got rid of it. It's not that hard to open up with a regular blade.

August 3, 2009, 10:56 AM
Hey natman whats the advantage of the thick blade on the skinner? How long is the blade? Cool looking knife btw.
exbiologist, I like the idea of a hatchet cause I just like to have one around for general bushcraft.(tho I've been thinking of getting a 12" machete for the same purposes lately) What size hatchet should I look for? Have you seen the Timberline hatchets? They're a little expensive but they look tough. I'd be tempted to go cheaper but sometimes its worth it to buy quality.
stevelyn, thanks, that's what I wanted to know.(about the moose that is) Those ulus look cool. What are they used for usually? And are they much better than an ordinary knife at anything?

August 3, 2009, 12:27 PM
It's not really about the thickness, it's about maximizing the curve of the blade, exposing the longest (around the curve) sharp edge to the skinning process without the risk of puncturing the hide. My hunting hatchet is either the small version of the Estwing or a Gransfor Bruks.

August 4, 2009, 04:00 AM
Hey natman whats the advantage of the thick blade on the skinner? How long is the blade? Cool looking knife btw.

I hadn't thought about the thickness, but I suspect it is so the knife acts as a wedge between the hide and body, forcing them apart. The blade is roughly 3 inches long. The real secret is the shape of the blade. The deep belly lets you separate hide from body with one smooth motion.

August 4, 2009, 09:27 AM
From where I sit, the Frosts/Mora series of knives are absolutley the best all all worlds. None sharper, cheaper, well made. You can buy 10 of them for $100 and wear each one out in turn without feeling bad about ruining a "good" knife...even though they are really good knives.

August 4, 2009, 04:28 PM
I'll speak from the standpoint of a butcher and a meat cutter that has done a lot of hunting, including Africa.

First, let's look at butchering, as that seems to be the main interest in this article. The most important thing in a knife is the handle, one that is comfortable to your hand. If the handle is comfortable to you, you're better than half way home. Now the blade. For butchering, i.e. removing the hide then evicerating, think about how much blade you actually use, the amount actually cutting. A skilled butcher might use 3" of the blade on some, but not all cuts, so much more blade than that is wasted. The size of the critter means little to nothing (though I haven't worked on an elephant or a whale).

Skinning knives have a significantly swept curved blade, no sharp point, to maximize size of cut and control. Most of the cutting is on the "belly" of the curve. While I like folding knives for carrying while hunting, folders aren't conducive to a good skinning blade. Consequently, I generally carry a fixed blade skinner in my pack. A skinning knife also works very well for removing the lower legs if you know where to do it, and the knife also works well for opening the body cavity after the skinning is complete. Also, I should point out that contrary to what most have said, one does NOT want a super sharp knife when skinning. Sharp, yes, but not shaving sharp. That will only lead to hide cuts, which generally aren't a concern on game (unless you want the hide or are getting a mount), but one will find a medium sharp skinner to work much better. Oftentimes in the plant we have to take the knives of eager new or young butchers and actually dull them a bit. You don't want burrs or knicks, but you don't want it razor sharp, either.

Now the butchering is done and we come to the meat cutting. Again, the most important part is a comfortable handle. The majority of the cutting is done at home, but often it is necessary to do some priliminary work in the field, i.e. boning out the critter for packing out. The wide sweeping curve of the skinner is not your friend here. You need a somewhat longer, straighter blade, and now you do want that mother sharp. It cannot be too sharp. To keep it that way, you obviously want to avoid directly hitting bone. Fillet the meat off the bones, don't cut into them. A steel is a great aid in keeping a sharp knife sharp during use, indeed, that's what it's for.

As to blade length, again, consider how much blade is actually working. You may want a bit of length to reach in deeper on some cuts, but never will a blade longer than 6" be anything but a hinderance (we're not talking slicing steaks here). So, while out hunting do we need two knives--one for butchering and one for cutting/boning? Ideally, yes, but in reallity one can get by quite adequately with a good skinner if you don't choose to pack two. If you only have one, a skinner would be much preferred over a boning knife (the proper name of these longer straighter blade knives). That Gerber that was pictured by Mr McGunner is a real good compromise (prividing that the handle is comfortable to you). What is called a legging knife in the trade is a real nice compromise also, and indeed, resembles the illustrated Gerber quite a bit.

The relatively small folding bone saws (Gerber) are excellent for splitting pelvis and brisket, and worth carrying in my opinion. I think it's industrial strength dumb to not carry a small stone for touch-ups.
Cheers guys, and good luck to you. Hope you need those knives!

Oh, as to Africa. Fact is, as a hunter there, that's about all you are. You don't do the butchering or the meat cutting. If you did, the same knives would be called for, elephant being one I can't talk to, though.

August 5, 2009, 05:22 PM
I have to agree with moosehunt in that a razor sharp knife is NOT what you want for skinning unless you like lots of hide cuts. I have a couple spyderco Mules to try this year, one in S90V and one in zdp-189, I can't wait to see how they hold an edge compared to the knives of alaska that my little bro swears by. I have taken quite a few elk and deer apart with just a buck folder and knowing what you are doing is far more important than what kind of knife you are using.

August 5, 2009, 08:15 PM
Very true. Knowing where to cut is pretty damn important. What is easy for me is pretty tough, leading to a lot of wasted meat, for most people. One can learn quite a lot from someone who knows, but in reality, if you aren't a trained meat cutter, you aren't going to get truly meat cutter results. That's life! I'm not a computer guy--I don't get real good computer results, though by learning from others, I do OK. Same with the meat cutting--even the butchering. Like anything, it's a matter of learning. Using the right knife (comfortable) is a major step one. Then it's experience. You do a few game animals a year. I learned doing a few hundred cattle, hogs, or sheep a day--every day for years! I'm both a butcher and a meat cutter--that tells my age a little--now days most people are trained as either or, not many trained as both any more. But hopefully I can help you in selecting a good knife. Good luck!

August 5, 2009, 08:22 PM
Larger knives are harder to manipulate during the gutting/skinning process of an elk or moose. A smaller knife, nonserrated, but sharp as hell works better. Always good to have a small sharpening stone handy in the field. Trust me. Have read articles of hunters dying in the field, after slicing their femerol artery, while gutting an elk. It happens more often than you think. Large knives are not your friend in this case.

August 5, 2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks guys, great info.The other day I talked to a coworker who trained and worked as a chef. When I asked him about knives the first thing he said (like moosehunt) was get a knife with a good handle. He said it was important for grip and for long life. He said to go for full tang.
As for too sharp I sort of agree. A friend of mine here in Japan showed me a family heirloom knife passed down from the samurai times. It was a small dagger/suicide knife. It was scary sharp. I almost didn't even want to touch it. Certainly it would be tricky for work, you really don't want to make a mistake. Some of the katanas I see in the museums here are the same.
As for skill, yes I'll have to learn that in the field, and I can't wait.
I ordered another Frost knife, at $10 I can use it as a steak knife if I don't use it for hunting. Right now I'm looking at a Boker skinner as a maybe, tho it may be a little long.

August 5, 2009, 09:07 PM
me, i used to always go with the bigger is better motto, but once i foregot to bring my huge buck 120 general (one of the first made of this model and this is a made in the USA version). instead i was left with just my CRKT casper. I ended up baggin a nice buck and used that to field dress, skin and quarter the buck. I was amazed how this little semi serrated knife worked so much easier than my larger knives. The CRKT casper is my mianstay, ubt I also have grown fond of my browning RMEF skinning knife and a schrade old timer guthook skinner with semi serrated blade.

make sure your knife is medium size, has quaity steel and a sharp blade. I like to bring along a pocket sharpener as well.

August 5, 2009, 09:16 PM
I'm curious to know if any of you have used the EKA/Outdoor Edge "Swing Blade" knife.

The original design is the Eka Kombi (first two attached pix), licensed by Outdoor Edge as the (black) Swing Blade and the (orange) Swing Blaze (second two attached pix).

I haven't had an opportunity to use them in the field.

Anyone done any field work with one of these?

August 6, 2009, 12:26 PM
I wish Cosmoline still posted, as he had a source for the Finnish Pukka knives. I'd like to give one a shot.

August 6, 2009, 01:39 PM
Here is a picture of the Chi-com wonder. It suits me really well.

August 7, 2009, 12:37 AM
Mr. Arfingreebly--the blades on the top pictured knives of the left hand 2 look like they would be good skinners--I can't judge a handle by a picture, but they look OK. The top pictured Knives in the 2 pictures to the right wouldn't be bad, but those on the left appear better (for skinners). What in the world are those reverse hooked looking things for?

August 7, 2009, 02:15 AM
The concave edged "hook" is actually called a "splitter."

It's basically a more refined gut-hook. No point = doesn't puncture innards; cuts from the inside, kinda like a zipper.

I'm hoping someone has actually used one of these, and can share what they found.

August 7, 2009, 10:51 AM The best source for scandi knives..

August 7, 2009, 06:35 PM
I purchased one of the swing blades sometime ago but haven't used it yet. The quality of the knife is reasonably good. It's AUS8 steel and came very sharp out of the box. I used my Fallkniven H1 last year year and that made short work of a deer. I'm always looking for a better mouse trap, though.

August 13, 2009, 01:48 AM
Received an email from Ragnar yesterday.

He no longer stocks the Kombi or Swing Blade patterns. They were selling too slowly, so he wholesaled them to a fellow in Australia.

He's also apprehensive about his EKA supply line, as it seems EKA may send some or all of its production overseas. You know, "overseas."

This did not make my day.

Did funny things to my tummy.

August 13, 2009, 01:25 PM
Not an expert at all, but my .02, for what its worth.

I carry several knives while hunting. Always have my spring assist S&W SWAT folder in by pocket (hunting or not), I have a Buck 110 folder in my pack, and a Buck fixed blade 6 inch drop point hunter in a sheath on my belt. I also got the gerber saw a couple years ago and carry that in the pack with the wood blade and bone blade.

Needless to say I keep them SHARP and carry a stone with me.

I dont generally skin 'em out in the field and have a skinner back at the camp if need be.

Generally the only big game I hunt is whitetail up here in NYS but some things seem to apply accross the board.

I'll be going out to hunt other big game in the future and I suspect that this will still cover all the bases then too.

August 14, 2009, 09:46 AM
What do you guys think about using a short, say 12", machete instead of a saw or hatchet?

August 18, 2009, 03:31 PM
The light weight Gerber folding saw (with the pull cut blade) is much more logical (and lighter weight). For the most part, a machete is just a big, heavy, unhandy knife. I've seen that folks can really make a mess of a critter with one!

August 18, 2009, 07:22 PM
Thanks Moosehunt.

August 18, 2009, 08:08 PM
Mora knives of Sweden is hard to beat . super sharp and easy to sharpen. i have the one in stainless sandvik and carbon steel.

August 19, 2009, 01:44 AM
I just got one of these, and it looks like it will work well. Previously I used a similar length knife with less of a "drop" to the point. It worked, but you had to be careful when field dressing not to nick something you didn't want to...

The one I got has a laminated wood handle instead of the "Winewood" that is described, but it looks serviceable enough. One of the lowest prices I've seen for a knife made with D2.

August 22, 2009, 12:44 AM
surprised i havent heard more about it here but my all time go-to knife is a buck 119. it is attractive thick eanough to be very strong, just the right size (for me), and it stays razor sharp. i have cleaned 3-4 deer in an afternoon and never needed to re-sharpen. i also accompany it with a buck 110 folder for the more delicate tasks. i would like to get a new knife but i have never found anything that would even come close to making me lay down my buck knives

August 29, 2009, 08:08 AM

I like to have a good KaBar on my belt when heading into rough country. I've used it to cut limbs for an overnite shelter, split wood for fire, and skinned a few mulies with as well.

This is my new BOKER Safari knife. I haven't taken it hunting yet, but it is balanced nicely.

This is the Schrade Golden Spike model. It's been a favorite for couple decades. Overall length is same a large folder but a lot easier to clean. Schrade sold their company to a Chinese firm and pricing has dropped considerably but quality is same.

This the Finn model by COLD STEEL. It's a good copy of popular Scandanavian knives. Very light with excellent steel.

This is my everyday pocket knife. I always carry one. The all steel scout knife is an older Camillus that was issued to me while serving in USAF. You find a good one on eBay for about $20.00


red rick
August 29, 2009, 08:35 AM
I just bought a Buck Mini Alpha Hunter, I hope to try it out this hunting season. I had been using a 110 but I want to try a shorter drop point blade.

August 30, 2009, 09:32 AM
Hey TR, I have the same knife as your Camillus except it's an sak. I've used it on and off as my pocket knife since high school. Those KaBar and Boker knives look a lot like the Buck 119. I like the style and looks but my impression was that they were more camp knives (not being critical) than game knives. Are they ok for skinning?

September 25, 2009, 01:31 PM
Maybe something like this:

September 25, 2009, 08:04 PM
3-4 inches is good for deer. Anything larger makes it difficult to reach up and cut the windpipe and clear out other tight spaces. More important than length is sharpness. I have a Benchmade Griptilian made with D2 steel (a Cabela's exclusive). It is great and works well on deer. Check it out.

December 12, 2009, 06:07 PM
I had the chance to try the "Swingblade" out on a deer this year. The gutting blade worked very well. I opened the main body cavity in a matter of seconds with no need to push the guts out of the way. The deer had a good layer of fat under the skin and the blade went right through with minimal build-up on the blade. I found geometry on the regular blade to be less than ideal, however. I would have preferred a blade with less belly for the cuts around the rear orifices and for cutting the windpipe off. I didn't skin the deer (my brother shot it, and I offered to field dress it just to try the knife out) but suspect the main blade might work well for that purpose. I have the orange handled model and that made it very easy to pick the knife out layed down on the snow or leaves. Overall, the knife did an excellent job in the limited test. I may have the main blade ground down somewhat to better fit my preferences.

December 12, 2009, 06:22 PM
gerber gator grip with about a 3" blade, works well, keeps a pretty good edge. And very important, the grip that it has doesn't get slick in the mud and the blood.

Another thing that I use is a broad flat bladed knife with a gut hook. Its nice to zip things open, and also for working under the hide.

The Bushmaster
December 12, 2009, 06:57 PM
I've been using a Buck #118 (Personal) sense I can remember for deer, elk, trout, steelhead and salmon. Can't think of a better knife for all around use. I do have a Buck #110 (Special) for those days that I just wonder the mountains for fun.

December 12, 2009, 10:14 PM
I was wondering about using a fillet knife. I have one, but I haven't tried it. I can see the challenge of using it for skinning with the length.

December 13, 2009, 03:01 PM
I've had the Buck Special forever and it is a bit unwieldy for cleaning deer having 6" blade. I just bought a SOG Field Pup with the 4" blade and have yet to use it for cleaning a deer, but I predict it'll be alot easier to use than the Buck Special.

December 13, 2009, 03:30 PM
I have been using a Kellam 'Wolverine' puukko knife with a SPT blade. I have used this knife extensively for about eighteen months now. The steel is outstanding. It has been the single best utility knife I have ever come across.

December 13, 2009, 03:39 PM
I carry 2 of these Schrade folding knives and a 3 blade pocket knife.

December 20, 2009, 02:44 AM
I use this Randall #25 which has a 5" blade, finger grooved stag grips and a compass in the butt. Waited over 4 years to get it and lots of $ but it was worth every bit of it.

December 20, 2009, 05:11 PM
Queen Cutlery makes fixed blade knives using D2 steel - my choice steel - as does Knives Of Alaska.
I'll find out if they are worth the very modest price soon.
I have always used a Knives of Alaska set to dress and butcher large game.
This year I got stuck using my Spyderco Endura 4, worked better than I ever hoped for.
Speaking of sharpening knives - Spyderco will sharpen your Spyderco knife for FREE!!! with a pre paid return envelope. That's how I like it.

December 20, 2009, 06:13 PM
I have a Buck 110. I use it to gut, to skin, and to butcher.

I have other knives, but I like my Buck 110 the best.

December 23, 2009, 03:28 PM
I have several fixed and folders but I seem to always go back to the Case knives. I have a favorite Trapper thats worn a bit but feels good in the hand.


April 10, 2010, 01:47 AM
Buck Kalinga pro any good?

April 10, 2010, 11:08 PM
The question was raised about the outdoor edge swing blade knives. I won the orange handle swing blaze in a raffle. I threw it in my day pack figuring what the hell I'll try it. We'll between my son and I and a couple buddies. I used that knife on 6 deer last fall. For gutting a animal these little suckers are great. However for capping the point of the knife is a little to sharp and comes to more of a point than I like. 5 of the deer did not really matter if I got a few hide cuts or not. My sons first buck though was going to the taxidermist. I used the sling blaze for most of the cutting until I reached the critical areas. For that I went back to my custom hunting knife made by Harvey King in Kansas. The outdoor edge knife has earned a spot in my hunting pack no compaints here. Also the knife showed excellant edge retention qualities.

April 12, 2010, 10:00 PM
depends on how good you are with a blade, imo

i skinned out a little doe, FOR TAXIDERMY, with my KA-BAR, and she came out fine. i use my KA-BAR more than any other knife out there.

but, whatever your good with, as long as its sharp, will do the job

April 14, 2010, 12:14 AM

If you enjoyed reading about "hunting knife questions" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!