Hunting Knife Styles and Uses


People of all ages throughout time have hunted for survival, pleasure, and necessity. The hunting knife has been a staple piece of equipment among hikers, campers, and fisherman as well for the same purposes. A quality knife makes the process of hunting easier, more enjoyable, and often times safer. When looking for the right hunting knife for yourself you must understand what types of knives are available from retailers and wholesalers around the world. Hunting knives come in forms as diverse as the types of hunting trips available.

Types of Hunting Knives

Hunting knives generally can be categorized into two categories, fixed blade knives and folding blades. Folding blades’ most common forms are lock-back folding and pocket knives. These knives can all be found in collector styles or in tactical forms. It really depends on your needs and interests as to which style you choose.

Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed blade and folding are the two main styles of hunting knife. Fixed blade knives are generally the more rugged and reliable. Fixed blade knives like the Coast Bowie Knife or the Puma Rolled Stag White Hunter are both good examples of high quality fixed blade hunting knives because of their superior stainless steel blades and sturdy handles. Fixed blades are also very easy to clean. Fixed blade knives, however, are generally bulkier, heavier, and potentially dangerous if not packed and handled properly. Hunters planning to do a lot of hiking or climbing might want to steer clear of a fixed blade or purchase a high-quality protective sheath.

Folding Knives

For most hunting trips, folding blade knives are strong and durable enough for the tasks at hand. Folding knives do just as the name implies – the blade folds into the handle, protecting the blade and the user from cutting themselves and reducing the overall size of the knife. There are two main types of folding knives – lock-backs and pocketknives.

Lock-Back Folding Blades

Lock-back folding blades have nearly the same strength and durability of fixed blade knives but have the added benefit of being safer and easier to pack. Many lock-back knives allow for one hand operation making it easier to use when you are all alone or juggling multiple pieces of equipment. Lock-back blades are also much safer – their blade locking mechanism ensures that the blade will not flip back unexpectedly cutting the user.

Pocket Knives

Pocketknives are usually more versatile than lock-back or fixed-blade knives. They are more compact, easy to carry and, if purchased from a reputable brand, can provide all the strength needed to skin or gut game.

Choosing Your Knife

Remember, when choosing your hunting knife, practicality is the most important thing to consider. It may seem like the right idea to buy a ten-inch fixed blade giant but the knife may prove too large and cumbersome to use in a more common hunting scenario. Most hunters do not need anything larger than a four- to five-inch blade.

The fundamentals of the high-quality, reliable hunting knife will continue to remain constant. A well-made fixed or folding blade knife suitable for your hunting needs will make your next hunting trip fruitful and rewarding.

~Ben Anton, 2008