To the point
Stay on the cutting edge with the latest knives designed for hunters
We’re in an era of knife innovation, with modern manufacturing techniques allowing prices to drop, while quality continues to rise. Here are some of the best new blades for hunters.
SPEED LOAD CERAMIC
US$39.99, Browning, www.browning.com
Key features: Folding knife with interchangeable three-inch ceramic blades (drop point, gut hook and caper); polymer handle with rubber grips.
The promise: “Innovative patent-pending quick-change blade design.”
VITAL BIG GAME FOLDER
US$68, Gerber, www.gerbergear.com
Key features: Folding knife with four 3.75-inch exchangeable blades (two drop point, two blunt tip); push-button blade exchange; easy-to-grip blaze-orange handle.
The promise: “One of the safest exchangeable blade systems.”
US$164.95, Ontario Knife Company, www.ontarioknife.com
Key features: Full-grind, 3.75-inch spear-point blade; titanium handle and frame lock; ambidextrous thumb studs for single-handed opening in either hand.
The promise: “Durable enough to tackle the most punishing tasks.”
PRO HUNTER CHERRYWOOD
$299.99, Katz Knives, www.katzknives.com
Key features: Fixed blade with spey point for skinning duties; cherrywood handle; nine inches total length; weighs 4.11 ounces.
The promise: “One of the highest-quality factory knives on the market today.”
US$28.95, Outdoor Edge, www.outdooredge.com
Key features: Three hand-finished, three-inch Japanese steel replacement blades; push-button blade exchange; non-slip polymer handle.
The promise: “Strength of a standard knife and sharpness of a surgeon’s scalpel.”
KIKU 4" FIXED
US$254, SOG, www.sogknives.com
Key features: Distinctive design by famed knife maker Kiku Matsuda; four-inch, clip-point blade; premium Japanese steel; linen Micarta handle; PVC sheath.
The promise: “Workhorse knife with balance, class and comfort.”
US$145, Tops Knives, www.topsknives.com
Key features: Fixed, four-inch pink blade with jimping for sure handling; durable, easy-grip laminate handle; contoured to fit small hands.
The promise: “A high-performance knife with a bit of flair.”
GETTING THE EDGE
When choosing a hunting knife, consider how you’ll carry and use it, and the type of game you plan to hunt.
Clip-point blades have a thin end for easily piercing hide, and a long cutting edge (or belly). Drop points also have a long cutting edge; they’re easy to control when cutting around organs, but require more strength to use. A gut hook is handy for splitting open skin without damaging muscle, while a spey point excels at skinning.
Fixed-blade, full-tang knives are strong and easy to clean. Folding knives are inherently weaker, and they can get gummed up with grime and gore. On the upside, they’re compact. The most important consideration is to ensure the handle fits your hand firmly and comfortably.
$44.99, Camillus, www.camillusknives.com
Key features: Fixed, 3.5-inch titanium-bonded blade; hollow-ground clip point; polished Micarta handle with non-slip grip; large finger choil; lanyard hole.
The promise: “Provides comfort during extended cutting jobs.”