A good hunting knife is an essential part of any hunter’s equipment. It ensures that you are able to properly skin and remove the meat from your catch without ruining anything or leaving anything behind. However, because hunting has become more popular, the hunting knife industry has begun to boom, making it hard to know exactly which knife is best for you.
Hunting knives come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles. The quality will vary substantially based on who you purchase a knife from and what style you select – whether it is a custom knife, an old style knife, or a new Kershaw hunting knife. Knowing which knife to choose can be a daunting task.
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The durability of a good hunting knife is vital. If you trust your knife to be effective in handling any catch you make, it must be able to last for years to come. No one wants to go through the process of buying a new knife every two years. So, knowing which kind of animal, their size, and what style of hunting you plan on are major factors in helping you decide the kind of knife you will buy.
Most traditional hunting knives are made of stainless steel. These knives will last a very long time and provide a surface that can be accurately and repeatedly sharpened for the best possible blade. You will have two choices for your hunting knife’s style in most cases, either fixed blade or folding blade.
Fixed blade hunting knives are stronger and more durable. They cannot be moved and usually have a shield of some sort to protect the blade while it is placed on the hunter’s belt. These knives will cost you more money in most circumstances because they are usually hand crafted and from better materials.
However, if you decide to do a lot of hunting, a fixed blade is more effective, especially in skinning larger animals such as elk or deer. For those who hunt often, this kind of investment is well worth-while.
Folding knives are cheaper and available more freely in many different styles but are not nearly as effective as fixed blade knives. If you are planning on going hunting once a year and generally target smaller game, this might be a good decision for you.
The handle of your knife is very important as well. Choices range from aluminum and leather to Dearborn. Choose a handle that is comfortable in your hands and allow for an optimum grip. You should be able to hold the handle strongly while skinning and it should not chip or break easily.
A good hunting knife will need to be sharpened often as well, so look for a good sharpening system to go with your blade. If you have practice and a keen eye, a sharpening stone will be just as effective. However, remember that if you missharpen your knife too much you can ruin the blade forever, rendering it largely useless. To ensure this does not happen, research the proper method to sharpen or spend the extra money for an electric system.
Finally, spend a little time in a store trying out different hunting knife options. Most hunting supply stores will allow you to feel the knife to gauge weight and comfort level before buying. Researching online is a good place to start, but the only real way to know if a knife is right for you is to hold it.
With the right hunting knife in hand, you can enhance your hunting experience many times over. You can bring home more meat, skin an animal quicker, and spend more time hunting.