The best hunting knives for big and small game – MeatEater | Gmx Pharm

Today there are many tools, gadgets and accessories that, while increasing your comfort or efficiency, are not essential to a safe and successful trip into the woods.

A good knife is not one of them.

Ask any hunter, explorer, survivalist, wildlife explorer, or anyone spending extended periods outdoors: A reliable blade is a necessity. Our earliest ancestors figured this out long ago, and it’s been held to be true ever since. Wherever demand goes, supply naturally follows, meaning today’s market is flooded with tons of brands, designs and features.

We’re gonna keep it simple. Benchmade is our go-to brand. This California-born, Oregon-based company has been slinging blades since 1980, when it started out as a two-man show. Founder Les de Asis specialized in a type of butterfly knife from the Philippines known as balisong. (Before Benchmade was Benchmade, the company was actually called Bali-Song, Inc.)

In 1987, the company renamed Benchmade, moved to Clackamas, Oregon, and became the first knife company to use a high-performance laser cutter, which meant they could make knives from stronger steels than ever before. They moved to their current manufacturing center in Oregon City in 1990 and grew into the company we know them as today.

Jump to: The hunting knives we use

What we look for in a hunting knife

When it comes to hunting knives, you want to reach for something precise enough for making that first cut on an animal while it’s still warm, but also for varied tasks like quartering, severing tough tendons, and even trimming fillets or slicing open Heart the pan back in storage. This one knife has got to be the master of all alleys, tough as hell and lighter than a breath when it comes to adding weight to your gear. With this in mind we are looking for:

  1. Size Versatility
  2. robustness
  3. packability

Jump to: What makes a good hunting knife

The hunting knives we use

What makes a good hunting knife

1. Size Variety

Let’s face it… if we could carry a block full of knives on a backcountry slog, we probably would. What would a hunting knife set look like? Maybe one for small incisions, one for long cuts, one for working around intricate joints, and one for cleaning under our fingernails after the job is done. (If you say you’ve never done this, in a rare moment of outdoor boredom, you’re lying.)

But to avoid looking like Atlas carrying the globe across creeks and creeks, grab a light backpack and stick to a do-it-all leaf. Hidden Canyon and Steep Country both feature a drop point blade, widely considered one of the best shapes for skinning game. Because the tip descends from the back of the blade, you’re less likely to accidentally cut open organs while making long cuts through skin.

The trailing tip of the Meatcrafter is also great for super precise cuts. This is the narrowest blade of the three from top to bottom, allowing it to navigate nooks and crannies with ease.

2. Robustness

We’ll get to steel hardness values ​​below, but for now all you need to know is that the steel Benchmade uses for these three knives is the perfect combination of toughness and flexibility. They can withstand any wear and tear we subject them to, but they’re not so tough that brittleness becomes an issue. Sharpening is a breeze, especially with a tool like the Work Sharp Field Sharpener.

3. Packability

Knives can quickly become heavy and in the way. These benchmade knives all feature a sleek, ultra-lightweight design that will make you forget you’re even carrying them. Each adds about 3 ounces to your kit, meaning they’ll pull their weight and then some.

The orange handles and sheath are designed to stand out in your backpack when you don’t want to carry your knife on your belt. Even the Hidden Canyon’s wood grain handle features a striking blaze contour. If you’re worried about sticking your hand in your backpack and catching the tip of a blade exposed by a loose sheath, don’t worry. These sheaths are designed to fit the blade and handle perfectly and won’t slip off no matter how hard you shove your gear around.

Field notes from the MeatEater crew

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