Carrying a knife outside of your kitchen or household may be a red flag for some people, but there are still many people who walk around with one for practical purposes. As long as you don’t open-carry it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have one in your pocket or keep one in your vehicle. In fact, I’ve been carrying pocket knives for over a decade now without a problem. It’s not that I’m paranoid or anything, but sometimes a pocket knife comes in handy, especially if you live in a remote area like myself.
Be it when out shopping groceries or hunting game, even a small hunting knife can get many jobs done. Just like myself, you don’t have to be a pro huntsman to make use of a fixed knife for hunting. With this type of knife you can fend off an attacker quite easily as merely the look of it can scare someone away. Believe me, it has happened and I was glad I didn’t have to actually use it. But why should you go for fixed hunting knives in particular?
What Is a Fixed Blade Knife
For people who like the outdoors, a fixed blade knife is arguably the most reliable you can get. Forget the fact that it’s a sturdy and reliable knife, the fixed blade design alone will lure you into getting one. When you get yourself a quality fixed hunting knife you get the best of performance and reliability.
What to Look for in a Hunting Knife
One of the first things you will notice when shopping for a hunting knife is the wide variety of hunting knives available. One classic type of hunting knife is the camp knife which is a really all-around great hunting knife. If you’re indecisive, a camp knife is probably the best option for you.
On the other hand, there’s the Bowie knife, which does an excellent job piercing through stuff, especially skin. While you also have the option of a skinning knife, skinning knives aren’t as versatile as Bowie knives. If you want to remove meat easily then you should get yourself a boning knife that has a narrow blade with a little bit of flex to it.
For most people, the style of the blade a hunting knife comes with will be a matter of personal preference. Still, there are different types of blade styles, just like there are different types of hunting knives. I’ll name just a few starting with the clop point blade which is the most common one used for hunting since it is ideal for puncturing and a great all-around blade too. A drop point style blade is one that has a curve and goes from the spine to the tip.
While at the blade, let’s talk about serrations. I personally like a hunting knife with a serrated blade edge. However, keep in mind that these knives are not designed to make fine cuts. Serrated hunting knives rip through skin and flesh, and unlike hinting knives with no serrations, they are quite difficult to sharpen. If you want a hunting knife that can make finer cuts and one that is easy to sharpen then go with a straight edge hunting knife.
A feature that beginner huntsmen will like a lot is the handguard. A hunting knife with a handguard can help prevent cuts and injuries as the knife can become slippery when you cut up an animal. I’ve found that most Bowie knives have nice handguards.
Keeping your hand safe when using a hunting knife is one thing but keeping the knife safe from dents and scratches is another issue that can be dealt with by having a sheath. While this is an optional accessory, it is one that I’ve seen being overlooked quite frequently. A simple leather sheath can do a lot when it comes to protecting your hunting knife.
The blade isn’t the only part you need to pay attention to. The handle of a hunting knife plays a huge role in how you can use it. I recommend you go for a handle made from synthetic materials since they’re durable, ergonomic and provide a strong, reliable grip. Wooden handles are also a great choice, as they’re quite durable and provide a firm grip for convenient handling.
Something a huntsman will often need is a gut hook. Gut hooks are special blades that are used for field dressing. With a sharpened semi-circle ground in the spine, they let you remove the skin from the game and clean it out with ease. I know that it might seem like something you’re not interested in as a beginner, but you will appreciate the capabilities of a gut hook once you use a knife with one.