Hunting & Skinning Knives

Written by mark heidelberger Google
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Hunting & Skinning Knives
Knives (knife image by Henryk Olszewski from

All hunters need the proper tools for getting the job done. To select the proper hunting knife, you should first know what type of game is being hunted, how often the knife will be used and whether the knife will be used for trophy or meat hunting.

Fixed Blades

A knife with a fixed blade has a blade that always remains in a permanent open position. Such blades come with a sheath so they can be carried in a safe way. These blades typically provide more durability and strength than folding blades because the metal runs all the way through the knife's handle.

Folding Blades

The common alternative to a fixed blade is a folding blade, which uses a pivot point and lock mechanism to fold the blade back into the handle. While folding blades are usually not as durable as fixed blades, they are lighter and easier to carry in a small sheath or even in a pocket. In addition, one folding knife can contain several different blades for different uses.

Drop Point

These knives are ideal for big game hunters due to their long curved blades, made of thick steel, which easily allow for skinning the animal--the entire edge of the knife can be used instead of just the tip. These knives cause little damage to the meat and are designed to perform tasks such as splitting the pelvis and rib cage.

Clip Point

This knife is much thinner than the drop point knife, has a sharper, more pronounced tip and has a lighter weight. This knife is for general work duties. This knife will skin an animal, although not as efficiently as the drop point, making it fine for casual hunters who are not as concerned about maximising their meat hauls.


Dedicated skinning knives are geared toward professional game hunters who need large, sharp blades to easily separate animal skin from flesh. The handle often has a grip that is form-fitted to a person's fingers and tiny serrations that enhance efficiency. Additionally, these knives can do most of the other game cleaning activities that clip point and drop point knives can do.

Gut Hook

This special type of knife features a pointed hook on the spine of the blade opposite the cutting edge, which is most often used to efficiently cut open an animal's abdomen. The hook prevents the hunter from accidentally cutting too deep, thus keeping the meat from being damaged.

Bowie Hunting

Bowie knives are large fixed blades with clip points, where the tip of the blade is below the spine for better control. These knives are best used for cutting into big game like bear and elk.

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