When you’re in the market to find a thing called “best deer hunting knife”, there will be (literally!) thousands of options with chaotic reviews, which is confusing.
That’s when we know experts like us should come into place, to share our deep understanding of knife function, to provide our thorough assessments, and to help you.
Here are the best deer hunting knives (Sep 2021 Update):
- Best Overall: Outdoor Edge RazorPro
- Best Fixed Blade: Snake Eye Tactical Full Tang Fix Blade knife
- Best Value For Money: Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Folding Hunter
- Best For Skinning: Havalon Piranta Z
- Best For Deboning: Gerber StrongArm
- Best For Gutting: Bone Collector Hunting Knife Two-Piece Set
- Best For Butchering: Uncle Henry 153UH
|Best Deer Hunting Knifes: Top 7 Picks|
|Outdoor Edge RazorPro||Read Our Review|
Best Fixed Blade
|Snake Eye Tactical Full Tang Fix Blade knife||Read Our Review|
Best Value For Money
|Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Folding Hunter||Read Our Review|
Best For Skinning
|Havalon Piranta Z||Read Our Review|
Best For Deboning
|Gerber StrongArm||Read Our Review|
Best For Gutting
|Bone Collector Hunting Knife Two-Piece Set||Read Our Review|
Best For Butchering
|Uncle Henry 153UH||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Outdoor Edge RazorPro
- Easy to replace, lightweight, and sharp
- Provide a gut hook to speed up the gutting process
- Give multiple blades and the razorblade is replaceable for extra convenience and more money-saving
- Don’t have a clip on the knife, you can’t hang it on your pants
- Not built for leg joint cutting, the blade might be bent
We checked out the Outdoor Edge RazorPro as a gutting knife – where it’s boasted to open a deer without cutting internal organs and that’s no joke.
The gut hook keeps its edge nicely. It can penetrate into the game like a breeze, bust a gut and get the deer hide dirty off. All the process just takes you under 20 minutes.
Skinning isn’t a matter as well. The 420 stainless-steel blade evaluates the price when it can work alone without the need of help from the razor blade - something that not so many other deer hunting knives could do.
And it’s quite durable. On average, it can be field dressed 4 to 5 whitetail (not include splitting the sternum or pelvis) before replacement.
|Outdoor Edge RazorPro Specifications|
Gutting, field dressing
6.1 x 2.7 x 2 inches
3.5” replaceable blade knife
3.1" gutting blade
420 Stainless steel
3.5" Razorsafe replaceable blade knife and 3.1" gutting blade
For any avid deer hunters who want to save space, time, and weight during the field dressing process, the Outdoor Edge RazorPro is the best contender.
Best Fixed Blade: Snake Eye Tactical Full Tang Fix Blade knife
- Give a great balance between price and quality
- Protective but slim-profile sheath to not budge up under your shirt
- Great hand-feel and grippy, even when bloody
- The knife edge isn’t very sharp right out of the box
Though made in China, the Snake Eye Tactical is built for precision with a wise design that helps it win our Best Fixed Blade Choice Award.
The knife might take you 30 seconds on a ceramic stone to sharpen but it works superbly afterward. Very, very sharp for the price that can be used as a skinner for small games.
It’s a bit bigger than other counterparts but the hand-feel is great. It fits nicely to your palm while giving a good grip, even when bloody.
The sheath is molded plastic. While some people found it caused the knife to outrageously profile under a shirt, we don’t think so. During our tests, it fitted nicely to the waistband, holding the knife firmly but still easy to draw.
Very excellent, especially for the price!
|Snake Eye Tactical Full Tang Fix Blade knife Specifications|
440c Stainless Steel
4.5" 3.5mm blade
Don’t stop yourself from picking a high-quality deer hunting knife just because of your tight budget. This Snack Eye Tactical, priced under $10 without compromising the quality, is a shining example for that.
Best Value For Money: Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Folding Hunter
- Made to open/close easily but still give enough strength for cutting or piercing the game
- High-quality leather sheath that’s not only protective but also stylish
- Provide a lifetime warranty so just buy it with confidence
- Made in the US, you can ensure the quality
- The edge is a mess of burs
- The leather is a little bit thin
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is like an iconic as Harley Davidson.
It’s made by one of the most well-known American brands with over 100 years’ expertise in designing and engineering hunting knives. The knife itself is a traditional favorite, created in 1963 – one of the first folding knives of Al Buck.
And differing from other easy-to-break folders, the hinge, in this case, is made with strength and new innovation – the nail-notch Lockback design. This feature helps to open/close the knife with safety and ease while still functioning for detail work, such as cutting or piercing into narrow areas.
Aside from the state-of-the-art innovation, the knife nails up with premium materials, such as the 420HC stainless-steel and the beautiful Dymondwood.
Plus, there is a quality black, the heavy-duty leather sheath that you couldn’t expect at this price.
|Buck Knives 0110BRS 110 Folding Hunter Specifications|
Everyday Carry, piercing and cutting in tight places
6 x 1 x 1 inches
420HC Stainless Steel
Strong & safe to use; provide a perfect combination of beauty and balance
If you want a heavy-duty deer hunting knife but don’t prefer to bring along a cumbersome fixed blade model, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter is the best to go.
Best For Skinning: Havalon Piranta Z
- Provide 12 replaceable durable blades for no caked-on fat, blood or membrane
- Lightweight, compact, and well-balanced in the hand
- Built to be stronger and thicker than the 60XT to handle heavier use
- Can’t throw, wack, or hack
- No backbones
Down-size to the Havalon Piranta Z if you’re looking for a better skinning performer with neater carry.
It features two types of blade: the 60A and 60XT. According to Havalon, the 60A is built to be 30% stronger and 20% thicker than its counterpart to bear heavier use with no breakage.
This blade has also been through significant improvement in cutting edge sharpness, making it a nice choice for skinning, field dressing, and quartering.
Our deer-hunting-focused testers have endorsed the knife’s finely-edged prowess and it’s as excellent as advertised. Although the knife is rather lightweight, its design reaches perfectly ergonomic balance in the hand with a great grip. It also included a nice sheath.
So what is there to dislike for this price?
|Havalon Piranta Z Specifications|
skinning, field dressing, and quartering
stainless steel #60A
12 additional stainless steel #60A blades, 2-3/4"
Rugged stain-resistant ABS plastic handle
Overall length 7-1/4"
Nylon holster included
Fits all Piranta blades
Constructed with superb durability, thickness, and sharpness, the Havalon Piranta Z is ideal for serious hunters looking for both precision and strength
Best For Deboning: Gerber StrongArm
- Made with ultra-durable, thick, and strong blade to be perfect for deboning
- Can breakthrough hard surfaces easily
- Require low maintenance and can take in/around the water
- Easy to re-hone the blade back to the razor edge
- Don’t fit the palm well
The StrongArm, with an emphasis on a 420HC steel blade and ceramic coating, is considered a wise advancement of the classic fixed blade.
While giving a bit extended length (in both size and blade), it’s ultra-durable – at least better than the 1095 steel - to suit various needs in the field. What we like the most in this kind of material is its higher appropriation to take in or around water while requiring lower maintenance.
Not to say that a 420HC steel blade delivers harder texture to hold its edge much longer.
The sheath is another big bonus. It’s specifically designed to be easily attached on MOLLE, belts, to the webbing on a lifejacket or in drop-leg fashion, making it definitely worth keeping around.
|Gerber StrongArm Specifications|
For combat and survival situations; deboning
StrongArm features a black handle and a fine edge
Full tang 420HC steel blade
Ceramic blade coating and rubberized diamond texture grip
A striking pommel at the base of the handle breaks through hard surfaces
We grant the Best Deboning Knife award to a specialized gear excelling in strength and durability. Among countless fixed knives, this Gerber stands out.
Best For Gutting: Bone Collector Hunting Knife Two-Piece Set
- Provide 2 different functional knives for a specific purpose so that they could work together and help you better in the field
- Designed in the US and meticulously handmade in Pakistan to ensure the quality
- Fit nicely to feminine hands
- The bigger knife isn’t completely secure on the sheath
We tested these two Bone Collector knives last season and were totally impressed with both of them.
The whole set includes one 7” straight edge and one 7” wider with a gut hook. They are designed in the US but handmade 100% in Pakistan so the quality is top-notch: Sharp edge, full tang design, and quality leather sheath with a belt loop.
They support each other to be your workhorse assistants in the field.
The bigger knife is perfect for skinning and gutting the game while the smaller is functional for getting in and dissecting muscle off the bone.
The finger hold is well-designed for fatigue and we would say it’s perfect for feminine hands.
|Bone Collector Hunting Knife Two-Piece Set Specifications|
Skinning, gut hooking, everyday carry
1.1 pound (2 knives)
Blades made of stainless steel for excellent hardness and edge retention
Custom made hand-tooled sheath with belt loop
Two are always better than one. If you’re finding a functional set of deer hunting knives to help you in the field, don’t overlook this Bone Collector.
Best For Butchering: Uncle Henry 153UH
- Made of HC stainless steel for the highest quality
- Staglon handle is built with many safety features to efficiently avoid injury or accidental cuts during the use
- Ultra-strong, sharp, and precise for skinning, deboning and butchering -> save more time & effort
- Not as compact as the folders
- The handle is lightweight and has no heft, can’t be used for trapping
Fixed blade, high carbon stainless-steel blade, and handsomely crafted traditional staglon holders, this legendary Uncle Henry packs a smooth operating punch.
It is optimized for not only everyday carry but also field dressing your game. Though it’ll take some extra space for storage than the folders, we appreciate its superb strength and sharpness that can afford many heavy-duty tasks such as deboning and butchering.
We can tell, the blade materials and shape are impeccable.
As the handle is a part of the performance, we also appreciate the finger divets, the front guard, and the rat tail tang added to this knife. They prevent slipping while increasing grip ways better to avoid accidental cuts when in use.
|Uncle Henry 153UH Specifications|
Butchering, skinning, deboning
440C High Carbon Stainless Steel
9.4 inch (23.9 cm) overall length with a blade length of 5 inches (12.7 cm) and a weight of 6.3 ounces
Constructed with top-notch materials, thoughtful design, and heavy-duty construction, the Uncle Henry 153UH stacked up well in our tests. In the field, it’s best for butchering.
How To Choose The Best Deer Hunting Knife?
- We always started our in-depth examinations at the knives’ blade length.
- If asking any pro butchers what they prefer to use on a regular basis, probably they will put up a 10” to 12” blade.
- But for a beginner (like you, maybe), we will suggest going for a shorter one. Somewhere between 4” and 6” would be fine to control with ease.
- As safety is the top priority, let just opt for a safe handle.
- When gutting and skinning a deer, chances are that your hunting knife is covered with body fluids and blood. In such cases, a slippery handle is extremely dangerous. So a non-slip handle is key.
- Also, stay away from a smushy or soft rubber handle. Let just stick to a well-designed wood or micarta handle that gives a good match to your hand.
- 99% of deer hunting knives are crafted from steel and there are two main types: the HC (or high carbon) steel and stainless steel.
Resist corrosion efficiently
Hold an edge better
Easier to sharpen (compared to commonly standard carbon steel)
More difficult to sharpen
Which Brands Make The Best Deer Hunting Knife?
- This family-owned company is one of the most famous brands in the US for the utmost quality handmade hunting knives. It was founded in 1902, by Buck Knives. Such a rich history is a forte for this brand to be the market leader in terms of innovation.
- Founded in 1939 in Oregon, US, Gerber has now been a master of knives and tools. Most of their products are designed and engineered in Portland with highlights in innovations and quality.
- At Outdoor Edge, you’ll find only the best edge-holding steel with sharpest blades. They give a great balance of meticulous craftsmanship and art production processes. Importantly, all are backed by a good Lifetime Warranty.
- Unlike other hunting brands, Havalon chose to start up in a rougher category in the hunting industry - replaceable blade hunting knives. But that’s also the secret for their big success at the current.
- Uncle Henry is like a legend in the hunting world. It has had over 110 years of business and been well-known for its unbeatable quality, craftsmanship, and performance that no other brand can replace.
Are deer hunting knives guaranteed for life?
Only a few top brands can do that, to be honest. For example, all Buck knives offer a forever warranty and instant customer for life. The same with Victorinox, Busse Knives, and Kershaw.
Can I use deer hunting knives for cooking?
We can’t tell that a sharp, sturdy deer hunting knife can’t be used for cooking but in reality, nobody does that simply because it’s not made for such purposes. The specifically-shaped blade and the handle might make you uncomfortable.
Do electric knife sharpeners ruin knives?
Not at all.
The result is actually dependent on how you control the pressure and the speed during this process.
Our guide above is carefully summarized based on first-hand knowledge and clinical testing of knife blades construction quality, ergonomics, portability, and more. So we genuinely hope it has been helpful for you to find out the best deer hunting knives for your needs. Finally, thanks for reading!