Here are some tips for choosing a deer hunting knife. While the best deer hunting knife is largely a matter of opinion, there are some qualities that a hunter should look for when selecting a deer hunting knife. The good news for hunters is that even the most inexpensive knives on the market will hold an edge well enough and stand up to most field dressing and skinning needs. While a cheap knife might become dull more quickly than a high quality knife, if it is all that will fit into the budget it will get the job done.
Fixed or Folding
The first choice that a buyer of a hunting knife needs to make is if they want a fixed blade or folding knife. Folding knives are convenient and pack away in very little room while fixed blade knives are generally more durable as they have no moving parts.
The grip is one of the most important parts of a knife. When field dressing a deer it is common for the knife and hands to be wet from blood and having a sure grip is important. The shape of the grip can help to aid grip by having finger grooves or a protective guard at the base of the blade.
A blade length of 3 to 4 inches is more than sufficient for field dressing and skinning a deer.
Hunters will need to determine what they are going to use to break the pelvic bone and to cut through the ribs. A small hatchet is ideal for the pelvic bone, but it is one more thing to carry. Some hunters choose to field dress their deer without breaking the pelvic bone, but if a knife is to be used for this purpose it must be rugged enough to handle the job. A large handled sheath knife is perhaps best for this as they are generally more sturdy. A knife with a serrated blade may be useful as well as it can be used to saw the bone.
The standard drop point blade design is perhaps the most popular for field dressing and skinning a deer. Again, the blade design is greatly a matter of personal preference. A knife with a gut hook is useful for slitting open the stomach without puncturing too deep, but the gut hook is at times in the way when working inside the body. Carrying a separate gut hook that is small and light is probably a better idea.