Hunting knives are one of the most important tools in a hunter's arsenal. Depending on price range filter they can vary greatly and have many features ( folding, fixed blade etc). It is crucial to choose the right one for you, or else you will be wasting time and energy on something that doesn't work well for your needs.
This blog will walk you through some features that every good knife should have so that it can serve you best when out in the field!
Hunting knives are used during hunting to cut game, cook food, clean fish, etc. Knives can also be used to cut down branches, make a fire, cut firewood, and other jobs. Sometimes a knife helps defend against an attack by a wounded animal. It is optimal when knife used for hunting combines the functions of knives of different specificity - camping, kitchen, and combat knives.
All modern knives which are designed for hunting must meet such requirements:
Steel. The steel used in knife's manufacturing should be both sturdy and flexible.
Long-term sharpness retention. Even when performing non-standard motions, the knife should not dull quickly.
Shape of Handle. There should be a specific and comfortable form of the handle that allows for thorough slicing without fatiguing the hand.
Compact size. Although the size of a knife should not be too big, it should not be excessively huge either.
Optimal weight. Knives that are too heavy make it difficult to perform comfortable stabbing and cutting motions.
Bolster. The design should include a protective bolster to avoid cuts and injury.
Handle Material. It should keep the hand from slipping and provide a comfortable grip for use.
Steel is one of the main components that should be carefully chosen when making a hunting knife. Properly selected steel contributes to the strength and durability of the construction and prevents the knife from breaking even under intensive loads.
Hunting knives are most often made of alloyed or high-carbon steel ( such as Damascus steel) with additives. The hardness of the metal is indicated by the HRC unit, the values of which correspond to the Rockwell scale. For hunting knives, this characteristic should range from 55-60 HRC.
A minority of knife manufacturers brand their products with the hardness value of the steel used for its production. Other manufacturers prefer to mark their knives according to the AISI system, in which the steel grade is indicated.
The shape of a hunting knife is different from a kitchen or fish knife. It is designed to consider a set of tasks involved in hunting.
Point – The point of the knife is where the edge and spine meet. Piercing is frequently done with the point of a knife.
Tip – The knife's point is located in the forward part of the knife, known as the tip. The tip could be used for intricate cutting.
Edge – The cutting edge, often known as the pure blade, is where the knife's sharpness comes from. It begins at the tip and ends at the heel of the knife.
Heel - The heel of the blade is the rear area just opposite the point.
Spine - Opposite the knife edge is the spine, which is the top of the knife blade.
Bolster - The bolster is the strap that connects the knife's blade to its handle. The bolster adds balance to the knife as well as protects the hand from getting in the way of the blade.
Tang - The blade's tang extends into the handle of the knife. It's the surface on which the handle is attached to the blade.
Scales –The scales are the portion of the knife that forms the handle. Scales are often made of synthetic material or wood. Rivets are typically used to attach two weighing scales to the tang.
Rivets – The metal pins which are used to join the scales to the tang to construct the handle are called rivets.
Butt – The butt is the knife's handle's last end.
Knives used for hunting can be foldable or fixed blade design depending on hunter's preferences.
What is the best knife blade shape for a knife used in hunting?
Even though contemporary knives are available in a variety of blade shapes, several types of hunting knives appear to be better suited for specific applications than others. The Clip Point, Drop Point, and Trailing Point are the most common hunting knife blade shapes, each having advantages and drawbacks. Please refer to our other blog where we explored in depth the various types of knife blades.
Overall these blade shapes provide good strength of the knife and sharpen well in camping conditions, and are also suitable for fine chopping.
This component of the knife design should be chosen taking into account the hunter's hand. The knife should lie comfortably and firmly in the hand, not to slip and not to fall out of the palm. The shape of the handle can be oval, straight, cone-shaped, convex, or concave. Models with oval handles are the most popular among hunters.
Handles can be of full tang and partial tang design. Partial tang handles are put on the thin tail part of the blade during the manufacturing process. Such designs can have different shapes and decorative features. It is lightweight and has low thermal conductivity.
Handles of the full tang are mounted on the wide tail part of the blade. The handle design in this case turns out to be three-layered - on the sides, the halves of the handle are riveted, and in the centre is the rear side of the blade. This high-strength design has a high weight and usually does not involve much decoration.
Usually, knife handles can be made from different materials. The most common ones are wood, bone, and antler for hunting knives made of carbon steel; metal (titanium, aluminium) for stainless models; rubberized plastic for both types.
The classic models are characterized by these dimensions:
blade dimensions from 100 to 130 mm
blade width at the handle from 30 to 35 mm.
Traditional knife sheaths, which are generally supplied with the knife, protect the blade and allow for easy storage. They can also be used to hang the knife the belt.
The knife sheath can be made from different materials:
Leather is the most common material as it is strong, durable and flexible. It can be treated with various compounds to make it water and weatherproof.
Synthetic materials are also used in knife sheaths. They are lighter than leather, do not corrode or rot, and can be made in a variety of colours.
The right knife will make the difference in a successful hunt. With so many hunting knives on offer, depending on price range filter, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you and your needs. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve outlined some of the most important considerations when choosing a new blade that suits you. If this has been helpful or if you have any questions about anything else related to our range of handmade hunting knives then please get in touch anytime!