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What Makes a Good Hunting Knife?FREE Learning At Keith Nix Knives

Updated: May 30

Keith Nix Knives FREE Learning!! Which Hunting Knife Style is Right For ME?? Does Anyone Make Hunting Knives Near Me?

Everyone who hunts has a different answer to "what makes a good hunting Knife?" Part of that comes from what each hunter HUNTS, and part is likely family tradition. Some like big, beefy knives, others like thinner, shorter and more precise, agile blades. Bird hunters need a different blade, than bear, deer, or rabbit hunters. Folks who fish are hunters as well, and their blade needs are different still. STEEL Before we get into blade shapes, let's discuss the steel your knife is made from. There have been a lot of "super steels" offered for the knife market in the last 20 years or so. Some offer extreme wear resistance (edge holding), or extreme stain resistance. Others boast of great advancements in toughness or hardness.

Any steel with extreme wear resistance, or edge holding is going to be a PAIN to sharpen in the field. And any hunting knife that gets dull is going to need sharpening in the field! So if you roll the edge of your "super steel" knife cleaning that buck, you're pretty much going to have to live with it. And there's added cost of the steel and the making of the knife. Just imagine, this imaginary steel CPM-XYZ. It has 10 times the wear resistance of good ol' 52100 carbon steel. It needs to be sharpened with diamond stones. CPM-XYZ costs 5 times what 52100 costs, it uses twice the abrasive belts in my shop and takes another 40-50% in labor cost to produce. Will it be worth it to you in the field? Maybe. Or maybe you won't even notice the difference. Food for thought!

A hunting knife is a tool, in fact a multi-tool. Typical classic designs try to make the hunting knife a tool to gut and clean a carcass, skin it, break it down into primal cuts, debone the primals, and fillet a few trout for dinner, after the same knife is used to process enough firewood to last all night. Of course no knife will do ALL that well, and it makes no sense to even try to make one.