How to Choose a Hunting Knife

Choosing Your Hunting Knife Blade

Hunting knives come in all shapes and sizes. Take your pick.
Hunting knives come in all shapes and sizes. Take your pick.

Once you've made ­the choice between fixed and folding, it's time to choose your blade. There are several types of blades available, and the choice boils down to personal preference and the type of game you typically hunt. There are three common types of blades -- clip point, drop point and skinning blade.

The clip point knife blade is thin with a well-defined point. The blade itself is relatively flat. This knife is versatile enough to be used for general camp chores and specialized hunting jobs, including field dressing and skinning. The hunter who wants a good all-around knife should consider the clip point blade.

The drop point knife is a specialized hunting knife. It's used to dress the animal and skin it, but shouldn't be used to cut rope or twigs, or do other general camping-related chores. The blade of a drop point knife is thick and curved. The point is not defined, which makes it easy to use the entire blade for skinning. Using the entire blade not only speeds up the process, but reduces the risk of damaging the meat. Because it doesn't have a distinct point, you're less likely to tear into the meat while you're skinning the animal. The blade's robust design allows the hunter to use the knife for gutting and other field cleaning duties.

­Skinning blades are designed to skin big game animals. The blade quickly and neatly separates the skin from the meat of large game. Although the blade is specifically made for skinning, the knife can also be used for other hunting chores.

Once you've decided among the clip point, drop point and skinning blades, you should consider whether you want the blade to have serrations. Serrations allow you to use the blade for heavy jobs, such as splitting through a rib cage, and typically take up only a small portion of the blade's length.