How to Choose a Hunting Knife

Hunting Knife Maintenance

If you'd like to turn your kill into a trophy mount, you'll need a capping knife.
If you'd like to turn your kill into a trophy mount, you'll need a capping knife.
Simon Willms/Getty Images

­Proper care will extend the life of your hunting knife. You'll normally store your fixed blade knife in a sheath, but if you don't plan on using it for a while, you'll need special long-term storage solutions. For long-term storage, wrap your clean and dry knife in plain paper, and store that package in a plastic bag. Add a package of desiccant to the bag to absorb any moisture.

It's also important to keep your knife sharp. A sharp blade cuts easily, which will prevent you from accidentally cutting yourself by trying to force a dull blade. You can have your knife blade professionally sharpened, but it's actually an easy project to complete yourself. Just get a knowledgeable person to show you how to sharpen your hunting knife for the first time, and you'll be able to do it yourself after that. It's important to learn how to do it from an expert because the wrong technique can actually dull your hunting blade.

­Day-to-day care is the best way to extend the life of your hunting knife. Clean the blade and handle thoroughly after use, using a product made specifically for the job. A quick wipe down in the field is a good idea after you use your knife, but it doesn't replace a thorough cleaning when you arrive home. Use a product made specifically for your knife's material. There are many multifunction cleaners that can be used on metal, wood and leather. These products make it easier to clean your knife because you don't have to worry about ruining your handle when you clean your blade.

Often these commercial cleaners also work as a lubricant and protector. Using all-in-one products can save a great deal of time for you in caring for your knife. Proper care of your hunting knife will extend its life and reduce your risk of accidentally cutting yourself. A sharp blade that's securely set in the handle is the safest blade to use.

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More Great Links


  • Haskew, Mike. "Retro Steels: Performance Never Gets Old." Blade. October 3, 2008.
  • Hollis, Durwood. "Taking Care of Your Blade Babies." Blade. Dec. 8, 2008. (Dec. 10, 2008)
  • Hollis, Durwood. "The Complete Guide to Hunting Knives." 2001.