One of those pure essentials to any hunting trip is a dependable knife. Whether you have a successful hunt or not, knives play many key roles in any outdoor experience.

When determining the right type of hunting knife, first identify the type of animals you plan to hunt and any other limiting circumstances your particular hunt may dictate to you. Will you be deep into the field where skinning and quartering will be necessary before transporting your game, or will you have road access right to your kill? Will you be caping out your trophy or delivering directly to the taxidermist? Will you be involved in dozens of wilderness situations where heavy-duty chopping may come in handy?

A final key thought to keep in mind is how you wish to carry the knife. The above questions will suggest the blade shape, size, weight, fixed vs. folding and blade steel advantages/disadvantages so you can make an informed decision.


Fixed blades are heavy duty, easy to clean and easily accessed with a sheath. Folders are very safe; most lock open and won’t

accidentally open in your pack or close on your hand. However, they may be harder to clean and you have to be careful to keep the folding mechanisms clean, but they are easier and more convenient to carrey.


All blade shapes have pros and cons. Buck Knives recommends these basic blade shapes. Usually a combination of knives with these shapes will best suit your needs.

SKINNER – Best suited for skinning game. The tip is narrow, while the wide curved belly gives a nice skinning sweep that aids in getting through thick layers. The downward angled, more blunt point makes it harder to make an accidental slice through the hide by mistake.



DROP POINT – This blade is full bellied with a strong, thick point for heavier tasks. It does not have the same belly width as the skinner and thus can be used as a general work knife. The top of the blade drops down toward the tip, which provides a nice thick tip and minimizes accidental puncturing while skinning. The drop point blade is strong and very versatile. The negative is that the thicker tip makes fine tasks a little more difficult.

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CLIP- The front end of the blade is con­cavely ground to a crescent tip which makes it thinner with a sharper point. This shape provides good control for detail work and cutting in tight places.



CAPING – Small slim blade, almost scalpel like in shape. It has a mild drop-point, with nearly a spear tip shape that is used for the delicate removal of the hide of the face of a trophy animal. The shape makes caping knives perfect choices for birds and small game.

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You can find these knives and more by Buck Knives at