Are you looking for the best skinning knife for deer or other game?
You have to realize...
There is never one single knife that is the absolute best and that is why there are so many great options to choose from out there. It comes down to your personal preference, brand choice, and skill level.
Here's the catch:
There is always a trade off in tools and what they can do. The more tools you can have, the more specialized and efficient they are in the types of tasks you use them for.
If you want less tools, then the ones you get need to be more general in their overall capabilities in that they can do more, but not as efficient as specifically designed tools can do.
But you already knew that.
That is why when choosing the right skinning knife for you, you need to consider your bigger picture plan.
Do you want one or two knives that will do most things for you in the outdoors, or do you prefer to have many knives that are specialized in their function for more precision work?
In this article, we are going to review the best skinning knives including both the more all around knives and also the knives specifically intended for skinning. That way, you can decide which one fits your plan and preference.
First, we are going to look at the knives that most people use and love for skinning. Next, we will discuss the different criteria that you should consider getting a skinning knife.
But that's not all...
Then, we will go one by one and look at each of the top winners that most people buy and rate highly.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best Skinning Knife Comparison Table
420 HC SS
420 HC SS
When it comes to blades, you should consider the type of game that you will be skinning and determine your own skill level and preferences on how you skin. For most people, the size of the knife does not necessarily match the size of the game.
In fact, too big of a knife can limit the precision of work that you can do with it when skinning. Too small of a knife can take forever. It all comes down to your particular technique, experience, and skill level.
A lot of skilled skinners can use around a 3.5 to 4.5 inch blade for any size game.
Also consider the type of steel of the knife. Most of the popular knives today are well made, and there is much debate on what type of steel is best.
In reality, the type of steel effects how long the blade will hold its edge and how easy it is to re-sharpen it.
Everyone has their own preferences, and usually learn what type of steel they prefer through experience.
The blade shape is another factor that comes into play with skinning. A more curved profile can help make skinning more efficient with some techniques. A lot of it also depends on the skinner and how they do the work.
The handle is important too. You want a handle that you can hold onto for a long time without hitting hand fatigue. Being slip resistant is critical too, because skinning gets messy and you don't want the knife getting away from you.
The way you store your knife is important for safety as well as for helping protect the knife's edge. You should consider whether or not you want to keep the knife on you or if you just plan on having it around at camp.
For those that want more function out of their knife, as in also using it as a basic hunting knife, then portability is important.
If you want a dedicated skinning knife then you can go for the blades more specifically designed for the job.
If you want a knife with more than one purpose, then consider some options that will let you use the knife for other tasks found in camping and hunting as well.
For most of us, price is always a factor. It's best to shoot for the knives that offer the best performance for the lowest price so that we can more bang for our bucks.
1. Morakniv Companion Outdoor
When it comes to knives for the outdoors, Mora is a well known company that has been around for a long time.
The Morakniv Companion Outdoor is a great camping knife that also doubles to be a fantastic skinning knife.
For those that want a good skinning knife with more than just one use, this is your best option at an affordable price.
The Morakniv Companion Outdoor has a 4.1 inch blade made of 12C27 stainless steel. It has a nice handle and comes with a plastic sheath that keeps the knife stored and protected.
Don't let the price fool you, this is a high quality knife that performs extremely well. You can't go wrong with one of these.
There are also other versions of the Companion if you want a harder steel. Check out this review for more info on them.
2. Buck 110 Folding Hunter
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is a classic that has been around forever.
It is another option for those that want a knife with more than just one use, as it is an all around great knife that works well for hunting tasks too.
The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is a folding knife and has a 3.75 inch blade of 420 high carbon stainless steel.
It comes with a nice black leather sheath ready to put on your belt so that it never has to leave your side.
This knife is loved by many hunters and is a good choice. It is considered the best deer skinning knife by many. This is the knife many of my friends have used over the years for deer hunting.
3. Schrade Sharpfinger
With its curved blade design, the Schrade Sharpfinger is a great choice that is more designed for the process of skinning.
This design has been around for a while and has a great reputation.
Its blade is 3.5 inches long, made with 7Cr17 high carbon steel. The genuine leather sheath fits the knife snugly and can be worn on your belt.
The knife is one of the great deer skinning knives, and is also a great all around camping knife for food processing.
4. Buck 105 Pathfinder
The Buck 105 Pathfinder is another great option by Buck Knives. If you are looking for a bigger blade, then this knife might be for you.
This knife is a great skinner.
Its blade is 5 inches long of 420 high carbon stainless steel.
The handle is made from Phenolic with an Aluminum pommel and guard.
It comes with a nice leather sheath that works great on your belt or in your bag.
5. Tactical Hunting Survival Skinner
Another knife that is a dedicated skinner is the Tactical Hunting Survival Skinner.
It has an integrated gut hook if that is a feature that is important to you.
This knife has a 4.5 inch long 420 stainless steel blade. The handle is wood for a more classic feel. The Nylon sheath fits well on your belt.
If you are on a very tight budget, then the features and performance of this knife is a great option for you to consider.
To wrap up, we discussed some of the thinking that goes into picking the right knife
for you. We reminded ourselves that there is no single absolute best out there, and that there are many really good options to choose from.
We looked over the criteria to consider in picking a knife for this type of work, which includes the blade, handle, sheath, functionality, and of course the price.
One thing we noted is that some of us want a dedicated skinner, while others want a knife that can serve multiple functions.
We might even prefer one knife that we can carry on us that will handle most outdoor tasks for our specific situation.
After thinking through some of these things to consider, we looked at 5 of the top performing skinning knives on the market right now.
The Morakniv Companion Outdoor for its price and fantastic quality features is by far the knife that is a great fit for most of us. We also looked at some of the other options that will make more specific tastes happy. Get yours today.
If you have more budget and want the best one for deer, then the Buck 110 Folding Hunter is the knife for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I wish you all the best on your future adventures!
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