Finding the best fixed blade hunting knife is difficult. After all hunting seasons, funds, and available time limit the number of game harvesting opportunities for almost every hunter. And, for many of those who do get the opportunity (ourselves included); skill, weather and chance impact success rates even further. If by some chance, you were able to hunt every day, or week, or even every month finding your idea hunting knife would be a lot more systematic. You would be able to find the best hunting knife for many situations in short order.
However, since many of us are only able to hunt, fish, or enjoy the outdoors occasionally, we decided to take some of the guesswork out of choosing a fixed blade hunting knife. We scoured reviews, forums, and manufacturer’s specifications. We even included some of our own experiences into the mix. And while there are myriad hunting knives out there, we think the following selection is great for almost any budget.
Many argue that Morakniv makes the best knife for outdoor enthusiasts. They are tough, sharp, and for the lack of a better word – cheap. The Companion model is by far their most popular. It can be found for fewer than twenty dollars which makes it a great starter knife.
The biggest detractor for the Companion model is that it’s not a full tang knife. The tang extends about three quarters of the way into the handle. For the vast majority of people this isn’t a deal breaker.
However, if a full tang is a requirement Morakniv has a few higher end blades you’ll love. For hunting and general outdoor pursuits we like the Kansbol. Made in Sweden from 12C27 stainless steel this full tang model will serve you well for years to come. Also, if you’re familiar with the Swedish Army issue Mora 2000, the Kansbol is basically an updated version of that knife.
It’s one of Morakniv’s more expensive models. But, even at the upper end of their price range it’s a bargain. Especially when you consider how versatile the 4.7 ounce knife can be. Kansbol straddles the fence between lightweight knife and the strength of a more robust hunting knife. It’s well suited for hunting, backpacking, and camping.
Buck 192BR Vanguard
This American made fixed blade hunting knife strikes a remarkable balance between price, quality, and beauty. Its classic looks and easy to sharpen 420HC blade make it a great option for any hunting trip. The knife is also backed by Buck’s Forever Warranty.
Beyond the craftsmanship, value, and warranty the knife’s design alone brings with it some great selling points. The 4-1/8″ drop point blade easily pierces almost anything it encounters. And, the drop point design reduces the chance of damage should you encounter something unyielding. Another great feature is can be found in the handle. When wet, or while skinning an animal,wood handled knives can get a little slippery. Fortunately, the brass guard and shape of the handle keep things under control.
We think this model and its rubber handled sibling are beautiful well crafted knives. They will serve you well as a fixed blade hunting knife, in the campsite, or wherever adventure takes you.
Gerber Gator Fixed Blade
Another made in the USA knife we love is the Gerber Gator. Available as a folder or the fixed version featured here, we think it’s hard to go wrong with a Gator. The price is pretty remarkable, the grip is amazing, and the 420HC stainless blade is surprisingly sharp.
As a fixed blade hunting knife we think its design works remarkably well. Plus, like the others in this list, the Gator is a well rounded bushcraft knife. However, for bushcraft and camping duty we would like to see a flat grind on the spine.
One of the things we really like about the Gator (and Morakniv) is that you don’t feel bad about using them. You can really put them through the ringer without worrying about how much the knife cost, ruining the finish, or causing too much damage.
Fallkniven is one of our favorite knife manufacturers. And, their F1 is easily one of their best knives. In fact we would put it up against any production blade out there. Designed in Sweden and made in Japan it’s incredibly close to flawless.
The F1 is a jack of all trades with few flaws. It is great for general outdoor use and works wonders as a fixed blade hunting knife. It’s minimalist, utilitarian design looks great. Plus it comes equipped with some Armed Forces street cred. The F1 is the current standard issue survival knife of the Swedish Air Force. It performs meal prep, batoning, and processing game without skipping a beat.
Where the well balanced knife really shines is in the VG-10 laminated blade steel Fallkniven uses. Without going over the top with superlatives, well just come out and say it’s our favorite material. It resists rust, sharpens to surgical edge, and is very resilient. Beyond the material, the blade design is top notch. Full convex grind? Yep.
The F1 is perfectly sized for the majority of things you’ll use it for, even everyday carry. The only problems we can think of are the sheath and the warranty. From what we’ve heard, second hand, the warranty might as well be non existent. However, we seriously doubt you’ll use it. The other thing we don’t absolutely love is the sheath. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what bugs us about the Zytel sheath. Perhaps we just like the knife so much we assume the sheath should be equally impressive.
Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter
We like hunting knives that perform without flaw. We also like knives built here in the States. The Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter checks both boxes.
The Hidden Canyon features a well-profiled and well-ground skinning profile. Sure, the blade might be a little short, but it’s very deep-bellied. And, that’s a good thing. We also appreciate the blade’s thickness (.140). Perhaps more important is that Benchmade selected a great steel, S30V. We also like the tumble finish (or “stonewash”) applied to the blade as opposed to the grind marks you’ll notice in others.
The handles are G10, which is remarkably tough stuff. Plus we think it looks amazing. While the knife definitely looks the part, we can assure you that it performs amazingly in a wide variety of uses.
Ontario Black Bird SK-5
Ontario Knife Company makes some great knives right here in the USA. Perhaps our favorite OKC blade is the Black Bird. Designed by Paul Sheiter as an elegantly simple answer to a wide variety uses, the knife leans a bit toward survival knife. However, we think it’s a great fixed blade hunting knife as well.
It’s constructed of 154 CM stainless steel and features G10 handles. It’s blade is roughly 5″ in length and tempered to Rc58-60; so it’s sized right and it’s very strong. The blade also hold a razor sharp edge surprisingly well.
It’s probably not the most refined fixed blade hunting knife, but it’s among the best all around knives available. We think this should be your go to knife if you want something that will last a lifetime, but don’t want to drop a ton of money in the process.
So there they are; our favorite fixed blade hunting knives. We honestly think you’ll be happy with any of the hunting knives we recommended. However, we also know there are a ton of excellent fixed blade hunting knives on the market. So with that said, if you think there’s one we missed let us know.