Why should you buy a special knife for hunting? One of the main reasons for this is that it aids with survival in the wild, killing, and meat processing. After much research, we came up with this top best folding hunting knife you can buy for your needs and budget. Of course, unlike a regular knife, a hunting knife has secondary characteristics that make it useful for camping, survival, and all-around utility.
Before buying a hunting knife, there are things you ought to look out for. We would be looking into that in detail later in this article. For example, a hunting knife ought to be easily sharpened in the field. It should also have a handle that fits well in the hand for easy maneuverability and protection from accidents. With that being said, here are some hunting knives we recommend you check out in 2021 for the money.
- Top 10 Best Folding Hunting Knife Review in 2021
- #1. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife – Editor Choice
- #2. Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC – Replaceable Blade Folding Knife – Best Value
- #3. Outdoor Edge WildSkin – 4.0″ Fixed Blade Gut-Hook Skinning Knife – Best Overall
- #4. Kershaw Blur, Black Serrated Folding Knife – Best for Aluminum Handle
- #5. Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife – Best for Stainless Steel Blade
- #6. Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS – Best for Serrated Tanto Blade
- #7. Gerber Bear Grylls Scout Knife – Best for Drop Point
- #8. Outdoor Edge 3.0″ Onyx EDC – Replaceable Blade Folding Pocket Knife
- #9. Kershaw Scallion Serrated, EDC Folding Pocketknife – Best for Nylon Handle
- #10. Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife – Best for Stainless Steel Handle
- Best Folding Hunting Knife Buyer’s Guide
Top 10 Best Folding Hunting Knife Review in 2021
#1. Kershaw Brawler Folding Pocket Knife – Editor Choice
Kershaw is an excellent manufacturer of hunting knives founded in 1974. The Kershaw Brawler pocket knife is designed such that it is streamlined to fit an intended end-use. With multiple carrying options, this Kershaw pocket knife allows users to tip-up or tip-down this knife on either left or right sides.
Durable Steel Blade
Built with 8Cr13MoV steel, a top of the line Chinese produced steel, you can be sure to use this knife for heavy-duty use. This durable steel has carbon and a slight quantity of nickel for edge retention and hardness. Kershaw’s heat treatment precision ensures the steel of this knife is wear-resistance and can withstand adhesive and abrasive wear. And the best part is that despite the durability of this steel blade, it is quite affordable to all consumers.
Black Oxide Finishing
In addition to the durable steel, Kershaw added an attractive blade oxide coating on the 3-inch blade of this knife. This black oxide finishing is a chemical bath that converts the surface of the steel to magnetite. Magnetite adds a blade appearance to the blade of this knife, and makes it mildly corrosion resistant. Moreover, this blade oxide finishing minimizes light reflection which makes the blade more attractive, fierce, tactical, smooth, and desirable to knife owners.
Another feature of this Kershaw knife that makes it desirable is its ergonomic handle. Kershaw made use of a very tough glass-filled nylon material to make the ergonomic handle on this knife. The glass threads increase the strength of this knife. Also, the glass-filled nylon material used for the handle of this knife helps to increase stiffness. Additionally, the nylon synthetic polymer handle offers a more secure and stable grip as it can also withstand heat and is wear-resistant.
Secure Locking System
Kershaw designed this knife such that its blade folds into the handle. Designed with two steel liners or plates, which provides a kind of locking system preventing unwanted blade closure. Kershaw also designed this knife with a torsion bar to move the blade out of the handle. By applying a little manual pressure, to the thumb stud, overcomes the resistance of the torsion bar which deploys the blade. Also, Kershaw’s SpeedSafe Assisted Opening system enables fast, secure, smooth one-handed blade deployment.
#2. Outdoor Edge 3.5″ RazorLite EDC – Replaceable Blade Folding Knife – Best Value
Another excellent pocket knife we would like to recommend for hunters in this review is this 3.5-inch Outdoor Edge knife. With over 30 years of experience under their sleeve, Outdoor Edge has continued to improve on its extensively versatile products. Additionally, with this rugged Outdoor Edge knife, you can be sure of it withstanding harsh environments.
One of the features of this Outdoor Edge RazorLite knife that we love so much is the ability to change the blades fast and easily. Never struggle with a dull blade when you get this Outdoor Edge RazorLite knife as it comes with replacement blades (six replacement blades sold separately). Note, this blade comes with a blade oxide blade holder that increases the rigidity of the blade strength. To replace the blade, simply push the lock release button in the handle to remove the blade and insert a new sharp one.
Razor-sharp Durable Blades
The 3.5-inch drop point blades of this Outdoor Edge knife were precisely crafted after undergoing careful heat treatment to ensure excellent edge retention. Furthermore, Outdoor Edge hand finished this knife to a shaving sharp edge. And because the blades are made with Japanese 420J2 stainless steel they are razor sharp and ideal for slicing through flesh like butter.
Amongst the several exciting features that come with this Outdoor Edge 3.5-inch RazorLite EDC knife another feature that stands out is the design of the handle. The 4.5-inch long Grivory polymer handle with rubberized TPR inserts is lightweight and offers a strong grip even with wet slippery hands. Featuring on the handle is a stainless steel pocket clip that helps hunters securely fasten the knife to their belt.
Open Hand Opening
Many hunters will find the one-hand opening of the blade of this knife very convenient. Featuring on this knife is a double-sided thumb stud that offers you a reliable way to deploy the blade of this knife when needed. And when deployed, the design of the blade is such that it doesn’t allow the blade to fold back easily. As such you can use the blade as needed without worrying about accidental closure while in use.
#3. Outdoor Edge WildSkin – 4.0″ Fixed Blade Gut-Hook Skinning Knife – Best Overall
With the state of the art production process, you can trust that this 4-inch Outdoor Edge skinning knife will serve you well. Outdoor Edge offers high-quality knives that have undergone precise heat treatment and hand craftsmanship to deliver excellent value and longevity. This Outdoor Edge knife is the perfect skinning and gutting knife for hunters.
Stainless Steel Blade
Outdoor Edge designed this knife with a 420J2 stainless steel blade, which is wear-resistant and super sharp. And the best part about this knife is that it is a full-tang knife, meaning it is pretty durable and rugged enough to withstand tough jobs. Also, the gut hook opening on this 4-inch long blade acts like a zipper that further aids with skinning. And the deep bellied skinners of this blade makes removing hides from animals fast.
Non-slip Grip Handle
Apart from the durability of the blade that stands out in this knife, the handle is also well designed to offer you a comfortable grip. Outdoor Edge designed the handle of this knife with an elk horn textured TPR. In other words, the inlay of the handle design ensures you get a non-slip grip on this knife even if your hand is wet and slippery.
The weight of the blade, coupled with the design of the handle is such that it gives you a well-balanced knife that feels comfortable to use. Weighing only 4.5 ounces, using this knife almost feels practically weightless and wouldn’t make you feel fatigued in your hand. And the best part is that it is hand-finished shaving sharp, which means you don’t have to worry about the sharpness when working with this knife.
Camo Belt Sheath
Finally, Outdoor Edge designed this hunting knife with a Camco belt sheath. The sheath keeps the blade dry and hooked to your belt for easy access to it while in the wild. Keeping a sharp hunting skinning knife like this Outdoor knife exposed isn’t safe as it can cause serious injuries. After every use, ensure to store the knife back in its sheath.
#4. Kershaw Blur, Black Serrated Folding Knife – Best for Aluminum Handle
Another Kershaw knife to consider buying from this review is this Blur Pocket Knife. Try this premium Kershaw Blur knife built for multitasking with excellent piercing and slicing capabilities. The patent and expertly
Kershaw designed this pocket knife with a 3.4-inch long high-performance steel. Crafted from Sandvik 14C28N steel, with an increase in nitrogen content makes this knife excellently corrosion resistant. Overall, this high-performance steel is often used in places with high demand for edge stability, sharpness, and corrosion resistance. This partially serrated steel blade is ideal for wide application. Furthermore, the S-curve of the blade of this knife optimizes the angle of attack as the slight curvature lengthens the edge of the blade.
Protective Blade Coating
While the steel used to craft this knife is strong because of the amount of carbon in the metal, Kershaw made use of a protective coating to increase the durability of this blade making it wear-resistant. The diamond-like carbon coating on the blade of this knife is even tougher than the steel underneath it. DLC is highly wear-resistant, low friction coefficient, and high corrosion resistance. Importantly, note that DLC coating has properties similar to a natural diamond, making the blade more attractive and beautiful.
Speed Safe Assisted Opening
To ensure fast deployment of the blade, Kershaw designed this blade with a SpeedSafe assisted opening. Built into this knife are torsion bars that move the blade out of the handle securely, smoothly, and fast. To deploy the blade, apply a little pressure to push the thumb stud to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. And with the two steel plates inside each handle scale, after deploying the blade, you can use it to prevent unwanted blade closure.
Convenient Pocket Clip
Lastly, the handle Kershaw used in designing this blade is exceptional and durable. Kershaw built the handle of this hunting knife with anodized aluminum for hardness, durability, and scratch resistance. The anodized surface gives this knife an eye-catching, unique color. The Trac-tec provides a rough surface for additional friction in a slippery environment. And the pocket clip design on the handle of this knife is specific according to weight, style, intended use, and size.
#5. Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife – Best for Stainless Steel Blade
Why settle for less when you can buy this affordable Kershaw Clash hunting knife, which offers you a mix of capability and ultimate style. Note, this knife is a great tool for backpackers, mechanics, gardeners, hunters, and so on. Anyone in need of a reliable EDC can trust this Kershaw Clash pocket knife to always deliver top-notch performance.
Top of the Line Steel
Kershaw crafted this hunting knife with top-of-the-line steel giving you the confidence of excellent performance. This 3.1-inch amazing budget-friendly and reliable 8Cr13MoV steel has a high composition of carbon for hardness and less nickel for better edge retention. Also, Kershaw heat treated the 8Cr13MoV steel and forged it a drop point shape with a partially serrated edge making it excellent for heavy-duty tasks.
In addition to the valuable steel material used on this knife, Kershaw also finished the steel with a blade coating which enhances the knife’s aesthetics. This attractive blade coating protects the steel from corrosion and wears. Kershaw achieved this fine finishing with a fine media mixture under high pressure onto the steel of the blade, which creates a non-reflective, smooth matta surface. The fine medial mixture includes aluminum oxide and glass beads, which allows optimal performance and color variation for an optimal overall stunning effect.
One of the features that make a hunting knife stand out is a durable handle. Kershaw designed the handle of this knife with a glass-filled nylon handle reinforced with a glass thread, enabling it to be able to take heavy-duty hard use. The 4.25-inch long blade offers a comfortable in-hand feel because of the gentle contours, which offers you a solid grip even in wet and slippery environments.
Secure Locking System
The handle of this hunting knife features a SpeedSafe assisted opening feature and a built-in flipper with a secure locking system. The secure locking system with a locking liner makes using this knife convenient as it prevents accidental blade closure while in use. And the convenient reversible pocket clip and lightweight nature offer you multiple carrying options.
#6. Smith & Wesson Border Guard SWBG2TS – Best for Serrated Tanto Blade
Smith & Wesson is another exceptional brand that focuses on creating hunting knives you can rely on in any situation in the wild. The 10-inch SWBG2TS knife encompasses the same prestigious quality as the popular Smith & Wesson firearms. Loaded with so many features like thumb knobs, assisted opening, full tang, ergonomic grip and so much more.
High Carbon Stainless Steel Blade
Smith & Wesson crafted this knife from the dependable 7Cr17MoV stainless steel, with increased carbon content. Here’s a rule of thumb, the higher the carbon content in a metal, the more brittle it will be. As such, with this high-quality blade, users can use this knife for heavy-duty tasks without worrying about it breaking. Additionally, the blood grooves, serration, and sharply honed edges let you cut through flesh with ease.
Smith & Wesson coated the 7Cr17MoV steel of this blade with black-oxide. The black-oxide coating protects the steel of this blade from corrosion and also makes it wear-resistant. It also increases the aesthetics of the blade. Also, the coating makes the blade nonstick, as such, it glides through meat, fish, and so on, with ease.
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A durable knife handle gives you the confidence to cut through materials without worrying about it cutting. Smith & Wesson designed this blade with an aluminum handle for heavy-duty tasks. The handle features a Trac-Tec design which increases the grip of the blade even in a wet slippery environment. This knife also features an ambidextrous thumb knob which makes it more ergonomic.
Seat Belt Cutter/glass Breaker Feature
If you are in search of a multifunctional knife, then this Smith & Wesson is just what you need. Featuring on this hunting knife is an integrated seat belt cutter. Located in the handle, the seat belt cutter comes in handy if you ever find yourself in an emergency and need to cut a seat belt. Also, at the end of the handle is a glass breaker for emergencies as well.
#7. Gerber Bear Grylls Scout Knife – Best for Drop Point
Gerber is another renowned manufacturer of survival gears with decades of dedication and innovation. For over 70 years, Gerber has been delivering reliable and top quality products and the 31-000754 Scout knife is no exception. This partially serrated folding knife is a well-designed knife and a great choice for outdoor survival.
High-performance Steel Blade
The blade of this knife is so designed that it can retain sharpness and strong enough to cut tough materials. Gerber forged the blade of this knife from stainless steel with a high carbon content which contributes to the hardness of the blade. The 3.63-inch long blade with ½ serrated edge increases the functionality of this blade.
Dual-sided Thumb Stud
To increase the usability of this knife, Gerber designed this blade with a dual-sided thumb stud. A Thumb stud increases your grip of the knife, allows you better maneuverability. Also, the dual-sided thumb stud makes it easier to open this knife with one hand. And after using the knife, the locking feature makes it easy to securely store this knife thereby maximizing safety.
Ergonomic Textured Rubber Handle
Gerber also designed this knife with a rubber handle. Featuring on the handle is a lanyard hole you can use to easily carry the knife. More so, the handle is well-designed such that it fits into the hand comfortably, increasing maneuverability and maximizing comfort. Also, the handle features a textured grip that provides added grip, thereby reducing slippage.
Gerber added a stainless steel pocket clip that makes it easy to carry this knife. This pocket clip lets users easily attach this knife to their belts. As such, this knife can be easily accessed when in the wild.
#8. Outdoor Edge 3.0″ Onyx EDC – Replaceable Blade Folding Pocket Knife
If you are a fan of Outdoor Edge knives, then this 3-inch Outdoor Edge Onyx EDC knife is worth taking a look at. The razor-sharp blade of this knife will cut through materials with ease. And what interests us the most about this knife is that it features a replaceable razor knife.
Replaceable Stainless Steel Blade
Never have to struggle with a dull blade again when you decide to buy this Outdoor Edge Onyx EDC blade. This blade features the ability to change the blade safely and easily with the push of a button. And the Onyx EDC knife comes with a set of three blades. Its blades are forged from the top-notch Japanese 420J2 stainless steel. The blades were precisely heat-treated to increase the toughness, and hand shaved making it razor sharp.
Black Oxide Blade Holder
Another standout feature of this Onyx EDC knife is the blade holder. Outdoor Edge designed this knife with a black oxide blade holder that supports the razor-sharp blade. As such, you can use this blade to cut tough material without worrying about the blade breaking. And importantly, the black oxide makes it resistant to corrosion.
The incredibly strong yet lightweight Grivory handle is another feature of this knife that makes it quite desirable. The Grivory handle of this knife is a nylon and glass composite material that is quite rugged. Featuring on the handle is a Trimond texture, which increases the grip of this knife making it non-slip. The handle also comes with a reliable Lockback design that makes it ergonomic. And the dual-one hand opening thumb studs release button on the handle provides a fast and easy way to deploy the blade.
Convenient Pocket Clip
Outdoor Edge designed this blade with a pocket clip, which comes in handy in carrying this knife. The pocket clip is made with stainless steel, but it also features a black-oxide coating that makes it rust-resistant.
#9. Kershaw Scallion Serrated, EDC Folding Pocketknife – Best for Nylon Handle
The Kershaw Scallion is another popular Kershaw knife we can recommend you consider buying. This popular lineup of hunting knives from Kershaw is quite versatile. This Kershaw knife is perfect for everyday use based on the size and weight of the knife.
Extra Strong Modified Steel
This Kershaw Scallion pocket knife is designed with an extra-strong modified 420HC steel. This steel contains a high composition of carbon and chromium. As such, it is pretty easy to sharpen and durable. Kershaw precisely heat-treated the steel of this blade such that it is strong enough to retain a sharp edge. More so, the 420HC steel used on this knife is corrosion resistant making it an excellent choice for a knife.
Attractive Blade Finishing
Apart from the super-strong steel used on this knife, Kershaw finished this knife with a bead-blasted finishing. This finishing enhances the aesthetics of the knife for end-use. The high tech finishing used on this Scallion knife is achieved by mixing fine media onto the steel under high pressure. The fine media is a mixture of aluminum oxide and glass beads. The result of this attractive finishing creates a non-reflective, smooth matte surface.
Another feature that stands out about this Scallion knife is its durable handle. The glass-filled nylon handles Kershaw used in making this knife is lightweight yet durable. Kershaw textured the handle such that it provides additional gripping support, giving you a solid grip of the knife for better maneuverability even in a wet slippery environment.
Secure Locking System
Lastly, this Kershaw knife features two steel plates inside the handle that safely secures the blade when it is opened, preventing it from unwanted blade closure. Also, the SpeedSafe Assisted opening system of this blade enables secure, smooth, fast one-handed blade deployment.
#10. Kershaw Leek Pocket Knife – Best for Stainless Steel Handle
The Kershaw Leek pocket knife is another Kershaw’s knife series, known for its slim, and versatile design. Featuring high-performance steel, this Kershaw knife is razor-sharp and can retain its sharp edge for extended use. Dominating the market today, this Kershaw Leek pocket knife is an exceptional, high-performance, high-quality knife affordable to all consumers.
Kershaw designed the Leek pocket knife with a Sandvik 14C28N steel. This steel is high-performance steel with an increased nitrogen content, which increases the hardness and makes it corrosion resistant. Additionally, this high demand steel has the capability of maintaining a sharp edge for extended use.
Kershaw’s bead-blasted finishing on this Leak knife enhances the aesthetics of the knife. This finishing makes the knife smooth, and non-reflective. Kershaw achieves this high-tech finishing by applying a mixture of fine media onto the blade under high pressure.
Stainless Steel Handle
The stainless steel handle of this Kershaw Leek knife contains chromium, which makes it capable of withstanding rusting. Moreover, stainless steel is quite durable. Furthermore, the incorporated etching, ridges, patterns, and lines on the handle of this knife creates a less slippery grip. The knife also features a SpeedSafe assisted opening system on the handle that uses a torsion bar to move the blade back and forth.
Attractive Pocket Clip
Kershaw designed this knife with an attractive pocket clip that lets users fit it into their belts. The reversible pocket clip allows users to carry this knife tip-down or tip-up.
Best Folding Hunting Knife Buyer’s Guide
When you’re thinking about buying a knife for an adventure to the wild, the size of the knife you buy matters. The size involves the size of the blade and the size of the handle as well. Also, the size of the knife refers to the weight of the knife as a whole. If you are buying a folding knife, consider the size of the knife folded, and extended. If the knife is too small, the knife may not be ideal for your need. Go for a knife that feels comfortable in your hand and easy to maneuver.
Different manufacturers use different materials to forge their knives. Understanding the composition of different materials will help you make the best choice for your needs. When choosing the type of material you want on your knife, consider the material used for the blade as well as the handle. Choose a material that combines the right weight, with durability.
3. Blade Quality
The quality of the blade of a knife determines the application of the knife. Importantly, note that the higher the composition of carbon in a blade the harder the blade. However, too high of carbon in a blade will make it brittle and susceptible to break. Choosing an alloy (mixture of different metals) blade is the best material for a hunting knife. Alloys combine the properties of the different materials used in forging it, hence giving you one high-performance blade. The blade quality also refers to the type of finishing on the blade. A well-finished knife is smooth and corrosion-resistant.
4. Handle Quality
Another aspect to consider when buying a knife is the quality of the handle. While some manufacturers make use of plastic, while some make use of steel. While steel may be more durable, plastic handles are more lightweight. Consider what you want to use this knife for before making a choice. Additionally, the handle should be well molded and textured to increase the grip of the handle.
5. Blade Design
Lastly, put into consideration the design of the blade when choosing a knife. How the blade is shaped matters. Some blades have a drop point shape with a smooth and razor-sharp edge. While others have an American tanto shape and are serrated making it ideal for multiple uses. When considering the design, check if the blade comes with an assisted opening feature. Also, a folding hunting knife with the capability to easily change the blade makes it perfect for processing meat cuts in the wild.
In conclusion, with any of the best folding hunting knives in this review, hunters have nothing to worry about. Not all knives meet the requirements for hunting that is why it is important to do some research on the knife before buying one. But these hunting knives are dependable and can tackle all your hunting tasks efficiently. So, whether you are after affordability, durability, portability, or lightweight, we have something for everyone in this review. Be sure to read through the buying guide section to gain more knowledge of important features to look out for when buying a hunting knife.