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There are plenty of looking knives on the market, however these are a couple of of one of the best. We couldn’t cowl each looking knife, however select one from the checklist beneath, and you’ll not be ill-equipped. From $300 skinners to $20 folders, we examined quite a lot of blades in each price range. We evaluated them for edge retention, high quality, and flexibility. Our choice leans towards big-game mounted blades, however there are many knives right here suited to dressing every thing from waterfowl to water buffalo. Listed below are among the greatest looking knives you should buy.

The Greatest Looking Knives of 2023

The Remainder of the Greatest Looking Knives of 2023

Honorable Mentions

How We Examined the Greatest Looking Knives

Crucial high quality of a looking knife is edge retention. Having the ability to lower via conceal and knick a bone or two whereas discipline dressing goes a great distance. We examined this by slicing a 1-inch sisal rope as much as 20 instances with every knife and sliced a bit of paper each two cuts. Knives that made it via the 20 cuts had been deemed greater than able to protecting an edge. People who might nonetheless slice paper after 16 rope cuts got bonus factors for each lower they made. Knives that didn’t make it via all 20 cuts are nonetheless succesful looking knives, they only might must be touched up periodically.

We additionally evaluated knives based mostly on their versatility. Knives that had been sufficiently small to deal with wonderful duties and break down small sport and fish together with huge sport got additional factors. Knives that might deal with different discipline duties like hanging a ferro rod or shaving a feather stick got bonus factors, too.

For mounted blades, we evaluated the sheaths on how straightforward they had been to make use of and the way properly they stored the knives safe. For folders, we gave additional factors to those who might be opened with one hand. Lastly, we evaluated each knife on consolation and high quality, scored for worth vs. worth, and famous any related discipline expertise we had with the knives on previous hunts.

How We Rating Looking Knives

  • Edge Retention (40 factors)
  • Versatility (10 factors)
  • Consolation (20 factors)
  • Sheath (or Potential to Open with One Hand) (10 factors)
  • Construct High quality (10 factors)
  • Worth vs Worth (10 Factors)
Montana Knife Firm’s Blackfoot took dwelling the award for one of the best mounted blade knife in our take a look at. Montana Knife Firm

Greatest Looking Knives: Critiques & Suggestions

montana knife company blackfoot knife


  • Blade Size: 3.5 inches
  • Blade Model: Drop level
  • Blade Metal: 52100 Ball-bearing metal, parkerized and mirror end 
  • Deal with Materials: G10


  • Nicely suited to huge sport and small sport
  • Controllable
  • Good edge retention
  • Sturdy


  • Worth (however this knife is value it)

I might have touched up the Balckfoot earlier than our lower take a look at, however only for the hell of it, I jumped proper in despite the fact that I used all of it final duck season. Its 52100 ball-bearing metal breezed via 20 cuts of one-inch sisal rope, sustaining a pointy edge all through the take a look at. The G10 deal with is snug, well-finished, and the proper dimension for any looking knife activity. It’s full-tang development is extraordinarily sturdy. That is the type of knife you’ll be able to put away bloody and rinse off subsequent looking season, and it will likely be simply as sharp because the final time you used it. All MKC knives include a Kydex sheath that options an adjustable belt clasp. I’d take this knife anyplace and discipline costume every thing in need of an elephant with it. The one draw back is the worth, however truthfully, it’s value it. It might be the final knife you’ll ever purchase.

Greatest Folding Knife: Giantmouse Ace Jutland

Giantmouse hunting knife


  • Blade Size: 3.35 inches
  • Blade Model: Clip level
  • Blade Metal: Vanadis 4E with PVD end, AISI 420 with bead-blasted end
  • Deal with Materials: Burlap micarta, canvas micarta, G10


  • Sturdy folding mechanism and lock
  • Glorious match and end
  • Straightforward to wash
  • The swept blade profile is sweet for skinning


  • Worth, however worth for cash is thru the roof

The Ace Jutland is likely one of the greatest folding knives I’ve ever put my paws on. We had two variations for evaluation, one with an orange G10 deal with and one other with a burlap micarta deal with and a brass insert. I haven’t stopped carrying the orange one because it got here in, and if Giantmouse will let me, I’d wish to hunt with all of it season. The Jutland opens with a thunk, like a vault door, and stays open by way of a liner lock. When closed, it’s safe—regardless of how exhausting I attempted, I couldn’t shake it open.

The AISI 420 blade got here shaving sharp out of the field. It sliced via 20 inches of sisal rope and not using a hiccup. Only for the hell of it, I made a decision to maintain slicing till it wouldn’t lower anymore, and it lower via 15 extra inches of rope earlier than type of tapping out (I’d nonetheless break down a deer with it.) It’s clip-point blade jogs my memory of a Buck 110, and it sort of feels just like the Twenty first-century model of that basic knife. For the standard of this knife, the worth is affordable, however in comparison with bargain-basement folders, it would offer you some sticker shock.

Greatest Worth Fastened Blade: Gerber Downwind Drop Level Knife

Gerber hunting knife


  • Blade Size: 4.25 inches
  • Blade Model: Drop level
  • Blade Metal: 7Cr
  • Deal with Materials: G10


  • Nicely completed
  • Holds an edge
  • Comes with an excellent sheath


  • The blade is simply too huge for small sport

For round $50, you’ll be able to have a big-game looking knife that not solely appears to be like good however cuts like loopy. Our Downwind Drop Level breezed via 20 inches of sisal rope and stored shaving paper via 16 of these cuts. And that is no shock. Gerber has spent a long time making high quality blades at a worth any hunter can afford. It’s also possible to discover this knife nearly anyplace—from big-box shops to small outside retailers. At 4.25 inches total, the Downwind is strictly a giant sport knife, for my part. (It might be used for duties round camp, too.) Those that like huge looking knives will respect this. What’s very nice concerning the Downwind although is that its completed fantastically for the cash. It additionally is available in a pleasant canvas sheath with a sturdy plastic liner. The deal with is snug and the blade is large, providing you with loads of buy if it’s essential to choke up on it for a finer lower.

Greatest Worth Folder: Opinel No. 08 Carbone (81 factors)

Opinel hunting knife


  • Blade Size: 3.28 Inches
  • Blade Model: Clip level
  • Blade Metal: XC90 Carbon
  • Deal with Materials: Wooden


  • Low-cost and simple to sharpen
  • Confirmed design
  • Light-weight


  • Wood deal with expands and contracts with moisture
  • Won’t put up with rugged use 

I’ve misplaced extra Opinel Carbone’s than I can rely, however it doesn’t trouble me as a result of they solely value about $20 (I’ve seen them as low-cost as $15). Once I labored as a whitetail information, I’d use one to intestine and pores and skin nearly each buck that got here into camp. They’re additionally an excellent dimension and form for small sport and birds. The draw back to those knives is that you will want to sharpen them periodically whereas working via a deer. One upside, although, is that nearly anybody can get a Carbone’s carbon-steel blade shaving-sharp in seconds. For those who’re prissy a couple of blade getting rusty or discolored, purchase the stainless model as a substitute. For everyone else, caring for an Opinel Carbone is easy—you’ll simply want to make use of a brush to clean particles from the deal with and dry the blade when it will get moist. Underneath regular use, you shouldn’t break your Opinel No. 08, however I’ve seen them chip and get worn down with sharpening. By the point they do, although, you’ll in all probability have one other $20 invoice to spend on a brand new one.  

Greatest Butcher Knife: Montana Knife Firm Stonewall Skinner

montana knife company stonewall


  • Blade Size: 4.75 inches
  • Blade Model: Skinner/butcher
  • Blade Metal: 52100 Ball bearing metal, parkerized and mirror end
  • Deal with Materials: G10


  • Sharp as hell
  • Places up with a beating
  • Lovely match and end


In our home, the Stonewall Skinner is a belt knife that moonlights as a kitchen knife. And it places up with fairly a beating, with each day use slicing up veggies and meat. It’s a knife that I want I had when working as a information as a result of I spent plenty of my time skinning and processing deer. It’s swept-back blade is precisely what you need when attempting to peel the conceal off a critter. It’s a giant knife, too, making it excellent for slicing a steak from a hind quarter. However the Stonewall Skinner just isn’t a knife to depart in a drawer with the remainder of your butchering instruments. It’s sufficiently small to pack on a hunt and can be an asset in camp. Ought to it’s essential to press it into service for discipline dressing, I’m certain it will be as much as the duty. Oh, and it’s razor-sharp, holding its edge properly previous 20 rope cuts in our take a look at. Like different MKC knives, it comes at a worth. However you may spend years with, and simply as a lot cash, on three lesser knives solely to understand it is best to have purchased the Stonewall Skinner.

Benchmade Steep Nation (94 factors)

Benchmade steep country


  • Blade Size: 3.5 inches
  • Blade Model: Drop level
  • Blade Metal: S30V
  • Deal with Materials: Santoprene


  • Extraordinarily sharp
  • Holds and edge
  • Glorious match and end
  • Nice worth for the worth


  • The sheath doesn’t include a belt loop

If we might give two awards for the Greatest General Knife, the Benchmade Steep Nation can be proper there with the MKC Blackfoot. I’ve taken one attempting to find mule deer and whitetails, and it has been greater than as much as each activity—from discipline dressing to breaking an animal into quarters. For me, it’s the perfect dimension for a big-game knife and a bit massive for small sport, however it will nonetheless get the job finished on birds and rabbits.

Out of the field, the Steep Nation’s S30V metal is so sharp it provides you with coronary heart palpitations. Within the rope-cutting take a look at, it lower like a lightsaber. It lower so properly that I made a decision to maintain going for an astonishing 50 cuts. I might lower extra inches of rope, however my hand damage, and I needed to cease. The Santoprene deal with is identical as on one other one in all Benchmade’s greatest knives, the Meatcrafter. It’s grippy when moist, however not obnoxiously grippy when dry. My solely grievance concerning the Steep Nation is the dearth of a belt loop on the sheath, however that might be remedied with an aftermarket clip or some paracord, or you may simply carry it in a backpack. Purchase a Steep Nation, and also you received’t want your knife sharpener for the following 5 looking seasons.

Benchmade knife
The Benchmade Steep Nation excelled within the rope-cutting a part of the take a look at. Matthew Each

Mora Companion Spark (84 factors)

mora companion spark


  • Blade Size: 4.09 inches
  • Blade Model: Straight, drop level, scandi grind
  • Blade Metal: Recycled Swedish stainless
  • Deal with Materials: Polymer


  • Cuts wooden like a chainsaw
  • Can begin a hearth
  • Straightforward to sharpen
  • Good back-up knife


  • Not ideally suited for skinning and gutting, however will get the job finished

The Companion Spark just isn’t essentially a looking knife. However it could do looking knife issues, and it presents quite a bit to the backcountry hunter. When looking in far-away locations, it’s good to have a knife that you may survive with. By that, I largely imply chopping wooden and beginning a hearth. Utilizing the baton approach, the Mora Companion Spark chops wooden like a spitting maul. Its Scandi grind will get an excellent chunk in softer woods like pine, and it’s excellent for making feather sticks.

In contrast to different Mora Companions, the Companion Spark has a ferro rod hid within the deal with. In different phrases, it’s all it’s essential to begin a hearth if you understand how to make use of it. For slicing up sport, the Companion Spark does a so-so job. It’s straight blade profile isn’t nice at skinning. However not like different bushcraft knives, it’s gentle sufficient to pack alongside a devoted looking knife, providing you with an additional layer of fireplace redundancy and a back-up knife to be used on sport. In our take a look at, it faired OK by way of edge retention, slicing via 18 inches of rope. The Scandi grind can be straightforward to the touch up—simply lay every beveled aspect on a sharpening stone and pull it throughout a couple of instances.

Beretta Loveless Drop Level Hunter (85 factors)

Beretta loveless knife


  • Blade Size: 3.75 Inches
  • Blade Model: Drop level
  • Blade Metal: AUS-8 Japanese stainless
  • Deal with Materials: Black or orange Zytel


  • A Loveless-signed knife for round $100
  • Tried-and-true design
  • Nicely completed and sturdy


Within the Sixties, R.W. Loveless designed what many really feel is one in all, if not the, greatest looking knife sample of all time. He referred to as it the “dropped hunter.” Attempt to purchase an unique, and also you’ll spend hundreds of {dollars} should you may even discover one. However there’s a little bit of a loophole. Beretta has made a model of the design licensed from Loveless and presents it for slightly below $100. If the Drop Level Hunter was just a bit cheaper and lower just a little higher, it will have taken the spot of Greatest Worth. However it’s nonetheless an distinctive worth and has a great deal of fashion factors.

What I like greatest about this knife is how well-thought-out it’s. Within the hand, the Zytel grip is simply cheesy sufficient and formed completely. The backbone of the blade is rounded half of the way in which towards the tip of the knife. The final half close to the hilt is squared off at 90 levels and is ideal for hanging a ferro rod. The Drop Level Hunter solely lower via 16 inches of rope earlier than getting boring, however with a couple of fast passes on a stone, it was prepared for motion once more. On the draw back, it’s too huge for some small sport, and the sheath leaves a bit to be desired. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless a hell of a knife for the cash.

Gerber Exomod Noticed

gerber saw


  • Size: 7.55 inches
  • Blade Model: Noticed
  • Blade Metal: Stainless
  • Deal with Materials: Full tang steel with plastic


  • Light-weight
  • Straightforward to wash


  • Much less snug to make use of than some saws

We might have sawn a bunch of bones or tried slicing a tree down with this looking noticed, however I made a decision to let my discipline expertise with this device communicate for itself. For those who intestine huge sport, the Exomod noticed is indispensable. Earlier than I owned one, I’d pack a giant bone noticed or use my Leatherman’s noticed to separate the pelvis and lower the rib cage on a deer. The bone noticed was cumbersome, and the Leatherman noticed was too small. The Exomod is excellent, and it received’t add a lot weight to a pack or kill equipment. Its rounded-off tip retains you from puncturing the heart or the bladder when splitting a pelvis. It’s not essentially the most snug noticed to make use of, however the weight financial savings are value it. I maintain mine within the cargo pocket of my looking pants and neglect it’s there till it’s time to do the laundry or lower up a deer. 

Randall Alaskan Skinner

Randall hunting knife


  • Blade Size: 4.5 inches
  • Blade Model: Drop level
  • Blade Metal: O-1
  • Deal with Materials: Numerous customized choices


  • It’s a Randall—there isn’t rather more to say right here


Any critical hunter wants a Randall. They’ve been carried by hunters and troopers because the late-Thirties. Songs have been written about them. Your favourite gun author in all probability owns one. And NASA even despatched a pair to area. It isn’t straightforward to get pattern Randalls, and I wasn’t going take my Alaskan Skinner and lower via a bunch of rope (I believe Bo Randall would rise from the useless and take his knife again if I even considered it). However I needed to not less than point out these legendary blades on an inventory of one of the best looking knives.

What many don’t know is that you may nonetheless order a Randall straight from the manufacturing facility in Orlando, Florida. They’re costly, however not outrageously so. And with a 6-year wait and a $50 deposit, they’re straightforward to save lots of up for. What you’ll have when all is claimed and finished will likely be a customized device that your great-grandchildren will battle over. For those who’re much less affected person, you should buy a Randall from one in all a handful of approved sellers, or take a look at used Randalls from a trusted supply like randallmadeknife.com.

Looking patterns embrace the Alaskan Skinner (pictured above), which is my favourite. It was designed with the assistance of Alaskan bush pilot Tommy Thompson in 1952. There’s additionally the Trout and Fowl, Hunter, Small Recreation and Skinner, Fisherman-Hunter, Yukon Skinner, and extra—all unbelievable patterns properly suited to any looking activity. You’ll be able to solely decide 5 customized choices for every order, which embrace totally different formed handles, hilt kinds, and extra. Give your future self one of the best present they’ll ever get, and put down a deposit right this moment

What Makes the Greatest Looking Knife?

looking knife is greatest suited to 1 activity: breaking down sport within the discipline. It ought to maintain an edge properly or be straightforward to sharpen. Looking knives must be sufficiently small to manage for duties like gutting and skinning and huge sufficient for popping joints and quartering. The higher finish of an excellent blade size is 4.25 inches with smaller blades round 3 inches. Something greater than that they usually change into unwieldy. Hunters after totally different species would possibly wish to use totally different sorts of knives. Whereas you should use a smaller knife for gutting and skinning a deer and cleansing small sport, bigger knives are exhausting to make use of on small sport and birds. A looking knife may additionally must be pressed into service for camp duties should you’re removed from dwelling. These embrace slicing branches, making tent stakes, shaving feather sticks, and slicing summer season sausage.

Fastened Blade vs. Folder Looking Knives

Any hunter ought to have each a set blade and a folder of their arsenal. Fastened blades are my first alternative on the subject of choosing a looking knife. They provide the most energy and energy and customarily really feel higher within the hand than a folder. They’re additionally simpler to wash after discipline dressing, and more durable to lose as a result of they dwell in a sheath connected to the hip (although, you may get a sheath on your folder, too).

A folder is nice for protecting in a pocket on daily basis throughout looking season—simply in case a drive down the street turns right into a spot-and-stalk hunt. Folding knives are additionally safer when driving a horse, ATV, or e-bike, and when climbing out and in of a treestand. Falling or crashing in any of these conditions might lead to a set blade going via your leg.


Q: What blade stays sharp the longest?

Fashionable steels like S30V, 52100, and AISI 420 stored an edge one of the best out of all of the knives in our take a look at. The quantity of vanadium carbide and correct warmth therapy add to a knife’s capacity to maintain an edge.

Q: Why are looking knives curved?

The curve in a looking knife helps with skinning. When pulling again the conceal on an animal, it helps to have a curved blade for sweeping cuts. Some looking knives have extra pronounced curves than others.

Q: Can I carry a looking knife on my belt?

Certain you’ll be able to. It depends upon the place you’re although. Most hunters will carry a set blade on their belts within the woods. Some cities, cities, and states have rules for carrying knives. Verify native legal guidelines earlier than heading into city with a knife in your hip.

Greatest Looking Ideas: Closing Ideas

The Greatest Looking Knives of 2023

The Remainder of the Greatest Looking Knives of 2023

Honorable Mentions

Choosing the proper looking knife all depends upon what sort of sport you’re after and what works greatest in your arms. For those who’re simply getting began, purchase a few price range knives in several sizes and check out them out to determine what you want greatest. Extra skilled hunters who know what they’re after will respect well-finished blades and high-quality metal. However, regardless of how lengthy you’ve been looking, any of one of the best looking knives above will get the job finished.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Subject & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of out of doors gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that keenness comes via in our product critiques. You’ll be able to rely on F&S to maintain you updated on one of the best new gear. And once we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the unhealthy, so precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.

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