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Recommend a good value in hunting knives for me

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19 October 2008, 19:02
Recommend a good value in hunting knives for me
I have a Buck knife with curved blade, about 3"-3.5" long blade, half of it serrated. I feel like, for hunting small-medium game, I might need something else. Maybe something with a gut-hook, no serration, similar length blade.

What is a good value (i.e. not ultra-cheap, but good quality without breaking the bank) knife out there that would meet these criteria? Or do you have other suggestions?


Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt
19 October 2008, 22:24


CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool)


Not necessarily in any order --

All sorts of options in these brands, in the $50 to $100 range. Rugged, servicable.
21 October 2008, 23:31
I have a Buck Vanguard that has given me excellent service. Cleaned five or six deer with it. Steel is a little harder than the Gerbers I've handled, and I would pick it over a Gerber simply because I think it holds an edge better.

I also have a Martini Skinner that I bought earlier this year. Haven't used it on anything yet, but it sharpens and handles well. It was, I think, about $50 on sale.

26 October 2008, 19:29
Buck Vanguard or the new Buck Gen 5 Skinner. Get the Rosewood handled ones - they come with S30v Steel.

LOVE my Vanguard - at 4.25" on the blade it's actually a bit larger than I really like. I think I'll add the Gen 5 3" knife just to round things out.



H4350! It stays crunchy in milk longer!
27 October 2008, 00:34
I'm not sure if the S30V steel versions of the Buck Vanguard are sold everywhere, but Cabela's does sell one version:


AR, where the hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history become the nattering nabobs of negativisim.
29 October 2008, 04:03
Use Enough Gun
I would recommend Gerber or Kershaw, unless you want to get into the very expensive.
10 November 2008, 02:27
Originally posted by Use Enough Gun:
I would recommend Gerber or Kershaw, unless you want to get into the very expensive.

I also like the Martiinis because they hold a good edge, however unfortunately two that I have had broke due to not having a full length tang. Stick with Gerber or Kershaw.
11 June 2009, 19:35
I got a Buck Vanguard 12-15 years ago, all schmaltzed up with a rosewood handle, and took it on my elk hunt. Not only is it pretty, It skinned a couple of elk quarters really well.

Although I don't have much experience with edge-holding comparisons, it did seem to do a very good job.

I also have a 3" Browning Hunter that I got in the mid '70s, and a Schrade Golden Spike that my wife got me for Christmas just before the factory shut down/was bought out.

They all have shaving sharp edges, especially since I picked up a Lansky sharpening set for $20 when I was on vacation a couple of years ago.

Now, to find something to use them on. Cool
11 June 2009, 20:06
Look at a Gerber Magnum LST. Good knife for the bucks.
18 June 2009, 21:15
Don Slater
Try an Enzo trapper in D-2 steel. Find the flat ground model if you can.
19 June 2009, 02:01
How are your sharpening skills? Anything with S30V will take a long time if you to not have the right tools or let your blade go without touching it up on a regular basis. Anything with D2 or CPM154 has better edge holding compared to 440C. Remember anything you buy that is advertised as easily sharpened, also means easily dulled. Sharpening is a way of putting wear on a blade. So, if the blade is easily worn to sharpen it, then it is easily worn during use to dull it. If I had to choose one steel out of the two it would be CPM154 cause it is more stain resistant than the D2, but both have excellent edge retention.

My pick in D2. I have one of these, and the blade has some heft to it. Pretty beefy. You may be able to find it cheaper somewhere else...

And my pick in CPM154. You can't go wrong there, they are cooked by Paul Bos.
19 June 2009, 04:00
Don Slater
My goodness, gixxer.

Those are not knives, they're axes!! Wink

This is a knife!
19 June 2009, 09:00
N. Garrett
I have a bunch of customs too, but probably the best hunting knife for the money is the Gerber Freeman (exchange-a-blade).

It's a fixed blade, and the blades exchange at the handle, so you can change from a skinning blade, to a bone saw, and also a slim gut hook.

I don't know the type of steel they used, but for stainless it takes an edge very easily, and holds the edge well too.
The extra blades fit in the sheath....very trim package.

19 June 2009, 18:27
Michael A. Glass

Once again, I urge you to contact Dave at Northwoods Knives (906) 789-1420 for handmade knives under $100. The "Buttonhole" is a great hunting knife, it has served me very well for the past several years - looks nice too!!

BTW - IMHO, gut-hook knives are more "hype" than "handy". I have never had one that worked better than simply cautiously controlling the tip of a good drop point hunter.

Seriously, call Dave, he handles Bark River, Hess and Marble's knives as well as his own - all American made. Tell him Mike said to call.


Si vis pacem... parabellum
20 June 2009, 05:37
Any Spyderco with S30V. S30V is NOT hard to sharpen if you have a sharpmaker or know how to hold an angle on a stone and will easily outperform D2 although the best D2 guys like Dozier, Ingram, May, and Winston, etc make a heckuva blade as well. I think it's the Spyderco Native (not sure of this, from memory without checking) which is available for less than $50, it is my everyday carry pocketknife and consistently outperforms almost any knife others bring to a skinning party. S30V sharpened to a decent less than shaving edge is very longlasting and an aggressive skin/meat cutter.

The Alaskan Guide Series Buck 110 in S30V is a helluva knife for the money as well, about $70. My only complaint about it is it is a bit heavy.

Unless you're planning on some kind of a survival situation, I think folders with good steel are the way to go, easily carried, always there when you need one but a short blade fixed blade is just as good or better but you have to use a sheath.

Personally I think guthooks suck. They are for people who don't know how to skin something and the hook is always getting dull and dragging on the hide. It's one of those things that seems like a good idea but doesn't work all that well in practice. They work fine for an animal or two but then are worse than a blade.

When considering US based operations of guides/outfitters, check and see if they are NRA members. If not, why support someone who doesn't support us? Consider spending your money elsewhere.


I have come to understand that in hunting, the goal is not the goal but the process.
22 June 2009, 05:39
I don't like gut hooks or serrated blades. Best value in a general purpose hunting knife is a Frost Mora Knife (Clipper model). They are available in carbon steel or stainless for under $15. They have a plastic rubberized handle so after getting em covered in dried blood and fat they just go in the dishwasher. The blade holds a good edge and the shape works well for gutting and boning out game (there are better blade shapes stricly for skinning but the clipper works ok as a skinner too).
24 June 2009, 17:36
"Moore Maker" out of Matador Texas makes a good knife for about $60. May be local to Texas, and I actually don't know if they are still in business. They had trouble getting the steel or something last I heard. They are usually refered to as "Matador knifes".
05 July 2009, 17:09
I like the Fallkniven H1 and WM-1 in combination for hunting. I have used the WM1 extensively and find the VG10 steel to be fantastic. Yes, they are pricey, but well worth the money despite being a "bare-bones-no frills" hunting knife.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"
Hamlet III/ii

05 July 2009, 21:17
Ol` Joe
I had a Buck Vanguard and gave it to my nephew, it was too bulky and heavy for me. If you are cutting small game and deer a pocket folder will do just fine. I gutted and peeled the hide from more than one deer with an old Case "Muskrat" as a teen.
I agree with the others a gut hook isn`t needed nor IMO wanted. A sharp blade of ~3"/3.5" as you mentioned with no sweeping tipped Recurves or clip points that tend to snag on guts when opening up game, and you have all you need.
Most makers have "Bird & Trout" models that would do fine for what you are asking. If moose and elk were in the mix I might go for slightly larger blade but I think adding a good saw or ax with the same blade would be a better choice, if the steel is a good one.

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