Many tools make up a bushcrafter’s repertoire, and a hunting knife is arguably one of the most important. Used for field dressing, meal preparation, and cutting firewood, hunting knives have durable, reliable blades that facilitate various tricky bushcraft tasks.
With so many hunting knives on the market to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the right hunting knife for you. So to help you, we’ve compiled a list of the 4 best hunting knives to prepare you for your next outdoor adventure!
Buck Knives 656 Pursuit
Buck Knives drew from over 100 years of crafting experience to create this 656 blade. It belongs to the Pursuit series, which fills the gap for a mid-range hunting knife that’s suitable for beginner-to-professional hunters.
The Buck 656 is a fresh, modern take on current industry standards—as showcased by the 4.5” full tang blade, which is made from cost-effective, well-hardened 420HC that still retains an edge after you’ve processed big game.
Furthermore, the 656 hunting knife is anchored with a green and black handle that blends nylon and Versaflex to give it excellent slip-resistance.
If you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, you could also check out the Pro version. This iteration features an improved S35V steel blade with a bright neon-orange handle, which provides heightened visibility and makes for a great extra safety measure if you’re bushcrafting at night!
Ontario ADK Keene Valley Hunter
Ontario Knife Co. named this Hunter knife after the ADK Keene Valley, which is considered to be the gateway to the High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains—and the spot where local communities historically provided supplies to hunting guides that came to hunt, trap, and fish.
With a full-tang construction for added strength and balance, this knife has a noticeably wide, drop-point blade that’s made from 420HC stainless steel—an easy-to-sharpen metal that holds an edge well. Being 3.7” wide, the blade is great for tough cutting tasks as well as basic, camp-related chores.
As for the knife’s handle, it’s crafted from multicolor micarta scales that taper from the spine to keep a firm grip in harsh weather conditions. The handle’s material is stable and of high quality, resisting cracking, peeling, and chipping. You’ll also enjoy confident cutting control thanks to the single guard and distinctive choil, which complement each other perfectly.
And if that weren’t enough, the ADK Keene Valley Hunter arrives in an expertly sewn and riveted leather sheath—complete with a snap-button strap so you can carry the knife securely on your adventures. Ontario has really thought about all the details with this knife, and the results are top class!
Spyderco Bow River Fixed Blade
Designed with custom knifemaker Phil Wilson, the Spyderco FB46G Bow River Fixed Blade is aimed at various outdoor cutting tasks, including fishing and hunting. As Wilson’s first collaborative endeavor with Spyderco, this knife has a lower price point but certainly doesn’t compromise on quality or performance.
A stand-out quality of this knife is the 4.36” blade made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. This material is known to hold an edge well and can be resharpened easily in the field. Rendered to a reasonable length, the trailing point blade can comfortably tackle most hunting-related takes with ease; it has a sweeping belly yet is nimble enough to manipulate.
And how about the handle? It’s rounded and contoured using black and gray G-10—with a striking pattern that mimics natural wood grain. Since there aren’t any hot spots or crisp edges, the Bow River knife tucks comfortably into your hand.
At the base of the handle, you’ll also notice a large hole that you can string a lanyard through. If you’re looking for even more secure storage, the knife also comes with a carefully sewn and riveted leather sheath. What more could you ask for!
Morakniv Garberg BlackBlade Multi-Mount
Swedish-based brand Morakniv started designing and producing high-quality hunting knives in 1891. 130 years later, that high quality ensues. The Garberg Blackblade, the first full tang knife by Morakniv, has an ergonomic barrel-shaped polymer handle with friction grip and a finger guard permitting a secure grip in all weathers.
What’s more, the 3.2mm thick carbon steel blade is strengthened with a protective DLC coating, letting it hold an edge well on anything from a short one-day hike to a longer expedition. Although this knife can withstand tough conditions, it is still recommended that you wipe, resharpen, and oil the blade after use to prevent rust. Read on how to clean a hunting knife for bushcrafting to enhance durability.
The icing on the cake: the BlackBlade arrives in a symmetrical polymer sheath that takes mounting options to the next level. With hook and loop straps, bars, holes, and notches, you’ll never be short of ways to mount and carry this knife. Know that the protective case is MOLLE compatible, too—a great feature for military and tactical use.
…And that’s our expert low-down on the best hunting knives you can buy for under $100! We hope the guide has helped you to work out which knife is best for your bushcrafting needs—be it cooking, hunting, minor chores, all three of those, or more. Be sure to share this article with any peers who are looking for knife-buying advice!
I am Bruno. I write and lecture about bushcraft, survival, hiking, and nature experiences in general. I also produce short films on these topics as a director.
My wife Lilith and I try to travel as much as we can to discover the world! We wish to live in harmony with nature and preserve its ecosystems: Eden paradise is here now.
I want to open a door to reconnect with nature through this blog.