Best Deer Skinning Knife of 2017: Reviews and Guide - Rifles HQ

Best Deer Skinning Knife of 2017: Reviews and Guide

how to buy best skinning knife

Hunting is a robust outdoor activity. There's no doubt about it, is it?

Some do it out of thrill to add on a trophy that signifies their skill while others carry it out to get some good meal to their tables.

Either ways you need to get some good hunting equipments for yourself. While you are all geared up to go on your hunting pursuit and decided on to make it big this time have you considered your tools? Are they appropriate for the purpose? Your gun is good but what about the knife?

A knife is essential for your survival and hunt, also you would need a good skinning knife with you to get your trophy back home.

Yes, a skinning knife that will help you in field dressing or slicing the hunt. Hunters carry a good skinning knife with them to get the skin of the animal, and if you feel that your normal kitchen knife would do the job then you are definitely on a wrong note.

A good skinning knife is essential for you to carry along for hunting, so invest in a good skinning knife but before you choose one from the lot, lets know the things that you need to consider before buying the correct knife.

Things to look for in a good skinning knife

If you want to buy top deer skinning knife there are basicaly 4 things you should look for:

  • Type of knife
  • Blade type
  • Material
  • Safety

Types of skinning knives:

Basically there are three types of hunting knives:

  • Folding Knives
  • Fixed Blade Knives
  • Knives with gut hooks

Folding knives:

folding hunting knife browning

Folding knives are the knives that get folded at the fulcrum hence are compact and convenient to carry with small size. As per your security concerns these are safe as the sharper edges get folded and do not pick on you while you are after your hunt. Some of them come with the option of changeable blades too. Thus you need not sharpen your blades as you can simply replace them and work with a new tool in your hand.

Most of the knives have locking mechanism for safety purpose, that is, how would the blade open. Some open up quick with a thug while certain others require a technique to unlock. There are different types of locking knives available. Let's know the types of lock:

  • Liner lock
  • Frame loick
  • Lockback
  • Button lock
  • Strong lock system
  • Clasp lock
  • Ring lock
  • Mid lock
  • Lever lock

Fixed blade knives:

fixed blade hunting knife brown handle

These are the most common types of knives that majority of the hunters know about and use, the standard ones. These are the tough, raw tools ready to be used and most dependable in field dressing. Some come in half to three fourth tang construction while some strong ones have full tang construction.

Tang construction implies to the metal used. The metal blade gradually tapers into a handle made of wood, tough plastic or any other material in case of half tang models, while in case of full tang construction the knife consists of the complete metal piece provided with handlers on either side. Such a knife can be heavier due to full metal frame and additional handles provided but is definitely stronger. The blades are made of hard metal that is broader and does not cause accidental piercing so you can be assured of safety

Gut hook knives:

gut hook skinning knife black blade

These knives function to skinning the animal and taking out innards without ruining the dressing. Gut hook knives are special kind of knives used for opening the abdomen of the animal without piercing into the internal organs.

To function appropriately these knives come with an additional feature, that is, a hook like thing that pierces through the belly to take out the innards of the animal. A gut hook knife is good for mounting your trophy.

Types of skinning knife blades:

The hunting knives come with different types of blades each having its own advantages. These different blade types make the knives suitable for different purposes.

Drop Point:

drop point hunting knife

Drop point blade knives are the most commonly used knives for skinning purposes. These sturdy knives also find place in your survival kit. As the name suggests these knife blades are such shaped that the tip points in the downward direction forming a slight convex shape at the the tip.

The tip is sharp but not sharp enough to cause unintentional puncture. The blade is hard and wide that makes slicing easier. The drop point tip is essentially known to be strong enabling controlled cutting and easy skinning through the pelvis and ribs. Though piercing may be an issue but strong point enables quick skinning and doesn't breaks easily.

Clip point:

clip point hunting knife

Much similar to drop points these are commonly used for intricate cutting. However, these are much sharper and thinner at the tip that may be concave or straight. The sharp points helps in easy puncturing or piercing through the skin but is prone to easy breakage due to thin blade. These may require more time for cutting through thick skin as compared to stronger drop points but effectively work for piercing jobs.

Spear Point:

spear point hunting knife

These are small blade knives symmetrical in structure and have straight point in line to the centre of the base. The shape of the blade is much similar to that of a spear These are mostly used to throw and aim at the hunt.

Purposely meant for throwing these have strong tips that are lesser prone to breaking. Thus with their strong points, spear blades are durable and can efficiently work for piercing and stabbing purposes. However, these are not apt for cutting as compared to drop points or clip points.


skinner hunting knife

Skinners are the knives truly meant for skinning purpose. These are especially designed for skinning big animals and thus are the most apt ones for field dressing and add on functions of cutting and slicing.

Skinners come with sweeping wide blades that help easy cutting through thick layers of the skin. These are strong made of hard metal that can be easily resharpened. Skinner is thus your deer skinning knife.


tanto hunting knife

If you are looking for tactical knives instead of those traditional skinning ones then Tantos, a Japanese model can be a good option. Tantos are the most popular tactical knives known for their versatility and strength. These are multi operational hence good for your hunting kit. in such a design the blade suddenly drops to meet the straight spine making an angular point.

This sharp angular point is what makes Tantos different from the other blades. The tip is efficient for stabbing and piercing while the sharp blade is good for slicing making the knife multifunctional. Due to its high end versatility, Tanto is greatly used for hunting as well as survival purpose.


caping hunting knife

Caping blades find use if you are interested in the mount of trophy animal. In it the blade gradually bends to form a mild drop. Essentially used for removing the hide of the animal, caping blades are sharp. The mild drop tip prevents accidental piercing while the blade helps to easily remove the hide from the animal. The blades are hard enough to help easy cutting of the skin.


serrated hunting knife

After you have decided on the knife you need for your hunt, a good advice would be to have serrations on the blade. A simple plain edge might not be useful for tough jobs. Hence, serrations are a great utility that give the straight blade an edge for powerful cutting. It helps you smoothly cut through rib cage or pelvis region.

Though serrated blades are difficult to get resharpened these are still preferred for tough cutting. To sum it up serrated blades improvise the cutting ability of your knife blade.

Material your knife is made of:

Whether your knife effeciently works for the purpoise it is meant for directly depends on the material it is made of. A good knife should be durable and serve for long without getting rusted. Thus, lets know what material should a good skinning knife be made of.

Blade material:

A durable and efficient knife should have a blade that is hard, resistant to corrosion, tough and can be resharpened easily. Based on the material they are made of blades can be classified as:

Stainless steel blades:

Stainless steel blades are resistant to corossion. Further some percent of chromium is added to the steel to increase its resistivity and make it hard so as to effeciently hold on to its edge. But a little disadvantage with chromium is that it makes the blade brittle and more prone to easy breaking. Hence the amount of chromium added should be carefully considered.

Carbon steel blades:

These blades have higher content of carbon that provides additional toughness to the blade. However mostly hunters prefer hardness over toughness, as a hard steel might bend to provide easy slicing through the layers while a tough one may not. Moreover edge retention quality is what most hunters seek for.

Handle material:

Skinning knives are not meant for tough handling conditions like the camping or other hunting knives, thus their handles can be made of any material that suits your purpose and provides you a firm grip. Wooden handles are the most aesthetic ones while rubber textured handles provide good grip in wet condition.

Many hunters often regard their skinning knives as a precious ornament that they can exhibit and thus use exotic knives having handles made of hardwood, bones or antlers. Depending on your budget you can choose from the options available.

Safety features in your hunting knife:

A safe skinning knife for any hunter is the one that provides him the correct grip and utility. Before you buy your knife do hold it to know if it aids you in skinning and removing the hide aptly. Further, it should be lightweight so that it can be easily carried and conveniently used. Another feature is the locking mechanism.

If you are buying a folding knife then carefully consider its lock and whether you would be able to utilize it during emergency or not. Some knives can be opened with single hand while some locks require your both hands to unlock. Also, know how sharp is your tool, too sharp knife might not be useful in field dressing and can even harm you.

Best Deer Skinning knives for 2017

I hope that by now you would have gained apt knowledge about your skinning knife. So after going through all the essentials, if you are considering to buy one then we have come up with a list of some best skinning knives for you. The list will surely assist you in wise buying. We have provided hunting knife reviews of some of the best products. So have a look at some of the good skinning knife options available in the market:

Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife

Buck is a known brand producing best of the knives for hunting purpose and this knife is no exception. It is one of the best skinning knife available in the market.

ranger skinner hunting knife


  • It has a 3-1/8” drop point blade made of 420HC steel.
  • Blade length is of 7-1/4".
  • Its wooden handle is made of American walnut.
  • It also contains a leather sheath that you can attach to your belt for easy carrying.

Buck ranger 113 Ranger Skinner hunting knife is one of the best designed knives that aesthetically incorporates the standard blade design with ergonomical handles. It has a full tang construction that makes it quite strong for skinning purpose. Further the handle is provided with brass bolsters. The leather sheath is an add on feature to the stylized knife.

Piranta Edge Z Skinning Knife

Piranta Edge Z Skinning knife is provided by Havalon sports and has been praised by hunters for its great skinning abilities. It is undoubtedly one of the best deer skinning knife.

havalon edge skinning knife orange


  • It has skinner blade that is made of 60A stainless steel
  • Blade length is of 2.75" while the thickness is 025"
  • The knife comes with ABS handle
  • It is a folding knife with liner lock
  • Overall length of knife is 7.25" while closed length is 4.5"

The havalon knife as opposed to the buck comes with modern design to meet your modern hunting need. The handle is made of ABS plastic and provided with rubber inlay that aids firm grip even in wet conditions. The most exciting feature of the knife is its changeable blade, that you can always replace with a brand new sharp blade. Thus, you need not sharpen the blunt blade ever, as the knife comes with 12 replaceable blades. With sharp edge blades the knife is known to be the sharpest knife in the market.

Columbia River Ken Onion Skinner Fixed Razor Edge Knife

Columbia river knives as the name gives it out are best known for their razor sharp edges that you definitely require for the skinning ordeal.

columbia skinner knife grey


  • Knife comes with a blade length of 3.75” while the thickness is 0.142”
  • The blade is made of Bohler K110 stainless steel with 58-60 HRC.
  • It is a folding knife with total length of 8.00" while closed handle length is 4.375”.
  • Total weight of the knife is 3.7 oz.
  • It comes with a double injected texture handle.
  • The knife has a three quarter tang construction.
  • Black leather sheath provides for easy carrying.

The Columbia river Ken onion skinner knife has surprisingly worked above expectations of the hunters. Its straight offset angular tip and sharp blade proves to be great for slicing. The textured handle with a mount provides for easy grip and convenient handling that makes it easier to cut through tough areas. Also the offset point allows for removing hide with controlled cutting, thus no additional caping knife is required. The stainless steel composition makes it resistant to corrosion.

Outdoor Edge RB-20 Razor Blaze Skinning Knife

Outdoor edge provides a series of skinning knife that are resistant to corrosion and work well even in dripping wet condition due to rubberized handle that give them firm grip. It carries great strength and edge retention capability.

outdoor folding hunting knife orange


  • The blade is made of Japanese 420J stainless-steel blade.
  • The blade is a 3.5" drop point skinner blade.
  • It is a folding knife with lockback plus locks with assisted opening.
  • Overall length of the knife is 8" while closed length is 4.5"
  • Total knife weight is of 4 oz
  • It is provided with a mossy oak nylon belt sheath
  • Handle is made out of TPR with rubber inlay

The knife is a durable product with a blade made of 420J stainless steel that provides for great strength and high water resistance. The rubberized handle provides good and secure grip even in wet conditions. Also, one hand opening and dual thumb studs make it a convenient tool for easy handling. The additional six stainless steel razor blades provide you unbeaten sharpness thus you need not sharpen the blade, just replace it with another blade and carry on your activity.

Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath

Another one from buck, the knife needs no mention as to its reliability for hunting. These are high quality knives that come in affordable price and are backed by Buck's lifetime warranty.

buck skinner fixed blade black


  • The blade is 4" made of 420HC Steel that makes it quite resistant to corrosion.
  • It is a fixed blade skinning knife.
  • The overall length of the knife is 8 1/4".
  • Total weight of the knife is 4.3 oz.
  • The handle of the knife comes in Cocobola Dymonwood with a brass guard while a cheaper version of the knife has black phenolic handle with aluminium guard.
  • It also includes an original leather sheath.

The fixed wide blade knife is a sturdy variant that effectively works for skinning. Its narrow tip and curved belly blade helps you to easily slice through the thick layers of the skin. The hard steel provides for easy sharpening whenever required. The knife proves to be a standard skinning knife.

Benchmade Bushcrafter Deer Hunting Knife

Benchmade provides a versatile hunting knife that proves to be good for skinning, cutting, field dressing etc.

bushcrafter skinning knife with sheet


  • It has a fixed blade of length 4.43"
  • Its S30V stainless steel blade is resistant to corossion.
  • The knife has a full tang construction with high ground drop point
  • It also consists of full grain buckskin leather sheath that has a D ring at the end.
  • Handles are made of hand blended contoured green G10 handle and a red vulcanized spacer which is held together by pressing titanium tubing.

Benchmadeknives are ideal for skining, slicing and all other types of bushcraft activities. The drop point blade is hard and durable and can be used in wet conditions further it ensures controlled cutting. The G10 handle provides a good grip even in wet conditions and is anti corrosive. Overall, the knife proves to be of good strength and stability ensuring superior activity thus comes in our list as one of the best hunting knife.

Benchmade 15001-2 Saddle Mountain Skinner

Bench made saddle mountain is traditionally shaped skinner with apt features that make it one of the best skinning knives.

benchmade fixed blade wooden grip


  • It features a fixed blade of length 4.17" with a clip point
  • The blade is made of CPM-S30V stainless steel
  • Overall length of the knife is 8.73"
  • The handles are made of dymondwood while some come with G10 handles too.
  • The knife is provided with molded leather sheet.

The Benchmade mountain Saddle skinner is an excellent choice for skinning. Its wide belly and clip point perfectly suit the purpose it is meant for. The handles crafted out of dymondwood give it a classy finish. Further the stainless steel blade is durable and highly resistant to corrosion.

Outdoor Edge Swingblade SB-10N Skinning/Gutting Knife

The outdoor edge swingblade knife is truely a modern day knife that incorporates dual blade feature that enables easy hunting. With a single click the swingblade changes from drop point skinner to a deer gutting knife for the big game.

swingblade gutting knife black


  • It is innovatively designed to provide you two blades, one is a drop point blade and the other is a gutting blade.
  • The blades are made of AUS-8 stainless steel.
  • The knife comes with easy lock button to switch blades.
  • Handles are made out of rubberized Kraton that provides grip even in rainy weather.
  • The knife is provided with a nylon sheath.

Outdoor Edge Swingblade SB-10N Skinning/Gutting Knife certainly proves to be a great deer skinning knife set. The blades are hard and efficient in their task. The Aus-8 stainless steel composition makes it highly resistant to corrosion so that you can carry on your hunting in wet weather too. It has great edge retention and Kraton handles provide good grip

Essentials of a good Deer skinning knife: a brief look

  • A skinning knife is meant for hunting purpose so is different from your common kitchen knife.
  • The blade should be hard and wide to provide strength for slicing.
  • The knives can have fixed blade, folding or have additional gut hooks as per your requirement.
  • Look for knives that are resistant to corrosion and are durable. Stainless steel blades are good for the purpose.
  • The blade should be sharp but not too brittle, a hard thick blade is required for effective cutting through thick layers of skin. Too sharp point may lead to accidental punctures that you certainly do not wish for.
  • Hold the knife carefully in your palm to know how comfortable are you with the knife. Good handling should be your priority as without it skinning isn't possible.
  • The blade should be of appropriate length as per the size of your hand for comfortable fit.
  • The handle of the deer knife should aid a firm grip.
  • If using a folding knife understand its lock mechanism, some provide for one hand opening while some require the use of both hands. Know what kind of lock would prove safe and convenient while opening


I hope this article has helped you get appropriate know how of a good skinning knife. I have tried to cover all the basic things that you need to know about your knife. Also I hope that our list of top skinning knives proves to be helpful in your hunt of good skinning knives. However last advice on my part would be to try out the knives yourself to find a perfect match for yourself.

The market is flooded with different knives that come in unique designs and affordable prices so look out for the best. You would not want to ruin your hunt by using a knife that messes up the slicing part so add some good hunting knives in your hunting kit. Get a good skinning knife and enjoy a great hunt.

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