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Surgeons Have Scalpels, Hunters Have Hunting Knives


Ask any outdoor enthusiast what tools are necessary for a successful hunt and hunting knives will always make the top of the list. While some hunting knives are great for the heavy cutting that comes with cleaning a kill, there are times when a small compact knife is best for performing the little, menial tasks while out in the field. There are a number of options to consider when it comes to choosing a hunting knife that is right for the job. Contrary to popular opinion, a larger knife is not always the best bet for a hunt. It can be awkward to handle, require more time to care for and, seeing as most seasoned hunters prefer smaller blades, can say much about a hunter’s level of practical experience out in the field.

Hunting knives are often made of carbon or stainless steel. While they both have their benefits, stainless steel blades are the most common. Those who prefer to have a knife that is easy to keep sharp are likely to choose the carbon blade. However, it should be noted that a carbon blade is more likely to rust than a stainless steel blade. When out in the field, it is not uncommon for knives to come in contact with moisture. This is why many hunters opt for the stainless steel blade. Even though stainless steel is better at resisting moisture, it is also harder to keep sharp.

When it comes to hunting knives, one will find there is a choice between a foldable blade and a fixed blade. A fixed blade will be sturdier and a more reliable choice for larger projects. These types of blades require a sheath and will need to be worn on a belt or carried in the hunter’s pack. While a foldable blade can be quite sturdy, it is not commonly used a primary hunting knife. A foldable blade, or pocket knife, is likely to have other handy tools that also fold out. Many hunters prefer to keep this type of compact knife with them at all times, whether out in the field or out at the grocery store.

Some other aspects to consider when looking at hunting knives might be the shape of the blade, the handle or grip, the butt, thumb spurs or locking liners. One of the most recommended methods for picking out a good knife is how it feels in one’s hand. A knife that is awkward and unwieldy is of no use out in the field. One should also consider the maintenance and care that will be required. There are some knives that come with free conditioning oil or sharpening tools upon purchase. On average, a guide for proper knife care is also included, showing essential care and sharpening procedures.


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