Hunting Knives

When it comes to hunting knives, knowing how to choose the right blade style helps you find the hunting knife that”s best for you. Some of the factors that determine the type of blade and knife that you need include the animal you plan to hunt, your familiarity with blades and the amount of maintenance you”re willing to do.

Hunting Knives

Most hunters recommend using a blade no longer than 4 inches when hunting big game such as elk, moose, deer or bear. A 3-inch blade may be ideal for beaver, raccoon or any other small prey.

Hunting knives come in two forms:

  • fixed blade: As its name implies, a fixed blade is one that”s simply fixed in one position. These blades are stronger than the folding ones because the blade”s material goes down the center of the handle. The knife should come with a sheath so it can be carried in safety.
  • folding blade: Folding hunting knives have a pivot and lock mechanism that allow the blades to fold up. These are not as strong as fixed blades, but they”re easy to carry around.

Blades on hunting knives have four shapes:

  • clip point: Many believe that these slender, thinner blades are perfect hunting knives. They have a more defined point than the drop point, and can do many of the same things.
  • drop point: This is a robust, curved blade of relatively thick steel. It”s designed to be sharp all around the edge so that a hunter can skin an animal using the entire blade, not just the point.
  • gut hook: Several blades come with what has been known as a gut hook. This hook is designed to make a small incision with the main blade, then the hook slices up the abdomen. These gut hooks need a lot of filing, and you should purchase a small circular file to do the job.
  • skinning: Just like the name implies, these are the hunting knives that are made for skinning animals. They have sweeping blades designed for this purpose.

How to Make Hunting Knives

A hunting knife may cost anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on where you purchase it. Custom hunting knives can get even more expensive. Of course, hunters can create their own homemade hunting knives.

Be warned that hunting knife-making involves a lot of carpentry skill, and there are many ways to make your own knife. This particular “”recipe”” uses metal from an ordinary saw blade. Whatever metal you use, it should be tough and wear-resistant enough to hold an edge.

You can model your blade out of the types that are described above, or you can be completely creative. Experts recommend that you first create the blade out of cardboard (including the tang, the part of the blade that”s in the handle).

Once you”re satisfied with its overall shape, use the cardboard as a template for the metal blade. Trace the shape of the blade, and then cut the metal, preferably with a cutting torch. Smooth out any rough marks on the metal, and use a grinding wheel to bring the sides to a blade quality.

You can make the knife handle in one of two basic styles. The first uses two identical pieces of wood (or some other material) to sandwich the tang into place. You can also cut the handle using one piece and then insert the blade.

Resources

Hunting Blades (2007). Choosing a Hunting Knife. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the Hunting Blades Web site: http://www.huntingblades.com/chhukn.html.

SSAA Publications (2007). Knives. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the SSAA Publications Web site: http://www.ssaa.org.au/newssaa/101-StoriesReviews/
knives/diyhuntingknives.html.