- 1 Best Skinning Knives To Purchase
- 2 Best Fixed Blade Skinning Knives
- 3 Best Folding Skinning Knives
- 4 How to choose the best skinning knife?
The hunt does not end with the last shot fired. On the contrary, there’s still a lot to do in case your shot actually killed the target. You will have to skin the animal and for that, a good skinning knife is needed. So you may be asking – what is the best skinning knife?
This is where we come into play as we have gone through countless of knives, and skinning knife reviews to offer you the finest selection you will find on the web. We will also cover the skinning knife buying guide with a comparison chart, if you cannot find a suitable knife in our list. So let’s get started!
Best Skinning Knives To Purchase
Below, you will find a table of some of the most popular skinners currently available on the market.
|Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner||3-1/8" drop point||420HC||American Walnut||5||$$$|
|CRKT K700KXP||3.75" drop point||Bohler K110||Double injected molded handle||4.5||$$$|
|Outdoor Edge Swingblaze SZ-20N||3.6" drop point||AUS-8||Kraton||4.5||$$|
|Spyderco Tenacious||3.4" drop point||8Cr13MoV||G-10 composite||4.5||$$|
|Benchmade Knife 15060-2||3.5" drop point||CPM-S30V||Dymondwood||5||$$$$$|
|Buck ErgoHunter TM Pro||3" drop point||S30V||Nylon||5||$$$$|
Best Fixed Blade Skinning Knives
In this section, we will take a look at some of the best rated fixed blade skinning knives currently available on the market.
Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner
Some of the Buck knives are among the most popular hunting knives ever made.
The 113 Ranger Skinner has the a 3-1/8 inch long drop point blade made of 420HC steel which ensures excellent sharpness can be achieved.
The overall size of the knife is 7 1/4 inch, and it weights just 5.2 ounces. It is fitted with an American Walnut handle with brass bolsters. It comes with a genuine leather sheath to protect the blade and yourself.
It is backed by the Buck forever warranty, and as expected from Buck Knives it is made in the USA unlike some of the cheaper knives.
The knife is well rated on many knife related sites, and also the customers love it. One downside is, that it lacks a gut hook, and it’s also a bit pricier for a skinning knife.
CRKT Ken Onion – Onion Skinner Knife
This knife has become very popular in recent years.
It’s a very well made skinning knife with overall length of 8 inches. The blade itself is 3.75 inches long and it is made of Bohler K110 stainless steel with hollow ground. It has nice sweeping curvature that will make skinning a breeze. It will also find usage in other tasks.
The double injected molded handle provides firm grip and prevents the knife from slipping out of the user’s hand. The finish feels great and it’s really comfortable to hold the handle.
The supplied leather sheath is of simple design. It will hold the knife snugly and securely, but I wouldn’t write home about it.
The knife is not as highly rated as the Buck 113, but it is still a very good choice.
Outdoor Edge Swingblaze SZ-20N SwingBlade
This is a very special skinning knife due to its unique swing design. This basically a 2-in-1 skinning knife. Usually there are some drawbacks when someone tries to put multiple functions into one knife, but it is not the case with this model.
The knife features 2 blades – one of the is used for skinning and the other one is supposed to be used for gutting. The only thing you have to do to change the blades is to rotate it around the pivot.
The blades are made of high quality AUS-8 stainless steel with the skinning part being 3.6 inches long and the gutting blade being slightly shorter at 3.2 inches. The overall length of the whole is 8.3 inches.
The handle is quite comfortable and has a slightly tacky feel to it thanks to the material used – the rubberized Kraton.
If you don’t like the orange handle, there is also a black version with a different model name – the SB-N10. Nylon sheath is included with the package.
Overall it is one of the best-rated skinning knives available on the net.
Best Folding Skinning Knives
This section is dedicated to some of the best-rated folding skinning knives.
Spyderco Tenacious Folding Knife
This is a general purpose folding knife which is included here because it can be used for skinning game and it is actually very good at it.
It is fitted with 3.4 inches long drop point blade made of 8Cr13MoV steel. The curve of the blade is what makes it great for skinning, although I still stand by my words that fixed blade knives are better.
When closed, the knife is only 4.45 inches long. The handle is made of the composite G-10 material. It may feel a little rough, but it provides excellent control in wet conditions.
The deployment of the blade has some friction to it, and I would say it is almost impossible for the knife to open accidentally. Blade retention inside the handle is great.
Benchmade Knife 15060-2 Grizzly Creek
Benchmade is another well-known company that can be recommended without hesitation.
The Grizzly Creek folder knife is one of their more expensive models. Its drop point blade and gut hook are made of CPM-S30V stainless steel, which is rated at 58-60 HRC hardness. With its length 3.5 inches, it’s a good choice for most game. It would even be an excellent deer skinning knife. The famous AXIS locking mechanism is used to lock the blade in place.
The handle is made of dymonwood. If you don’t know what dymonwood is, let’s say it’s a plastic-wood composite material. It feels pretty good and looks almost like real wood.
As opposed to popular constructions, the gut hook is not part of the blade. Instead, it’s located at the other end of the handle and it’s foldable as well.
This knife receives very positive by the customers with most of them praising it for its sharpness and excellent locking mechanism. On the other hand, it is quite costly for a skinning knife.
Buck ErgoHunter TM Pro Folding Knife
The last in the list of the best folding skinning knives is again made by Buck Knives.
This model belongs to their more expensive variants with its cost set at about 110 bucks at the time writing. However, it is a very well made knife designed in a similar way as their fixed blade ErgoHunter knife.
The blade is made of high quality S30V stainless steel and it’s 3 inches long. It’s designed as drop point and it has nice curvature and not too pointy tip, which ensures you will not accidentally pierce the hide.
The handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon. While the handle is mainly black, there is also a small rosewood dymonwood insert. You will also find a pretty good nylon sheath in the box.
As all Buck knives, this one comes backed with the Buck forever warranty.
How to choose the best skinning knife?
Before we start we actually have to talk a bit about what a skinning knife is, and what features set it apart from other knives.
Skinning knife is usually a rather small hunting knife that has a specifically shaped blade.
A skinning knife can be recognized by multiple attributes, and you should make sure the knife you are getting has them.
Sweeping blade shape with a curved tip – The curved tip is especially important, because it will prevent you from ripping the hide while skinning. You surely don’t want to ruin the hide, right?
Small size – Skinning with a 12 inch Bowie knife is not fun, nor it is easy. Skinning knives should be compact and easy to use, and also lightweight. The smaller size will allow for more precise cuts and slices. Skinners usually don’t have blades longer than 4 inches.
A gut hook – Gut hooks are not really 100% required, but they can make your life much easier when you need to open the belly and gut the animal. The gut hook will make sure you are not slicing through the guts. Most of the knives have the gut hook located at the tip of the blade.
These are pretty much the most important factors to consider when choosing the right skinning knife. There are also some specifics you may have to consider for certain game. For example the best deer skinning knife should be around 3 to 4 inches long for best efficiency. You can of course use the skinning knife also for quartering.
Another aspect that is very important is whether you would like to get a folding skinning knife or a fixed blade skinning knife. Most people, including me, will swear by the fixed blade knives. They are usually much stronger, easier to make, and have better life expectation than their folding brothers. Anyway this decision is up to you, and we will present you the best from both families.
Surprisingly, there is not a single company that is dominating the skinning knife market. On the contrary, there are quite a few companies that offer skinning knives for reasonable price and produce great quality.
You can expect to pay a bit more for knives by well-known companies such as Buck Knives.