You’re on the hunt for the best folding hunting knife, and it’s a challenge. At first glance, all folding knives look the same. And if they all fold, what difference can there really be?
The folding knife you’ll need will depend on your prey. I’ve found the best folding hunting knives for you so that you can make a razor-sharp decision. Because not all folding knives are the same. And you’re about to see which ones made the cut.
- The Best Knife Overall: Buck Knives 110 Slim Pro
- The Best Folding Knife On A Budget: KA-BAR Knives Bob Dozier Hunter Folding Knife
- The Best Gut Hook Folding Knife: Buck Knives 660 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Guthook Knife
- The Best Lightweight Folding Knife: Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knight LT
- The Best High-Priced Folding Knife: Benchmade Bugout 535-3 Steel Folding Knife
Which Folding Hunting Knife Shape Is Right For Me?
The shape of your knife is essential. I like to think that you don’t choose the blade but that the blade chooses you. Just like the Sorting Hat determining a wizard’s House. If it’s your first folding knife or your new buy, I guarantee that one of my favorite hunting knife blades will leave an imprint on you. Here they are:
Drop Point Blade
I like to think of the drop point blade as a universally great knife. The top of the blade drops, hence the name, and allows the hunter suitable slice control. It comes with a strong and thick point that handles heavier tasks.
Clip Point Blade
The clip point is my personal favorite. The skinny end is pointed and sharp, so the hunter can pierce and slit in preferred places. The clip-point blade is found on some of the best folding knives used by hunters. The cuts are precise and stealthy; these knives are best used on smaller deer.
Gut Hook Blade
The gutter knife isn’t as universal or all-around as the clip point and drop point, but it’s a style of blade that shouldn’t go unnoticed. It hits the skin and hair of animals and keeps them from bunching.
It’s an excellent skinning knife that can be used precisely without damaging internal organs. I would recommend everyone gets a gut hook for their wild game, but only if you know how to use it.
The Best Knife Overall: Buck Knives 110 Slim Pro
What we love about it:
Now we’ve got to the good stuff. This is a reboot of the classic Buck 110, and the pro gives it an upgrade worth becoming the best folding hunting knife out of them all. The best aspect of this knife is its functionality. It comes with thumb studs and a Torx screw construction. There’s nothing better than a blend of old meets new.
- Blade length: 3.75″
- Blade shape: Clip Point
- Handle material: G10
- Blade thickness: 0.12″
- Weight: 3.3 oz
- G10 handles: This gives the hunter a good grip on the folding knife and prevents the hunter from accidentally injuring themselves.
- It’s lightweight: The thinner profile makes it easy to carry, preventing the hunter from feeling fatigued.
- Thumb studs: This lets you open the knife with one hand and allows a faster reaction.
- Lockback design: The hunting knife won’t suddenly fall back and slice a finger! This design encourages safety.
- You must use two hands to close it: Once out on the field, this can quickly get tiring – we humans love the easiest way of doing things these days.
Where do I begin? There are so many positives about this hunting knife. From the thumb studs that give you the ease of opening the blade (with one hand!) To the high-end blade steel, which makes it long-lasting. And the G10 handles are practically bulletproof. They’re made of the finest fiberglass and give the hunter an excellent grip and comfort.
The 110 Slim Pro feels great in hand. It’s light, gorgeous, and has the quintessential blade and shape as the original. You can’t go wrong with Buck knives. And this beauty certainly lives up to the Buck reputation.
The Best Folding Knife On A Budget: KA-BAR Knives Bob Dozier Hunter Folding Knife
What we love about it:
The KA-BAR is a great little knife for the price you pay. Cold steel, secure grip, and a fine-edge blade with a drop point. Aside from the price, the clip feature is the best thing about this knife. Some of my favorite hunting knives don’t come with this – and it’s definitely a feature better than a nylon sheath pouch!
- Blade length: 3″
- Blade shape: Drop point
- Handle material: Zytel
- Blade thickness: 0.11″
- Weight: 0.15 lbs
- Zytel handles: The material is non-slip, so you can keep hold of your blade in the wild and prevent accidental injury.
- Ridged thumb rasp: This helps you maintain control of your movements, which is essential with a folding knife.
- Pocket clip: Easily carry it around wherever you go and forget about the pouches that (usually) don’t fit right…
- Lockback mechanism: Your hunting knife will be kept in place when you’re in the middle of the kill.
- Its stainless steel blades: This prevents your fixed blade knives from rusting.
- It’s a small blade, so cutting animals will take extra effort.
The KA-BAR knives are a great, secure brand. The blade is small, but it’ll certainly pack a piercing slash and can fit perfectly in your hand. These knives make an excellent gift for a first-time hunter, thanks to their lightweight, small shape.
The Zytel material provides comfort and an excellent grip. The non-slip knife can be locked back into place to keep the hunter safe from accidents. Thankfully, it comes with a pocket clip, which makes the knife easy to carry.
You get many of the same features as most of the knives on the list. So for the dollars you pay, I’d say this is a pretty good budget option.
The Best Gut Hook Folding Knife: Buck Knives 660 Pursuit Pro Large Folding Gut Hook Knife
What we love about it:
This type of pocket knife must be added to your collection! Although I wouldn’t recommend it being your only pocket knife, it’s certainly a valuable hunting knife. I love the rubbery grip of the knife and its surprisingly lightweight feel. Holding the knife in your hand will feel like air, swift as a bird and savage as a wolf.
- Blade length: 3.6″
- Blade shape: Gut Hook
- Handle material: Versaflex
- Blade thickness: 0.12″
- Weight: 3.6 oz
- The hook: This is great for skinning larger animals, and gut hooks get the dressing job done.
- Lockback: This mechanism locks the blade into position once you open it entirely, saving you from accidental injuries.
- The Buck Knives blade: Buck knives’ steel blades are known for their lasting edge life.
- No pocket clip: The belt with his knife doesn’t fit as well as the other hunting knife belts.
Buck knives are always great. And gut hooks should always be added to the collection. Here you have the ideal folding blade that can powerfully slice and gut without being as heavy-handed as most.
It’s one of the best quality pocket knives, thanks to its S35VN stainless steel blade that provides toughness, resistance, and durability.
The Best Lightweight Folding Knife: Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knight LT
What we love about it:
Here we have another Buck knife, are you surprised yet? It’s not as light as Benchmade, but I chose this as the best lightweight knife because of the quality and price. This is perfect for people looking for the maximum power but a minimal price.
- Blade length: 3 3/4″
- The shape of the blade: Clip point
- Handle material: Nylon
- Blade thickness: 0.12″
- Weight: 3.2 oz
- Stainless steel: The best type of steel for folding knives – it doesn’t rust easily!
- It’s compact: You can easily fit it into your hand and carry it in your pocket.
- Crescent clip: The shape gives you more control over your work.
- Special customization: You can customize your knife and get it engraved – making it an excellent gift or treat.
- It doesn’t come with a clip: You must carry it in the pouch.
This light-as-a-feather knife is made with nylon, which reduces the knife’s weight immensely. The quality remains, though, with its sharp piercing blade that’s perfect for the precise hunters that cut in small places.
The knife can carefully slice into your animal without accidentally injuring yourself or further damaging the organs, thanks to its Lockback design. And then there’s the nail notch, which gives the hunter extra grip on the handle.
The Best High-Priced Folding Knife: Benchmade Bugout 535-3 Steel Folding Knife
What we love about it:
Sometimes you just wonder, “what is it about that knife that makes it worth the price?” Well, here’s why! The Benchmade knife is made with the finest metal components of stainless steel, giving it a killer edge and a stunning look.
It’s the standout feature of this knife. The CPM 290V type of steel is the best steel you can get. It’s practically indestructible. If I could describe this knife in one word, I suppose I would say: fancy.
- Length of blade: 3.24″
- The shape of the blade: Drop point
- Handle material: Carbon fiber
- Blade thickness: 0.09″
- Weight: 2.2 oz
- Stainless steel: It’s rust-resistant with top-quality edge retention.
- 3.24″ blade: A great size for hunting in the wild.
- Cabron fiber handle: This gives you an excellent grip.
- Weather resistant: You can hunt in the rain without worrying the knife will be damaged.
- It’s expensive: You can get similar features elsewhere for a fraction of the price.
The Benchmade may be expensive, but its performance makes up for it. It’s made of the finest blade and metal and includes a legendary aerospace handle. This makes it a reliable knife that provides the hunter with the utmost security and longevity. There’s no need to worry about the paint chipping, the steel rusting, or the blade bending. Nope – you’ve got a partner for knife in this guy!
Considerations When Buying Folding Hunting Knives
The length of the blade
The length of your blade will affect your control over its use. I don’t think short blades are pointless, as they come with great control. But of course, long blades reach further. I’d recommend finding somewhere between 3″ to 4″.
I love a stainless steel blade. They resist rust and require less maintenance. Because of this, they are more expensive than carbon steel. Carbon steel is the cheapest option, but it’s possible to prevent rust with silicone wax!
The price of a fixed-blade hunting knife varies. But I would always recommend investing in a good-quality hunting knife. Anything under $100 will do the job just fine, but the blade steel might lose its sharpness or the handle break.
How We Chose The Best Folding Hunting Knife
I’ve been using folding knives for as long as I can remember. And if we’re being honest with each other, I prefer them over a fixed blade. But shh, don’t tell my fixed-blade knife that. Because of my (un)healthy love for folding knives, I considered these few things:
The handle material
I looked for my favorite handle material to add to this list. They are:
Carbon fiber: A robust yet light material. It’s pretty expensive but damn, is it eye-catching! Although strong, it can suffer from breakages when met with sharp impacts. The high price comes from the hard work of making a carbon fiber handle.
G-1O: This material is made of fiberglass. In my opinion, it’s better than Carbon fiber and comes at a pinch of the cost. The G-10 is one of the most rigid materials on a knife handle and is long-lasting and light.
Zytel: This is a fiberglass type, though not as inferior as the G-10. It’s affordable, tough, and pretty invincible.
The shape of the blade
I find that clip point is the best shape, but I understand why drop point is some hunters’ favorite. But it goes without saying that gut hooks are just as important, so I had to put my favorite on this list.
The weight of the blade
I’ve carried heavy pocket knives. And then part of me thinks, what’s the point? I may as well strap on a machete. So I made a conscious effort to pick knives under 4 oz. Each one is swift, light, and cunning.
The folding hunting knives brand
Knife brands are essential. My favorite brand is Buck knives, the most popular knife brand, and it is usually sold at reasonable prices. The quality pocket knives for the price are crazy!
Then you have the Benchmade. A brand with an excellent reputation for pocket knife lovers. Many people find it to have the best locking system out of all fixed blades.
Although the above are my favorite hunting knife brands, the KA-BAR pocket knife can’t go unnoticed.
It’s another one like the Buck Knives, which is affordable. The Zytel handles, and steel blades make an excellent addition to an otherwise cheap pocket knife.
Who Are Folding Hunting Knives For?
These knives are for hunters looking for a more accessible experience on the field. The practicality of folding them is what makes the pocket knife so popular, compared to fixed-blade knives, which can be bulky and inconvenient.
The pocket knife is easy to conceal and carry – but it still has the toughness and agility of a regular knife.
Do gut piles scare deer?
No, your gut piles won’t frighten your prey as you’re hunting deer. However, the smell will attract other wild animals nearby, such as bears, if it travels downwind. Plus, deer are likely to run and hide if bears are in the area. So when you’re equipped with your new folding knife, you’re better to move off quickly when you’re finished using it.
How long can a deer sit before gutting it?
Listen close. If you wait too long, your animal’s blood will spoil and ruin. The general rule is to wait between 8-12 hours and find the perfect balance. If you stay in heat above 50 degrees for too long, your successful hunt will become…well…not so successful.
Last Tips On Best Folding Knives
It’s important to know that folding knives are prone to breaking more than a fixed blade. Yet, folding knives are sleek, precise, controlled, and great for hunting smaller creatures.
As long as you use the right-shaped blade for the correct animal and regularly sharpen it with the best hunting knife sharpener you can find, then your folding knife should live a long, happy life. Long live the knife!