How to Pick a Hunting Knife

Learn how to pick a hunting knife in this Howcast video with expert Dan Delavan.

Hi. My name is Dan Delavan. I’m the Owner/Operator of Plaza Cutlery is Costa Mesa, CA. We have a great selection. We also have a website, And today we’re going to be talking about knives.

Okay. The best hunting knife is another one where you ask 100 different people and you get 100 opinions. So there’s a lot of choices and obviously it depends on what you’re going after. So it does make a difference whether you’re going for larger game, such as elk or moose, or whether you’re going after smaller game like rabbits, coyotes and so forth.

Okay. Here we have the two Benchmade from their Bone Collector series. This one would be like a small boning knife. It would be for trimming your meat out and so forth. You have thumb serrations back here. Also there are thumb serrations up towards the front. And you have a guard to keep your hand from sliding forward. And you have a drop point hunter with a gut hook for opening up the belly of the animal. It’s real simple. Buck also makes a number of modern knives with synthetic handles so as your hand becomes bloody it’s not going to slip, both in folding knives and fixed blades.

This is a small general purpose skinny knife. It has a slight curve to it. It’s very easy to move your finger down on it. A number of companies have made knives where you can move your finger down on it. And it also has thumb notches, it does not have anything down at the tip there. But, simple design and by recessing the wood on the handle on this one, they made is as your hand gets bloody it’s not going to slide because you have the edge of the steel there.

And Buck’s also been very good with their hunting knives by putting a large, wide gut hook on it so when you use the gut hook it doesn’t bind up with hair on it.

There’s also some folding knives by different companies. The most widely used is the Case Trapper, probably the most widely sold knife through the 60s and 70s, even today and comes in a variety of different handles. But it’s two blades. So a long narrow blade, you know, for doing your boning and so forth and then a spade blade with the curved blade that you can use to skin with and it’s folding so it just drops in the pocket. It makes it real easy to carry.

And then lastly, you have custom knives. This particular knife is made by Mitch Jenkins of Utah. It’s a Full Tang. It is kind of a Loveless style but he took and curved it a little bit more. He actually does a lot of hunting and he found by putting this curve on it, when he’d go down to cut it would put a little bit more force in it. And it actually helped with some of the boning and some of the other work.

And then lastly, Bob Lay, you know, again Canadian hunter, knife maker. Uses everything. Uses good materials. You know, nice handles, you know, nice piece to hand down to a son or daughter.