Do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt? Half of the fun is hunting for wild game, while the other half is preparing your catch for consumption. A hunting knife serves as a part of any hunter's arsenal. A good hunter doesn't leave their home without a decent quality hunting knife sheathed in their belt. Without a good hunting knife, skinning animal game will be near impossible.
Hunting blades help you prepare your game for transport and consumption. Aside from being perfectly suited for the job, These knives are light and compact. As a result, they wouldn't bog you down as you chase down your prey. However, not all hunting blades perform equally well. Some hunting blades are better than others. So what makes a good hunting knife?
In this article, we will answer your questions about cheap hunting knives and even share with you our top picks, so keep reading!
What Makes a Good Hunting Knife?
What separates good hunting blades from bad ones? Knowing what makes a hunting knife a cut above the rest can save you from wasting time and money on substandard hunting blades. Investing your hard-earned money on poorly made hunting blades wouldn't only be a waste of resources but may even cause injuries and accidents while out on the hunt.
Below are five things that you should consider when buying a hunting knife for your next hunting trip.
A quick search for hunting blades on any online marketplace will yield thousands of results. A glance at the results will show you how prices for hunting blades widely vary. There are ones sold for very cheap, at around five dollars, while some can reach hundreds to thousands of dollars. Before adding the cheapest option to your cart, think about what you will be getting.
The well-known and commonly cited adage is certainly true for hunting blades. Indeed, you receive what you are willing to pay for. For instance, you can expect low-priced hunting blades to be fabricated from substandard materials with poor quality craftsmanship. So don't be stingy about your hunting blades!
A sharp hunting knife is indispensable while out on a hunting trip. Your hunting knife's sharpness determines how fast and easy you can skin your freshly caught animal game. Unfortunately, while some hunting blades are all made of steel, they can quickly get dull because of softer steel materials. For instance, stainless steel has many benefits but is a soft kind of steel.
On the other hand, carbon steel is known for its exceptional sharpness. Carbon steel is an alloy composed of carbon and other elements, introducing different advantages to the material. For instance, due to how sharp it is, carbon steel has become the material of choice for different knife categories, including kitchen knives and hunting blades.
Size and Weight
What makes hunting blades stand out is their incredibly lightweight and compact design. Moreover, hunting blades can easily be sheathed in a carrying case strapped on your belt. So when you shoot down an animal and prepare the game for transport, you can quickly reach your belt and take out your handy hunting knife.
The weight of your hunting knife matters as much as its length. When you are on an intense chase for your prey, your hunting equipment shouldn't bog you down. You would be better off if you could buy a light hunting knife without compromising quality. However, don't forget that some weight is good since it can add balance and control to your hunting knife.
What Are the Cheap Hunting Knives for Sale?
If you set your standards too high, you might make your options too narrow, including only the most expensive hunting blades. On the other hand, you can get away with cheaper hunting blades without sacrificing sharpness and durability. So which ones are worth your time and money? Which hunting blades strike a balance between price and quality?
Consider the following options if you are shopping for an affordable yet decent-quality hunting knife for your next trip!
Maxam Gut Hook With Sheath
- Can be bought online from Amazon for $12.95
- Has a total length of 5 inches or 12.7 centimeters
- Comes with a sheath for protection and quick access
- Made of stainless steel (8CR18MOV) for durability and corrosion resistance
- Has a sharp edge that you can use in skinning animal game, among other applications
- Serves as an all-in-one survival equipment
Small Yet Capable
Don't let its small size fool you. The Maxam Gut Hook With Sheath can make quick work of your big game despite its compact form factor. With a total length of five inches, the Maxam gut hook can serve as a hunting knife while being as small as a keychain accessory. Aside from skinning animal game, you use it in many situations you may encounter during your hunting trip.
While the Maxam gut hook is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel material, you can squeeze more years out of it by taking good care of it. You can do so by using the weather-resistant sheath it comes with. The sheath is made of nylon and comes with PVC lining so that you can expect long-lasting durability even in bad conditions, such as condensation.
With a 13-dollar price tag, this gut hook with sheath delivers what it promises. The 4.5-star average rating on Amazon can attest to how satisfied the customers are with this product. However, you can't expect to resharpen this knife with a knife sharpener, unlike more conventional hunting blades.
Old Hickory Bird and Trout Hunting Knife
- Can be bought online from Amazon for $24.28
- Comes from a trusted name in the industry
- Comes with a brown leather sheath that you can attach to your belt
- Features a blade made of high carbon steel
- Has a blade with a total length of 3.4 inches or 8.64 centimeters
- Has wooden scales that the end-user can easily replace
Made of Carbon Steel
Stainless steel has its own merits, namely its sought-after corrosion resistance. But, unfortunately, it has a weakness of being a softer kind of steel. This is where carbon steel knives come in. Carbon steel knives have exceptional sharpness and can retain their sharp edge for longer and ever after multiple resharpening. As a result, you can expect the same sharpness from the Old Hickory Bird and Trout Hunting Knife.
Perfect for Anglers and Small Game Hunters
The Old Hickory Bird and Trout Hunting Knife will be the most suitable knife if you are a small game hunter. The blade is specifically designed for handling small animal game, like birds and trout. However, you can use it outside of its intended applications. For example, some customers use it as a steak knife because of its sharpness.
The Old Hickory Bird and Trout Hunting Knife may lack some aspects. Most notably, customers report it having loose scales. Scales, or handles, are important for a knife since it ensures your safety while you use it. Some customers replaced the scales they came with to get around this problem. However, consider this issue before buying this hunting knife if you don't have any spare scales and rivets.
Maxam Field Dressing Kit
- Can be bought online from Amazon for $19.95
- Comes as a complete or all-in-one hunting knife set comprised of commonly used hunting blades
- Ensures that you can deal with any animal game you catch on the field
- Comes with a protective case that can easily be carried using its handle
- Each knife it comes with has 420 stainless steel blades that can withstand corrosion
- Each knife has a highly visible orange-colored handle for safety
If you prefer hunting animals at night, you have to make sure that every gear you bring with you is highly visible despite the darkness. Hunting equipment, like hunting blades, has sharp blades and pointy tips, which can cause accidents, especially in low-light conditions. Each knife with the Maxam Field Dressing Kit has bright orange-colored handles to prevent such unfortunate situations.
All-in-One Hunting Kit
Practical hunters will appreciate the bang for the buck value of the Maxam Field Dressing Kit. Buying individual knives for each specific task (e.g., deboning, skinning, filleting) can get expensive fast. Instead, you can buy this kit containing the following hunting blades:
- Bone saw
- Skinning knife
- Boning and filleting knife
- Caping knife
- Rib spreader
- Knife sharpener
The Maxam Field Dressing Kit aims to be an all-in-one solution for most hunters. But unfortunately, it suffers the consequences of being a jack of all trades. While it does have every kind of hunting knife you might need to dress your freshly caught animal game, each knife exhibits less than average sharpness and durability. If this concerns you, you may consider buying hunting blades individually.
SOG Tactical Knife
- Can be bought online from Amazon for $54.95
- Comes with a MOLLE-compatible knife sheath
- Exhibits a 4.75-inch Japanese AUS-8 steel blade
- Weighs only 5.4 ounces or 153.1 grams
- The steel blade extends to the butt of the knife, making it a full-tang knife
- Comes with black-colored glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) grip
- The blade exhibits a 57-58 rating on the Rockwell hardness scale
Blade With Japanese Steel
The Japanese are known worldwide for their kitchen knives and outstanding metallurgy. The SOG Tactical Knife features a 4.75-inch serrated blade of AUS-8 steel. If you are familiar with 440 steel, the AUS-8 steel is similar but includes vanadium to introduce more hardness. This type of steel strikes a balance between durability and corrosion resistance, unlike the usual stainless steel blades.
If you are a fan of tactical gear, you might appreciate the SOG Tactical Hunting Knife for its compatibility with the MOLLE system. The Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment is used most, if not all, tactical gear in military and tactical enthusiast settings. As a result, you can easily use the MOLLE-compatible knife sheath to attach the SOG Tactical Hunting Knife to your already existing tactical loadout.
Many long-time SOG customers complain about the build quality of the SOG Tactical Hunting Knife. Moreover, based on their reviews, they observed a drastic difference between this knife and other knives in their tactical knife lineup. Far from being one of the cheap fixed blade knives for sale, the SOG Tactical Hunting Knife also bears a hefty price tag, which can turn some potential customers off.
The search for the best cheap skinning knife means weighing the pros and cons of each option you encounter. For example, some hunting blades feature decent-quality steel blades but are more expensive. Meanwhile, cheaper ones are more affordable but may sacrifice durability and sharpness to keep the manufacturing costs low.
If you didn't like any fixed blade knife featured in this article, you may explore more reviews on our website.