To Fight and Cut It Right: Qualities of a Good Combat Hunting Knife

October 27, 2021

Are you going on a wild outdoor adventure? Don't forget to bring a hunting knife with you! Knives are must-haves when you're out for a hunt. You're probably thinking it's only natural, especially if you're fighting for your catch, but a hunting knife can be more than that.

To make sure you're fully prepared and equipped with adequate knowledge, here's a quick guide on the qualities of a good combat hunting knife.

What is a Combat Knife?

A combat knife is a military and defense tool. It's primarily used to provide self-defense in unchartered territories. However, most companies today refer to it as a "tactical knife" because of similarities in the blade, handle material, and cutting edge.

However, a tactical knife is more of a utility tool, while a combat knife is a survival weapon. Moreover, a tactical knife isn't as versatile as a combat knife. Combat knives are handy for extreme survival situations. They can also pretty much handle anything non-combat related.

Types of Combat Knives

Various civilizations have used different types of custom combat knives across centuries. Here are the eight primary types of combat hunting knives, or fighting knives.

  1. Seax: A dagger-style combat tool from the Middle Ages. Germanic and Nordic tribes used this as a close combat and multi-purpose knife.
  2. Bowie knife: A 19th-century fighting/utility knife with a simple, large, and straight blade. Prominent knife fighter James Bowie made this combat knife popular.
  3. Kukri/Khukuri: A smaller combat knife from the mid-1800s and a favorite of Nepalese soldiers. It originated from agricultural venues.
  4. Boot knife: A small fixed-blade tool made to be worn or carried in boots.
  5. Neck knife: A knife with a cord and sheath that hangs on your neck. Used by Native Americans and Vikings.
  6. Karambit: A small curved knife from the 11th century with Southeast Asian origins. It's an agrarian tool that can be used as an aggressive weapon when sharpened further.
  7. Tanto: The Samurai's combat knife with a straight blade and an abrupt angle on its tip. Used for close combat and Seppuku rituals.
  8. Push dagger: A knife with a short blade and a T handle design.

What Makes a Good Combat Knife?

Now that we're clear about the combat knife vs. tactical knife debate and the various types of combat knives, let's move on to its qualities. What exactly makes a reliable combat knife you can bring on your adventures?

Tough Against the Tough

Durability is the first thing you should look for when getting a combat knife. It's used in environments with tough conditions such as the weather, various terrains, or when protecting yourself against unwanted encounters. It will handle a lot of abuse, so make sure it's made from real and long-lasting hardened steel.

Fixed Blade Over Folding Blade

Combat knives are classified into fixed and folding blades. While both have their pros and cons, fixed blades are much better as survival weapons. Why, you may ask? During combat, you need a knife that's easy to access and quick to draw, and these are the strongest points of fixed blades.

Subtle Color Choices

In combat, the wrong color can put you at a disadvantage. For example, a bright and reflective knife might invite potential danger. We understand that colorful knives are attractive, but it is better to stick with dark or subtle colors to keep you inconspicuous.

combat hunting knife used as firestarter


Unlike tactical knives, combat knives act both as weapons and as utility tools. Thus, they work not only when you fight but also when you cut, slice, hammer, puncture holes, or start a fire. Fortunately, several brands manufacture multi-purpose combat knives with decent to excellent quality.

Final Thoughts

Take your combat knife choices seriously. You're heading into unfamiliar territory, so you need to be careful. Start preparing by having the right tool for knife hunting.

With the best combat knife, you can defend yourself from potential trouble, work through emergencies, and have a handy tool available for non-combat tasks. Remember the factors we've outlined to ensure that you get a well-performing knife for your next escapade.

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