The Best Hunting Knives of 2024

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Of course, your hunting knife should have secondary characteristics that make it useful for survival, camping, and all-around utility. But the big job, the one it must conquer, is getting the meat field dressed quickly so it’s preserved and will taste great on your dinner plate.

What to look for? The knife should hold an edge or be easily field sharpened. It should fit well in the hand to protect the user from accidental injury. And a good hunting knife is usually stout enough to crack bone.

It doesn’t need to be big or bulky like some sort of weapon. Remember, the animal is already dead when the knife comes into play. Use the links below to quickly navigate to what piques your interests, and don’t miss our Buyer’s Guide, comparison chart, and frequently asked questions sections.

The Best Hunting Knives of 2024

  • Best Overall Hunting Knife: Benchmade Raghorn
  • Best Budget Hunting Knife: Outdoor Edge WildPak 8-Piece Hunting Knife Set
  • Runner-Up Hunting Knife: MKC Stonewall Skinner
  • A Super Value Folding Knife: Morakniv Basic
  • Best Ultralight Hunting Knife: Argali Carbon Knife
  • Best Replaceable Blade Hunting Knife: Gerber Gear Vital Big Game Folder
  • Best Processing Knife: Benchmade Meatcrafter
Buck Alaskan Guide 113 Ranger resting on dead leaves

Comparison Chart

Why You Should Trust Us

Three men drag a deer out of the woods while hunting
The author and two buddies take turns dragging a mule deer out of the woods; (photo/Sean McCoy)

I and our team are avid hunters with decades of experience in the field. And we also happen to be total “knife knuts.” We put the knives listed here through rigorous testing in the field. Some of the knives listed here have gone through more than 10 years of testing. We also travel to trade shows to meet with brands and learn about their newest products. We then put those through tests to decide if they’re worthy of this guide. Ultimately, we recommend the same knives here as we do to our best friends and hunting buddies.

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Knives for Hunters

I know I’m going out on a limb here with this kind of “best of” column. Whenever you say “best,” someone’s going to get left out. Someone’s going to get their feelings hurt.

But I’m OK with that. Suck it up, buttercup. And feel free to tell me why your knife deserves to be on this list. There are a ton of great blades in the world, and the GearJunkie staff wants to hear about your favorite.

You may have gleaned this from the above selections, but to be completely clear: I don’t like huge knives for hunting, as I feel they are more dangerous to the user when it’s dark, rainy, slippery, or God knows what else. They’re also heavier.

And I don’t like gut-hooks, as I feel a well-handled knife does the job of opening the body cavity just fine. If that’s your bag, all right. It’s just not mine.

Benchmade Raghorn Hunting Knife 1 scaled The Best Hunting Knives of 2024
The Benchmade Raghorn makes quick work of breaking down game; (photo/Sean McCoy)

Finally, I prefer fixed-blade knives in general for hunting. That’s because, if they need to shift into survival or bushcraft mode, you have a tool you can baton through firewood with less risk. That said, folding knives can serve you well and I do include some here.

We included retail prices with our selections, but many of the knives above can be had for big discounts during sales. When investing, keep in mind that a good hunting knife can last for a literal lifetime, so it’s not a place to scrimp. Buy one you’ll love, and you’ll love it forever. Buy one you hate, and well, you’ll be stuck hating it forever, or buying another soon. Happy hunting!

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Frequently Asked Questions