When it comes to knives, every major outdoor brand attempts to make their own version. However, only a few select makers of knives can rise to the top. This is especially true of hunting knives, which are far different compared to kitchen knives or even random pocket knives. This is why hunting knife brands are so critical.
They bring us some of the best overall knives for the outdoors, which can be quite useful. Typically, hunting knives are used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to cut up an animal after it’s caught, such as a deer or a fish. However, they can also be used to straight up kill an animal up close and personal.
There are dozens of knife types out there. Tactical pens can be used as a hidden knife of sorts. You can even use tomahawks for cutting up an animal. Yet hunting knives are designed for the hunt, while those are designed for other purposes.
Proper hunting knives to hunters are as important as camping gear to campers, or tactical flashlights are to the Armed Forces. They’re heavily needed to properly do what you’re trying to do, of course.
When it comes to the blades for these knives, some of these knives are serrated while others are straight-edge. Regardless of which you pick, they’re critical to proper use when on the hunt. While there are a lot of knife makers out there, we felt it might be best to pick the best when it comes to the world of hunting knives.
That left us with these choices for the best hunting knife brands of 2021.
Like many, we’re huge fans of the Ka-Bar brand of knives. They truly know their field well and make knives for just about all purposes. We’re not going to concern ourselves, currently, with their impressive line of amazing knives for other uses.
Rather, we only want to focus on their hunting knife collection. Many of these knives are similar in what they do and how they operate. This does not mean they are exactly the same, but since they’re all hunting knives, they’re going to do similar things.
What you’re truly buying isn’t the blade technically, you’re buying everything else that comes with it. Blades are really not pricey, as with Ka-Bar they could sell those for less than $30. The real thing Ka-Bar brings to the table is the impressive things that surround the knife itself.
You’re paying for the sheath it comes in, and you’re paying for the handle. Now, the handle is made up of certain parts you’ll also pay for. This includes the tang, rivets, scales, and butt. Then you pay for the organization of it all, even the type of blade used.
This Is Displayed Well In This Knife
One of our favorite knives from Ka-Bar is their Marine Hunter Knife. It comes in only one color for the handle, brown. However, they dressed it up with a fun handle that allows you to hold the knife well. This is a straight-edge, fixed blade knife. That means it does not pop out and must enter a sheath when not in use to avoid cutting yourself.
This can be used for a lot of things, but its main purpose will be for survival and hunting. This knife features a brass guard and aluminum butt cap, along with plastic-lined leather. The sheath is even included.
The reason we love this knife is that it is practical, and that is the kind of thing you need out of a hunting knife. There is no need to be flashy, and certainly, there is no need to overprice your items. Ka-Bar avoids this whenever possible, and it’s something we respect.
With Ka-Bar, you’re going to be looking at a pretty open price range depending on the knife. Again, you’re often paying for more than the blade when you buy a knife. That means the price you pay can range from smaller to larger based on this.
The bigger the blade, however, the more you’ll pay too. This also means a bigger handle, keep in mind. You’ll also pay for the style of the blade at times because there are several different types, of course.
This leaves the Ka-Bar hunting knife price range from $25 to $120 on the conservative side. Of course, this does not cover every knife from the brand, only their hunting or outdoor types.
ESEE Knives are a bit newer to the world of knives. A lot of people may not know about them, despite how many great knives they tend to make. Yet we’re now seeing more and more people owning their knives. This is for good reason.
ESEE Knives know how to get it done, and in a world where hunting knives can be massively useful, you don’t want a terrible knife. ESEE does not know the meaning of those words, as they have managed to develop some really killer knives over the last few years.
Starting in 1997, ESEE knew they had to work harder than most. Many other knife brands were ahead of them, yet they wanted to make practical, perfect knives. In the 90s, a lot of brands tried to get away with making half-a**ed versions of knives.
This is why a brand like ESEE was and still is so critical.
They actually do some interesting stuff with their knives. ESEE actually have handles on many of their knives that can be removed. They can also be replaced. Heck, they even sell handles that you can buy to replace what you have.
Unlike other hunting knife brands or regular knife brands, handles are not their main focus. They simply focus on the knife itself, which is incredibly refreshing and why they made our list.
This Knife Displays What ESEE Is All About
One of the best knives you’ll ever see is the ESEE-CM6. It is one of the best knives from the ESEE brand, but you’re not paying for the handle with this baby. It was designed by Terrill Hoffman, made for tactical and practical usage.
They tout that it can be used at home, in the woods, or on the battlefield.
This includes a 5 7/8′ drop point blade, made to handle difficult tasks that won’t be too heavy to maneuver. You can use it to cut up a deer, hog, or fish while also being able to use it for defensive carry purposes.
The blade has a sharpened swedge to enhance penetration as well as a full-sized removable canvas Micarta handle that is shaped specifically to help you grip this knife securely. The blade itself is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel.
The price range for ESEE Knives can differ. We can safely tell you that the company makes pretty much everything in the United States. This is both good and bad. Due to mostly making them in America, the knives are a bit more expensive than ones you might buy elsewhere.
They actually fight heavily against counterfeit knives made in places like China that call themselves “ESEE Knives.” They know where their knives come from, and it’s never going to be from China or any other random nation that makes half-a**ed versions of knives.
This is why several of the ESEE Knives are nearly or over $100. You’re looking at an average price range of $100-$300 with these knives overall.
The coolest part, however, is that ESEE offers a lifetime guarantee. They believe in their product so much that if you need anything fixed or replaced, they’ll do it for free. They’ll replace it if it cannot be fixed.
They do not care if you have the receipt or warranty registration for the knife either.
They seriously stand by their products so much that they follow their knives throughout the knife’s entire life. It does not matter where it is in the world, they claim it’ll be fixed or replaced. How many hunting knife brands, or knife brands overall, actually do this?
They also offer discounts to those in the United States Armed Forces. They offer this discount for those currently serving or those who previously served.
By now, everyone knows about Buck Knives. They have been around for a long time now and they have basically become a legend in the knife business. This is why it’s almost comical to believe we even had to “consider” them for our list. They were on it before it really began.
Buck Knives have become so well-liked because of their quality. They make their products in America, which allows us to know that they put a lot into their knives. In fact, they have their own special technology for some of their most popular knives.
Buck Knives have always raised their own bar, but in the last few years, they have created some impressive knives.
This Knife Proves Buck’s Still Got It
We are huge fans of the 110 Folding Hunter® Pro Knife. This knife is one of the literal best in the world right now, and Buck Knives sells it for a steal. Currently, at only $125, it’s well-priced compared to industry equals.
Yet at the same time, it’s better than pretty much any knife near this price point. It is similar to that of Buck’s Folding Hunter® Knife, only updated. That knife first came out in 1963, so it was time to update for sure.
It brings a lot out that we truly love. This knife uses something known as S30V Steel. It is an advanced version of steel that uses carbon, as well as Chromium, Molybdenum, and Vanadium. It is corrosion resistant with proper edge retention and high ductility. It’s also double-tempered and has the capability to reach Rc 59.5-61 hardness.
All of their knives are made with this type of detail and love, which is something we absolutely love and respect about Bucks.
When it comes to prices for Bucks Knives, it can be similar to that of other brands you’ll see on this list. One thing Bucks does differently is offering personalization or customization to most of their knives.
When you do this, the price of a knife will naturally go up. However, the price for the knife itself and usually include sheath/clip, tends to be reasonable.
You’re looking at a price range of about $50-$200. Most of their knives are under $100, but there are some special hunting knives that we’d obviously recommend due to how amazing they are.
When it comes to hunting knife brands, we cannot say enough about the Bucks Knives collection. They have everything you’d want as a hunter or fisherman, and it’s clear you’ll love the knives.
If you do have an issue with them, Buck offers a lifetime guarantee on ALL of their knives.
SOG Knives are near the top of the industry in all knives, not just that of hunting. That said, it should come as no surprise to see them here. Their knives are some of the best in the industry, but for some reason, people do not consider them enough for hunting.
They’re very popular for fishing and even self-defense. People often use their tactical knives, making them nearly the best in the industry in that department. How then, do they not get a mention by so many when it comes to hunting? We’ll never know.
Their hunting line is spectacular, focusing on the greatness of their blade. When you buy SOG Knives, you’re buying special knives built to be used. Their handles are often made to fit the hand perfectly, allowing you to have full control of the blade.
This is essential, as it allows people to feel safer knowing that their in full control of where the sharp blade is going. Overall, their knives come with this traditional handle but they also come with one of the best blades found in knives, period.
This Knife Proves It
The Vulcan Knife from SOG is one of the best in the industry right now. This isn’t shocking news to hear for those who own the knife, as it’s universally praised. The knife is used for several different things, but it’s insanely popular with hunters.
The reason hunters like it so much is likely due to how sharp it tends to be. It can cut through just about anything, and it’s really light. Military members love it due to the same reasons. They tend to like this due to how effective the knife can be in close combat, and since it’s so light, the speed in its use is incredible.
The Arc-Lock™ on this knife can hold over 1,000lbs of force. That means it can take as much as it can give, and vice versa. The blade is a full .160″ thick, drop-point shape made from VG-10 stainless steel, that can be folded in.
The knife includes a double thumb stud and kick for quick use with either hand.
It can also be cleaned and effectively self-adjusting for long-term use. Basically, if you take care of it, this knife will last a very long time.
SOG prices differ a lot compared to the industry standard. Their hunting knives do not seem to pass $250, but this is a far way off of the $100 value knife price range of some other brands. However, the average SOG price you’re going to pay is $100-$180.
Of course, they do have knives above that with a cap of $250. However, the $180 cap is the average norm. They do a lot of custom engraving, which means the knife will be more money if you utilize this.
SOG also offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their knives, which is an important thing to mention about them for sure. Some great hunting knife brands offer 30 to 90-day guarantees, with some offering a couple of years.
However, SOG is similar to the various hunting knife brands on our list with their lifetime guarantee offer.
Gerber Knives are one of if not THE best in the industry when it comes to hunting and fishing knives. We cannot possibly hype them up enough, because they simply know how to get it done with their blades. They offer a massive collection of knives, with a very specific goal of delivering the best possible product a company can offer.
Gerber has worked with some impressive people over the years. One being the survivalist and TV Presenter Bear Grylls. He has his own knife through the brand, which is one of the best knives you’ll ever use, in case you were wondering.
What Gerber has done with their knives is pretty compelling. They have considered what the most important things are for people who use knives. What do you need the most as a user? It is not a really revolutionary concept, but something many brands have not discussed as much as they should have.
That led them to make knives that fit everything. For example, they have fishing knife sets that are spectacular, as they’re quite literally fixed to fit every aspect of cleaning a fish and making it ready to eat.
From here, it is no surprise that they’d take as much care used in the fishing knives and put it into the hunting equipment too.
The Iconic Gator
Gerber sells an incredible line of knives that use something they like to call the ICONIC GATOR GRIP®. They saw the American Alligator and realized something interesting. Gator hide seems to sell well, but when employed on various material over the years, it was pretty useful.
Why is this? Alligators are obviously creatures that come on land, but they also often can be seen in the water. Their skin is scaled and can dry off in such a way that it makes them seem almost waterproof. They have no chance of slippage or anything of the sort.
Gerber wanted to make a knife handle that could hold up in any weather and any condition. This followed the concept of a Gator but didn’t want to unnecessarily kill and use alligators to make their handles. They instead used glass-filled nylon, wrapped in a highly rubberized grip.
This design made the knife handle chafe resistant for bare hands. By the end of the design, it came out like a reptile skin of sorts, making it possible to use in any condition.
They sell an incredible line of knives in this category, but we’re focused on the Gator Premium Fixed Hook Knife.
This knife includes that gator grip handle, but it also includes an interesting two blade system. The blade is a fixed, straight-edge design. However, it includes a hooked out area near the tip. This is essential for hutting fish, for example. Yet it can also be used to gut out a number of other animals.
This is a full tang CPM-S30V steel blade, one of the strongest and sharpest you’ll ever see. It is machine polished and self-mirrored and offers some great protection against corrosion. Be sure to take care of it and you’ll love it for a very long time.
By the way, this knife is sitting at only $130.
The average price range for Gerber Knives, in our opinion, is hard to beat. They’re lower than the industry standard for several of their knives, especially the top sellers.
The prices range from $25-$140. This is incredible for such well-made knives if you’re asking us. Gerber also does this while making most of their knives in the United States of America, as well as backing them up with an incredible Gerber guarantee.
While we mostly looked at their hunting knives, we also looked around at their tactical knives among many others. We were surprised to see that Gerber kept their guarantees and price range the exact same throughout all of their lines. Some brands don’t do this, for whatever reason.
Even their celebrity Bear Grylls collection of knives are mostly under $100.
Gerber offers a lifetime warranty for those in North America while they offer a 25-Year warranty for people outside of the continent. This is pretty incredible, as most may not want to offer international warranties at all, but they go for 25 years.
Overall Impressions From These Hunting Knife Brands
It is clear that proper hunting knives are needed in a world full of fake, terrible blades. We deserve better out of our knives, and all of these brands make sure to deliver there. They also don’t want you to ever see them as lesser than, which is why they have made sure to speak out about counterfeit products.
They all seem to offer lifetime warranties, which shows that they stand by their knives regardless of how long you have had it. This is not exactly an easy thing to do, because it could cost them a lot of money in replacement parts or knives. Yet it won’t if they are made well from the beginning.
At the most, we’d only worry about knives needing to be sharpened after a while. However, these brands seem to offer blades that won’t need that for a while. They even sell sharpeners just in case. Many of them also make several of their top knives in the United States of America, making us understand that their workers are specialized, quality-driven knife makers.
Overall, we could not be more impressed with these hunting knife brands. However, something tells us we’ll see them on other lists in the future.