Best Folder Knife

Airkat Kon-Dor Modified Folding Knife - Knife Reviews

Choosing The Right Hunting Knife by Wayne Foster

Choosing the right hunting knife can be a difficult challenge. If you choose wrong you end up with a paperweight that is more likely to end up in your junk-drawer than on your hip when you need it.

First ask yourself a few questions: What kind of hunting do you do? Do you go after big game or small? Do you trophy hunt or do you meat hunt only? What is the largest animal you envision using the knife on? The smallest? How often do you hunt, are you looking for a knife you can easily carry when you are not hunting?

Seems like a lot of questions but if you don’t know what you are looking for, you will never find the correct one for your personal preferences.

Stainless versus Carbon Steel

This is far too short an article to get into the metallurgy of steel composition. Lets just say that some steels are too soft to hold an edge very well. Some are so hard as to be almost impossible to sharpen in the field. Do some research into the various steels and their grades. Sometimes the difference between a carrier and a drawer-sitter is the blade material.

Folding versus Fixed Blades

Let’s look at the two basic knife styles: fixed and folding blade. A fixed blade knife is just that, fixed in place. Meaning that the blade is permanently fixed in the open position. Due to this design, these knives normally come with a sheath so they can be carried safely. These knives are normally stronger than the folding variety because the steel of the blade runs into or through the handle.

There are no moving parts with a fixed blade knife so they are very reliable. Several manufacturers also produce hunting knives that allow the user to change the blades very quickly.

Folding knives have a pivot point and lock mechanism which allows the blade to close into the handle. A folding knife without the lock should not even be considered for hunting. These are more for the occasional hunter who may also want to carry the knife for daily use. Folding knives are not as strong as a fixed blade by design. However, they are much easier to carry in a pocket or on the belt in a small sheath.

Blade Styles

The next issue we’ll address will be blade style. The four main hunting blade designs are the drop point, clip point, skinning, and caping designs.

Drop Point

The drop point knife is an excellent design for the big game hunter. This design generally features a robust, curved blade of relatively thick steel. These features allow the user to cut the skin off the animal using the entire edge of the knife, rather than just the point. This allows for quick skinning and very little damage to the meat. The design of the drop point also allows for other field cleaning tasks such as gutting and the splitting of the rib cage or pelvis, although a saw or hatchet is the preferred method for the latter two tasks.

Clip Point

Another style of hunting knife is the clip point. The clip point has a somewhat thinner blade than the drop point and has a much more defined point. Most bowies are examples of clip point knives. The flatter blade is more utilitarian in nature and will fit the needs of the majority of hunters, especially those wishing to use the knife as a general duty work knife and not a dedicated hunting knife. The clip point design will perform all of the tasks the drop point will, only not as efficiently. For the occasional hunter this is the perfect design.


The skinning knife is designed to aid in the removal of the skin of big game animals. They tend to have a highly sweeping blades that are designed to effortlessly separate the flesh from the skin. A dedicated skinning knife can be a real time saver for those big game hunters that do the butchering themselves. An added bonus is that the skinning knife can do most of the other game cleaning chores as well as the clip point or the drop point designs.

You will be able to view more information at


A knife that is often overlooked is the caping knife. It is used for “caping” big game animals for mounting. When preparing a trophy for the taxidermist, it is important that the hide be preserved for a neck or shoulder mount. Some beautiful trophy animals have been ruined by a hunter using the wrong knife to prepare the animal. Caping knives are dedicated to this task. They are a relatively small knife with a very fine blade.

A note about caping is in order. Do not wait until you have an 1100 pound 6 by 6 elk down to attempt caping for the first time. Practice on smaller animals before you try it on your trophy. It would be a shame to have to to to an antler or skull mount because you messed up. Caping is not difficult, but to do it well requires practice.

Gut Hook Variation

One of the variables you will see in blade design is the gut hook pattern. The gut hook is used by making a small incision with the main blade and then by using the hook to cut open the abdomen. The hook prevents the hunter from “paunching” the animal and possibly affecting the quality of the meat. They do work and it is strictly a matter of personal preference as to the need for one. In the event that you do want the added security that the gut hook provides, they are very similar in price to non-gut hook knives. Be careful when using the gut hook for field dressing. A slip upwards on the handle is an occasion for stitches.

An alternative to purchasing a knife with a gut hook blade is to purchase a separate unit. Some manufacturers offer relatively inexpensive, easily transported units with replaceable blades.

Handle Material

Many hunters put a lot of thought into the blade design of their hunting knife, but put very little thought into the material of the handle. The classic wood, bone, or leather handles are very functional and appealing to the eye. However, don’t overlook the newer handle materials, although not as pleasing to the eye, rubber and other composites merit a look. The newer handle materials offer greatly enhanced control in adverse conditions offering the hunter a greater degree of safety.

Sheath Material

After the blade material, blade design, and handle material are decided, we now move on to the sheath or scabbard. Again, traditional leather is very functional and pleasing to the eye, however, in damp or wet conditions the man-made materials are much more durable. The chemicals used to tan leather will stain most carbon steels and some stainless steels. If you opt for leather, do not store your knife for long periods in the sheath.

Final Thoughts

Your choice of a hunting knife is a very personal one. That being said, you may decide a single knife will not do everything you need to do on your hunt. You might opt for one of the multi knife packs offered by some manufacturers. These are an option bearing in mind that you will have to carry them with you to be of any service.

Happy Hunting!

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Why not carry big folding knives?

This is just a show and tell of my mega folders. With extra reach, intimidation, and damage possibilities, why not carry a big folder? If it's legal for you …

FourPoundHammie asked What’s a good rescue knife I could carry on me for long drives?

Not sure if resuce knife is what you call them. I’m saying what’s a good folder knife that has seat belt cutter, glass breaker, plus the knife blade?

And got the following answer:

nothing past 3 inches anything after that is illegal to have on you

Matt S asked What kind of knife do you use fort a hidden blade?

I was just wondering what type of knife you use for hidden blade?
I collect knifes so I am not planing to assassinate anyone. I just want one.

And got the following answer:

I have a Benchmade for my carry knife, always clipped on the inside of my left pocket. It’s a 10300SB folder, no plastic on it anywhere, and it’s two solid chunks of high quality steel, with a tough black finish. It uses a cam type locking system, there’s a flat spot on the hinge of the blade, and a tab on the frame falls over it to lock it very, very firmly. Pressing down and at an angle will easily unlock it. When I got it, it set me back $40, and if I had to get it again I’d pay twice that. It’s just that it’s been that good of a knife to me.

Rick asked What’s the value of a Knight’s Armament SK-02 knife?

I have a black Knight’s Armament SK-02 folder knife that I want to sell. I was just wondering what the value of it was. I can’t seem to find anything on google. Thanks.

And got the following answer:

try looking for simmular on ebay

Matt asked How to sharpen a hunting folder knife by buck?

I have this knife that i just got and i was wondering if someone could give me a link or something that could show me how to sharpen my knife. Another thing is what stones you recomend i use. Please choose the best video and knife ideas. Thanks

And got the following answer:

I always used stones, and for a long time, I hated to use a new knife because I hated to mess up that “keen factory edge” on the Bucks and Cases. After Lansksy, I won’t use a knife prior to sharpening it because I hate that “dull factory edge” on knives!

I purchased one of these Lansky’s and have never looked back. It will put the best edge on a knife you will have. It takes a while (15-30 minutes) to put the “Lansky edge” on a new knife, after that, it takes longer to get the kit out and set up than it does to return a dull edge to razor sharpness.

Don’t bother with the diamond kit, just the basic kit is all you really need.

Steven R asked Remember the original thumb assist to open a folding knife?

Years ago, there was a metal thumb opener that could be attached to the back of a blade on a folder knife like the Buck 110. It was a simple design made of a single piece of stainless and allowed the knife to be opened with one hand, like the knifes of today with a built in one. I am looking to one to put on my Schrade LB7 folder, any suggestions on a source? Thanks, God bless.

And got the following answer:

If I remember right, they were called “flickits” or”flickers”
not sure were you would find one now, but you could check out the custom knife sites

asked What is a good knife for self defense and practical applications?

I am looking for a good knife that would fulfill these roles but I am not sure on what to get. I live in Maryland, and I am looking for a knife that I can openly wear and use when I go on hunting trips and one that I can use to defend myself also. I am looking for a knife that is not serrated and preferably has a tanto blade. My price point is at the max $120. Any ideas?

And got the following answer:

I get it, they look cool. Technically, the point is stronger than other conventional blade types. But it’s a horrible cutter, and the tanto point gets in the way of slicing. And ask yourself, do you need to be stabbing into cinder blocks every day? If not, don’t go tanto.
So please, please, I beg of you, don’t get a tanto.
Here, I’m going to copy and paste my usual answer for you:
Spyderco Tenacious, Manix 2, Persistence, Resilience, Byrd line, Delica, Endura, Military (I especially recommend a spyderco- steel is good and the opening hole, although strange looking,functions great)
Kershaw Leek, Chive, Skyline, OD-2, Junk yard dog, damascus skyline
Kabar Dozier
Cold Steel Voyager, Spartan, Recon 1, Pocket Bushman
SOG flash, twitch
Ontario Rat 1
Benchmade 710, Griptillian, Mini Griptillian, Ritter Grip
Emerson Commander
Sanrenmu 710 (bargain priced chinese knife, good little thing for around $13. This is if you really don’t want to spend that much. Otherwise, ignore this.)

If he likes traditional style knives, look up Case knives. A stockman or whittler pattern is very useful, but these are in the range of 50-90 bucks. IMO, still worth it. (and they’re made in the US with great steel,too.)

If you’re going really cheap, look up rough rider folding knives. Will last quite a while, and the best knives I’ve seen come out of China. The difference between these and the American made ones are that the steel on the Americans’ hold an edge better, and will last longer.

Most of the knives I listed will seem a bit pricey. IMO, it’s worth it- I have to use my knife daily, and I all my suggestions are from experience (yes, I actually do spend that much on knives.)

PS: If you, by any chance, have a $300 budget, get him a Chris Reeve Sebenza. I know, you probably won’t drop that much money on a knife, but I’m just putting it out there that the Sebenza is classic perfection.
You’ve never mentioned if you wanted a folder or a fixed blade.
If you want a fixed blade,

Fixed blades: ESEE Izula. Small, compact, around 35 euros. Great bang for the buck, search the web for it. It’s crazy sharp, you can do custom paracord wrapped handles, look it up on google. The drawback is that its 1095 steel. While 1095 is very durable, keeps its edge for a long time, and can sharpen to a very fine edge, it is more prone to rust than any other steels. Don’t let this worry you, as long as you’re not using it near salt water environments, and remember to wipe the blade after use to make sure its dry.
KABAR BK2 and the BK9. Same steel, 1095. Keep it dry and keep it away from the ocean, it’ll be fine. The BK2 is an all-around camp knife, the BK9 is the chopper. Great blades, still doesn’t bust 80 euros.
Moras: Made in Sweden, dirt cheap. Around 8 Euros each. It’s no chinese crap, however, and don’t be fooled by their “innocent” look. They’re hard use knives, with good choice of designs and steels. Look on ebay, they have both carbon steels, and stainless. It’s always good to have an extra 1 or 2 on hand.
also take a peek at this site. I don’t know if they ship to Europe, though, so look on the net for other suppliers. :…
Ontario knives: Cannot go wrong. Look at the SP-10, it’s also carbon steel, but it’s got a protective black coating, and it’s 45 euros. If not, browse through their site.
You’re going to need a European distributor, though.
KABAR D2: Takes after the classic Marine’s knife, except in D2 steel. It’s semi stainless, so it rusts less easily. If you look up KABAR D2 Destruction test, you can see some guy hammering it through several pipes and cinder blocks before it breaks. I’m holding mine right now, it’s been through hell and back for the past 3 years. Pretty good. Expect around 100 euros.
Swamp Rat:. Research it yourself. They release a new knife every while and then, and the wait is wicked long. However, you can find some floating around ebay.
Busse: High quality stuff, you might not have enough money. As with swamp rat above, they are semi-custom producers and will have you waiting a long time. Try to snag one, though. I bought a Battle Mistress, my wife is PISSED.
Cold Steel: Alright, I’m a bit tired. I’ll leave you to do research yourself. Look for the SRK, the Recon Scout. Also see their line of San-mai steels. The SRK San mai 3 is good, but pricy. It’s got a good balance of rust resistance and edge retention. If you want a machete for clearing brush, look no further. Cold Steel ones are about 25 euros each and are the absolute best.The Recon Scout has my vote here. SK-5 steel has very good rust resistance. They use it in their lines.

Look at ESEE’s line again,

Thomas Child asked Is the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Folding Knife Good?

Just want to know if it is good for price?
Also is the Gerber Freeman Guide Folder Knife Good?
I can get for same price which is better? Are they both good?

And got the following answer:

That bear grylls knife is pretty good like all gerbers in my opinion comes sharp out the box and seems pretty tough not the best but alright for the price

Matt S asked What kind of knife do you use fort a hidden blade?

I was just wondering what type of knife you use for hidden blade?
I collect knifes so I am not planing to assassinate anyone. I just want one.

And got the following answer:

I have a Benchmade for my carry knife, always clipped on the inside of my left pocket. It’s a 10300SB folder, no plastic on it anywhere, and it’s two solid chunks of high quality steel, with a tough black finish. It uses a cam type locking system, there’s a flat spot on the hinge of the blade, and a tab on the frame falls over it to lock it very, very firmly. Pressing down and at an angle will easily unlock it. When I got it, it set me back $40, and if I had to get it again I’d pay twice that. It’s just that it’s been that good of a knife to me.

FourPoundHammie asked What’s a good rescue knife I could carry on me for long drives?

Not sure if resuce knife is what you call them. I’m saying what’s a good folder knife that has seat belt cutter, glass breaker, plus the knife blade?

And got the following answer:

nothing past 3 inches anything after that is illegal to have on you