Best Folding Hunting Knives – 2019 Knife Buying Guide

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In any outdoor situation, you’ll most likely need to use your knife at some point. You can either go for a fixed blade knife or a folding blade knife.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various benefits, features, and downsides of a folding blade knife as well as several folding knives that we think are some of the best currently on the market.

Comparison Chart of the Best Folding Hunting Knives

PRODUCT
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Ontario RAT Folding Knife

  • Lightweight
  • Made from steel
  • Four-way clip mechanism
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Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

  • Liner Lock
  • Nylon sheath
  • Finger grooves for better grip
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Havalon Piranta-Edge

  • Easy to handle
  • Plenty of backup blades
  • The orange color makes it hard to lose
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Arbolito Venador Fixed Blade Knife

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Strong yet small blade
  • Easily stored in any pocket
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Kershaw Blur, Olive/Black Pocket Knife

  • Great fitting pocket-clip
  • Decent grip in any climate
  • DLC coating for extra strength
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Victorinox Swiss Army Hunter XT

  • Multiple tools on offer
  • Lightweight construction
  • Has a lanyard attachment
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Why You Need a Folding Knife While Hunting

A folding blade knife has a range of benefits, many of which are the generic benefits that a great knife can give you, but also numerous unique benefits that only a folding knife can provide. The following section will discuss these benefits in greater detail.

Compact

A problem with fixed blade knives is that they aren’t the most compact options on the market. You’ll be carrying them around in a sheath and they’re much larger than your average folding knife. This is where the benefits of a folding knife come in. You’ll be able to fold it over and keep it in your pocket or in a smaller compartment of your bag, where it’ll take up a lot less space.

Havalon Piranta-Edge

Safety

Folding knives are a lot safer than other types because you can fold them into a position where the blade edge is not exposed, meaning that there is much less risk of falling and seriously hurting yourself from accidentally slashing yourself on a fixed blade. Furthermore, they usually have a smaller blade, which would cause a lot less damage if you by any chance fell on your unfolded knife.

Great For Detailed Work

You should always carry a knife while hunting; they can help you with more detailed activities like cutting up the various parts of any game you’ve caught. By using a smaller blade, you’ll get to the parts where larger blades just couldn’t reach without making a complete mess of the job.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Like all great products, there are many aspects to a successful folding knife. To find yourself one of the best, you should read the next section carefully, as this will help you find one of the best folding knives on the market.

Locking Mechanism

Safety and compactness are two of the main benefits of a folding knife. However, these aren’t possible without a suitable locking mechanism that holds your blade in place when not in use and keeps it locked when you’re carving something up. This is important as over time the locking mechanism might wear away and become loose, which makes those benefits obsolete.

Kershaw Blur Pocket Knife blade held in place with a secure liner lock, giving the knife a slim, sleek and stylish design while keeping the blade secure and the user safe.

Blade Quality

The blade quality of your knife is one of the more important aspects of your knife, as this is what’s going to be doing all the work. You need something strong and sharp to do the job right; a material like stainless steel is what you should be going for and nothing else.

Consider The Situation

Something to be considering is what jobs you’ll be using your knife for; will it be carving, killing, or just general hunting stuff? Different situations will require different varieties of blades; if you’re using your knife to chop wood and keep a fire going, a larger fixed blade option would be best.

If you’re looking to carve up your animal without making a mess of it, a smaller, folding blade would be much more beneficial; it would be best to carry both fixed and folding blade knives with you while hunting.

Quick Take | Best Folding Hunting Knives

Just looking for the top three best folding hunting knives? Here they are:

  1. Ontario RAT Folding Knife
  2. Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife
  3. Havalon Piranta-Edge

Review of the Best Folding Hunting Knives

The most important part of our article is when we review each of the products that we believe to be the best on the market. The following section details folding knives that we consider to be elite options.

Ontario 8848 Rat Folding Knife (Black)

PROS

  • Portable and convenient
  • Lightweight
  • Durable blade
  • Great detailed work

CONS

  • Small blade
  • Some prefer heavier blades for more cutting power

This folding blade is great for any hunting trip; the lightweight construction only counts for five ounces, making this blade easy to carry around. You’ll have four different positions to play around with, which will benefit you mainly when carving up any game that you’ve successfully hunted.

The steel material should be a standard in all knives, as this will promise you a long-lasting life. Other features include the open construction, which allows you to clean in and around the full knife, as well as the lanyard hole, which enables you to carry this around your neck and ensure that it doesn’t get lost.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to this folding knife that make us confident in choosing it as the best. The lightweight design means that you can carry this blade around with ease in your bag or on your person.

The lightweight material doesn’t sacrifice the durability either; this product is made from steel, which is what the strongest of knives are made from today. The four different locking mechanisms will allow you to carry out detailed carving work on your game animals without damaging the fur or other priority parts.

The only downside to this knife is that the blade is only 3.5 inches long, which is quite small. However, this is key for more detailed work. There’s also a weight concern; some consider it ideal to have a heavier blade that can contribute extra cutting power.

Best Gerber Folding Hunting Knife:
Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife

Gerber Freeman Guide Folding Knife, Fine Edge, Drop Point [31-000591]

PROS

  • Nylon Sheath
  • Decent weight and length
  • Strong locking mechanism

CONS

  • Dual locking position

This Gerber folding knife comes from an extremely reputable brand that has previously worked with survivalists like Bear Grylls to develop the perfect knives and equipment. The lightweight and portable design of this folding knife allows it fold perfectly into its nylon sheath. The TacHide Onlay was added for good measurement to provide perfect grip in any situation.

The single position locking mechanism means that you’ll be able to rely on the device being secure at all times. The finger grooves are a feature that helps your grip in situations like heavy rain or snow and works perfectly with your TacHide Onlay. The weight of the knife is 6.6 ounces and the blade length is 3.6 inches, both great for detailed jobs and providing some extra support when cutting.

Bottom Line

This folding blade knife was designed by one of the world leaders in outdoor equipment. The length and weight will be beneficial to anyone who needs to work with small game animals making detailed cuts.

The locking mechanism is also a great advantage, as you won't suffer from any movement like other folding knives out there. The nylon sheath is also something that will allow you to safely secure and carry your knife at all times. The only disadvantage with a dual locking position is that there isn’t much to offer when you’re needing to cut from a different angle or difficult position.

Best Folding Knife for Deer Hunting:
Havalon Piranta-Edge

Havalon Piranta-Edge with Blaze Orange Handle with 12 Additional Crazy Sharp Blades (Piranta-Edge Orange)

PROS

  • Can’t be lost
  • Great for detailed cutting
  • Plenty of additional blades

CONS

  • Blades are thin

This knife is currently the best deer hunting knife on offer, mainly due to the fact that each of the 12 blades provided are made from stainless steel. The fine, sharp blade will be perfect for cutting up any deer that you’ve successfully hunted.

The easy-grip, bright orange handle makes sure that your hand won’t slip and the chances of losing it are fairly low. If you ever want to switch blades, you’ll have the choice of 12 additional blades that can be easily replaced.

Bottom Line

This knife is quite possibly the best when it comes to deer hunting. The bright orange color is great for keeping track of where your knife is; it even has a pocket clip to keep it close by. The reason why it’s the best for deer hunting is because of the fine, sharp blades that are used to cut the meat.

Another advantage is that you’ve got a great supply of backup blades that come with the product. The only problem that you might have with these blades are that although they’re stainless steel, they’re extremely thin, which might be a problem when applying some more force as they could easily snap. This might be why you get an additional 12 blades with your purchase.

Best Boker Folding Hunting Knife:
Boker Plus 01BO600 Nano Folding Knife

Boker Arbolito 02BA313G Venador Fixed Blade Knife with 5 in. Bohler N695 Steel Blade

PROS

  • Light as a feather
  • Strong steel material
  • Portable and compact
  • Great for detailed cutting

CONS

  • Can easily be lost if dropped
  • Can be too small for certain tasks

This small blade is the best of its range and possibly the most compact on this list because of the tiny 1⅞ inch blade. The blade itself is made from stainless steel and can be secured on to your pocket with the removable pocket clip that can be adjusted into pointing up or down.

One of the main attractions to this blade is the frame locking mechanism, which is great at preventing accidental closing. You’ll also notice that the knife is extremely lightweight as it only weighs 2.9 ounces, which would make it the lightest knife on this list.

Bottom Line

This knife is one of the smallest on the market; this can offer a whole host of benefits, with one of the greatest being that it’s great for detailed cutting work like skinning an animal.

Another advantage is that it is so small that it can be stored anywhere on your body or your bag; the light frame also adds to the convenience. You might think for such a small blade that the durability is poor; however, quite the opposite is true, as the thickness of the steel blade is enough to keep it from becoming damaged.

The only downsides with this product are that it can be too small for certain hunting tasks, as it’ll take longer for this knife to complete them, and that if you ever did drop this knife, it would be difficult to find again or even notice that it fell because of how light and small it is.

Best Small Folding Hunting Knife:
Kershaw Blur, Olive/Black Pocket Knife

Kershaw Blur, Olive/Black Pocket Knife (1670OLBLK); 3.4' Black DLC-Coated 14C28N Steel Blade, Olive Anodized Aluminum Handle, Black Trac-Tec Inserts, SpeedSafe Opening, Reversible Pocketclip; 3.9 OZ

PROS

  • Pocket-clip
  • Easy to clean
  • Reinforced material
  • Good grip in any climate

CONS

  • Really small
  • Can be uncomfortable

This specially designed knife was created with high-performance steel and an additional diamond-like carbon coating, which offers extra strength and decreases the chance of damage. The steel itself is also formulated with extra nitrogen to give it a stronger internal structure.

The aluminum handle is resistant to scratches and stains. For extra grip, there are Trac-Tec inserts, which provide additional friction when cutting. The pocket-clip is another attractive feature that will keep your knife secure and decrease the chances of you losing such a small knife.

Bottom Line

This is the smallest and best blade that we can find in the vast realm of folding knives. It has many benefits provided by its various features, such as the pocket-clip that makes it easy to keep track of when moving through the forest. The durability of the material used should never be brought into question, as this blade has some serious reinforcement from both the added nitrogen and DLC coating.

Another standard for every knife should be great grip, even in poor conditions; that’s exactly what this knife has to offer, not to mention that it’s really easy to clean thanks to the open construction. Some users have commented that it can’t be used for jobs that larger folding knives might be able to carry out due to its small size. Another downside is that it can become really uncomfortable after being used for longer periods.

Best Folding Hunting Knife with Saw Blade:
Victorinox Swiss Army Hunter XT

Victorinox Swiss Army Hunter XT Knife with Pouch, 111mm, Orange

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of tools to offer
  • Easily portable and compact
  • Can be used in almost any situation

CONS

  • Thin blade
  • Bulky design

This multi-purpose tool can be used in a variety of different situations because of the different accessories attached. With this purchase you’ll get a serrated gut hook, one-hand locking blade, Phillips screwdriver, bone saw, lanyard, and black nylon pouch.

The nylon pouch is a durable option to carry your multi-purpose tool around safely and securely. The rubber handle is great at stopping your hand from slipping and will offer great grip during some of the harshest weather. The lightweight tool is only 5.4 ounces, which makes the product feel almost featherlike.

Bottom Line

This product can offer plenty of tools and even save you from many different situations that you might face when hunting. The lightweight body of the tool is what makes it so easy to carry around as well as the nylon sheath and lanyard that come with it. The bright orange color means that you’ll never lose this tool in the woods.

The only downside with this knife is that because of the different tools it contains, the body is quite bulky, meaning that it might be too thick to fit comfortably in your pocket. Also, the blade on the tool is still quite thin, so this could be easily snapped under force.

Conclusion

There are many considerations to think of before going full steam ahead and getting any folding knife you can find. If you haven’t purchased a knife on our list, we hope that with our help you are now on your way to finding your perfect folding blade knife. 

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