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 of the Best Folding Hunting Knives
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 RAT Folding Knife
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.
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
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.
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 for the Money:
Kershaw Clash Pocket Knife
What Recent Buyers Report
It gained much praise from almost every buyer. A few customers were concerned about the unavailability of the safety feature. Nonetheless, they seemed to be convinced by its blade performance and other qualities like pocket-clip, lock system, and ergonomic design. People also recommended the product to others.
Why it Stands Out to Us
While manufactured with 8Cr13MoV steel, this folding knife offers unparalleled resistance from corrosion. To top it off, the addition of nickel and carbon to steel enhances its toughness and tensile strength.
Behaving as a protective layer, the mixture of aluminum oxide and glass beads ensure the intactness of the product. This knife includes a flipper, which you can push to open the blade on the go. Once it is opened, an intelligently engineered lock system firmly holds the blade in position, thereby avoiding accidental or unintentional closures.
The lock mechanism does not let the blade move unless you deliberately shut it. Moreover, the pocket clip enables the end-user to clip it in his pocket in easy access configurations. Furthermore, with Chinese steel construction and flipper or thumb stud, Kershaw Clash pocket knife is sturdy and convenient to use.
Best Folding Knife for Deer Hunting:
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.
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:
Arbolito Venador Fixed Blade Knife
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Best Large Folding Hunting Knife:
What Recent Buyers Report
Most of the customers favored this knife for activities like hunting, hiking, self-defense, fishing, slicing of vegetables, and many more. What they liked the most is its steel build. Moreover, people also reported positive feedback about the design and overall appearance. All the buyers are happy with their purchase.
Why it Stands Out to Us
Opening it requires very little effort; just press the thumb stud, and the blade is ready to serve you. Moreover, sturdy steel liners keep up the product’s stability while plastic handles above them enable users to get a sound grip of this knife. Carved textures all over the handle reduce the slippery effect while also giving the knife a decent look.
It would be unjust if we don’t talk about its construction. High-grade, stonewashed steel is used for making it, meaning this product will fulfill your need for a reliable and long-lasting folding knife.
Get rid of traditional cutting tools and give this unit a try. Its textured plastic handle allows you to slice, pierce, or cut things with proper balance and control. Moreover, the steel blades deliver precise results, and that too for long without the need for frequent sharpening.
Folding Knife vs. Fixed Blade for Hunting
Folding knives and fixed blade knives both are helpful for hunters in many ways. But there lie some similarities and differences between the two. Due to the differences, people choose one of these according to the requirements or ease of use.
Let’s take a brief look at the comparison between folding and fixed blade knives.
Both kinds of knives incorporate blades made from either stainless steel, carbon steel, or Chinese steel.
There are multiple differences between the two. These include:
The design can be declared to be the main difference between the two. The blade assembly in a fixed blade is non-movable, meaning you can’t slide it under the handle, neither can it be pulled apart.
However, a folding knife accompanies a blade that you can move or even fold it into its own handle when not in practice.
A fixed knife remains open, whether in use or not, so you need a sheath to cover it and make it safe to carry. This, in turn, adds bulk to the knife.
Meanwhile, a folding knife is easier and safer to keep in your backpack or pocket. Hence, it would be a more appropriate pick for regular or random use.
The blade of a fixed knife, being rigid, exhibits unmatched strength and firmness. Therefore, for heavy use, it is recommended to prefer a fixed knife over a folding one.
How to Clean a Folding Knife
Since the job of a knife is to deal with brittle, wet, dirty, and sticky objects, it is necessary to clean it after every use. Cleaning a knife is just a one-man operation, and the things required for it include some Q-tips and toothpicks, a useless toothbrush, sanitizing gel, machine oil, mild detergent, cleaning spray, and some cleaning pads.
1. First of all, scrub off loose dirt from the handle through a toothbrush. Do the same for inner portions of the handle using Q-tips.
Tip: Toothpicks are likely to do this job better than Q-tips, but only when you are sure of doing it without leaving scratches.
2. Use a high-pressure cleaning spray for removing debris from unexposed points. Brush off the dirt, and then wipe the whole knife with a cleaning pad.
3. Now, apply sanitizing gel generously all over the blade. After a few seconds, take a sponge, rub it against the blades and scrape off the sticky grime and grit.
4. Then, mix some detergent in hot water, and immerse the knife in it. With a toothbrush or sponge, gently remove the leftover dirt.
5. Take it out and dry it thoroughly.
Tip: Don’t let water droplets stay on blades, or else the knife will rust.
6. Drop some lubricant into the handle cavity and apply the same lubricant on the blades.
Tip: While lubricating the knife, open and close the blades four to five times so that the fluid reaches every millimeter.
That’s how you can cleanse a folding knife. In case of confusion, be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of what was just described.
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.
People Also Ask
Here, we answer some questions that are generally asked by most knife collectors and hunters. We recommend you to read out this section as it can be informative to you as well.
What is a Folding Knife?
It’s a knife whose blade is capable of folding and settling itself in the handle. And whenever the user wants to use it, the blade simply comes out of the handle, ready for action. A folding knife is more compact and portable because of its foldable design compared to ordinary or fixed blade knives.
How to Loosen a Folding Knife
If its hinges are stiff due to rust, then apply mineral oil to the slits, screws, and the area where the handle and blade are attached to each other. Leave the oil for almost an hour. Then, remove the melted rust along with oil with the help of Q-tips. Follow the same steps regularly for a few days.
If you find gunk to be the reason for the stubbornness of your knife, then use cleaning gel or detergent for its cleanup. Don’t hesitate to use a toothbrush or sponge for cleaning the goop off the surface. Then, lubricate the hinges, blades, and screws well.
How to Open a Folding Knife
If the knife has a thumb stud, open it by pressing the stud with your thumb in the sliding gesture. The folding knives that come with a flipper can be opened with an index finger. Place the finger on the flipper tab and exert some downward pressure onto it. Now, for knives with a hole in the blades, use a finger and thumb to hold the blade and pull it outwards.
How to Lubricate a Folding Knife
A lubricated folding knife ensures prolonged life and performs with efficiency like a freshly purchased one, even after years. For this, you should have a mineral oil of normal viscosity. First, make sure the knife is clean. Then, put two or three drops of oil into each slit, screw, hinge, and on the blades. Afterward, open and shut the knife a few times. Finally, wipe off the excess grease.
How to Close a Folding Knife
A simple folding knife needs both hands to close it. Employ one hand for holding the knife’s frame, and the other one for pushing the blade towards the gap in the handle. In knives with lock liners, push the liners slightly in the forward direction. This action will create more space and reduce tension from the blade, thereby allowing it to move into the slot. Some knives come with buttons that you are supposed to push for closing them.
How to Sharpen a Folding Knife
Take a whetstone or ceramic stone and lubricate it well. Now, hold the knife while it stays in touch with the stone. Make sure one side of the knife is inclined to stone at an angle of about 20° to 25°. Then, glide it over the stone for at least nine times the normal speed. Follow the same procedure for both sides.