Every experienced hunter knows that a good-quality knife can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. But more often than not, hunting knives act as surgical tools, allowing us to skin various animals with minimal effort and high precision.

For that reason, it’s crucial to choose a reliable and trusted model. Since the market is crowded, this can be easier said than done. However, our comprehensive overview of the best hunting knives will point you in the right direction.

By scouring the market and consulting the experts, we separated the best blades from the rest. So, without further ado, here are the knives that dominate the scene in 2021.

1. Buck 658 Pursuit

To kick off the list in style, we go to a famous American company. Believe it or not, Buck has been in the knife-making business ever since 1902! Therefore, it’s not surprising to see its models on the list of the best. We decided to present you with Buck 658 Pursuit, a breathtaking blade that is as reliable as it is sharp.

In essence, it’s hard to find flaws with this hunting knife. Buck 658 Pursuit offers everything you could need from a skinning blade. It all starts with the high-end S35VN steel blade. With a satin finish, this corrosion-resistant area will hold the edge for decades. Speaking of longevity, Buck provides its famous Forever Warranty on this product as well.

This full tang knife is 8-inches long, and it features a drop-point style. Also, fixed-blade construction offers maximum stability and control. Of course, it’s down to preference whether you’ll opt for a fixed blade or a foldable knife. Either way, Buck 658 Pursuit is sharp and ready to cut at a moment’s notice.

Also, we are talking about one of the lightest hunting knives on our list. Precisely, the weight of this model is 3.3 ounces, making it convenient and super-portable. Buck 658 Pursuit comes with the Versaflex handle, glass-filled nylon with a bright color scheme. As expected, the handle offers a comfortable grip thanks to its contoured shape. Plus, you’ll get a heavy-duty polyester sheath with a belt loop if you decide to go with Buck 658 Pursuit.

2. DiamondBlade Pinnacle G10

The next entry on our list might not come from a century-old company, but it deserves a place among the best. Launched in 2003, DiamondBlade is a relatively young knife-making brand. Nonetheless, this doesn’t stop them from making next-level hunting knives, such as the cool-looking DiamondBlade Pinnacle G10.

So, what makes this model so appealing? For starters, we could mention the high-carbon D2 steel, which allows DiamondBlade to manufacture great blades. The advanced friction-forging technology is as innovative as it is efficient. With utmost care, the experts at DiamondBlade are hand-crafting these blades, creating shaving-sharp hunting knives.

With its fixed blade and drop-point style, DiamondBlade Pinnacle G10 is another classic model. Shorter than the previous ones on our list, this hunting knife offers even more precision and control. However, this tapered, full-tang model weighs more than Buck 658 Pursuit. Precisely, the length of the Pinnacle is 7.25 inches, and it weighs 4 ounces.

Best of all, this knife comes equipped with an oiled split-grained cowhide sheath. On top of that, we should mention the two custom-made mosaic pins in the handle. You’ll also get a lanyard hole at the end of the handle to boost the points for convenience and usability. With a bit of practice and skill, you’ll become a skinning champion in no time with the help of the DiamondBlade Pinnacle G10.

3. Kershaw-Emerson 6031

Now go back again to time-tested companies, i.e. to an all-American brand that has been in the business since 1974. Many of its award-winning models have reached iconic status. But for 2021 and beyond, we recommend opting for Kershaw-Emerson 6031. Kershaw knows how to make a high-quality blade, and this hunting knife more than proves this point.

Namely, Kershaw-Emerson 6031 features a heat-treated stainless steel blade. This carbon-rich steel has a stonewashed finish, making it attractive and appealing. With its big-bellied tanto blade, this knife differs from the rest on our list. Nevertheless, it will get the job done, whether you are processing game or slicing through the seatbelts to get out of the car.

Also, the hefty handle of this hunting knife makes it heavier than most (5.76 oz). Even so, the textured G-10 handle on this Kershaw model provides a comfortable grip at all times. It even comes with epoxy-filled glass.

Unlike the previous model on the list, Kershaw-Emerson 6031 has a wave-opening feature with a reversible clip and a secure lock. Thus, it will not take too much space in your hunting backpack. Sooner than you expect, this state-of-the-art knife will become your go-to tool for skinning and cutting.

4. Benchmade Hidden Canyon

Our list of the best hunting knives for 2021 would not be complete if we didn’t offer an all-rounder. Thus, we bring you the versatile Benchmade Hidden Canyon, a hunting knife that can help with many outdoor tasks. Straight from the forests of Oregon, this fixed-blade knife brings an ergonomic design with a super-sharp blade.

Best of all, Benchmade Hidden Canyon weighs next to nothing. With only 2.81 ounces, this model is perfect for daily carry. Plus, it features a lanyard hole and a super-sturdy leather sheath.

Compact and sturdy, Hidden Canyon offers effortless cutting and excellent edge retention. The secret lies in CPM-S30V steel, which stays sharp for ages. This model is effective on smaller species as it is on big game, making cutting tasks a joy to perform.

With a drop-point style and straight blade edge, this classic hunting knife features a time-proven design. Of course, the essential aspect of Benchmade Hidden Canyon is the control it provides. Two screws stabilize the handle, and the bite-sized blade offers top-notch manoeuvrability in tight spaces. For that reason, we recommend this eye-catching hunting knife to novice hunters, boy scouts, and anyone passionate about outdoor survival.

5. Gerber Vital

In the end, we wanted to mix it up a bit and show you a different version of hunting knives. Precisely, Gerber Vital is an all-purpose pocket knife that should be a part of your gear. No matter if you are hunting deer, moose, or caribou, this handy device will go through fur like a hot blade through butter.

In essence, Gerber Vital is a foldable knife, but there’s a twist to it. Precisely, this model features an ingenious spring-loaded mechanism, allowing you to replace the blades with ease. You can change them on the fly by pushing the button on the side of the knife. The so-called Split Sec Tech is a system that works like a charm, and you’ll get six extra blades when buying this model.

If that’s not enough, we should also mention that Gerber Vital comes with an orange-colored rubber handle. Aside from offering a comfortable grip, the handle helps with spotting the knife in the grass. Gerber Vital is 9.5-inches long when fully opened, making it the longest hunting knife on this list. However, it weighs only 3.2 ounces, which offers convenient carrying and ultimate ease of use.