Best hunting knives are a must-have for any outdoor adventure. A dependable blade can make all the difference when field dressing or processing game. That’s why the experts at Hunt Alaska magazine have handpicked the finest options. From skinning to butchering, we’ve got the perfect hunting knives for your next excursion.

best hunting knives

Best Hunting Knives

Montana Knife Company (MKC) MagnaCut Speedgoat – Grey

best hunting knives

This was our first season testing any of the MKC offerings and we were impressed. We used the Speedgoat to process several deer. It’s light, tough and functional, featuring a MagnaCut stainless-steel blade. This multifunctional knife weighs a scant 1.7 ounces with a blade length of 3.75 inches and total length of 7.75 inches. So far, the knife has held a sharp edge and shows no signs of corrosion. MKC recently released their Speedgoat 2, which adds some design improvements to the Speedgoat model we tested.

Leatherman Wave +

best hunting knives

Leatherman’s best-selling multi-tool has been upgraded with replaceable wire cutters. It has a total of 18 tools: needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, electrical crimper, wire stripper, plain-edge knife, serrated knife, saw, spring-action scissors, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, large- and small bit drivers, and medium screwdriver. A pocket clip is optional. It is made primarily of stainless steel. The handle edges are rounded and comfortable to use. Overall, this is a well-designed multi-tool.

Leatherman Signal

Our tester, HR Director Ana Taylor, shared, “I’ve kept a Leatherman in my bag since 2000 when the movie Cast Away shook me. So, it was a little heartbreaking when my old Blast went to the repair bench. To replace it, I stepped up to the Leatherman Signal. The Signal includes 19 different tools in one compact body, including all the usuals plus a fire starter and a wake-the-dead whistle. My favorite upgrade: The knife blade opens and closes without having to open the main tool body. The Signal comes in several color options, including an aqua that is bright enough to never lose your tool on the ground again.”

Montana Knife Company Blackfoot Fixed Blade 2.0

best hunting knives

When Master Bladesmith Josh Smith launched Montana Knife Company, he set out to create the ultimate do-it-all knife—small and light enough to pack on a goat hunt, durable enough to completely field dress a moose, and shaped to gut, cape, skin, and debone with ease. He called this flagship knife “The Blackfoot,” and it remains his go-to blade. The handle scales on our test knife were orange and black G-10. The blade length is 3.5” and the overall length is 7.75”. The Blackfoot’s drop-point blade shape is key to its versatility. It has enough tip for easily caping out an animal or doing other fine work (yes, including those difficult tear ducts), but enough belly for skinning and deboning.

The Blackfoot blade is made from cryogenically treated 52100 high-carbon ball-bearing steel, achieving the perfect balance of edge retention, toughness, wear resistance, and easy resharpening. The blade is also Parkerized to a matte-black finish, which minimizes rust and glare. The Kydex sheath weighs 2 ounces and can be adjusted for either horizontal- or vertical carry, left- or right-handed. The reversible quick-attach belt clip also lets you attach the sheath without removing or unclasping your belt. MKC will clean, sharpen, repair, and even reshape your blades when necessary, as well as rewrapping handles free of charge; just pay shipping.

Montana Knife Company MagnaCut Stonewall Skinner

The MagnaCut Stonewall Skinner fixed-blade knife is truly a do-it-all hunting knife. Perfectly curved for skinning, sharp enough for cutting, and stout enough for chopping, the Stonewall blade is as all-purpose as it gets. Though the edge is rounded for easy skinning, it still has a good point for different cutting tasks. MagnaCut steel is highly wear resistant but is easy to resharpen. G-10 scales provide a sure grip even when bloody and are very durable. Overall length is 9.25” with a 4.75” blade.

The knife weighs 5.5 ounces. It comes with a Kydex sheath that allows for vertical- or horizontal carry. The reversible quick-attach belt clip also lets you attach the sheath without removing or unclasping your belt. Montana Knife Company offers free resharpening for all their blades; just pay shipping. Made in Montana.

Benchmade Taggedout 15535

best hunting knives

The Taggedout comes in three configurations: OD Green G10, Carbon Fiber with an orange MagnaCut blade, and Orange Grivory. We tested the Orange Grivory version. It is a slim, very light, folding hunting knife with a 3.5” clip-point blade made of CPM154 Wear Resistant Stainless Steel (58-61HRC). This is an outstanding, light, compact hunting knife well suited to the backpack hunter. The scales are textured and grippy, it has a pocket clip (tip-up carry) and a lanyard hole. Like the Bugout, it comes with LifeSharp Services—they’ll resharpen it to a factory edge for free for the life of the knife.

Benchmade Bugout 535-3

The Bugout has been upgraded to include a milled carbon-fiber handle, premium S90V super-steel blade, and signature blue highlights. It has a 3.24” drop-point blade, a pocket clip (tip-up carry, ambidextrous), and a lanyard hole. This folding knife is great for everyday carry, and the blade is large enough to dress deer-sized game. Like all Benchmade knives, it comes with LifeSharp Services—they’ll resharpen it to a factory edge for free for the life of the knife.

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter

Publisher Marcus Weiner shared the following, “This capable, compact, drop-point bladed knife was a useful tool in breaking down animals in the field in 2023. It features Benchmade’s SelectEdge, which provides a fine cutting edge engineered at precise bevel angles. I used the knife to cape and quarter, and it did the job flawlessly. The blade is made from S90V stainless steel, a metal that offers corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. The handle is made from Richlite, which is a paper composite that is light and strong.

Under the Richlite is a layer of orange G10. The orange G10 makes the knife easy to find. I found that the handle fit comfortably in the hand and provided excellent blade control when caping several ungulates. I especially liked the jimping located in two spots on the spine of the blade—one where your thumb can sit and one where your index finger can sit, giving you two additional options on how to hold the knife when maximum blade control is needed.”