Hunting Knife Suggestions

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damagi
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Hunting Knife Suggestions

Post by damagi »

I'm looking for a hunting knife for my father-in-law, and figured someone on here might have good suggestions. This is his first hunt, though I expect he will get invited on others. The initial hunt is for wild boar in Texas, and I imagine most other hunts will be in the South (TX, GA, FL, AL, etc).

I want to get him something good quality that will last. Also, any other suggestions for gear that would be essential for him would be appreciated as well. I know there was mention of a hunting pack, so suggestions there would be great too.
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8iowa
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Post by 8iowa »

Marble Arms Co. one of the oldest knife makers in the US is/was close to me in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They made wonderful knives, many of which are now collector's items. Unfortunately they closed their plant in '03 and outsourced production to China.

However, two of their skilled knifemakers have now gone into production themselves. The largest operation of the two is Rapid River Knife Works; http://www.rapidriverknifeworks.com

The second maker is Hess; http://www.itsdan.com

These knives are made with high carbon steel and will hold an edge that can shave the hair off the back of your hand. The good news is that they are not ultra expensive.

I have seen the work of both of these companies and look forward to owning knives from both of them. Don't buy a knife from Cabelas or another big box outfit. Trust me, your father-in-law would absolutely love one of these knives.

Don't buy a stainless steel knife. they are hard to sharpen and will not sharpen to as keen an edge as quality carbon steel.
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cv3
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Post by cv3 »

Knifes are one of those items that you can get many opinions about. I have not hunted for some years now but was an avid hunter for a long time. After owning many hunting knives I settled on the Alaskan series from Cabelas. They are well made and hold an edge. I think they are made by buck. They offer a good selection of hunting and skinning blades. The last one I got was called the Zipper. It was a good all-around hunting, skinning knife. I just past it on to my grandson last year. But I am sure there are others that have found their favorites.
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mbcabinetmaker
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Post by mbcabinetmaker »

I have hunted since childhood and have and have had many knives over the years. I always preferred a knife with a gut hook and my favorite of all of them is a early edition buck similar to the one in this link. Although a little harder to sharpen to perfection it will hold an edge for years. http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?eve ... uctID=3666
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ss50th
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Post by ss50th »

I have to strongly agree with 8iowa. Carbon steel is a must. I have had a Buck (Special) for over 45 years. Unfortunately, it's just stainless and never kept a good edge. Another drawback is the handle which is some type of hard shiny material that gets slippery when wet. When I used to use it (got wise after about 3 trips) I found I had to wrap duct tape around the handle to keep a good grip. Since then it has been used primarily by the wife for gardening. So, my vote.... carbon steel with composite nonslip handle. Buying a cheap knife is tantamount to buying any other cheap tool.
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8iowa
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Post by 8iowa »

Using my Marbles "Plainsman" knife, I've deboned five elk and just last month field dressed and skinned an 8 point buck. The plainsman has a slightly upswept blade with a pronounced wide curvature on the edge coming down from the point. Although considered an "all around" knife, it is a very good skinner. This is the type of knife to look for. I'm not a fan of knives with gut hooks. They are basically good for only one cut, and how many knives do you want to carry with you in the field.

As ss50th said, high quality carbon steel is a must. Stainless cannot be sharpened to as keen an edge, and then is time consuming and frustrating when trying to sharpen it.
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dlbristol
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Post by dlbristol »

I agree the carbon steel is best. I use a Buck that was a christmas gift from 1970( similar to the Plainsman in shape) and I use a gut hook that has a replaceable razor blade in the body. I prefer a more slender blade for skinning. Might be just that I have learned to use this knife, but my son's shorter thicker blade is hard for me to use. I will agree that my older Bucks is hard to sharpen. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" here I suspect.
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Post by pennview »

After field dressing a deer on Saturday, I decided it's time for a new knife. The knife I've been using for years is a USA-made Remington with a narrow, 3 5/8" blade of stainless steel. It's Okay, but a bit too short for part of the gutting process.

I've been looking at the Smokey Mountain Knife Works web site for a suitable replacement as they have probably the largest number of knives available in one place. I came up with about a dozen possibilities out of hundreds of hunting knives they have, but in the style I'm looking for, I found only one made of carbon steel (not counting blades made of Damascus steel), all the others are stainless. I'm partial to Case knives, so perhaps I'll be getting two.

For sharpening knives, I've settled on a Lansky sharpening system. It's about foolproof.
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Post by foxtrapper »

As a hunter and trapper, I guess my advice would be to avoid any knife marketed as a hunting knife, and to think small.

It certainly won't win me any macho points, but my all around favorite hunting/skinning/gutting/field dressing knife is nothing more than an old paring knife. About a 3 inch blade, nice grippy handle. Basic steel that holds an edge, nothing more. No gut hooks, no serrations, no bone sawing on the back, no nothing. Works perfectly. Held in my hand, my finger tip extends just beyond the blade tip, so I can control where it goes and what it cuts, just by feel.
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Post by paul269 »

Don't forget to get him a saw. I use them to cut through the pelvis of the deer. The Sagan is made from a piece of a bandsaw blade. I beleive the inventor started in his garage and IF i remember they are made in the USA. I have one but felt the blade could be about an inch longer. See this link: http://www.sageninc.com/index.html

I also got a Gerber E-Z saw for 1/2 price when a store was closing. It works well. http://www.gerbergear.com/index.php/product/id/272


By the way where in Texas will you be hunting? Public land or private. Here in Indiana deer hunting is great. But I would like to try some other animals, I just dont want to pay $$$$$ for a guide.
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