Have you ever been in a situation where you had to skin an animal or cut through some pipe in the woods? It is challenging to cut through a large animal in the woods using the wrong type of knife and without external help. Your game begins to lose its color and freshness.
A good skinning knife makes the job a lot easier than using a chef knife or any other knife. All the knives listed in this article will help you get the task done, so be rest assured that you will find the right product from our top 6 best skinning knives. Let’s get started with the reviews;
Review of the Top 6 Best Skinning Knives 2023
Benchmade – North Fork 15031-1 Knife
Topping our list is Benchmade – North Fork 15031-1 Knife. This compact skinning knife is made of durable CPM-S30V stainless steel and is engineered to 58-60 Rockwell hardness. The 2.9-inch drop point blade is perfect for handling all skinning and processing tasks. It comes super sharp right from the box and retains its sharpness.
This USA-made knife is resistant to rust and is impervious to heat and moisture. Moreover, this arguably best skinning knife is sturdy and features a wooden nonslip handle that is comfortable to grip and use. The handle is made of Dymond wood, which is covered with resin for durability.
Although this product does not come with a sheath, it is lightweight and foldable to a compact size of 3.90 inches, making it safe and easy to carry about during various hunting games activities.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Perfect gift
- Recurve blade
- Axis lock system
- Rust resistant
- Fairly pricey
JEO-TEC Nº51 Bushcraft Survival Camping Hunting Fishing Outdoor Knife
This heavy-duty skinning knife is made of JEO-TEC patented Molybdenum-Vanadium stainless steel. It is handcrafted, heat-treated, and inclined to 56-58 Rockwell hardness, that is foolproof against stain, rust, and corrosion. The other side of the blade features some indentations, creating an elegant design.
The black micarta handle is crafted with several materials, such as linen, canvas, wood, and paper. An epoxy resin is used to hold them together at an extreme temperature, making it shock resistant and offering a good grip even with wet hands. This product comes in a solid leather case for convenient storage.
Also, this skinning knife is a must-have for hunters, explorers, campers, and fishers. It comes with fire steel, which makes it easy to start a fire when necessary.
- Nice leather sheath included.
- Sturdy handle
- Fire steel included
- Money-back guarantee
- Not foldable
Benchmade – Griptilian 551-1 Knife
Are you looking for a skinning knife that is suitable for everyday usage and heavy jobs? This Griptilian 551 model from Benchmade is built to handle heavy-duty tasks such as cutting through wild animals, copper wires, and more with ease.
The knife arrives incredibly sharp straight out of the pack and holds its edge longer than many other skinning knives. This product is crafted from premium CPM-20CV stainless steel that is highly resistant to rust, making this knife an excellent option for daily use.
The G-10 handle feels perfect in the user’s hand all the time. It is comfortable to hold even when your hands are wet. The color combination of the handle makes it attractive and unique. This product features a reversible tip-up clip position and a lanyard hole. It can be unfolded and secured single-handedly, making it suitable for ambidextrous use.
- Ergonomic grip
- Sturdy construction
- Axis locking mechanism
- Razor-sharp blade
- Uneven blade grind
Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife
Morakniv Garberg boasts of a stainless steel blade that is alloyed with carbon for longer edge retention and exceptional sharpness. The blade is 3.2 mm thick and can withstand tough jobs.
The durable polyamide handle is full tang to the knife blade for stability and durability. It is nonslip and offers a firm grip even when handling tough tasks. Thanks to the click lock on the protective sheath and belt loop. You can easily carry this knife in your pocket as you go hunting without fear of the knife dropping, and the belt loop offers extra security.
The overall length of the blade, including the handle, is 9 inches. However, the unrefined spine is sharpened to 90 degrees, making it compatible to use with fire steel.
- Durable polymer sheath
- Full tang
- Features a Hypalon belt loop
- Limited lifetime warranty
- High-carbon stainless steel blade
- Firestarter sold separately
ESEE-6 Fixed Blade Knife
Next in line is a high-quality knife from the ESEE collection in 2020. This product is constructed with a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design. It features a 3D handle, sheath, and a razor-sharp blade edge. This knife needs to be cared for regularly to prevent the blade from rusting. It must be oiled and cleaned after each use.
This US-made skinning knife weighs 18 pounds with the sheath. The handle offers superior control when using the knife and is comfortable to work with for hours. Also, the polymer case holds the knife blade securely when not in use.
The cutting edge has an overall length of 6.50 inches and features a thickness of 0.2 inches. The drop point blade has a textured powder coating, which creates a glossy finish. Plus, the G10 handle has a 3D contour and comes in various colors to match every user’s taste.
- Ambidextrous Polymer Sheath
- Available in six colors
- Stays sharp
- Includes a protective case
- Requires utmost care
Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife
Last on our review is the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife. It boasts of premium quality carbon steel that is alloyed to tackle tough jobs with ease. The blade edge features a scandal grind, which makes it sharpen quickly and retain its edge longer. Aside from skinning animals, this product is suitable for carving, batoning, cutting, and more.
However, the extra-large handle provides a high-friction grip that ensures greater control and enhances performance. The knife has the perfect heft and sits comfortably in the user’s hand, even when oily or wet. This made-in-Sweden knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
This product comes with a color-matching sheath, which makes it easy to find when misplaced. Also, it features a drain hole and a belt clip for safe carrying.
- Easy to sharpen
- Durable plastic case
- Suitable for all kinds of heavy tasks
- Sturdy handle
- Rust easily
What To Look For When Selecting The Best Skinning Knife
If it’s your first time purchasing a skinning knife, you would be unsure of what to look for. However, we have compiled a few key factors to look out for when selecting a skinning knife.
The design of the blade you settle for is mostly dependent on your taste and preference. One of the questions you need to answer on your quest for a skinning knife is, do I want a fixed blade or a foldable blade?
The blade designs come with their benefits and flaws. Foldable skinning knives are sometimes referred to as pocket knives. They are easier to carry around in your trousers pocket. But a fixed skinning knife will be dangerous and too big to place in a pocket.
However, fixed knife blades are stronger, easier to maintain, and are better at handling more challenging skinning tasks than foldable knife blades.
A skinning knife needs to retain its sharp edge for a long time, and the type of elements alloyed to make the steel determines its strength. How well a blade stays sharp and how quickly it gets sharpened is determined by the steel.
There is a wide range of steel available in the market. But, the commonly used steels are high carbon steel and stainless steel.
Stainless steel skinners are more resistant to rust, corrosion, and discoloration, unlike carbon steel, which gets rust easily. But they take longer to get sharpened and are prone to chipping. However, high-carbon steel skinners are more likely to withstand extreme use and won’t break easily. They require less honing to stay sharp.
The handle of a knife is one of the essential parts to consider when making a choice. Your hands will most likely be covered in blood when you skin the hide, and you will need a knife blade that is slip-resistant when doing the job. The material and design of the handle will determine how comfortable and how long the knife will last.
If the handle is not well fixed to the blade, it will cause many discomforts when you use it. Ensure the knife handle you pick is either made of wood or a nonslip plastic.
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Whether you are an occasional hunter or an avid camper, owning a skinning knife is a plus for such adventures. We hope you can get the perfect option from our top 6 best skinning knives that fit into your budget.
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.