Unlike the previous articles about knives, that are primarily meant to be used in the kitchen, in today’s article we will take a look at outdoor knives. To be precise, we will discuss what is the best skinning knife for 2021. So if you are a hunter or looking for a gift for a hunter, you have come to the right place. Skinning or skinner knives are very different than the traditional knives. There is also a variety of types to choose from, so it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is the best to buy. Hopefully, I will help you in your decision. Here’s what we will go through:
- Types of skinning knives
- How to choose a skinning knife
- Top skinning knives to choose
Skinning knives are a must whenever you go hunting and need to take care of your trophy. You don’t want to spend ages fighting with your dull knife. On the contrary, you should be looking for a knife that is sharp and gets the job done as fast as possible.
In a hurry? Check out our top picks!
Skinning Knife Types
Let’s get started with the available skinning knife types. There 4 main types of skinning knives:
- Folding knife – Folding skinning knives are great when you need to keep the size of the knife small. Some of the knife models feature special changeable blades.
- Fixed-blade knife – Fixed-blade skinners are what most people know. The only difference between these and other hunting knives is the blade shape.
- Gut hooks – Gut hooks are special knives or more like added features that are used for skinning and for opening the animal’s abdomen quickly without slicing through the organs. For this purpose, the knife features a small hook-like part that slices through the skin. Otherwise, the knife can be used as a traditional skinner.
These are the basic types. One can find also special hybrid types as for example folding knives with gut hooks.
How To Choose The Best Skinning Knife?
We have gone through the basic types of skinners and now we will go through a couple of factors one should consider while choosing the best skinning knife in the world for yourself.
As I mentioned earlier, skinners come in wide variety and selecting the best one for you will largely depend on what you are planning to use it for. For example, a deer skinning knife will be slightly different than a knife used for skinning rabbits.
A good skinning knife will provide comfortable grip which will make sure that the knife doesn’t slip out of your palm. It will most likely have a curved blade, although there are also straight skinning knives. And the most important thing is that the edge should stay razor sharp for a long time.
I would also recommend going for a well-known brand such as Buck Knives. They may be slightly more expensive, but you can be sure that the product will be of high quality.
Top 8 Best Skinning Knives To Buy
In this section, I will present you some of my most recommended skinners. I have picked some of the best models out there according to customer reviews. If you are unsure which knife to get, simply get one from the list.
Benchmade Grizzly Creek 15060-2
- BUILT FOR THE HUNT : The perfect blade size and shape for just about any game cleaning chore, and a...
- WELL DESIGNED: A manual-opening knife with a plain drop-point blade and stabilized wood handle.
- AXIS LOCKING MECHANISM: Ensures safety and a smooth open and easy close
Here we have another knife made by Benchmade. It is as folding hunting knife that features a 3.5-inch blade and a folding gut hook. The closed length of the knife is 4.34. There’s a clip on the handle, which allows you to attach the knife to your belt or pockets.
The blade is made of the CPM-S30V stainless steel which offers an excellent balance between edge quality and rust resistance. The handle is made of stabilized woods. This essentially means that the natural wood was impregnated with synthetic resin. Compared to plain natural wood, the stabilized wood offers better resistance to harsh outdoor conditions.
Juts like pretty much all Benchmade folding knives, the Grizzly Creek is equipped with their AXIS locking mechanism. In this case, it is the manual version. It allows you to open and close the knife single-handedly and is fully ambidextrous.
The knife enjoys very positive reviews from the customers with many of them stating this has become their EDC knife.
If there’s any downside to speak of, it would probably be the price. Benchmade knives are never cheap though so it’s not really surprising.
Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife
- CORROSION RESISTANT - 3-1/8" 420HC Drop Point Skinner Blade has great edge retention, corrosion...
- SKIN LIKE A PRO- The skinner blade is optimized for skinning game. The narrow tip and wide curved...
- CLASSIC AND FUNCTIONAL - The 113 Ranger Skinner is a stylish and performance oriented combination of...
Buck Knives is one of the most popular brands in the US when it comes to outdoor knives. A knife made by this company simply has to be featured in the top list because they make wonderful knives. The 113 Ranger Skinner is no exception with its traditional design, sharp edge, and comfortable handle.
The knife features 3-1/8” drop point blade made of 420HC steel, wooden handle made of American walnut, and it also comes with a leather sheath which can be attached to your belt.
The Ranger Skinner knife enjoys extremely positive reviews from the customers.Check on Amazon!
Piranta Edge Z Skinning Knife
- 12 additional stainless steel #60A blades, 2-3/4"
- Rugged stain resistant ABS plastic handle
- Overall length 7-1/4"
Unlike the Buck Knives model, the Piranta skinning knife by Havalon sports a modern design with plastic handle and changeable blades. The changeable blades are what separates the model from other skinners. The blade is not meant to be ever sharpened, instead, you replace the whole blade with a new one when it gets dull. The price of a set of new blades is about $10 and you will get 12 new blades for that price.
The knife enjoys very positive reviews from the customers. Many of the reviewers are praising the knife for its low weight and razor sharp edge.Check on Amazon!
Outdoor Edge Swingblade SB-10N Skinning/Gutting Knife
- TWO BLADES IN ONE – Blade rotates from hand finished drop-point skinner to a razor- sharp...
- OPENS GAME LIKE A ZIPPER – Special gutting blade cuts underneath the skin to open game like a...
- RUBBERIZED TPR HANDLE – Nonslip black handle is mounted to a study stainless steel frame to...
The third spot in the list of the top skinning knives belongs to a hybrid. The Outer Edge Swingblade SN-10N features a rotating blade for both skinning and gutting. A simple push to the lock button will transform the knife from a skinner to a gutting blade which will open the game with ease.
The blade is made of high quality extra sharp AUS-8 steel which holds the edge for long periods of time. The rubberized handle will provide a firm comfortable grip, with which you can work without fear of the blade slipping off your hand. The knife comes also with a durable nylon belt sheath.
The average score of the SB-10N is among the best. Given its low price, this is a remarkable feat.Check on Amazon!
Benchmade 15001-2 Saddle Mountain Skinner
- Durable CPM-S30V stainless steel
- Contoured handle for secure grip
- Includes leather sheath for protection
The Benchmade 15001-2 Saddle Mountain Skinner is a traditionally shaped skinning knife which features a fixed razor sharp 4.17-inch blade. The modified clip-point blade is made of CPM-S30V premium stainless steel, which gives the blade excellent corrosion resistance, extreme edge retention, and overall durability.
The handle of the knife is beautifully crafted from dymonwood. Along with the knife, a leather sheath will arrive at your doorsteps. Some of the customers reported that the sheath is too tight for the knife though.
The Saddle Mountain Skinner enjoys rave reviews by customers. Most of the Saddle Mountain Skinner reviews praise the knife for its excellently crafted blade. One of the cons of this model is its prices which is well over the 100 dollars mark.Check on Amazon!
Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife with Leather Sheath
- RAZOR SHARP BLADE - Extra Wide 4" 420HC Steel Blade has excellent strength, edge retention and...
- SKIN LIKE A PRO- The skinner blade is optimized for skinning game. The narrow tip and wide curved...
- EXCLUSIVE, ELITE AND LUXURIOUS - Hardwood Cocobolo Handle has curves and palm swells for a...
Buck Knives as a company needs no introduction for those who are interested in hunting and fishing knives. The Buck Knives 0103 Skinner is a fixed blade skinning knife made to meet the highest standards any yet remain affordable.
The blade is made of 420HC steel, which is not the best steel out there, but it will resist corrosion without hesitation. It may have to be sharpened a bit more often than some of the better steels. The length of the blade is 4 inches, which is a traditional length when it comes to skinning knives.
The handle of the knife is made of Cocobola Dymonwood and features a brass pommel/guard. There is also a cheaper variation, which is silver/black and has a Phenolic handle. In my opinion, the wooden handle looks much better.
The knife comes with a genuine leather sheath and is backed by Buck forever warranty.
Overall, the knife enjoys thoroughly positive reviews from its customers. That means you will not make a mistake if you decide to opt for this lovely blade. It’s an excellent choice for hog or deer skinning.Check on Amazon!
Havalon Talon Hunt
Havalon Talon Hunt is a very special knife. Similarly to the Havalon Piranta-Edge knife, it is designed to use interchangeable blades. Unlike the Piranta-Edge, the Talon Hunt is compatible with multiple blades designed for various hunting and fishing tasks.
The knife comes with two 3.5-icnh gut hook combo blades (these are the ones used for skinning), a 5-inch fillet blade, and a 3.5-inch semi-serrated blade. There are also other types of blades available to purchase separately.
The blades are essentially razor-sharp. When they start getting dull, you just replace them. No sharpening involved. Although it would probably be possible to sharpen some of the used blades, it is just easier to get a replacement. The blades can be bought separately or as combo-packs. The 3-pack that comes with the same blades as those included with the knife is about 20 bucks. Not extremely cheap, right? But the knife is just so convenient to carry and use.
One of the customers raised a valid concern – since the blades use a unique locking system, times may come when the blades would no longer be made, and you will be left with a useless handle. On the other hand, this is a pretty new knife and I am sure Havalon is not going to stop manufacturing the blades any time soon.Check on Amazon!
The following knives were recommended in the previous versions of this article. Since then, they have been discontinued. I’ve decided to leave the recommendations here in case you are able to find these knives on Ebay or somewhere else.
Meyerco Mossberg MO2PCBN 2-Piece Set
In the fourth spot, we have a 2-piece set of knives which offer great price-performance ratio. If you decide to go for this set, you will receive a skinning knife with gut hook and a caping knife. To top it off, you will also get a nice leather sheath which can be attached to your belt.
The knives in this set are made of high-quality steel and they hold the edge for a long time, enabling you to use them without frequent sharpening. With polished bone handles, the set is also pleasing to the eye. One thing you should note is that the knives are on the smaller side, therefore they may not be a good choice for someone with large hands.
The set enjoys positive customer ratings. Its score on Amazon is not exactly something to write home about, however, I wanted to include a cheap skinning knife set in the list.
CRKT K700KXP Ken Onion Skinner
Columbia River Knife and Tool knives are well known for their sharpness and high quality build. The K700KXP is crafted from high-quality K110 steel. With the razor sharp edge, it will be extremely easy to slice through any game’s belly.
The knife has a three-quarter tang with a double injected molded handle, and it also comes with nice black leather belt sheath.
With a weight of only 3.7 oz, it is light and easy to use. The average score by customers is not placing the knife among the best-rated skinners, but many of the buyers are praising the skinner for its sharpness and comfortable handle.
Tops Knives Tom Brown Tracker #3
If you have a lot of money to spend and enjoy non-traditional looking knives, you may be interested in this one. This is the most expensive models you will find in our buying guide. It’s not designed to serve only as a skinning knife but as an all-round survival/hunting knife.
The full tang knife is fitted with a 5.5-inch blade made of ATS-34 which is high-grade steel. It’s not the best steel in terms of corrosion resistance, but it’s great otherwise. The blade has black traction coating, it’s wide, and also features a saw-back. The handle is made of Micarta.
Black belt clip sheath with a survival whistle is included. The knife is made in the USA. The customer reviews are very positive.
This is it, for now, I will revisit the page from time to time and update it with better options in case I find one. So be sure to check my website in the future.
Last update on 2021-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API