20 Best of the Best Skinning Knives

Hunting may look like a simple task, but there’s an awful lot of work that goes into it. Hiding your scent, tracking, trapping, and so on.

morakniv knife

Part of hunting is processing the animal. Part of processing the animal is, of course, to remove the hide – to skin the animal. With that in mind, if you’re going to go hunting you need to have the best hunting knife or knives that you can get.

There’s nothing worse than finally catching something, and being unable to cut through the hide, muscle, sinews, and fat. A flat-ground blade with a sharp edge will cut smoothly through the skin without getting snagged on anything.

As far as size and blade shape go, that depends on you – but obviously, you’ll have to consider what you’re hunting when you select your blade.

Generally, you want a thin but sturdy blade that’s easily maneuvered with a comfortable, textured handle to ensure a good grip. So, what are some of the best skinning knives on the market? Well, let’s find out.

What is a Skinning Knife and Why do you Need One?

A skinning knife is exactly what it sounds like: a knife designed to skin your kill.

So, why do you need one? Simply put: a dedicated blade makes things a bit easier.

Skinning knives are designed with a wide belly and narrow tip so that you don’t end up hacking the deer carcass into chunks and wasting potentially usable materials (the skin and meat).

What to look for in a Skinning Knife

There are a few things to look for in a skinning knife:

  • Price
  • Durability
  • Steel and edge retention
  • It must be easy to re-sharpen
  • Plain edge blade
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Easy to clean
  • Grip/handle material
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Design
Mora Companion Review Finally

1. Morakniv Companion

Best Budget

Let’s start out with an easy one: Mora knives are popular choices for hikers, hunters, and generally outdoorsy people – and for good reason.

They’re super budget-friendly, they hold an edge really well, and are easy to sharpen in the field if needed.

Additionally, they come in a veritable rainbow of colors and steels allowing you to pick and choose what you want. Whatever you use it for, you can’t go wrong with Mora knives.

The rubberized handle is slightly curved to allow for a secure and comfortable grip and the blade’s Scandi grind makes it perfect for everything from feather-sticking to food prep.

It’s a lightweight piece that’s a favorite for a reason. The only complaint(s) I was able to find about these knives relates to the sheath.


  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Good edge retention
  • Easy to sharpen


  • The sheath looks nice but doesn’t have strong retention on the blade
  • The clip on the sheath isn’t too strong either.

Disclosure: This post has links to 3rd party websites, so I may get a commission if you buy through those links. Survival Sullivan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure for more.

Get one for yourself here.

Benchmade Altitude Review - Ultralight Ultrasuccess

2. Benchmade Altitude

Best Value

The Benchmade Altitude was built specifically with hunters in mind. It’s a full tang blade with a G10 handle which is comfortable to hold onto.

The S30V blade can be a nuisance to sharpen but it has very good edge retention and the knife’s overall lightness makes it ideal for hunting and backpacking.


  • Lightweight and slim
  • Good edge retention
  • Durable construction


  • Can be difficult to sharpen in the field

Get one for yourself here.

Winkler II Blue Ridge Hunter Tribal in Maple - Show for Scale Overview

3. Winkler Knives II Blue Ridge Hunter

This is a pricey one! The Blue Ridge Hunter from Winkler Knives has a comfortable maple wood handle and a durable 80CrV2 steel blade.

It has great edge retention and the black oxide coating on the blade gives it a bit of rust/corrosion resistance.

The leather-lined kydex sheath is durable and keeps the blade exactly where it should be and provides several different carry options.


  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Durable construction
  • Good edge retention
  • Rust/Corrosion resistant
  • Ergonomic handle


  • Very expensive piece

If the price isn’t an issue, and you want one of these, you can get it here.

Havalon Piranta Review and Test

4. Havalon Piranta

Best folder

I first saw this one on an episode of Knife Banter, it’s a folding knife that’s designed with an ergonomic handle and a durable stainless-steel blade for ease of use. It’s lightweight and the blades can be replaced easily enough.

Pros and Cons:

  • It’s lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Good edge retention
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Replaceable blades

The only problem I’ve ever heard about the Piranta is that it’s a bit on the small side for some people.

You can get this one here.

Schrade Old Timer Sharpfinger Review - Best Skinning Knife Under $20

5. Old Timer Sharpfinger

A full tang, clip point blade with a handle designed to allow for an easy, comfortable grip. It’s a good, sturdy blade for camping and hunting; the edge on this one makes skinning an animal quite easy.

If you want this one for yourself, you can get it here.

Wild Turkey Handmade product review after one year of use - WT 2211WB

6. Wild Turkey Skinner

Full-tang, stainless steel construction with a stained camel bone handle, this one is built for small game.

There isn’t any finger guard on this piece, but the blade is broad enough to keep your fingers safe enough while you’re working.

It’s a nice-looking piece which you can get for yourself here.

7. Victorinox VN40532 Outdoor Fixed Blade

Was there any doubt we’d see Victorinox on this list? The company behind the almighty Swiss Army Knife has a wide range of kitchen knives and tools so it’s no surprise that they’d have a variant for the avid hunting and camping crowd.

The handle is a plain, plastic piece that is easy enough to hold onto and the blade is razor-sharp with a slight upward curve to allow for easier use.

Get one for yourself here.

Gerber Myth Field Dress Kit Overview

8. Gerber Moment Field Dress Kit

This two-piece set from Gerber comes with a gutting knife and a smaller skinning knife. They’re both full tang, stainless-steel blades with an ergonomic grip and wide forward finger choil for extra grip.

Now, it’s important to note that Gerber does outsource much of their production work to China so you may need to sharpen these a little more often.

If that doesn’t bother you, get one here.

Buck 113 Ranger Skinner - Unboxing and Review

9. Buck Knives 113 Ranger

Buck knives are a popular choice for hunters and it’s easy to see why. For starters, the Ranger is a beautiful piece with a stained walnut handle and a sharp 420HC Stainless-steel blade.

The company’s boss heat treat improves the strength and edge retention and it’s a comfortable knife to use; aimed at smaller game.

You can get one of these for yourself here.

Buck Knife 103 Skinner Review

10. Buck Knives 0103 Skinner

Apart from being a beautiful knife to look at, this is a beast when it comes to hunting. The blade is razor-sharp straight out of the box and the ergonomic handle provides a comfortable and secure grip.

You get the usual lifetime warranty and boss heat treat for superior strength and edge retention.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with a Buck. Get one for yourself here.

(781) Bear and Son 7 1/8 inch Skinner Stag Delrin Handle BC753

11. Bear and Sons 753 Stag Delrin

Bear and Sons is a company that’s been on my radar for a while now because they make really, really nice, high-quality balisongs.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, high-quality knife to take on a hunting trip, this is a good one to have.

It’s got a great high carbon stainless steel blade and a comfortable handle; it also doesn’t hurt that it looks nice.

You can get this one here.

Case 5” Hunter Fixed Blade Review

12. Case XX WR Leather Hunter

Case had to appear on this list somewhere, they’ve been around for years. This is a series of small, fixed blades.

Each one has a sturdy stainless-steel blade and a comfortable leather handle.

There are a couple of different knives – each with a different blade style – in the series. With an overall length of 6.5-inches, this one is good for smaller game.

You can get this one for yourself here.


A full tang knife with an upswept blade, the MAXAM SKSOT provides ample cutting edge to work with and the curve in the handle allows a comfortable and secure grip.

It comes with a nice leather sheath to make it more convenient to carry.

You can get it here if you like.

ESEE Knives Ashley Game Knife

14. ESEE Knives Ashley

ESEE is well-known for its high-quality blades and great warranty; the range of knives is phenomenal, and the Ashley is another proverbial feather in the cap.

A full tang, 1095 high carbon steel blade, micarta handle, and a nice leather sheath? Sign me up!

It’s designed to take a beating, the micarta handle provides a comfortable, secure grip without tearing up your hands. The blade holds an edge really well and is fairly easy to sharpen.

You can’t go wrong with an ESEE, get yours here.

Hobby Hut HH - 309 Beautiful D2 Steel Knife From Ireland

15. Hobby Hut HH-904

This one is beautiful to look at, a full tang 420C stainless-steel blade with a lovely walnut handle.

The blade provides a good amount of cutting edge and, thanks to the design/shape of the handle, you can get a good grip on the knife while you’re working. It also comes with a nice leather sheath to make it easy to carry.

If you want this one for yourself, you can get it here.

Helle Mandra Knife Review

16. HELLE Knives Mandra

HELLE knives is a Norwegian company that’s been in the game since 1932. They’re known for exceptional quality, beauty, and practicality.

The Mandra has a birch wood handle and a triple-laminated stainless-steel blade. The grind on the blade allows for general outdoor use including hunting and fishing.

It’s not horribly expensive either so if this sounds like something for you…well, you know what to do – just click here.

LT Wright Jessmuk Field use review

17. L.T. Wright Jessmuk

The L.T. Wright Jessmuk weighs 8.6 ounces, has a natural micarta handle, and blade of durable O1 Steel with a Scandi grind.

The handle is comfortable and grippy but not too grippy that it’ll shred your hands. The steel is durable and easy enough to maintain and the knife overall can be used for a multitude of outdoorsy tasks.

Get yours here.

Legendary Uncle Henry 171UH Pro Hunter Knife -- Best Hunting/Survival Knife

18. Uncle Henry Pro Hunter

Okay, let’s se what we’ve got here. Full tang knife with a durable 7Cr17MOV high carbon stainless-steel, Stag bone handle for aesthetics and good grip, a leather lanyard for added security while you work, and a reliable leather sheath to carry it in.

This is a good, budget-friendly option that holds an edge really well and is easy enough to sharpen when needed.

If you want one of these for yourself, you can get it here.

Benchmade Hidden Canyon Hunter Wood Handle Fixed Blade 15017 / unboxing / quick review / comparison

19. Benchmade Hidden Canyon

Ah, the Hidden Canyon from Benchmade. This is a knife that’s popular as both a hunting/outdoorsy knife and a general EDC blade.

The G10 handle is ergonomic and comfortable; and the full tang construction makes it very durable – as long as you’re not messing around with the thing, of course.

You can get your own hidden canyon here.

Benchmade Pardue Hunter Review & Testing #KnifeThursday Ep. 24 | RevHiker

20. Benchmade Pardue

The Pardue has a sturdy full tang construction with an S30V blade. The blade itself holds an edge well and is fairly rust/corrosion resistant.

The micarta handle is ergonomic and grippy without tearing up your hands and adds a pop of color to the overall aesthetic.

Many More to Choose From

When it comes to knives, you can get good-quality blades without making your bank card and wallet scream in terror.

The same is true when looking specifically at hunting/skinning knives but you should be a little more careful.

You can get great knives that are very cheap/budget friendly, but you can also get great-looking knives that are very expensive and could fall apart while you’re trying to work.

As always, I hope you enjoyed the article and found it helpful. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again in the next one. Take care.

skinning knives pinterest

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