Five Features of the Perfect Hunting Knife
by PJ DelHomme
What hunting knife is best? Is it this Buck Pursuit Pro 656? Before you answer, let us walk you through what makes the perfect hunting knife.
1. Full-tang Construction
Folding pocket knives are great for everyday use, but if you’re cutting through hog hide or quartering a deer, you want the strength that comes with a fixed-blade knife. When a knife has a full tang, it simply means the same chunk of metal that makes up the blade runs the length of the handle. The result is a very sturdy knife.
2. Tacky, Bright (and comfy) Handle
Some knife handles are made out of exotic wood from far away lands and look very pretty. Your hunting knife doesn’t need that. It’s a tool to get a job done. Wood handles get slick with snow, blood and guts. Look for tacky material on the grip because an elk’s chest cavity is no place for a slippery handle. And don’t go with a camo handle. Pick a bright color, so you can see it on the snow, in the grass or next to the truck.
3. High-quality Steel
You’re going to pay for good steel, and it’s worth it. There are plenty of steels out there, but two of the most popular for hunting blades are S35VN and S30VN steel. Both of these are about as good as it gets for strength, edge retention and corrosion resistance—a great combination in a hunting knife. Less expensive knives will feature 420HC stainless steel, which means it will be easy to sharpen but not as strong as an S35VN blade.
4. Blade Shape
A blade’s shape can limit a knife’s versatility. A drop point (pictured below), though, is as versatile as a knife shape can get. It’s tough enough to cut ribs from the sternum, and the downward drop of the top of the blade helps to minimize punctures when skinning and field dressing an animal.
5. Rockwell Hardness
This scale is based on indentation hardness of a material. The “RC” for hunting knives runs between 58-61. The higher the RC, the stronger the steel. The trade-off, though, is that stronger steel is harder to sharpen.
The Pursuit Pro 656 just happens to check every box on our list. And since it’s made right here in the USA by our partner, Buck Knives, we have to say, this might just be the perfect hunting knife.