What Is A Skinning Knife?
After hunting a wild animal, you must separate the skin of it to collect meat from the animal, right? For this, you need to use a skinning knife! A skinning knife is just a knife that is specifically used for separating the skin from the meat of an animal. It allows you to do your job very neatly and quickly.
There’s nothing quite like a good day of hunting, is there? You go on a relaxing trip, gather meat from the wild that you bring back home and then decide to unwind for the day. But for the entire thing to end well, you got to make sure you deal with the deceased animal right. So you start off by skinning it, but then you realize the skin isn’t coming off the way it ought to. Yeah……. not ideal. But we might have a solution to your problems. Skinning knives are actually a thing, and once you learn about the best deer skinning knife from us, you will never face that issue again!
4 Best Deer Skinning Knife To Buy For Any Budget
- ✔️ Havalon Piranta Z Folding Blade Skinning Knife
- ✔️ Buck Knives 113 Ranger Skinner Hunting Knife
- ✔️ Havalon Baracuta-Blaze Skinning Knife
- ✔️ SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Huntspoint Fixed Blade
The first name of the list is the Havalon Piranta Z Folding Blade Skinning Knife. This knife comes in two colors of orange and black, because why not right? Orange is the new black after all! Jokes aside, you get to choose between two cool colored handles on the blades. The handles are made of ABS plastic. The overall design of the blade makes it easy to grip as it is quite long and fits comfortably into the hands. The overall length of the knife is 7.25 inches.
The blade itself is a 2 and three-quarter inches long. It is a 60XT blade, which is extremely sharp and literally breezes through the skin. The design of the blade, whereby the edge sharpens as you reach the border of the blade, makes it extremely precise too. In addition, you will also get up to 12 replacement blades with this. Basically, you don’t need to immediately buy a replacement knife or sharpen this blade if it goes blunt, because you will have so many extra blades you can just attach a new one and it will perform as good as new!
The handle consists of a light Zytel composite black handle which is underneath the plastic handle that comes in orange or black. In addition, the handle has side panels made of rubber to make it comfortable to hold. It even includes a thumb stud that can be used to fold the blade out or in smooth and fast with one hand.
For safety, the knife also comes with a liner lock, which prevents children from opening the handle. It also makes sure you can put the knife into pockets and similar tight spaces because you can be sure the knife will stay folded no matter what.
✅ Why do we like it?
- Retains sharpness even after a few uses
- Light and sharp
- Easy to clean
❕ Take a note:
- The blade tends to come off
The Buck Knife 113 Ranger Skinner is another hunting knife that swiftly separates the animal skin from the flesh. The handle of the knife is made of American walnut and has a rustic look and feel to it. It comes with a lanyard hole towards the bottom to hang on a knife hanger. The handle is 4.125 inches in size. It is shaped ergonomically, meaning that your hand fits comfortably onto the knife as you hold it because the base of the handle is larger than the top which connects to the rest of the knife.
The design of this knife is in such a manner that the blade goes through the handle, all the way to the bottom. Right on top of the handles is a brass bolster guard which has a bright gold color and which bulges out slightly. The combination of material and design makes it look quite sleek and stylish.
The blade of the knife is a full tang 420HC Drop Point. It comprises of 3.125 inches in size, the part that is outside that is. This particular blade has good sharpness retention and sharpness. It has a gradual downward curve when the blade goes towards the edge which forms a wide curved middle. which not only makes the cutting portion of the knife sharper but also makes it easier to separate the skin because of the outward curve that skin experiences when the knife is swept in.
The fact that it is angled downward from the handle to the tip also prevents mistakes in cutting unwanted portions of the hide. It is also resistant to corrosion and has great durability. Everything combined, you get a good mix between Buck’s Ranger and Vanguard knives that are smaller and more easily maneuvered. It is also a light 5.2 ounce in weight and comes with a leather sheath to store it in. You can keep it on your belt to make it easily reachable.
It also comes in a lifetime warranty in case anything ever goes wrong!
✅ Why do we like it?
- Consistent cut for each skinning
- Comfortable grip and natural wood feel on the hands
- Shorter blade allows for greater control while cutting
❕ Take a note:
- Needs sharpening after use each time
- Wooden handle not aesthetic to look at
The Havalon Baracuta-Blaze is another unique flip skinning knife. This knife originates from Taiwan. The handles on this knife are made of a plastic-like polymer that is colored orange. The top of the handle has a wide base, which curves inwards to allow for the thumb to be placed there. The thumb-stud is also located in that place, so it is important that the thumb stays there comfortably. Towards the middle of the handle it widens again, and then as it approaches the bottom it first curves inwards and then outwards again. This portion of the handle is what makes it more comfortable to grip onto the handle.
The polymer material also aids in making it easier to grip the knife for longer periods of time. Towards the bottom of the handle, there is a lanyard hole for the knife to be hung on hangers. In the middle of the handle, there is a black rubber insert. Along with the shape of the handle, the rubber insert also aids in comfort gripping. Towards the top of the handle is a pivot which attaches the blade of the knife to the handle and enables the flipping to take place.
The blade itself is made of stainless steel with a satin finish. It is 4.38 inches in size protruding outwards. The knife itself is designed in a manner where the bottom edge of the knife slopes inwards and thins to extreme sharpness.
From the tip of the knife, as it approaches the bottom of the blame, it stays uniform in width until it reaches the end, where the cutting portion of the blade ends and the knife width lowers. Then it expands again on the base of the blade, which is connected to another chunk of steel that is attached to the handle pivot.
The knife comes with five more blades so that you can replace one if it loses sharpness. To go along with it, you also get a black nylon belt sheath so that you can keep it close at hand.
✅ Why do we like it?
- Colorful knife that is eye-catching and pleasing to view
- Lightweight at 3 ounces
- Sharpness retention after more than one use
❕ Take a note:
- Bulky blade
- Poor screw quality
The last name on the list is the SOG Specialty Huntspoint Fixed Blade. The handle on the blade has an extended tang and is made of glass-reinforced nylon and a rubber layer over the nylon. It also comes with an inlay shield. There are two screws on two sides of the handle which hold the blade to the handle.
The entire handle has an uneven surface, with a sand-dune like surface which curves up and then down again. The bottom layer of the handle consists of the nylon which is completely orange in color and has the uneven surface. On top of this is the rubber layer which is black in color, is slightly curved and has the SOG logo in the middle. The rubber is placed in a way so that the orange is visible on the edges and between the bottom, top, and middle rubber segments.
At the bottom is the lanyard hole which is quite large. The handle is 4.6 inches in size, and because of the material and the architecture of the handle, it is extremely comfortable to grip.
The blade itself is 3.6 inches in size and can have 4 different variations that you can choose from, with 2 of them available for skinning. The Blade AUS-8 Steel and the Blade S30V Steel look similar but the AUS-8 is slightly cleaner-looking and whiter. It has a drop-point shape which extends the entire length of the knife. The base of the blade is wide, and then the width reduces and then extends outwards again. Then it has a gradual inward curve all the way to the tip of the blade.
It also comes with a leather sheath that can be attached to the belt. This will mean you can put it near your hands and reach it when you need to.
✅ Why do we like it?
- Longer edge sharpness retention
- Short blade enables greater maneuverability
❕ Take a note:
- Poor quality sheath
What to Look for When Buying a Skinning Knife?
There are several things that you need to take into account when buying best deer skinning knife.
- Length: The first thing you need to think of is the length of the blade. There are pros and cons with the blade length. You primarily need the length of the blade to fit the size of the animal you are trying to skin. If it is too short you cannot skin a larger animal, because you have to make more frequent swoops across the entire area of skin. For example, animals that are larger will require a knife of around 6-inch long, while smaller animals such as rabbits can be skinned by a knife as less as 3 inches in length.
Furthermore, shorter length blades are easier to work with because you can have more control while cutting, but at the same time, you can cover a lot less area of skin. On the other hand, longer lengths can make sure you cover a lot of space in one swoop, but you can accidentally cut off more skin than you may intend to.
You also have to consider the length of the entire knife itself. This is because there needs to be a certain balance in the kind of animal you are skinning and the handle to blade ratio. If the knife is large, but so is the blade, it will make it difficult to handle while skinning. It will also determine the weight, which you also need to consider.
- Folding: Another essential feature of a skinning knife that you should take into account is foldability. If a knife can be flipped, you can essentially put it into tighter spaces and fragile clothing too since you do not run the risk of a sharp edge cutting into the fabric. Carrying folding knives is far more convenient than carrying a fixed knife.
However, do note that most folding knives can be folded because the length of the blade is less. As we discussed above, there are several disadvantages of having a shorter blade which you will also have to factor in if you are looking at buying a folding knife. It is also infinitely better to have a separate knife sheath instead of putting it into your pockets, so you should also take that into account too.
Folding also means that there is an extra component within the knife that can go bad after a period of use. Folding occurs via a pivot, which means there is some form of a screw that attaches a movable piece of steel that attaches to the actual blade. Not only does this make folding knives bulkier, but you may also have to contend with screws going bad more often or wearing away after heavier use.
- Weight: While weights for knives may seem insignificant, it can have a massive impact on how the experience of using a knife feels like. First of all, the weight is determined by the material quality and size of the knife blades and handles. A heavier weight often means that the components are bulky because they are better in quality or sturdier, which is essential in a knife since you would want it to last for a good while. At the same time, a lighter weight can mean that you have better maneuverability with the knife because it is easier to move around.
Furthermore, a heavy knife can be used to more effectively to cut into the skin because the knife has a higher momentum while swooping through. Though it requires more effort, you can have a more thorough cut through the skin. On the other hand, a lighter knife can be used for faster and more repeated sweeps to deskin an animal, even though the cut won’t be as thorough and effective.
- Handle build: The handle build determines the comfort and maneuverability of the knife. This includes both the material of the knife that can be easier to hold onto for a longer time period and also the shape of the handles which, when ergonomic, helps with holding onto the knife easier.
First of all, let’s look at the material. Most knives come in a plastic or rubber-like material. This makes it easier to grip due to higher friction with the palm of your hands. This can help you cut through the skin without running the risk of the knife slipping out of your hands and also prevent excessive sweating caused by heat trapped between the knife handle and your hand. The bad side is that such a handle can cause irritation to your hands and make your hands uncomfortably because all the heat generated by the rubber is transferred to your hands. It is also difficult to remove dirt and stains from such a handle since most soaps aren’t meant to clean rubber material.
On the other hand, simple material such as wood is easy to clean off and is unlikely to warm up your hands while you go through the skinning motion. But you also need to consider the fact that they are slippery and hard to grip for longer spells, making it difficult to hold onto while skinning thicker skins.
Next, we look at the shape of the handles. The shape determines how easy it is to hold on to the knife too. The best shape will have a curvature towards the end of the handle where you can easily place your thumb. It should also have an ergonomic design on the middle of the handle so that your fingers are naturally placed on the handle. However, all of this makes the handle quite heavy.
A simple-shaped handle and a light material can also make it easier to handle the knife, but not as comfortable to hold onto.
- Blade Design: Lastly, you need to see the blade design. The shape and material of the blade determine how easily it pierces through the skin and flesh of the animal.
The blade material will determine how much work the blade can cut before needing to be sharpened or replaced. Most aluminum or steel blades can be used to cut a few times and then need sharpening or replacing. They are also not malleable and maintains the linear shape even when put under immense pressure. However, this tends to make the entire knife heavier as well.
The blade design also matters. There are three types of blade styles. There are clip point knives, drop point knives and trailing point knives.
Clip point knives are built in a way that makes it look like a portion of the blade is chipped out, which makes it ideal for all types of cutting, but not perfect for a particular type.
The drop point blades curves from the tip to the belly of the blade which causes the blade to thin when approaching the tip. This makes it especially good for slicing and preventing the tip from cutting into anything.
The final type is the trailing point type, which is good for skinning. This is because the portion of the blade that cuts has uniform shrinkage as the blade approaches the tip and border of the blade. This means in one motion the skin gets peeled off.
Why Buy Best Deer Skinning Knife?
Skinning knives are better than ordinary hunting knives because of the fact that they are designed uniquely for skinning. This means that they are usually trailing point knives, which have the right blade design to separate the skin and the flesh. They are also often the right kind of build in terms of shape and material finish which is ideal for a skinning knife. For good skinning you want your knife to have stability while you push through the skin, and at the same time make sure they stay sharp for more frequent usage. All of this is present in skinning knives, which is what makes them ideal.
- Where can I get a skinning knife?
A: Most skinning knives are available in stores where you can find hunting supplies. This includes retail outlets, online stores, distributors, etc.
- How should I clean a skinning knife?
A: Cleaning a skinning knife is fairly easy. You can use a glass cleaner for the steel blade while a wet, clean cloth will suffice for most handles. In case of rubber handles, however, it is best not to use any form of liquid. Instead, simple rubbing will do the trick.
- How do I sharpen my knife?
A: You can find knife sharpeners for sale. They come in many price points, so you need to do your research to find the right one for you. With that said, some knife companies do it for a fee too.
That’s a Wrap!
Now that you have the right know-how to buy a skinning knife, it is time to go out there and get one. I’m sure that in no time you will be taking your loot back home and deskinning them really quick really soon. Plus, you can get better quality skin now that you have something that actually does the job right.