With each coming year, more and more people venture into the hunting sport and with deer hunting being what most people prefer to venture in, you owe it to yourself to get the best of every equipment.
As much as you may be having the best hunting weapon, taking down your prey will be quite easy but then comes the hard part- the skinning process. Well, not any of your kitchen knives will do when it comes to this so it is of utmost importance that you get the very best of deer skinning knives.
But here’s the thing…
There are a lot of options of deer skinning knives in the market and things could get a little confusing since there’s a very thin line that separates the best from the worst. This being the case, we have sampled out some of the best deer skinning knives in 2019, a comparison chart of the same and a detailed guide.
So, that being said, here goes the reviews.
- 1 2019’s best tested & reviewed deer skinning knives
- 1.1 Benchmade – Saddle Mountain Skinner 15003-1
- 1.2 Buck Knives 0537RWS Open Season Skinner: our recommendation
- 1.3 Outdoor Edge Swingblaze, SZ-20N: best portable deer skinning knife
- 1.4 GladiatorsGuild 65- Custom Handmade Damascus Steel Skinner:
- 1.5 GladiatorsGuild 64 Custom Handmade Damascus Steel Skinner
- 1.6 DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Skinning Knife: the runner’s up
- 1.7 Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger: best budget deer skinning knife
- 1.8 Bone Collector Hand Made Skinning / Hunting Knife BC808
- 1.9 Old Timer 158OT Guthook Skinner
- 1.10 Rite Edge 8″ Deer Outdoorsman Skinning Knife
- 2 Best deer skinning knife- here’s what to look for
It might get a little bit tricky looking through the top 10 list of the reviews and settling for the best, don’t you agree? So, to make this easy for you here is a side by side comparison of the top deer skinning knives in 2018.
|Antler King Trophy Deer Mineral||20 lb.||Pricing|
|Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage 16-Pound Bag||16 lb.||Pricing|
|Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral/Vitamin Deer Mineral Supplement||5 lb./20 lb.||Pricing|
|TROPHY ROCK Redmond All-Natural Mineral Rock/Salt Lick||12 lb.||Pricing|
|Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage 5.5lb bag||5.5 lb.||Pricing|
2019’s best tested & reviewed deer skinning knives
Moving on to today’s main agenda, we’ll be taking a look at the best deer skinning knives from the top brands in the market all of which have got a balance between longevity, performance, and ease of use all in one. Plus, you’ll be getting the best prices for each one of these.
Benchmade – Saddle Mountain Skinner 15003-1
if you’d like to get the best deer skinning knife for your very first hunt, then I’d recommend that you go for the Saddle Mountain Skinner 15003-1. From the blade build quality and design to the handle configuration, this deer skinning blade will be worth every dime.
Features a CPM-S30V blade
With the blade being the most important feature on any knife, this one comes with the CPM-S30V stainless steel blade that has got a high level of resistance against corrosion and rust. In addition to this, it is also well-balanced when held in the hand for comfortable skinning.
Attached to the blade is a D10 durable handle and in addition to delivering a firm grip, it is also impervious to moisture and in addition to this will be stable in extreme temperatures thus usable in different weather conditions.
Utmost strength and reliability
Considering you’ll be using it during or after a hunt, the integrity and strength of the blade are outstanding. It features a fixed-blade design with a fill strength which makes it much better than a folding knife. Considering it is made of a CMP-S30V blade, it should be easy to sharpen and at the same time hold the sharp edges for a long time.
Has got an added hook design
This skinner comes with a large radius blade that also does have an added hook design hence making an excellent choice as far as both skinning and cutting is concerned.
Comes with a sheath for added durability
For your own safety and the protection of the blade, you’ll be getting a Kydex leather sheath along with it that is durable and provides ultimate accessibility at the same time.
- It’s made of the high-quality CPM-S30V stainless steel blade
- Comes with a Kydex sheath for utmost protection and safety
- Features a G10 handle that’s impervious to moisture and stable in extreme temperatures
- The knife fits too tight in the sheath and you might need a replacement
Buck Knives 0537RWS Open Season Skinner: our recommendation
It’s got one of the best edge retentions, delivers a nice skinning sweep, quite easy to use and the aesthetics are just as amazing as the performance.
It features an S30V blade
The 0537RWS Open Season Skinner comes with a 4-1/4-inch blade which features the S30V construction which is strong enough to get the skinning done without breaking.
Most importantly, the S30V blade is easy to sharpen and even so, will maintain a sharp edge for more than just one hunt. As far as durability is concerned, the blade is also both corrosion resistant and wear resistant for optimal performance. Speaking of performance, the blade is also downward angled and has got a blunt point which makes it perfect for skinning
Has got a full tang design
The stronger the skinning knife is, the better it is, right? In the case of the 0537RWS Open Season Skinner, you’ll be getting a solid construction since it’s got a fixed blade. With it being a full tang design, the grip will also be secure with each strike you made.
As for the handle, it’s a rosewood which means you’ll have balance at it’s best with this bad boy.
Includes a durable sheath
Intended to keep the knife from harming anyone when not in use while at the same time protecting the blade, there’s a genuine leather protective sheath with snap closure and a belt loop. Whereas the former guarantees the security of this skinning knife, the latter gets you easy access to the knife
- Has got a full tang design for a secure grip
- Comes with a high-quality protective sheath
- Features an S30V stainless steel blade for performance and durability
- The handle is difficult to clean up
Outdoor Edge Swingblaze, SZ-20N: best portable deer skinning knife
If you’re looking for a portable yet dependable knife, the Swingblaze, SZ-20N is definitely the best deer skinning knife for you. Featuring a foldable design, sharp edges and bound to deliver utmost versatility, you couldn’t go wrong on this one.
It’s got an AUS-8 stainless steel construction
The sharper the blade, the better of a skinning knife it is, right? In the case of the Swingblaze, SZ-20N, there’s the AUS-8 blade which is going to hold the edges hence dependable for use on skinning lots of deer without having to re-sharpen it due to the sub-zero quenching which also gives it high performance.
Includes durable rubberized handles
Attached to the blade is a Kraton handle. From the rubberized and non-slip grip, you can use this knife equally as good with your hands wet just as you will when dry
Comes with a storage sheath
As for the storage and safety, this bad boy has got a nylon belt sheath included for you right out of the box so you could store your knife in it when it’s not in use or alternatively have it in the belt sheath for easy access and protection from injury while on the hunt.
Delivers utmost flexibility
It’s not every day that you come across this- a 2-in-1 deer skinning knife. Though it is mainly meant for skinning deer, you can also use it as a gutting knife. To do this, all you got to do is push on the lock button after which the blade will switch to a functional gutting knife. Saves you the storage space and the cost of getting a new knife.
- Features a durable non-slip Kraton handle
- Has got a 3.6” AUS-8 stainless steel handle for superior edge retention
- It’s a 2-in-1 blade for the utmost versatility
- It’s difficult to press the release button with gloves on
GladiatorsGuild 65- Custom Handmade Damascus Steel Skinner:
If you’d want your deer skinning knife to have both a high performance while at the same time having some of the best aesthetics, this one is definitely it. Here’s every reason as to why you should go for this
Features a fixed blade design
As far as strength and high integrity are concerned, a fixed-blade design does offer both of these at their best. With the blade fixed, you’ll be able to skin through any deer without the knife giving in regardless of how difficult the process may be.
You’ll also be getting an ergonomic bone handle that is well balanced to give you the best handling of the knife.
Comes with a storage sheath
As you will be using it outdoors, it’s might be easy for the quality of the knife to deteriorate but to ensure this does not happen, it comes with a protective sheath. This also keeps the knife from hurting you when it’s not in use.
Includes a sharp gut hook
Besides skinning, there is also a gut hook at the end of the blade which makes the skinning much faster as compared to struggling on the skin with the cutting edge of the knife.
Note: right after using your knife, do ensure you protect it by applying vegetable oil on it right after you clean it and dry it completely.
- Has got a knife sheath for protection and storage
- Includes a gut hook that makes the skinning easier
- Features a fixed blade design for utmost durability
- You might have to sharpen it before you use it for the first time
GladiatorsGuild 64 Custom Handmade Damascus Steel Skinner
Yet another one from GladiatorsGuild is the GladiatorsGuild 64. This bad boy features a 7-7.5 Damascus steel construction that’s beautiful. It also is available in 4 other different options if you’re specific about your knife’s looks and quite dependable for any outdoor situation.
Includes a sharp gut hook
Considering the deer skinning process could get a little annoying especially if the blade is not up to the task, this one actually comes with a sharp gutting hook on the opposite side of the knife’s main blade.
This allows you to split the deerskin open which is far much easier and faster as compared to struggling with the blade edge to do this.
Has got a fixed blade configuration
For a reliable performance even in when you have to put in a little more effort the blade comes with a fixed blade. This gets you through any the whole skinning process. Being a beautifully designed Damascus blade, you get to have one of the best looking and best-performing skinning knives in the market.
The blade is then attached to a horn black handle and you can choose from 3 other options but either way, you’ll get a well-balanced and comfortable handle.
Comes with a protective sheath
Since you’ll mostly be carrying this knife with you, it comes with a protective sheath that can also be used for storage when you’re not using the knife at all. Speaking of protection, to have this as the best deer skinning knife for the longest time possible, I’d recommend applying vegetable oil on it after each use or after cleaning it up to protect the Damascus blade.
- Has got a fixed blade for both durability and high performance
- Includes a protective sheath for outdoor use
- There’s a sharp gut hook for an easy skinning process
- The rivet on the shield is a little weak
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Skinning Knife: the runner’s up
It’s quite amazing how much you will be getting from this skinning knife without breaking the bank. It features an ergonomic and high-quality design, it’s durable and flexible to use and easy to clean up among other features.
It comes in a full tang design
With strength being a priority when it comes to the deer skinning knives, this bad boy comes in a fixed blade design which allows you to deskin your deer with minimal effort.
For added security, the knife is triple riveted and should be able to get you even through the toughest skinning process.
With the handle being ergonomically shaped, you get to have maximum comfort as well as maneuverability to get the job done quickly and easily. It’s also worth pointing out that the handle is a high-quality laminated pakkawood that’s quite strong.
Features a long-lasting blade construction
When it comes to putting it in use, this bad boy won’t let you down. It features a high carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel which gives you quite a sharp edge that is at the same time wear and stain resistance and it also does have an added chromium resistance that adds on to the stain resistance. Just in case it ends up stained, it’s designed to clean up easily for hassle-free maintenance.
Still, on the blade design, it’s also worth mentioning that it is hand sharpened to 14-16 degrees on either side which then gives you sharp edges and maximum blade resilience. Also, there is a mirror-polished, finger protective bolster which gives an optimal blade balance.
Has got a safety sheath included
When not in use, or as you move around during your hunt, there is a PerfectFit Dalstrong Sheath which, besides housing, the blade securely is also BPA-free for utmost safety
- It features a triple-riveted pakkawood handle for a comfortable grip
- It’s made of hand-polished high-carbon German steel that’s ultra-sharp and wear resistance
- Includes a BPA-free PerfectFit Dalstrong Sheath
- Be sure to insect your unit for any bends on the blade
Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger: best budget deer skinning knife
Looking for a budget skinning knife that is yet still up to the task? Well, I’m positive that the Old Timer 152OT is up to the task. Both the handle and the blade design are amazing, it offers utmost security and the balance is quite amazing for a budget deer skinning blade.
Has got a reliable stainless-steel design
Despite the affordable price, this bad boy has got a reliable 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel blade which is renowned as far as maintaining the sharp edges and resistance to both rust and corrosion is concerned. Attached to the blade is a saw cut handle with an amazing grip.
The whole length of the knife is 7.1 inches with 3.3 inches of these being the blade length and in addition to this, it weighs 3.1 ounces and has got an amazing balance hence completely dependable.
The blade is a fixed design which, even though not retractable, gives you the advantage of high integrity thus usable over a long period of time
Comes with a leather sheath
Owing to the fact that you will be using it outdoors, you need to have it in the best condition possible and there’s no better way via which this can be done besides ensuring the blade is fully covered. So as to attain this, it has got a brown leather belt sheath that you can also use to store away the knife when it’s not in use.
Considering this is a belt sheath, it should be possible to move in your hunting ground while at the same time having the convenience of easily accessing it when need be.
Features a secure heel
For continuous use, the heel of the blade is slightly curved which keeps your fingers from dropping any lower which could result in injury. Besides the heel, the handle will also give you a fair amount of stability as you skin your kill.
- Made of a 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel blade.
- Has got a convenient brown leather belt sheath
- Comes with a secure heel for utmost safety
- The handle is a little wide for extended use.
Bone Collector Hand Made Skinning / Hunting Knife BC808
You don’t really have to spend a fortune to get the best out of your hunt. Considering the hunting season can be quite demanding, bone collector designed this bad boy to give you an above average performance as far as skinning your deer is concerned.
It features a full tang design
Bone CollectorBC808 comes in a full tang design which conforms to the set quality standards of an ideal deer skinning knife as far as utmost strength is concerned.
With the blade extended to the handle, you won’t have to worry about the two coming apart no matter how much you exert the blade. Also, despite this being a fixed-blade deer skinning knife, it has got quite a compact design.
The overall length is 6.25 inches and with 3.25” of these being for the blade, you’ll have enough cutting surface while at the same time a compact skinning knife that can be carried anywhere. Speaking of portability, let’s have a look at how good the sheath on this bad boy is.
It’s got a tooled leather sheath.
Though the leather shield is custom hand-made, it’s level of integrity is amazing. It functions to store the knife when you’re not on a hunt or alternatively, you could go ahead and clip it on your belt hence getting easy access to it.
At the same time, you can be using your hands to do other tasks. It will also be in a vertical position so you won’t have to worry about your mobility being restricted.
Features a bone handle.
In order for you to do the skinning with consistency and control, the handle is made of bone and it’s only 3 inches long of real bone. In addition to offering a firm grip and being durable, it’s also aesthetically pleasing. Speaking of aesthetics, there’s also a bone collector label on the blade.
- It features a durable stainless-steel blade
- Comes with a tooled leather sheath for protection and easy access
- It’s a full tang design for high strength and integrity
- You’ll need to sharpen it once you receive it.
Old Timer 158OT Guthook Skinner
We’re almost through with our reviews and yet another amazing budget deer skinning knife is theOld Timer 158OT. It’s lightweight in nature but at the same time just of the perfect length to get the skinning done right. As for durability and portability, you’ll also be having either of these at their best.
Features a Delrin handle
Every little detail matters when it comes to the deer skinning knives and with that in mind, Old Timer included a Delrin handle that also does have a saw cut handle slab. Both of these allow you to handle the knife well enough for utmost precision considering the handle length is 3.7 inches
Has got a durable stainless-steel blade
In addition to having an amazing handle, the blade too does hold up quite well. The Old Timer 158OT features a 3.5-inch-long blade that is made of7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel. With durability being a priority on the best deer skinning blade, this bad boy will be resistant to corrosion, rusting and shouldn’t break easily as well.
There is also a gut hook which allows you to get started with your cutting. This is much faster and easier to use as compared to struggling with the blade edge.
Includes a brown leather belt sheath
For safekeeping and easy access while you are out on your hunt, this knife comes with a leather sheath included right out of the box. With the knife in it, you can attach it to your belt for quick and easy access.
- Has got a gut hook at the tip for easy skinning
- Includes a belt leather sheath for easy storage and access
- Features a 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel construction for utmost durability
- The gut hook may get stuck on the sheath’s metal rivet on the inside as you draw the knife
Rite Edge 8″ Deer Outdoorsman Skinning Knife
Looking for something simple yet guaranteed to get the job done? Well, it might just be the missing piece of the puzzle to having the best experience with your game. It’s dependable, easy to use and holds up quite well on the durability
Features a stainless-steel blade
When it comes down to the performance, this skinning knife won’t let you down. Being stainless steel, the blade should be usable in lots of different conditions without giving in to rusting or corrosion. Attached to the blade is a wooden handle that should be comfortable to hold.
It’s a full tang design
For strength even when the skinning gets a little demanding than usual, the blade is continuous and part of the handle. This way, you won’t have to worry about the handle being detached from the blade for consistent and high performance.
Comes with a black nylon sheath
There’s also a black nylon sheath in which you can have the knife when it’s not in use to protect the edges from dulling or prevent any accidents
- Has got a full tang design for strength
- Features a stainless-steel blade for durability
- Has got a solid wooden handle for comfortable handling
- The nylon sheath could give in after some time
Best deer skinning knife- here’s what to look for
I’m pretty sure that by now, you’ll agree that a deer skinning knife is just as important as your hunting weapon and as such, you should know exactly what to look into in order to arrive at the best.
Taking this into account, we focused on the very important things you should know about regarding choosing a deer skinning knife.
A fixed vs a folding knife- which one will work best?
As much as the other areas of concern regarding buying a skinning knife hold regardless of the knife you get, deciding on the kind of knife you want are probably the biggest decision you will have to make while choosing a knife.
So, which one is it?
The fixed blade knives
Looking for something durable? Well, this is the choice that you should definitely go for. With a fixed blade knife, the construction is both durable and rugged thus giving you an uncompromised level of strength. So, if you are a little careless with your hunting equipment, I’d recommend that you settle for this one.
The folding deer skinning knives
An alternative to the fixed blade skinning knives is the folding ones. As the name suggests, the blade on this one can actually be retracted when not in use.
Though they’ve got the advantage of being really easily portable, the downside to these is that they have moving parts and you need to be extra careful on the kind of locking mechanism that they have.
For dee skinning, I’d recommend that you go for the rocker locking style as it is the most secure and most reliable option. Other locking mechanisms you could get include the frame locks, liner or button locks
The blade quality.
Getting a poor blade construction would defeat the whole purpose of getting a deer skinning knife, wouldn’t it? Not only are the deer skinning knives exposed to blood, but they can also be exposed to the water or fog so it is highly important that you go for the best quality you can afford.
That being said, the metal composition of the blade shouldn’t give in to rusting or corrosion and for this, I’d recommend the H1 steel that will hold up even in a salty environment.
Besides being able to withstand different weather conditions, goa head and check whether the blade can be sharpened easily- probably the S30V or S40HC steel types should offer you both tolerance and ease of sharpening.
For a start, simply go for stainless steel as it holds the edge for long and resistant to corrosion.
Is the handle good enough?
e Also another important feature to look into when it comes to the skinning knives is the nature of the handle. You’ll simply want one that is ergonomic in nature- easy to hold regardless of the edge and depending on how you hold the knife, it should be equally as comfortable.
The blade length
Yet another a matter of personal preference is the blade length. The rule of thumb is that the bigger the game you’re hunting, the longer the blade length you’ll need. Deer skinning blades should, therefore, be at most 5 inches long
That’s all we have for you on the best deer skinning knives. We put together quite a lot of options for you to choose from regardless of what your preferences are. The buying guide should also help you narrow down your preferences and you couldn’t go wrong whatsoever.
Like your other hunting equipment, I’d recommend that you observe utmost care and maintenance with these too since despite being corrosion resistant, over-exerting them may break them.
Most importantly, don’t forget to put your fingers clear of the blade- safety should always be a priority.