Hunting small game may not seem as glamorous as going out for buck season, but it’s uniquely rewarding. You witness the everyday lives of creatures we don’t often pay attention to and get to harvest some excellent meat. Hunt enough small game and you’ll soon realize that knives that work for large game just don’t work in the same way with smaller catches. Here are four tips for choosing the best hunting knives for small game.
1. Smaller is better
A big blade might be good for skinning and processing a moose, but it’s just going to get in your way with small game. In general, when skinning and processing small game, the smaller the blade, the better.
Rabbits and squirrels are so small that they don’t take much time to skin. A large blade would slow you down and probably make a mess. It’s much better to enjoy the precision of a small blade. In this instance, more precision means faster skinning, which means more time enjoying the hunt for you.
2. Look for a Good Grip
While a small blade is better than a large blade, it’s still important to look for a relatively large and comfortable handle. Pay attention to handle grip material and quality. Choose something that doesn’t make your hand ache, one you can grip easily and which won’t slip underneath your fingers. This will complement the small blade and make the processing go much more smoothly.
3. Folding vs. Full Tang
In general, folding knives have a pronounced risk: they can fold. If they can fold, then they risk folding on your fingers while cutting. While some experienced small game hunters still use their favorite folding blade to skin, it’s widely acknowledged that it’s generally safer to choose a full tang blade.
A full tang knife— otherwise known as a fixed blade knife—has a blade that runs the entire length of the piece. Because it doesn’t have a pivot point, the blade is much stronger, much less likely to break and less likely to fold on your finger.
Especially if you’re new to small game, choose a full tang knife. It takes some time to get the skinning technique down and it will keep you much safer. Even if you’re an experienced hunter looking for a new knife, try to stick with a full tang.
4. Easy to Sharpen and Easy to Clean
A cleaner knife stays sharper. Sharper knives are safer, more durable and more cost-effective in the long run than dull or dirty lives.
With that in mind, choose a knife that’s easy to clean. Overly complicated grooves, excessive serration or easily gunked-up handles don’t fit this criterion. The simpler and more efficient, the better. The easier to sharpen, the better. Choose a knife that helps you take care of it by virtue of its design.
A Few Good Knives
With these guidelines in mind, below are a couple of knives that might be excellent for your next small game adventure. Safe, small-bladed, fixed blade and easy to clean, these best hunting knives check all the boxes.
This 1.5’’ blade is perfect for the smallest of game and its handle is both beautiful and features a black cord wrapping for excellent grip. It’s almost too gorgeous to hunt with! Its full tang, fixed blade knifeconstruction is ideal for skinning. It has an overall length of 5.2’’, which, while on the shorter side for prolonged skinning, makes it compact and easy to carry.
This knife is manufactured in Virginia by a veteran-owned and veteran-operated company and it is highly multifunctional. Its blade is 4.3’’, but it is still on the shorter side, making it a perfect multi-tasking small game hunting blade. The ergonomic handle and full tang construction mean that it’s ready to be put to work.
Find the Best Hunting Knife for Your Next Small Game Outing
Your choice of hunting knife very much depends on your particular quarry and your preferred style of hunting. Hopefully, these four tips for choosing the best hunting knife for small game make your next hunt go more smoothly. May you have luck in the hunt and enjoy a plentiful harvest.
If you’re in the market for small game hunting knives, contact eKnives at (423)-525-9477 or visit our website. Our team of passionate knife specialists is available to help you find the perfect knife for your needs, whether it is hunting, survival, tactical or even a unique addition for your knife collection.