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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Hale Storm, May 20, 2017.

  1. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    Good morning BF friends.

    I'm looking for a new hunting knife. I currently have been using the Survive!Knives GSO 4.1 and the LionSteel M4, both in M390, and the ESEE 4 in 1095.
    I need to know what I'm missing in my search.
    The #1 primary role is skinning big game animals with secondary use as a camp knife for meal prep, etc (relatively thin blade)

    Here's my criteria:

    1. Made in U.S.A. or Europe
    2. No Chinese, Japanese, or Taiwan. (I know the Taiwan Spydies are awesome and I own a few. But not for this). And yes, I hunted with a Buck 110 for 20 years but not anymore. No big box brands please.
    3. Fixed blade only ( my hunting knives get bloody ALOT and folders work but are too hard to clean - think wash and go).
    4. I prefer Supersteels only (yes I know they are doing great things with 440 but it will never hold the edge I need to get through skinning more than one animal without touch ups)
    5. Under $300.00 budget but under $200 is a plus.
    6. 4" or longer blade - but less than 5. (I've used the GSO 5 and 4.7 and the blades are too thick. The length is okay but the added thickness is not conducive to efficient skinning, and the added weight is tiresome.
    7. Grippy when wet with water or blood. The G10 on the S!K's, unless bead blasted, is too slick. The olive wood on the M4 is too slick. I have man hands and work for a living. The grip will not be too "rough" for me. I need to have complete control over the blade with sweaty, bloody hands. I love the ESEE 4 but hate the 1095. I have zero interest in worrying about rust and it is 80% humidity here year round. I've used more oil on that ESEE than my guns.

    I think that's it. Thanks in advance for everyone's help. I'd appreciate any pics you might be able to add to your comments.
    Kiteman72 likes this.
  2. barmettlerjosh


    Jun 16, 2016
    Fallkniven s1
  3. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014
    screech owl knives commander. i'm getting on next
    ScreechOwl likes this.
  4. inkynate


    Sep 4, 2010
    Can't help mentioning the Spyderco South Fork. Yeah, I know, it's off your list due to #2. Then #7 is debatable, but you can rough up the g10 with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper to make them grippier (Phil Wilson's suggestion, I did it to mine,) or I've seen people slip a little bit of bicycle innertube on the end of the handle (member Shinsui, iirc).

    Hard for me to think of a better all around hunting knife. It's what it was designed for and meets all of the other critera as far as I can tell. Someone was going to bring it up, figured I'd get it out of the way lol. :thumbsup:
    [email protected] and craytab like this.
  5. Kiteman72

    Kiteman72 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    I have used a Benchmade Outbounder in 440C on a lot of hunts and loved it. I think it's long discontinued, but I have been looking a the BM Hunt line and like the looks of some of those models. I think BM has also long ago upgraded from 440C, but my knife holds an edge thru multiple animals.

    I got myself a Chris Reeve Nyala to try last year but didn't tag out in deer season and missed elk entirely.
  6. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Spyderco Southfork. Designed by a hunter. Cold Steel Master Hunter 3V or Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter 3V would be great choices (made in Taiwan but an American company). These were designed by hunters.
  7. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Benchmade Steep country or Saddle Mountain (S30V). Spyderco Southfork (S90V). Cold Steel Master Hunter (3V).
  8. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Cold steel master hunter in 3v has been mentioned, not made in USA but a good one. Or LT Wright in AEBL, northern hunter?
  9. Phixt


    May 28, 2016
    No Japanese? :confused:
  10. Frisky


    Dec 1, 2010
    First off, you should be wearing rubber gloves skinning game. That helps with grip and protects you. Many people love the grip on the Bark River Gunny Hunter, but I have not used one. My favorite knife, one that can gut, skin, butcher and trim meat is a Buck Vanguard with rubber grip and nylon sheath. I prefer the 420HC, as I have expertise with a butcher's steel and touch up in seconds. However, you can get the knife in S30V for better edge holding. It has a large and somewhat squared off grip, but when you get working on a deer, it feels great and seems to shrink on you. Not too big at all. The knife and sheath clean up fast too. I prefer leather sheaths but not when it comes time to sanitize things.

  11. brancron

    brancron Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Check out the Bradford Guardian. I haven't owned one but I've heard nothing but good things about them. They come in M390, N690, CPM-3V, or CPM-S30V, and come in a variety of handle materials, many of them grippy G10. The blade length, country of origin, etc. all match your requirements.

    Here's a brief overview by the great Gary Graley: http://www.bladeforums.com/threads/bradford-usa-guardian-4-5-6.1251806/
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
    xyrium and Gary W. Graley like this.
  12. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Bradford guardian 4 in M390 with a full flat grind would be good. Is pretty thin behind the edge for slicing, even though it is .165" stock. If you go to his site you can choose the setup you want.
    Gollik, here on the forums. He will make you a great knife with the steel, thickness, and size you want. His knives have great blade geometry and ergonomics, not to mention a great price. Definitely worth talking to.
    Other makers on the knife maker for sale area here, and ask them to do a custom order.
    At the price you're looking for, custom is a good way to go.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I would suggest one of Bob Dozier's fixed blades. You can do that under $300. Many of his designs are geared toward hunting and hunting chores. I personally like the K-6 Personal, but my regular woods knife is a Pro Guides Knife.
  14. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley “Imagination is more important than knowledge" Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 2, 1999
    IF you can get one, I'd recommend one of Nathan Carothers Field Knives, a friend has one and as most others have commented on theirs, agrees it is a very capable knife, but, they can be hard to find as they are in constant demand these days :)

  15. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    Production fiddleback Bushfinger, Kephart or Duke
  16. oldtymer

    oldtymer Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Check out Havalon, especially the Hydra model.
  17. chumaman


    Nov 13, 2012
    Natlek and Gary W. Graley like this.
  18. mec003


    Jan 1, 2015
    I haven't used one personally, but you might check out the North Arm Knives Lynx. Made in Canada. Just shy of 4 inch blade (3.9 I think). It has pretty slim blade that seems like it would be perfect for slicing tasks. S35VN steel. Handle choices include micarta for grippiness. I think it comes in around $100 usd. Not sure the Canadian exchange rate.
    I thought about getting one when I was working in the restaurant industry for breaking down large cuts of meats.
    North Arm Knives likes this.
  19. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Lots of good suggestions. I know it breaks a requirement but the south fork seems just about perfect for your inteded use. While i don't do any game processing I have use mine extensively in normal kitchen tasks and edc. If you are really serious you could even look into one of Phil Wilson's customs.

    Cpk field knife would be a top choice as well but they are hard to get. Bradford would work too depending on how you feel about finger choils. I have a North arm pairing knife and that company offers tremendous value especially to Us customers.
    North Arm Knives likes this.
  20. hugofeynman

    hugofeynman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    Adam Kornalski (Jamall here in the forum) makes superb knives in Vanadis 4 extra and M390 that will excel in all those tasks.

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