Best Deer Gutting Knife Reviews of 2018
A serious outdoorsman requires serious tools. Any good hunter knows that correctly, and safely, gutting and skinning an animal should only be done with the proper equipment. This is especially important. Great care must be taken not to puncture organs or guts (such as the stomach) so as not to contaminate and spoil the meat. That’s where gutting knives come in. Gutting a deer can become a very tricky and complex task if you do not have the right equipment.
We considering which knife to choose there are a few things that you need to consider such as the type of blade, folding or fixed, the handle, etc.
To make things easier when selecting a gutting knife for deer we have put together a buying guide for choosing the right option. Let's get into our reviews of the best deer gutting knife in 2018.
Top 5 Rated Model Comparison Table
Reviews of The Best Deer Gutting Knives of 2018
#1. BUCK KNIVES 113 RANGER
The 113 Ranger Skinner is another worthy blade from Buck. With a 3-1/8” drop-point skinner blade, it’s perfectly suited to skinning game, with a wide curved belly that gets through thick layers, but a blunt, more rounded point that won’t puncture organs or muscle. It works for gutting and deboning deer - and animals of all sizes – as well. The blade is fastened out of 420HC Stainless Steel, which they say has the same durability carbon alloy, but also the corrosion resistance of chromium stainless steel. It’s heat-treated for even more hardness, coming out to a Rockwell hardness of Rc-58. Finally, the handle is a beautiful walnut, which along with the brass bolster, gives it a classic, rugged look.
Like all Buck knives, the 112 Ranger Skinner is extremely popular with those who have used, who point its classically good looks, solid build, and incredibly sharp blade. It holds its edge very well, and slices through animal hide with ease. It’s also sharp and sturdy enough for general use besides gutting, as well. Like other knives, however, the included sheath does not hold up well. Our top rated pick on our best gutting knife for deer list.
- Drop-point blade is good for skinning and gutting game
- 420HC Stainless Steel blade
- Rc-58 Hardness Rating
- Holds edge very well
- Very versatile for other uses, as well
- Fixed blade only
#2. Outdoor Edge Swingblaze sz-20n
The Swingblaze SZ-20N is a two-in-one gutting and skinning knife, with a double-ended blade that spins in and out of the handle. On one end is a 3.6” drop point skinning blade, while on the other is a 3.2” gutting blade with gut hook. Both blades are made of AUS-8 stainless steel, hand finished for precision and sharpness. They have also been heat-treated and then quenched in subzero temperatures, for hardness; the blades are rated to Rockwell-C 57-58.
The handle is made of rubberized Kraton, which helps you keep your grip in cold and wet conditions. All that needs to be done to switch the blades around is push the lock and swing it closed; the other blade will then open. When open, the blade comes in at a total length of 8.2 inches.
The SwingBlade is one of the most well-liked hunting knives on the market; the blades are sharp and durably built, and slice and skin game of all sizes no problem. The dual-blade option not only provides much more versatility, but also keeps your main blade sharp by letting you switch to the skinning blade at the flick of a wrist. OutdoorEdge also provides a one-year warranty.
- Two blades for the price of one; Drop-point skinner and rounded gut hook blade
- AUS8 Stainless Steel blades
- Kraton Handle provides excellent grip
- Easy swing operation makes switching blades effortless
#3. BUCK 390 Omni
Buck has been making outdoor knives in Idaho since 1902, so it’s probably safe to assume that they know what they are doing when it comes to making good blades. The Omni 390 is a classic hunting knife, with camo handle to boot. The drop-point measures in at 3.25”, and is made of 420HC Stainless Steel, for excellent Strength, Edge Retention, and fantastic Corrosion Resistance. The blade is held into the handle by a full-length tang for rigid firmness, and the ergonomically designed handle is textured, providing good grip in all situations, and has a finger groove for sitting nicely in your hand.
The thickness of the 390 Omni’s blade makes it good for slicing through deerskin, while also remaining versatile for other uses, such as cutting or splitting wood (not logs). And bonus points: it’s Made in the USA, and comes with Buck’s Forever Warranty. For the price you’re paying, the Buck 390 Omni provides a knife you’ll be reaching for time and time again.
- Drop-point blade good for skinning, cutting
- Backed up by Forever Warranty
- Rubberized, contoured handle for grip
- Fixed blade only
#4. SOG Huntspoint Boning Blade
The SOG Huntspot Boning Knife is made for gutting and deboning large game. SOG is a well-known maker of tactical and outdoor knives (and axes, and other tools), and this knife delivers on their reputation. It comes with a 3.6” blade made of S30V Stainless Steel, flat ground into a shape meant for skinning, and satin polished to smooth, sharp finish. The Handle is a combination of glass-reinforced nylon (GRN) and molded thermoplastic rubber (TPR) for durability and grip, and the knife features a full-tang construction. The knife also features a full-tang construction, which makes it strong and durable, and SOG includes a leather sheath with a snap closure to keep it secured to your belt.
When you buy a SOG knife, you know you’re getting one of great quality. Which is why the SOG Boning Knife is so well-liked by those who have used it. Hunters find that it is the perfect size and sharpness for both skinning and deboning medium and small animals. Some have, however, complained that the sheath falls apart easily.
- Good for skinning and deboning larger game
- Glass-reinforced nylon handle is extremely durable and provides good grip
- Full-tang construction
- Sheath falls apart easily
#5. Elk Ridge Hunting Knife – two piece set
This two-piece set from Elk Ridge includes a 7” skinner and a 6.5” gut hook blade, allowing you to skin game with ease. The skinning knife features a 3.5” blade, with a thin but wavy blade that makes skinning animals of all sizes easy. The other knife is a 6.5”, rounded deep-belly blade with a gut hook. It even has a finger hole for more precise slicing. The blades are made of 440 Stainless Steel, which gives them excellent hardness and maintains their edge. The green camo handles have non-slip texturing to keep them firmly gripped in your hands, while lanyard holes help you avoid losing the knife.
These knives by Elk Ridge are well-liked by those who have used them. They’re incredibly sharp and easy to handle, and slice through and skin with great ease and dexterity. They work well with deer as well as smaller game. They also come with a pouch; some, however, feel the pouch falls apart easily. They are also quite affordable.
- Two knives for versatility
- 440 Stainless Steel Blades
- Not as high quality as some of the others
Choosing A Good Game Gutting Knife
When choosing the best knife for gutting deer or other game, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. A skinning knife is, as the name implies, intended for skinning game of all sizes. These knives are usually very thin, with a curved or sweeping blade, that allows you to skin an animal with ease.
Blade Shape and Size
A proper hunting and gutting knife can come in a few different blade shapes and sizes. For hunting big game, a large drop-point blade may do just fine, but you may also want to look into a rounded blade, or one with gut hook. A drop-point blade will be thicker and heavier, but will also allow you to use the entire blade for skinning, moving faster and more efficiently. And thanks to its larger size and stronger blade, you’ll be able to use it for more than just hunting and skinning, but for all-around outdoor use as well.
Clip-point blades are also very popular on hunting knives. A clip-point will be thinner and flatter, but will not be as easy or efficient when it comes to skinning. It will, however, also be a good choice for other uses – hence their popularity.
Many hunting knives will also come with a gut hook; gut hooks are used to slice through animal hide and start skinning, without accidentally puncturing any internal organs or slicing into the muscle. This is a nice addition that many hunters find very useful for field dressing large game. A gut hook is not its own blade style, but rather, is usually featured on a trailing point skinner. It can be sharpened with either a round file, or a regular sharpening stone.
When you’re choosing a deer gutting knife, you should also pay attention to the handle. Choosing a material for the handle that is comfortable and durable is almost important as the blade you choose. Some knife handles are made of wood, and more exotic knives may even have bone handles. Most never knives will be made of different types of polymer or plastic, such as ABS or Kraton. Synthetic handles such as these will be much easier to grip, especially in wet conditions, compared to many wooden handles. You can also look for knives with finger grooves and contouring for extra grip.
The importance of the right hunting equipment can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to hunting. That's why when it comes to gutting your game, you have to be prepared. We hope that our reviews of the best deer gutting knife in 2018 has assisted you in some way when making your purchase. Take into consideration everything we have mentioned in the buying guide and then choose accordingly based on your needs.