A good hunting knife belongs to the absolute basic equipment for hunters and should be carried on the man for any form of hunting practice as well as for hunting work. Depending on the intended use, knives with fixed blades or folding knives are recommended. The main purpose of the hunting knife is to break open and care for the hunted game. In addition, a strong knife is needed for the nodding off or interception of the game. If a folding knife is preferred, make sure that the blade can be locked tightly.
The folding knife has the advantage that it can be folded to a handy size, and in addition to the classic blade, it often has other tools, such as a saw-ground blade, or a so-called mesenteric blade - which has a strongly thickened, rounded tip and is therefore perfect for prying.
However, folding knives also have disadvantages: on the one hand, folding knives are less robust than knives with fixed blades, on the other hand, a folding knife is more difficult to clean, because dried sweat and dirt can accumulate between the handle scales.
Fixed-blade knives are preferred by hunters, especially when intercepting with the bare blade. This is the case when hunting after an ill-fitting shot as well as with accidental game. Especially when the dog is close to the game or the game is close to people or houses, a shot is forbidden. In the past, deer hunters were used for this purpose, but today general purpose knives, special interception knives or hunting knives are more common. Attention: A knife with a fixed blade longer than 12 cm, like a firearm, may only be carried openly when hunting. Outside the hunting area, knives with a blade length of more than 12 cm belong in a locked container.
As the name suggests, one-handed knives (folding knives) can be opened and closed with one hand because an opening aid is attached to the blade. One-handed knives for hunting often have several folding blades such as a classic, smooth blade, a serrated pry blade or a mesenteric blade, which can be unfolded and folded with one hand. This is especially handy when breaking open, when the other hand is busy holding the game carcass in a certain position.
There are unlimited applications for the knife. If it is still relatively rare to have to intercept with the knife, at least every shot at cloven-hoofed game that does not miss its target brings it that the hunted piece must be broken open - essential for a good knife.
A hunting knife should have a high-quality blade made of steel, optimized for the properties of edge retention, cutting ability and sharpness. The material of the blade should have a hardness of at least 55 HRC (Rockwell hardness test), 60-65 HRC is ideal for fine cutting. Hunting knives are subjected to heavy loads and often need to be resharpened, for which it is advantageous if the knife is not brittle. Therefore, knives with a hardness of 57-60 HRC are recommended for hunters,
To sharpen a knife yourself you need a sharpening steel, sharpening stone or knife sharpener. When pulling the knife over the sharpening surface, maintain an angle of 15 to 20 degrees and pull the knife over the sharpening surface in a smooth, even motion. It is important that the knife be ground evenly over the entire cutting edge. The softer a blade, the easier the sharpening process. Hard, cutting blades are harder to grind than soft blades.
The main blade of a hunting knife (usually the only blade on fixed blade knives) should be easy to sharpen and strong to be used when prying. Strong blades can be used not only for chest and lock on deer, but also for moderately heavy wild boar. For heavier game, the use of a pry saw is recommended, which is often integrated especially in folding knives for hunting. For quick sharpening, a mangled blade is a real gain and often included in folding knives. If the knife has only one blade, a mesenteric hook can be integrated into the back of the blade. With the exception of the Saufeder or the Hirschfängers, hunting knives are also sharpened only on one side, because otherwise there is a risk of sharpening large and small hides and contaminating the game when breaking open. If you hunt a lot and break open a lot, you should buy a set of several knives for your hunting equipment.
Good knife handles should be ergonomically designed and slip-resistant, so that you can grip them courageously and handle them safely. In addition, it must be easy to clean them, since it is impossible to avoid that the knife and the handle come into contact with sweat. Therefore, plastic, synthetic materials, and treated wood are shortlisted as materials.