Theoretically, you can use a wide range of knives for skinning a dead animal. The animal is already dead so it is not going to complain that you are using the wrong knife to skin it. The major reason for having a skinning knife is for making the process of skinning convenient, easy, and quick. Skinning the animal quickly would save you time and allow you to move on to butchering.
However, there are many skinning knives in the market. To help you pick out the best skinning knife out there, we have reviewed six of the best skinning knives in the market, across a wide range of sizes, prices, blade lengths, and more.
Best Skinning Knife Reviews
|1. Havalon Piranta Z Folding Blade Skinning Knife
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|2. Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife
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|3. SOG Specialty Knives & Tools Huntspoint Fixed Blade
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|4. Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger Clip Point Skinner Blade
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|5. Anna Home Collection AN-9013 Skinning Knife
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|6. Buck Knives 113 Skinner Hunting Knife
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When it comes to foldable skinning knives, the Havalon Piranta Z is one of the best. This skinning knife comes with a blade that is 2.75 inches long. The blade is also made out of stainless steel, which his great for day-to-day activities in the field. For an easy and comfortable grip, this tool comes with a wide and long handle. The design of the handle also makes this tool very easy to control. One of the major selling points of this knife is its sharpness.
The sharpness of this skinning knife can be compared to that of a surgical knife, which is pretty impressive. The super sharp 60XT blade of this knife cuts through the skin of an animal like a hot knife through butter. The sharpness also allows for making fine-looking, clean cuts. The blade is also of top quality and it is made in the USA. The overall length of this blade is 7.25 inches.
This tool comes with 12 additional stainless steel #60A blades, which you can use to change the blade once it is dull. This means you do not need to waste time re-sharpening the blade. It also comes with a nylon holster. The blade of this knife is perfect for both skinning and field dressing. It also features thumb studs for fast one-handed opening. For safety, it comes with a liner lock.
- Blade: 3.125 inches, 420HC steel
- Handle: Brass bolster
- Sheath: Genuine Leather
- Razor-sharp out of box
- Foldable blade with safety features
- 12 replaceable 60XT blades
- Thumb studs
- Comfortable handle
- Not strong enough to break bones
The next skinning knife on our list is the Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife. This is another great skinning knife as it comes with many amazing features. The Buck Knives 0103 is no joke; it is very strong and it is one of the high-end skinning knives on our list. This tool comes with a razor-sharp blade out of the box. It is made with a 420 high carbon steel and the length of the blade is 4 inches. The blade is corrosion resistant and it has a great edge retention ability.
It is also a perfect combination of strength and balance. The blade is full tang and it is extremely durable. It can withstand a lot of abuse and beating. This knife is specifically designed for professional-level skinning game. It does a great job of skinning elk, deer, and other animals. It is also the perfect knife for cutting through thick layers, thanks to its curved belly and narrow tip.
This knife also features a luxurious look, as it comes with a sleek looking handle. It is available in two colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your style. The knife is also very comfortable to hold, as it comes with a curved shaped handle with palm swells. The overall length of this knife is 8.25 inches and it weighs just 4.3 ounces. It also comes with a high-quality protective leather sheath for convenient carry.
- Blade: 2.75 inches, stainless steel
- Handle: Military-grade polymer
- Sheath: No sheath
- Razor-sharp blade
- Designed for pro-level skinning
- Elite and luxurious
- Durable blade
- Less versatile
The next on the line is the SOG Specialty Knives and Tools Huntspoint Fixed Blade Knife. This is a fixed blade skinning knife that comes with a straight back. The blade of this knife is made out of AUS8 steel. The blade features a drop point design with a length of 3.6 inches. This knife comes with a very sharp blade and a satin finish that gives it an amazing look. It is specifically designed for tasks that include boning. The blade delivers a deep, quick puncture that makes quick work of almost all games.
This blade is full tang and it comes with an enlarged lanyard hole that makes it portable and easy to carry. The Field and Stream Magazine recognized this as a good knife for hunting animals for the year 2013. The handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon and it is finger grooved for comfortable grip hold. It also features a rubber over-mold to prevent slipping while it is bloody or wet. The coloring also gives it a stunning look.
The package comes with a nice leather sheath that helps to keep the knife safe and make it easy to carry. The sheath has a belt loop attachment. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The knife is also lightweight, as it weighs less than 3.7 ounces.
- Blade: 4 inches, 420 high carbon steel
- Handle: Black phenolic handle with palm swells
- Sheath: High-quality leather sheath
- Comfortable grip
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Best deer hunting knife of 2013
- AUS8 steel blade
- Relatively short blade
The Old Timer 152OT Sharpfinger Clip Point Skinner Blade is one of the best skinning knives in the market. This is a fixed blade knife and it comes with many great features. Many professional chefs prefer this knife and it comes in handy on hunting trips. When it comes to knives, Old Timer is a brand you can trust. The knife is perfect for skinning both small and big animals. It also comes in different sizes, which makes it convenient. The overall length of this knife is 7.1 inches whereas the length of the blade is 3.3 inches.
It is portable, short, and lightweight, as it weighs just 3.1 ounces. It also comes with a convenient brown leather tie sheath that makes it safe and easier to carry along. The blade of this tool is made out of full tang, 7Cr17MoV high carbon stainless steel with saw-cut Delrin handle slabs. It is rust-resistant and extremely durable. The handles of this knife are also attached to the blade securely. It is designed to provide you with a comfortable grip while deboning and skinning.
You do not have to worry about this knife slipping off, thanks to the security of the heel. Another feature that makes this knife attractive to many hunters is the lanyard hole and full tang design. The blade also features a flat ground design. The knife is also perfect for fishing and survival. This is a heavy-duty survival knife due to its blade and handle’s design.
- Blade: 3.6 inches, AUS-8 steel
- Handle: Glass-reinforced nylon with rubber over-mold
- Sheath: Leather sheath with belt loop attachment
- Fine edge blade
- Comfortable handle
- Fitted leather sheath
- Portable and lightweight
- Short blade
The Anna Home Collection AN-9013 is another great hunting and skinning knife that comes with a custom-made Damascus steel. Damascus steel was legendary in ancient times because smiths put several grades of steel into one piece, gaining the benefits of various steels. However, that was then, as modern steels are more durable and they have a great edge holding ability. This knife is made with Damascus steel, which is one of the most beautiful metals in this world. It features an ergonomic design and Pakistani pukka wood full tang handle.
The blade is razor-sharp and it cuts very well. However, it needs frequent sharpening. The length of the blade is 4 inches and it comes with a clip point design. Its design makes it perfect for skinning small and medium-sized game such as deer. It also extends out far enough that it does not require a foreguard. This can be the best kukri knife.
This skinning knife also comes with a beautifully designed leather sheath. The color of the sheath compliments the color of the knife’s handle. The knife is also portable, compact, and lightweight. It is easy to sharpen and it is perfect for both hunting and skinning. One of the major selling points of this knife is its design; the workmanship is excellent. It is also sharp out of the box, which means you do not need to sharpen after purchase. However, this knife is on the higher end of the price spectrum.
- Blade: 3.3 inches, 7Cr17Mov high carbon stainless steel
- Handle: Delrin handle
- Sheath: Leather belt sheath
- Full tang handle
- Beautiful leather sheath
- Pukka wood handle
- Damascus steel blade
- Needs frequent sharpening
- A bit price expensive
The Buck Knives 113 Skinner Hunting Knife is the last on our list and it is one of the best skinning knives for processing big games. This knife is specifically designed for this job. The blade of this knife is made out of 420 high carbon steel, which is resistant to corrosion. The blade also features a drop point design, which makes skinning pretty easy. The blade is also well hardened and serviceable. This blade also has a great edge retention ability. It is sturdy and it offers long-lasting performance.
This knife also offers ultimate practicality and simplicity. The Buck Knives 113 skinning knife comes with an American Walnut Handle with ergonomic design. The handle also comes with Brass Bolster. It features a solid look and it fits in your hand comfortably. This tool also comes with a genuine leather sheath that is beautifully designed as the knife itself. The overall length of the blade is 7.25 inches while the blade itself is 3.125 inches long.
This knife features a downward angled point that helps prevent an accidental slice through the hide. It also comes with a curved belly and narrow tip that provides a smooth skinning sweep facilitates cutting through thick layers. This knife is performance-oriented and stylish. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Blade: 4 inches, Damascus steel
- Handle: Pukka wood
- Sheath: Leather
- 420HC steel that is perfect for skinning medium game
- Ergonomic design
- Classic and functional
- A bit pricey
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Skinning Knife
While many knives out there can be used for skinning, there are features that come with some skinning knives that help to make the skinning process easy. There are certain features you need to look out for when buying a skinning knife.
The Design of the Blade
One thing that separates one skinning knife from another in terms of application and appearance is the shape and design of the blade. Some skinning knives come with curved blades and bowed backs. Whereas, some others come with straight backs and moderately curved cutting edge. Some blades also come with a gut hook for making small incisions. There are three different blade styles: Spear Point, Drop Point, and Clip Point. If the design of the blade is the most priority then a good kukri knife is the best alternative.
The length of the Blade
The kind of game you want to use the knife for will determine the length of the blade you need. It would not be great to use the same blade length to skin both big and small games. Games such as hares, squirrels, rabbits, muskrats, and beavers fall under small and medium games.
No one wants a knife that requires sharpening every now and then. To avoid this, you should go for a skinning knife that is razor-sharp. The knife should also have a great sharpness retention ability. You should also make sure the knife is made with durable materials. Sharpness Retention is absolutely very crucial because of the sharpening frequently will weaken the blade. As we know that a machete is known for its sharpness retention, so a machete can also be a good alternative to the skinning knife.
Finding the best skinning knife among the numerous options in the market takes a good amount of effort. The reviews and hints in this article will help reduce the need for extensive research when you want to invest in this piece of a useful tool. The Buck Knives 113 Skinner Hunting Knife is clearly the winner from our reviews because of its blade length, ergonomic design, blade style, durability, and sharpness.