Large Hunting Knives – Why They’re So Special

If you thought large hunting knives were all about the show, prepare to be blown away with the truth

I have a confession to make:

I honestly wasn’t always a fan of the massive hunting knives, and to this day, there are still some reservations holding me back. I stick to one brand and that’s it. I use it for specific tasks and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I’m somewhat of a hoarder (this is what my wife calls me) when it comes to my hunting knives. I prefer the term seasoned collector. I have about 35 hunting knives in my collection that I have been building since the age of 16.

Why are large hunting knives helpful?

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You might remember that I talked about my preference for smaller hunting knives in my article about the best quality hunting knives right? I was pretty serious about what I said back there, because smaller knives are better for survival-type scenarios, where I don’t want or need a knife dragging me down with its weight and awkward length.

But -sometimes the situation calls for a big boy that will get the job done. Sometimes a pocket knife or a 3 inch blade just isn’t going to cut it.

You know what I’m talking about.

So…I’ve come up with this (hopefully very conclusive) list of the large hunting knives that I’ve tried out during my learning curve. Check it out to see what I came to love and what I found wanting. 

Large Hunting Knives – Tougher than the Rest

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Before you start screaming about “why Bear Grylls” just bear (go) with me here, usually I’m not the biggest fan of series-turned-commercial-product things. And when I first read about this one, I was a little more than skeptical. BUT it’s actually pretty damn good and a solid bang for your buck! This 10 inch long hunting knife is a solid option for the outdoorsman and hunters alike. 

The Pros:

  • Made by Gerber, this knife speaks of ultimate durability and reliability just by the name
  • It’s a perfect survival knife that ports a molded rubber grip, a saw ground black blade, a fire starter, a diamond sharpener and a whistle.
  • The blade really impressed me by actually turning out to be solid, reliable and very durable

The Cons:

  • I really don’t like the “made in China” idea
  • This definitely is not a military style or tactical knife at all
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife


Ka-bar Becker BK2

Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen another knife that actually looks AND plays the part of a serious hunting knife. I think the looks alone were enough to get me off the fence, but the features just made the deal that much sweeter. Designed by the survivalist and mountain climber Ethan Becker, you can rest assure that this knife reigns supreme in the lead for the best survival and outdoor knife. 

The Pros:

  • The Grivory handle looks sleek and gives you an impressive grip that feels solid in your hand
  • The 1095 Cro-Van Steel blade is fixed, thick and superior with edge retention. It has a drop point, and a twenty degree angle
  • The 20 degree angle of the drop-point blade ensures that it’s going to stay sharp for extended periods and will also be easy to sharpen if it dulls out. 

The Cons:

  • Weighing in at nearly a pound, this knife definitely isn’t lightweight
  • Since it looks almost like the corner of an axle blade, the tip of the Becker BK2 is rather obtuse and thick
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife


Ontario RAT-5

This 10.5 inch carbon steel blade worked like I had expected it to. It’s an “average” knife for an “average” price. The blade doesn’t excel at edge retention, but the plus side is that the 1095 steel is quite easy to sharpen. All-in-all it’s a good knife, but not one I’ll want to use as my primary blade.

The Pros:

  • I loved the blade design and balance
  • The thumb ramp provides you with a solid and stable grip
  • The Micarta scales are solid quality, giving the knife a fibrous feel in your hand

The Cons:

  • The finish on the blade looks and feels like it might either wear or chip off over time
  • The screw heads and exposed parts of the blade are prone to rust eventually
Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown)

Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown)


Gerber LMF II

Marketed as 3 different knives; the LMF II Infantry, Survival and ASEK, all versions of the LMF II are actually the same knife, with only the handles, sheath colors and accessories differing a bit. The Survival model is the one I tested and t came with a brown handle and sheath as well as a knife strap.

The blade itself isn’t too large, measuring in at 4.84 inches long and 3/16s of an inch thick. The knife has an overall length of 10.59 inches and weighs in at 11.67 ounces without the sheath. It’s big and beefy…making it perfect for field use. 

The Pros:

  • The drop point420HC stainless steel blade is exceptionally strong and durable, and the flat surface area on its spine is great for mallet-assisted bush-craft.
  • The sheath comes with a built-in sharpener for easy field sharpening purposes
  • The handle is made from glass-filled nylon with a TPV over-mold grip to ensure it feels right and solid in your hand 

The Cons:

  • The LMF II is a bit heavy for carrying around all day long
  • If you don’t like serrated edges, you’re not going to want to opt for this knife
  • The blade isn’t exactly made of the best steel out there
Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Black

Gerber LMF II Survival Knife, Black


Buck 65 Hood Punk

This fixed bade knife from Buck really impressed me with its super lightweight. Coming in as the little bro of the Hoodlum, the Hood Punk was designed with versatility and reliability in mind. The overall length of 11 inches and a weight of less than 8 ounces make this one of my favorite picks.

The Pros:

  • The knife boasts a 5160 powder-coated steel blade, which ensures you that its durable and can withstand the elements out there
  • The 3 1/6 inch thick and 5.62 inch long blade is good at everything from slicing to whittling and prepping food thanks to the classic clip design.
  • The hollow handle that’s layered with Micarta scales provides you with a comfortable and secure grip. It also encompasses a shock mitigation system to easy handle heavy use applications.

The Cons:

  • Those Micarta scales on the handle can take a toll on your hands if you’re applying too much pressure
  • The MOLLE compatible nylon sheath…yeah I didn’t exactly fall in love with it
Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath

Buck Knives 65 Hood Punk Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath

Feeling a bit enlightened after this? I really hope that you’ve seen just why large hunting knives are valuable additions to your hunting knives collection.

Remember: the best knife for you is the one that makes the cut and feels like it was made for your hand!

Stay sharp guys. Coming up next I have a little something to say about carving knives and I’ll show you what the best carving knife looks like. Oh and I’m NOT talking about those electric noobs they call carvers, it’s the real deal metal knives that you slice with by hand.

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