The Best Hunting Knife Kits For Deer or Rabbit or Anything in-beween.
Maybe there are some knives that can do it all when it comes to dressing a deer, from the first slit down the belly to separating the pelvic bone. God knows companies like Condor and Buck make some pretty impressive knives that shoot for that role, but the average knife really isn’t ideal for taking you all the way from a whole deer with a bullet hole to venison hanging off the tree. There’s no shame in using scissors and a saw to get the work done properly, and you’ll probably get better results using the right tools anyway. That’s why they make whole sets of hunting tools for dressing game.
Here are a few sets we came across that will make any hunter’s life a lot easier.
Small Game Hunting Sets
These are knife sets that I’ve decided to classify as small game, either because they seem more ideal for rabbits and squirrels than deer or boar, but that’s not to say they won’t work to dress a buck.
Morakniv Knives Hunting Set
- 5.75” boning knife
- 6.2” skinning knife
- 7” sharpening steel
- Steel: Stainless
- Handle: Textured, high-friction plastic
- Sheath: Set comes in a case
This isn’t quite an all-in-one set, but anyone who’s ever used a Mora knows that this will be a massively tough pair of blades to use. Their knives tend to be pretty flexible. They’re made to be abused, so you can usually get a Mora to work even on a job it wasn’t designed for. The fact that they’ve actually designed knives specific for skinning and boning is doubly helpful for hunters. Without a saw, this might seem better suited to something like turkey hunting, but if you really know what you’re doing, you should be able to do most of the work on bigger game. It might become a tense matter of perseverance, but the point is, the only thing better than one Mora is two Moras.
Schrade Old Timer Hunting Fixed Blade Set
- Fillet Knife
- Gut Hook Skinning Knife
- Caping Knife
- Steel: 3Cr13MoV
- Handle Material: Rosewood
- Sheath: Nylon
I’ve got a soft spot for Schrade’s Old Timer stuff. It’s like the scruffy dog that’s always sleeping on the corner. You’re not really sure if anyone actually owns it, or if it’s even alive half the time, but it does still bark and scare the squirrels off so it’s reliable to some extent. This set is actually a pretty decent looking group with its rosewood handles. Seems like it would be best for your next fishing trip, but there’s definitely some potential in these knives for larger game if you really know what you’re doing. Either way, this set makes for a good looking present.
Big Game Hunting Sets
In general, I classify any set containing a saw to be an okay big game set. Not that all of these have saws. Some just have big damn knives that are made either well enough or tough enough to handle heavy pressure.
Elk Ridge ER-252 3-Piece
- 7” knife
- 9” knife
- 8.25” bonesaw
- Steel: 440A
- Sheath: Nylon
- Handles: Plastic
This is a reasonable budget set. There’s nothing spectacular about the Elk Ridge tools except that they’re pretty cost-effective and they pack light. Also they work. That’s important too. The 440A steel is easy enough to sharpen and work with, but it’s not anywhere near what you’d call top quality. This is great for two kinds of hunters, I think: the one who just got into hunting and dressing game and doesn’t want to cut their teeth on a $300 set, and the hunter who has nothing to prove and just wants something cheap and easy to carry. This will work for both.
Gerber Myth Field Dress Kit
- 8.5” Fixed-blade guthook (3.75” blade)
- 7.25” Caping knife (3.25” blade)
- Handle: Rubber
- Sheath: Piggy-back style with built-in carbide sharpener
Thick blades and a compact sheath designed to clip onto your pack make this a great set for long hunting trips. No saw of course, but it will work just fine on big game, if that’s what you’re after. The Myth set is kind of an update of Gerber’s Moment Field Dress Kit, which is a cheaper alternative that doesn’t come with all the same gimmicks like a built in carbide sharpener. Gerber doesn’t exactly go all out on steel, so you might find the toughness lacking in some areas, but rest assured this is a tried and true hunting set. Treat it right, and it will treat you right.
- Gut hook
- Fillet knife
- Bone saw
- Game shears
- Skinning knife
- Caping knife
- Steel: 420HC
- Sheath: Comes in a case
Whatever you think you need on your hunting trip, the 131 set from Ruko gives you something a little extra. They actually put a dedicated gut hook in this set. It’s a whole tool that does nothing except have a gut hook on it, and to top it off they put a gut hook on the back of one of the knives. That’s two whole gut hooks. I promise the other stuff is useful though. It’s not exactly top notch quality, but it gets the job done, and you’re getting a lot of steel for a price that most companies charge for a single knife.
Outdoor Edge Swingblaze Pak
- 9.25” Kodi saw (6” blade)
- 8.3” Swingblade (3.6” skinning blade, 3.2” gut blade)
This is easily the most interesting set on this list. The SwingBlaze knife is one of those oddities in the knife world that makes you wonder if designers aren’t staying up a little too late to come up with something new. Apparently that funny looking rounded end swinging on the opposite end of the knife blade is called a “gut blade”, and all reports I’ve come across say it works like a charm. And that swinging blade does lock into place, by the way. For all the odd design, though, I enjoy the simplicity of this set. Both the knife and the saw fit easily into a leather sheath that’s about 11 inches long. It’s not the most compact, but it’s snug, and there’s a lot of potential in the tools.
Smith & Wesson Campfire Set
- 11” Cleaver (6” blade)
- 9.5” Guthook Knife (6” Blade”
- Caping knife
- Sheath: All in one
It’s hard to find out what kind of steel this set is rocking, but Smith & Wesson doesn’t generally skimp on materials, so I doubt these blades have anything worse than Aus8. The cleaver is a pretty good alternative to a saw for separating the pelvic bone that not many people think about. However I’m a little on the fence about the blade shape of the “guthook” knife. I think the logic was that they didn’t need to put quite so much curve to it because they have a guthook on the back for slitting the belly, but who’s actually using that thing? Other than that, this is a pretty high quality set. The cleaver is tough, and the knives are sharp. This will get you wherever you want to go.