If you enjoy spending time in nature, chances are you are into activities like hunting too. A good camping trip almost always involves some quality fresh meat on an improvised barbecue. But just like for any other activity, hunting implies being armed with the right gear and equipment. This is when gut hook knives kick in.
A good knife will ensure a comfortable and efficient experience. You need a weapon to kill your prey, but you also need to prepare the meat for your barbecue. There are lots of hunting knives out there and each of them has its role. The gut hook knife is the one and can easily make the difference – it is mostly used to open a carcass and remove organs.
Choosing the best gut hook knife is daunting because there are lots of options out there. Some of these models do stand out in the crowd though, whether it comes to their reputation in the hunting world, the manufacturer’s popularity or the overall ratings from past customers. Now, what else should you know before spending your money?
2020’s 5 Best Gut Hook Knives Reviewed
Mossy Oak Fixed Blade Gut Hook Knife
Mossy Oak’s best gut hook knife is the ideal tool for tactical, military, survival and hunting experiences. It is suitable for both experienced hunters and amateurs. It is small, compact and easy to use in any situation. The package also comes with a protective leather sheath, as well as a two snap fastener.
The knife measures 9.5 inches. The blade is shorter than the handle and measures 4.5 inches. It is 3.3 millimeters in thickness. Overall, the knife weighs 0.44 pounds, so it is quite solid and stable. The extra weight makes it feel sturdy and rigid.
The blade is made of 3CR13 steel – strong and able to maintain its sharpness for ages. It can resist ruse and corrosion too. The full tang design adds to its durability. As for the handle, it is made of walnut. It looks good, but it also features a non-slip surface for safety.
- Comes with its protective sheath
- Good balance and stability
- Great value for money
- Full tang design
- The blade can bend if you drop or throw the knife too many times
Buck Knives 0141 PakLite Large Skinner Guthook Fixed Blade Skinning Knife
Buck Knives has designed one of the simplest and most cost-efficient gut hook knives on the market. With all these, its performance is flawless. This knife is not about aesthetics and good looks, but all about efficiency when gone out hunting. You can find it in more designs and colors though, but most people opt for faded red or stainless steel.
The best gut hook knife from Buck Knives is made of 420HC steel. It will easily face rust, abrasion, and corrosion. The same rule applies to the handle. After all, this knife comes as a solid one-piece unit. Not only is this design more durable, but it also ensures more stability and rigidity.
The handle is also covered in traction coating. Despite being metallic, it is less likely to slip. Plus, it features a handguard anyway. Furthermore, the knife comes with its sheath. It is a heavy-duty polyester unit that can go anywhere with you.
- Extremely stable and rigid
- Available in more colors
- Durable design
- Comes with sheath
- Not the best looking gut hook knife on the market
Gerber Moment Fixed Blade Knife, Gut Hook
Gerber is one of the top-rated knife manufacturers out there. It is known for its good value for money, simplicity, and efficiency. Practically, there are no random bells and whistles that mostly add to the price, rather than the performance of a knife. This unit makes no exception either.
It comes with a full tang construction that adds to its stability and durability. The blade is made of stainless steel – no rust, corrosion or abrasion. You get a glass bead blade finish, as well as a razor-sharp edge. The knife measures 13 inches, with the handle being slightly longer than the blade. It weighs less than 6.5 ounces.
The handle is just as simplistic. It is made of rubber and comes with textured scales on the surface. It will protect against slipping, yet it also has its handguard to prevent accidents.
- Simple and efficient design
- Durable and solid construction
- Comes with a nylon sheath
- Lightweight and comfortable to use
- Not very attractive
Gerber Gator Premium Folding Knife, Gut Hook
This is the knife for those who need a premium model made using the finest steel. It features a folding mechanism, fine edge, a gut hook design, and a mirror-polished 3.6-inch blade with a bolster made using the S30V premium steel.
Such a blade ensures excellent resistance against corrosion, matchless aesthetics, and commendable edge retention. Its spine features standard jimping to ensure thumb control while cutting precisely. The handle is ergonomic with its rubberized texture to promise consistent grip at any time.
- Solid construction
- Fairly sharp
- Easy to open
- Ergonomic handle
- Sturdy sheath
- Protruding gut hook when folded
Buck Knives 660 Folding Pursuit Large Folding Hunting Knife with Guthook
This versatile knife is more than capable of fulfilling the requirements apart from hunting. It is a mid-range tool that is competitively priced. Featuring a gut hook style, the blade is made using the corrosion-and-wear-resistant 420HC steel.
The Lockback design ensures safety by keeping the open blade locked. The knife also features a glass-filled nylon handle whose grip comes from the flex rubber. So, you are ensured of a non-slip profile. As both the blade and handle are strong, this knife is a reliable field tool.
- One-handed opening
- Longer-lasting edge
- Ambidextrous use (for left- and right-handed users)
- Easy to resharpen
- Good sheath
- Hardly any
Fixed Blade Vs. Folding Blade Gut Hook Knives
Gut hook knives are all the safe and feature the same hook on the blade. There are, of course, all kinds of shapes and sizes, but they are relatively similar. They can be classified by materials too, but more importantly, you will have to choose based on the design.
Fixed blade gut hook knives
The fixed blade is a common requirement for hunting knives. Most knives in this segment come with this feature – it is almost a standard in this segment. The main advantage? You will never have too much time when hunting, so you need to be able to use your knife as quickly as possible. At the same time, a fixed blade knife does not have too many parts, so cleaning it is a matter of seconds only.
There is also a downside. Since the blade is always exposed, it can accidentally hurt you. This is why you require a protective sheath. It will protect both you and the blade. Moreover, this is not the type of knife you can hide in your pocket and go hunting.
The first three blades above discussed are good examples of fixed blade gut hook knives.
Folding blade gut hook knives
Given the benefits of fixed blade knives, folding knives are not so popular – at least not in the hunting world. You need to react immediately while unfolding a knife will take time. It will also make a noise that your prey could hear. With all these, you can still find this type over the Internet and just like the fixed blade knife, it has both pros and cons.
The best part about this style? It is compact. It can go inside your pocket. You do not need a sheath or a belt for it, but just a pocket. It is convenient as well.
The downside? Cleaning can be a bit harder due to the extra parts. Besides, having more moving parts, it can get faulty when least expected.
The last two gut hook knives discussed above are folding gut hook knives.
How to Choose the Best Gut Hook Knife
The blade is probably the top consideration when trying to find the best gut hook knife, but other small things are worth some attention too.
When it comes to the material, make sure you get stainless steel. There are more varieties of it out there. Also, different varieties are manufactured in different ways. There are a few small differences here and there, but most importantly, make sure you have steel in the blade.
Steel is durable and hard. It can resist rust and corrosion in a quality knife. Plus, it does not stain. Sharpening steel is relatively easy too.
Now, how about the actual hook? This so-called trailing point involves having a curved blade, while the non-cutting side comes with an upward point that looks like a hook. The point of this design is to help you kill the prey, skin and gut it. In other words, you can do everything with one knife, rather than getting a few different units.
The clip point is great for puncturing, while the edge has multifunction uses. The name is given by the fact that the blade seems to have a small part clipped off – nothing to worry about, it is just the design. On the other hand, the drop point ensures your knife is great for slicing too, so pay attention to this aspect – a curve from the spine to the tip.
The handle comes with similar requirements and considerations. While the blade does most of the work, you need a handle that you can rely on.
Handles come in all kinds of materials. This is usually a matter of personal preferences and comfort. You can find metals, woods, bones and various types of plastics. The material will affect the overall design of the knife, as well as the price. It will not affect the efficiency or performance.
Look for an ergonomic design. It will add to your safety, as well as your comfort. An ergonomic handle provides a quality grip and a bit of extra security.
One important factor to remember is the way the handle feels. You want a non-slip surface for maximum efficiency. You are not hunting in your living room but the wild. Your hands can get wet or sweaty, not to mention hunting on a rainy day. A non-slip handle will reduce the risk of accidentally injuring yourself.
Most hunting knives today are advertised to have a non-slip handle. This is true to a particular point only. Two handles may have nonslip surfaces, but one of them will always feel better than the other. A small degree of non-slip coating will not help, will it? Unless you can test the knife in person, it might be wise to count on customers’ ratings and reviews.
A few extras here and there will help you find the best gut hook knife, but they will also make your hunting experience safer and more enjoyable.
Some of the top-rated knives out there come with a handguard. It is a matter of personal safety. This guard is right at the end of the handle before the blade starts. Its main role is to prevent your hand from going down the blade in case it slips. It will also provide some strength when fighting prey.
A sheath in the package could also be a nice extra. If you get a fixed blade knife, you will require a sheath. If your knife does not come with its sheath, you will have to buy one separately – a bit challenging, as it will never match perfectly, unless it is specifically designed for that model.
Why do I need a gut hook knife?
A gut hook knife is not mandatory, but the tool is extremely versatile and useful, so it will most likely add to your hunting experience. You have the razor-sharp edge, the sharp tip and the hook on top, meaning you can do more things with one thing only.
Sure, you could get a classic hunting knife for the hunting part. You can use the same knife for gutting too, but it will not be too efficient. You can, however, get a second knife with a hook for this part. But then, why would you invest in so many knives when one of them can get the whole job done?
What other knives should I consider for a hunting trip?
There are more knives out there that can help during your hunting experience. Ideally, you should opt for specialized knives, meaning their purposes are clearly defined. This way, you will know precisely when and how to use each knife.
Some of the most popular knives for hunting enthusiasts include:
Can I sharpen a gut hook if it feels inefficient after too many uses?
Absolutely. However, the hook is not like a straight blade, so the sharpening process is not that simple. Given its unusual shape, it should be treated like a serrated blade. It is practically ground on each side. For maximum efficiency, use a diamond pocket or taper sharpener.
If you are not sure what you are doing, seek help from a professional.
In conclusion, deciding on the best gut hook knife should be based on efficiency and performance. You will find all kinds of models out there. Some of them sacrifice the performance for the actual looks – bad idea. Opt for a well-rated knife from a reputable brand and you simply cannot go wrong.