Best Skinning Knife for Small Game: Top 5 Blades

Skinning an animal is an art. It takes care and precision. Skinning small game is even trickier. There is a fine line that, if crossed, can lead to mangling your fresh kill. You’ll need equipment that is up to the task. The best skinning knife for small game will be small itself, super sharp, and have a drop point blade.

Small Blade

An ideal skinning knife for small game will have a small blade. You don’t want it to be much longer than 5 inches or you may be trying to get too large knife around too small and delicate bones and joints. You’ll need to make an accurate slice and pull the skin down around the animal’s body, so a butcher knife just won’t do the trick. Any skinning knife suitable for a small sized game should have a fairly small blade.

Sharp and Able to Be Sharpened

So obviously you don’t have to find a forever sharp knife, one of those blades that promise to never get dull. We all know that those promises are empty, and you end up tossing the knife eventually. What you want is a fine blade that can be sharpened easily. Ideally, you’ll find a sharpener you can keep close, so you can keep your blade gleaming, even if you’re out hunting for a week. Because you’re getting your blade between the skin and the flesh of an animal, it is absolutely necessary that your blade be super sharp.

Drop Point Blade

What is a drop point blade? A drop point blade is a blade that has a point pushed back from the sharp side of the knife. The extreme alternative to a drop point would be a double-edged knife, where the point shoots straight up. The reason skinners don’t use a knife with a straight up point is the danger of puncturing the flesh during the skinning process. You’ll want your blade to have drop point to get the best work done.

Top 5 – Best Skinning Knife For Small Game

1. Buck Knife

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  1. Buck Knife is a beautiful piece of hunting equipment. It has a four and a half inch drop point blade, it markets as a super sharp blade, and it has an intricately carved handle for a good grip.
  2. What makes this knife a good skinning knife is really the handle. As you are skinning your rabbit or squirrel, your hand may become slippery or slick from moisture in the air or from blood or other fluids from your kill. A handle with a good grip is an ideal extra for skinning. The knife also comes with a sheath, so you can wear it right on your hip.

2. Valtev

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  1. The Valtev is a much smaller knife. At two and a half inches, if you are one who doesn’t like to wear your weaponry on your body as an open display, this knife may be for you. It is a folding pocket knife, so you can carry it around in secret and take it out when you need to, after a fresh kill.
  2. The blade is a sharp stainless steel and the handle is made from genuine wood. It will fit in your hand when folded up, so you won’t have to worry about carrying around too much weight on a hunt.

3. Buck Ergo Hunter

  1. Many good small skinning knives have handles made of rubber. Remember I mentioned the importance of grip? Well, rubber won’t let you down, and this knife is a good example of that.
  2. The Buck Ergo is another small knife, coming in a two and a half inches. It does not fold, but it has a fold over the sheath, so you can keep it protected when not in use.

4. Benchmade Griptillian

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  1. What? Why is the first knife that comes up on this list pink? It’s true. When you find this blade on Amazon, the first thing you notice is that its handle is pink. But fear not. The Benchmade comes in a variety of colors. It is a sharp knife that will fold up, so it is small enough to carry around on a regular basis, and it is guaranteed for life.
  2. That may be the biggest selling point to this knife, the lifetime guarantee by Benchmade. If anything happens, nicks or scratches, unable to sharpen or just plain broken, send it back for a new one. And hey, maybe you’ve got a lucky lady out there who’ll go hunting with you and likes the color pink.

5. Elk Ridge

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  1. Good skinning knives come with certain features, as we discussed above. Great skinning knives also happen to look like man’s best friend. And that’s just what this Elk Ridge knife looks like.
  2. This knife has a mean looking blade that is sharp and flat, lightweight and lethal. The handle looks like it was carved directly out of the tree closest to your campfire. It comes with a sheath; it’s a fixed blade, and the company guarantees your satisfaction. If for some reason it does not turn out to be your best friend, send it back.

Final Thoughts

Hunting, skinning, backpacking, camping, whatever you happen to be doing in the great outdoors, you’ll need a small, lightweight knife. If you are in the hunting and skinning game at all, you’ll need a good skinning knife. All of the knives listed here can serve as both – a multipurpose utility knife and a skinning knife for small game. Take your pick.


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