I need a hunting knife! (skinner etc etc etc)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Vita89, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Vita89


    Sep 3, 2016

    I love obscure weird things. So naturally I've been very attracted to the Tops Atax01. They have them for about $200 cad on a site called warriors and wonders I believe.

    As an All around tool/cool to have. It would get very general use maybe some skinning minor bush craft stuff. Would you rate this as a good combo knife to go with a Tom Brown Tracker for a long day in the woods?

    What would you recommend? Are there any great folders that could cover the skinning needs? I feel like they'd be a bit of a pain to clean.
  2. Frisky


    Dec 1, 2010
    Ok. I don't think you'll be impressed with my answer, but I'll give you my opinion anyway. I'm a bowhunter and use my hunting knives for work on deer. I'm also a fisherman and have been a trapper and small game hunter. That said, you just can't go wrong with a dedicated hunting knife like the Buck Vanguard. You can get cheaper and far more expensive hunting knives, but you really can't find fault with the Vanguard. I have a couple dozen dedicated hunters and it's the one I throw into my pack.

    There are some good folding hunting knives. The Buck 110 is the most popular. I'm buying one this week. It's a heavy knife, and I certainly don't need it, but I want one. I do carry a folding hunting knife. It's the Victorinox Hunter XT. I have a video review of it on YouTube. It's the review with 65,000+ views. At the time I did the review, I had not used it. It performed well on a deer I shot last year. I used the gutting blade to open up the deer. It worked fine. I used the saw to quietly clear shooting lanes. I like the knife, but I could have safely opened the deer with the Vanguard. I also feel the Vanguard is not too much knife for use on small game and even fish.

  3. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Bucks are nice, might take a look at the fixed blades they have too.

    I got a great, plain 3v drop point fixed blade, it is a custom, but very simple design. That is my go to, and it works flawlessly.

    Just a heads up. I only have one experience with TOPS. I have one of there knives, a 1095 fixed blade. It will not hold an edge for anything. Sure, it is very very easy to sharpen and you can get it razor sharp, but all I was doing is sharpening. Not sure if they are all like that, but mine sure was. Too bad too, it was a good design.

    I would take a look at the knifemaker fixed blades for sale section here. You will find some good blades.
  4. slight


    May 22, 2011
    The Atax looks like a gimmick to me. I am sure it was designed by one expert or another, and that there are people who love it. Maybe if I had one, it would open my eyes and change my life. It does seem to have a lot of features.

    As for a companion blade to a Tom Brown Tracker? I don't think it is the best choice. Isn't the point of the tracker to be a one tool option?

    I would probably go with something much smaller and lighter weight. Possibly a folder. A multi-tool would be a good pairing in my opinion.

    I personally take either a hatchet and folding knife or just a big fixed blade for short excursions into the woods. Honestly, for my day trips bug spray and a water bottle is more important.

    That said, if you see a use and think they would make a great combo, go for it. Even if you just think it is cool and would enjoy having it and using it.

    As long as you like it, and can afford it, why not?
  5. 59Bassman


    Jul 5, 2007
    I get loving weird things, I really do. But I also tend to form an attachment to my tools. I want a tool to still be useful when the weird wears off, if you get my drift.

    To be frank, that ATAX looks like a perfectly good solution to a problem that I've never encountered. And honestly, I can't come up with a problem that I think it would be the solution to. And the Tracker (again, IMHO) has too much going on to be a really useful tool for me. Others will be here shortly to disagree, I am certain.

    People have been coming up with oddball knife innovations for centuries. Somehow the old fixed blade, single edged belt knife keeps getting the job done. I'd guess tens of thousands of deer were processed last year with either a Buck 110, a Buck Vanguard, or granddad's Buck 119. There's a reason. The steel isn't sexy, the may not be the latest full-tang prybar, but they WORK. And they work without needing an instruction manual or youtube video on what part goes through which hole when you are making that one cut.

    Between the two knives, you're looking at dropping some serious coin (~$400, right?). For that kind of money, you could have about your pick of Bark River knife design (check out the Aurora, Gunny Hunter, Bravo 1 LT, Fox River, or Classic Drop Point Hunter) as your all-purpose fixed blade. Even with a high-end steel, get micarta scales and you're looking at around $250. Then for your "companion", get a small axe like a Wetterlings and you're right at the same budget. You may even have enough left over to throw in a decent machete for brush clearing. And you'll end up with some fantastic, lifetime tools that are weird in the sense that they are not tools you see everyday, but every bit as usable and durable (moreso, most likely).

    Sorry if this offends you, but I've looked at the TOPs knives many times and have a hard time figuring out what most of them are used for. Thee Brothers of Bushcraft looks interesting, and may be worth a look if you are fixed on that brand.
  6. Pattas29


    Dec 18, 2012
    I have owned a Fallkniven F1 and a TOPsS BOB. I found both to be awesome. I also have a Busse Boss Jack which is fantastic.

    I always wanted to try the Tracker but heard so many mixed reviews I just think I wouldn't like it. But I couldn't recommend the BOB or F1 enough.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The Tops Atax-01 is gimmicky to me. It is the kind of thing you buy and never use. Save your money. $200 is suggested retail.

    If you want a good combination skinner and general woods knife, take a look at the new Northwoods Mackinaw if you want something higher end than say a Buck Vanguard. I like the Cabelas version of the Vanguard 192. Very good all around hunting knife.

    Reasonable cleaning of a folder after use on animals (except hogs) is not a big deal for me. Clean it really well when you get home.

    Knives like the GEC #42, Northwoods Madison, Queen Mountain Man would work very well as a small game knife, general woods knife, and all around cutter. I think the Vic Hunter is a good suggestion as well for something less expensive. The Buck 110 is a perennial favorite. I carried the Schrade version for years and it works just fine.

    What do I carry when I am hunting? I will have my SAK in my pocket because it's always there, a very sharp traditional folder, and a moderate sized fixed blade. The Vic does the lion's share of all the cutting I ever do.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  8. MikeH


    Oct 18, 2001
    As far as I am concerned, I have found the perfect hunting knife, a Dozier General Purpose Hunter. This is also the sharpest knife out of the box that I have ever owned.

    Now as to reality, for 40 years I field-dressed everything from small game to deer with whatever folder was my EDC at the time, from an Uncle Henry Trapper to a Cold Steel Clipmate to a Spyderco Native and several others. Basically, whatever was most likely to be in my pocket at the time. They all worked just fine.
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Love the Dozier knives. Have a number. Since I have a traditional folder with me hunting (smaller knife), I now carry a Dozier Pro Guides knife (~5") or sometimes one of the smaller Dozier's. My latest Dozier is the K-6 Companion which would work just fine too for hunting. But the reality is that I use my folder more often than not for hunting chores. I keep it very sharp.
  10. kda89508

    kda89508 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    The Cold Steel Ultimate Hunter was made just for that purpose. It is a very nice folder. Kevin 😊👍
  11. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
  12. wesmanthetiger


    Apr 28, 2015
    TOPS knives look awesome, but I've never felt they function as well as they look. When you consider their steel and heat treat at the cost, you could also get an Esee or Ontario that are super solid tool knives that WILL function as advertised for life. That being said my favorite processing setup is a Buck Paklite gut hook and Paklite caping knife. Alaskan Ulu for skinning. BK5 for breaking down. In the end, get what drives you as you won't be satisfied if you don't. Why do we all have so many knives? We've all found what works for us through trial and error. Have fun!

    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
  13. morgaj1


    Jan 2, 2012
    I have production and custom knives of all price ranges. However, the knife that I put on my belt when I go hunting is the Beretta Loveless Hunter. It's nothing special to look at, but it just works. The hollow ground AUS-8 blade holds an edge better than it should. Plus, I've always been a big fan of how the Loveless hunter handle feels.
  14. Vita89


    Sep 3, 2016
    How are the bench made Bushcrafters?
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The Benchmade Bushcrafter EOD 162-1 Sibert would work for me.
  16. ocnLogan


    Jul 31, 2011
    I'm no hunter, so, my thoughts might not carry much weight.

    That said, I would probably tend towards a fixed blade (easier to clean), and something with a good grip in the 3-4in of blade length.

    Many of those traits are common of many good handy bushcrafty/all around blades.

    I'd check out the Johnson Adventure Blades Gamestalker ($40-50), or the Becker bk16 ($60-80). I also hear great things about the dozier blades, as well as the old schrade sharpfinger, but I've got less of an idea on pricing and availability on those though.

    Good luck finding something that fits your needs :).
  17. dcbowtecher


    Jan 21, 2010
    Cold Steel Master Hunter cpm3v. And be done with it.
  18. sinkrate


    Mar 21, 2015
    Anyone know how the Buck 119 performs? It sure looks like a good one!

  19. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    My hunting knife is a Bill Moran drop point which I have used since it was first sold by Spyderco. I'm not a fan of big Bowie honkers for use when dressing game animals, you don't need a large blade, unless you are hunting cape buffalo in Africa. The Moran is the perfect size and weight with a great grip even when goo coated. I think it is sleeper among current fixed blades. Also a portable bone saw and a boning knife are very handy tools to carry when dressing out game animals. It sells for around $100+/-.

    Here is a good video about the Bill Moran Drop Point.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016

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