knives scattered on white background


Explore our expert guide to the best knife sets for processing game. From field dressing to butchering, discover top picks tailored for hunters. With rugged designs and precision blades, these sets are essential companions for your next outdoor adventure.

Every hunter needs to understand the importance of a reliable knife set. The right selection can significantly impact your hunting efficiency, from gutting and slicing to skinning.

Knife with grip

1. Knife Types for Hunting

A well-informed hunter knows that not all knives are created equal. Each type serves a unique purpose i.e.:

Caping Knives

these knives which appear to be almost scalpel like in shape is used for the delicate removal of the hide from the face of a trophy animal. These knives are not mentioned very often but they are very important when dealing with finer and intricate areas of the game.

Fillet Knives

these knives are designed exclusively for fishes which is used, as its name suggests, to fillet the flesh of the fish from the bones. While you cannot use a steak knife to cut a fish, you could actually still use a fillet knife for a steak. This may not be relevant here for the sake of our article, but it does paint a clear picture.

Bone Cleavers

this is the big boy, they are sometimes also called bone choppers which have thick heavy blades, it comes in many forms, but it usually resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet with a bigger grip handle.

Skinning Knives

these knives are primarily designed to skin big game animals; they are capable of quickly and neatly separating the skin from the meat of large game animals. They are usually light, thin, and curved.

Gutting Knives

they are sharp and serrated and can cut easily through skin and flesh of big game and mostly come with a gut hook.

Hunting Knife Sets for Small and Large Game ( could also help with your understanding here.


if you are on a budget or you want to travel light, you would only need a:


The knives mentioned would be capable of carrying out all of the needs that you have i.e.:

  1. The bone saw to, as its name suggests, saw the bones of the game to be able to store in in smaller pieces.
  2. The caping knife which is used to separate the meat from the skin from the head of the animal.
  3. A gut hook to carry out dressing of the game, to get into the skin of the game etc

Alternatively, if you are looking to get individual knives you can check out Our Top 8 Hunting Knives of 2023 where we talk about individual knives that are more of an all-in-one use so you can travel light.

How they look like:

Bone Saw knife

Bone saw knife

Caping knife

Gut Hook Knife

2. 3 Considerations For a Knife: Material, Length and Grip

1. The material

When it comes to selecting the best material for a knife blade, stainless steel stands out as the top choice for a variety of reasons. Knives are primarily crafted from steel due to its exceptional hardness, making it an ideal material for blades. However, within the realm of steel, there are key distinctions to consider, particularly between standard steel and stainless steel.

Standard steel, an alloy composed primarily of iron and carbon, often contains trace amounts of other elements such as manganese, oxygen, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorus. While durable, knives made from standard steel are prone to rust due to oxidation.

In contrast, stainless steel boasts a higher chromium content, which forms a protective layer on the blade’s surface, preventing oxidation and rust formation. This chromium-rich composition gives stainless steel its name, as it remains resistant to rust and corrosion even in humid or wet conditions.

Despite stainless steel’s rust-resistant properties, it’s essential to note that it may have slightly lower edge retention compared to standard steel. This means that stainless steel blades may require more frequent sharpening to maintain their sharpness over time.

Additionally, carbon steel, known for its hardness and sharpness, presents another option for knife blades. However, carbon steel blades are prone to rust, making them less suitable for outdoor use where exposure to moisture is common.

Moreover, within the realm of stainless steel, there are various alloys to choose from, each with its unique properties and characteristics. Some commonly used stainless-steel alloys include:

  1. Stellite 6K
  2. Z-FiNit
  3. CPM S30V
  4. CPM S35VN
  5. CPM S90V
  6. CPM S110V
  7. CPM20CV
  8. CTS 204P
  9. CTS B75P
  10. 7CR17MoV
  11. 13C26
  12. 14C28N
  13. 440C
  14. AEB-L
  15. AUS–8
  16. CPM154
  17. CTS XHP
  18. Elmax
  19. N690
  20. N695

These alloys offer different levels of hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance, allowing knife enthusiasts to select the stainless-steel variant that best suits their needs and preferences.

Read more on each of them on Guide to the Best Knife Steel | Knife Informer if you want to know more.

2. Length

First and foremost, the length of a knife directly impacts its cutting ability. Longer blades generally provide more cutting edge, allowing for more efficient and effective slicing, chopping, and cutting. This is particularly important in tasks that require long, smooth cuts, such as skinning game animals or filleting fish. A longer blade also offers greater reach, enabling users to make deeper cuts or reach into tight spaces with ease.

Conversely, shorter blades offer increased precision and control, making them ideal for tasks that require intricate or detailed cutting. Knives with shorter blades are often preferred for tasks like peeling fruits and vegetables, trimming meats, or performing delicate carving work.

You want to find the best length of knives that suit the game that you will be processing

Here are the lengths that you should be going for:

  1. Fixed Blade Knife:
    • Ideal length: 4 to 6 inches
    • Versatile for field dressing, skinning, and basic butchering.
    • Features: Full tang, drop point or clip point blade, ergonomic handle, durable sheath.
  2. Skinning Knife:
    • Ideal length: 2.5 to 4 inches
    • Efficient for removing hide from game animals.
    • Features: Narrow and curved blade, gut hook or blunt tip, non-slip handle, compact size.
  3. Boning Knife:
    • Ideal length: 6 to 7 inches
    • Essential for removing meat from bones and trimming fat.
    • Features: Flexible and narrow blade, sharp pointed tip, ergonomic handle, stainless steel construction.
  4. Caping Knife:
    • Ideal length: 2 to 3 inches
    • Designed for delicate skinning work around the head and face.
    • Features: Fine-pointed and narrow blade, lightweight and maneuverable, textured or contoured handle, optimized blade material.
  5. Bone Cleaver:
    • Ideal length: 5 to 7 inches
    • Specifically designed for splitting and processing large bones.
    • Features: Thick and heavy-duty blade, robust construction, wide blade profile for chopping power, ergonomic handle for control and comfort.

3. grip

Knives from different brands in vibrant colors

The best grip for a knife set is one that feels secure and comfortable in your hand, providing optimal control and reducing the risk of slippage. Ideally, the grip should be ergonomically designed to fit the natural contours of your hand, allowing for a firm and balanced hold.

There are a few options available to you:

  • Stainless steel
  • Rubber
  • Polypropylene
  • Micarta
  • Bone
  • Wood
  • Mother of Pearl
  • G-10
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Carbon Fibre
  • Leather

A breakdown of each of them

  1. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel handles are durable, resistant to corrosion, and easy to clean. They provide a sleek and modern look to a knife set but may lack texture for a secure grip, particularly when wet.
  2. Rubber: Rubber handles offer excellent grip, especially in wet or slippery conditions, making them suitable for outdoor use. They provide a comfortable and secure hold but may deteriorate over time with heavy use.
  3. Polypropylene: Polypropylene handles are sturdy, lightweight, and resistant to wear and tear. They can be textured for improved grip and are easy to clean and maintain.
  4. Micarta: Micarta handles are made from layers of fabric or paper impregnated with resin, resulting in a durable and grippy material. They offer excellent traction even when wet and are resistant to moisture and heat.
  5. Bone: Bone handles exude a rustic charm and provide a natural feel in hand. While they may lack texture, bone handles can be visually appealing and offer decent grip when properly shaped and contoured.
  6. Wood: Wood handles are prized for their natural beauty and warmth. They can vary in texture and grain pattern, offering a tactile and comfortable grip. However, wood handles may require more maintenance to prevent staining or warping.
  7. Mother of Pearl: Mother of Pearl handles are elegant and luxurious, adding a touch of sophistication to a knife set. While visually stunning, they may be less practical for heavy-duty use due to their delicate nature.
  8. G-10: G-10 handles are made from layers of fiberglass soaked in resin, resulting in a durable and lightweight material. They offer excellent grip and are resistant to moisture, chemicals, and temperature changes.
  9. Aluminum: Aluminum handles are lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion. They provide a sleek and modern appearance but may feel cold and slippery in hand.
  10. Titanium: Titanium handles are incredibly strong, lightweight, and corrosion resistant. They offer excellent durability and a unique aesthetic but may come at a higher cost.
  11. Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber handles are lightweight, strong, and visually striking. They provide excellent grip and are resistant to temperature changes, making them ideal for outdoor use.
  12. Leather: Leather handles offer a traditional and classic look to a knife set. While they may provide a comfortable grip, leather handles require more maintenance and may not be as durable as other materials.

Ultimately, the best grip material is one that feels natural and comfortable in your hand, providing confidence and control in every cutting task. By carefully considering the characteristics and qualities of each grip material, you can make an informed decision that enhances your outdoor adventures for years to come.

Our Thoughts:

Go for a grip that gives you a good grasp like rubber, polypropylene and rubberized TPR.

With knowledge of the best knives for your use, you should also check on Field Dressing Techniques ( to learn the best practices of how to process your game.

A quick breakdown of the best sets in the game

3. Our 11 Knife Set Picks:

In this curated selection, we present top-tier knife sets tailored for dressing game with precision and ease. From field dressing to intricate skinning, these sets are meticulously crafted to elevate your hunting experience. Join us as we explore the essential tools every hunter needs for efficient and effective game processing. Let’s dive in…

1. Outdoor Edge 12-Piece Field Dressing Kit

knife sets

Core Features

Blades include: Caping knife, Gut-hook skinner, Boning knife, Butcher knife and a Bone saw

Blade Material: Full-Tang 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimensions:

  • Caping Blade: 4.3 in / 10,8 cm 
  • Skinner Blade: 4.5 in / 11,5 cm 
  • Boning Blade: 5.9 in / 15,0 cm 
  • Butcher Blade: 8.3 in / 21,0 cm 
  • Saw Blade: 10.2 in / 25,8 cm 

Also included: Tungsten Carbide Sharpener, Brisket Spreader, Game shears, Carving Fork, Cutting Board, Gloves, Chopping Board and a Hard-side Carry Case.

Handle Grip: Rubberized TPR Handles

2. Outdoor Edge 8-piece WildPak Knife Set

dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Boning Knife, Gut-Hook Skinner, Caping Knife and Bone Saw

Blade Material: Full-Tang 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • 2.5″ Caping Knife
  • 4″ Gut-Hook Skinner
  • 5″ Boning Knife
  • 6″ Bone Saw

Also included: Brisket Spreader, Carbide Sharpener, Hard-Side Case and Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: Bone, Thermoplastic Elastomers and Horn

3. Canadian KNINE 12 Piece Knife Set

dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Boning Knife, Gut-Hook Skinner, Hawkbill Blade Knife, Caping Knife, Gut-Hook Buther Knife, Skinning Cleaver and Bone Saw

Blade Material: 7CR17MOV Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • 12″ Boning Knife
  • 9-1/2″ Gut-Hook Skinner
  • 8-1/2″ Hawkbill blade knife
  • 8-1/2″ Bone Saw
  • 8-1/2″ Caping Knife
  • 12″ Gut-Hook Butcher Axe
  • 10-1/2″ Skinning Cleaver

Also Included: 9-1/4″ Game Shear, Brisket Spreader, Cutting Board, Knife and Shear Sharpener and Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: “Ergonomic Material” which is likely a composite of different materials forming a strong and durable grip as it is no specified as to the nature of the material.

4. MOSSY OAK Fixed Blade Hunting Knife Set

dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Skinning Knife and Gut Gook Knife

Blade Material: Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • Skinning Knife: 10-3/8 inch; Blade Length: 5-1/8 inch
  • Gut Hook Knife: 9-3/8 inch; Blade Length: 4-1/4 inch

Also Included: Dual carry Nylon Black Sheath

Handle Grip: Full-Tang Camo Handle

5. Outdoor Edge WildGuide 4-Piece Hunting Set

dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Caping Knife, Gut-Hook Skinner and a T-handle Bone Saw

Blade Material: 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension: 4 inches

Also Included: Nylon Belt Sheath

Handle Grip: Rubber

6. MOSSY OAK Hunting Field Dressing Kit

mossy oak dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: T-handle Bone Saw, Caping Knife, Gut Hook Skinner and a Boning Knife

Blade Material: 3CR13 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • T-handle Bone Saw:  8.7″
  • Caping Knife: 7.5″
  • Gut Hook Skinner: 9.4″
  • Boning Knife: 10″

Also Included: Brisket Spreader, Tungsten Carbide V-Sharpener and Red Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: Full-tang Camouflage handles

7. GVDV 14 Piece Hunting Knife Set

GVDV dressing kit 14 piece

Core Features

Blades include: Caping Knife, Gut-hook Knife and Boning Knife

Blade Material: 5CR15 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • Caping Knife: 3.1″
  • Gut-hook Knife: 3.7″
  • Boning Knife: 4.7″

Also Included: Brisket Spreader, Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: Grooved polypropylene handles

8. Elk Ridge-Outdoors 2-Piece Fixed Blade Knife Set

Elk Ridge 2 piece knife set

Core Features

Blades include: Gut Hook Knife and Caping Knife

Blade Material: 3CR13 Black Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • Gut Hook Knife: 6.5″
  • Caping Knife: 7″

Also Included: Nylon Sheath

Handle Grip: Camo-coated Nylon Fiber

9. Outdoor Edge RazorPro

outdoor edge fixed blade knife set

Core Features

Blades include: Blade Knife and Gut Hook Knife (in one blade)

Blade Material: Japanese 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • 8″ when attached with handle, 3.5″ respectively

Also Included: Camo Nylon Sheath

Handle Grip: Rubberized TPR with Stainless Steel Frame

* If you want to have a better understanding of how this knife actually works, watch the video down below on how you fix in, replace and use the knife.

10. Mossy Oak 10 Piece Field Dressing Kit Knife Set

mossy oak 10 piece dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Boning Knife, Gut-Hook Skinner, Caping Knife, Bone Saw and Buther Axe

Blade Material: Full-Tang 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • 7-1/4″ Caping Knife
  • 8-3/4″ Gut-Hook Skinner
  • 12″ Boning Knife
  • 9-1/2″ Bone Saw
  • 10-3/4 Buther Axe

Also included: 9″ Game Shear, Cutting Board, Brisket Spreader, HCS Sharpener and Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: Rubberized Handles

11. LANCERGEAR 8 Piece Field Dressing Kit 

lancergear dressing kit

Core Features

Blades include: Boning Knife, Gut-Hook Skinner, Caping Knife, Bone Saw

Blade Material: Full-Tang 420J2 Stainless Steel

Blade Dimension:

  • 7-1/4″ Caping Knife
  • 8-3/4″ Gut-Hook Skinner
  • 12″ Boning Knife
  • 9-1/2″ Bone Saw

Also included: Brisket Spreader, HCS Sharpener and Game Cleaning Gloves

Handle Grip: Rubberized Handles

Final Thoughts

Well, all the knives listed above are really just about the best you can get today on the market, they are fairly reasonable in price, they are all made out of high-quality stainless steel and have great ergonomic handles. If I had to choose one out of the 11 on the list, it would however have to be the LANCEGEAR 11-Piece Set.

Regardless, the choice is yours. Look for a set that would also be easy to carry and transportable with your already heavy hunting equipment. If you are a minimalist who can work with a single knife for all your needs, go for the 2-piece sets.

It may be a daunting task to choose from the 11 above but if you follow the advice at the beginning of this article and know exactly what you do on the field then you would know the best to choose. Be sure to also check on 8 Best Pocketknives for Hunting for something to keep in your pocket when you’re out hunting.

If your source of protein comes solely from fish, this article may not be very necessary for you as you would only need a fillet knife. If, however, you are a big game or even small game hunter, a knife kit would be essential, covering all possible needs. You could also check on The Complete Hunting Knife Buying Guide to learn a little bit about the history and the different types of hunting knives.