A hunting knife is usually a good skinning knife as well. For skinning, the knife usually has a curved blade so that there is a smooth motion which can be undertaken so as to separate the meat from the hide. There are 3 main types of knives:
- The drop point hunting knife in which there is a spine which slowly slopes down to the tip. The design is easy to control the knife and it gives the hunter a great deal of slicing surface. The shape of the blade is such that there is very little chance of accidentally puncturing any organ and so the quality of meat is preserved. These however, are not good for piercing as their point is not sharp.
- Bowie blades have spines which are straight and the spine stops around the middle of the blade and then it curves right till the tip. This helps in creating a sharp tip as well as a belly. It is also perfect for skinning and slicing large surfaces. The point helps in piercing but it is weak and narrow.
- A gut hook looks like a drop point but it has a sharp hook at the spine. This is used to open the abdomen of the animal without slicing any organ or muscle. It is great for field dressing and it is good for slicing and skinning the belly portion while making sure that the point is not going to interfere with it. The disadvantage is that the hook is not easily sharpened.
These are the major types of hunting knives and the various purposes that they are put to when hunting or skinning of game.
In addition to these types, there are also classifications of folded and unfolded or straight knives.