Replaceable Blade Knives

A stout fixed blade has been the go-to knife of hunters for centuries, but lightweight folding knives with replaceable blades are a new trend. And why not? They slide easily into your pocket, and when the blade dulls, you can quickly swap it for a new one and get back to work. The question is: How well do the thin blades hold up against the toughest hide, meat, and bone?

Knives1

Outdoor Edge Razer-Lite EDC

The Razer-Lite EDC won top marks in my testing because of the double-sided thumb studs and a blade holder that stretches almost the full length of the blade. This aids in durability and keeps the blade from bending and breaking on the tough cuts, such as hip joints. The rubberized handle fits nicely in the palm for a steady grip, giving it the feel of a fixed-blade knife. The Razor-Lite EDC comes with six replacement blades and has the quickest method for switching blades, barely edging out the Gerber. With a push of a button and a gentle pull, the blade releases easily.


Replacement blades: $13.50 (six pack). $35; outdooredge.com


Blade: 420J2 Stainless Steel; 3½ in.  '¢  overall length: 8 in.


Pros: Long blade holder aids in durability

Cons: Stiff plastic pocket clip

Outdoor Edge Razor-Lite EDC


Browning Speed Load Hunting

The other knives in our test have standard drop point or blunt tipped blades, but the Speed Load Hunting comes with four blade types: drop point, guthook, caper, and utility. It has a metal blade housing that runs almost the length of the blade and helps with durability. The Browning is heavy compared to the rest because of the thick G10 handle, but that also gives it a strong overall feel in your palm and makes it easy to grip. To change blades, Browning has a two-button blade release that isn't the easiest to operate when your hands are covered in blood and fat.

Replacement blades: $7 (four pack). $40; browning.com


Blade: 420J2 Stainless Steel; 31⁄8 in.  '¢  overall length: 77⁄8 in.

Pros: Four different blade types

Cons: Two-button Blade release

Browning Speed Load Hunting

Havalon Forge

Havalon is the brand most associated with starting the replaceable blade knife trend, and they don't disappoint with their new Forge. The knife is ambidextrous and comes with six stainless-steel surgical blades that are perfect for intricate trimming, butchering, and removing silver skin. The Forge doesn't use a button release to change blades; instead users push up on the base of the blade to raise it above the locking mechanism where a simple pull releases the blade. The TPR rubberized handle provides a good grip when slippery.

Replaceable blades: $10 (12 pack). $55; havalon.com

Blade: Stainless Steel; 23⁄4 in.  '¢  overall length: 7 7⁄8 in.

Pros: Nonslip rubberized handle, blade holds edge well

Cons: Thin blades make cutting through bone tough

Havalon Forge

Gerber Vital Big Game Folder

We chose this knife knowing it was longer than the other knives to show that replaceable blade knives are available in more than just compact models. The Vital Big Game Folder looks like an oversized scalpel and comes with four blades (two drop point, two blunt tip). The 3¾-inch-long, full-size blade is a half-inch wide for working through large animals and is easily exchangeable with the push of a large button. To accommodate the blade size, the handle is very long, making it a little awkward, but it's rubberized for a sticky grip.

Replaceable blades: $23 (five pack). $68; gerbergear.com

Blade: 3cr; 33⁄4 in.  '¢  overall length: 11 in.

Pros: Easy push-button blade release, long blade length

Cons: Most expensive blade replacement

Gerber Vital Big Game Folder

Recommended for You

The most modern ammo and gear increase the odds of bagging a tricky tom this spring. Other Game

Today's Updated Turkey Hunting Gear

Joe Arterburn

The most modern ammo and gear increase the odds of bagging a tricky tom this spring.

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Putting The Porro Back in Quality Binoculars Optics

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Quality at the Right Price

Joe Arterburn - May 28, 2019

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Putting The Porro Back in Quality Binoculars

These four hunts will test your endurance. North America Big Game

North America's Toughest Black Bear Hunts

Brad Fitzpatrick

These four hunts will test your endurance.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

These rounds have proven themselves most worthy in the field. Ammo

America's Top 10 Big Game Cartridges

Joseph von Benedikt

These rounds have proven themselves most worthy in the field.

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study. Ammo

Is The 6.5 The Perfect Hunting Caliber?

Mike Schoby

We evaluate the 6.5 in a real-life case study.

See More Stories

More Knives

Each year the outdoor industry gathers at the annual SHOT Show to'introduce its most cutting-edge Knives

Best New Hunting Knives & Tools for 2015

PH Online Editors - February 09, 2015

Each year the outdoor industry gathers at the annual SHOT Show to'introduce its most...

Guns may have won the west, but the journey through the Appalachian Mountains, across the Knives

Best Hunting Knives and Tools

David Hart - March 10, 2017

Sponsored By
Outdoor Sportsman Group
A stout fixed blade has been the go-to knife of hunters for centuries, but lightweight folding Knives

Replaceable Blade Knives

Kali Parmley - January 05, 2018

A stout fixed blade has been the go-to knife of hunters for centuries, but lightweight folding

See More Knives

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.