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

North America Big Game

North America's Toughest Black Bear Hunts

Brad Fitzpatrick

These four hunts will test your endurance.

Ammo

Roll Your Own: Best Reloading Supplies

David Draper - April 19, 2019

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench.

North America

Bear Hunting Makes Quebec the Ultimate Springtime Destination

Lynn Burkhead - February 01, 2019

Hunting in Quebec offers plenty of quality outfitters, affordable hunting options, great...

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories

North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt - July 13, 2017

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt - October 16, 2017

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can still make a 2017 mule deer hunt. According to...

Guns

8 Great Youth Guns Designed for Growing Hunters

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 18, 2016

Looking for a great gun for the young hunter in your family? Here are eight favorites from the

See More Stories

More Knives

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

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...

Knives

9 Top Hunting Tools and Blades for 2012

PH Online Editors - September 26, 2012

Sometimes having the right tool for the job makes all the difference. That's a truth we...

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.

×