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

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap

Fare Game: Stuffed Elk Backstrap

Take your venison loin to a whole new level with this delicious reverse-seared stuffed elk backstrap. Smoking the backstrap on a Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill first, then finishing it on a blazing-hot skillet or flattop, creates a perfectly cooked, medium-rare steak with a crispy, seared exterior. The filling of diced mushrooms and creamy Boursin cheese adds a whole new level of amazing flavors to an otherwise classic smoked venison loin.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success. Whitetail

Daylight Deer Movement During the Rut

Jeff Johnston

We're deciphering new deer data for rut success.

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system. Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future. Accessories

The Best New Deer Hunting Technology

Jeff Johnston - May 15, 2020

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

See More Trending Articles

More Knives

Some things are just easier to accomplish with a hammer and an anvil. It's a simple notion for Knives

Blades of Steel: Nate Runals' Custom Knives

Ben OBrien - April 11, 2014

Some things are just easier to accomplish with a hammer and an anvil. It's a simple notion for

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
As every hunter knows, the blade or tool you carry into the field could save your life.

At the Knives

10 New Blades and Tools from SHOT Show 2013

Eric Conn - January 23, 2013

As every hunter knows, the blade or tool you carry into the field could save your life. At the



Buck's innovative Open Season Series knives are the perfect combination of tools for a successful Knives

Introducing the 2016 Buck Knives Lineup

PH Online Editors - January 29, 2016

Buck's innovative Open Season Series knives are the perfect combination of tools for a...

See More Knives

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now