What’s the Difference Between a Hunting Knife and a Bowie Knife?

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The difference between the two knives can be difficult if you do not know which branch of cutting arts you follow.

Interestingly, hunting knives could also be used as bowie knives as they share many of the same characteristics.

But I’m here to tell you that a bowie knife has a substantially different structure from a hunting knife according to my experience. 

For instance, you have a skinning knife in yours kitchen. It has great precision for skinning.

Skinning knives are not efficient enough for the remaining tasks. On the other hand, chef knives can perform all functions with just one blade.

The working capability of Bowie and Hunting knife

The presence of a bowie knife in your bag during a trip can deal with nearly all tasks. It can manage multiple tasks such as skinning, gutting, camping, cutting the bone firewoods into slices.

You can use it as a cutting tool for vegetables, fruit, and meat. Even the harder parts could be deal with a bowie knife easily. Its usage as a protective tool is common nowadays.

The hunting knives are the specific knives made for some specific functions like skinning and cutting the meat into pieces. It is a single-purpose knife used as a tool related to hunting.

Comparison between blades


The blade of the hunting knife is approximately 2 to 4 inches long. This length is sufficient for precise control over the knife against the target.

In the case of the bowie knife, the length of the blade is 8 inches for making the performance high during cutting, slicing, and chopping.


The blade of the bowie knife is 1.2 to 2 inches wide for best performance when you are on your trip.

In the case of a hunting knife, it must be 2.3 cm wide to do your work with great perfection.


The composition of the bowie knife is carbon steel, stainless steel, and alloy steel, in many cases. Cobalt and titanium alloy could be used.

On the other hand, hunting knives have carbon steel material in most cases. Mostly, carbon makes alloys with chromium, nickel, and tungsten for enhancing strength.


Bowie knives come with a double edge for giving wide scope from cutting and chopping to skinning and slicing the wood for the bonfire. It has a curved shape pointing to the tip.

The hunting knife has a single edge for covering skinning and slicing of meat. It has a straight shape from one side while curved on the other.

Comparison between handles

Now come to the comparison between the handles. 


The length of the bowie knife handle must be long enough against the perfect grip. It may be equal to the blade size.

The hunting knife handle must be longer than the blade.


The width of the bowie knife should be graspable in the palm for avoiding any type of accident. On the other hand, a hunting knife must have perfect fitting in the hand.


The material of the handle affects the grip on it.

The bowie knives usually come with wooden handles, if you want a knife with traditional styling. Other materials are clothes with hardened material. Leather, bones, and synthetic could be chosen according to the user’s choice.

While the hunting knife’s material could be synthetic or natural.

Protective sheath

The protective sheath on the blade of bowie and hunting knife is made of dyed or natural colored leather. It is handmade and fits perfectly to the blade size and width.

Sharpening stone

There is a need for a big and wide sharpening stone for the bowie knife due to the widened blade shape.

A less wide sharpening stone could be used for hunting knives. 

Bowie and hunting knife uses

Bowie knife uses

  • Bowie knife could be used as a skinning tool due to its curved profile of the blade. Plus, you sharpen it suitably
  • You can use it as an instrument for butchering and deboning meat.
  • The straight portion of the blade is specific for cutting the meat into pieces.
  • Furthermore, this tool could be used as a cutter for vegetables into the required shape and size.
  • One of the best uses is as a fruit cutter when you are on a picnic.
  • In a traditional kitchen, it could work as a chopper for herbs and vegetables.
  • The sharpened edge is specific for cleaning and flitting larger-sized fish.
  • It can deal with boning of harder meat when you go hunting.
  • Depending on the edge shape this tool could be helpful as a hunting knife.
  • You can use this knife as a survival knife during the fighting.
  • For camping purposes, a bowie knife could be helpful and effective.
  • In a bonfire, the bowie knife is best for slicing the wood into thinner sheets.
  • The edge of the blade is capable of penetrating into the harder parts of the meat. The thick and stronger blade provides sufficient energy for penetration.

Hunting knife uses

  • The shape of the hunting knife is specific for the skinning of the animals by its sharpened pointed edge.
  • The tough and harder blade is good for the butchering of meat within no time.
  • The flat portion is perfect for cutting the meat into smaller pieces.
  • The pointed portion of the blade is used for separating the meat from bones.
  • The blade shape is perfect for cleaning the meat with greater efficiency.
  • These harder and stronger blades are best for harder meats.
  • Depending on the blade shape, this knife could be used as a camping knife.
  • It is the best knife for survival purposes while fighting.

Stuff that could be deal with Bowie and Hunting knives

Bowie knife

  • All types of herbs are compatible with the manufacturing of the bowie knife blade.
  • All types of harder meats are easy to handle with this tool.
  • You can use this knife on fruits and vegetables easily.
  • Great compatibility is found between the boning parts of the meat and its blade.
  • This knife has a great application on the wooden part of the plant for slicing.

Hunting knife

  • Best knife ever for skinning of animals.
  • It has enhanced usage on the boning part of the meat.
  • Hunting knife provides the best application over all types of meat even the harder meats.
  • It could be used on raw parts of the meat for separating them from meat.


  • Always clean the knife with plain water after its usage.
  • While it is stored, use a cover sheet for blade protection.
  • Make sure you have full command of the usage of bowie as well as hunting knives.
  • Take care of the pointed edge of the blade for high performance.
  • You can use an electric sharpener for time-saving purposes.
  • It is better to take the services of a professional for sharpening the blades.
  • Don’t use the dishwasher for cleaning purposes of the tools.
  • Don’t deal delicate meat with these knives.
  • Take care of the sharpener against dust and water for better performance.

Frequently asked questions

Can We Use A Bowie Knife As A Hunting Knife?

There is a minor difference between the bowie and hunting knife. But you can use a bowie knife as a hunting knife in many cases. It depends on the shape of the blade of the knife. If the blade has a double edge then you can use this tool as a hunting knife. The pointed portion is instrumental for the usage as a hunting tool.

Can we use a hunting knife as a Bowie knife?

You can use the Hunting tool as a bowie knife only to some extent. Like skinning, deboning, camping and butchering could be done by hunting knives instead of bowie knives.


At this stage, we have heavy insight into the structure of both knives. At first glance, both look alike. The main thing is the usage that has some difference. 

The bowie knife has the full qualities of a hunting knife. Its sharpened pointed edges serve as a hunting knife and flare shape as a bowie knife. 

But the case of hunting knives is different. The hunting tool has limited access to the tasks that could be done by the bowie knife easily.

Only skinning, deboning and butchering could be dealt with by hunting knives. You cannot use the hunting knife as a fine cutter and chopper.

Both could be the best survival tool in fighting, camping, and skinning.

In my opinion, you must choose a bowie knife instead of a hunting tool. Take care of the blade edges if you want one with both knives’ qualities.


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