Knives of Alaska may not have as much history as Buck Knives, but they are quickly carving out their own legacy. Founded in 1993 by Charles All, the company is about 25 years old now, Knives of Alaska has become a popular hunting company for those of us who live and breathe hunting, fishing, bushcraft and outdoor survivalism. One of the things that I love about this company’s knives is their sheer ruggedness and strength.

Knives of Alaska doesn’t make cheap or chintzy knives. This was a newer brand for me to discover, but I have become a huge fan. For a hunting or outdoor knife, I want something that can stand up to the harshest of conditions, and as they say, these really are “quality outdoorsmen’s knives” designed for Alaska.  I’ll preface my reviews by saying these are American-manufactured knives, which like many, I also have a soft spot for American-made products, but these are truly quality, and at the end of the day, American-junk in the field would do no one any good. These are truly well crafted hunting knives.

In a rush? Check out our picks for the top 6 Knives of Alaska

ImageNamePriceCheck Price and Reviews
Knives of Alaska Black Suregrip Cub Bear Caping Knife$$
Knives of Alaska Cub Bear Caping Knife – Orange Suregrip$$
Knives of Alaska Elk Hunter Knife$$
Knives of Alaska Whitetail Hunter Knife$$
Knives of Alaska Alpha Wolf S30V$$
Knives of Alaska Bush Camp Knife$$

Top 6 Knives Of Alaska Reviews

Knives of Alaska Black Suregrip Cub Bear Caping Knife

The Specs:

  • Rockwell Hardness: 57-59
  • Bevel: 18-20″
  • Knife Length: 6.5 Inches
  • Blade Length: 2.75 Inches
  • Weight 2.2 Ounces
  • Metal: D2 Steel
  • Tang: Full Tang
  • Handle: Black Suregrip
  • Sheath: Includes Leather Sheath

The Low Down On This Knife

The Cub Bear is one of Knives of Alaska’s most popular and iconic hunting knives. And likely the one you are most familiar with, if not the Alpha Wolf. It’s the first one that I used. This razor sharp hunting knife is ideal for those of you who are looking for a trusted knife for skinning and caping (particularly for taxidermy). The Cub Bear has a razor sharp tip and blade, I find ideal for meticulous detail work.

If you’re wondering whether the Cub Bear can hold up to the elements – well, that’s where it gets its name from. The “Suregrip” handle is made from Santoprene, which gives it a soft suction feel, so that it sticks to your hand as your hand glides as you cape. The Cub Bear has double finger choils which makes for easy finger placement while skinning, and a lanyard opening if you choose to wrap it around your wrist. Ergonomics are well-done on the Cub Bear, it has easy and safe gripping … and honestly, control is one of the most important elements while caping. Nothing more frustrating than mangling your cape.

I like a knife that will remain grippy, even if you are wrist deep skinning a deer or elk and your hand is soaked with blood.

I find that the Cub Bear holds its edge very well, even after rough usage. Any knife connoisseur will appreciate this classic “Made in the USA” knife.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced detail knife, I think you’ll be happy with this. A dull knife doesn’t do a hunter any good, and this small knife packs a punch. You can likely get through several deer before even having to sharpen it. And, it passes the shave test out of the box (shave your hair right off your arm). You’ll keep this for years to come for all of your hunting trips.

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Cub Bear

Knives of Alaska Cub Bear Caping Knife – Orange Suregrip

The Specs:

  • Metal: D2 Steel
  • Rockwell Hardness: 57 – 59
  • Bevel of 18-20 degrees.
  • Knife Length: 6.5 Inches
  • Blade Length: 2.75”
  • Weight: 2.2oz

The Verdict:

This is essentially the same knife as above, however the only difference is the grip color. However, because I think this is such a great skinner and caping knife, I’m going to give this its own credit.

This really is the perfect knife for detailed work. At 2.2 ounces, it’s a very lightweight knife. As a small, razor sharp knife, it feels almost like a surgical scalpel as you are caping.

The D2 steel is some of the highest quality metal available, especially for the price. D2 is one of my preferences over most of the cheap steels. Why? D2 steel holds a very sharp edge. Pairing that with this knife’s small size and weight, makes this ideal for precision caping and skinning deer or elk. This can handle both small and large game (deer, elk, bear).

The Cub Bear is a sharp knife with a perfect size blade for field dressing game. You don’t want an overly long blade when caping or skinning. A large blade, like a butcher’s knife will prevent precision and accuracy in your motion. Overall, it’s a high quality “made in the USA” knife – and will slice through any hide you put in its way like butter.

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Elk Hunter

Knives of Alaska Elk Hunter Knife

The Specs:

  • Metal: D2
  • Rockwell Hardness: 59-61
  • Bevel: 18-20 Degrees
  • Knife Length: 8.25″
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Weight: 4.5 oz

The Skinny:

Knives of Alaska Elk Hunter is a part of the Trekker Series. This is your classic hunting and skinning knife. With a drop-point blade for field dressing big game, it lives up to its self-proclaimed name the “elk hunter”. With a total knife length of 8.25 inches, and a blade length of 3.25 inches, it has the perfect sized belly for making long precise cuts on large game … but it’s definitely not what you would want for squirrel or something small.

This is the type of knife I would recommend for field dressing, skinning and gutting. Heck, some even use this bad boy for boning out their kill. It is full tang, which means that it is one continuous blade. Even though you probably won’t be batoning with this knife, it gives it extra strength.

The bevel is well grounded, and the blade holds up to abuse … it won’t be dulling out on you while in the field. It has a nice guard on the knife for heavy cutting, and choil for finger placement for finer cutting. It won’t slip in your hand either with its suregrip handle. There are people who testify to this knife that it has skinned countless wild hogs for them, breezing through that challenge!

I also really like the leather vegetable tanned cowhide sheath that it comes with. I think it gives the knife character. . For less than $100, I think this is a pretty reasonably priced big game skinning knife. A very nice gift for a hunter, or yourself. In my opinion, the Elk Hunter is the type of knife that you can pass down to your next kin. One year of using this in the field and you may just find that you have a new favorite knife for deer season. All around, a well-crafted knife by Knives of Alaska.

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Whitetail Hunter

Knives of Alaska Whitetail Hunter Knife

The Specs:                                   

  • Metal: D2
  • Rockwell Hardness: 59-61
  • Bevel: 18-20°
  • Knife Length: 8.25″
  • Blade Length: 3.25″
  • Weight: 4.3 oz

The Skinny on This Knife:

The Knives of Alaska Trekker Whitetail Hunter Knife also comes in 2 colors, orange and black. While the black I think is more stylish, the orange is more visible when in the bush or in snowy conditions.

Just like the name suggests, this hunting knife is ideal for medium sized game, about deer size. The 3″ blade length is perfect for skinning and gutting your buck – with a guthook if you so choose to use it. Like most Knives of Alaska knives, it is full tang which allows this knife to pack a punch, and features KOA’s suregrip so it remains sticky in your hands. The Whitetail hunter has the same drop-point tip as the Elk Hunter (on this list), but the difference is the Whitetail Hunter has a guthook, which I personally enjoy for skinning deer. The leather tan cowhide sheath is nice – although some people do prefer kydex.

I think The Whitetail Hunter is constructed with pretty good balance. It has forward-weight on the tip, versus being back-heavy. Out of the box, this knife is razor razor sharp and can take a beating. I’ve even heard of some people using this monster for intensive work such as a full bear. However rigorous you plan to use it, one suggestion is to make sure you keep this blade oiled to avoid rusting.

For its size, this knife handles well. And like most Knives of Alaska products, it is ergonomically sound. At 4.3 ounces, it is lightweight, and the 3.25” blade allows for quick cutting motions, and cuts through deer skin easily. This is an extremely well American made deer knife.

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Alpha Wolf

Knives of Alaska Alpha Wolf S30V

The Knife Specs:                        

  • Metal: S30V
  • Rockwell Hardness: 59-61
  • Bevel: 18-20°
  • Knife Length: 7-7/8″
  • Blade Length: 3-3/4″
  • Weight: 2.9 oz

The Low Down On This Monster:

The Alpha Wolf by Knives of Alaska is one of KOA’s most iconic knives. And for good reason, it is a tremendous knife. The Alpha Wolf is a classic drop-point hunting style blade. This knife features as a skinning knife, but with its slender .100” thick blade, it allows for you to use it as a general hunting knife for anything that requires quick and clean cuts.

There are a few things that impress me about this knife. Knives of Alaska hand sharpens the Alpha Wolf in order to create a razor sharp convex edge. This is a powerful knife with a great cutting edge. It’s also a very strong knife with full-tang.

But, let’s talk about the steel on this knife. Most of the knives on this list are made from D2 steel. The Alpha Wolf is made from S30V steel, which is a premium grade metal (and created thin using their Double Drawn Heat Tempered process). The S30V is stainless and easier to maintain its beautiful blade and finish as compared to D2.

Knives of Alaska really understands ergonomics. The handle is designed to stick to your hand, while being easy to manipulate. The finger groves allow for gripping when your fingers are drenched with blood.

The Alpha Wolf is perfect for the alpha hunter in you, and ultimately, it’s a high-end hunting and skinning knife. It truly lives up to its reputation for being Knives of Alaska’s flagship hunting knife.

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Bush Camp Knife

Knives of Alaska Bush Camp Knife

The Knife Specs:                         

  • Metal: D2
  • Rockwell Hardness: 59-61
  • Bevel: 18 – 20°
  • Knife Length: 10.5”
  • Blade Length: 6″
  • Weight: 8.3 oz
  • Tang: Full Tang
  • Thickness: .14”
  • Blade Type: Drop-point
  • Handle: Black rubberized suregrip
  • Sheath: Leather

The Skinny on This Knife:

The Knives of Alaska Bush Camp Knife is their most popular knife, and hands down the largest knife on this list, measuring in with a total knife length of about 10.5 inches, and a blade length of 6 inches! This is a large but well-rounded knife. Truly a rugged knife designed for anything from bushcraft to field dressing large game.

It is also the heaviest knife on this list as well at 8.3 ounces, but you wouldn’t know it considering how well balanced it is, as it rests perfectly in the palm of your hand. It is constructed with KOA’s iconic D2 steel, but it is the same steel that they have built their reputation on building razor sharp knives that maintain their edge through wear, tear, and abuse. The blade steel is constructed with Knives of Alaska’s non-glare matte finish.

I like the double finger choils for nice hand placement, and the option to use the lanyard for safety to prevent the knife from slipping out while in use. While I think it’s a little large for caping work, it can work as an all around hunting and brushcraft knife. The soft rubber grip sticks to your hand as you dive in to your work.

It isn’t just a one-trick pony stuck for skinning. It is an all-around hunting knife. And for the money (less than $100), really is unrivaled. Because of its thickness, it allows you to do wood work without worrying about it breaking, but then turn around and skin out a buck. It will work for you in camping settings, or cutting out meat in the woods. Between the knife’s balance, its sharp edge, durability, tough D2 steel, even the leather sheath, it’s a gem of a hunter’s knife.

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If You Enjoyed This Review of Knives of Alaska, You Should Also Check Out:

Cold Steel Trail Master Review

Buck 119 Review

Top 10 Best Throwing Knives

Best Gut Hook Knife

Best Skinning Knife

5 Best Caping Knives

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