Best Hunting Rangefinder for the Money

Top 5 Rangefinders for Hunting

Rangefinders are an exciting new technology that have now become an essential part of any hunters (bow or gun) kitty so if you’re here looking for the best hunting rangefinder for the money, then you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve had the good fortune of working and testing out various laser rangefinders over the course of my hunting career and I thought it would be of great help to my readers if I listed out some of the best hunting rangefinders along with their detailed reviews.

I cover all sorts of all purpose hunting rangefinders across all budgets – be it less than $100 to even those that cost more than $300. The main focus is on quality which is why I’ve narrowed down this list to the Top 5 Rangefinders for Hunting.

1. Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

#1 on my list of finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. This special edition is especially designed for hunters and with a single button operation system, this will appeal to all the hunters out there.

It comes equipped with an in-view LCD display that shows you the exact distance with an accuracy of +- 1 yard, and that too with the single tap of a button! The magnification is great at 4X and will appeal to both, gun and bow hunters and even those carrying a simple hunting knife with them.

best-hunting-rangefinder-bushnell-michael-waddell-bone-collector-edition

It comes included with a case and is rain proof as well which makes the under $200 price tag seem all the more appealing. I expected it to be quite heavy but was pleasantly surprised to find out that it weighed less than 10 ounces. Now this is great because when you are in the wilderness, you want to carry a really low weight with you to ensure you don’t slow down.

The rangefinder housing is rugged and tough and rainproof so you don’t need to worry about those wet conditions. However, I would advise you to keep it out of water as much as possible so that the life remains long.

This one is designed for a vertical configuration and which is why you’re able to use the single button operation system. You just need to tap the button with your index finger. It uses a 9 volt battery which you can find at any local store incase your current battery runs out.

Coming onto the range, which is the main part about any rangefinder and you wont’ be disappointed with the Bushnell Michael Waddell 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder. The maximum range is 600 yards but ideally the range is closer to 400 yards – 600 works when you have reflective surfaces. I’ve used it to get accurate readings of deers for even 350 yards so that’s a great range for this price. It comes with a 20mm objective lens and a 4X magnification system.

The best part is the LCD panel which uses illuminated indicators which is a great plus in low light conditions. It also shows you the targeting reticule, battery life indicator and unit of measure. It also comes with a handy carrying case but to be honest, I really did not find the need to put it in that thanks to the already great compact size of the rangefinder. All in all, a great buy and if you buy it from Amazon, you also get the option to take a 3 or 4 year protection as well.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Yards

Increment Reading – 0.1 yards

Magnification – 4x

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 5.5 in. x 5 in. x 2.8 in.

Device Weight – 8.8 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

2. Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

Another popular sub $100 laser rangefinder is the Simmons 801600 which has a 10-600 yard range and is a 20mm vertical rangefinder. Again you have the option of changing the measure to yards or meters based on your preference and is a one touch operation system.

For those on a budget, this is an excellent choice that gets the job done without any frills. It  does not have a scan feature but rather focuses on the one important task – giving you an instantaneous distance of the target with a very good response time.

simmons-801600-volt-600-laser-rangefinder

Even though the claimed range is 10-600 yards, I’ve had the best response in the 300 yard range. The body is slightly larger compared to the Bushnell Mitchell but the device has great contours which are great if you’re using gloves. The only con I’ve found with this device is that the battery compartment needs to be opened with a dime or similar tool since it is secured by a flathead screw.

It uses a 9 volt alkaline battery which does not come included with the original package so you need to purchase it separately. Yes, there is also a 4X magnification feature but do remember, that with increased magnification, the precision does suffer.

The Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder has a black LCD display and the best part I liked about this budget rangefinder is that it comes with an angle compensation feature.

Also, the performance of this device does suffer slightly during low light conditions because it does not come equipped with fully multicoated optics but all said and done, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a great rangefinder under 100 dollars.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10 – 600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Yards or meters

Increment Reading – 0.1 yards

Magnification – 4x

Batteries – 9V

Size – 6.5 in. x 3 in. x 5 in

Device Weight – 9.6 ounce

Waterproof – No

3. Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder

#3 on my list of the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder which is again very popular with a lot of hunting and survival enthusiasts.

Priced at just over $150, this compact rangefinder is 3.6”x2.9″x1.5 inches in size and is extremely easy to carry along. The display range is in a 1 meter/yard format and features a single button operation. It is also extremely popular among golfers but can be used by hunters as well.

nikon-8397-aculon-laser-rangefinder

It’s not very heavy either and without the battery, just weighs in at 4.4 ounces while with batteries, the weight increases to 5.6 ounces. It has a solid feel and grip to it which makes it easier to hold during slippery conditions.

For those who love a great magnification, the Nikon 8397 ACULON will not disappoint with its 6X magnification capability. Although, the measurement range is between 10-550 yards, you’ll see the best results within the 100-400 yard range. An interesting feature is the multilayer coating which Nikon claims helps in transmittance of light leading to a clearer picture. While I can’t vouch for that, the clarity is pretty good of the 20mm lens.

It doesn’t have a lot of fancy features but for the price, it’s definitely worth the money. I, in particular, liked the distance target priority mode which displays the measurements of the farthest target and this comes in handy when you have deer or any other target that is hiding behind some bush or grass.

The rangefinder also automatically powers down if left unused for more than 8 seconds but sometimes it does irritate having to press the button again. That said and done, I would definitely recommend this from my end if someone is looking for the best laser rangefinder under $200.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10-550 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 1 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – N/A

Size – 3.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.5 in

Device Weight – 5.6 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

4. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 Rangefinder RRF-101

Now this one is a slightly expensive rangefinder that I’ve included in this list of the Top 5 laser rangefinders and is packed with more features keeping in mind expert huntsman. With a rubber armour coating, the Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 comes with fully coated multi-lenses that are anti-reflective and result in superior performance.

This has a much higher range of 600-1000 yards and if the conditions are right, you’ll be surprised to get readings that are even higher! The ranging is pretty fast and the rubber coating provides a great grip. It comes with an O-ring seal to protect it against dirt, grime & debris.

vortex-optics-ranger-1000-rangefinder-rrf-101

There are 3 operating modes to choose from – the Horizontal Compensating Distance (HCD) function to compensate for angle, the Scan Mode that shows real time readings and the LOS or Line of Sight mode. You have the option of displaying ranges in yards or meters and the device also comes backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 is pretty lightweight and comfortably fits in your hand and there is also a lanyard cable that comes along with it. The 6×22 mm lens has an accuracy of upto 3 yards and a 315 feet field of view and is perfect for bow hunting.

I’d definitely give it 4 stars out of 5 from my end with the only con being the slightly higher price.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 300 – 1000 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 3 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 8 in. x 6 in. x 12 in

Device Weight – 8 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

Carrying Case – Yes

Lanyard – Yes

Battery Included – Yes

5. Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder

And, finally completing my roundup in the hunt to finding the best hunting rangefinder for the money is the Halo XRT6 Laser Rangefinder. Priced at slightly over $100, the Halo XRT6 has a 600 yard range and a 6X magnification feature along with a scan mode that allows for constant ranging.

The Halo XRT6 is targeted towards both golfers and hunters and comes with a carrying case as well. A lot of people claim that this even ranges through a window pane although I’ve never tested it out myself but in the outdoors, this works like a charm. The anti fog lens is a good addition and being waterproof will keep you less worried during wet conditions.

halo-xrt6-laser-rangefinder

While it claims to have a 600 yard range, I’ve tested it out and seen that it works perfectly till about 400-450 yards after which the accuracy becomes a little less. It also ranges objects in the dark which is a very handy feature specially when you’re out for those early morning or late evening hunts.

It comes with a one year warranty and you can purchase additional protection if you want from Amazon. There is no OFF button so don’t get worried if you don’t find one; instead the rangefinder auto shuts off after 20 seconds. It’s simple to use with a 6X magnification and the optics are very good performance wise.

All in all, a great laser rangefinder to add to your collection.

Key Specs & Features:

Maximum Range – 10-600 yards

Viewfinder Display – Meters/Yards

Increment Reading – 1 yards

Magnification – 6X

Objective Lens – Yes

Size – 8.6 in. x 6.4 in. x 2.5 in

Device Weight – 10.2 ounce

Waterproof – Yes

Fogproof – Yes

Carrying Case – Yes

 

Best Hunting Knife under 100 Dollars

A detailed search for the best hunting knife under $100

If you’ve ever tried searching for a great hunting tool but are overwhelmed by the different types of knives in the market, then this post on finding the best hunting knife under 100 dollars is perfect for you. I’ve been in your situation before but after numerous years of hunting and survivalist experience, I’ve handpicked my list of the Top 10 hunting knives that cost less than $100.

Remember, each of these knives has been personally tested by me or a fellow hunting expert, so you’re definitely going to be getting the best bang for your buck. Some of these hunting tools are even below the $50 range thanks to the amazing deals that Amazon runs from time to time.

However, if you’re short of time and don’t want to take the trouble of going through the entire list, then simply go with my #1 choice for the best hunting knife as given below:

1. Knife King “Emperor” Custom Damascus Handmade Hunting Knife

First up on my list of the best hunting knives under $100 is the Knife King “Emperor” Custom Damascus Handmade Hunting Knife. This razor sharp, rock solid hunting blade has a hardness of 58-60 on the HRC scale and has over 200 layers of damascus steel. The blade length is a good 8 inch while the handle is approximately 5.25 inches long.

Best hunting knife under $100

The hilt and sub hilt design is great and the walnut grips are a pleasure to work with. The blade is real Damascus steel with a TUF Glide coating on top. The sheath that comes along with the knife is also of a great quality and one look at it will have you hooked to this hunting blade.

All in all, a great knife to choose for hunting especially if your budget is less than 100 dollars!

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 8 inch length, 0.3125 inch thickness, 15N25 & 1075 Damascus steel, 58-60 HRC

Handle: 5.25 inch length, comes with a sheath

Weight: 12 ounces

2. Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife

I’ve been a long time admirer of the Buck Knife Company because they truly make some great hunting & survival knives and the 0103 Skinner is definitely top on that list. Made from 420 HC steel, the 0103 Skinner is 4 inch long skinning blade with a black phenolic handle and comes with a pommel guard. Another great selling point about this knife is that it is Made in the USA so it’s a great way to support your country.

Buck Knives 0103 Skinner Fixed Blade Knife

I’ve skinned multiple pigs using the 103 and have rarely had to touch up the knife post skinning which just goes to show you how great this is performance wise. It’s a must have in your hunting kit and at a price point of less than $50, this one is great value for money.

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4 inch length, 0.120 inch thickness, 420 HC steel with narrow tip, Made in USA

Handle: 4.25 inch length, black phenolic handle with pommel

Weight: 4.3 ounces

3. KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Serrated Edge Knife

3rd up on this list of the Top 10 Hunting Knives under 100 dollars is the KA-BAR Fighting Utility Serrated Edge Knife. I’ve been using this 7 inch long 1095 Cro Van steel blade for quite a few years at various hunting expeditions and it has never let me down.

It comes with a Kydex sheath and locks securely into it. Mine didn’t come out fully sharp out of the box so I did have to sharpen it just a bit but that’s not a big deal. Some people did tell me that the grip becomes slippery during wet conditions but I’ve never really faced any issue so far – in fact, I quite like the grip!

KA-BAR Fighting Utility Serrated Edge Knife

It comes with serrations which give it extra utility especially while creating wood shavings for campfires. All in all, it’s a great hunting tool to own and at under $60, it’s a no brainer really.

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 7 inch length, 20 degrees edge angle, 1095 Cro Van steel fixed blade, HRC 56-58

Handle: 4.125 inch length, Kraton handle with sheath

Weight: 11.2 ounces

4. Buck 192BR Vanguard Fixed Blade Knife

Another Buck on this list; this time it’s the 192BR Vanguard Fixed Blade Knife. This 4.125 inch long Drop point blade has one of the best edge retentions I’ve ever seen in a hunting blade and thanks to the 420HC steel, the strength of the knife is also excellent.

Buck 192BR Vanguard Fixed Blade Knife

If you’re an outdoor hunting enthusiast or a big game hunter, then this blade is perfect for you. The handle is walnut coloured and contoured with a polished brass butt that is a boon when it comes to field dressing. It also is a Made in USA knife covered under the Buck Lifetime Warranty.

The 192BR Vanguard is perfect for all your outdoor activities including camping, fishing, hiking and hunting and is also priced extremely reasonably at less than $100.

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4.125 inch length, 420 HC steel fixed blade, Made in USA knife

Handle: 4.125 inch length, Walnut contoured with brass butt and leather sheath

Weight: 6.3 ounces

5. Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife

Another one of my old favourites makes it to this list of the best hunting blades under 100 dollars and this time it’s the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife. This is one of the rare times that I endorse a folding knife but the Ken Onion with its Speed Safe option and Sandvik 14C28N steel blade is truly a hunting enthusiast’s delight.

Kershaw Ken Onion Blur Folding Knife

You have the option of going with either a smooth or serrated blade and either ways, the 3.375 inch blade is ideal for extreme outdoor situations. The anodized light weight aluminium handle has a good grip that won’t give way even under slippery conditions.

For $55, this tactical knife is a great steal considering the amazing build quality and fast assisted opening. The perfect folding knife for all your hunting and tactical activities.

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 3.375 inch length, Sandvik 14C28N steel blade, DLC black coating

Handle: 4.5 inch length, Speed Safe assisted opening, removable pocket clip

Weight: 3.9 ounces

6. Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife

We’re halfway down this list of the best hunting knife under $100 and there’s another Buck on this list (third and final one). This time it’s the Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife and at less than $40, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper high quality knife.

Buck Knives 0102 Woodsman Fixed Blade Knife

The 4 inch long blade is made from 420 HC steel and offers excellent edge retention, which is a quality shared by most Buck blades. This is a full tang knife that has a finger guard integrated into the handle and features an aluminium pommel. It’s great for field dressing deer and the shape of the knife really helps in that aspect.

It comes with a leather sheath that has a plastic liner so you don’t need to worry about it getting all wet during rains. I’ve even used it for gutting chicken and rabbits and it performed remarkably well even with smaller game. One of my most trusted hunting tools ever!

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4 inch length, 420 HC steel blade, Made in USA, Buck Forever Warranty

Handle: 3.75 inch length, black phenolic handle, genuine leather sheath

Weight: 2.8 ounces

7. Puma Coyote Stag Handle Blade Hunting Knife

In at #7 on this list of the Top 10 Hunting Knives under $100 is the Puma Coyote – an 8 inch long knife with a blade length of 3.8 inches. The first and most impressive thing that you’ll notice about this knife is the stunningly beautiful Stag handle that feature brass finger guards and brass lined lanyard holes.

Puma Coyote Stag Handle Blade Hunting Knife

Made from 440A German manufactured steel, this blade has been an old hunting favourite of mine that I’ve used for skinning and field dressing. It’s a great drop point blade to own with a great edge and you’ll surely consider this as one of the best fleshing knives in the market once you get down to skinning whitetail deer capes.

It comes with a leather sheath, which honestly isn’t one of the best but is good enough to use and is durable. All in all, a great hunting tool to buy when your budget is in the range of $75-$100

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 3.8 inch length, 440A German steel with stag scales, HRC 55-57

Handle: 4.2 inch long handle, leather sheath, handmade

Weight: 4.3 ounces

8. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife

One of the most famous hunting and survival knives in the world, thanks to the legendary Bear Grylls, this knife had to make it on this list. This is a full tang knife made from 9CR19MoV premium steel and has an overall length of 10 inches with the blade measuring 4.8 inches.

It comes with a fire starter mounted within the sheath so it’s a great boon for all those who intend on camping out in the wild. There’s also an emergency lanyard whistle which thankfully, I’ve never had to use but is definitely comforting to have around. Gerber is an extremely reputed knife manufacturer and they’ve combined their world class manufacturing skills with the legendary survival skill of Bear Grylls to create this masterpiece.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife

The knife really feels solid and balanced in my hands. The original survival knife had a 3/4 tang design but this new one is a full tang construction and it’s a good upgrade on the tang and pommel. However, it is not MOLLE compatible which is a bit of a turn off to me but the ferrocerium fire starter sure makes up for this.

Priced at just under $100, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro is a blade worth buying!

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4.8 inch length, 9CR19MoV premium steel, drop point blade, great for filleting

Handle: 5.2 inch length, no serrations, full tang, comes with a ferrocerium fire starter

Weight: 13.7 ounces

9. Puma Elk Hunter Stag Handle Hunting Knife

We’re almost to the end of this list and making its way in at #9 is the Puma Elk Hunter Stag Handle Hunting Knife. This 440A German manufactured SGB fixed blade tool is 4.2 inches long with stag handles that are similar to the Puma Coyote that I covered earlier.

The hardness is about 55-57 on the Rockwell scale and the overall knife length is 8.5 inches. It comes with a leather sheath that is beautiful to look at and does the job admirably well. There’s also a lifetime warranty but it’s only for the original owner that’s why I recommend that you buy a new one on Amazon where it’s available for a discounted price of less than $100.

Puma Elk Hunter Stag Handle Hunting Knife

The blade is ground to a fine edge but is quite thick and you’ll appreciate that once you’re driving this through the rib cage of a deer or a similar animal. All in all, a great knife that adheres to high quality German manufacturing.

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4.2 inch length, 440A German steel, 55-57 HRC

Handle: 4.3 inch length, full tang, leather sheath with stag handles

Weight: 6.7 ounces

10. Gerber Gator Premium Fixed Blade Knife

Finally, we’ve reached the end of this list that aims to help you choose the best hunting knife under $100 and at #10 is another old favourite of mine – the Gerber Gator, which is one of the most famous survival knives in the world.

This premium blade is made from S30V steel and has excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance. It’s an original Made in the USA hunting tool that comes with a high rubberized grip for all those wet conditions. The sheath is a nice black leather one and is again made in the USA.

Gerber Gator Premium Fixed Blade Knife

It’s extremely sharp and I found that out first hand while using it on two large hogs. There’s also a bolster that helps protect your hand from sliding up on the knife and accidentally cutting yourself.

For less than 100 dollars, this knife is a dream come true for anyone who is serious about hunting game like deer, elk or hogs. Highly recommended from me personally!

Key Specs & Features:

Blade: 4 inch length, S30V steel, drop point blade, 0.75 inch thickness at the spine

Handle: 4.8 inch length, full tang, Gator Grip, US made leather sheath

Weight: 6.9 ounces

More Hunting Knives Under $100?

Well, I’m pretty confident by now that you would have made up your mind with regards to choosing the best hunting knife under 100 dollars after going through my exhaustive list. I also do understand that there might have been a great knife that I might have omitted or missed so if that’s the case, please drop me a note and I’ll try and have this list updated.

Till then, here are some great videos that feature some of the above hunting tools and which I think you will find useful