A very good friend gave me a Buck folding lock blade way back in the early 70’s when they first came out. I broke the tip off digging the eye teeth out of a elks frozen head but there was no way I was going to replace it with another knife even though there was a lifetime guarantee. Just ground a new tip on it and still use that knife today.
I use a custom made Landi knife with an orange g10 handle. He is a great knife maker and his prices are very affordable, especially for a handmade knife. I have been really eyeing some Bark River knifes though.
I have always prefered fixed blades just because I can keep them cleaner easier.
Cold Steel Master Hunter. I've had the same one for 18 years. It's small/light enough to carry all day and tough enough to handle any gutting skinning job. It's the only hunting knife I have. Figure I'll get another 10+ years out of this one.
I have a couple of different knives from knives of alaska that I use for deer size game. Years back a guide we used on an elk hunt used a simple folding utility knife. That's all he ever uses - carrys a pack of replaceable blades with him. Works great. Eversince then that and a bone saw is all we use for elk. Nothing fancy and you have a razor sharp blade for the whole job.
Buck model 110 for over 20 years. I still use it to separate legs at the knee joint.
My new skinning knife is a Piranta-EDGE by Havalon. It uses disposable scalpel blades that seem to stay sharp forever. Just three blades skinned out an entire bison this past summer. I never have to sharpen while in the field. Lightweight - but you need to be careful as the blades will not take much torque. I got the one with the high-visibility orange zytel handle so that I never leave another knife in the field again. Read more about them:
Buck knives tend to have a hard rockwell rating which gives them long edge life but they can be a chore to sharpen. Spyderco has some nice knives. I have a Tim Wegner(folder around $180) and Bill Moran(fixed around $100) and they keep an edge and are comfortable to work with. Knives of Alaska I had a wolverine and caper and gave them away I spent around $200 for the pair and a sheath. To say the least I wasn't impressed. Outdoor edge has a hybrid hunter out that isn't bad for the money around $44.
Gerber has a zebra caper out that I haven't had my hands on yet. But I will.
I am after a fixed blade and folder for hunting. The folder is taken by the spyderco by far my favorite knife Tim Wegner now makes Bladetechs. The fixed is still up in the air though. I will probably try a Ruana next. They are expensive, but a good knife is as important as an accurate rifle. They make your life alot easier. If I was after a economical knife I would go for the Buck or Outdoor edge. Just my two cents.