Best Butcher’s Knives: Slice Like A Professional Chef
Great chefs require great knives. Ok, so do people like Bear Grylls with their specialised survival knives.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you can cook like Gordon Ramsey or spice up a nice steak if you can’t cut the meat properly in the first place. Which is why you need only the best butcher’s knife for your kitchen.
There’s several types of butchers knives – for filleting, for carving, boning etc. I’ll show you several different types of butcher knives in this review, so that hopefully you can find whatever it is you are looking for. And if you’re not completely sure which type you need, our tips at the beginning of the review can help you figure out.
Finding The Right Butcher’s Knife
Length Of Blade
There’s several different sizes that butcher knives come in – 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 inches. The smaller knives are better suited for filleting and slicing through thin meat, like chicken breasts. Because the blade is not too long, you will have good control of the knife, and it will be very easy to cut the meat just how you want to.
The larger butcher knives (11 and 12 inches) are best for cutting through large chunks of meat. But because their blade is really long, you don’t have the best control of how you are cutting. Therefore, they are not great for deboning and filleting because you can’t be precise enough with them.
A 10-inch knife is a great middle ground. The blades are long enough to slice through larger chunks of meat, but still short enough that you have enough precision when dealing with smaller pieces. However, I would still not recommend these for filleting fish – you need the utmost precision for that, and you can only get it with a 7 or 8 inch knife.
If you don’t have several butcher knives in your kitchen, then you’ll need to get at least two. Cooking is so much easier when you have a specific knife for every task, as opposed to doing everything with a single knife.
Type Of Blade
Butcher’s knives have either stamped blades or forged blades. So, what’s the difference?
Forged blades are usually made from a single piece of steel. Because of that they are thicker, heavier and more durable than stamped blades. And they’re also more expensive, which is why we won’t show you too many forged blade knives in this review.
However, they are also much more rigid, and they are nowhere near as flexible as stamped blades. That makes them better for cutting through thick pieces of meat – if you’re getting a large butcher knife, you should definitely get one with a forged blade.
As for stamped blades, they are the better choice for cutting through thin meat. Stamped blades tend to be flexible, which is what you need for deboning and filleting. Knives with these blades are also lighter and cheaper than knives with forged blades, which is always a bonus.
Another thing to keep in mind is that knives with stamped blades don’t have a bolster. This makes them a bit easier to clean and sharpen, since there’s nothing getting in the way. Forged blades always feature bolsters, so it is a little harder to properly sharpen and clean off these knives.
Bottom line – forged blades are stronger, heavier and more durable. Because of that, they give you better precision and control of your knife and they are more suitable for smaller cuts of meat. Stamped blades are more flexible and lightweight, and they are the better option for portioning large cuts of meat.
Handles can be made from lots of different materials. Usually it’s wood, stainless steel or plastic. But keep in mind that the material is not as important as the shape of the handle – you want to go for a knife with an ergonomic, and preferably textured handle.
Your first instinct might be to go for a smooth-looking wood handle, but I strongly advise against that. Wood is not bacteria resistant, and so knives that have wood handles are harder to maintain. Plus, it’s not really suitable for a dishwasher – the handle will get worn very quickly, and it will break apart much easier.
Stainless steel handles are the sturdiest and most durable option. They are easy to clean off and maintain, and they are bacteria resistant. However, when the knife gets wet, the handle can get slippery – you should be extra careful if you only want to slice meat that is not attached to your bones.
Plastic handles are somewhere in the middle – you have good grip with them, but they’re not the most durable option. Overall, it depends on the quality of materials – not every stainless-steel handle will be great, and not every plastic handle will suck.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size and weight of the handle – you want to have good balance between the blade and the knife, especially if you’re cutting through thick pieces of meat. The balance is important for precision and it helps you stay in control of your knife, as opposed to your knife controlling you.
Best Butcher Knives
With all of that in mind, finding the perfect butcher knife for you should be a piece of cake! So, here are the top ten butcher knives that you can currently buy:
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With this knife in your hand, you will feel like a professional chef. The knife features a 10” forged carbon steel blade, which easily cuts through thick pieces of meat. The blade of the knife is triple-riveted, for improved durability. It will pretty much feel like you are cutting through butter – and that ease will mean that you have to spend a lot less time in the kitchen.
The knife is stain resistant and it is pretty easy to clean and sharpen. It does have a bolster, which helps add balance to the knife and allows you to have more precision and control. The edge of the knife is hand-sharpened to 14-16 degrees on each side – just the right balance between sharpness and durability. After all, you never want the blade too sharp – that means too thin, and thin blades break easily.
The handle of the Dalstrong butcher’s knife is made from pakkawood. This is a composite material made from both wood and plastic – you get the stylish appearance and smooth finish of wood, but the durability and grip of plastic. The handle is pretty long – this means you will have a good grip of the knife, and ultimately great precision.
However, bear in mind that you can never have perfect precision with such a long blade. This butcher knife is good for cutting a large chunk of meat into smaller steaks, getting through cartilage, or trimming fat from beef. But it is not the knife I would recommend if you are looking for something to use for deboning or filleting.
The Victorinox knife features an 8-inch stamped blade, made from cold-rolled pieces of steel. The knife is lightweight, and the handle is long enough so that you have a good balance of the knife – very important for slicing meat with ease. Additionally, the blade is very sharp, so cutting through larger chunks of meat will not be an issue.
Since the blade is pretty narrow, you will also have good control of the knife when you’re cutting smaller pieces of meat. But, this is also an 8-inch blade, so it is long enough to also cut through larger chunks of meat. If you are on a budget and you want something a little more versatile, this is a good option.
This Victorinox knife has a patented Fibrox handle. It is textured for good grip and slip resistance, and also ergonomic for great control and balance of the knife. There’s no bolster on the knife, so it is pretty easy to clean and sharpen. But, since this is a stamped knife with a pretty narrow blade, it’s not the best option for breaking down large game or cutting through really big pieces of meat.
One thing to keep in mind is that Victorinox recommends that you hand wash it. So, it’s not that you can’t put it in the dishwasher, but you shouldn’t if you want to take proper care of it and ensure its durability.
We’re a big fan of Swiss quality, so here’s another Victorinox knife. This one features a 10-inch carbon stainless steel blade, which can cut even through really large pieces of meat. It is great for cutting steaks from a larger cut, and also for breaking down large games. The blade is stamped so it is lightweight and has a good amount of flex.
This knife does not have a bolster, so it is pretty easy to sharpen and maintain. However, the lack of a bolster in combination with the length of the blade does mean that you won’t have amazing precision when dealing with smaller cuts of meat. If you need something to clean off pieces of chicken, this is not the knife for you.
The handle is Fibrox, just like on the previous Victorinox knife. So, it is textured and ergonomic, for good control of your knife and great slip resistance. The balance is not ideal – the blade is pretty long, but it is also really lightweight. You won’t feel like the knife is controlling you if you grip it firmly.
Victorinox recommends that you always hand wash this, so ease of maintenance is one small downside. And another downside is the price – it is a little bit expensive for a knife with a stamped blade. But, it is Swiss-made, so there are absolutely no doubts about the general quality and durability of this butcher knife.
If you need something super small and precise, then this is one of your best options. It is well made, very sharp, and extremely affordable. But, keep in mind that this knife has very limited use – it is not made for cutting through roasts or dividing big chunks of meat into steaks.
But it is the perfect knife to get for deboning or filleting fish. With a small, narrow, and extremely sharp 6-inch blade, you will have excellent precision, and you will always feel like you have complete control of the knife. The blade is stamped and it is made from Japanese carbon steel – great rust resistance and durability.
The handle of the knife is pretty small. But, so is the blade, which means that the balance between the two is on point. It is an ergonomic handle, made from a combination of Santoprene and polypropylene, for ultimate comfort and durability. Plus, it features textured finger points for improved grip and slip resistance, as well as finger guards for your safety.
The downside is that it is not a knife you can put in a dishwasher. The handle is the issue here – the heat and harsh detergents will cause it to deteriorate fast. And because it’s a knife with limited use, it’s not really something everyone needs in their home. But if you do need something like this, this is the best value for money you’ll find.
The Hoffritz knife features a 10-inch polished steel blade. It is a stamped blade, so the knife is rather lightweight, with a decent amount of flex. This will helps cut through larger cuts of meat and poultry with ease, and shorten the time you have to spend in the kitchen.
The handle is made from a mixture of silicone and nylon. It is very sturdy and also slip-resistant. Plus, it is ergonomic, so it will live in your hand comfortably, and you will have a good grip and control of the knife. However, it is a little bit shorter than I would like, considering that the knife has a really long blade. Because of that, you won’t have great precision with smaller cuts.
But keep in mind that this is a lightweight knife with a stamped blade. Even though it doesn’t have a really long handle, you won’t feel like the blade is overpowering you. There’s just enough balance for cutting through roasts and larger pieces of meat quickly and easily. Especially because the handle is really sharp, and it will stay that way for a really long time if you take good care of the knife.
One of the best features of this knife is that it is completely dishwasher safe. That’s the ultimate ease of maintenance you can get, and honestly a big reason for this being one of my favorite butcher knives.
The Mundial knife has a 12-inch stamped high-carbon stainless steel blade that cuts through meat like it’s butter. It’s perfect for people who buy meat in bulk and large chunks, and then want to portion it. The blade is very sharp and long, and you will easily cut through big chunks of meat in no time. But, you would struggle with some smaller portions – with a blade this long, you can’t really have great precision.
You will have good balance though – the handle is matched precisely to this blade, which allows you to easily control the knife. Additionally, the handle is ergonomically shaped, so that it has really good slip-resistance even when wet. It is a plastic handle made from polypropylene, so it should be fairly easy to clean.
The handle of the knife has Sanitized Antimicrobial Protection, which means the polypropylene is treated to be resistant to bacteria, mold, and fungi. Of course, you still need to properly wash your knife after every use, but this at least makes it just a little safer.
Bear in mind that a stamped blade this long is fairly thin and lightweight, and it will have a good deal of flex. This is fine If you’re cutting meat, but you will struggle to cut through firm masses like bone. And while Mundial does not state whether or not this particular knife is dishwasher safe, they do recommend that all of their knives be hand washed.
The Wusthof knife is a great high-end choice. It has an 8-inch forged blade, which is made from high-carbon steel. The knife features Wusthof’s proprietary PEtec – Precision Edge Technology. It is a computer-controlled method for putting edges on knives, and with it the knives are made 20% sharper than what you usually find on the market.
This technology also includes the so-called ‘sharp and grind’ – a technology that gradually reduces the amount of steel that is on each side of the knife, allowing the forged knife to retain its sharpness and edge for a longer time. The unique shape of the blade, its firmness, and its thickness make this knife great for cutting pretty much anything – from large cuts of meat to strawberries.
That’s because you will have really good precision and balance with this knife. The handle is oversized so that the knife lies comfortably in your handle. And that also helps with the balance, since the blade of the knife is rather heavy. It features triple rivets for a secure and completely hygienic fit.
Keep in mind that this is a forged blade, so it doesn’t really have flex. That is great for precision, but not that great if you want to portion large cuts of meat. But, if you want to get a sharp, durable, and versatile butcher knife, this is without a doubt one of your top options.
The Ergo Chef knife is a good affordable option. The 12-Inch stamped blade is the perfect choice for cutting through very large cuts of meat but also works well as a slicer. The blade is made from cold-rolled steel and features an 18-degree edge. It is razor-sharp and can slice through any meat like it is hot butter.
However, the sharper the edge, the thinner the blade. This also means that the knife has a decent amount of flex and that it’s not a good option for cutting through something really firm. Additionally, this is a rather lightweight knife – the handle is very important for balance, considering just how long the blade is.
There’s one thing that helps there; the blade has full tang inside the handle, which allows for good balance, and gives you full control of the knife. In addition to that, the handle is ergonomic, slip-resistant, and has a finger guard. It is designed to minimize the tension of your wrist, as it fits comfortably and naturally in your hand.
The tip of the knife is raised above the level of the handle. This provides you with a wider range of motion when you are slicing through large cuts of meat, and just makes the entire process quicker and easier. But it also means that you don’t have good precision with smaller cuts. However, I seriously doubt you will go for a 12-inch butcher knife to cut up chicken breasts. Another downside to this knife is that it is not really dishwasher safe – hand washing is recommended if you want to properly maintain it and ensure its longevity.
This butcher knife features a 10-inch blade made from 1095 high carbon steel. One downside here is that carbon steel will rust if you don’t take care of it properly. But if you know how to do that, you’ll see that this is a great knife, which can last you for a really long time. Basically, you should maintain the knife just like you would a cast-iron pan.
The knife features a hardwood handle with brass rivets that secure it in place. It is pretty long and firm, and very well balanced. However, it is not ergonomically shaped, nor is it slip resistant – you will want to be extra careful when you’re cutting with the wet Ontario Knife.
In addition to that, wood degrades faster than plastic, since it doesn’t really react too well to water. Definitely keep the knife out of the dishwasher – not just because the blade will rust, but also because the handle will start to fall apart. It’s an old-school knife, and you need to treat it like that.
The blade maintains its edge very well, and it is pretty sharp out of the box. The sharpness lasts for a reasonable amount of time, but you will need to get out the whetstone sooner rather than later. That’s just a part of the maintenance process this knife requires. If you’re willing to go through all the steps, then this is a great knife that can last you for decades. But if you’re not, feel free to skip it – it won’t be worth your money.
Yes, it’s another Victorinox knife – but it’s the last one I swear! It is a short knife, meant for cutting and slicing operations for which you need great precision, like deboning and filleting. The 6-inch blade is made from stainless steel and it has a razor-sharp edge. It is a curved and semi-stiff blade – there is some flex to it, but not as much as you would expect from a stamped blade.
The curve and flex allow the knife to follow the natural curve of the bone, which will give you the best yield. Additionally, the blade is ice tempered, to allow the knife to retain sharpness longer. But that doesn’t really matter too much – you will need to sharpen this knife again, after just a few uses.
This knife also features the Fibrox handle, just like the previous two Victorinox knives we saw. In case you missed it, the Fibrox handle is textured, slip-resistant, and ergonomically shaped for comfort and balance while cutting. The blade is stamped, so there is no bolster on the knife. This makes sharpening the knife easier and more precise and makes hand washing it just a little safer.
The knife is dishwasher safe, but Victorinox still recommends that you hand wash it. This is because dishwashers spray water at high pressure, which can cause the knife to move around, and consequently dull the blade. But if you position it properly, this is not something you need to worry about.