Best Butcher Knives: Top Choices For Your Kitchen

Behind every big and clean cut of meat is a great butcher knife. This is why choosing the best butcher knife is key to getting the most substance from a livestock’s carcass. But the question now is, which knife is the best for butchering? Well, you are about to find out below.

What Exactly Is A Butcher Knife?

Before I begin listing any product, I think it would be best if you get more familiar of what this tool really is. By simple definition, a butcher knife is a type of knife made specifically for carving or butchering dead livestock. This process is what most butchers call as carcass dressing.

Some of the best use for this type of cutting utensil is splitting, stripping, or simply cutting huge meat. If the knife is of good quality, you will not have any problem going through the skin, small bones, and cartilages of an animal’s remains.

Although other types of knives can still serve a similar purpose, such as butchering and skinning, a butcher knife does it exponentially better. This is because it comes with a much thinner blade compared to regular kitchen knives, thus making the butchering process faster and more seamless. However, this type of knife can also be used for regular cutting, slicing, and skinning other kinds of food, proving its versatility.

What Is The Difference Between A Butcher Knife And A Chef Knife?

If you have any experience in the kitchen, work-related or otherwise, then you also probably have heard of a chef knife. These two knives are often compared to each other because of the similarity in their general use.

Originally, it was the chef knife that was commonly used for trimming off large pieces of meat. However, a good butcher knife can do the same, while also providing amazing meat-to-bone cutting and splitting capabilities. This is probably why the chef knife is now used more as a utility blade.

How To Pick Out The Best Qualities And Features Of A Butcher Knife

When trying to canvass for this type of meat processing tool, there are multiple factors you need to take into consideration. Part of that consideration is your personal preference. However, it is also not wise to just go buying compulsively simply because you like the way the knife looks.

To give you a better basis on what to search for in a butcher knife, consider these aspects:

  • Thickness of the blade
    Just as mentioned above, this type of cutting tool should be thin, as it will handle the meat a lot smoother.
  • Versatility
    Get a butcher knife that can do its intended job, plus more. However, there are some types of meat that even the most multipurpose butcher blade cannot handle to the fullest. With that said, it is generally a good idea to invest in two butcher knives: one with a stiff blade for cutting thicker meat portions, and the other with a flexible blade for deboning purposes.
  • Blade length
    A safe length range for a standard-use butcher knife is typically around 5 to 6.5 inches, but longer ones also exist. Generally, a shorter blade is easier to cut with, while the longer it is the fewer slices you need to repeat. There is no single blade size that can cover all tasks, that is why you need to consider getting multiple ones with varying lengths.
  • Tang
    If you are unfamiliar with the term, tang simply refers to the steel that connects the blade into the handle. A top quality butcher knife will usually have a tang that courses in and through the handle’s entire length, as this will yield the most strength and optimal stability.
  • Blade design
    Two of the most common designs of the butcher knife are straight and curve. Each serves their own distinct functions. The latter build can debone with better efficacy, whereas the former offers a more balanced use.
  • Handle
    The handle is easily one of the most important parts of a knife, since it will determine how precise the cuts will be based on the pressure you apply. Some of the more popular handles are made from wood, plastic, or synthetic.

​Top 5 Best Butcher Knives

Now that we got the introduction and short overviews about the butcher knife out of the way, it is time to list down the goods.

1. Professional Stainless Steel Butcher Knife Heavy Duty Japanese Meat Cleaver Slicing Knife

Professional Stainless Steel Butcher Knife

First on our list is this butcher knife from Product Stop, Inc. This comes with a cleaver look, and a build that is made from professional-grade stainless steel material, which can last a lifetime. It also has a size of 7 inches, which is ideal for cutting meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and firm fruits.

Cleaning it can also be easily done via dishwasher. Plus, it will not rust or get tarnished, even with constant washing. As for its handle, it is made entirely from steel and is seamlessly bonded to the blade. Holding it is also reliable thanks to its non-slip grip design.

Pros:

  • High quality design and professional-grade material construction, giving you a lifetime use of it.
  • Easy to get a hold of, and it will not slip out of your hand, which allows you to continue working without unnecessary interruption.
  • Can remain sharp for quite a long while, resulting in less frequent need for sharpening.
  • Resistant to stain, rust, and tarnishing.
  • Price is accessible and reasonable.
  • Its single piece molded design means the handle will not come off.

​Cons:

  • Some customers have reported a missing symbol beside the brand name.
  • Requires more force when cutting larger meat parts, because it is quite lightweight

​2. Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Straight Butcher Knife, Black Fibrox Handle

Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Straight Butcher Knife

Second on our list is this 12-inch butcher knife from Victorinox. If you want more specifics, the approximate dimensions of this item measures about 17 x 3.8 x 1.5 inches. It comes with a straight design, which is great for cutting large and long chunks of meat, such as a whole roast.

In terms of handle, the blade is attached to Victorinox’s own patented holder, which is not only well-textured and slip-proof, but it is also ergonomically-designed to offer an optimal balance between grip and comfort. Furthermore, the blade is made from high carbon stainless steel, which yields a perfect mix of sharpness and durability.

Pros:

  • Its straight design makes slicing off huge slabs of meat with minimal effort, giving you increased productivity. Some meats may even be cut with just one stroke, such as a whole chicken.
  • The high-quality carbon stainless steel material that its blade is made out of allows this knife to retain ideal sharpness, resulting in seamless cutting and carving of meats that would otherwise be too delicate for an automated slicing machine.
  • Ideal for commercial butchery.
  • The handle provides a solid hold
  • Blade is stamped from cold-rolled steel and comes without bolstered edges.

​Cons:

  • Relatively pricey
  • May be too long for basic kitchen use.
  • Requires some level of experience in butchering.

3. 7 Inch Stainless Steel Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife - Multipurpose Use for Home Kitchen or Restaurant by Utopia Kitchen

7 Inch Stainless Steel Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife - Multipurpose Use for Home Kitchen or Restaurant (1-Pack) by Utopia Kitchen

For those who want a butcher knife that can perform just as good at home as it can in a restaurant, then this item is the perfect solution. Much like the 1st entry on this list, this one also sports a cleaver design. As a 7-inch cleaver butcher knife, it can make short work of large meats, from cutting, to cleaving, and even bone cutting.

It also comes with an ABS+430-grade handle, meaning you are guaranteed with a precision grip and superior force distribution. The blade is made from top-tier stainless steel, resulting in an ultra-sharp edge for amazing carving performance.

Pros:

  • This 7-inch butcher knife handles exceedingly well, whether it is for casual use at home or in the demanding and fast-paced environment of a restaurant kitchen.
  • Its 100% stainless steel blade yields superior sharpness for quick and effortless cutting.
  • The ABS+430 handle that it comes with allows the knife to be manipulated flexibly and gripped confidently, be it at the hands of a professional or an amateur.
  • Safe to clean via dishwasher, but hand washing is still recommended to retain the knife’s quality.
  • Optimally-weighted, which relieves you from adding extra effort.
  • Cheapest entry on this list so far.

​Cons:

  • Might be too much for harder-boned livestock, such as goats.

​4. Winco 8 Inch Heavy Duty Chinese Cleaver with Wooden Handle

Winco 8

This is the first item on this list that comes with a wooden handle. If you need an affordable butcher knife in your household, then this one is up for the task. It scores really well when it comes to cutting poultry right off the joints, as well as processing other types of meat at home. But, the same cannot be said in a real butcher shop environment.

Its 8-inch long blade is made with stainless steel, and is affixed to a nice thick wooden handle. This knife also has firm hold to it, giving you effortless cutting and slicing performance. It is dishwasher safe, but long exposure to water may warp the wood handle.

Pros:

All in all, this butcher knife truly surprises with its well roundedness, strong and balanced handling, and most importantly, with its modest cost.

  • Its stainless steel blade is resistant to corrosion, allowing the knife to maintain its premium look for longer time.
  • The wooden handle feels quite nice to the touch, and has a pretty solid grip, which is perfect for delivering those forceful blows that cuts through tender bones.
  • The 8-inch length of its blade gives you the opportunity to use this knife on tough vegetables and other food items that are not meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Cheapest item on this list.

​Cons:

  • Cannot handle abuse, particularly in commercial meat processing.
  • The wooden handle needs extra care during washing, or else it will easily be damaged.

​5. Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife, 10 Inch Blade

Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife, 10-Inch Blade

Much like the 2nd item on this list, this is also a butcher knife with a straight design. The only difference is, this one is 2 inches shorter, measuring only around 10-inch long. However, 10-inch is still great for working through large carcasses, with ease.

Furthermore, such size actually makes this product more practical and viable for non-commercial use, whereas the 2nd-listed item works best at the hands of a professional. The blade of this knife is made from top-tier carbon steel, which is affixed to a wooden handle.

Pros:

  • Its wooden handle is made from quality hickory, giving it that dependable feel and grasp.
  • Viable for non-commercial cutting of large meats, which is great for home BBQ’s and even some home-based meat smoking.
  • Blade is made from durable carbon steel, and comes with a very sharp edge.
  • Moderate cost

Cons:

  • The blade may discolor over time, since it is not stainless steel.
  • Carbon steel blade needs extra care (like oiling) for it not to rust and corrode.

​The Final Verdict: Which Is The Best?

Each of these butcher knives have their unique strengths and weaknesses. But at the end of the day, there will always be a winner. And for this list, that winner is no other than the 7-inch stainless steel chopper-cleaver-butcher knife - multipurpose use for home kitchen or restaurant (1-Pack) by Utopia Kitchen.

Compared to the others on this list, this particular butcher knife is the most versatile. While the rest of the entries are more focused on only one area, either commercial or household use, our winner on the other hand is amazing at both. Whether it is being used for cutting large meats at home, or getting abused in a restaurant kitchen, this knife can survive with barely any damage.

Aside from its resilience and adaptability to cut through hard carcasses, the cheap price tag that it comes with is what makes this knife so appealing. Furthermore, its ABS+430 handle is not something any butcher can overlook, nor should you, as it is one of the most reliable handle construction ever invented.

All in all, this butcher knife truly surprises with its well roundedness, strong and balanced handling, and most importantly, with its modest cost.​

Luis Obrien
 

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