Our Definitive Consumer Guide on the Best Butcher Knives
If you truly enjoy cooking, then you understand the importance of having great, quality kitchenware at your finger tips. Having the best butcher knife in your food prep arsenal is just one more way of saving yourself some time (quality knives cut faster, cleaner and more accurately), saving money (quality knives should last a lifetime!), and add to the enjoyment of actually cooking the dish you’re working on.
Personally I love the feel of a well weighted knife that is honed and sharpened to perfection. And just like any other kitchen utensil, there is a huge difference between the best and the worst knives.
And seeing that quality knives are actually pretty expensive, it’s good if you’re armed with some solid buying advice from professional chefs that actually handle these knives everyday.
Best Kitchen Knives: Need a visual reference to the different types of knives used in a professional kitchen? This is the article for you.
The Best Shun Knives: Shun knives are in a class of their own, see what in your Shun reviews.
What is a butcher knife?
A traditional butchers knife is a heavy and large knife used to cut meat into smaller pieces from a carcass or much larger piece of meat. They are commonly found in meat processing plants, butcher shops or anywhere where large pieces of meat need to be cut down into smaller pieces.
The knife has a heavy blade that is sharp (unlike a cleaver) and thicker than most other knives. The tip of the blade also rounds upwards and is a great all purpose knife for gutting fish, cutting up steaks and even can be used just to chop up veggies.
For home use they are perfect knives for home chefs looking to buy bigger pieces of meat and cut them down themselves. For example, buying a large piece of beef and then cutting steaks to your own thickness and sizes. This is also a good way to get more beef for your money as cut steaks are more expensive usually per pound than a larger side of beef.
This is NOT to be confused with a cleaver which some people mistakenly refer to as a “butcher’s knife” when it is not.
What is a butcher knife used for?
Here’s an example, if the butcher receives a whole whole side of beef (half a cow), they will typically use a butchers knife to cut the beef up into the parts you’d see in a store like steaks and roasts. This is often in conjunction with other knives like a boning knife where the butcher’s knife is too heavy and large to reach between bones and cartilage while dressing a carcass.
What is a good weight for a butcher knife?
An ideal weight for a butcher knife is one that is light enough that you can wield with total control, and heavy enough to make deep cuts through flesh, cartilage and bone. Typically they are between a half to one pound in weight.
What is the hole in a butcher knife for?
Actually most professional butchers knives do NOT have a hole. Rather, it’s the cleaver that is much more commonly holed in order to to hang on a hook.
The main purpose was to hang the cleaver from a hook during carcass preparation. The hole allowed it to be hung up high (think kids and safety) while being able to retrieve it quickly. Since the knife is usually used in conjunction with a boning knife, always laying the knife down between using more than one could easily lead to personal injury.
Today a lot of people like to use magnetic knife holders so they don’t necessarily need to have a hole. And some now manufactured don’t.
But in a meat factory, or for professional butchers, the hole is still preferred.
Our List of The 9 Best Butcher Knives…
1. DALSTRONG Shogun Series Boning Knife
Its handles can withstand moisture, heat, and cold, meaning you can look forward to long-term use of this multipurpose boning knife. Check out the following for top pros and cons to know about it.
- High cutting power: When it comes to cutting technology, DALSTRONG never fails! It is one of the most trusted makers of high-quality knives and cutlery products on the market. This particular unit provides users with the exceptional cutting power to depend on for their kitchen or restaurant needs.
- Durable handle: It is impervious to cold, moisture and heat, meaning it can stand the test of temperature and weather changes. So if you’re looking for a high-quality knife that comes with a solid handle, then you might want to take a look at this DALSTRONG model.
- Military-grade materials: They are robust to keep up with any level of abuse and use that they receive in any commercial or residential setting. You can expect more power in every slicing or cutting using this knife.
- Precise design: The maker makes sure that the knife comes out with a perfect balance so that users won’t have a hard time in cutting virtually all types of meat.
- Multi-purpose: The DALSTRONG model is designed and created to serve you in multiple applications, including skinning, deboning, filleting, cutting and trimming your meat. In fact, you can cut meat in the butterfly technique using the unit. It simply cuts through meat perfectly!
- High hardness: It is nitrogen-cooled to achieve an extreme 62+ Rockwell hardness, helping users make short work of their butchering requirements and expect the long-term use of this product.
- Rust-free: It will not rust, no matter what.
- The blade is only six inches, making it inappropriate for some applications.
- The blade also needs constant sharpening similar to a Nakiri knife.
2. Victorinox Swiss Army Field Dressing Kit
A top rating Swiss Army field dressing kit, this item deserves one of the top spots in today’s review for its best features that users can depend on. Quite similar to the best chef knife sets, it comes with seven different butcher knives for the deli chef, homemaker or amateur cooks like me. Check out the following for its top pros and a few cons.
- It is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts for its top performance. The product works perfectly for fishing and hunting activities.
- The product comes with Swiss-made cutlery innovation that is proven for its reliability and durability to last through the years. Swiss innovation is well recognized in the world for its top performance, and even top chefs salute to the guaranteed performance of Swiss made tools.
- The tools are multifunctional – with their superior blades that suit hunting, fishing, and cooking, among other purposes.
- It comes with a six-inch boning knife, eight-inch breaking knife, 10-inch cimeter, six-inch fillet knife, 3.35 paring knife and honing steel – wow! The item includes a cutlery roll for easy, secure and safe handling and carrying.
- The blades are of high carbon stainless steel and they are hand-finished for optimal performance and satisfaction.
- The knives are made using strict and unique tempering process, which is used for re-sharpening the blade repeatedly for ensured top performance.
- The blades might become dull over time, so constant re-sharpening might be needed to restore sharpness.
- The knife is quite expensive.
3. Victorinox 10-Inch Butcher Knife
Technology matters when it comes to cutlery, and this Victorinox product, I find remarkable. Its blade works perfectly in sectioning out meat portions that I always do in my kitchen.
The product isn’t only for butchering, but I also find it useful in most meat cutting jobs I do. For more information, check out what I found advantageous and disadvantageous about it.
- It is ideal for most meat-cutting jobs, giving me peace of mind that I can finish the task faster than using any typical butchering knives in my kitchen.
- The product has a comfortable shape, giving me better control and power in cutting. I can use it conveniently in cutting big meat cuts and roasted meats.
- The product is made of a high carbon stainless steel blade for sharpness. It is also ice tempered for longer lasting sharpness.
- It is also made of durable materials and stamped construction.
- Proper maintenance is required to keep it sharp.
4. Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Butcher Knife
For many years, Victorinox cutlery products have always ranked high in reviews. No wonder on that matter, I believe. The brand has always kept up its standards in designing and introducing the best knives on the market – like this butcher knife.
It comes with high performance and works ideally for most butchering jobs of all types of animals. It can be used in cutting big cuts or meat and even whole roasts.
- The 12-inch knife is made of a high-carbon stainless steel blade, which provides optimum sharpness and improves edge retention.
- It is ice-tempered for improved durability as well. When it comes to making our first investment on butcher knives, I find this feature useful.
- This product can sustain sharpness for a longer time as compared to other products in the same category.
- It comes with Fibrox textured handle, which is slip-resistant, giving us better control and balance in cutting. The handle is also ergonomically designed for ease of use.
- It is expertly made in Switzerland, which is known for top performing knives.
- The product is backed up with a lifetime warranty against maker defects.
- It comes with a perfect taper along its blades, and it comes without serrations, making it ideal for shredding and tearing, too.
- If you constantly soak your knife in the water, you might lose its sharpness fast. Avoid this practice, so make sure to hand wash and dry it immediately after use.
- It might be damaged if you wash it in the dishwasher.
- Constant and proper maintenance are needed to keep the sharp edge.
5. Victorinox 8-Inch Butcher Knife
Getting a versatile butcher knife is essential for our kitchen so that it can handle most of our cutting and butchering needs. This product deserves attention on that matter because it can handle most of the job. In fact, it can be used for cutting whole roasts as well as big chunks of meat without any difficulty.
It is made of high carbon steel that gives it that nice and longer edge retention and sharpness. The product also comes with Fibrox handle, which makes it slip-resistant and provides us with better grip.
- High carbon stainless steel
- Lifetime warranty versus maker defects
- Made in Switzerland
- The manufacturer used a unique tempering process that keeps its blade sharp for a longer time.
- The product provides users with a better grip.
- It might need constant resharpening to restore sharpness.
- The blade might become dull over time, especially if you don’t wash it immediately after use.
6. Ontario Knives Hickory Butcher Knife
- Durability: You can never go wrong with a knife that is tested through time. if you’re looking for a sound investment on your first butcher knife, just as you’d love to find the best rotisserie oven for your kitchen, then you might want to consider this one that has an impressive design and materials, including a 100% heat-treated and tempered carbon steel.
- Hickory hardwood handle: For someone finding a knife that is slip-resistant for safety, then this one might be a sound choice for its hardwood handle that is known for its easy grip characteristics. And to keep it secured in place, this model comes with brass compression rivets. Whether you are a cook, a mother or a butcher, looking for safety in a knife is one of the most important aspects of the shopping process. For that matter, this unit might be able to attend to that need.
- Sharpening process: The maker is known for introducing innovative knife products on the market for its consistency in bringing high-quality knives that users would love to use. This unit has undergone their rigid sharpening process to ensure you of a sharp edge that will help you attend to most of your cutting and slicing needs, whether you’re operating a deli shop or a restaurant. See our top picks for the best knife sharpeners here.
- Proven sharp blade: The blade, as said, has undergone a strict sharpening process, not only to ensure of precise cutting but also to keep up with most of your demands. It is hand ground and tempered to keep its sharpness for a longer time. In this case, you don’t have to sharpen the blade from time to time, meaning you don’t have to waste time on repetitive sharpening!
- Elegant finishing: The butcher knife isn’t only high performing, but it is also aesthetically pleasing. Its handle is heated and buffed for a classic look.
- The 14-inch blade length might be too long for some users and applications.
- You might have to sharpen the blade more often if you are frequently going to use it.
7. Dexter-Russell (S112-10PCP) – 10″ Butcher Knife
- High quality: Proudly, the maker is said to be the largest cutlery makers in the US and the only one that can compete with top cutlery manufacturers and suppliers from Japan, Germany, and Sweden. Thus, it is one of the most trusted brands in the US, both by home cooks and professional chefs. The unit we’re featuring here is also commonly chosen by deli shop and restaurant owners.
- Polypropylene handle and tang blade: This is a sanitary model from the brand. It is resistant to the growth and reproduction of bacteria. In this case, you can have peace of mind that the food you are preparing for your family won’t be cut by a dirty knife. It also comes with a tang blade that keeps it clean for a longer period.
- High carbon steel blade: The product might be a good choice if you are looking for a corrosion-free and stain-free, mainly due to the micro-pore reduction process. With the butcher knife, you can look forward to long-term use that you can depend on for many years in your kitchen, restaurant or deli shop.
- Strict sharpening process: Each knife underwent a rigorous sharpening process so that it can keep up with the heavy demands in your kitchen or restaurant. The knife can cut almost anything out of the box. So for ultimate cutting, you might want to consider the unit that can provide you with that.
- Slip-resistant: It comes with a textured grip that makes it slip-free for your safety. It also comes with a protective finger guard for added safety. With it, you don’t have to worry about cutting your finger.
- Multi-purpose: The product can be used in a wide range of tasks, including in a deli or butcher shop.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty: The product is backed up by its limited lifetime warranty to ensure of your top satisfaction.
- The blade length of 10 inches might be short to use for some applications.
- The edge type of straight might not be what some users would opt for a butcher knife.
- The plastic handle might not be sturdy enough as compared to knives with hardwood handles.
8. Victorinox 10-Inch Curved Breaking Rosewood
- Affordable: The Victorinox knife is of high quality yet is one of the most affordable on the market. If you’re a serious home chef, then you might want to consider something of this great value. The product isn’t too expensive, but it possesses the most important qualities of a good knife.
- High-quality materials: The product is made from durable and quality components; thus, you can depend on its reliability to cut through meat without any problem at all.
- Switzerland-crafted: The country is known as one of the top suppliers of high-quality cutlery products in the world, along with Japan and Germany. When you bought a product that’s made by proven reputable experts in the business, it is peace of mind that you’ll get, knowing that you’re making a sound choice for your first butcher knife or additional kitchen cutlery collection.
- Rosewood Handle: Rosewood is one of the most chosen handle material among makers simply because it can give that elegant look as well as hardness in the handle for ensured durability. Part of its classic styling, it is crafted with a beautiful design that adds to its elegant appeal.
- High performance: The product can cut through large quarters of roasts, deli, and meat into smaller parts with precision. It comes with a unique curved blade that gives it that cutting power, meaning you can look forward to a single pass cut, especially regarding taking out the bones from the meat.
- The 10-inch blade length might be too short for certain applications.The blade isn’t that flexible.
- The overall weight of the product is a bit lighter than its counterparts are.
9. Sani Safe S112-6-PCP Butcher Polypropylene-Handle
- Top performance: The knife is built to last a lifetime. It can help you cut through a wide range of meat products, including those you’d cook in your favorite copper cookware without breaking a sweat. This is a beginner-friendly model is suitable for home cooks, chefs, and butchers because it is not hard to use at all and it performs on top of its game when it comes to cutting.
- Slip-resistant handle: When it comes to safety, one of the most crucial features to look for a butcher knife is a slip-free handle. With that in mind, you may want to consider the Sani-Safe model that can provide you with exactly that level of safety you should get. Along these lines, it is made with a functional finger guard that can naturally protect your fingers from being cut. This is a useful feature that beginners may want to consider when shopping around for that butcher knife that’s right for them.
- Easy to clean: You won’t break a sweat in cleaning this product; thus, you can save so much time that you can use for your kids and loved ones.
- Carbon-steel blade: This feature is a standout! With it, users can look forward a robust knife that won’t break no matter the pressure it gets from cutting.
- Pointed tip: You don’t have to worry about fine-tuning the knife in cutting because of its pointed tip that does magic in helping you cut precisely. Along these lines, the product also comes with a straight edge that makes the butcher knife useful in a wide range of cutting applications.
- The length of the blade might be too short at six inches for some applications.
- The plastic handle isn’t that sturdy as compared to other knives that have hardwood handles.
For this roundup, our clear winner is the DALSTRONG Shogun Series Boning Knife – it’s strong, durable and high performing. It keeps up with the test of time, and it gives us what we exactly want in a butchering knife – provide us with exceptional cutting power and offer us multifunction for cutting most types of meats, even whole roasts.
While I also trust the performance of Victorinox Swiss Army Field Dressing Kit, I just find the DALSTRONG boning knife better, even for outdoor activities, including fishing and hunting.
Finding the best butcher knives on the market might seem hard at first. But using a guide like this one, you will be just fine. That’s why I am hoping that I have helped you pick that right butcher knife for your needs today!