Do you have a difficulty cutting down slabs of meat with your old knife? You might be using the wrong knife all this time. If you want to cut large chunks of meat perfectly, you need to get yourself a good butcher knife.
A quality butcher knife that fits the task at hand can improve your productivity in the kitchen. However, it may be hard to find the best butcher knives with so many of them available in the market today. That is why I have come up with this ultimate guide to help you choose the best butcher knife for your needs.
- 1 Reviews of the 5 Best Butcher Knives in 2018
- 2 Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife
- 3 Brandobay 12-inch Straight Butcher Knife
- 4 Rada Cutlery R109 Old Fashioned Butcher Knife with Aluminum Handle
- 5 Victorinox Cutlery 12-inch Straight Butcher Knife (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
- 6 Dexter-Russell (S112-10PCP)- 10” Butcher Knife
- 7 Best Butcher Knife – Buyer’s Guide
- 8 Verdict
Reviews of the 5 Best Butcher Knives in 2018
|Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory||10-inch|
|Brandobay 12-inch Straight||12-inch|
|Rada Cutlery R109 Old Fashioned||12-1/8 Inches|
|Victorinox Cutlery 12-inch Straight|
|Dexter-Russell (S112-10PCP)- 10”||10-inch|
Here are the reviews of the most highly rated butcher knives in the market now. Learn more about their features, pros, and cons below.
The Old Hickory butcher knife has a 10-inch blade. It is made of quality material and craftsmanship. It is constructed to endure the toughest conditions. It has a wood handle and a hollow ground edge. It blade is made of 1095 high carbon steel which is tempered and created to keep it sharp for long. It weighs around 8 ounces.
This knife has a genuine hickory wood handle that is flame burnt and polished for a distinct vintage finish. Its quality is highly trusted as most professional butchers and chefs use this butcher knife.
The 12-inch Straight butcher knife is designed for cutting meat, vegetables, and fruits. It is perfect in making thin slices of various foods. With its best edge sharp blade, you’ll never have to sharpen it frequently.
This knife is meticulously produced with a stainless steel blade and a black handle to make cleaning easy. It has a plastic handle which doesn’t slip your fingers across the blade. Its blade is made of hollow ground edge, making it suitable for fine cutting tasks.
The R109 has a surgical quality T420 high carbon steel blades. Its blade is hand sharpened to bring a razor sharp edge. Its hollow ground blade offers an accurate concave surface for high edge retention quality.
Its handle is made of permanently cast solid aluminum which is satin finished for an elegant look. With this construction, it may not be safe to put this knife in your dishwasher. A finger guard is designed to protect your hand when cutting.
The Victorinox Cutlery is a stamped knife that handles huge butchering tasks easily. It is perfect for cutting whole roasts and large chunks of meat. It is made of a high-carbon stainless-steel blade which offers optimum sharpness and great edge retention. The blade is ice tempered to make it sharp for a long time.
Its handle is made from a patented Fibrox which is guaranteed to be slip resistant. The handle’s ergonomic design makes this knife well balanced and comfortable. Hand washing is advised for cleaning purposes.
This butcher knife has a 10-inch stainless blade length and weighs around 58 pounds. It is made of a straight edge blade that can cut meat without shreds. It has a pointed tip that can slice large roasts into thin pieces.
It features a Grip-Tex handle that is made of plastic making it comfortable and lightweight to use. This feature also makes the handle slip resistant.
What is a Butcher Knife?
When you think of butcher knives, you might directly imagine them as tools for slaughtering animal carcasses. Back in the 1830s-1840s, butcher knives were major tools for mountain men because they were utilized for almost everything, like mincing food, skinning beavers, and weapons.
Today, butcher knives are utilized mostly in the meat processing industry, but they can also be used for your ordinary kitchen.
A butcher knife usually has a hefty, wide, and a somewhat curved blade. The heavier the blade, the more efficient it becomes for stripping, cutting, and sectioning meat. It is generally used to cut, section, and trim huge pieces of meat. It can also be used to cut vegetables and fruits like pineapple, onion, and melon.
Butcher Knife vs Other Types of Knives
Find out the difference between each type of knife by checking on the comparison table below.
|Butcher Knife||Cuts, trims, and sections large pieces of raw meat||Heavy, wide, and curved|
|Chef’s Knife||Chops, slices, and mince||Broad|
|Cleaver||Forces its way through the bones similar to an ax||Thick and heavy|
|Boning Knife||Separates meat and connective from bones||Thin and pointed; around 12 cm long; may be stiff or flexible|
|Carving Knife||Slices meat into thin cuts||Thin and has a pointed tip|
How to Choose the Best Butcher Knives
Before buying the right butcher knife for your needs, consider these following pointers first.
- Forged vs Stamped
Each piece of a knife is made using either of these two processes, stamping or forging.
Forged knives have a thicker and heftier blade than stamped knives. They are generally better balanced and sturdier, but they could be more pricey, too.
Learn more about forged and stamped knives in this video:
You can identify a forged knife from a stamped knife by finding a bolster between the handle and heel. A bolster, which is only designed for forged knives, helps balance the knife and keeps the user’s hand from sliding across the blade.
- High Carbon Stainless Steels: VG-10, 440C, and 420HC
If you want a butcher knife with high-quality standards, choose a VG-10 steel. This type of steel features an excellent edge-retention. It is known to be durable, sharp, and stain-proof. It is preferred by most chefs in the world.
On the other hand, 440C and 420HC steels are known to be stain-proof and rust-proof. Either of them is generally used for the creation of German steel. However, 440C is sturdier than 420HC.
- Knife Handles
In finding for the best butcher knives, you can choose from the different types of knife handles, such as wood, stainless steel, and plastic. Though wood handled butcher knives are comfortable and pretty, they may not be as sturdy as other types of knife handles. They may not also be recommended by health inspectors because wood can trap bacteria.
Meanwhile, a stainless steel handle is sturdy, better balanced, and easy to clean. However, it doesn’t offer a very nice grip and can slip in your hands when wet.
Today, plastic handles are the most famous type of handle. They are easy to clean, lightweight, and comfortable. However, they may break when they go through extreme temperatures or used after a few months.
What to Look for in a Good Butcher Knife
Here are several attributes which you should look for in buying for the best butcher knife for your kitchen.
The first attribute that you should look for in a good butcher knife is the comfort. You must find a butcher knife that gives a comfortable grip for easy control. The blade and handle should be balanced so that you won’t be putting much force on the handle. A feature that ensures better balance is the design of a bolster.
- Slip and rust resistant
Look for a butcher knife that has a good handle that doesn’t allow your fingers to slip across the blade. Plastic handles, like Fibrox and Proflex, are designed to be slip-resistant. If you want your blade to resist rust and corrosion, it might be better to look for high carbon steel blades.
- High edge retention
Edge retention signifies how long the blade can remain sharp despite being subjected to long term-use. Blades that are made of high-carbon steel may often retain a high edge retention for a long time. Sometimes, the blade may be ensured for better edge retention if it has high wear resistance and flexibility.
- Hard and versatile
A good butcher knife should be hard but a slight flexibility will do no harm to trim the meat more efficiently from the bone. A slight flexibility can prevent the blade from breaking or chipping easily, but an easily bent blade may cause injuries. If you’re a novice, it may be hard to control a flexible blade, so getting a hard blade is your best bet.
It will be great if a butcher knife can also cut not only meat but vegetables and fruits as well. This multifunction capacity enhances the versatility of a butcher knife.
Things to be Aware When Using a Butcher Knife
A butcher knife shouldn’t be used for very large or thick bones. Instead, use a bone saw. As much as possible, never cut through the bones. Always cut between the bones to extend the durability of the blade.
After every use, wash the butcher knife with warm soapy water. Never use abrasives to clean the blade. To prevent marks and stains, dry the knife with a soft cloth.
In oiling the blade, never use a mineral oil that constitutes salt. Keep away from using vegetable oil because it may cause a foul odor. You may use a camellia oil and wipe it gently with a clean cloth before you store the knife for its next use.
Among all 5 best butcher knives reviewed above, I consider the Victorinox Cutlery 12-inch Straight Butcher Knife as my best bet.
This is because it has met most of the features of a good butcher knife. Such features include a great anti-slip handle, high edge retention, and versatility. Rada Cutlery could have been my choice if not for its aluminum handle and flimsy blade.
The Victorinox Cutlery butcher knife may be the most expensive among the group, but its price is offset by its high quality. In comparison to Ontario Knife, the Victronix has a better handle.
While Ontario Knife uses a wood handle that may accumulate bacteria, Victronix uses a Fibrox handle which is known for its anti-slip feature.
The Victronix has a better balance and a stronger blade than Brandobay. Meanwhile, the Dexter-Russell may not be as versatile as the Victronix.
No matter what your choice of butcher knife may be, make sure that you take good care of it to extend its use for a very long time.