Best Butcher Knives that Won’t Cut into Your Budget
There really isn’t anything more frustrating than trying to cut meat in preparation for a meal but hacking through it sloppily instead, or not cutting through it at all. With these best butcher knives on the market, your frustration will come to an end. You will be slicing and cutting your way through those pork loin roasts and thick cut steaks easily and quickly.
How Do I Choose?
Choosing the best butcher knives to bring home to your kitchen isn’t always an easy choice. Not all knives are created equally. In fact, there are some key features you should consider when selecting the right butcher knife for your collection. You will want to look at: the blade, the handle, the length and the materials which are used. Each of these features will determine if the knife you are considering is one of the best butcher knives available or if you are wasting your money.
Here is a great tutorial on choosing a knife for your collection.
The blade of your knife is the most important aspect, obviously, since it the part that you rely on to cut through your meat and de-bone as needed. When comparing butcher knives, you should consider the thickness of the blade. If it is too thick, you will have a harder time cutting easily through meat; thinner is better. Also, the design of the blade is important. A straight blade is great for slicing through meat, while if you find you are more concentrated on de-boning, you will want a curved blade.
The blade may also come with “small indents” running its length. These are helpful in having food release easier as you chop, but not always found on butcher knives since meat does not tend to stick. Not all knives with the title “Butcher Knife” are a true butcher knife so be aware of the true intended function of the knife you are purchasing.
The Handle or Grip
The handle or grip of your knife is really a personal preference, however, some are better than others in terms of quality and longevity. If you prefer a thick grip, one with a rubberized cover would be best since it would prevent slippage from your hand. If a thinner handle is your choice, then choosing a knife with some kind of textured grip without adding bulk would be a good option. Look for a handle with comfortable spots to accommodate your fingers and thumb while gripping it; ergonomically correct handles are the best for preventing strain on your hands.
The handle may or may not be sealed at the blade. This is something to consider since bacteria tend to grow where there is oxygen present. If the handle is not sealed at the blade, food particles can become stuck in that small space and proper, careful cleaning is necessary to prevent contamination of your foods.
In the case of the best butcher knives, length does matter. If you have small hands, you may want to stick with a smaller length in the 5 to 8 inch range, however, if you have large hands a longer length will work fine for you. Don’t forget that you should take the handle into account when calculating the overall length, since you will want to have as much control and comfort using your knife as possible.
Length is an important consideration for your butcher knife in comparison to the types and cuts of meat you most often cook. Some tougher meats require a thinner, sharper blade which may be best in a shorter length such as 8-inch. If you find that you are making chicken more often, a softer, and easier to cut meat then a lengthy butcher knife would serve your needs perfectly. You could always have multiple knives of multiple lengths on hand as well.
The Materials of the Knife
How the butcher knife is made and what it is made up of, will help determine if you are purchasing one of the best butcher knives available to you. Obviously, if you select a knife which is made of inexpensive plastic you shouldn’t expect top quality or longevity. The best butcher knives are made of ceramic, carbon or high carbon steel. Of course, there are other materials used on the market, but if you want your butcher knife to last and hold a sharp edge longer, then you will want to ensure it is made with quality materials.
Carbon knives can hold their edge longer than most other materials but you should be aware that the blade could discolor. High carbon steel is another option, which is a combination of carbon and alloy metal. It holds a sharp edge very well and will not stain or discolor. Ceramic is a very durable, hardy choice in a butcher knife since this material is super durable. It has the second hardest edges, only next to diamonds! Avoid stainless steel butcher knives since they don’t hold a sharp edge and are weak in comparison to other materials.
The Best Butcher Knives to Choose From
- Carbon steel blade stays sharper, longer
- Easy to sharpen when needed
- Straight blade for cutting through all meats and great for other cutting needs as well
- Very affordable!
- Handle is small in size, perfect for smaller hands
- Handle is made of hickory which is very durable and will last the life of the knife
- Old Hickory brand has been around for generations, making this a very trusted knife company with high quality products
- If left wet or even damp, the blade will rust or develop rust spots since carbon steel is not stainless
- Not an ideal knife for de-boning since it is a straight blade
- Handle might seem a bit short in comparison to the lengthy blade
- Hand-washing is highly recommended since the dishwasher can create discoloration
- Will likely need to sharpen it the first time you bring it home since it is often not sharpened prior to purchase
- Blade is very thin, perfect for easy slicing through even thicker meat cuts and even cooled meats
- Handle is sealed all around the blade, preventing food contamination seeping into the cracks
- Blade is made of German high-carbon steel
- Sharpened right out of the box and will hold an edge for some time before needing sharpened again
- Blade is slightly tapered, which allows for de-boning a little easier than a straight blade
- Very affordable price point !
- Handle is made of plastic, which isn’t the most durable material
- The overall length including the handle is 15 ¼ inches, which might be a little long for some people
- Handle thickness means it sometimes hits the cutting board before slicing all the way through the meat or vegetables you are working on
- Must dry it very well after hand washing only (not dishwasher safe) so as to avoid rusting of the blade
- The back of the blade can be a little sharp, caution is advised
- The seams on the handle where it comes together can be rough on the hands
- Handle is made of aluminum which is well-known for its durability and cleanliness
- Blade is a very manageable 7 ¾ inches in length, great for most hand sizes
- Excellent for every type of meat and will even chop through a chicken thigh bone
- Lightweight and handles comfortably when cutting and slicing
- The blade won’t rust or stain
- Very low price point
- Because handle is made of aluminum, it can become slippery if wet or greasy
- The handle is somewhat straight and on the smaller side, therefore those with large hands may have difficulty manoeuvring it
- Made of high-carbon stainless steel, which isn’t the most top rated material for a butcher knife
- May be better suited for light use and cutting fruits and vegetables
- Although it is dishwasher safe, this may discolor the aluminum handle
- Doesn’t hold a sharp edge as long as other blade materials would
- The blade is ceramic which has superior hardness only next to diamond
- Will hold a sharp edge 15 times longer than other blade materials
- The perfect weight for handling; not too light but also not too heavy
- Blade is super thin, allowing for excellent slicing capability
- It is non-porous and will not absorb the odors or flavors of the foods you cut
- Rust and stain resistant
- 8 inch blade is a great mid-size length
- Comes with a protective sheath, cleaning cloth and sharpening stone
- Comes with a 100% money back guarantee
- Not meant for cutting or slicing through bone; only for use on boneless meats, as well as fruits and vegetables
- Higher price point than competitors
- May need professional sharpening despite coming with the sharpening stone, since it is ceramic
- It is recommended to cut on a soft surface cutting board or even bamboo as a hard cutting board will damage the blade and dull it much quicker
- May be too small and lightweight for those with larger hands
- Handle is made of a hard texturized plastic which may seem fragile or weak
- Because of the thin blade, it may seem a little flimsy or not rugged enough for some meats
- Blade is made of high-carbon, high-alloy stainless steel, which Dexter claims is a mixture of steel to create high grade professional series knives
- Great mid-size 8 inch length blade
- Resists corrosion and staining, including rust spots with proper care and drying
- Holds an edge for longer than regular stainless steel
- Handle features “Grip-Tex” which allows for a non-slip grip while slicing and cutting
- Dishwasher friendly
- Can cut through semi-frozen meats
- Blade and handle meet to a very tight seal which prevents food contamination as well as the blade pulling out from the handle
- Tends to be on the heavier side
- Price point a little high for the type of materials it is made from
- May not hold the sharp edge as long as other blade types and will require re-sharpening
- The handle is made of plastic, which may not stand the test of time as a steel handle might
- The blade itself seems to be on the thicker side, which may impede some cutting
- Despite the blade being constructed of a blend of steel, it is still stainless steel which is not the highest rated butcher knife material
- If left to dry on its own after dishwashing, it may develop rust spots
After careful consideration, I think the best butcher knives you could consider to bring home to your own kitchen would be the Old Hickory Butcher Knife. Despite the shorter handle, the blade is great for cutting through meats and even bones which serves its function perfectly. It is constructed of higher quality materials which will outlast its counterparts and give you more bang for your buck overall. With proper care and use, this knife could outlast any other utensil in your kitchen.