Choosing the Right Butcher Knife for Your Kitchen

By Kate Hendricks | Indoor Living

Jun 01
Butcher Knife

When it comes time to prepare meat of any kind, either for sale or for the oven, the process will definitely go a lot smoother with a high-quality butcher knife. Butcher knives are available in a variety of styles and price brackets, and fortunately for you as a consumer, more expensive does not always mean better.

To illustrate this, below we have reviewed several of the most popular and hottest-selling butcher knives on the market today, including the advantages and disadvantages of owning and using each of these blades.

We have also included a Butcher Knife Buyer’s Guide, in which we will breakdown and define the various characteristics of these products, and show you what to look for when it comes time to go out and shop for one.

Best Butcher Knives for the Money (2018)

Last update on 2018-08-20 at 13:14 / Affiliate disclaimer / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife

Boasting a razor-sharp ten-inch blade, the Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife is the perfect tool for preparing meat—any type of meat—for the sales counter or for your oven. Used by professional butchers, chefs, prep cooks and everyday homeowners, the knife is made from the easiest sharpening high-quality carbon steel that has been fully heat treated and tempered to ensure it maintains its sharpness longer than similar blades in this category.

The Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife can be used in a variety of agricultural and industrial settings for cutting and chopping. It boasts an ergonomic hardwood handle, branded “Old Hickory,” and is secured with brass compression rivets, making the knife virtually indestructible.

A budget-friendly knife that works just as good as higher priced butcher knives, the Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife has a wide range of cool features to go along with its stay-sharp blade with maximum edge retention.

Pros

Budget-Friendly. The Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife is reasonably priced, making it the perfect kitchen tool for homeowners on a budget.
Efficient. The butcher knife from Ontario is very efficient for a variety of processes, including skinning meat, deboning and cutting joints.
Sharp Blade. The Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife has a very sharp blade with maximum edge retention, helping it to stay sharp longer than other blades.

Cons

Rusts easily. When not cared for properly, the Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife can build up oxidation or rust.
Thicker blade. Due to its relatively thick blade, the butcher knife may not be effective in making smaller and more delicate cuts.
Maintenance Required. Users must constantly maintain the Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife or run the risk of having it lose its efficacy.

2. Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife

With a blade stamped from cold-rolled steel, the Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife is the perfect knife for a wide range of butchering jobs, particularly cutting large cuts of meat. The knife features a high carbon stainless steel blade that allows for the pinnacle of sharpness and edge retention, and is conical through length and depth for a wider break point, and ice tempered to help it maintain its sharpness for a longer period of time.

The Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife comes equipped with an easy-grip black fibrox handle and a Granton edge that enhances the knife’s cutting and slicing performance. Not only does this knife look beautiful, its augmented slicing ability makes it particularly popular with chefs and home cooks. The Granton design allows for easy cutting and better food release than other knives, and its design prevents food from shredding and tearing. The knife’s blade is made to slide past food without catching or bending onto it, making it a great choice for raw meat.

The bolsterless edge of the Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife allows butchers and chefs to use the entire blade and makes it easy to sharpen. The handle is textured, slip-resistant and biometrically correct, ensuring both comfort and stability. Perhaps best of all, the knife, which is made in Switzerland, comes with a lifetime warranty against any and all manufacturer defects.

Pros

Great for large butchering jobs. The Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife is the ideal knife for large butchering jobs and for cutting larger pieces of meat.
Granton edge. The Granton edge on this butcher knife makes for effortless cutting and better food release—cutting without any shredding or tearing.
Great Handle. The attractive black fibrox handle on the Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife not only looks great, it is very ergonomic for comfort, and slip-resistant for safety.

Cons

High maintenance required. As with many knives in this category, the Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife requires high maintenance—and hand washing is required.
Long Blade. The long blade on the Victorinox Cutlery 10-Inch Straight Butcher Knife is not recommended for beginners.

3. DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife

Part of the company’s Gladiator Series of products, the DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife, AKA “The Ravenger,” is a 9” butcher’s cleaver knife made from the strongest and most heavy duty German steel. The knife is an extremely versatile cleaver designed by some of the most expert craftsmen in the business—a knife that looks just as good as it performs. The amazing razor-sharp edge on the knife makes it perfect for a wide variety of butchering and slicing jobs. The knife has a polished edge at 18 degrees per side and a thickness of 4.2 mm which allows it to tackle even the most precise cuts, such as those on vegetables, fruits, fish and small-boned meats.

The DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife boasts an award-winning design and is made of the highest quality materials for the perfect feel. Its lush imported pakkawood handle is thick and triple riveted with a grip that ensures both comfort and maneuverability. It is laminated and polished to a fine sheen for sanitary purposes, making it ideal for busy kitchens and butcher shops. The blade on the DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife is carefully tapered for improved hardness and flexibility, allowing it to slice with minimal resistance and less tearing. The tall blade height is a great safety feature, as it gives the user plenty of knuckle clearance.

The DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife comes with a 100 percent, no-questions-asked money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with its performance, and a lifetime warranty against any manufacturer defect.

Pros

Rust Resistant. The DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife is made with 66 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel, making it very resistant to rust.
Great Warranty. Not only is there a lifetime warranty against any manufacturer defect, the company also provides a satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
Strong Handle. The pakkawood handle on the DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife is triple riveted and provides a comfortable, safe grip that also enhances the knife’s performance.

Cons

Heavy. Due to its style and design, the DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife is much heavier than the other two butcher knives on our list.
Needs Regular Sharpening. The DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife requires regular sharpening to maintain its razor-like edge.

Butcher Knives Buying Guide: What to Look for in a High-Quality Butcher Knife

Butcher knives are great tools for butcher shops, restaurants and even home chefs who enjoy trying new meat-based recipes. And when buying one of these butcher knives, either online or in a brick and mortar retail outlet, there are many factors you will need to consider. Below we have listed just a few of those factors.

Blade Thickness

Butcher knives are unique from other types of knives in that they have thinner blades that allow them to serve their intended purpose. Therefore, when shopping for one of these knives, be sure to ask the salesman about blade thickness as it pertains to how you plan to use the knife.

Blade Size

The standard size for a “regular” butcher knife is five to eight inches. However, there are some knives, as you saw from our reviews, which sport even longer blades, up to 10 inches. If you are a new chef just starting out, you may want to opt for a knife with a shorter blade, as these tend to be more flexible and easier to handle. Professionals can safely get away with a longer blade size doe to their advanced level of experience and training.

Blade Style

The blades on butcher knives vary in terms of style. The two most widely used blade styles are curved and straight. If you are an amateur chef, you may want to (initially) opt for a straight butcher knife, as these are much easier to use. Professional butchers, on the other hand, may prefer a curved blade, as these are more efficient for deboning jobs.

Blade Edge Design

Many butcher knives just have a long straight edge that is razor sharp at the far outside of the blade, while others have different types of edges. Here is a look at these different types of edges and their general purpose:

Serrated. Serrated knives are designed with small, jagged teeth along the edge. These knives are great for jobs in which you will need to virtually “saw” through the meat.
Scalloped. Scalloped-edged knives are created with prominent waves along the blade edge. These knives are typically utilized to slice bread with hard crusts and to cut through tough fruits and vegetables.
Granton. The Granton-edged knife has hollowed grooves on the sides of the blade. These grooves make it easy to create thin and even cuts without tearing.

Steel Type

There are two types of steel used to make the blades of a knife: forged steel and stamped steel. Both are effective, but it’s important to know the difference. Forged steel will look like it has been fired or tempered, while stamped steel will appear as if it was cut from a large sheet of steel.

Knife Handle

Knife handles are made from different materials and have a variety of designs—designs to make them more ergonomic and comfortable in your hand. The knife handle you ultimately choose is a matter of preference. It can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, rosewood or synthetic. The most important thing is that it feels good in your hand, so be sure to experiment with different options before making a final decision.

Durable

If it is well maintained, a butcher knife is a tool you can have in your kitchen forever assuming you initially buy a “high quality” butcher knife. When shopping, look for butcher knives with either forged or stamped high carbon-steel blades. Choose a handle made from durable materials—one that feels good in your hand. You may have to shell out a few more bucks to acquire the perfect butcher knife, but if well cared for, this will only be a one-time purchase that will last you a lifetime or more.