Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: August 28, 2021
CookSpot is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links.
CookSpot is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links.
We don’t always see the importance of having a specific knife for each type of food. But the reality is that knowing which knife should be used for each occasion will completely change your cooking experience. The butcher knife is the perfect tool to achieve precise and uniform cuts even in the toughest meats, bones and even frozen foods without damaging the edge. We believe that every chef – whether the one who walks around the house or someone with his own restaurant – needs a good knife in his kitchen. That is why we have selected the 8 best butcher knives for analysis.
In order to come up with a comparison table of the best knives, we analyzed 49 top-rated butcher knife products on the market. We consider the Imarku Cleaver Knife as the overall best butcher knife and, hence, our editor’s choice, having satisfied all criteria our experts consider making it the best butcher knife. Featuring an ax-like cleaver blade that is made of high-quality carbon stainless steel and handle made of the highest quality PAKKA wood, the product is backed by a lifelong warranty. To help you choose the best according to your use, we also reviewed 7 more top-quality knives.
The blade material, blade length, handle, weight, and warranty are some of the features and criteria that influenced our selection. These will determine how well the knives can slice through meat and how long their services will be. To provide comprehensive product information, the article is subdivided into three – comparison table, product reviews, and the buyer’s guide. First, we’ll briefly introduce the products in a comparison table!
"The Orblue knife is a stainless steel cleaver knife that can also be used as a chopper or butcher knife. This 7-inch knife impresses with its magnificent design. Its shape and size classify it as a very ergonomic utensil."
"This is a boning knife with a curved design. The knife is light and has a 6 ” Japanese steel blade that is very sharp. The ergonomic handle is made of polypropylene for better durability and Santoprene for enhanced comfort."
"The Old Hickory knife is a 10-inch butcher knife. It is suitable for use by professionals such as chefs as well as those in slaughterhouses. Brown in color, it turns out to be very ergonomic. You can use it in any position without risk of injury."
"The blade’s 9-inch length and shape show it is a truly modern knife. Its superb PAKKA wooden handle gives it a luxurious appearance. It’s very ergonomic configuration allows it to be handled with ease and comfort."
"This knife has the longest blade – 12 inches – in this review. Made of carbon stainless steel, it lets you butcher easily. This meat knife from Victorinux is hygienic for meat preparation. That’s because it has an NSF-certified for protecting public health."
"The forged handle offers great stability and safety in the hand. And with 7 inches of blade length, this model is ideal for preparing the pieces of meat consumed daily at home or any professional setup."
The Imarku knife is a German steel cleaver with a solid PAKKA wood handle. Made for use in the restaurant and home kitchen, it is a multipurpose chef knife for mincing, slicing, dicing, and chopping. This magnificent utensil seduces us with its superb shape.
With carbon content in its making, the German stainless steel blade proves to be ultra-sharp. After a period of use, you can sharpen it to improve its performance. Slightly heavier than ordinary knives, this utensil cuts meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, etc. perfectly well. Its versatility will not fail to impress you! This knife remains very popular with chefs. It will also meet all your expectations in the kitchen. Its Rockwell hardness of 60 to 62 gives it great solidity. Very durable, the blade is exceptionally resistant to rust and wear. It is fairly easy to maintain. Always clean it after each use with a soapy cloth. We recommend hand washing.
The Orblue knife is a stainless steel cleaver knife that can also be used as a chopper or butcher knife. This 7-inch knife impresses with its magnificent design. Its very aesthetic appearance will charm you at first glance. Its shape and size classify it as a very ergonomic utensil. Its stainless steel handle proves to be non-slip and very resistant. You can handle it easily with great precision and undeniable stability. The blade will remain sharp for a long time. You must remain vigilant when using it at the risk of injuring yourself! After a certain period of use, you will need to sharpen it to improve its performance.
This steel knife is very versatile and popular with restaurant chefs. It easily cuts meats, chickens, fish, vegetables, fruits, herbs, onions, pumpkins, etc. Its ultra-sharp blade can be used in all positions. This chef’s cleaver also remains highly prized at the household level. You can use it to perform almost all of your cooking tasks. It makes it possible to obtain pieces of modest size or very thin dice. This knife impresses with its high resistance to corrosion and wear. It is very easy to maintain. Finally, it offers exceptional value for money.
The Mercer Culinary Millennia knife is a boning knife with a curved design. Never underestimate the size of this meat knife. It is easier to cut medium and large pieces of meat. Ideal for those who are chefs or those just learning to prepare meat, this knife is light and has a 6″ Japanese steel blade that is very sharp. The handle was made to be ergonomic, through the combination of polypropylene for better durability and Santoprene for enhanced comfort.
It is also simple to clean it. All you just need do is put it in the dishwasher after the meat preparation is done. Its steel blade helps you get a precise cut, which does not damage the texture and ensures the meat is tender. This material stands out for not oxidizing—all of this with a modern and anatomical design.
Although it can be used in the daily kitchen, it is not as resistant to falling, and over time small chips may appear. Therefore, care must be taken and store it with a blade protector. Also, remember to look for a specialist to sharpen it regularly.
The Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory knife is a 10-inch butcher knife. Being one of the best professional butcher knives, it is suitable for use by professionals such as chefs as well as those in slaughterhouses. Brown in handle color, it turns out to be very ergonomic. This knife is, therefore, easy to handle. You can use it in any position without risk of injury.
It manages almost all small butchery cuts thanks to its ultra-sharp blade. You can use it to chop vegetables, fruits, condiments, etc. You can use it to perform all your tasks thanks to its versatility.
This knife can be cleaned fairly easily with a cloth dampened in soapy water. It cannot go in the dishwasher. However, you have to be careful with its wooden handle. When exposed to water and acidic ingredients, it can deteriorate before the blade. To prevent this from happening, it is important to dry the utensil well and follow the directions for use.
Crafted by hand, this forged camping knife is inspired by the traditional gaucho peasants. It is made of high carbon clad steel and still has an extra film of chrome and nickel. Therefore, it is resistant to the heaviest types of cuts, such as beef and pork.
But the blade is not the only advantage of this knife. It has a beautiful rustic wooden handle, impressing in any barbecue. When you buy this knife, you will also get a beautiful leather sheath to easily carry the knife on your belt during the meat preparation.
In summary, it has a beautiful wooden handle. It is a heavy-duty chef knife. It is versatile – meant for dicing, mincing and slicing meat and vegetable. Finally, it has a sharp blade and simple storage.
This utensil displays a remarkable design and a magnificent aesthetic. The blade’s 9-inch length and shape show it is a truly modern knife. Its superb PAKKA wooden handle gives it a luxurious appearance. Its very ergonomic configuration allows it to be handled with ease and comfort. This chopper has a so-so sharp blade made of high carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel. However, it resists wear and corrosion for a long time. Its level of sharpness and great adhesion still allow it to cut meats, fish, etc. easily. It is also used for chopping and cutting food items into fine pieces. It remains very popular with chefs and individuals because of its great versatility. It has a Rockwell Hardness rating of more than 56.
It can be easily cleaned with a cloth dampened in soapy water. We recommend washing it after each use. Use it only on a wooden or plastic board, as this will maintain the edge of the blade.
Call it a sword, and you wouldn’t be far from the fact. This knife has the longest blade – 12 inches – in this review. Made of carbon stainless steel, it lets you butcher easily. This meat knife from Victorinux is hygienic for meat preparation. That’s because it has an NSF-certified for protecting public health. It features an integrated finger guard that provides safety to the user while processing meat. The blade is another great differential of this product, as it was subjected to a sub-zero heat treatment that guarantees more resistance.
Because of its length and thickness, it is widely used by professionals who can effortlessly cut large pieces of meat. Its design also draws attention in any kitchen and barbecue.
The renowned brand Zelite Infinity has a wide range of butcher knives you can choose from, but its cleaver model is one of the highlights in its product catalog. The blade of this knife is made of high carbon German stainless steel, which is of great hardness and resistance, an indispensable quality for this type of knives. On the other hand, its forged handle offers great stability and safety in the hand, making the maneuverability of the tool a much more efficient task. With 7 inches of blade length, this model is ideal for preparing the pieces of meat consumed daily at home or any professional setup.
The blade material offers lasting performance. It makes it stain-resistant, rust and corrosion-free. With Rockwell Hardness of 56, know that this tool is hard and tough.
Full tang, German steel, large cleaver knife, forged handle, HRC of 56, the Zelite Infinity Cleaver Knife comes packed with enticing features!
Why did it make our list?
High-quality German stainless steel blade
Money-back guarantee and 15-year limited warranty
What is not ideal about it?
Gets stained easily
Things to Consider
Having presented our ranking of the best quality butcher knives, it is important that you see our tips for making the right purchase decision. Here, you will find that you need to analyze not only the type of knife or steel but also the size of the blade, price, warranty and the material of the handle to improve your meat-butchering experience. Check out the details below.
Which types of meat knives exist?
Flexible or rigid blade, straight or curved, with alveoli and without? You can quickly feel lost when faced with knife shelves! Here are the different models and their usefulness so that you can make an informed choice according to your needs:
The universal knife: The blade of the universal knife is longer and wider than that of the paring knife. This allows it to cut, chop, mince, and peel larger food.
Chef’s knife: The chef’s knife can be recognized by its long blade. If it is ideal for cutting and mincing meat pieces neatly, it can also do meticulous work in chopping fruits and vegetables or aromatic plants. After a few tries, it turns out to be very easy and practical to use.
The Japanese knife or Santoku: Santoku is the Japanese equivalent of a chef’s knife, except that it has cells on the blade. These allow air to enter between the blade and the food, which detaches itself.
The fish knife or sole fillet: With a long, thin and flexible blade, the sole fillet knife will follow the main edge of the fish to lift the fillet without damaging the flesh. It can also be used to denerve meat or foie gras.
The boning knife: The boning knife has a long, thin and curved blade which allows it to follow the bones to clean them and separate them from the meat. An example is the Mercer Culinary M23820BL Millennia knife.
The butcher knives: Also called a kitchen cleaver, the butcher’s knife has an XXL format and a significant weight in order to cut the carcasses in the blink of an eye by the action of leverage.
The slicer: Roasts, rib of beef, poultry: the slicer will slice the meat neatly while retaining its texture and its juice.
The ham or salmon knife: The ham knife has a long, thin and flexible blade. Paved with cells, it allows you to cut thin slices of ham or salmon that will come off on their own from the blade. Thanks to its pointed end, you can prick them to serve them immediately.
How to use butcher knives properly?
Butcher knives require a fairly rigorous handling technique. The butchers and chefs are experts in the use of such knives, and thanks to their exceptional handling of the knives, the best cuts of meat are achieved. Here are some tips to correctly use butcher knives and get the most out of this utensil:
The cutting edge is the most important: to make precise cuts of meat, a sharp knife is the most important. In this sense, butcher knives must be constantly sharpened to achieve optimum performance. The best way to achieve this is to have a knife sharpener on hand every time you use your butcher knives.
Use butcher knives only in meat products: It is important to use the butcher knives for their specific purpose. The blade and the edge of this type of knives are designed for the activity of cutting and filleting meat. So other activities can affect the integrity of the blade.
Keep the knife blade clean: Another trick to have cleaner and more precise cuts of meat is to clean the knife blade while and after using it constantly. This will prevent meat residues from hindering the cut, or the fat or juices of the meat from filleting the meat with precision.
Features to consider while buying the best butcher knife
Here are some things to watch out for in the product description of your butcher knives you’re interested in buying:
There are meat knives made with different materials. However, some of them stand out and are considered the favorites of professional chefs, slaughterhouses or barbecue grills. We are talking about knives made of stainless steel and damask steel. Keep reading to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
Stainless steel knife: Butcher knives, such as Orblue Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife, made with stainless steel are the most popular among users. This material gains durability, as it has great resistance to rust and corrosion. In addition, it is easier to clean and has a low price for mass production. However, one must think carefully before opting for these meat knives. Despite their advantages, they do not have such a firm and precise cut and need to be sharpened frequently. That is why they are recommended for weekend commercial uses and those who value good barbecue but do not use the knife as often.
Damascus Steel Knife: Damascus steel knives stand out for their precise cut. This type of material is the result of the bonding of two or more types of steel with different compositions. The blend provides more durability, elasticity, and performance, making the blade more resistant and ideal for making perfect cuts of meat. The best damask steel is handcrafted. For being a material considered noble, due to the difficulty of manufacture, these knives have a very high price. They are a recommended investment for those who want a long-lasting utensil perfect for cutting hard meat.
The handle of a meat knife is an important point in choosing this utensil, as it is linked to ease of use. It is possible to find cables made of different materials, but the main ones are those made with polypropylene, wood, resin, and stainless steel.
As for materials, it will always be better to avoid wooden handles, except that they are high-quality PAKKA wood, as for example by Imarku Cleaver Knife.
Wood is a very porous material that absorbs food debris. And, therefore, at the hygienic level, synthetic materials are always recommended. If possible, ensure it has a non-slip feature to secure the grip. Among all the materials used in knife handles, polypropylene and polycarbonate are the most popular. In addition to their low cost, they are non-toxic and absorb little moisture. Other types of plastic are bakelite and resin. As a way to prevent the proliferation of fungi and bacteria in the meat knife, it is recommended to choose handles with antimicrobial protection. This antimicrobial protection reduces microorganisms that cause contamination and also facilitates the cleaning of the utensil. However, cooks or chefs who choose this type of knife must be especially careful. Due to the characteristics of this material, it can slip from the hands when it is wet.
Size and Weight
Butcher knives have sizes ranging from 6 to 12 inches. This is equivalent to approximately 15 to 30 centimeters. However, the brands usually put in the name of their products, the size in inches, which are written with quotation marks over the number, as follows: 12″. In general, knives ranging from 6″ to 8″ are recommended for cutting smaller pieces of meat. Meanwhile, the 10″ blades are perfect for daily use in the kitchen and in preparing large pieces. Women do better with knives up to 10″ because they usually have smaller hands. Finally, 12″ knives are ideal for men who have big hands. Due to their length, they are able to cut large pieces of raw and bony meat very easily. And such models as Handmade Forged Camping Chef Knife that also comes with a leather sheath are ideal for camping and outdoor using.
The price of your meat knife should come last in your list of criteria. This is because it doesn’t always guarantee quality. However, note that the best butcher knives set will cost far more than a single-piece knife product. The price you pay will be mainly determined by the quality or the type of the blade. For example, handcrafted models may be more expensive. And stainless steel types are far cheaper.
When we go ahead to buy a good kitchen tool, we want it to last for many years in perfect condition. We, therefore, recommend checking that the chosen product is guaranteed by the manufacturer, to avoid buying imitations or having a place to turn to in case it arrives defective. The ones we have presented in the reviews are models from the best butcher knives brand that have factory guarantee that ensures the best quality and durability for their products, and such units as Victorinux, DALSTRONG and some others come with the lifetime warranty.
The maintenance of butcher knives is an essential aspect to take into account to achieve the optimal performance of these utensils. Here are some tips to keep your butcher knives in perfect condition for longer:
Clean the knives with appropriate detergents: Butcher knives interact with pieces of meat that leave a lot of residue on the knife blade. This is why the detergent you use to clean the knife should remove any residue left on the blade after using it.
Wash the knives by hand: You must avoid the dishwasher at all costs when cleaning your butcher knives. A quick and effective hand wash will remove the water from your knife and prevent the deterioration of the blade and the edge by corrosion.
Dry them after washing: Once you wash your knives, dry them immediately.
Ensure the protection of the cutting edge: After the process of washing and drying your butcher knives, proper storage of the same is important. A special leather case, as by Handmade Forged Camping Chef Knife or wooden blocks for storing knives are the best options to preserve the edge of your butcher knives.
Butcher knife sharpening
In the following video you can see all the tricks and tips of the professionals in order to keep your butcher knife razor-sharp.
The blade/knife edge is the endpoint of the knife. It is the thinnest line underneath the knife. It is the part that carries out the cutting, slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, etc. Hence, it is the most important part of the knife.
If you want to have a knife that is always razor-sharp without having to sharpen it every little time, it is important to look at its hardness. The greater the hardness of the cutting edge, the longer it will be in perfect condition. This is especially important for professional chefs who use the butcher knife daily with all kinds of food. Maximize the possibilities of using your knife by choosing the hardest edge, i.e. 62 and above.
To protect the edge or keep your knife sharp, the only recommended cutting boards are those made of wood or plastic. Cutting boards with harder surfaces will only turn your butchering tool to full or blunt equipment.
Now it’s easy to choose the best butchering knife. With the information we present here, you will be able to buy a sharp, durable and resistant knife to cut the most different types of meat, from poultry to beef.
In our ranking, there are well-evaluated products for all budgets and needs. We see the Imarku Cleaver Knife as the overall best product, thanks to the carbon stainless steel, PAKKA wooden handle and lifetime warranty. The Orblue Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife is the best product with value for money, thanks to its high-quality to price ratio, heavy-duty and ergonomic design. Finally, the Mercer Culinary M23820BL Millennia boning knife is one of the best butcher knives for those with a low budget, thanks to its fair price, lifetime warranty, and safety standards compliance of its manufacturer.