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: May 23, 2022
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Of course, the only practical reason to own an oyster knife is if you come across oysters that you need to open up. The best oyster knives, however, are not always easy to find.
Nevertheless, having reviewed 30 knives, we do have some recommendations starting with the Archer Premium Oyster Shucking Knife. This is our favorite of them all due to a couple of reasons. The first is the full tang blade. As a result, this tool offers more stability. Also, the stainless steel guard is noteworthy. You can see this adds aesthetics and is as well practical in protecting your hands. You also have your pick of seven other products below if you feel this tool isn’t good enough.
Of course, this being a review of said products, we had to take into account all available information on the products listed. Some of the data was provided by the manufacturer websites, while the rest came from Amazon and other vendor sites. As such, it was no easy task collating the info, and it took quite a bit of time. The most important features with regard to the quality of the knife include blade type, blade length, weight, and materials used to make the tool. These were all part of the review process, where they helped rank products in addition to any extra features. Of course, the result of our team’s research is shown below in the table, in-depth product reviews, and, finally, the buying guide for the best oyster knives in the market.
Other features: sani-safe handle, NSF certified, new haven pattern
Regardless of the oyster you’re trying to open up; our number one choice can get the job done. The Dexter Russell New Haven Style Oyster Knife is a lightweight tool that will fit right in your kitchen, with a handle made with hard plastic. This makes it sturdy and durable, especially since the blade runs through the length of the handle, preventing the blade from feeling loose and wiggling in the plastic. Its unique, sani-safe handle will feel great in your hand, and the knife is NSF certified.
We recommend the Dexter Russell New Haven Style Oyster Knife for opening up smaller oysters. If you have larger oysters, it’s best to use long-blade knives like those on our list. With a blade length of 2.75 inches, the comfortable knife is easy to handle and feels light on the hands. To care for it, hand wash and dry it after use.
Other features: stain-resistant, non-slip handle, NSF certified
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series 3” is one of the best premium-quality full-tang oyster knives out there. It has a solid build and an attractive military-grade handle that is non-slip and thick enough to grip comfortably. The handle features a hand guard to protect your fingers from getting hurt when opening oysters or preparing shellfish. Further, the handle’s military-grade wood is laminated for added longevity and easy cleaning and maintenance.
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series 3-inch knife has a handsome and sturdy design that makes it suitable for use in various settings, including dinner parties, restaurants, bars, or a simple meal for one. Its blade is wide and thick and ruggedly made of long-lasting high-carbon alloy steel. Its sturdiness makes removing the soft juicy meat in an oyster a breezy task. The blade has a pointed tip that can easily slide in between the tight shells and a long handle that offers great leverage for popping the oysters open. Moreover, the blade is carefully sharpened with the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method, where it is coarsely ground, finely honed, and polished with a leather stropping block.
None of the knives on this list match the premium blade and handle the quality of Dalstrong Gladiator Series 3”. Its performance and looks are unmatched thanks to the premium materials used to make it. Plus, the knife is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation.
Other features: riveted handle, full tang blade, a finger guard
Next up, we have our premium pick, which features a 2.5” blade. As such, it is half an inch bigger than its predecessor. It also offers quite a few other benefits as well.
One significant attribute is the fact that it uses high carbon steel in the making of the blade. As such, you are all but guaranteed on the durability of this tool. Add that to the fact that it is a full tang blade, and you have more reasons to consider this a potential purchase.
The aesthetics probably won’t be as impressive as with the predecessor. This is because they use a black synthetic handle. Nevertheless, you will realize that it is comfortable to hold once you have it in your hands.
Also, the handle is riveted to the metal that extends from the blade to the handle. People who have worked with oysters will as well know that some of their edges are quite sharp. Consequently, if you experience a small mishap, you will likely end up cutting yourself.
For the above reason, the manufacturer decided to incorporate a hilt as well. Consequently, users are protected from both sharp oysters and the pointed end of the shucking knife as well. The knife is nevertheless quite expensive as compared to some of the other options that feature below. For that reason, this knife might lose in a popularity contest with other options.
Other features: folding design, stainless Virobloc safety ring
The Opinel No.09 Folding Oyster & Shellfish Knife is one unique knife to feature on this list. As you can deduce from the name given, this is a folding knife. As such, the blade doesn’t need to be continuously exposed. It can remain covered by the handle until such a time that you need to use it.
Also, the blade is made of stainless steel that has been modified to provide added durability. Consequently, you don’t expect the knife to break apart the moment you put a little bit of strain on it.
You as well get the virobloc safety ring. This part features on the edge of the handle. After you twist this safety ring, you can either extend the blade or push it back into the handle. You as well need to rotate this component again to lock the blade in place.
Of course, the handle is impressive as well. This is primarily because it is made of rosewood. Also, this tool features the longest blade on the list. It should come in handy for penetrating through various oysters.
What are its best features?
Durable and good looking handle
Easy to use
The tool is a folding knife hence offers you the ability to hide the blade
Includes a safety ring
What could be improved?
The safety ring sometimes twists while people are using the knife and this can lead to a serious safety hazard
Other features: set of 2, full-tang, lifetime warranty
As mentioned in the name, the Melocean Oyster Shucking Knife Set is not a knife but rather a set. This, of course, means more than one knife comes in the package. As such, some people might consider this more value for their money.
Of course, the handles play a significant role in the construction of the knife, and the manufacturer doesn’t disappoint. As mentioned above, the handles are made of solid french wood. These, of course, have a pleasing outlook to them and will most likely come in different colors.
The set only features two knives. Also, the blades are made of stainless steel. Couple that with their full tang design, and you are guaranteed a bit of stability in construction. The manufacturer has also done an excellent job of attaching the handles.
Nevertheless, some might find it disappointing that the set lacks finger protection. It is thus easier to injure yourself with this knife as a newbie.
Also, the lifetime warranty adds to the reasons why you should consider this a potential purchase.
Why is it special?
Comes in a set of two
Full tang design
What are the flaws?
No finger protection
Some users have complained of the knives bending while in use
Other features: New Haven-style, dishwasher safe, NSF approved, made in Switzerland
The Victorinox Oyster Knife is an affordable, high-quality blade that you should consider a potential purchase. We have mentioned above that it features a 2¾” blade, which should prove to be enough for a lot of your oyster shucking needs.
The handle is as well a vital component of this tool. It is made of slip-resistant synthetic. This, of course, is not the most luxurious handle in the market. Nevertheless, it will do its job of enhancing your grip and making sure your hand doesn’t slip onto the blade part.
You as well find that the tool is NSF approved. As such, you are certain that if you use this on your food, it should be safe. Also, the manufacturer made sure that the tool is dishwasher safe. As such, cleaning this tool along with your other utensils, should be a walk in the park.
What stands out?
What cons did we manage to find?
The curved blade does not perform as well as straight ones
Other features: ergonomic thumbprint design, pivot point blade design, curved blade
The Toadfish Oyster Shucking Knife is another high-quality option that you should definitely think about buying. It features one of the largest blades so far and the second largest one on the list. This is despite the image provided above being quite small.
For durability sake, the manufacturer decided to use a stainless steel blade. This should hold up nicely against most oysters. Also, you get recycled plastic as the major component of your handle. As such, buying this tool also helps reduce plastic waste in the environment.
The tool not having a hilt or finger guard is quite disappointing. However, if you have sufficient experience in opening up oysters, you won’t mind it as much. This is probably because you will know how to avoid injury. Nevertheless, beginners should be a little more skeptical if they want to prevent painful accidents.
The manufacturer does, however, include a thumbprint. You can use this to enhance your grip and hold of the device for better and cleaner shucking results. Also, you are assured that some of the money from selling these knives goes towards restoring oyster habitats. This is in addition to the satisfaction guarantee that makes this even more worthwhile as an investment.
What makes it special?
Thumbprint for a firmer grip
100% customer satisfaction guarantee
Relatively long blade
The handle is made from recycled plastic
What cons did we find?
This tool doesn’t offer finger protection
The knife should not be used to shuck large oysters
Other features: set of 6, 2.0mm thick blade, dishwasher safe
The Winco Oyster/Clam Knife Set is similar to the Melocean Oyster Shucking Knife Set in that you get multiple blades in your purchase. However, with this set, you get about six blades for about 24 dollars at the time of this review. This translates into a cost of less than 5 dollars for each knife.
The handles on all the blades are made of wood, which is something that a lot of people will appreciate. Add that to the fact that it features a finger guard, and you will find that more and more people are willing to consider this a purchase option.
Also, this toolset is dishwasher safe. This, of course, means you don’t have to hassle too hard to clean the knife after use.
Why did it make our list?
Finger protection is included
What is not ideal about it?
Not the most durable blades since they bend and break relatively easily
As far as all the knives on the list here go, this is one of the lighter models. As such, you should suffer less fatigue with this model. The handle also does a lot to help with that. However, the first thing people will notice is the pakkawood that has an aesthetically pleasing finish.
Nevertheless, if you haven’t used the tool, it is hard to quantify the fact that it is comfortable to hold. Also, complementing this pakkawood handle is the stainless steel handguard. This is yet another practical addition to the design of the knife. Of course, you are less likely to injure yourself, shucking oysters with this component present.
Another thing that the manufacturer mentions is that this is a full tang blade. As such, the steel extends from the sharp end all the way into the handle. This, of course, makes it harder to damage or break.
Also, the blade is the smallest that you will find on this list. Nonetheless, most previous users have found this blade size to be sufficient in the past. The pointed tip as well will make it easier to shuck oysters.
The tool is as well rated to be perfect for shucking even large oysters despite its small size. Also, a money-back guarantee is offered for the product where users may not be impressed by the design of the shucking knife.
What makes it stand out?
Durable, full tang design
Handguard is included
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The tool is not ideal for smaller oysters
Things to Consider
You probably want to get the best results while shucking your oysters. Of course, the way to do this is to have the best gear for the job while still staying true to your budget. As such, it makes sense that you should read the below-buying guide so you can be prepared with as much information as possible. The result is that you will find it much easier to select a tool out of the multiple options above.
Why do you need an oyster knife?
Oysters often provide tasty treats that you can enjoy even with some of your guests and family. Unfortunately, getting to the edible part of the oyster is often not easy. You usually have to go through a calcified shell to get to the edible part within. Consequently, this is why you need oyster knives as they help pry open oyster shells and leave the meat within open for eating.
Types of oyster knives
Of course, once you have tried out a few oyster knives, you will come to realize that they come in different types. As a consequence, you will need to know which type of oyster knife works best for your situation. Below is a breakdown of the different kinds of oyster knives in the market.
Often you will find New Haven oyster knives with wooden handles. However, the most telling aspect as to whether an oyster knife is of the New Haven variation or not is the upturned tip.
Of course, this serves to give you more leverage once the knife is in the oyster shell, and that helps open it up with more ease.
The Galveston oyster knife will probably work best with medium and large oysters. Also, some aspects of its design are meant to cater to this function. As such, you will often see these knives being quite wide as compared to the Boston knife mentioned below. Also, the blades are long and come with a rounded tip.
With the purchase of a Boston oyster knife, you will see that the blade is long and narrow. However, it shares a feature with the Galveston knife where you find that the rounded tip is present. If you are using this type of oyster knife, you are advised to shuck from the sides.
These knives generally have blades that are about 2 1/2” in size. Additional defining characteristics include a pointed tip in addition to sharp edges.
Given the similarity in naming, you will find these types of knives are quite similar to the large Frenchman blades mentioned above. The only significant difference is that they have 2” blades while their counterparts have an extra half inch. Similar to the Boston oyster knife, the best place for penetration is on the sides of the oyster.
Types of oysters you are likely to encounter
There are as well different types of oysters that you may encounter. However, seeing as though each type is native to a particular region, you may not be able to enjoy them all unless you make it a point to look for them. This may even mean a slight element of travel to enjoy some of these treats. Nevertheless, some of the more common ones are as follows.
The Atlantic oyster is, of course, more native to North America. As such, if you are in the U.S, these are the oysters that you are likely to encounter. Also, they are characterized by a metallic finish.
You may also encounter The Pacific oyster. These are as well known as Japanese oysters. They also tend to be more meaty and creamy. Also, this category of oysters can as well be divided into a few others, such as Kushi and Marin Miyagi.
Another type of oyster you may come across is the Kumamoto. If you are a newbie to oysters, you are better off starting with this type. They are quite easy to consume but only in comparison to other oyster types. Their characteristics include the fact that they are deeply cupped and don’t have as much meat in them as some of the other types. They also tend to be quite sweet.
The European Flat oyster is, of course, native to Europe. This as well, is one of the rarer types of oysters to be found on the market. If you enjoy rich flavors, then this is the oyster type for you.
Olympia oysters are even rarer than their European Flat counterparts. This is because they are almost extinct.
Features to consider when choosing an oyster knife
Of course, oyster knives as well come with different attributes. You will see significant differences in the handles, construction, blades, size, and more. These as well will determine suitability to the use scenarios you have in mind. As such, paying attention to the breakdown of the features given below should help you make your selection.
The handle is one of the significant components of the knife as well, in addition to the blade. It is also just as important since you cannot use the knife without it. Of course, there are variations in the type of handles you can get both in material composition and design.
Of course, the significant attributes to look for in your handles are whether they are durable and provide enough grip. This will, of course, translate into an easier time shucking oysters.
The blade is also something you look into. If you look at the above section explaining the types of oyster knives, you will see they are mostly determined by the design of the blade. You will also notice that different blade types have different uses.
As such, the most telling factors are the size of the blade where thickness, length, and width are what you need to look at.
Another section to look through is whether the blade is sharp on two edges or just on one.
Another variation is the New Haven knives that come with an upturned tip. Of course, the tip will as well affect how you shuck your oysters. One example is that the new haven tip will often lead to a cleaner presentation of the oyster meat.
The Knife Guard
Not all oyster shucking knives come with a knife guard. However, there are exceptions, such as the Wusthof Classic Oyster Knife. Of course, if you have this in your knife, you are less likely to injure yourself while working. This is because the guard will keep your fingers well away from the sharp blade.
In your case, always try to get the lightest knife available.
If you find a tool that is dishwasher safe, you can add that to the list of benefits it offers. This will likely make your cleaning work easier. It is also not uncommon to find knives with a few unique features. They might help you decide to buy a knife since more features mean more value for the purchase.
How to Open Up Oysters Safely?
Shucking an oyster isn’t a complicated process, and you are likely to get the hang of it after a few tries. However, you do need to follow several steps and have an oyster knife to do so.
Nevertheless, the process starts by picking up an oyster and laying it flat on one of your palms. You also need to hold it firmly in place.
The next step is to pick up the oyster knife and insert the tip into the hinge of the oyster. After that, you twist the tip a little bit and see if it pries the oyster open.
You then follow up by cutting the muscle of the oyster. This is achieved by sliding the knife through the inside top of the shell. Of course, the last step is to take the top off to expose the meaty interior.
Taking care of oyster knives is not hard at all. Clean it after use and make sure it is dry before putting it in storage. Also, be careful as you are prying oyster shells open so that you don’t end up breaking the tip.
Clam knives don’t need pointed tips, and hence they rarely have them. On the other hand, oyster knives need pointed tips to slide into oyster shell hinges. Also, oyster knives tend to be short and sturdy while their counterparts are mostly thin and flat.
At the forefront of our review list is the Dexter Russell New Haven Style Oyster Knife, which can handle many oysters shucking jobs. Even with its small size, the ergonomic knife provides durability and a comfortable feel in your hand. It is also certified by the NSF, assuring you of its high quality.
Not far behind is the Wusthof Classic Oyster Knife. It has many of the benefits of its predecessor, including the full tang blade. Perhaps the outlook isn’t as good. However, it does get the job done.
Another worthy product is the Dalstrong Oyster Shucking Knife. You can as well draw many similarities between this product and the other two above it. However, the weight seems to be a bit of an issue. If you can overcome this problem, then this product could be for you.
Then again, the other five products could be the ones for you. All that’s left is to decide which features you rate as most important and let that guide you to your purchase.