Not all knives are made the same, and when you’ve used a good quality butcher knife, you can easily tell the difference.
It is called a butcher knife because these types of knives are ideal for cutting meat; however, that doesn’t mean they are only used for cutting meat. They can be used to cut virtually any type of food; fruits, vegetables, blocks of cheese, herbs, and nuts.
We have included the best butcher knives on this list with a buying guide to help you decide which is the best butcher knife for you.
Best Overall Butcher Knife
1. Victorinox Swiss Army Butcher Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army butcher knife is the top-rated butcher knife on our list.
It is made of high carbon stainless steel with a conical ground design. This makes cutting easy with less resistance. The blade is also ice tempered for increased durability and strength.
The edge of the blade has hollowed-out grooves called a Granton Edge. This design keeps the meat from sticking and helps reduce friction as the blade cuts through the meat.
The knife's handle has a Fibrox Professional design, which is ergonomic, comfortable, and durable. The spine of the knife is flat, and it has an encapsulated barb fit tang. This is what makes the Fibrox Professional handle design so successful.
The blade is food-safe and dishwasher-safe, although it is recommended to wash the blade by hand and dry immediately to prevent the knife from deteriorating quickly.
The total length of the knife is 17 inches, with a 10-inch blade and a 7-inch handle.
Best Premium Butcher Knife
2. Dalstrong Gladiator Series Butcher Knife
The best premium butcher knife is this 10-inch bullnose butcher knife by Dalstrong.
It has a full tang and is made from high carbon German steel. The blade is razor-sharp with edges between 14 and 16 degrees on each side, making it extremely sharp and easy to cut through any material.
The design of the knife is award-winning with a comfortable grip and lightweight maneuverability. The grip is extremely comfortable to hold and triple-riveted. The handle is made of Spanish Pakkawood, which provides excellent strength. The handle is also laminated, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria penetrating the knife's handle.
The blade of the knife has a 56+ Rockwell hardness. The Rockwell Scale measures the hardness of a material. The higher the number, the harder the material. The blade has a Rockwell hardness of more than 56, making it extremely sturdy and stable, perfect for cutting through all types of meat, cartilage, and tendons.
The knife's tip is also sharpened and pointed, making it exceptionally easy to pierce the meat before making your cut. The blade has 8 inches of edge retention with a sharp two-inch tip, making it strong and resistant to breaking.
To keep the knife protected, a leather sheath is included to easily and safely store the knife when it is not being used.
Best Budget Butcher Knife
3. UltraSource 10” Butcher Knife
For around $20, this 10-inch butcher knife by the UltraSource store is the best butcher knife for those on a budget.
The blade is 10 inches long, with a total length of 16 inches from butt to tip. The knife of the knife is cimeter, making it easy to cut pieces of meat, especially steaks, into smaller pieces.
The handle is textured, and liquid welded where the blade meets the handle. It is sealed and laminated with antibacterial coating and sealant to make it food safe and keep bacteria from penetrating the knife. There are protective finger guards at both the front and the back of the knife handle. This ensures that your hand will not slip down onto the knife's blade or that you will not drop the knife as it is being used.
The blade is made of high carbon German steel, making it a strong and durable blade for cutting through thick cuts of meat.
Because it is a smaller knife, it is also more lightweight, making it easy and comfortable to hold while cutting. For the money, this butcher knife by UltraSource is the best budget butcher knife you can choose.
4. Aroma House Butcher Knife
The Aroma House butcher knife and meat cleaver is both affordable and quality-rated.
It has a large 7-inch blade made from high carbon stainless steel. It has a Rockwell hardness rating between 58 and 60, making it a very sturdy and durable knife for cutting meat. The blade is extremely sharp, and each side of the blade is 17 degrees to create a sharp edge on the German stainless steel. The blade is also rust-resistant to prevent rust from building up on the blade when it gets wet.
The butcher knife's handle is ergonomic with a non-slip grip and has a full tang that ensures the sturdiness of the handle and the blade. The knife is extremely lightweight, weighing just around one total pound.
In addition to cutting meat, you can also use this cleaver to chop garlic, onions, tomatoes, or other produce that need to be chopped or finely diced.
5. Dexter Russel 8” Butcher Knife
The Dexter Russel 8” butcher knife is extremely sharp, versatile, and comfortable. It is stain-free, so you don’t have to worry about meat staining the blade or the knife's handle.
The blade is made of high carbon steel. This gives it a durable and sharp cut every time. It is also rust-resistant, making it dishwasher safe if you choose to dish wash it. For best results to keep the knife from deteriorating, you should handwash the knife and dry it quickly.
The handle's grip is slip-resistant and textured, so you don’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hand as you make your cuts. It is ergonomic with distinct finger placement that will keep the knife comfortably in your hand as you hold it. It weighs less than 4 ounces, making it one of the lightest butcher knives on our list.
The knife's total length is 14.75,” and it has an 8” stainless steel blade.
6. Titan Forge 10” Butcher Knife
This 10” butcher knife by Titan Forge has an ultra-sharp high carbon stainless steel blade with a sharp tip to make it easy for penetrating and slicing through different types and thicknesses of meat. The stainless steel blade is made of ultra-sharp 7cr17mov, which is high in chromium. Chromium is extremely resistant to rust and corrosion, making it such a durable and top-quality knife blade.
The knife's blade has hollowed-out grooves to reduce the friction as the blade cuts through the meat. These hollowed-out grooves are called a Granton Edge. The knife blade has a Rockwell hardness that registers between 57 and 59 on the Rockwell scale. The angle of the sharp edge is at a steep 17 degrees. This is what creates the super sharp edge of the knife blade.
The handle of the butcher knife is a polymer blend that is resistant to the heat, cold, and moisture, making it nearly impossible for the knife to slip from your hand as it is used. The handle is also molded and sealed perfectly to keep food particles and bacteria from entering the handle. This keeps the handle sanitary and free from bacteria that would otherwise enter the handle and cause illness.
7. Dexter Russel 3-Piece Butcher Knife Set
When you are unsure of what size butcher knife you may need, this 3-piece set by Dexter Russel has you covered.
There are three butcher knives in this set; a 6-inch curved boning knife, a 6-inch wide trimming knife, and a 10-inch steak knife. The blade grind is hollow, so it creates an extremely sharp edge on each knife. The handle of the knife is textured and sealed with a sanitation coating to keep bacteria from penetrating the handle of the knife.
Each knife is extremely lightweight, making it easy to cut through different thicknesses of meat with ease. The blades are made of carbon steel, so they are extremely durable, strong, and rugged. Because they are made of carbon steel, each butcher knife will have to be hand washed and dried immediately, as carbon steel is not rust or corrosion-resistant.
Once the knives have been washed with mild dish detergent, rinse and dry them immediately to keep rust from forming.
8. Full Tang Butcher Knife with Leather Sheath
Last on our list is this full tang handle butcher knife by AIFUN.
First, it’s not too heavy, so it fits comfortably in the hand and doesn’t cause fatigue. With large butcher knives or meat cleavers, the knife can be so heavy that it can be difficult to use, but that doesn’t happen with this butcher knife.
The butcher knife has a full tang that reinforces the blade's stability, durability, and quality. You don’t have to worry about the blade weakening or separating from the handle.
The knife's edge is razor-sharp and made of high carbon steel and high manganese steel, which is both harder and stronger than average stainless steel. This is another reinforcing quality of this butcher knife.
Most kitchen butcher knives are factory produced in a manufacturing facility, but this butcher knife is not. It is hand-forged, quenched, and perfectly sharpened so that you receive the best quality knife possible.
The length of the knife from butt to tip is 11.42 inches, and the blade of the knife is 6.5 inches. It comes with a leather sheath so you can always keep the butcher knife protected when it’s not in use.
What is a Butcher Knife?
A butcher knife is a kitchen knife with a long, sharp blade used for making different cuts to different types of meat.
A butcher knife can trim fat, cut smaller sizes of meat, or cut through tendons of connected joints. For this reason, butcher knives need to be sharp, so they can easily cut through the many different fibers of the meat.
Butcher knives are not just found in butcher shops. They are found in restaurants that prepare fresh, made-to-order dishes, like ribs, wings, and chicken quarters. As many of us make these dishes at home, it is necessary to have a butcher knife in your knife inventory so that you can make any cut to any type of meat at any time.
How Do Butcher Knives Differ from One Another?
Not all butcher knives are the same. There are many different characteristics and features that a butcher knife can have, so it is important to know the difference in these characteristics so you can decide which is the best butcher knife for you.
The knife grind describes the shape that the blade takes when the blade's sharp edge is created. Knife grinds can be hollow, flat, chiseled, convex, compound, asymmetrical, or shaped like a V.
The best butcher knife will have a grind to create a sharp edge that has somewhere between a 15 and 20-degree angle on each side of the edge to make it extremely sharp.
The butcher knife can have a straight spine and edge or a curved spine and edge. Both designs have advantages that make them successful in different ways.
A butcher knife with a straight edge, like a meat cleaver butcher knife, is efficient in cutting meat because of the large blade and thin blade. The blade doesn’t have to be as strong as a curved butcher knife because of how big, and strong the cleaver's blade is. A cleaver can also be used to finely chop or dice garlic, onions, and other ingredients.
A curved butcher knife, such as a cimeter butcher knife, is ideal for trimming fat and cutting down large meat cuts because of its extremely sharp blade.
If you will be trimming fat off of meat or cutting large cuts of meat into smaller portions, a cimeter butcher knife would be the best option, as it has an extremely sharp blade that will easily pull fat away from the meat when trimming it.
If you will be making basic cuts to meat and want a versatile knife that can double to cut produce, garnishes, or other ingredients, a cleaver will be your best choice.
The edge of the blade can be smooth or have hollowed out grooves on the bottom of the blade spaced perfectly apart. These hollowed-out grooves are called a Granton Edge, and they serve a purpose more than just decoration.
The hollowed-out grooves on the Granton Edge will reduce friction when the blade cuts through the meat. These hollowed-out grooves create air pockets when the blade cuts through the meat. This causes the blade to move smoothly through the meat without slowing, stopping, or getting hung.
Another benefit of the Granton Edge is that it will significantly reduce the chance that food will stick to the blade when cutting. Not only does this include meat, but it is also beneficial for onions, garlic, tomatoes, and other wet or oil-based ingredients.
The tang of the knife refers to how much of the knife blade is connected or extended into the handle.
The most common knife tangs are full, encapsulated, or partial. These are the types of tangs you will commonly see found on most butcher knives.
Full Knife Tang
A full tang knife means that the blade extends to the entire length of the handle. A full tang knife's clear advantage is the increased durability and stability that the knife will have. You rarely have to worry about the knife blade separating from the knife handle with a full tang knife.
The downside to a full tang knife is that it is typically heavier than a partial or encapsulated tang knife. This may only be a disadvantage if you will be using your knife for long periods of time, as holding a heavy knife may become tiring.
Partial Tang Knife
A partial tang knife only covers part of the blade's handle, but not the full length of the blade. A partial tang knife is more lightweight than a full tang knife, making it more comfortable and easy to use, especially if you will be using it for long periods of time or during repetitive movements.
Because a partial tang knife doesn’t cover the entire length of the knife handle, it has the increased potential to break. The good news is that the knife will typically only break under stressful circumstances.
An encapsulated tang has the handle of the knife molded around the tang of the knife. This is the next strongest knife tang, next to a full tang, which makes it so successful and desirable.
An encapsulated tang can be heavy because it is similar to a full tang, causing discomfort if used for long periods of time.
Another feature you will want to consider when choosing the best butcher knife is the knife hardness.
Knife hardness is established by how it is measured on the Rockwell Scale.
The Rockwell Scale measures the hardness of the blade on a numerical scale. The lower the number, the weaker the blade. The higher the number, the stronger the blade.
You should use a butcher knife with a Rockwell rating of at least 50. This will ensure the knife blade is strong enough to be able to cut through fat, meat, fibers, tendons, and cartilage of the animal you are carving.
A knife with a Rockwell rating less than 50 or with no Rockwell rating at all should be avoided to use as a butcher knife. This type of knife would be better suited for softer substances.
Knife Blade Material
Most knife blades will be made of steel, but not all steel is the same. Steel will be made with different elements that can affect the strength, corrosion resistance, and how sharp the blade can be.
The two most common types of steel blade materials are carbon steel and stainless steel.
Carbon steel is extremely strong, rugged, durable, and sharp. They are easy to sharpen and are ideal for cutting through tough material like bone, cartilage, and tendons.
Stainless steel is carbon steel that has chromium added to it to resist corrosion and rust. Many butcher knives are stainless steel because of this feature, but you should make sure before you submerge the knife in water, as excessive water can cause the butcher knife to rust, corrode, or weaken.
Butcher knives made of carbon steel with no chromium or rust-resistant components will need to be cleaned and dried quickly. They are not intended to be placed in a dishwasher.
To clean a carbon steel butcher knife, rinse it completely and wash with a mild dishwashing detergent. Rinse the soap from the butcher knife completely and then dry it completely with a cloth, making sure that no water or soap remains on the knife.
Stainless steel butcher knives may be washed in a dishwasher, but this can still cause even the most corrosion-resistant stainless steel to deteriorate. This is why it is recommended to wash any butcher knife by hand with mild dishwashing detergent and rinse it completely to avoid the chance of any rust or corrosion forming.
The last consideration you may want to keep in mind is the length of the blade, as well as the length of the total knife.
The blade's length will help determine just how expansive of an area you will be able to cut when carving meat to trim fat or make smaller cuts of meat. A longer blade will be able to carve larger animals or pieces of meat where a smaller blade won’t cover as much area.