10 Best Boning Knives 2020: A Butcher’s Best Friend

You might have heard of it, but if you work with meat a lot, you know the importance and the heavenly experience of using a boning knife. Boning knives are used to separate raw meat from the bone by cutting through the connective tissue and ligaments in between. It has a very sharp, narrow blade and a very sharp point. The reason why there is a specific type of knife for this job is that it is a tough area to cut through.

If you would use any other standard everyday-kitchen-knife, you will have to use a lot of pressure while cutting, you will ruin the piece of meat and you might even hurt yourself. If you haven’t heard of such a knife and its qualities before, this article will shed enough light on this particular topic, so that you will be able to search for the best boning knife that fits you from the very tip to the heel.

Best Boning Knives

How to Choose the Best Boning Knife

Blade

The most important features of a boning knife are a narrow blade, a sharp point, and flexibility. Some boning knives are more flexible than others, perfect for poultry and fish. The little stiffer ones are better for using with meat from bigger animals, like beef or pork. The knife should have an extremely sharp point for precision in cutting, and of course a very sharp blade, sharper than a normal kitchen knife, for easy cutting through tough tissue.

Handle

Apart from the blade itself, you might want to have a look at the handle. Not just the outside, but the inside too. First, let’s talk about the outside. Kitchen knife handles mostly made out of wood, metal which is the same material as the blade, or polypropylene, which is a kind of plastic.

Wooden handles look nice, they do have the disadvantage of being ruined by being in the water too much, like in the dishwasher or by simply lying in the sink. A metal handle is quite good looking too, but it could be a little heavier due to the type of material, and it could be a little colder to the touch.

These characteristics are not a problem most of the time, but if it is not comfortable enough for you, a polypropylene (or hard plastic) handle is the best choice for you. Remember, comfort is very important in the kitchen. It is very difficult to produce a beautiful dish if you are not comfortable with the kitchenware you’re using, and that is the last thing we want to happen.

Blade inside the handle

Moving to the inside now, looking at the length of the blade inside the handle. Some knives have their blades go a few inches inside, while others go a lot deeper or even till the heel. I would go for knives that have their blades go quite deep into the handle, especially when it comes to boning knives. But any good quality boning knife that is known for its strength, no matter how deep the blade goes into the handle, is very rarely unsafe.

Hygiene

Now let’s talk about hygiene. We all know the importance of keeping our food and anything that touches it clean. Whether it’s the plate you are putting it in or the hands you are eating your food with. I am not saying you should be an absolute cleaning freak, but there are certain things that we should at least try to avoid by paying attention to the little things.

You might have seen this with your kitchen knives that you possess for a longer period now, where even the smallest holes and edges between the blade and handle are covered with a blackish substance that does not seem to get off when cleaning. This can help the growth and spread of harmful bacteria and mold, which might end up in your food and make you sick. That is why it is extremely important to pay extra attention to keeping your cutlery sanitary, including your boning knives.

So, when you are searching for the best boning knife for yourself, or to gift it to someone else, you want to pay attention to how sanitary it is, or how prone it is to catching dirt. This can be done by looking at the seems of the boning knife. Usually, a knife has two main parts: a blade and a handle. Most of the time the blade goes into the handle. Now, this tiny, microscopic space between the edge of the blade and the edge of the handle is exactly where the devil sits. There is always enough room for bacteria to get in and for mold to start growing.

Of course, that does not mean that those boning knives are bad quality knives. It should be cleaned thoroughly after each session of using it, patted dry, and stored in a dry place. Damp surfaces are more prone to molding. We can go on about how we can make sure to keep our knives as clean as possible, or we can look for an option that does not include this ‘hassle’. You can find boning knives, and other knives too, that are forged out of one single piece of stainless steel. This means the blade and handle are not two separate pieces, but one single piece. So, no place for the devil here! The fact that it’s made from stainless steel makes sure there won’t be any rusting. Stainless steel is one of the best metals to use in the kitchen because it is extremely resilient against rusting.

Top 10 Best Boning Knives

ModelRating
Hammer Stahl 6-Inch Boning Knife4.6
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife4.8
UltraSource 449216 Sanisafe Straight Boning Knife4.5
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star 5-1/2-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Boning Knife4.7
Messermeister Four Seasons Curved Flexible Boning Knife4.6
Arcos Riviera Forged Boning Knife with White Handle4.7
Mundial W5615-6 1/4 6-1/4-Inch Boning Knife4.5
Victorinox 3 1/4" Vent Boning4.6
Marttiini Martef Filetiermesser4.5
Schertkrone Butcher Knife Solingen Germany4.5

1. Hammer Stahl 6-Inch Boning Knife

Use: poultry and fish.

Made from top-quality German high carbon stainless steel, it provides lasting durability. Apart from doing its job of filleting, trimming and of course, de-boning, it also looks very nice. You won’t regret paying for this.

Pros

  • stainless steel, no rusting
  • long-lasting

Cons

  • not what you are looking for cutting beef

2. Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife

Use: poultry and fish.

This one is one of the best boning knives out there with five stars and over a thousand happy users. Its handle is smooth, comfortable in the hand and does not slip. Whether it’s beef, chicken, pork or fish, this razor-sharp blade will do the perfect job of de-boning. Perfect for almost any type of meat. The blade is so unbelievingly sharp that you must pay extra attention to where you store it. It should be far away from children’s reach. This beauty is no joke.

Pros

  • over a thousand happy customers
  • known for its sharpness
  • can be used for beef too

Cons

  • you need to be very careful with the sharpness of the blade

3. UltraSource 449216 Sanisafe Straight Boning Knife

Use: roasts, lamb-legs, veal-legs, and whole hams.

This boning knife is on the cheaper side. But that does not mean cheap quality! Just like the others, you can cut and de-bone easily with this handy product. The handle and blade are connected seamlessly, which means excellent hygiene because there is no chance of dirt collecting between blade and handle. It’s perfect for everyday use.

Pros

  • cheap
  • excellent for daily use
  • small and handy
  • extra hygiene

Cons

  • might be a little heavy
  • might be cold to the touch
  • not suitable for more delicate meat like fish

4. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star 5-1/2-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Boning Knife

Use: beef, pork, fish and poultry.

The entire knife is formed out of one solid piece of steel, it is super sharp and it will last you a lifetime, if not beyond. This boning knife is immortal. It can also be an awesome gift for your cook-friend.

Pros

  • exceptionally long-lasting
  • exceptionally sharp
  • no chance of blade and handle separating

Cons

  • might be on the expensive side for some

5. Messermeister Four Seasons Curved Flexible Boning Knife

Use: beef, poultry, and fish.

‘Messermeister’ literally means ‘knife-master’ and that’s a well-deserved name when it comes to this boning knife. Comfortable handle, cuts nicely, easy to sharpen, lifetime warranty, what more do you want?

Pros

  • suitable for most types of meat
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • NA

6. Arcos Riviera Forged Boning Knife with White Handle

Use: beef, pork, fish and poultry.

This boning knife has a traditional, elegant look and does its job perfectly. There is a nice balance between the blade and handle, so you have a nice and firm grip and it’s easy in the hand. It can be used on beef, pork, fish and poultry. Almost any type of meat. It’s made in Spain and it’s a knife that is used by professionals worldwide.

Pros

  • weight distributed evenly between the blade and the handle
  • used by professionals worldwide

Cons

  • you must pay attention to the handle when cleaning, to prevent dirt collecting in the handle

7. Mundial W5615-6 1/4 6-1/4-Inch Boning Knife

Use: beef, pork, and poultry

Are you looking for a small, but stiff boning knife to cut through tougher meat? You might as well add this knife to your collection of boning knives. Its handle has built-in antimicrobial protection, which fights the accumulation of odor and stain, preventing the creation and spreading of bacteria and mold. It’s a very hygienic boning knife that does half of its cleaning for you!

Pros

  • can be used for most types of meat
  • exceptionally hygienic

Cons

  • not suitable for more delicate meat like fish

8. Victorinox 3 1/4″ Vent Boning

Use: poultry.

Small, but super handy boning knife that is especially great for use on poultry. It has a handle with an amazing grip which is essential when it comes to working with slimy, slippery chicken meat. If you work with chickens a lot, as in cutting them for dinner or selling their meat, this little bad boy is what you need to add to your knife collection.

Pros

  • recommended by chicken butchers
  • small size, precise work
  • firm grip

Cons

  • only to be used for poultry and possibly other birds, not suitable for beef or fish.

9. Marttiini Martef Filetiermesser

Use: fish

If you like to work with fish, you can add this beautiful product to your knife collection. This one is especially great for use on fish. The thin and flexible blade allows you to be gentle on light meat like fish, and the length of the knife allows you to work on bigger fish, cutting through it evenly. The fact that the handle is covered in rubber, ensures a firm grip. It also comes with a sharpener which is essential for preserving any type of knife, especially a boning knife.

Pros

  • firm grip
  • flexible for precise cutting
  • comes with sharpener

Cons

  • not suitable for beef or poultry
  • rubber surface might be prone to catching dirt

10. Schertkrone Butcher Knife Solingen Germany

Use: beef

This is a long-lasting masterpiece. It is easy to hold and fits very comfortably in your hand due to the shape of its handle. It will not be damaged by water, meaning it’s perfectly fine to put it in the dishwasher. It’s small, lightweight and cuts beautifully when removing raw meat from the bones or slicing meat. It is a good piece of cutlery for whenever you want to prepare some beautiful pieces of beef.

Pros

  • comfortable handle
  • dishwasher washable
  • lightweight

Cons

  • not suitable for more delicate meat like fish

Best Boning Knives

FAQs

How do I clean and preserve my boning knives?

Most boning knives are made of stainless steel, which means there will be no rusting. So with that out of the way, all you have to do is clean it after each session with a soapy sponge and warm water. Most boning knives can be put in the dishwasher, although you do have to be a little more careful with boning knives that have wooden handles. Pat your knives dry before storing them, just like any other cutlery.

Where can I look for high-quality boning knives?

I today’s day and age, it is very easy to find a high-quality boning knife with some help from the internet. Amazon is a great place to find almost anything, including boning knives of various types. And with the presence of customer reviews, you can see what to expect and whether it is worth your money or not.

How often should I sharpen my knives?

That depends on the kind of knife you are using and how much you use it. Some need more attention than others, but you will notice whether your boning knife needs to be resharpened or not. When cutting becomes difficult, you know it is time to sharpen your boning knife and make it as good as new again. Try to sharpen your knife every once in a while for daily use.

Is a filleting knife the same as a boning knife?

It kind of is, but for fish. For de-boning and filleting fish. You don’t want to use this particular type for meat like beef. It’s extra flexible and precise for the delicate meat of fish.

Why are there so many types of boning knives, isn’t that too complicated?

That is due to the fact that there are different types of animals, meaning different types of meat. Beef, for example, is a much thicker and tougher piece of meat than fish or chicken. You will need a stiffer boning knife to cut through thicker and/or tougher meat. But when it comes to delicate meat like fish, you do not want to use a boning knife with the same stiffness. You would want to use a boning knife that is way more flexible. This is because you will be able to cut the fish precisely, remove the bones without cutting the fish by mistake in the process, and also to fillet the fish evenly, cutting thin slices, if desired. Now, if you would have used a stiff boning knife, you would not get the same results. Remember, perfection demands patience.

Why do I need to prevent knives with wooden handles from being in the water for too long?

Wood can soak up water and become soft and weak, eventually ruining your boning knife which you paid good money for. You can still have the wooden look by looking for knives with handles that have wood, but also a see-through layer on top of it like resin, covering it and protecting it from touching the water. This way you can still have the classy, warm wooden look, but without the fear of losing it due to a simple humanly error.

Where do I learn how to use a boning knife?

You could go to a pro, like a chef, or to someone who has great experience with boning knives, like a butcher, or even your family member who happens to be the family cook! But in today’s day and age where the entire world is at your fingertips, meaning the internet, you can easily find a how-to article or a video by a simple search on any video broadcasting website.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive boning knives?

As you have read in this article, a cheap price tag does not necessarily mean cheap quality. But sometimes it could be. And the same thing is possible with expensive things, in this case boning knives, where you pay a lot of money for something you could have achieved with another brand, but for a much cheaper price tag.

Summary

Working in the kitchen should always be an enjoyable experience, not a frustrating one, and having the right kitchenware to work with is a must to achieve that. Good knives are essential, especially when it comes to de-boning and cutting beautiful pieces of raw meat. There are a lot of options out there on the internet, but at the end of the day, it is up to you to find the best boning knife that fits you in every way, from tip to heel.

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