You don’t need to be a professional butcher to process meat like one, but you do need to have the knowledge and the tools. Whether you’re cutting up a whole pork shoulder for chili, butterflying a chicken to throw on the grill, or breaking down a brisket for the smoker, you need a great boning knife. If you’re ready to upgrade your arsenal, we’re here to show you the most important features and the best boning knives for butchers and chefs to use.
Top 5 Best Boning Knives In The Market For Butchers & Chefs
Imarku 6-inch Boning Knife
- Top-quality high-carbon German stainless steel
- Retains sharp edge for a long time
- Very well-balanced
- Lifetime guarantee
- Could be more flexible, so less suitable for de-boning or more delicate tasks.
Overall, the Imarku 6-inch Boning Knife is a sharp, durable, and well-balanced knife that is made to use comfortably in the kitchen. The blade is made of precision forged German carbon stainless steel which is durable and corrosion-resistant. Each blade is hand-sharpened to 14 to 16° to provide a perfect balance between sharpness and drag. This means you have less resistance when cutting, but it also helps maintain a sharp edge for a longer time.
The narrow blade is great for precision cutting close to the bone for jobs like de-boning, filleting, skinning, trimming, and butterflying. The stunning looking handle is made of Pakkawood, a material that is resistant to bacteria, waterproof, and durable. It also offers a non-slip grip which gives better control. The Imarku is easy to clean, although hand-washing is always recommended.
It’s on the stiffer side, which makes it great for dealing with larger meats or more strenuous tasks, but less suitable for delicate tasks. Nonetheless, it’s quality and performance make it definitely one of the best boning knives in the market for butchers or chefs.
Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife
- Slip-resistant grip and protective finger guard for safe use
- High carbon Japanese steel
- Simple ergonomic handle
- Very simplistic design
The Mercer Culinary 6-inch Boning Knife is a good quality knife for home kitchen use. This option offers a stiffer, curved blade that allows you to cut along the natural curves of cuts of meat or fish fillets easily. However, Mercer Culinary also offers other specialist boning knives to suit whichever tasks you perform more often in the kitchen. You can choose from stiff, flexible, curved, thin, and wide.
The blade is made out of one piece of high-carbon stain-resistant Japanese steel. This high-quality steel means your blade will be easy to maintain and keep the edge razor sharp. The ergonomic handle consists of a blend of polypropylene and santoprene which provides a great, non-slip grip that is comfortable and lasts forever. It has a finger guard which makes it perfect for beginners, as well as experienced butchers and chefs.
Tuo 7-inch Boning Knife
- Sleek, attractive style
- Fingerguard on ergonomic handle
- Strong, sharp, durable stainless steel blade
- The long blade makes it slightly more difficult for smaller meats and precision tasks.
Overall, the Tuo 7-inch Boning Knife is stunning looking, versatile, and flexible. It has a forged high-carbon stainless steel blade that is specially heat-treated and tempered for strength and durability. Experienced craftsmen sharpen the blades using the Honbazuke method for extreme and lasting sharpness. This knife is great for processing larger cuts of meat, poultry, and fish.
The ergonomic handle consists of fiberglass composite materials that can withstand high temperatures and provide a good, non-slip grip. The Tuo also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Hands down one of the highest quality, best boning knives in the market.
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Mercer Culinary Ultimate 6-inch Boning Knife
- High-carbon, stain-resistant Japanese steel blade
- Very affordable
- Ergonomic polypropene handle
- Limited lifetime warranty
Overall the Mercer Culinary Ultimate Boning Knife is a highly affordable and good all-around boning knife that’s great to have around any kitchen for any job from breaking down a chicken to slicing tomatoes. The slim blade allows you to get in close to the bone for clean cutting. It’s made from high-carbon Japanese steel, especially processed for strength, sharpness, and durability.
The handle, made of polypropylene, has textured finger points on the tip which is awesome. This helps with a comfortable but solid, non-slip grip.
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Kitory Kitchen Professional Boning Fillet Knife
- High-quality alloy steel blade
- Ergonomically designed handle with finger guard for better control
- Forged construction for durability and strength
- Not a great knife for chopping
The Kitory 7-inch Kitchen Boning Knife is an excellent professional knife. Its slim shape allows for precise cutting and it’s perfect for de-boning, filleting, breaking down large cuts of meat and poultry, butterflying, and trimming. The fish-bone pattern etched into the blade minimizes drag and enables cutting proficiency. The Japanese high-carbon stainless steel tapered blade is hard and durable.
The handle has a humpback style which allows a comfortable and sturdy grip. The knife not only feels good and cuts perfectly, but it’s also beautiful to look at. Kitory also carries a lifetime warranty against factory defects and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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Best Features Of A Boning Knife
When you’re looking for a boning knife that’s right for you, don’t just look at how flashy the knife looks. It’s important to consider other features too. Here’s a look at what you should know before choosing the right knife for your kitchen.
The flexibility of the knife’s blade relates to the type of meat and the size of the cut you are deboning, trimming, or breaking down. Blade flexibility ranges from stiff to semi-flexible to flexible.
Boning knives with stiff blades are ideal for processing thicker, tougher cuts of meat, or large, solid fish like tuna. A stiff blade gives you the accuracy you need for maneuvering around rib bones, shoulder blades, and leg bones in beef, pork, or lamb, and is the best knife for trimming brisket. And having a knife with a stiff blade means you can assert more force when you need to get through those thicker cuts or joints which might cause a more flexible blade to buckle.
If you really need something heavy-duty to cut through large meats and bone, check out the best meat cleavers on the market.
Boning knives with flexible blades are perfect for processing thinner, more tender cuts of meat, and for jobs where you need more precision and intricacy. A flexible blade works better for filleting smaller fish, removing the skin from larger pieces of fish like salmon, deboning or processing poultry, and trimming ligaments, sinew, and fat from meats like venison or pork tenderloin. Using a flexible blade gives you the dexterity to maneuver around unevenly shaped areas and still get a uniform, neat cut.
If you are dealing with fish, having a flexible blade is imperative to get precise fillets. Check out the full guide to the best Japanese knives for filleting fish for my information.
Good quality boning knives come in different blade lengths, generally between 5 and 7 inches (12 cm to 17 cm). The length you choose for your knife depends on what you are using it for. Longer blades are recommended for larger and thicker cuts of meat. For everyday use like processing poultry, cutting down larger pieces of meat, and filleting fish, a 5 to 6-inch blade works well. The length you choose also depends on how confident you feel with the knife in your hand.
In the end, the best boning knife is the one that works well AND feel great using. Blade handles can range from polypropene to various woods, each offering slight variations. it’s really up to personal preference, I’d recommend trying a few of each type from the knives you own to get a good feel for them both.
Caring For Your Knives
To keep the knife durable always hand wash it, and avoid putting it in the dishwasher. To keep the blade at its greatest be sure to use the best quality honing steels, and sharpen them when necessary. If the knives come with a sheath or box then utilize that to keep the knife at its peak performance.