A Buyer’s Guide to The Best Butcher Knives

From the casual home cook to the professional chef, the butcher knife is an integral and critical tool in your arsenal.  The butcher knife is vitally important for anyone who does a lot of grilling because you need to be able to separate cuts of meat into smaller portions. Everyone has a preference as to which type they prefer in terms of material. There are so many different brands of butcher knives out there, it can be hard to narrow down which ones will meet your needs and fit with what you want for the type of cooking you are going to be doing so that you can find the best butcher knife.

In this guide, I will attempt to help you narrow down the literally hundreds of options for butcher knives that are available on the market today so that you are able to make an intelligent and informed decision and decide which is the best butcher knife for your budget and your needs.

Let’s cover something basic first. People often mix up a chef’s knife and a butcher knife. A butcher knife is heavier. Its blade is curved for cutting through a thick hunk of meat, whilst a chef’s knife is lighter and has broader uses for a variety of things beyond just hacking up an animal carcass. Always make sure that you have the right tool for the job.  This is almost as important as having the best butcher knife.

The best butcher knives out there are going to look sort of like a sword, almost like a scimitar. Do NOT be tempted to channel your inner warrior here. Playing with sharp implements in the kitchen is dangerous, folks. These are tools, not toys. What would you tell your children?

The best butcher knives will have a high carbon-steel content because not only do they need to be able to rip through the flesh but often they must disarticulate cartilage. That is, separate joints and such.

So, let’s get down to business.  What are some of the best butcher knives that are out there today?

Old Hickory 10-inch Butcher Knife

The Good:

It’s on the Cheaper side.

The Bad:

It’s prone to rust.

Usage in the Kitchen and in the Wild:

Many of the best butcher knives today avoid the wooden handle, what with the fact that wood tends to be much less able to resist the build-up of bacteria and the like, no matter how well you clean it. I mean, you could really go to town scrubbing that thing, and some of those pesky little buggers may still hang around? Did you know that? I sure didn’t. So many manufacturers tend to stick with the polymer type handles because they are much more bacteria and bug resistant. It’s made of carbon steel, so it’s not something you want to be using for long stretches at a time or anything. But it is a solid piece and all you really need to do is run it over a knife sharpener occasionally, and it should last you a while. Coming in at $18, this is going to be perfect, and one of the best butcher knives for the home chef.

Twin Master 10-inch Butcher Knife

best butcher knife

The Good:

The blade is extremely wide, so there is an insane amount of cutting surface here.

The Bad:

The blade is stamped, which will eventually fade, and rub off, potentially on your meat.

The Nitty Gritty:

This butcher knife is pretty to look at if you have a bad case of the shiny syndrome.  It’s made from ice-hardened stainless steel with a 57-degree Rockwell Hardness Rating (that’s hard, folks!).  This beast of a butcher knife has a wide, upturned end that comes to a broad point, making it more resemble a machete than that familiar scimitar look that we talked about previously. Again, this is not for going out into the jungle and chopping down vines, although it could probably handle that job, too.  The wide blade makes it better for hacking large hunks of meat than for fine detail work. The tempered metal blade is rigid, but it has a synthetic resin handle that fits both comfortably and ergonomically in your hand, making it easy to use for lengthy periods of time.  Coming in at $34, it’s more expensive than the Old Hickory, but still not going to one of the best butcher knives you can get for the price, and it won’t make your wallet cry.

Global GF-27 7-inch Butcher Knife

The Good:

Seamless design, solid from handle to tip.

The Bad:

The most expensive butcher knife I found in my research,

The Small but Mighty:

Most experts generally don’t recommend using a butcher knife that is less than 8-inches. Let’s face it, who wants to have to be trying to saw at their meat hunks when they can be doing some seamless and easy chopping with some of the mighty and hefty hackers up above, right? But this beauty has some solid qualities that earn its stripes for it. It’s a very dense knife, so in this case, bigger would not be better because it would make it simply unwieldy. And let’s be honest, when it comes to the best butcher knives, who wants to be using the equivalent of a two-handed sword, am I right? And for those of you obsessed with shiny things, this pretty little thing is constructed from stainless steel from handle to tip, and it boasts a Japanese edge that will lose you a finger and have you bled out on the floor before you’ve ever even felt the pain. Seriously, these things are sharp, and it will keep that edge for a really long time.

The seamless design means that there are fewer little nooks and crannies for bacteria, bugs, and germs to hide in, making cross-contamination much less likely. This butcher knife’s blade also contains 18% chromium, which makes it more stain resistant.  Overall, this bad boy comes in around $100 dollars, so it’s not something for the casual home chef. This is the best butcher knife money can buy.  You must be serious about your meat or have money to burn to go after this beauty, but you won’t regret having spent the money, that is for sure.

So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Three very different, very solid options that together make up the best of the best in terms of the best butcher knife game in today’s market. Now that you are armed with the information you need, head on down to your nearest culinary supply store and try out how they feel in your hand and get one for yourself.  Happy chopping and grilling!

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