What Should I Consider When Buying a Meat Knife?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 22 June 2018
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When choosing a meat knife, the most important thing to consider is the purpose you'll be using it for. You may also want to take the construction of the meat knife under consideration. A blade may have different properties depending on the materials it is made from, and whether it is stamped or forged. Other potentially important factors are the designs of the blade and handle. Knives with a heavy blade may perform double duty by cutting through bone, while one with a long, thin blade may be do a better job of slicing fine cuts of meat.

There are many different types of meat knife, each suited to its own purpose. A chef's knife is a good multi-purpose meat knife, since it may be useful in cutting both meat and bone. In addition to the heavy blade that makes this possible, a chef's knife is typically designed to allow for a rocking motion that can assist in making precise cuts on meat and a variety of other food items.


Cleavers can also cut through bones as well as meat, but they are more or less limited to that task. Unlike a chef's knife, a cleaver is typically a simple square blade that can not be used in the sort of rocking motion necessary for repeated precise cuts. One specialized form of cleaver is known as a lobster splitter. If you will need to cut through the shells of lobsters and other shellfish, this may be a useful tool.

Carving and slicing knives both have qualities that can make them well suited to cutting meat. They are both designed to cut thin slices in a precise manner, though slicers are often built with blades that are both thinner and longer. Slicing knives may also have serrated blades, which can assist in the separation of the meat when cutting. If you need to cut small, thin slices, slicers are better suited to the task, and carving knives are better for larger cuts. There is also an especially flexible type of knife known as a ham slicer that may be preferable if you primarily handle ham.

Even more flexible than the ham slicer is the boning knife. This type of meat knife is typically useful in the removal of bones from various kinds of meat, which may require a great deal of flexibility. The qualities of these blades are usually designed so that cuts can be made very close to the bone, saving as much meat for consumption as possible. One type of boning knife, known as a fillet knife, is specifically designed to slice near the backbone and underneath the skin of fish.



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