Whether you are shopping for your budding chef or the experienced backyard BBQ master, the selection of a butcher’s knife can be an intimidating task.
For most casual cookers, grabbing the largest knife off the cheap kitchen utensil caddy will manage to break up the occasional chicken leg.
But if you are seeking quality steel that will stand up to real abuse in the chef’s kitchen, investing in serious steel is never considered a waste of money. We’ve gathered up 5 of the best butcher knives to help you find the one right for that special foodie on your shopping list.
5 best butcher knives rating chart:
Check out all these blades have to offer: Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Straight Butcher Knife, Black Fibrox Handle, Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife, 10-Inch Blade, Dexter-Russell 8″ butcher knife, Old Hickory Butcher Knife and the Ontario Knife 7025 7-Inch Butcher Knife.
What You Should Look For When Shopping For The Best Butcher Knives
High Carbon Content
If you are looking for a blade intended to last many years, a high carbon content steel is designed to withstand more impacts and resist dulling over time.
Blades crafted out of other metals may be subject to rust, loss of sharpness and can be brittle-shattering when the chef is attacking a large roast or deboning a side of beef. The best butcher knives will cite the carbon content in their steel.
Stamped or Forged Steel
Stamping a knife simply places the metal under a press and chops out the required shape.
The metal is not tempered, meaning it hasn’t been subjected to extremes. Forged steel has undergone this conditioning through repeated exposures to heat and cold.
This builds up the strength of the blade and it will be able to tackle frozen lumps of meat and bone while reducing the likelihood of chipping, dulling or shattering. Forged steel tends to cost more, but the durability of the blade improves exponentially.
A Textured Nylon, Wood, or Shaped Handle
A butcher’s knife is a handheld tool and works best when the chef has control over their instrument.
This means a good handle is nearly as important as the blade itself. Many chefs declare that their old-fashioned wood handles are comfortable and have withstood years of abuse.
Comfort is key. A smooth plastic handle, even if molded, doesn’t provide any give for hands that may be slick with grease and blood. You may want to ask the person you are shopping for their preference in this area.
Textured nylon has become very popular as it provides good non-slip grip.
Wood naturally has some give to it and a quality knife should withstand years of service when properly cleaned and maintained. Smaller hands can grasp shaped handles better.
What Will It Be Used For?
If the knife is intended to cut up a large roast once a year and then hide in the back of the drawer, you may not have to invest in a top of the line blade. The more inexpensive version will probably stand up to that task for quite a few years.
Professional chefs will likely be specific on the brand, size and shape of the blade they will be using on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, if you are shopping for the master or mistress of the traditional tailgate parties, consider spending a decent amount on a quality blade that will be used several times a season.
A really good blade helps to improve the confidence and therefor the quality of the food provided by the dedicated hobbyist.
Does It Have to Be Expensive?
Not necessarily. Many blades on the market are priced relatively inexpensively, and some will cost you just a ten or two.
When considering that the tool with become part of the kitchen for years to come, a moderate investment should not be dismissed out of hand. A chef will require a more expensive blade, and cheaping out on that purchase will end up in disappointment for everyone.
If you are simply seeking a knife to handle the annual holiday roast, opting for the less costly version will probably work out for you.
5 Best Butcher Knives Reviews
Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Straight Butcher Knife Reviews
This Swiss buther’s knife is the longest of those presented here. Its extra length makes it a good choice when tackling full sized roasts, breaking down large cuts and other heavy duty chores. It is stamped out of cold-rolled steel, providing some resistance to extremes.
No good knife is stainless, so take care to wash and dry the blade after each use to maintain its appearance and edge.
The handles is crafted out of non-slip Fibrox and is weighted to provide proper balance. It is the priciest out of the lot, but it will be able to stand up to those full rack of ribs without a problem.
- Extra long 12-inch blade
- Non-slip shaped Fibrox handle
- High carbon content steel
- Stamped steel reduces durability
- Can be too heavy or long for smaller hands to control
- Must be hand washed
Ontario Knife 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife Reviews
Ontario has been crafting blades for well over one hundred years and their products tend to stand up to their reputation. This 10-inch butchers knife is large enough to handle almost any meat carving chore you place before it.
Their handles are traditionally wood and provide a good grip and nice balance. It features a full tang for an increased flexibility without braking at the handle.
The high carbon steel is stamped, but easily holds a very sharp edge and can be restored with simple use of sharpening stone.
Often known as the go-to knife in many farm kitchens, the user is likely to receive decades of use when it is properly cleaned and stored. Best of all, their blades are moderately priced giving you a good bang for your buck.
- Ontario Knife Company has over 100 years of making quality blades
- 10-inch length can tackle most large jobs
- Moderate Price
- High carbon steel
- Will rust if left wet. Best to avoid the dishwasher
- Brass rivets on handle can offer spot for germs to hide
- Blade will discolor over time
Dexter-Russell 8″ Butcher Knife Reviews
This attractive blade can be found in commercial kitchens worldwide.The white handle is molded in a way that prevents any dirt or germs from lodging between the blade and the handle, earning it a NSF certification for safe food preparation.
While the 8-inch high carbon steel blade is shorter, it is heavy duty and should be able to cut through most roasts and large cuts of meat with little effort. Non-slip and molded handle offers good grip and excellent balance for improved control.
Dexter-Russell has been forging steel blades since the early 19th century and continues to put out products that the cooking industry has come to rely on.
As usual, you must wash and dry the blade immediately to prevent rust or dulling. Using your knife sharpener should return the blade to near original condition with little effort.
- Earned NSF certification for its food safety friendly design
- White handle works well with current kitchen decor
- Moderate price
- High carbon steel
- Stamped steel
- Shorter 8-inch blade
- Blade can get discolored
Old Hickory Butcher Knife Reviews
When looking for a bargain in the butcher knife category, this one can fit the bill. Produced in America by the Ontario Knife Company, you are dealing with a quality knife for a fairly low price.
It is only 7-inches long and does not have the thickest steel. However, if you are seeking a blade that can split up a rack of ribs or cut down a chicken with ease, this will probably fit the bill.
Its shape is the one that knives priced in the hundreds are based on, but this one can be yours for a fraction. Perfect for taking to the tailgate or camping, as if it gets damaged or lost, it’s no real loss to your pocket.
At the same time, home cooks have been relying on their Old Hickory butcher knives for decades. The test of time is often the one that tells the real tale.
- Knife used by the BBQ Pit Boys
- Time tested shape and size
- Made in America
- Low Cost
- Thin steel
- Will chip when it hits metal
- Tends to rust
Ontario Knife 7025 7-Inch Butcher Knife Reviews
The 7025 model from the Ontario Knife Company skipped the finishing line at the factory and arrives in a cheap plastic covered card. The blade arrives ragged and nearly unusable…but here’s where it gets good.
This inexpensive knife is crafted out of high quality carbon steel. After sharpening and oiling, you are left with a knife ready to tackle almost any job on the butcher block or at the campground.
And if you should chip it after bounding it off a boulder while whittling down branches for the fire, you will have only spent a few dollars. This is a knife that a prepper or huntsman will come to appreciate over time and use.
- Low price
- High quality steel that can be sharpened
- Use outside the kitchen guilt-free
- Arrives ragged and dull
- Shorter blade won’t handle large butcher jobs
- Unattractive packaging
Which Is The Best Best Butcher Knives
If you’re looking for a butcher knife able to tackle the largest jobs on the butcher block, the extra length and heft of the Victorinox 12-inch blade will be the one for you.
The Dexter-Russell 8-inch butcher knife has an attractive design that supports good kitchen sanitation while it handles all your daily kitchen tasks without a problem.
But if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for your knife hound who loves to cook at the campsite, the Ontario Knife 7025 7-Inch Butcher Knife won’t set you back much cash and it may just turn into their favorite blade with a little attention.