5 of our favorite knives designed specifically for cutting meat, along with a few details to consider when purchasing a meat cutting knife.
You don’t have to be a butcher or a professional chef to appreciate a high-quality knife that allows you to glide through the meat you’re cutting, bringing a new level of ease and efficiency to your meal prep.
Whether you’re looking to impress or just improve your carving technique, having the right tools is a game-changer, and in the food industry that means choosing a knife that is sharp, easy to wield, and cuts through tougher foods like meat with ease.
The right knife saves you time, money, and effort, and reduces the amount of food wasted by letting you make the most of your meat cuts.
With so many different ways of preparing meat, from prime rib to steak, ham to turkey, there are numerous types of knives that allow you to perform different techniques, which we’ll cover in more detail in the Buyer’s Guide below.
If you already have some experience with knives and simply want to find out which is the best choice for cutting meat, see our Top Pick below.
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|Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer, 14-Inch, Black
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|imarku Chef Knife - Pro Kitchen Knife 8 Inch Chef's Paring Knife with Ergonomic Handle
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|Meat Cleaver,7 inch Vegetable and Butcher Knife
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|Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Butcher Knife, 10-Inch
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|DALSTRONG Cimitar Knife -"The Reaper" - 14" - Extra - Long - Gladiator Series
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Our Top 5 Best Knives for Cutting Meat
A trusted brand in the culinary world, Mercer knives have become synonymous with high-quality, and their Millennia knife is no exception.
This 14-inch blunt tip knife is featured as Amazon’s Choice, with an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars and over 18,000 customer reviews.
You can use this super-sharp, Granton edge knife for a range of purposes, from cutting thin slices of meat to doorstop wedges of bread.
It makes light work of poultry meat such as chicken breast without any bits sticking on its edge, meaning there is nothing to remove from the blade between slicing.
Fat and juices from the meat run into the grooves of the knife, however, which creates more contact between the meat and the blade for smoother slices.
It has an ergonomic handle made from Santoprene and Polypropylene to provide both comfort and durability and is lightweight in your hand at only 8.7 ounces. It is also slip-resistant due to the textured finger points, and a protective finger guard reduces the potential for accidents.
The durability of this knife is guaranteed, as the one-piece blade is made of superior quality, high carbon Japanese steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion.
Whilst the blade itself is easily sharpened, it is important to follow the care instructions in order to maintain the quality of this knife.
- High-quality materials used for blade and handle
- Trusted brand
- Granton edge ensures easy slicing
- The handle is not safe for dishwasher use
- Price varies depending on color choice
The Imarku Chef’s Knife is another great multi-functional knife designed to suit a range of purposes. It can chop, slice, cut, and dice several types of food without issue, and as it’s a paring knife, it excels at cutting raw meat away from the bone.
The handle adds to the professional quality of this knife and provides maximum user comfort as it is made from an Africa-originating material called pakka, known especially for its strength and durability.
German engineering enhances the 8-inch blade’s effectiveness and it is made from high-carbon stainless steel, as well as an additional 16-18% of chrome which provides it with a shining, glossy finish.
In addition to its attractive design, the size and weight of this knife make it a user-friendly choice and it feels well-balanced in the hand even after extended periods of use.
The saying “you get what you pay for” doesn’t apply here, as you get a top-quality multi-purpose knife at an affordable price.
- Safe for dishwasher use although hand washing is recommended
- Minimal rusting due to its chrome finish
- Lifetime warranty
- Not suitable for cutting frozen food
- Blade requires resharpening relatively often
The blade on this Aroma House meat cleaver has a high-quality cutting performance and can cut through meat without issue. It is recommended that you hone the blade at least every 2-3 months to retain the sharpness of the blade.
The handle is designed to be non-slip and is full tang, which means the blade runs the entire length of the knife to strengthen the point of attachment and increase its durability.
It is also balanced meaning it feels more comfortable in your hand, although it may take time to get used to if you haven’t used a cleaving knife before.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty knife that will get through almost anything, a meat cleaver knife is a perfect choice. It allows you to cut, de-bone, and cleave tough meats, as well as being able to cut through bone and fruits with a harder exterior such as coconut.
It is unsuitable for more delicate cutting needs, however, and is a more expensive option than a multi-purpose knife.
- Ergonomic handle
- Full tang handle for extra durability
- Lifetime warranty
Victorinox is a brand known for being a good value for money, and this Victorinox knife is a great choice for anyone needing to butcher larger pieces of meat but still wants an all-purpose kitchen knife for a reasonable price.
Made from stainless steel, the straight, hollow-ground edge has been laser-tested and can cut through larger pieces of meat and bone with minimal effort.
Its extra-strong durability is compounded by being ice tempered and conical ground, which ensures the 10-inch blade stays sharper for longer.
The ergonomic handle is made from fibrox and reduces the chances of the knife slipping.
It is only partial tang, however, and the knife can be tricky to wield when cutting smaller pieces of meat due to its 10-inch blade.
- NSF certified
- Built-in finger guard
- Fibrox handle
- Lifetime guarantee against product faults
- Can be difficult to handle at first
- Requires regular honing
The most expensive, but most fun to use, option on this list is the Dalstrong butchers breaking knife, a must-have in any professional chef’s arsenal.
The hollowed-out grooves featured on both sides of the blade catch the fat and juices of the meat as it runs which is beneficial when slicing thin portions of meat like ham or poultry, due to it causing less contact between the blade and the meat during cutting.
It’s size and design ensure this is an extra durable knife and it has a full steel tang, although this protrudes slightly above the wooden handle which can cause some discomfort after a while.
The handle is made from pakka wood giving this knife a sleek, professional look, and its 10-inch blade creates leverage to minimize effort when cutting larger pieces of meat.
- Long blade for easy leverage
- Beautifully designed
- Laminated pakka handle
- Professional quality performance
- The steel tang extends beyond the handle
Best Knife for Cutting Meat Buying Guide
Types of Knives
There are some knives that are designed to suit a number of different purposes, but it can also be valuable to have a specialty knife that does one job, really well.
In order to choose the best knife for cutting meat, is important to take into consideration the type of meat you’ll be using it for as well as whether you’re prepping raw meat or slicing it when cooked.
A chef’s knife is a great, all-purpose knife that chops, slices, or minces a variety of food items, and a deba knife can also be used on multiple foods, such as fish, meat, and tough vegetables.
Meat Carving Knife
A meat carving knife is the MVP of any roast dinner, as it can carve or slice through large meats such as ham or poultry without difficulty. Typically a pronged fork will be used to steady the meat while you carve, and the knife will be wider and shorter than knives designed for slicing.
When prepping raw meat, a butcher knife will work best if you’re trimming or sectioning larger pieces. A boning knife will separate meat from the bone, and a breaking knife can cut through cartilage, smaller bones, and skin. You can also use a cleaver knife to cut through thicker pieces of meat and also bone.
To cut and trim your steaks, a cimeter or scimitar knife will work best, and a flank and shoulder knife can be used to create flank steaks. The Japanese gyuota knife is also designed for cutting beef.
A paring knife, a slicing knife, and a utility knife are all smaller types of knives and can be used respectively for more delicate jobs like slicing smaller cuts of meat, slicing cooked meats and fish, and slicing cured sausages such as salami.
The blades of a slicing knife are narrower with a longer length, and they tend to be extremely sharp.
Types of Knife Edges
Straight-edge knives are typically used for slicing, dicing, cutting, and chopping as they provide a smoother cut, which is great for cutting through meat.
Granton edge knives are also used for meat, as they allow you to slice thin portions and help the meat to release during cutting for smoother cuts.
Knives with a hollow ground edge can be used to prepare sushi-grade cuts of meat and are particularly useful for skinning meat or removing sinew.
Serrated knives are typically less suited to cutting meat, as they tear through food, although this is great for slicing bread or fruit.
However, you can find serrated knives that are wider and more scalloped which don’t tear the meat as much and also retains some of the meat’s juices.
If a knife doesn’t fit comfortably in your hand, it’s going to make cutting meat much harder and can be potentially dangerous, as it increases the risk of the knife slipping.
Handles can be made of different materials that determine the practicality as well as the look of a knife.
Wood handles are comfortable to use, but although they add an attractive design element to any knife, they can be less durable than other materials and are not as sanitary.
Stainless steel is more durable but offers a poorer grip on the handle due to the material’s smooth surface. It’s easy to clean, as are plastic handles, but these tend to crack over time making them less hard-wearing.
Santoprene is arguably the best type of handle for meat cutting knives, as it offers high slip resistance and are built to last thanks to the strong durability of the material.
Keeping Your Knives Sharp
Even the sharpest knives will become blunt over time and with general use. A dull blade will make it harder to cut through the meat you’re working with as it can snag going through, meaning your slices will be more coarse or uneven.
As well as being more difficult to use, a blunt knife can be potentially dangerous for the user, so it’s important to know how to keep them sharp.
The easiest way to keep your knives in pristine condition is to ensure you only use them for their designated purpose. Using a paring knife for butchering, for example, will likely blunt its edges, as well as doing a poorer job of cutting through the meat.
Storing your knives properly will protect the blade when not in use, and washing them by hand (being careful not to lose a finger in the soapy water!) protects them from being damaged by the heat and detergent of a dishwasher.
You can purchase a honing rod, also known as sharpening steel, to realign the metal of the blade’s edge without shaving off too much metal. To do this, use your dominant hand to hold the knife, which should be at a 20-degree angle to the rod in your other hand.
Keep the tip of the rod elevated above the handle, and always remember to keep your fingers away from the blade. The movement should incorporate hand, wrist, and arm action in a fluid motion as you move your knife across the top of the rod from the lower end of the knife to its tip.
To repeat this movement on the other side of the blade, start again from the bottom of the rod. Once you have done both sides, you have completed what is called a revolution, and it is recommended that you do between six and eight of these before using your newly-sharpened knife.
You can also use a whetstone or sharpening stone to give blunt knives a new lease of life, by grinding the edge of the blade against the rough side first from tip to hilt and repeating a few times on both sides of the knife.
Next, turn the whetstone over to the finer side and repeat the process.
Whetstones require some practice to master, and certain types of knives, such as Japanese or Sashimi knives, must be held at different angles to the standard 20-degrees and require different levels of force.
Honing rods are therefore an easier way to sharpen knives and are a better choice for the less experienced chef.
The National Sanitation Foundation was established in 1944 as a non-profit organization with the aim to establish and uphold food safety standards for the benefit of public health.
You can have peace of mind knowing that no harmful chemicals were used in products that are NSF accredited, as this certification ensures that only FDA approved materials were used in the manufacture of foodservice products.
They have to meet strict regulatory requirements and NSF testing for issues such as material safety, construction, design, and the performance of the product. This protects your food from contamination, and NSF certified products are designed so they don’t promote a build-up of bacteria.
To know whether or not a product is NSF certified, check to see if it has the NSF logo, or alternatively, you can browse the official list of all NSF certified products on their website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to use a honing rod or a whetstone to sharpen meat-cutting knives?
Both sharpen knives with great effect, so the main difference is in how easy they are to use. A honing rod is easier to sharpen knives with, although there is a lot of guidance on the angle and level of pressure that should be used for specific knives on a whetstone.
What is a Rockwell scale rating?
The Rockwell scale rating indicates the durability of a blade. A high rating means the steel edge remains sharp, although this can mean it is more brittle. Lower ratings tend to be found on blades intended for rough use, as it means they are less prone to chipping or damage.
How should I clean my knives?
It should be stated in the product specification whether or not a knife is suitable for dishwasher use. However, washing your knives by hand is still recommended as the hot water and detergent used in a dishwasher can damage the knife.