Why You Need a Butcher Knife in Your Kitchen

cutlery

What We’ll Cover:

  1. What Is A Butcher’s Knife?
  2. The Hidden Potential Of Butcher Knives
  3. The Efficiency Of Butcher Knives
  4. Butcher Knife Options To Choose From
  5. Frequently Asked Questions About Butcher Knives

1. What is a Butcher’s Knife?

Long black butcher knife next to three piece of red meat

Shadow Black Series 10'' Butcher & Breaking Knife

To fully understand the importance of having a butcher’s knife in the kitchen, one must first understand what butcher knives are. Now, a lazy individual might tell you that butcher knives are simply kitchen knives for butchering meat. However, just like your mouth-watering dinners, we know the key is in the high level of detail.

Butchers knives are made of high carbon stainless steel — a full tang kitchen knife used throughout the world to cut through meat. They’re precision-forged, ultra-sharp, and have a tapered design for hardness and flexibility.

A fine example is the Gladiator Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife, which boasts:

  • An edge painstakingly sharpened to 16-18° per side.
  • A tall blade with plenty of clearance to assist with food preparation.
  • Added chromium for stain resistance.
  • A polished spine for a comfortable grip.
  • The ability to elegantly glide through steak and cuts of meat like butter.

There’s the magic word: Elegance.

Gladiator Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

...But hold on, the ability to glide through steak is something any sharp knife can do. 

Sure, butcher knives might look the part, but appearances alone don’t make them special. Why should you add one to your cutlery set?

We hear you, so let’s talk about the next point. Let’s talk about what makes a butcher’s knife essential for your kitchen.

2. The Hidden Potential of Butcher Knives

Long silver butcher knife next to uncooked meats and salts

Shogun Series 12.5'' Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife

Did you know? You can use butcher knives not only to cut your steak but also as a general utility knife.

For example, all of our Dalstrong butcher knives can chop vegetables, cut hides, and trim fat. But here’s an extra secret — you can even use them to cut through hot pizza, too.

With that, you can throw away your old stainless steel pizza cutter. You know, the squeaky one that always has crusty cheese stuck on the inside?

Our Gladiator Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife can do the job just fine, and thanks to its efficient design, it cleans much more easily than an old rickety pizza cutter.

What’s more, because it’s impervious to heat and cold, you can even tackle those leftovers the next morning, too! No matter what climate you’re in.

Sounds essential, right?

Here’s what William Drake thought:

“As a professional chef in the kitchen for 40 years, this is a beautiful, excellent work of art.”

...But what about efficiency? We’ve already touched upon the subject with the easy cleaning and low maintenance — but let’s dive a little deeper.

3. The Exquisite Efficiency of Butcher Knives

Shogun Series 8" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

The supreme efficiency of a butcher’s knife can be split into three subcategories, namely:

  • Control
  • Comfort
  • Agility

To really explore these points, we’re going to break down the Shogun Series 8" Bull Nose Butcher Knife.

Control

The 8” stainless steel blade length on the Shogun Series allows a chef to sail through flesh like an unstoppable wave on a windy day. All without hacking at the meat or overextending your reach. 

That’s because the Bull Nose butcher knife has a long blade. In short: A long blade allows a precision cut, and a precision cut means perfect control.

With that, you can prepare family dinners without hassle, giving you more time for the best part: filling your belly and laughing heartily after a long day of work.

Comfort

Though of course with control, you also need comfort. So let’s talk about the G-10 Garolite handle — or should we say, the military-grade, triple-riveted, ergonomic handle.

Here’s what you need to know: It has a perfectly engineered balance through its finger protective bolster.

That means you, as a fine butcher, can grip it with comfort and ease. It allows you to work for long periods, which goes hand-in-hand with the precision of the 8” blade. 

We mean it. Imagine trying to slice through your meat with a handle that feels like a cactus! Alas, that’s the risk you take without a high price butcher’s knife in your kitchen. A trustworthy handle is essential.

Agility

But finally, let’s move onto agility. Your butcher knife may have perfect control. It might even be more comfortable than your bed on a Sunday morning. Yet, if you can’t use it to work quickly, then it’s not very efficient.

The Shogun Series 8” Bull Nose Butcher Knife has a tapered design that allows for flexibility. It’s ultra-sharp, and wear-resistant, which means you’ll be able to work with speed even years after buying your butcher knife. The agility allowed by this blade compliments its control and comfort. Together, these three aspects make it the perfect tool for the job.

We used the Shogun Series 8” Bull Nose Butcher Knife as an example because to us, it’s the exact definition of a fantastic butcher’s knife. One that any respectable kitchen cannot go without.

4. Some Butcher Knives To Choose From

1. Shadow Black Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

Shadow Black Series 10" Bull Nose Butcher Knife

If you’re looking for a butcher knife that packs a wallop while looking unlike any other knife in your arsenal, you can’t go wrong with this entry from Dalstrong’s Shadow Black Series. This 10” butcher knife isn’t only extremely sharp, it also boasts an attractive presentation and state-of-the-art ergonomics to tackle all your butchery needs.

PROS:

  • Screamingly sharp and powerful blade: this precision forged butcher knife is made up of ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece, high carbon steel at 58 Rockwell hardness.
  • Black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating not only provides a sleek, elegant look, it also provides corrosion resistance and enhanced non-stick properties. 
  • The handle is made of fiber-resin military grade G10, specially designed to fit snugly into your palm.
  • A unique butcher knife that looks stylish without trading in any functionality or power. A fantastic gift for a home cook.

CONS:

  • If you want all the knives in your kitchen to match, you might be bothered by how the Shadow Black Series’s distinctive design sticks out. A good solution to this, of course, is to look into more knives from the same series!
  • Its titanium-nitride coating might make it a little tricky to sharpen.

2. Gladiator Series 12" Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife

Gladiator Series 12" Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife

A cimeter butcher knife is a fantastic tool to cut large pieces of thick meat. Its curved blade makes it ideally suited to slice into all kinds of different cut and bring them down to a more manageable size. This 12” large butcher knife from Dalstrong’s acclaimed Gladiator Series is an essential tool in any home cook’s arsenal.

PROS:

  • Beautiful presentation, as all tools from Dalstrong’s Gladiator Series.
  • Precision forged blade that is made of ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece, high carbon German ThyssenKrupp Steel.
  • Extremely sharp blade, painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18° per side.
  • Low maintenance; extremely easy to clean and take care of. 

CONS:

3. Shogun Series 8" BBQ Pitmaster & Meat Knife - Forked Tip & Bottle Opener

Shogun Series 8" BBQ Pitmaster & Meat Knife - Forked Tip & Bottle Opener

The ultimate tool for the ultimate host. This absolutely unique 8” knife is an essential companion for any pitmaster who finds themselves standing outside, manning the grill while drinking with friends. It’s unlike any other knife you’ve ever seen, but it’s not just a novelty; this knife is sharp, it is powerful, and it looks fantastic. The fact that you can use it to wow your guests by popping open their drinks is just an added bonus. 

PROS:

  • Incorporating elements of a butcher knife, a meat fork and a bottle opener, this all-in-one tool is the perfect gift for any backyard BBQ enthusiast.
  • Meticulously handcrafted of high-carbon Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel.
  • Hand-finished in the Honbazuke 3-step method, resulting in a beautiful mirror polished edge at a staggering 8-10°.
  • This is one unique-looking knife that will have all your guests asking questions, namely  “Where can I get one of those?” 

CONS:

  • If you’re not a barbecue enthusiast, this might not be the knife for you.
  • At 8”, it is a little short to serve as a butcher knife on its own.

4. Shogun Series 12.5" Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife

Shogun Series 12.5" Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife

Here’s another entry in the Shogun Series, this time a butcher and breaking cimitar knife. At a whalloping 12.5”, this stunner of a knife will be the crown jewel of your kitchen armory. Effortlessly cut through raw meat to shape it to whatever presentation you need with this beautiful and powerful kitchen tool.

PROS:

  • This blade features a scalpel like sharpness at a staggering 8-12° angle per side. That’s very sharp. 
  • At 62 Rockwell hardness, this blade sports incredible edge retention.
  • Hand polished spine for extremely comfortable grip.
  • Military-grade G10 ergonomic handle makes it an absolute pleasure to use, even for prolonged periods of time.

CONS:

  • This powerful kitchen tool is in the upper end of the price range represented here.
  • At 12.5”, this knife is pretty large, and might be a bit too large for some home cooks.

5. Shadow Black Series 10" Butcher & Breaking Knife - NSF Certified

Shadow Black Series 10" Butcher & Breaking Knife - NSF Certified

Another piece from the sleek, elegant and futuristic Shadow Black Series. This time, we’re looking at a 10” butcher and breaking knife, bringing the series’s trademark comfort and design to the 

PROS:

  • Carefully designed ergonomics for a perfect, safe and comfortable grip.
  • We can’t say enough about its look, which is out of this world. Its uniquely geometrical design and its black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating will have you feeling like you’re cutting meat with some instrument from a sci-fi film.
  • The edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18° per side, hitting the right balance between extreme sharpness and knife durability.
  • Incredible performance and looks at an unbeatable price point. 

CONS:

  • The visual design of the knife may not be for everybody. If you’re looking for something a bit more understated, check out other knives on this list.

5. Frequently Asked Questions About Butcher Knives

What is a butcher’s knife used for?

A butcher knife or butcher's knife is primarily used for the butchering or dressing of animal carcasses -- that is to say, if you need to cut a large piece of meat into smaller (for instance, retail-sized) cuts, a butcher knife is the type of knife you need. 

How do you sharpen a butcher knife?

Keeping your butcher knife sharp is important, not just in terms of the knife’s performance, but due to safety concerns as well. A sharp knife is a safe knife, and you’re much more likely to cause accidents when operating with a blunt knife. We created an explainer on knife sharpening, which applies for butcher knives as well as other kinds. You can read it here.

What are butcher knives made of?

Commonly, butcher knives will have thicker blades than most knife types. For this reason, a high-quality butcher knife should be made of a sturdy steel. It’s most common to find butcher knives made of high carbon stainless steel. Most of the knives listed above are stainless steel blades.

As far as the handles, that also varies knife to knife. The knives we listed above feature military-grade G10 handles, but it’s also very common to find wooden handles. A nice rosewood handle usually offers comfort, maneuverability, and looks.

What kinds of knives do butchers use?

Aside from butcher knives such as those listed above, you’re likely to find butchers using chef's knives and Santoku knives for cutting prime meats. They’re also likely to use meat cleaver knives for tasks that require extra heft, and boning knives for cutting through bone and connective tissue.

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Written by Jorge Farah

Born on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions.