Types of Butcher Knives - Explore Everything About it

Types of Butcher Knives – Explore Everything About it

The chef isn’t called a chef if he doesn’t have a perfect knife for cutting meat, preparing food, cutting vegetables, and slicing bread. Butcher Knife is the most important and essential tool in any chef’s kit. A perfect cut demands a perfect knife, both have a soul and body relationship.

If the cuts are not precisely the quality of food may get affected. There are many kinds of knives used for different purposes by the chef. In this article, we will discuss types of butcher knives and what are their uses,  so you can purchase the one that suits you better.

Types of Butchers Knives

Here are the 7 most popular types of butcher knives:

  1. Boning Knife
  2. The traditional Butcher Knife
  3. The Skinning Knife
  4. The Cimeter Knife
  5. Breaking Knife
  6. Cleaver
  7. Steak Knife

1. Boning Knife

Boning Knife

Boning knife comes in two shapes, either it is straight or stiff and curved or flexible. The function of this knife is to remove all the meat from the bones. A curved boning knife works better when you are removing the meat near the bones as it is a bit more flexible and multi-dimensional. It has a tendency to bend around the corners and removes all the meat from the bone.  Whereas the straight and stiff boning knives are only one-dimensional.

If you are not a chef you can go with the straight boning knife. You can trim meat, cut it into cubes and remove the skin with this knife.  You can also use these knives to chop vegetables. These knives come in a variety of sizes.

2. The traditional Butcher Knife

The traditional Butcher Knife

The traditional butcher knife has lost its place but this knife can work wonders. It has a bit round and a curved tip that is used to cut large meat pieces and meat around the bones. This knife is somewhat heavy than other knives. This is also called the “English Butcher Knife” because it is the most important knife in any butcher’s tool kit.

There are some traditional butcher knives available in the market that have a “scalloped blade” which means that the meat does not stick to the knife while cutting and chopping. So it’s easy for the butcher to apply force on the knife without any hesitation of the blade being broken or chip.


3. The Skinning Knife

The Skinning Knife

The skinning knives are used to take off the large animal skins. Its blade is broad and slightly curved at the tip that is very helpful in the cutting motion.  These blades are usually 6 inches wide.

But for small animals like sheep and lamb, always use a small skinning knife as these knives have a blunt tip which eliminates the chances of a sudden puncture. And helps to take out the internal organs without any cut.

4. The Cimeter Knife

The Cimeter Knife

This knife is also very important for a chef or butcher. You can trim, cut, and slice the meat pieces finely. This knife has a slightly wide curve and its blade is a bit heavy. These types of knives are used in large beef cutting plants.

These knives cut and trim the large meat pieces and you can also use them to get the fine and even slices of meat.


5. Breaking Knife

Breaking Knife

A breaking knife is used to cut down carcasses. These knives are not much wide and it’s the knife that every butcher uses often. It cut the cartilage, small bones, and the skin.

This type of knife gives you a more precise and clear cut.

6.  Cleaver


Cleaver is a wide and broad knife something looks like a hatchet but it’s not. It is lightweight and has a thin blade. These knives have a tough and durable edge so that they can bear the hits and chips. As these knives are lightweight so it depends on the force you apply. The more you will apply force more it will hit the meat hard that’s why these knives are not sharp.

You will get the precise cutting by the use of this knife. It is also used to cut cartilage, small bones, and large meat pieces.


7. Steak Knife

Steak Knife

Steak knife has 3 types i.e, serrated, straight, and hollow. You will observe that this is the commonly used knife in any home. It is used to cut meat and meat steaks. It is very shaps and gives you a precise steak cut without losing the flavor.

What is a butcher knife used for?

What is a butcher knife used for

The butcher knives are used for cutting the large meat pieces. These knives are very sharp to give you a precise and perfect slice and cuttings. Cleaver is used to cut the large meat pieces whereas a breaking knife is used to removes meat from the bones and cutting the cartilage and small bones.

The skinning knife is used to cut off the skin of large and small animals with precision and eliminating the fear of the gut being punctured. A boning knife is used to give the chopping and cutting meat pieces. A steak knife is, however, gives you a precise steak slicing without squeezing the taste and juices from the steak.

So there is a variety of butcher knives available and all of them have different purposes.

Some of the knives have a round tip some have precise. Some have a thin blade whereas some have a thick blade. You will also see some knives that have broad and wide blades.

How to take care of a butcher knife?

  • Try to hone the butcher knife regularly or after cutting meat. But if you are not a chef and don’t use it frequently you can hone it in once a week.
  • Always use a sharp knife as it will give you a precise cut. It will also save a lot of your force.
  • Always hand-wash the butcher’s knife to avoid corrosion. Dish-wash can be harmful to the knife even if the stainless steel knives are not be taken care of they also get corrosion.
  • Do not soak the butcher knife in water for too long as it will enhance the chance of

blade corrosion.

  • Always use a soft sponge for washing the knife otherwise your knife blade might get scratches.
  • Store your knives in the knife bags

How to pick the best butcher knife?

There are a wide variety of knives available in the market. So it’s difficult to find the best one, have a look at this guide. I hope it will help you a lot in finding the best knife for you.

How to pick the best butcher knife


The size of the knife matters a lot. If you are the one who is using the knife for daily cutting purposes, select a small knife. If you have to deal with the large meat pieces you can go for the big butcher knives.


The handle of the knife matters a lot in the cutting process. The stronger the grip the precise will be cutting. First of all, check the handle by gripping it in your hand. If it fits tightly you can go for it. It should also be comfortable.


As we have discussed above all the knives have different purposes, they come in different shapes and sizes and have different functions. A boning knife is used to cut the meat around the bones. Cleaver is used to cut large pieces, steak knife is used for slicing steak, breaking knife is used to cut cartilage and connective tissues.

So, all of them have different usage. But we have given you a direction to know about the usage of these knives and how can you buy one for yourself and butcher it by all yourself.


What type of knives butcher use?
They use boning knives, breaking knives, cleaver, steak knife, cimeter, and skinning knife mostly. Butcher always prefers a knife that has a sharp blade and has a comfortable and fitted handle.
What are the two basic knives that a butcher uses?
The boning knife and the cleaver are two basic knives used by the butcher. Cleaver is used to cut large pieces whereas a boning knife is used to separate meat from the bones.
What is the difference between a chef knife and a butcher knife?
A butcher knife is specially designed to cut the large meat pieces and bones whereas the chef’s knife is multi-purpose. It is used to cut small meat pieces, vegetables, bread slicing, etc.