When it comes to separating meat from bones, any sharp knife will get the work done. However, if you are to do it like a pro with the right knife for the job, you must get the best boning knife.
A regular knife just separates meats from bones. Whereas a boning knife makes sure the meat comes off with the fat and flavor, which makes the dish tastier. So, this particular knife makes sure that the bones aren’t left with much flavor on them.
After doing the research, I have found these 12 boning knives to be greatly effective among countless options.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Best Boning Knife
To make sure you spend the money on the right knife and don’t need to find a replacement after a few months, be sure to check for these key things before finalizing your order.
Boning Knife Types and Materials
Boning knives are primarily 3 types.
Carbon Steel Knife
These knives are sharp but require frequent sharpening and maintenance. Every time you finish cutting, you need to clean the blade to keep its sharpness optimum. As the name goes, these are made of carbon steel, very durable, don’t get chipped that easily. But you need to take good care of such a knife.
Japanese Steel Knife
This is one of the sharpest knives you will find in the market. These are incredibly sharp and can handle cutting tasks flawlessly without requiring much effort from you. Professionals usually use these knives.
The material on Japanese steel knives is brittle, and prone to chip. So, you need to be careful while handling and using the knife. As long as you use the knife gently, there will be no problem.
German Steel Knife
The blade on these knives is made of soft steel. In terms of durability, German knives do great. But, the edge doesn’t hold well if not used carefully.
When it comes to the blade materials, blades are either made of carbon steel or carbon stainless steel.
Carbon Steel knives are sharper, and do a great job when it comes to handling thicker meat, de-boning, trimming, skinning, etc. tasks.
Stainless Steel knives, on the other hand, are very durable. However, the sharpness isn’t quite satisfactory for professional using purposes.
Design and Shape
You got only two options to choose from; curved or straight blade.
Curved knives are designed in a way to have the tip pointed upwards. When it comes to removing bones, and cut meats by inserting the knife a bit deeper, nothing beats a curved knife.
Straight knives with their long and narrow blade with tip points are ideal for fish and poultry skinning, trimming, filtering, etc. tasks. The cutting performance of both the designs are quite similar; only one has a slight advantage of handling cutting tasks differently than another.
Boning knives also come with two identical characteristics.
Flexible boning knife allows you to bend it as per the boning tasks demand, but the blade will never break that easily. These knives are ideal for filleting fish.
Semi stiff boning knife isn’t that flexible, but more durable and versatile than a flexible one. Suppose you are to use it for removing bones from meat, separating joints, preparing a big turkey or chicken, and cutting thicker meat. Having such a knife will make things a lot easier for you.
To make sure you use the knife comfortably, you need to also check the handle type. Mostly, handles are made of wood, plastic, polypropylene, and rubber materials. These materials provide great grip and comfort for the user. But wooden handles aren’t water-resistant and break easily compared to other materials.
Make sure the handle feels ergonomic in hand so that you can use it for long periods.
Full tang knives have blades attached to the bottom of the handle, making the overall construction very solid and durable. Whereas, rivet handles hold the blade strongly in the right place, and don’t let the blade to move regardless of the force being applied
12 Best Boning Knife Reviews
Whether you need to break down a whole chicken, fillet fishes, trim a brisket, or it’s just separating meat from the bones, you will find the right one among these knives.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels 5.5″ Professional Boning Knife
Nothing beats carbon knives when it comes to convenience. Manufactured in Germany, the carbon blade on this knife is sharp enough to handle your professional as well as home kitchen boning and fish flittering tasks flawlessly.
The manufacturer forged the knife from a single piece of solid and high-quality steel. So, as far as durability is concerned, you can pretty much assure about its longevity.
Out of the box, you don’t need to take the hazard of sharpening its blade. Its ice-hardened friodur blade comes pre-sharpened so that you can start separating the lead protein from the bones. As the material is extremely resilient, there will be no issue regarding corrosion whatsoever.
To provide more precise cuts, the blade is well-honed and has a laser-controlled edge that allows you to make angular cuts without compromising its sharpness.
The knife feels comfortable in hand as well. It got an ergonomically designed three-rivet handle. So, for professional use, you can use it for prolonged periods without having any fatigue issues. You can take the advantage of this full tang knife while skinning or cutting meat from bones.
For your convenience, the knife is dishwasher safe. However, consider hand washing it to make sure the knife cuts optimally as long as possible.
Victorinox 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife
To any professional chef, a curved boning knife makes much appeal, whether it’s about handling meat or chicken in a kitchen. Its stiff blade with curved shape will be able to reach difficult bone areas effortlessly.
A boning knife doesn’t only remove meat, with this one in your hand, you can also trim skin or meat from the bone easily. Its pointed tip makes piercing meat effortless and smooth. You will be able to make many clean and delicate cuts close to the bone while ensuring the flavor essential for the meat.
Thicker meat, such as beef, requires a flexible knife. Even though it’s not quite flexible, still you will be able to take the advantage of its slight bend. For close to around bone areas, its curved shape will handle angular cuts flawlessly.
As far as the material is concerned, this knife features a 6 inches stainless steel blade. So, there is no reason to worry about its durability. Compared to knives made of other materials, the stainless steel ones are sturdier and durable as well.
Great quality knives come with great handles, and this is no expectation for the knife. It got an ergonomically designed handle, which doesn’t slip-off while dealing with meat. You will be able to conveniently de-bone meat like a pro without any issue.
Dalstrong Shogun Series Damascus 6″ Boning Knife
This boning knife is where the use of technology and great craftsmanship come together. Also, the design is quite appealing for professional chefs. At this price point, this is the best professional boning knife that you can get without spending much.
The core of its blade is made of ultra-sharp Japanese super steel material that results extraordinarily while de-boning. Whether you are to regularly deal with fish or beef, the blade will perform great regardless of the thickness of the meat.
Due to premium high-carbon stainless steel built, the blade feels pretty solid and durable. It can easily withstand corrosion and also stain, which might surprise you a bit.
The manufacturer crafted the blade, maintaining balance, and implemented a precisely tapered blade to minimize the surface resistance.
You will be able to make curved cuts inward and maneuver the blade close to the bone to get perfect cuts every time. Separating bone and meat will become more efficient and easier once you figure out to make the best use of its fine tip.
The knife is made to feel comfortable in your hand. Its impressive G-10 handle tackles heat, cold, and moisture quite impressively. These are the things that lower knife-usability, luckily you got no reason to bother about these issues. The handle is ergonomically designed to provide you great control over it as well.
Wusthof 4603 6 Inch Boning Knife
Efficiency comes when you get the right tool for the right job. As far as boning, skinning, and trimming are concerned, this knife from Wusthof is one of their top-performing kitchen chef’s knives that you can rely on.
With its razor-sharp German-made blade, you will be able to handle your bonding tasks like a pro. If you are a professional, the knife will take your slicing skill to a whole new level. Also, for household kitchen works, it will take care of your boning hazard regardless of your cutting skill.
Whether it’s about skinning chicken, filleting, de-boning beef, or other meat, the knife handles such tasks as a breeze. Its excellent cutting performance makes it the best boning knife for butchers within its class. When it comes to skin fish, nothing beats this knife from any aspect.
For your comfort, the manufacturer crafted the knife with a polyoxymethylene handle. The handle is durable enough to survive high abuses as well as high drops without any issue. It’s designed to give a traditional look to the knife.
The blade is forged in a way to prevent soft or extra thin slicing that sticks to the blade in most boning knives. Its blade is sized perfectly to handle cutting tasks flawlessly. Furthermore, its thickness gives the blade an upper hand over the competitors when it comes to efficient de-boning.
Unlike cheaper knives, it doesn’t stain; thanks to its carbon steel alloy construction. You don’t need to put much effort to sharpen the blade as well.
Sky Light Flexible 6 inch Boning Knife
Compared to traditional boning knives, multi-purpose ones are ideal for household kitchen usage. Also, a number of chefs also prefer using a multi-purpose knife to work efficiently. This knife from Sky Light has a curved shape blade that handles de-boning, cutting joints, and skinning tasks without requiring much effort from you.
The blade has a sharp edge with 17 degrees angle per side. Its blade is treated with nitrogen to cool its high carbon steel that assures hardness. Also, if you want a bit of flexibility while boning, the knife will also provide you this.
Made of German high carbon stainless, the knife is forged very precisely, which makes it wear, rust, and stain-resistant. Also, the durability is quite satisfactory even to professional chefs.
No matter whether you have to de-bone, trim, skin, fillet, or descale the chicken, beef, or other meat, this will allow you to handle such tasks like a breeze. Even if you are to take care of beef ribs, you will feel like using a butcher knife.
Like expensive knives, you will feel much more comfortable while using the knife. Its handle is made of military-grade high polymer material that makes the handle resistant to moisture, heat, and cold. No matter how messy the kitchen is, the handle will not slip off your hand.
Global 6.25 inch Boning Knife
For those who prefer a lightweight knife even when it’s about boning, this knife can be a great deal for the money. Due to its small size, you will be able to skin areas that are difficult for a larger knife to handle. Also, the blade is versatile and flexible to tackle boning tasks without much issues.
The knife is forged exceptionally well by the manufacturer. This Japanese knife is made of hard molybdenum stainless steel, which is also known as vanadium steel. Because of its face-ground structure, the knife provides an even longer taper so that the edges of the blade stays sharper for longer.
Compared to traditional European style knives, the edges on this one are ground at an even acute angle. As the knife is a flexible one, you will have a great boning experience regardless of the skill you have.
The manufacturer also makes sure the handle is made with the right amount of sand to make the knife well-balanced while maneuvering.
Even if you are a beginner chef, you will find the knife as a safe tool for de-boning, trimming, skinning meats. It got a safe finger notch between the handle and blade. The handle is the most selling point of this knife. Its molded construction easily fits in hands and doesn’t slip whatsoever even if your hands are a bit small.
For your convenience, you can hand wash the knife and dry it thoroughly to keep the blade’s sharpness optimum. Consider washing every day once you are done with boning or anything else.
Henckels Classic 5.5 Inch Boning Knife
German stainless steel knives go head to head with carbon steel knives in terms of sharpness and quality. This 5.5 inches knife can be an ideal knife for boning that also provides great value for the money and good user experience.
The fully forged construction of the knife makes it extremely sturdy and feels solid in hand. Unlike conventional knives, the transition from its blade to handle is pretty impressive and seamless. You will really like how the knife cuts and feels in hand.
Moreover, the blade got a satin finish to further enhance its cutting performance. You will be able to precisely cut meats as well as separate joints without compromising much with the sharpness. Due to the quality of this blade, once it’s honed, the sharpness lasts for quite a long period.
To get you good control while holding the knife, the manufacturer designed its handle with a triple-rivet. It feels quite ergonomic; thus, there will be no issue of slipping it off accidentally. You can easily hold the knife and work for a prolonged period without having any discomfort in hand.
The knife is safe to wash using the dishwasher. Be sure to wash it once you are done with meat processing for the day. It will hold the sharpness on the blade for longer.
Zelite Infinity 6 Inch Boning Knife
Another great performing Japanese knife on the list. In terms of how the knife looks, cuts, and super comfortable to use, it’s the best boning knife for chicken, and also fish as well. The performance of de-boning beef is quite satisfactory too.
Made of durable Japanese AUS10 67-layer Damascus steel, you can count on this knife regarding the durability as well as the cutting performance. Japanese blades are one of the sharpest blades out there in knives, and this is no expectation here as well.
On the edge, the blade is also extremely sharp. You can use the knife 9-12 degrees per side for lasting edge retention. Featuring a well-tempered bolster with a full tang, the blade is a dead solid one. Also, you will have great control over it while boning, trimming, or skinning.
Due to its carbon stainless steel blade, you will be able to handle boning or even butchering meats like a breeze. Unlike cheaper blades, it doesn’t require frequent sharpening. Also, the material on the blade doesn’t stick while slicing at all.
To make the blade resistant to stain, rust, and corrosion, the manufacturer implemented liquid nitrogen cooled.
In terms of comfortability, the knife features a convenient triple-riveted rounded handle. If you previously used any expensive boning knife, you will feel the difference well. Riveted to the forged blade, the handle is extremely durable and feels comfortable on the hand.
Shun Cutlery Classic 6 Inch Boning Knife
This particular knife handles close cuttings using its narrow and sharp blade quite well. Without much dragging, you will be able to complete boning and filleting tasks more efficiently.
Made of special shun materials, which is a combination of iron alloy and carbon, the blade is extremely durable. Also, the manufacturer used stainless steel and chromium components to make the blade resistant to rust, corrosion, and stain.
If you are looking for a shun boning knife 200, meaning under $200, this will provide value for your money.
With this razor-sharp blade, you can smoothly glide through meats or fish to remove the bones and skin. Its 6-inch convenient size is more than enough for household and professional boning tasks.
The curve-shaped blade slices and separates the meat effortlessly. You will find its curved shape extremely useful for cutting close to bone areas. Also, its extremely sharp edge comes in handy for trimming skin, whether it’s for roasting, preparing tenderloin, and other purposes.
The knife features a D-shaped handle that feels excellent in hand and provides great control while working. Made of PakkaWood, both the blade and handle complement each other to give you a convenient boning experience.
SMTENG 5.5 inch Handmade Boning Knife
If you often go camping or have to handle household food preparing tasks, you need a multi-purpose boning knife like this one. Whether it’s taking care of chicken, meats, fruits, fish, and vegetables, this knife is all you need to work efficiently and conveniently.
The manufacturer used high carbon stainless steel, which is one of the most durable materials out there for knives. Like most carbon steel made knives, the blade in this knife is incredibly sharp. Whether you use it for boning, mincing, chopping, slicing meat, or disjointing large portions, the blade will perform flawlessly.
Forged with traditional forging processes, the durability is unmatched. You can use it for household, professional, outdoor, and other purposes without any issue. There will not be any rust or corrosion issues whatsoever. You can re-sharpen the blade with minimal efforts.
This full tang kitchen, aka boning knife, comes with a wooden handle for providing you great cutting experience. The logwood material on its handle enhances its esthetic look and feels great on hand. Its full-tang construction feels solid and gives you well-control while working with the knife.
If you mostly throw BBQ parties, this can be the best boning knife for chicken and also other using purposes that the parties require. Comes with a soft leather sheath, the knife is great for carrying in a backpack for outdoor adventures or camping.
Mercer Culinary Millennia 6 Inch Curved Boning Knife
Japanese knives always hold a good reputation among professional chefs for their incredibly sharp blades. Even though these blades require frequent sharpening, professionals seem to only be concerned about how sharp the blade is.
Made of high-quality carbon and stain-free Japanese steel, the knife performs impressively and stands out to be a solid and durable one. Its razor-sharp blade is more than enough for boning, trimming, skinning, or even chopping, which makes it a multi-purpose knife as well.
Compared to typical Japanese steel blades, this one requires relatively less maintenance. So, you don’t need to sharpen the blade frequently. Its one-piece single construction makes the knife sturdy and can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.
For your comfort, the handle of this knife is made of Santoprene and polypropylene. Similar to the blade, its handle is quite solid and durable as well. It got a textured surface that prevents slip and provides you with good control over the knife while cutting. For beginners, the knife has a convenient protective finger guard.
You can hand wash the blade as well as the handle easily. The edge will not get damaged due to the wash, unlike cheaper carbon steel knives. If you are looking for a curved boning knife without spending much, this can be a great deal to consider.
Dexter Russell Sani Safe White Boning Knife
Even if you are not familiar with all types of knives that are used in the kitchen, you can still easily distinguish a boning knife by its thin and narrow construction. This one from Dexter-Russell is no expectation. It got the most preferable built that professionals like when it comes to de-boning meat.
The blade on this knife is curved and flexible enough to handle boning, skinning, trimming, and other cutting purposes with great efficiency. Like most flexible boning knives, its 6-inch size is perfect for both professional and home kitchen purposes.
As the knife is made of high-quality carbon steel, the sharpness of its blade is impressive. Its razor-sharp blade is more than enough for boning, brisket cutting, skinning, trimming, and other similar using purposes. You will find it extremely sharp right out of the box and ready to handle any cutting tasks flawlessly.
If a knife doesn’t have a good handle, the knife will not bring any good or add value regardless of how sharp the blade is. Dexter seems to understand the fact quite well, and used a convenient grip-tex handle to make you feel comfortable while holding the knife. Also, the size of the handle is ideal for any using purpose.
Unlike cheaper materials, you don’t need to put much effort while sharpening its carbon steel blade. Once you start using the knife, it will be quite difficult for you to switch to another knife. This is the best flexible boning knife you can get within this price range.
How to Use a Boning Knife?
Depending on what you want to cut using a boning knife, the cutting techniques will vary. However, there are a few things common, no matter what you cut using the knife.
You must make sure the handle gets you enough grip to hold firmly yet comfortably while using. Place your forefinger behind the finger protective notch. It’s really important that you place your finger properly because your finger can slide on the blade accidentally, and cut the finger.
If you want to separate meat from bones, you can hold the handle wrapping with all your fingers or pinch the blade between forefinger and thumb, and wrap the rest of the fingers around the handle. Pinch grip provides you a firm grip that will not slip easily while working; thus, you will have much better control over the knife.
When it comes to using a boning knife for removing skin and filleting, you can hold the knife more comfortably as cutting techniques don’t require applying much force in these cases.
You can use a boning knife for versatile purposes. These knives are ideal for removing meat from bones, removing skin and fat, breaking down a big chicken or turkey, rack of lamb, tenderloin, fish fillet, and much more.
You can also use the knife for preparing fruit or peeling rough and thick fruit skin, and even dealing with bake foods such as cakes, breads, cookies, and more.
Boning Knife vs Fillet Knife
Even though both boning and fillet knives look identical and can be used for the same purposes, these are two different knives designed for handling different tasks.
Nothing beats a boning knife when it comes to boning or skinning chicken and slicing beef. Professional chefs use such knives to separate or remove meat from bones.
When it comes to handling a big size fish for filleting, a fillet knife is all you need. If you use one knife for the same purpose, you will feel the difference. You can use a boning knife to fillet fish, but it will not be as convenient as using a fillet knife.
Compared to a fillet knife, a boning knife has a wider and bigger blade. This is due to the fact that handling chicken, beef, or other meats with bones requires applying more pressure and force. Whereas, fish don’t require much effort to fillet. Thus, a narrow blade with a tiny tip is more than enough for filtering purposes.
But, if you are left with only one option, either knife can somehow manage to handle boning tasks quite well.
Curved vs Straight Boning Knife
Blade of boning knives is found either in curved or straight shape. Both have excellent sharpness to be able to handle de-boning, trimming, skinning, filleting quite well. However, one has the upper hand over another when it comes to some cutting tasks.
Curved shape blades do a great job of preparing chicken or turkey. The extra angular shape allows the blade to reach further to cut meats that are close to the bones. Narrow blades also remove fish skin with a swipe. You can make long and clean strokes through fish flesh as well.
Straight boning knives, on the other hand, are great for removing thicker meats such as beef. If you are not separating the bones completely from the meats, a boning knife with a straight blade will be more than enough.
Which one you should buy totally depends on your preference. Some find straight blades to be able to handle all types of boning tasks, whereas some always prefer a curved one for boning chicken and turkey.
Types of Boning Knives
Boning knives are primarily of two types; stiff and flexible.
Stiff Boning Knife
Stiff boning knife features a wider blade and are ideal for cutting thicker meats and bones. Flexibility on the knife is low or zero because a flexible blade cannot handle thicker meats and bones quite well; the blade can break when force or pressure is applied.
If you are to deal with beef, a stiff knife is the one to go with.
Flexible Boning Knife
A flexible boning knife is preferable to those who mostly deal with smaller sized meat and less thick bones. Chicken and turkey can easily be de-boned using the knife. Moreover, chicken meats have a lot of greases, thus, having a flexible blade provides enhanced control while using the knife.
So, when the goal is to remove meats from chicken, turkey, flesh from fish, you will need a flexible boning knife.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a boning knife?
A: A boning knife is a commonly used kitchen cutting tool that is used for separating meat from bones. The blade is extremely sharp on this knife and measures 5 to 8 inches long. Some knives have curved and flexible blades to conveniently process meat.
Q: What is a boning knife used for?
A: Like most other knives, boning knives have some specific tasks to handle; also, these can be used for other cutting purposes related to cooking and baking. You can use a boning knife to remove bone, fat, skin from the meat, trim, separate joints, fillet fish flesh, chop vegetables, and many more cutting tasks without any issue.
Q: What is the best boning knife for deer?
A: If you go in the wild often, and hunt deer, in that case, a boning knife with a curved blade would be an ideal knife for this purpose. Both stiff and flexible blades will provide you great control while processing deer meat. You can also use the knife for chicken and fish.
Q: How to sharpen a boning knife?
A: You can easily sharpen your boning knife using a sharpening stone. Simply hold the knife and gently slide it on the sharpening stone at 15 degrees angle for about 10 times. It will regain the sharpness on the blade. There are lots of videos on the internet showing how to properly sharpen a knife.
Q: What kind of knife do you use to cut a beef tenderloin?
A: Using a straight and non-flexible boning knife would be the right for processing beef tenderloin.
Once you get the best boning knife for your needs, you will be able to handle de-boning and other meat processing tasks with great efficiency. Be sure to take good care of the knife if the blade is made of carbon steel or Japanese steel as these are prone to chip.
Also, consider washing the knife following the manufacturer’s instruction to keep the sharpness optimum for longer.