Kitchen Must-Haves: The 5 Best Boning Knife

Though its name may imply otherwise, a boning knife has a lot more to offer than just deboning. Once you start using it, you will discover that its curvy and flexible blade is highly versatile. And, it is a great way to better your knife skills.

A boning knife is thin and long and it helps you cut through meat easily and eliminate bones. Similarly to fillet knives, their blades are highly flexible. The blade has a sharp tip for the optimal piercing of the meat.

Craftsy explains that the best boning knife has a blade which is between 5 and 7 inches long. Firmer blades are more useful for beef while the fewer firm blades are more suitable for leaner meat like a chicken. Sharpen Up point out that removal of skin from meat or fish is essential in averting the meat from becoming tough and chewy once cooked.

If you are still searching for the best boning knife for you, no worries! Below, check our review on the 5 best boning knives that are a must for this year.

Quick Comparison

Best Boning Knife Reviews

1. Wusthof Boning Knife

Wusthof’s 4603 6-Inch Boning Knife is a masterpiece in the world of knives. And, it is suitable for both home and professional cooks. It is precisely forged from a single blank of high-carbon stainless steel (Precision Edge Technology) while its blade is 20 percent sharper and its edge retention is twice higher. You can easily control the movements thanks to the triple-riveted full tang. It has a protective bolster that will keep your fingers safe.

Though it is safe for dishwasher washing, it is better to wash it by hand. Its high-end materials and design make it ideal for deboning chicken or ham or for trimming fat and sinews. The blade is very thin and flexible and thus, you can also use it for filleting or to prepare a delicious Carpaccio with ease. This knife will always bring excellent results and better your culinary experience.

However, this may not be a good option for you if you prefer Japanese steel.

2. Mercer Culinary Millennia Curved Boning Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia Curved 6-Inch Boning Knife is made with superior quality Japanese steel which is non-staining and resistant to discoloration and rusting. When properly taken care of, the knife will maintain its sharpness and performance for a long period of time.

Its aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically designed handle is made from Santoprene for high comfort and polypropylene for longevity. The textured finger points located on the handle enable slip resistance and a strong grip. The manufacturers of this knife are an established brand in the culinary world present for more than 30 years.

If you choose this knife, you will not just get high performance, but a limited lifetime warranty too. This product is also NSF certified, i.e. Mercer Millennia knives meet the safety, performance, and quality standards; so, you cannot make a mistake with this knife.

You will easily “fall in love” with its curvy edge which is useful for trimming fat and sinews, but for poultry, fish, and even bread. Interestingly, the color-coded handle lowers contamination and adds a touch of creativity in your kitchen.

This boning knife may not be the best choice for you if you dislike too long and tall blades- it may not fit in standard blocks for knives.

3. Victorinox 6-Inch Boning Knife

Victorinox’s 6-Inch Boning Knife with Semi-Stiff blade helps you make effortless cuts through bone and cartilage and around chops and ribs. If you buy this knife, you will get a lightweight and comfortable knife with a slip-resistant handle and a curviness that optimizes the working angle.

Made with high-carbon stainless steel, the blade is razor-sharp and resistant to corrosion and rusting.

The Fibrox handle is slip-resistant, textured, and ergonomically designed for comfort and balance during usage. This knife is NSF approved and made by skilled Swiss craftsmen.

You will also get a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. The straight blade is ideally tapered and the absence of serrations helps you make the perfect cuts. Stamped for precision and durability, this is a smart investment- you get an affordable, yet good quality boning knife.

However, it is recommendable for boning poultry and fish only; for bigger and sturdier meat, it is advisable to go with another type of boning knife.

4. Shun Premier Gokujo Boning Knife

Shun’s TMD0774 Premier Gokujo 6-Inch Boning Knife is a high-end product with excellent performance and longevity. The highly sharp edge of the blade helps you cut close to the bone and trim the skin from roast and tenderloin with low effort.

The blade is sufficiently narrow so that it enables a nice glide through beef, poultry, and fish. It comes with a layered Damascus steel for high strength while the hand-hammered finish is essential to low knife-drag.

Extra thin and razor-sharp, this knife’s blade is a state of the art- a 16-degree blade angle that makes it flexible, yet much sharper than traditional Western knives. The aesthetically pleasing Packwood handles in walnut finish is stylish and satiny.

It is designed to fit the palms and provide safety and comfort during usage. The end cap is enriched with the logo of the company. This is a truly premium boning knife and a “dream come true” for cooks who appreciate quality steel and famous Japanese styling.

A lot of customers are particularly satisfied with the fact that the knife is suitable for both left- and right-handed users.

However, the knife does not come with a sheath.

5. Dexter-Russell 6-Inch Boning Knife

Dexter-Russell’s 6-Inch Boning Knife from the Sani-Safe Series is one of the most affordable boning knives, yet created to last. For a decent price, you can ensure a positive experience in deboning when you start using this knife. Thanks to its long, pointy, and curvy blade, you will smoothly penetrate and slice poultry or fish.

The high-carbon steel blade is hand-sharped and honed and strong and flexible enough to divide meat from bones. It has a Grip-Tex handle which enables an easy, yet strong grip and optimal safety and hygiene (sealed against bacteria).

Users describe it as ‘lightweight boning knife with an excellent angle for trimming skin and fat’. Having this boning knife in your kitchen will definitely make barbeque preparations easier and enjoyable.

Some users were unsatisfied with the knife’s edge retention.

Things to Consider Before Buying

The Miscellaneous Uses of Boning Knives

Separating meat from the bone

A boning knife’s specialty is to help you cut around different shapes of bones in order to separate the meat. Remember, this knife is not mean to cut through the bone, but only to extract the meat from the bone effortlessly.

Separating skin from the meat

Some types of meat, such as chicken, have skin that is usually removed. The best knife for this purpose is a boning knife due to its flexible tip and thinness. Some boning knives are also good for the removal of fish skin.

Cutting baked goods & carving cakes

Believe it or not, your boning knife is your best ally for your endeavors with baking goods. You can use its sharp and flexible blade to create all kinds of cookie forms, from simpler to more complex ones, especially when you do not have a specific cutter shape.

Moreover, it can be of great aid for cakes that need light carving and sculpting prior to decoration. Though it is not as ideal as a kit for cake carving, it certainly comes in handy.

Cutting fruits

To remove the skin from mango meat, feel free to use a boning knife. Or, get rid of an apple’s or pear’s core in one or two precise cuts with your boning knife.

How to Properly Take Care of Your Boning Knife

Once you have found the best boning knife for you, it is pivotal to take proper care of it so that it lasts. Here are a couple of useful tips that you should take into account prior to making a purchase:

  • Avoid leaving your knife in the sink; instead, wash it right after use. If you have to wait, make sure you leave them on the countertop.
  • Though a lot of knives these days are considered dishwasher-safe, wash your boning knife by hand. By not doing this, you are risking scratches on the blade, pitting, discoloration, etc. Use warm water, soap, and sponge for and make sure you towel-dry them. Leftover moisture can contribute to mold and rust.
  • Choose adequate surfaces when using the knife, i.e. a cutting board made from traditional hardwood. You can also use a plastic one, but, always disinfect it optimally after usage.
  • To cut in the right way, you need to use a rocking motion while maintaining the tip of the knife in contact with the surface as much as possible. Never scrape the blade’s edge on the board- use the back of the blade for collecting piles of chopped or sliced food.
  • Use your boning knife for the purposes it is intended for; misuse of your boning knife can result in damage of the knife or an injury.

How to Keep Your Boning Knife Sharp?

Dull blades will not just impede the deboning process, but they can increase the chances for injuries. It is best to sharpen the knife’s blade on a yearly basis while the need to honing on a more regular basis.

You will need adequate tools to perform honing and sharpening and also to know how to use these tools properly. If you are unsure, you can always rely on professional knife-sharpening services in your area.

What to Look for in a Boning Knife

A quality boning knife goes a long way. Therefore, it is crucial that we know what makes a boning knife a good one. Before you start your “hunt” for a boning knife, you should know some important factors. Check them out in the list below:

  • The blade needs to be very sharp in order to cut close to the bone; this allows for steady pressure while cutting and no meat left behind
  • The blade should not be too long or too short; go with a blade with 5 to 6 inches long. This length is ideal for cutting through slabs of meat with minimum effort and optimal control of the movements
  • Its handle needs to be heavier than the blade to have more control while working and to perform precise cuts
  • Often times, you may be using your boning knife for more challenging tasks or with wet or slippery fingers. So, to prevent the fingers from sliding towards the blade, it is important to look for boning knives with a protective bolster (this additional piece is added in the space between the blade and handle ) for injury-prevention
  • To prevent finger slippage, choose boning knives with a handle made from non-slippery materials; their texture and contour enables excellent grip
  • Avoid ceramic blades as they are more prone to snapping or shattering during contact with bones; instead, choose steel, both strong and flexible one!

Final Thoughts

With certainty, the boning knife is as important for professionals as it is for home cooks. Crucial for deboning meat and filleting fish, this knife is a valuable culinary investment. Whether you need it to prepare cutlets or to trim the skin from poultry, boning knives play a pivotal role.

Thanks to their razor-sharp and flexible blades and ergonomic, non-slippery handles, they allow clean, clear, and lightweight cuts.

All of the above-mentioned models we reviewed are an excellent decision; however, if you are shopping on a budget, you may pass on the Wusthof and the Shun models. If you can spend a bit more, they are a viable option because of their optimal performance, unique design, customer satisfaction, and material quality.

On the other hand, if you are a beginner in the whole world of boning knives, you may want to choose a lighter and more affordable boning knife, which is completely understandable. If this is the case, feel free to go with the Dexter-Russell one because it offers American quality and solid durability and materials.

If you need a boning knife for smaller meat like poultry and fish and want to buy from a trusted brand with NSF-approved products, we warmly recommend the Victorinox one. Japanese steel lovers will definitely appreciate the Mercer Culinary 6-inch boning knife with a long and tall blade and catchy handle design.

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