As a cook and chef, my meal preparation usually includes having to cleanly detach raw or cooked meat from the bones of turkey, chicken breast, or fish- without leaving behind those annoying tiny bones or splinters. Sometimes, I may have to cut through a bone, and my regular kitchen utility knife just won’t cut it.
That is when I reach out for my boning knife. A boning knife is designed to gracefully move around the curves and cuts of meat, allowing you to closely shave meat away from the bone without wasting a morsel. It also removes the tiny, annoying bones from chicken breasts and fish so that you and your loved ones do not accidentally bite on them during your meal. It definitely performs this better than your regular utility knife.
We share a few important tips you need to consider when making your selection of the best boning knife.
A specialized kitchen tool, the boning knife’s blade shape, and flexibility sets it apart from the chef’s knife. It is thin, usually measuring 5 to 7 inches long with a pointed/ tapered tip. Boning knives have different types of blades, which make them suitable for a variety of meat preparations such as skinning, deboning, cutting through joints, and slicing, all without destroying your choice cuts.
A few manufacturers extend the blade to 9 inches to cater for larger catches. These arched blades are most popular with seasoned fishermen because they allow you to pass through the fish once to separate the meat from the bones.
- The somewhat curved flexible blade is best for soft meats like fish. This flexibility guides the blade through fast and with precision.
- The more rigid stiff blade is very sturdy and is suitable for tougher and thicker cuts of meat and joints, especially beef.
- The semi-flexible blade which is a blend of both flexibility and stiffness is best for cutting through chicken and turkey.
This greatly varies from the regular chef’s utility knife, which blade is between 4 to 16 inches long, and 1 ½ inch thick- definitely not ideal for delicate and precise cuts.
MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
In addition to the shape and flexibility of the boning knife, the durability of the materials used and the manufacturing process is also a key feature. Though made of steel, which is highly durable and safe as it will not rust, corrode, or discolor, the process of manufacturing also determines the quality.
Boning knives are made through two main processes:
Stamping, where a continuous sheet of stainless steel is cut into the knife’s shape and is finished by adding a handle, sharpening, and polishing it. It is typically less expensive because the steel is not as strong or thick, and thus has a shorter life span. Sharpening it is also dependent on the flexibility of the blade, as the highly flexible blade will be difficult to sharpen on a whetstone. This makes it suitable for those in search of affordable cutlery.
A boning knife made through the forging process, where hot steel is hammered into the shape of the knife, allowing the molecule to bind closer together. A bolster, the mound of metal between the handle and the blade, is then created before a handle is attached. The forged boning knife is stronger, thicker, easier to sharpen and though more pricey, it is durable.
Finally, we look at an important part of the boning knife- the handle, which is typically made of wood, plastic/ rubber blends, or steel. Wooden handles are aesthetically pleasing, though they splinter and rot easily and are not highly hygienic. Plastic/ rubber blend handles are stronger and more durable and are more hygienic; while steel handles are the most durable, but watch out for their slipperiness when wet.
Additionally, as this is a relatively small knife that requires finesse and precision in use, it’s important to consider the weighting ratio. The best boning knife should have a handle that is heavier than its blade. A heavier handle places more control in your hand, allowing you to make precise movements and cuts than if your knife was evenly weighted or heavier in the blade.
Finding a boning knife with a heavier handle shouldn’t be very difficult. The slim design of the typical boning blade reduces its weight, creating the desired balance. It is advisable to find a knife which is full tang and features both a steel bolster and a steel end cap.
We can now narrow down on the best boning knife based on the features discussed above.
THE TOP 7 BEST BONING KNIVES
A well- crafted, simple and elegant kitchen tool, it is made in Taiwan from high-carbon, no stain German cutlery steel and will not rust, corrode or discolor. Forged with precision for comfort, balance, strength, and durability, the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6 –inch boning knife features a bolster that is well proportioned, and strengthens the knife and enhances its durability. A short bolster is also available if this is your preference.
It has a comfortable Santrophene (plastic/ rubber blend) handle that makes it easy to grip the knife properly, whether wet or dry. This handle is strong, withstands extreme temperatures, and does not disintegrate from exposure to oils, heat, or cold.
The taper-ground edge provides it with stability, easy honing, durable sharpness, and the sharp blade makes it highly efficient for removing meat from bones, cutting, and chopping.
Its maintenance if simple. Wash by hand in warm soapy water, dry and keep it in a knives sheath. The sheath protects the edges for longevity, and avoiding the dishwasher ensures no damage from heat and detergents.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6 –inch boning knife is certified by NSF for meeting the safety, quality, and performance standards, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Quality craftsmanship
- Full tang for comfortable knife handling
- Ergonomic non-slip handle
- Friendly price
From the Classic line of German cutlery maker Wusthof, we find the flexible boning knife with a 6-inch blade. Weighing only 0.33lbs, the Classic 6″ Flexible Boning Knife has a long, narrow blade to glide cleanly along with the bones for clean cuts, and a uniquely curved taper from the heel to belly that is ideal for difficult boning tasks. It’s the ideal boning knife for chicken, turkey, pork, or beef. It is also very easy to maneuver big game and around small bones such as in fish fillet, due to its flexibility.
The boning knife that measures 12.5 inches tip to tip, has a full bolster that drops down to form a finger guard that prevents fingers from slipping along the cutting edge when handling greasy skin and fat. It is one of the most flexible boning knives in the market.
The Classic features a full tang, attached with three stainless steel rivet, giving it control precision, strength and a permanent bond to its new handle design. This new handle design is made from highly durable synthetic Polyoxymethylene (POM), which has a tight molecular structure that is fade and discolor resistant.
Forged with precision from a single blank of high-carbon stainless steel, the blade is tough, ground with Wusthof’s Precision Edge Technology (PET) and has been hand-honed for 20% greater sharpness, twice the cutting edge retention without chipping. This definitely assures you of the strength and durability suitable for home and commercial use.
Topped by a traditional look and comfortable hand feel and balance, the Classic 6- inch is dishwasher safe, and comes with a beautiful leather sheath for storage. It has a limited lifetime warranty.
- Dishwasher safe
- Leather sheath
- Lifetime warranty
- Handle design and material
- Friendly price
Expertly crafted in Ibach, Switzerland since 1884 by world renowned makers of the Swiss Army Knife, this carving knife is highly rated for its quality and fair price. It easily trims and removes meat, fish, and poultry from the bone, and is suitably designed for professionals’ daily use.
The stamped stainless steel blade is thin, curved and semi-stiff, with a razor-sharp edge that provides a perfect working angle. It also features a bolster-less edge that allows for the full use of the entire blade, including its sharpening. It accurately and effortlessly follows the natural curve of the meat, easily cutting through skin, tendons, fat, and bones. At 16.2 inches from tip to tip, this is a long knife but with a standard blade length of 6 inches.
Additionally, the high carbon stainless-steel blade is ice tempered to provide maximum and sustained sharpness and edge retention. Highly durable, it is also resistant to corrosion, wear and tear.
With a longer Fibrox handle that is POM (plastic over molded), it won’t crack after prolonged use and ensures that there will be no separation between the handle and blade. It is textured and slip resistant, whether your boning task is wet or greasy, it provides for a safe and firm grip, especially for petite hands. Ergonomically designed for supreme balance, maneuverability and comfort no matter the size of the hand, the Victorinox 6- inch knife is lightweight, durable and hygienic.
Hand washing and immediate drying of the Victorinox 6-inch boning knife is recommended for its enhanced safety and durability. It is NSF approved for safety, quality and performance standards.
A lifetime quality guarantee against materials and manufacturer’s defects is provided for this knife.
- Durable and lightweight handle
- Highest sanitary standards
- Lifetime warranty
- Sharp for precise cuts
- Fair price
Crafted to perfection by Japanese company Global, the Cromova G-21 is one of the best boning knives in the market. Made of the finest stainless steel called CROMOVA 18 (chromium, molybdenum and vanadium), the blade has a unique convex edge that will not rust or stain, is sturdy, powerful while still flexible.
The blade is ice tempered and hardened, giving the edge a razor sharpness that is retained exceptionally well. The appealing design of the knife is completed by a hollow stainless-steel handle that is hygienic, as no food particles will be embedded in it. This handle is ergonomically molded for enhanced comfort and dimpled for a safe slip- resistant grip. Its desired weight and perfect balance is achieved by injecting a precise amount of sand into the hollow handle, and this sand flows inside the handle as the blade is maneuvered.
Although at 6.25 inches the blade is longer than that of average boning knives, it is lightweight, and with a handle that is smaller than traditional boning knives in the market, is easy for small handed cooks to grasp. The knife measures 14.6 inches from tip to tip, giving it good balance.
Safety when using the Cromova G-21 boning knife is enhanced by a finger notch that is present between the blade and the handle, which prevent you from accidental cuts.
The knife is flexible and strong yet lightweight, and it trims and cuts through any type of meats with precision. It easily glides through tendons and cartilage spots, and its flexibility allows you to turn the blade in mid cut or slice into tight spots.
Its maintenance is simple, hand washing with warm soapy water and drying thoroughly. It is best sharpened using a ceramic sharpener or a diamond steel.
The Cromova G-21 comes with a lifetime warranty against defects and breakage.
- High tech blade material and construction
- Longer blade, yet lightweight
- Razor edge retention
- Weighted hollow handle design and material
Created in 1895, this Classis 5.5 inch boning knife boasts of high quality and exceptional value in a small frame. This knife, weighing only 3.2 ounces and measuring 15 inches from tip to tip, has a shorter semi flexible blade but is extremely stable, solid and strong.
Spanish made and fabricated from high quality German carbon no stain stainless steel that strengthens its durability, it has a professional, fine edge satin finished blade that is finely honed for long lasting sharpness with its straight cutting edge and firm tip.
A fully forged construction provides balance and a seamless transition from blade to handle. This full bolster is a guarantee of added weight and safety. It is perfect for separating meat and poultry from bone, and for fabricating fish. The blade is flexible enough to bend when it needs to, yet stiff enough to be able to cut through cartilage with minimal effort.
This small, slim and lightweight knife has a traditional triple- rivet classic design handle that is durable, comfortable and unbreakable. On its ergonomics, it encourages tireless cutting while providing balance and comfort and ease of use.
Identified as being dishwasher safe, this value driven brand will not disappoint.
- German quality steel blade
- Small size with solid strength
- Full forge construction
- Dishwasher safe
Designed with outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning award winning design elements, and premium materials, the Dalstrong Flexible Boning Knife- Gladiator series guarantees you peak performance.
Described as a chef and butchers best friend, this knife has been carefully designed to ensure an efficient and satisfying experience in de-boning, filleting, skinning, trimming and butterflying all your favorite meats. It has a narrow blade that is flexible, shaped to seamlessly glide along the contours of bones, effortlessly curving either direction when separating pork, beef, and wild game away. The tapered tip provides flexibility and minimal slicing resistance, even within difficult to reach areas.
The Gladiator Series blade is precision forged from a single piece of imported premium quality, high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel, ensuring an ultra-sharp edge with excellent wear and stain resistance. Hand sharpened to 18 degrees per side for the perfect balance between blade sharpness and maximum resilience, the tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity.
Featuring a beautiful, ergonomic and ambidextrous imported black pakka wood handle imported from Spain, it is laminated with Dalstrong PerfectFit sheath, a water and stain resistant, BPA free protective film. This gives it extra strength, high sanitation standards, and water/stain resistance. A mirror polished, finger protective bolster provides a perfectly engineered balance and weight.
A second stainless steel bolster (end cap) adds counter balance, ensuring your hands do not slip. The triple rivets (with the signature Dalstrong center rivet) in the handle ensures the highest level of strength and robustness. Perfect balance is provided with the 15.3 inch length from tip to tip and 6 inch blade.
Carefully designed for maximum comfort and maneuverability, the DALSTRONG Flexible Boning Knife – Gladiator Series comes in a protective sheath in a case that also has a polishing cloth and fancy magnetic cardboard box, for storage.
- Elegant hand-polished blade with satin finish
- Premium and durable materials
- Cutting edge technology
- PerfectFit Sheath
- Double stainless steel bolster
- Handle material
- Lifetime Warranty
- 100% money back guarantee
The LedgeON boning knife is one product that undergoes multiple detailed hand inspections to ensure the high quality demands of the manufacturer are maintained. This boning knife is made from a high carbon stainless steel which has undergone a unique forging process to optimize the blade’s sharpness, edge retention and corrosion resistance.
It features a properly balanced 6- inch narrow and tapered blade that allows for precise close to the bone cuts and thin slicing, to ensure clean separation of meat and bone. Further, the blade is hand polished with a satin finish to give it a beautiful and elegant look. The LedgeON has a full tang blade of 12.4 inches that makes it safe, balanced with a comfortable and robust feel.
The tapered bolster gives an enhanced grip, while the ergonomic triple riveted pakka wood handle provides comfort and control.
The LedgeON has a hook hole in the blade that allows you to hang it off the countertop, and is best sharpened with a ceramic honing rod.
LedgeON Professional boning knife comes in an attractive retro black and white package, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Professional quality
- Carbon steel blade
- Great edge retention
- Attractive box and gift wrap
Choosing the best boning knife should entail much more than just looking at the price- there will always be high end and low end knives in the market. However, do not sacrifice the quality of your boning knife for price.
Select the best boning knife based on the lifetime value it will offer you- the precision of the cuts that it will provide, the sturdy steel design, and safe comfortable handle that will last numerous years of use without breaking or falling apart from the blade. If they are easy to use and make you feel like a professional chef- go for it.