Do I Need a Butcher's Knife Set?

Of all the knife sets available, you may purchase a single, large butcher’s knife in the hope that this will meet all of your meat butchery needs. While these knives are super-efficient, they’re often too big for certain tasks. If you want the butchery process to be made easier, you’ll be better off investing in a full butcher knife set. 

But what do you get in a complete set and is it really worth the money? In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the usage of the different blades and items you’ll find included and why they’re so important.

Table of contents

What Is a Butcher's Knife?

As its name suggests, butcher knives are designed for use by butchers, chefs or for any home cook working with meat. These knives have a curved blade and are quite long and thick. You’ll often see hunters and pro chefs using these knives as they make cutting meat so easy.

The convenience comes from the curved blade allows the chef to work around skin bones more fluidly while the long blade makes a devastatingly smooth cut. Moreover, this knife is always incredibly sharp so you get a clean cut without any tearing of the meat and can cut the meat effortlessly...

The durability of the knives comes from a blade that is thick, scratch-resistant and normally made from heavy-duty steel, with a handle with an ergonomic design and comfortable grip that feels good in your hand. Let’s just say, if you ever work with meat, this tool is a must!

Do I Really Need a Complete Set of Butchers Knives?

Working in the kitchen does require a lot of equipment, tools and accessories especially if you want to get things done as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.

Hearing about the efficiency of the butcher’s knife, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is no need for an entire set. However, you could well be mistaken. You see, while these knives are great, they’re often too big and have too much power for more intricate work like boning and they’re certainly nowhere near flexible enough for filleting.

This is why it’s important to get your hands on a complete set of butcher knives that offer versatility when it comes to cutting meat. Fortunately, there are several other versions of the butcher’s knife so this versatility can be obtained easily.

What Knives Are Included in a Butcher Knife Set?

If you’re looking to shop for and purchase good-quality butcher knife sets then you’ll need to get better acquainted with what’s inside before you spend your money. Let’s explore the details for the different types of knife within the set and what you’ll use them for.

The Cimeter

You might not use the cimeter knife in a domestic kitchen as these items are usually reserved for cutting larger pieces of meat into individual portions; for example, in a supermarket or butcher shop where a butcher is cutting up individual pieces of steak.

They’re very similar to regular butcher knives on account of their curved blades but they’re typically much wider.

The Boning Knife


Boning knives come in various forms and use similar technologies. Sometimes the blades are rigid and other times, they’re more flexible. You’ll also notice that some are curved while others are straight, and the blades can differ in length. Regardless of the design, these knives are intended for removing meat effortlessly from the bone and they do so thanks to a greater ability to cut smoothly around it.

You would choose a flexible boning knife when you need to get into tighter spaces but these knives are always long and thin to allow access to hard-to-reach parts of the carcass.

The Filleting Knife


You could be forgiven for thinking that the filleting knife was the same as the boning knife but there is something of a difference. They both have long thin blades but this type of knife is not designed for boning but rather for making fillets or for large pieces or single piece of meat. It’s as simple as that!

The Cleaver


While a lot of knives have a pointed tip, you can find a cleaver with a square one. The blade is much broader on a cleaver and is a lot more lightweight. You’d probably imagine a butcher using one of these knives when chopping meats on a block.

And that’s the primary reason for their existence. Cleavers are ideal to create up and down cutting motions. What’s more, the blade is designed to be able to resist breaking and damage, even with heavy-duty hacking. They’ll cut very easily through dense meat and are ideal as a bone-breaking knife.

The Skinning Knife

If you are cooking with meat that still has the skin on, and this or any fat needs to be removed and you’ll require a very special type of blade known as a skinning knife.

Unlike boning knives, these blades are much shorter and wider but they aren’t extremely flexible. As well as skinning the animal, these knives also allow you to gut it which is why they’re often favoured by hunters.

The Slicing Knife

We would be wrong to confuse this with a carving knife despite the fact that both are designed for cutting or portioning up meats.

While a carving knife tends to be quite wide in nature, the slicing knife has a thinner blade. They’re available in varying degrees of rigidity with more flexible slicing knives being perfect for control with preparing firmer meats.

The Carving Knife


Once you have cooked your food and it’s time to serve, you’ll need a knife that will portion out the meat as desired. That’s where your carving knife becomes indispensable. It features a long blade with a sharp edge that is easily able to cut through cartilage and dense meat.

You’ll see these knives being used for all kinds of meats and they’ll allow you to portion things out easily. The non-stick design further improves the ease of use.


Take Care of Your Butcher Knife Set

Once you’ve been able to shop for and purchase your butcher knife set, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. But don't worry, you can protect it to ensure a long life by providing the best care for your butcher’s knife set.

Try to avoid cleaning the knives in the dishwasher as this will lead to lose their edge and become corroded more quickly. It could also cause the handle to break. Additionally, you should always ensure they’re properly dry before storing them.

To maintain your tools, it’s a good idea to avoid cutting too many tough foods and bone as this will make your blade dull more quickly. Furthermore, you should avoid using the knives on hard surfaces; a wood chopping board will be gentlest on your blades. Of course, regular honing and sharpening will fix this problem.

Final Thoughts

If you regularly prepare and cook meats then you’ll need a good set of knives. A set of butcher’s knives is diverse enough to tackle all of the tasks you’ll be doing including skinning, boning, portioning and much more.

Butcher knife sets can include lots of different items for a reduced price and can be very affordable.

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