Best-Boning-Knives

The 10 Best Boning Knives for Budget-Friendly Home Butchery

A boning knife is not just for butchers! A boning knife will allow you to buy larger good quality cuts of meat and prepare them yourself using some basic butchery - a great way to save money as you do not have to pay extra for meat that has already been cut into smaller pieces.

A boning knife can also double as a fillet knife and is often useful for other kitchen jobs such as paring soft skinned fruits. In this review we take a look at some of the best boning knives available to see what they can offer to your kitchen economy and if you read on, you can also find out more about the boning knife and why it is so suited to this task and why it is safer to use than other kitchen knives for meat preparation.

​Best Pick

Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Flexible Boning Knife

Our Best Pick is the NSF certified Mercer Culinary Genesis 6" flexible boning knife with its 58 Rockwell hardness and lifetime limited warranty.

​Budget Pick

Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Boning Knife

Our Budget Pick is the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 6" flexible boning knife with its lightweight high carbon stainless steel blade and non-slip Fibrox Pro handle.


1. ​Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Flexible Boning Knife  

Highlighted Features

  • Precision forged full tang 6" flexible boning knife
  • Made with no stain high carbon German steel for corrosion, stain and rust resistance
  • Blade has a taper ground edge and 58 Rockwell hardness
  • Ergonomic handle is santoprene to withstand extreme temperatures and kitchen oils
  • Comes with a lifetime limited warranty and is NSF certified

The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6" flexible boning knife is high carbon and no stain German steel, resistant to corrosion, rust and staining. This is a precision forged, full tang knife with a taper ground edge for easy honing and Rockwell hardness of 58.

Its black ergonomic santoprene handle can withstand extreme temperatures and kitchen oils and this NSF certified knife also comes with a lifetime limited warranty. This boning knife should be washed by hand rather than in the dishwasher, and the odd buyer has commented that the handle/weight is a little on the heavy side for a boning knife. This knife does not come with a blade guard or sheath.

​Pros

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    6" flexible boning knife
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    High carbon no stain German steel
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    58 Rockwell
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    Lifetime limited warranty
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    NSF certified

​Cons

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    Some have found this on the heavy side for a boning knife
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    Does not come with a blade guard
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    Not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher

2. Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Boning Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" flexible boning knife with an ‘s’ shaped blade
  • Lightweight and made from European high carbon stainless steel
  • The Fibrox Pro handle is non-slip and designed to minimize hand and wrist fatigue
  • Is dishwasher safe, although hand washing recommended and is NSF certified
  • Manufactured in Switzerland and comes with a lifetime limited warranty

With a lightweight European high carbon stainless steel blade, the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 6" flexible boning knife is Swiss-manufactured and has an ‘s’ shaped flexible blade for removing meat and fish from the bone. The Fibrox Pro handle is non-slip and ergonomic for a secure and comfortable grip and designed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue.

This knife comes with a lifetime limited warranty, is NSF approved and can be cleaned in the dishwasher, although the manufacturer recommends that this knife is washed by hand. A number of owners have found that this knife will not keep its sharp edge for as long as expected when using it and it does not come with a blade guard.

​Pros

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    6" flexible boning knife
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    European high carbon stainless steel
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    Fibrox Pro handle
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    Lifetime limited warranty
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    NSF certified

​Cons

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    Although dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends that it be hand washed
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    May not keep a sharp edge for as long as expected
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    Does not come with a blade guard

3. DALSTRONG Phantom 6½" Boning & Fillet Knife

Highlighted Features

  • A 58+ Rockwell hardness 6½" boning & fillet knife
  • Hollow ground for least resistance and the blade edge is nitrogen cooled and honed to 13° to 15°
  • The D shaped handle is made from black pakkawood
  • Comes with a DragonLock sheath for safety
  • Has a satisfaction/money back guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty

Produced from Japanese high carbon AUS-8 steel and with a 58+ Rockwell hardness, the DALSTRONG Phantom 6½" boning & fillet knife is designed for sharpness, edge retention and durability. This knife is hollow ground for minimal resistance and the blade edge has been honed to 13° to 15° and nitrogen cooled.

This has a black pakkawood D shaped handle and comes with a satisfaction guarantee as well as lifetime limited warranty against defects. This knife also has a DragonLock sheath for safety, although some buyers are concerned that the mechanism on the sheath is less than secure.

An odd number of buyers have been disappointed that this does not hold an edge for as long as it should do, and it may also need sharpening before it is used for the first time. You may also find the blade less flexible than other boning knives which means it may not be as suitable for filleting fish with.

​Pros

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    6½" boning & fillet knife
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    58+ Rockwell
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    Pakkawood handle
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    Comes with a sheath
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    ​The sheath design is not as secure as it could be
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    ​The blade is less flexible than other types of boning knife so may not be as useful when filleting fish
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    ​Some buyers have found that this knife can struggle to hold its edge

4. Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A flexible high carbon steel 6" boning knife
  • The blade is hand sharpened and honed
  • The white Grip-Tex handle is sealed around the blade to prevent bacterial build-up
  • Suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher

The Dexter Russell 6" boning knife (S131F-6PCP) has a high carbon steel blade which is curved and flexible and has been hand sharpened and honed. This boning knife has a white Grip-Tex handle which is sealed around the blade to prevent bacteria from accumulating. It does not come with a sheath.

This knife can dull quickly and will need frequent honing during use to keep it sharp. Although this can be washed in the dishwasher, as a high carbon blade, it will be more at risk of discoloring or rusting.

​Pros

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    6" boning flexible knife
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    High carbon steel
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    Hand sharpened and honed
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    Sealed Grip-Tex handle

​Cons

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    You will need to hone this frequently during use to keep it sharp
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    Can dull faster than other boning knives
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    Although dishwasher safe there is more risk of the high carbon blade rusting or discoloring

5. SKY LIGHT Boning Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" boning knife with 58+ Rockwell hardness
  • Made from German high carbon stainless steel
  • Has been honed to a 17° angle and nitrogen cooled
  • Black ergonomic handle made from military grade high polymer for resistance to temperature extremes
  • Has a satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty

The SKY LIGHT Classic 6" boning knife is made from German high carbon stainless steel and its narrow and curved blade is designed as a multipurpose boning knife. This blade is hand polished and the blade edge is honed to a 17° angle and nitrogen cooled to enhance the hardness. This knife is 58+ Rockwell hardness and its ergonomic handle is made from military grade high polymer for temperature resistance.

It comes with a satisfaction or money back guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty. This may not be quite as flexible as other boning knives so may not suit all boning tasks, and although this knife is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended. It does not come with a blade guard.

​Pros

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    6" boning knife
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    German high carbon stainless steel
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    58+ Rockwell
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    Military grade handle
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    This knife is not as flexible as other types of boning knife
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    Although dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended

6. Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" boning knife with a narrow and curved blade to reduce drag
  • The core is VG-MAX steel and is clad with stainless steel for a Damascus finish
  • The D-shaped pakkawood handle offers a secure and comfortable grip
  • Has free sharpening for life and comes with a lifetime limited warranty

The Shun Classic 6" boning knife has a narrow and curved blade to reduce drag when boning and filleting. The double bevel blade is sharpened to a 17° angle and has a VG-MAX steel core clad with layers of stainless steel to give a Damascus finish.

The handle is D-shaped and made from pakkawood for a secure and comfortable grip. When this knife is bought from an authorized retailer, it has a lifetime limited warranty and you can also use the Free Sharpening for Life program. As this is more of a curved blade it can take some getting used to when first using and as this blade is not as flexible as other boning knives it may not be suitable for all of your boning or filleting tasks. It does not come with a sheath or blade guard.

​Pros

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    6" boning knife
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    Narrow blade
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    Damascus finish
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    Pakkawood handle
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    The blade is more curved than other types of boning knife
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    Not as flexible so may not be as suitable for all boning and/or filleting jobs
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    Does not come with a sheath or guard

7. UltraSource 6" Boning Knife

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" boning knife with front and rear safety bolsters
  • This is a semi-flexible blade made from high carbon molybdenum steel for edge retention and rust resistance
  • The textured yellow handle is antibacterial fused, and liquid welded where it meets the blade
  • Manufacturer recommends that this is hand washed to retain its sharp edge

The semi-flexible UltraSource 6" boning knife has a high carbon molybdenum steel blade which has been cryogenically/nitrogen treated to retain its edge for longer and resist rust. The yellow handle is textured and antibacterial fused and has been liquid welded where it meets the blade to prevent bacteria from accumulating. The handle also has a front and rear safety bolster.

The manufacturer recommends that this knife is hand washed to retain its sharp edge. Some owners have found this knife does not keep its edge and as a semi-flexible blade it will better suit larger boning tasks where blade flexibility is not as much of an issue.

​Pros

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    6" boning knife
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    High carbon molybdenum steel
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    Antibacterial handle
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    Safety bolsters

​Cons

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    May not keep its edge as well as expected
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    Better suits larger boning tasks with its semi-flexible blade

8. Global Cromova 6¼" Boning Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6¼" flexible boning knife made from hard molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel
  • Has a safety finger notch between the blade and handle
  • Ergonomic handle which is dimpled to prevent slipping
  • Has a lifetime limited warranty against defects and breakages from the manufacturer

The Global Cromova 6¼" boning knife has a lightweight and flexible blade made from hard molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel to retain its sharp edge for longer. This knife does not have a bolster and its stainless steel handle contains sand to balance it against the blade.

It has a finger notch between the blade and the handle for safety and the handle is ergonomic; molded to fit the hand and dimpled to prevent slipping. This knife also comes with a lifetime limited warranty against defects and breakages.

The handle of this knife is on the smaller side so may not suit larger hands and as a lightweight knife, you may not be as keen on it if you are used to using heavier Western-style knives.

​Pros

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    6¼" flexible boning knife
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    Molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel
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    Has finger notch for safety
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    Ergonomic handle
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    If you have larger hands you may struggling using this smaller-handles knife
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    Not all users are as keen on the lighter weight of this knife

9. Wusthof 4603 Boning Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" flexible boning knife with an extra thin blade and finger guard
  • The blade is specially tempered high carbon steel with a stain resistant alloy
  • Triple riveted and contoured handle
  • Has a manufacturer’s lifetime limited warranty

Forged from specially tempered high carbon steel with a stain resistant alloy, this is a full tang blade which has a triple riveted handle which is contoured with a comfortable grip. This also has a finger guard and a signature bolster end cap. It should be hand washed only and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

The odd owner has commented that this knife is not always flexible enough for filleting fish and the logos can begin to wear off over time with washing.

​Pros

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    6" flexible boning knife
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    Extra thin blade
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    High carbon steel with stain resistant alloy
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    Finger guard
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    May not be flexible enough for some filleting tasks
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    The logos will begin to wear off with repeated washings

​10. Shun TDM0774 Premier Gokujo Boning Fillet Knife 

Highlighted Features

  • A 6" boning and fillet (gokujo) knife with a narrow and curved blade
  • VG-MAX steel core with Damascus cladding
  • Has a tsuchime finish to prevent food from sticking and minimize drag
  • Ergonomic and walnut finish pakkawood handle
  • Comes with a lifetime limited warranty from the manufacturer

The Shun premier gokujo 6" boning and fillet knife has a narrow and curved blade to easily separate meat from bone. This has a VG-MAX steel core and is layered with stainless steel to give a Damascus finish. This also has a hand-hammered or tsuchime finish which helps to reduce drag and prevent food from sticking to the blade.

The blade is honed to a 16° angle and the handle is a walnut finish ergonomic pakkawood handle. The end cap is logo embossed and the knife has a lifetime limited warranty. It does not come with a sheath or blade guard. This knife should only be hand washed and the odd buyer has experienced this knife arriving without a sharp edge. The blade may also be less flexible for filleting fish.

​Pros

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    6" boning and fillet knife
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    VG-MAX steel core
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    Damascus cladding
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    Tsuchime finish
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    Walnut pakkawood handle
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    Lifetime limited warranty

​Cons

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    The odd buyer had has to sharpen this knife before using for the first time
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    The blade may not be flexible enough for all fish filleting tasks
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    Does not come with a sheath

Things-to-Consider-Before-Buying-A-Boning-Knife

Things to Consider Before Buying A Boning Knife

Having a decent boning knife is just not for those who debone and skin their own meat, game or poultry; a boning knife is ideal for kitchen economy. If you have the option to buy a full side of beef, or whole poultry, then with a little light butchering and a decent boning knife, you can get your chest freezer filled and save some money. It also means you can use by-products such as bones and fat for making your own stock with.

For an idea of potential savings, next time you are in the grocery store, compare the price of a whole chicken against chicken pieces. The extra costs on the chicken pieces are because more butchering/processing is needed before they are sold.

Depending on the type of boning knife, it can also be useful for fish filleting and other kitchen tasks such as cutting skins from mangoes and other soft skinned fruits and can even be used for sculpting cake decorations!

A boning knife has a long, thin and flexible blade with a sharp and pointed tip. The sharp tip allows you to pierce the meat with the knife and then lead the cut when you hold it in an overhead dagger-type grip and slice along larger bones.

A boning knife if extremely sharp so it can slice meat rather than ripping it. Although boning can be done with other types of kitchen knives, not only is this more dangerous, but it will not remove as much meat, or remove it as cleanly as a boning knife will. The thin blade of the boning knife also makes de-boning easier as well as faster.

A boning knife should be able to trim off fat and easily cut through ligament and connective tissue – moving around joints and bones to trim away meat. It should also be able to remove silverskin without taking too much meat off. In fact, when a boning knife is used as it should be, there will be very little waste left as the knife removes the meat cleanly from bone and connective tissue without damaging the muscle tissue.

Boning knives also have thin blades, although the thinness of the blade does not always mean it is more flexible than a thicker blade. The thin blade makes it easier to cut smaller angles and when slicing more delicate cuts – a thinner blade will not cause as much damage to the flesh.

A boning knife will not cut through large bones; for this you will need to use a meat cleaver. However, it will cut through small poultry bones, fish bones and cartilage and is also able to lightly scrape along larger bones.

Types of Boning Knife

The type of boning knife you choose is dependent on what you want to use it the most for; thicker or tender cuts. In some cases, you may need a couple of different types of boning knife to best deal with your cutting requirements.

A boning knife will be stiff (less-flexible) or flexible. Those which are more flexible allow easier cutting of difficult shapes although if the blade is too flexible you will struggle to cut thicker and tougher meat as it will force the blade to flex more and veer off course, or even break. A flexible knife is also better for fish filleting as it will allow you to remove the bones easily.

A stiff, or less-flexible boning knife, which may also have a broader blade, can be used to cut wide portions off thicker cuts which can then be cut properly with a more flexible blade.

Boning knives also have two main shapes of blade. Often the larger blade which is less flexible, a straight boning knife suits thicker and larger cuts such as beef, pork and saltwater fish. Useful for separating meat from bone and cutting away fat and connective tissue and remove fat and connective tissue. It can also help with sculpting and fine slicing.

In comparison, the curved boning knife is often smaller with a more flexible blade which is better for de-boning and cutting skin from poultry and fish. Curved knives are also useful for delicate cutting and more tender meats.

A boning knife with a narrow width blade is useful for removing meat around ribs and chops while a knife with a wider or broader blade is good for general butchery of chicken and pork.

Most boning knives are available with a blade length of between 5" and 6½", with 6" being a common size for multiple uses. Some manufacturers do produce longer blades, but these are more specialized and would usually be used by professionals on extremely large cuts.

Stainless steel blades offer more durability and rust and corrosion resistance and are usually quite easy to sharpen. Like stainless steel, cold steel blades are also durable, and some boning knives will are high carbon, which keeps a sharp edge for longer, but can be harder to sharpen and is more at risk of rusting. Any of these steels should provide the sharpness and durability you need for your boning tasks. When you are looking at knives you may see a Rockwell hardness or RHC number. This tells you how hard the steel is. Harder knives tend to be 56 or above, but the harder the steel is, the harder it will be to sharpen it properly.

If you are looking at Japanese boning knifes, then there are several different types of knife used for filleting, although the gokujo (‘all-in-one’) can be used for both filleting and boning. The only disadvantage with the gokujo is that it has quite a rigid blade which can make it more challenging with certain boning or filleting jobs.

The Boning Knife Versus the Fillet Knife

A boning knife is one that separates meat from bone while a fillet knife separates meat from skin. However, like the differences between fillet and fillet (fish and meat!) the differences between the two are never that clear cut and they can often be used for both tasks, although a lighter fillet knife will cut thicker meats as well as a boning knife will, and depending on the task, the knife used may have an impact upon the quality of the meat or fish once cut/filleted.

Although both boning and fillet knives come in a range of sizes and are often made from similar steel alloys, a typical boning knife is thicker and stiffer than a fillet knife and the tip of a fillet knife is much more curved to allow long and steady cuts when filleting fish.

Handle Considerations

Whatever type of boning knife you buy, the handle should be comfortable and allow you to hold it for precision cutting or be able to grip it harder when more force is required. Some boning knives have a finger guard built into the handle, or a drop-down bolster, either of which can stop your fingers from sliding onto the blade – especially when your fingers or the knife handle are greasy from meat fat.

Getting the Most from Your Boning Knife

Like most knives, a boning knife should be used on a softwood cutting board and when using a boning knife for the first time, take your time with it. Spend time and practice removing skin and bones slowly – always cutting away from the body. If you keep your fingers on your non-cutting hand tucked under this can help reduce the risk of cuts.

As with other kitchen knives, a boning knife is best cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap and dried by hand as soon as you have finished using it. Never leave it to soak in the sink, not only for safety reasons, but leaving it in water will also increase the odds of rusting or discoloration to the blade.

Knives which are National Sanitary Foundation or NSF certified have been designed and promoted in a way that promotes food safety. Most food service equipment in commercial kitchens is NSF certified.

Regular sharpening and honing is essential to keep the edge of your boning knife sharp. If it does not come with a sheath, then invest in one, especially if you want to take it on hunting or fishing trips. In the kitchen, store it in a suitable knife block or if you have to store it in a kitchen drawer then you should also place a suitable blade guard or sheath on it to protect the blade edge as well as fingertips!

Conclusion

In this review we have considered why the boning knife is such a useful knife to have in the kitchen, not least as a way to save some money feeding the family. We have looked at the different types of boning knife, why it often does double duty as a fish filleting knife and offered some tips to help keep your boning knife at its best.

We hope you have enjoyed reading our review on some of the best boning knives available and if you have never used one before, you now feel confident in choosing the most suitable boning knife for preparing chicken, beef, pork and so much more.

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