(*) Last updated by James Pro on Sept 21th, 2018.
Hi, I’m James. I am an avid hunter and pro butcher.
I have all kinds of kitchen knives, but for my job, I like boning knives best.
Butchering or cutting up meat is made so easy when I have a top quality, sharp knife as a tool.
Table of Contents
- Why Do You Need The Best Boning Knife?
- How To Pick The Best Boning Knife?
- What Is The Best Boning Knife For Deer, Hog, Beef, Chicken?
- Boning Knife Reviews – All You Need To Know
- Comparison Of The 3 Best Knives For Deboning
- How To Clean And Store Your Boning Knife?
Why Do You Need The Best Boning Knife?
Unlike when you buy meat in a supermarket or from your friendly butcher, meat from a hunt is unclean and not processed.
It means I do the dirty job of cleaning, removing skin and bones when we come home with game meat from deer, hog, and poultry.
The task can take a long time and can be tiring. 🙁
You don’t want to be a slave the whole day for cleaning your game?
Exactly why I use a boning knife to work in small spaces like the inside of an animal.
You need a top-notch boning knife because it can:
- Easy to access hard-to-reach insides of animals like behind the ribs;
- Put less strain on your arms when you work, because it will glide smoothly during the cutting;
- Finish the job in less amount of time;
- Maximize the meat that you get from the animal;
- Protect you from getting hurt while butchering on meat.
As boning knives are the extension of my butchering skills, I made it my business to know about them.
My favorite brands are Dalstrong, Mercer Culinary and Victorinox.
These three vary prices, and each has its strong points.
They are great tools for butchers, chefs, and home cooks.
Top 3 boning knives on the market
DALSTRONG Boning Knife
Mercer Boning Knife
Victorinox Boning Knife
How To Pick The Best Boning Knife?
When choosing a boning knife, you consider the following essential aspects:
- Meats are denser and tougher to cut like deer, beef or pork, and you have to use a stiff blade. Otherwise, a flexible blade would not be able to withstand the tension and will break.
- A flexible knife is best suited for poultry or fish because of their soft flesh. A stiff blade will tear through the delicate meat.
- Blade material matters because of the weight and of course, its sharpness.
- It can be made of cold steel, tempered steel or high carbon.
- The smaller the blade, the more flexible it is.
- The smaller the blade, the higher the accuracy.
- You put all the force on the handle, and your choice of material is a personal choice.
- The size of the handle should be the best fit for your hand.
- It can be wood or hard plastic.
- It should be firm to grip and will not slide off, which can be dangerous.
What Is The Best Boning Knife For Deer, Hog, Beef, Chicken?
When I was younger, I went with my brother-in-law on a hunting trip. We got ourselves a couple of deer and chicken.
I did not own dedicated knives then and used whatever was brought along.
It took me 3 hours to work on one deer, a lot of sweating, and I had blisters on my hands after just one deer. 🙁
After that experience, I did my research on finding the best kind of knife to use for removing bones and skin of my game meat – a boning knife.
And the best brands of boning knife – Dalstrong, Mercer Culinary and Victorinox.
I have researched many brands on the market.
But to make the best decision on what to buy, I used these Criteria:
- Blade material and design
- Grip or handle design.
- The durability of the knife
- Weight and size
- Safe for users
- Over-all design and aesthetics
We highly recommend 3 BEST QUALITY boning knives for 2018:
Let’s scroll down…
Boning Knife Reviews – All You Need To Know
First is the leading position, let’s see how good it is…
#1- DALSTRONG Boning Knife (Best for Professionals)
Dalstrong is a family-owned company that has been manufacturing knives for decades.
It has different series, which include Gladiator, Phantom, and Shogun. Each set has its cutting-edge qualities.
For the Gladiator series, its outstanding feature is its blade that is made of German high carbon steel.
- It is a flexible blade, 6 inches long.
- Carbon steel, the main component of Dalstrong stains and rusts easily.
- The Dalstrong blade is precise and ultra-sharp, and stays that way for a long time, but is easy to sharpen when needed.
- It is of proper height making it easy to handle with clearance for the knuckle.
- The handle is made from imported black Pakkawood for a sleek look.
- It has triple rivets on the handle for a comfortable and firm grip that allows easy maneuvering.
Over-all Aesthetics and Usability:
- The Dalstrong boning knife is sleek and modern-looking.
- Full-tang, which means its blade is one solid piece of carbon steel.
- The finish is laminated and polished both for beauty and for sanitation.
- Easily slides and cuts with little or minimum resistance.
- Comes with own sheath to protect both the knife and the people around it.
- The knife is of a comfortable weight of 1.2 pounds which does not cause strain on the user.
Best reasons to get the Dalstrong knife:
- Beautiful and sleek design.
- Blade made of carbon steel which is sharp and remains sharp over usage.
- Full tang blade makes it durable.
- Flexible blade makes it easy to maneuver through tight or small spaces like between ribs.
- Carbon steel stains and rusts easily compared to stainless steel, which is the more usual material of knives.
- The boning knife is relatively heavy compared to the other knife brands in this review.
The Dalstrong Gladiator is a PREMIUM boning knife.
It’s Best Choice For Professionals!
Hold the second position is…
#2- Mercer Culinary Boning Knife (Best for Cooks)
Mercer has been making knives for three decades and provides blades to numerous cooking academies.
- The blade is flexible, made from German carbon steel, which is durable, precise and sharp.
- It is firm and does not easily warp over time.
- Tends to stain and rust because of the carbon steel easily.
- The handle is ergonomic, making it light and easy to hold and maneuver.
- The handle is made from Santoprene, which is rubber-like, and gives you a safe, firm grip even when hands are wet.
- This material is also durable and will not break down despite contact with oils and different temperatures.
Over-all Aesthetics and Usability:
- Full-tang for durability and top performance.
- The boning knife is forged, which refers to the process of manufacturing. With this method used, the steel is stronger, with blades less flexible but durable.
- Because of the forging process, there is a bolster – the metal mound between the handle and the blade. That is a safety feature that gives your fingers a safe place to rest on when using the knife.
- Another function of the bolster is to provide an excellent balance to the knife.
- Mercer knife is very light, weighing only 7 oz., which gives more control to the user.
Best reasons to get the Mercer knife:
- Very durable and user-friendly with its ergonomic design and rubberized handle that will not slide off wet hands.
- The level of its flexibility makes it easy to sharpen.
- If too flexible, a knife may warp, but with the Mercer knife, it is of the right degree of flexibility to allow good maneuvering, but can also cut through tough meats.
- Carbon steel lacks chromium which is the ingredient in stainless steel which makes it rust-free and corrosion-resistant.
- You should have a safety sheath because it is incredibly sharp.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis Boning Knife is a great tool for tough meat like venison, beef, porks.
But the knife can also work well with poultry and fish because it is light and flexible enough to be used on soft items that need a gentle touch, like fishes.
For me, too, I like the firmness of its grip.
The handle is made from the material that makes it safe and convenient to use the knife even with wet hands.
And when we are working, most likely we have wet hands.
With the Mercer knife, there is no fear of dropping the sharp blade unto your toes. It is also easy to clean and maintain.
I highly recommend the boning knife for people that have moderate strength and small hands like my wife, Abigail. Because it is light and its handle is short.
The Mercer knife is the best boning knife for home cooks. It’s also best for small games like chickens, ducks.
Finally, an affordable choice…
#3- Victorinox Boning Knife (Best for Money)
Victorinox is a Swiss company famous for its Swiss army knives.
Since the 1800’s, the company supplied knives to the Swiss army, thus the name of their famous handy multi-purpose knife that we like to carry around especially when camping.
The company is much known for its durable and quality knives whether its size is for the pocket or the kitchen.
- It’s 6 inches in length, semi-flexible and straight.
- Straight knife means the blade is perfectly tapered, and the edges are without serrations, making clean cuts without tearing or shredding.
- The material is high-carbon stainless steel, that is very sharp.
- Ice-tempered, so its sharpness is sustained for a longer period.
- Its handle is made from Black Fibrox, which is textured and will provide the strong grip.
- The handle is designed to give balance and comfort to the user to prevent tiring.
- The knife is durable and can withstand exposure to kitchen oil and different temperatures.
Over-all Aesthetics and Usability:
- The boning knife is the lightest knife among the choices, weighing a mere 3.2 oz.
- Stamped for durability and precision.
- Top value purchase because it is affordable yet of good quality.
- Because of its size, it works great in taking off skin, being able to work with connective tissues between muscles.
- It can work on big game meat, like deer, but can also be used to carve a turkey or cut ham.
Best reasons to get the Victorinox knife:
- Great knife at a reasonable price!
- A century of good reputation for the company.
- Lightweight, so it’s easy to maneuver around.
- While it can be used on big game meat, I noticed many users prefer using it on turkey and chicken instead.
The Victorinox Cutlery Boning Knife is durable, and the artistry is superb.
The blade is sharp, and the handle is user-friendly and keeps the user safe.
This boning knife is recommended for anyone, whether a professional in the kitchen or a homemaker.
It is best used for the small game like chicken, duck or fish.
A Top Boning Knife For Your Budget!
Comparison Of The 3 Best Knives For Deboning
Here is our comparison to make it easier to choose the brand of knife you want.
Top 5 aspects to be considered include:
- 1. Performance
- 2. Easy to handle
- 3. Easy to maintain
- 4. Design
- 5. Cost
When I clean meat, I want a knife I can effectively use.
A good knife will not tire me out; will not strain my arms because its sharp blade will make the task almost effortless.
- The Dalstrong knife has the quality flexible blade and craftsmanship to make deboning game meat an easy task.
- The ergonomic design of the Dalstrong knife provides easy maneuvering.
- The cleaning meat of big animals like deer, elk or hog is made easy because of the sharpness of the Dalstrong blade glides through effortlessly.
- The Mercer knife is also a flexible blade of good quality, and its easy-grip handles make it safe and also causes less strain on the user.
- The Mercer boning knife can also be used on big game, but can also handle smaller animals.
- The Victorinox knife is more appropriate for the smaller game like fowl, chicken; the blade is made of good quality and very durable.
- However, because it is lightweight, it is in a way limited to small game meat.
>> OUR PICK for PERFORMANCE is…
Because I am a pro hunter, and I likes big games like deer, then I’d like a knife that is heavy-duty and durable to withstand working with tough meat.
The Dalstrong knife is razor-sharp, full-tang and sleek.
The overall look is modern, but I have proven that it can very well survive in the wild.
It is a perfect knife!
2. Easy to handle
- I need a knife that gives good grip and won’t slip out of my hands and heaven forbid, fall on my toes.
- It has to be of the right size and weight that I can easily maneuver it when working on tough meat.
- The Dalstrong knife has imported black Pakkawood handle, while the Mercer knife is made from Santoprene a rubber-like material.
- The knife of Victorinox is made from Fibrox, which is textured to provide a firm grip.
- As to the weight, the lightest is the Victorinox. Lightest, though, while a good trait, can be a disadvantage because it limits usability.
- The heaviest among the choice is the Dalstrong. However, heavy does not necessarily mean difficult, because the proper weight will give right balance to the boning knife.
>> OUR PICK for EASY TO HANDLE is still…
When a knife is too light, it can be flimsy.
If it is too heavy, it can be strenuous to use.
Dalstrong is of the correct weight of 1.2oz, and even my petite sister can use it comfortably.
The design and the weight of the knife give an excellent balance for it.
3. Easy to maintain
Do you want a knife that will require extensive effort to maintain and clean?
I do believe in keeping any knife durable: you have to clean right after using.
After processing on a big deer, I don’t want to spend the next hour cleaning the knife.
Maintenance also includes ease in keeping the blade sharp!
- All the brands have carbon steel, and this makes sharp blades. However, should there need to sharpen, it is also easy to sharpen.
- One of the disadvantages of carbon steel is that it easily stains or discolors. Compared to stainless steel, carbon steel rusts, and stains.
- In such case, blades should be cleaned after use and stored correctly.
- Dalstrong’s handle is laminated, which is not only sleek but also pro-sanitation. There is a limited chance of bacteria staying on it because of the lamination.
- The Mercer blade is made from German carbon steel and forged, so it is effortless to sharpen.
- Also, its handle is made from Santoprene, which is durable even when exposed to various chemicals or heat.
>> OUR PICK for EASY TO MAINTAIN is…
I highly recommend the premium whetstone for your knives. It is the best sharpening stone I’ve ever used!
Although the life of a hunter or butcher is kind of messy and well, rough, it does not mean I want to bring along a crude knife similar to that of the olden times.
I want a knife that does not only work well but also looks good.
- The Dalstrong boning knife is oh so sleek, very modern-looking and dramatic with its black handle.
- Although its blade is the same as the others at 6 inches, it is full tang, and the edge appears longer and sleeker.
- The Mercer knife is a bit bulky with its bolster, or that bulge that connects blade and handles.
- The Victorinox boning knife is lightweight, so it looks a bit more flimsy than the others.
>> OUR PICK for DESIGN is…
The knife is a long-legged beauty that is very sleek, precise and very modern.
It is of the right weight that makes it durable enough, not flimsy, but not cause too much strain on the user.
The polish of the black handle is also attractive.
The design is overall ergonomic with the intention of making it user-friendly.
- I want a knife that will not kill me with the dollar signs. I don’t mind paying a more significant amount, but it should be to get a top quality product.
- Cost-wise, the Dalstrong is most expensive. The Mercer is mid-priced, and Victorinox knife is least costly. But again, the cost is also about value.
- For the more expensive brands, you know you are paying for top quality. That sounds fair!
- It is, however, a more delightful surprise to be paying for top quality, but for a lesser price.
- That makes that brand a real winner for its real value to the purchaser.
>> BEST for COST is…
The boning knife is not only because it is the least expensive, but because it does not compromise quality even with the low price.
You still get the craftsmanship and top materials expected from a Victorinox brand.
It is a fantastic knife!
You think you already have enough knives in your kitchen.
One knife is as good as the other, right?
Well, technically, no!
Each kind of knife is made for a specific purpose and a particular item.
- To debone game animals means working with tough meat and large bones you have to go around on.
- To fillet a fish, you have to be gentler and use the best electric fillet knife with a small blade so as not to bruise or inadvertently cut through the flesh.
I like to clean my own meat whether it is my brother-in-law’s prized catch or a discounted meat from the butcher.
When I buy un-cleaned meat, I save money, and when I do the cleaning, I am sure it is spotless.
I can also cut up to pieces to my preference, and along the way, I think of my menu.
Through the boning knife reviews, I have given everything you need to know about the 3 best knives for deboning any of your meat (deer, beef, pork, chicken…) in the market.
You are wondering which knife is the WINNER?
Best boning knife comparison chart
|Easy to handle|
|Easy to maintain|
In my experience, I have chosen the WINNER: DALSTRONG Boning Knife
I am very pleased about its quality!
- The outstanding knife is durable, performs great with its sharp and precise blade.
- The tool screams of craftsmanship and choice of top-quality materials.
How To Clean And Store Your Boning Knife?
Whatever brand of knife you choose, at whatever price, for it to last longer and perform its maximum, the blade has to be adequately cared for and correctly stored.
Here are a few tips:
- Clean right after use so the meat or dirt will not harden, thus making it more difficult to remove, and may have already bred bacteria.
- Best to hand wash, even when it claims to be dishwasher-friendly.
- Don’t soak in water for a long time.
- Don’t use bleach.
- When drying, use a soft towel.
- Best to store in individual sheath inside a drawer to prevent accidents.
Other storage options:
- Magnetic wall rack that keeps it out in the open for easy reach, but is kind of scary.
- Knife block, although some say it dulls the blades faster when you slide it in and out of the block.
In addition, there is one very important thing that you need to know, is to preserve your meat for long-term with the highest quality.