Whenever you’re working with meat either in the kitchen at home, or as a purveyor of meats at a local butcher, you’ll want a certain few knives within easy reach.
As you’ll already know, your local chef or cook is going to have their trusty chef’s knives on hand at all times, and within reach wherever they are. It is the Swiss army knife of kitchen knives after all. Though if you’re a grill master cooking up a storm on the BBQ or in the kitchen, you’ll want a butcher knife.
That said though, there are a tonne of butchers knives out there and it can be exceedingly hard to choose one that’s right for you. There’s a bunch of different designs on offer all at different price points and even made of different materials with different textures.
To make this process a little easier, we’ve done all the research for you and compiled a list of all the best butchers knives in Australia for you below — as well as a tonne of different things to consider about butchers knives.
What is a Butcher’s Knife
To kick off our article, we need to take a look into what a butcher’s knife actually is.
A butcher’s knife is essentially a knife that’s been designed to be used for a range of different use cases. You’ll find that these knives are the ultimate all-purpose or multi-purpose knives that you can use for just about everything.
If you’re looking to cut meats, particularly thick cuts, or even slice and dice ingredients like vegetables and more, you’re in good hands with a trusty butcher’s knife.
Taking a look online, you’ll notice that just about all the butcher’s knives out there today have a similar design. These are the knives that are a more modernised version of swords from the Middle East, though this isn’t too important.
The fact is that knives have this shape because they’re easier to hold and handle when you’re looking to cut deep into meats and other foods because of the weight distribution from the handle through to the tip.
In all, for slicing, chopping, trimming and even breaking down cuts of meat, your butcher’s knife is going to be your ultimate partner in the kitchen — so get a good one!
Dissecting the Butcher’s Knife
Getting a little further into the design of the knife, you’ll want to consider two main things, the handle and the blade material. We’ll have a look at these two topics in some more detail below as these are going to greatly dictate your experience in the kitchen.
As with just about everything in the kitchen, there are a tonne of knife variants out there and numerous options and things to choose from — and this holds true with butcher’s knives.
You’re always going to need to stay on the look out for a butcher’s knife that has a carbon-steel blade, or some other high steel content blade. This will make sure you’re getting a knife that’s strong and able to stay sharp for a long period of time.
That said, you’ll also want to be able to rely on this knife to cut through some more solid ingredients such as meats that have cartilage still inside. Hacking away at things like cartilage with a knife not designed for this is a pain.
You could also be on the look out for an awesome forged butcher’s knife. These are the models that are a bit heavier, though the materials here are stronger than just about anything else, and you’re going to get a very long time’s use out of these.
To end, there are some more affordable knife materials to choose from here such as stamped steel, though, these aren’t very durable nor can they be kept sharp for a long period of time, so it might be best to pass on these.
A lot of buyers simply overlook a knife’s handle due to the fact that it doesn’t seem too important other than for the grip of the knife. However, there is a lot that goes into the knife’s handle.
Off the top, this is where you’re going to be gripping the knife. You don’t want a handle that offers almost no grip, and so we suggest finding a handle that does offer some sort of texture or a design that allow for easy handling.
On top of this, you may want to use your knife with gloves, and so a grippy non-slip handle should be something you keep an eye for this year.
We suggest looking for higher nylon content handles if you can. These typically have great grip ability and they’re long-lasting too. For wet environments, these are a winner too.
Another thing to add is the handle’s ergonomics. If you’re often standing and hacking away at meats or vegetables for a long period of time, you’re going to notice that your hand doesn’t exactly feel great, and this is where design comes in again. A lot of butcher’s knife handles out there do come with finger indents, so for long-term use, find a handle with these.
One final thing to be mindful of is bacteria. For those of our readers who do work with spit roasts, for example, you’re going to want to look beyond knives that have ridges or a design with a lot of recessed areas. You’ll find that in time bacteria can build up in here and these designs are too hard to clean to truly get these bacteria out and neutralised.
Understanding the Big Brands
If you’re looking in only Aussie stores, you may or may not be limited to big name brands, though this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Of course, heading online and taking a look at some global or US brands of knives is a good way to truly find something that’s excellent for you, and so we’ve outlined a few of the biggest brands for you below.
For those after the best of the best, be on the look out for companies like Dexter-Russell, Victorinox and F. Dick for example. These brands offer some of the most well-curated knives out there today, and they’re also going to have you in good hands when it comes to longevity.
Some Australian retailers and online stores do stock these brands, though we will say that they are a little more difficult to find. Though, being in use across the world, these knives have a pretty good chance at landing in your local retailer.
Our readers who are after higher-end butcher’s knives used in typical butcher shops, we’re going to point you to the F. Dick brand. These guys have a tonne of knives on offer and they’re typically passed down through families due to their longevity.
To Victorinox now, and this is also a brand we stand by. These aren’t as carefully curated and are a mass-produced model of knife, though you can still expect to get a great experience and a tonne of use out of these knives.
In all, these knife brands are the best of the best when it comes to quality and design. You will be hard pressed to have a bad experience here, and with that in mind, we’re placing these brands at the top of our list. If you love to cook, love your meat-based meals and enjoy prepping large hunks of meat in your own unique way, these knives have you covered.
Our Best Butcher’s Knives for 2021
With all of our points above out of the way, let’s get into our list of the best butcher’s knives out there for Aussies this year.
All of these models are designed for users of all experience levels and are going to make a great addition to the meat lover’s kitchen. Keep in mind that we did place durability, quality and longevity at the forefront here, along with ergonomics, and so cost is a little further down the line in our decision-making process.
That out of the way, let’s get into our winning butcher’s knives!
The 12-Inch Straight Butcher Knife by Victorinox
Taking out the number one spot for us is the 12-inch straight bladed butcher’s knife by Victorinox.
This is the top choice knife for our readers who need something that is going to be as hardcore and ready to work in the kitchen as they are. This is the one knife that we’re going to stand by as a winner due to it being designed for all-day use by those working in meat factories.
You’ll find a design here that ensures a clean cut at all times, so long as you keep it sharp and the handle is our winner for those who need something that’s grippy and going to make light work of hanging on to your knife for hours on end — if it ever comes to that.
This Swiss-designed knife is essentially focusing on three main things, these being sharpness, durability and strength.
As we mentioned, this knife is a winner for just about all of those who work in meat processing and butcher shops, and that means you’re going to find some essentials here that make this knife a major cut above the rest.
Keeping in line with our top considerations, this knife does come with the higher-end carbon stainless blades. This will mean that you’re not going to have any issues when it comes to the longer term use of this knife, and you’re also going to be able to keep it sharp for a whole lot longer than some other models.
To add, the Victorinox brand is known for their unwavering commitment to quality and this means the blade here leaves nothing to be desired. It’s simply one of the highest end materials on offer and it’s been forged in a way that ensures you’ll get decades out of this knife.
Getting a little more technical now, and we’re glad to say that the blade on this knife has been conical ground, which means you’re going to find that there’s a far wider break point here. In addition to this, the Victorinox manufacturing process involves tempering the steel with ice, and this means you’ll get longer edge retention too.
For those who are looking for a blade that stays sharp for a very long time, this manufacturing process is your best bet.
To conclude, the steel used here is a cold-rolled steel, which means the edge is a bolsterless model and you can use the whole blade. For those in the know, this will also mean that sharpening is a lot easier than knives that don’t undertake this process.
To The Handle
With the importance of a knife’s handle already mentioned, we’re going to say that this knife offers a fantastic option.
If you’re someone who routinely finds themselves in a rather wet area, or in a butcher shop, for example, you’ll be dealing with very greasy and slippery hands, which majorly affects your safety and ability to cut meat in a safe manner.
That in mind, you’ll need to find a handle that offers a great design and also a good grippy texture — and Victorinox come in clutch for this too.
As we know, the blade on this knife is exceedingly long, and because of this, you’ll need a knife that has a handle to offset this.
Relying on Victorinox, you will find the awesome, proprietary Fibrox handle coming into play here which has been fundamentally designed to offer a texture and anti-slip coating that means you’re kept safe when things do get a little too moist and slippery for your liking.
In line with this, you’re also going to want to find a handle that’s comfortable to use over a long period of time, and Victorinox have come to save the day here too.
As you would expect, Victorinox have worked to create a handle that’s very ergonomic and shaped perfectly to the hand, but also to their knife. That in mind, the handle is weighted perfectly to offset the blade and also carved into a shape that’s not going to become uncomfortable with longer term use.
In all, the handle on this knife is grippy, resistant to slipping and also crafted in a way that carefully moves some of the weight from the blade back to the hand, keeping you from slipping or finding it hard to wield this knife.
Durability and Quality
To end our deep analysis and assessment of the top tier Victorinox knife, we’re going to outline the excellent quality and warranty.
As you’d agree, Swiss-made products are the cream of the crop, and that means you’re getting something you can rely on for a very long time. That said, you’ll find that this knife comes with a lifetime warranty against defects from the manufacturing process.
One thing to note is that this knife is used by butchers and meat processors across the globe for its long-lasting materials and design, and that means you’re not going to need to fret about any damage or issues appearing.
All of the above said, we’re sure you can see that this knife is going to be the one to choose for many of our readers and you’re getting a manufacturing process that places quality above all else.
The design here is great and you’ll be able to rely on it to make hacking or carefully trimming meats a breeze.
- A 12-inch Blade
- A High-end Manufacturing Process
- Ergonomically Designed
- Ultra-strong Materials
- Used Worldwide by Butchers
The 10″ Butcher Knife by Dexter-Russell
Our second butcher knife that we’re going to recommend to our readers is the excellent Dexter-Russell model that comes with a 10 inch blade and a design that is, again, ergonomic and hand-friendly.
We also have to say that this model was a toss up with the Victorinox given that both of these options are exceedingly ideal for just about anyone who is looking for the best butcher knife out there today.
You’ll find an awesome weight distribution here as well as a carbon-steel material that ensures quality and longevity.
One thing we’d like to mention right away is that the blade on this knife tapers out to a small, sharp tip. That in mind, the end of this ten inch knife comes with an excellent and carefully hand-sharpened tip that adds some extra usability.
As you might have guessed, being sharpened off the production line has meant that this knife comes a lot sharper than most other knives out of the box. And for some, this means a lot longer use before you need your first at-home sharpen.
Something important to consider, that we’re not too wary of, though some may be, is the use of the rather old-school Old Hickory style blade that’s being used here. If you know about this material, you will know that there is some different and rather pedantic maintenance required, though, we’re happy to say that the stainless is keeping things nice and durable.
You won’t need to worry too much about extra maintenance or issues here.
When it comes to using this knife, the weight is also ideal in that it is only 260 grams, so wielding this model isn’t too hard. There is also a handle here that makes the use of the knife quite simple too.
The weight of the blade, as with some other knives, is carefully off set by the handle and so you’re not going to find yourself accidentally jolting or hanging on to the grip with too much tension to hold up the blade.
Essentially the blade here is well-balanced.
One key feature to note is that Dexter-Russell are using a nice Grip-Tex material here in the handle, which means those wet area or oily hands are going to be well looked after when it comes to holding on to this knife without slipping all too much.
Durability and Quality
Getting into the longevity and materials used in this knife, the stainless steel comes in handy in that it’s going to keep the product like-new for as long as possible.
In most cases, you’ll find that the sharpening process in the factory allow for the knife’s blade and edge to kept well-looked after from the outset and you’re able to rely on this to better keep your knife sharp for longer.
In all, the build quality and the handle are ideal and you won’t need to worry about blunting or the handle falling apart in the time you’re using this butcher’s knife.
With a second place spot on our list, we’re sure you’re able to tell that knife is a winner for us and certainly something to consider. One thing to keep in mind is that the blade can be a tad heavy, and being 10 inches makes it a bit too much for some.
If the size and weight does become an issue, or you’re looking for something smaller, there is an eight inch model on offer with all of the same features.
From a meat prep and durability standpoint, this knife should certainly end up high on your list.
- A 10-inch Blade
- A High-end Manufacturing Process
- Comes Hand-sharpened
- Ergonomically Designed
- Carefully Considered Weight Balance
The 7111 Old Hickory Butcher Knife by Ontario Knife
One of the lesser known models out there, we are going to spotlight Ontario Knife.
The 7111 knife is going to be an incredible knife for those who are looking for a knife that helps out incredibly prior to throwing some steaks on the barbecue in the evening.
The Old Hickory brand offers some brilliant knives that come with a rather old school design and a material suite that makes these knives last forever.
A favourite feature, or ‘ethos’ that comes with these knives is that fact that Ontario Knife is the focus on simplicity.
These knives don’t focus on anything you don’t need, which means the quality of the material you’re getting and the knife’s blade are the only focus here. That means — longevity and affordability.
All that said, the Old Hickory is your winner if you want a no-frills knife that comes with a fantastic wooden handle and a relatively thin blade that’s perfect for meat preparation.
You’ll find an excellent ten inch blade coming into play here that’s made with the optimal carbon steel material here. Pair this with the fact that is carefully pinned to the hickory handle and you’re getting a tried and true approach to the butcher knife.
On top of this, the blade is not a stainless material, and that means you will see rust here if you don’t care of the knife as you’re instructed. Of course, this isn’t an issue for many people, though if you’re a set and forget person when it comes to your knives, then this might not be something you’re looking for.
To add, some online reviews have outlined that the rust and maintenance required to avoid rusting is a nuisance, but it isn’t too hard to follow the instructions.
Giving you some more insight, all you’ll need to do to reduce your chances of seeing rustic making sure that you dry this knife at all times after use and you make sure to use some oil on the blade before you set it down in your cabinets or knife holder.
That in mind, if you follow these instructions, you’ll be keeping your Old Hickory knife for a very long while.
Those interested in why Ontario Knife decided to look beyond stainless, we have a great little tidbit for you — stainless steel doesn’t mould or shape-change over time. However, high-carbon steel does. That means as you use and sharpen this knife, you’re getting a sharper and sharper blade and this will give you a knife that is far sharper than you’ll ever need.
To The Handle
When we look toward the old-style handle here, we’re happy to say that the no-frills approach didn’t result in anything too worrisome.
Of course, there was little to no time spent by the team here on ergonomics or the grip and that means it isn’t the most comfortable to hold, though, with the wood being used, you’re getting a nice texture here.
In all though, the handle is simply that — a handle.
The balance isn’t all that great, the shape of the timber used doesn’t really conform to your hand and you’re not going to be as comfortable using this knife over a long period of use.
For those of our readers who focus heavily on the grip of their knives, this might be worth overlooking for you.
When it comes to the knife without too many frills, there isn’t too much that comes close to the Old Hickory Butcher Knife.
This product does exactly what you expect it too, it remains sharp and the ten inch blade makes for a good experience, though there isn’t too much else. This is the knife for those who need something incredibly strong and durable and being made in the US means you’re getting a quality model.
- A 10-inch Blade
- Very Strong Blade Material
- Can Be Hand-sharpened
- Comes with an Old-school Hickory Handle
The Ergogrip 10″ Butcher Knife by F. Dick
As we mentioned at the start of our article, the F. Dick brand are one of the higher end and world-renowned knife brands out there and that means you’re getting your hands on a knife that’s going to spend a lifetime with you.
The brand has been working to supply some of the highest quality butcher knives and materials in the world since 1778 and that means you’re getting the best of the best.
If you’ve been a fan of the F. Dick brand for a while, you will likely be surprised that one of these knives is landing on our list — and that’s because until recently none of these knives were available outside of schools or professional meat producers.
That said, you’re likely to find these knives in butchers across the globe and especially in Germany given that the brand is a leader with professional chefs in the country.
All of that out of the way, you can see that F. Dick are one of the winners in our book, and if you’re after the best of the best, there’s no brand that’s more attuned to creating the worlds best butcher knives that F. Dick.
Getting into the excellent Ergogrip knife, we are happy to say that all of the incredible heritage and fame follows through to this knife.
You’ll find an attention to detail here that majorly exceeds that of essentially every other knife out there and with this, you’re getting the assurance that your knife will last for years to come without an issue.
On top of this, you’ll find that there has been a careful curation of the knife’s blade, the handle and the cutting edge that makes it one of the smoother and more comfortable experiences out there.
You won’t have an issue with holding on to or balancing this knife, and that means you’re able to focus entirely on what you’re cutting, slicing or dicing and less on holding the knife, making the experience a lot safer.
For the blade itself, there is a level of edge retention here that you’re not going to find in too many other places, and that means you’re able to use this knife for hours on end in a store, or just to routinely meat prep for dinner and not have to worry about sharpening the knife again and again.
Online reviews have even touted that the material is so versatile and durable that if it does become blunt, only a couple of strokes with a diamond sharpener will have it right back to its ultra-sharp state.
To The Handle
When it comes to the handle, there hasn’t been and overly pedantic focus on this, though there is still a comfortable shape coming into play here.
Either by accident or careful curation, the knife’s handle and blade balance each other out and make for a comfortable experience. There is also the grippy texture here too which makes using this knife a lot easier than most when things to get a little moist or wet.
Coming to the shape, the two overhanging grip spaces here will guide and hold your hand in place when you do strike or slide this knife through meat, which means you’re going to be in good hands when it comes to safety.
Although this consumer-facing knife isn’t the same experience and product that you’ll find in the higher-end professional butchers and meat processors, the F. Dick build quality and production expertise is coming into play here.
That in mind, you’re in better hands here when it comes to longevity and the durability of the blade than with any other brand out there — full stop.
- A 10-inch Blade
- Outstanding Build Quality
- A Well-balanced Design
- Designed for At-home or Professional Use
Other Knives to Consider
If you’ve taken a look over all of our knives above, there’s a good chance you’ve decided either for or against a butcher’s knife.
For those who have decided that maybe these knives aren’t the best suited to their plans in the kitchen, we have a couple of other knives to consider that might do the trick for you, and these are the boning knives, breaking knives and skinning knives.
Let’s take a look
The Skinning Knives
Of course all knives can be used for similar things, though some are better designed for some tasks than others.
We suggest you opt for a skinning knife if you’re after something that offers a more fluid cutting motion rather than something you’ll use to hack a piece of meat up with.
That in mind, you will find these knives coming in at around 5 to 6 inches and with a rather thick blade. There is usually a small upturned top on these knives too and that means you can use this knife to slide under a specific cut and get a more precise cut.
The Breaking Knives
To our knives that you’ll be using to essentially break down an animal is the breaking knife, which is what you’ll use to get a nice clean cut along with a good motion for trimming.
These blades are typically very thin and are more of the manoeuvrability-focused options that get you a lot of trimming space. With these knives you’re going to find trimming and cutting to be little easier, and with a long thing blade you have further reach for the times you need to cut deep into a piece of meat.
The Boning Knifes
One of the more common knives that you’ll find sitting alongside a butcher’s knife set are the boning knives.
As the name tells us, these are the knives you’ll use to cut bones out of mounds of meat with the least amount of work. You’ll be able to rely on these knives ultra thin blades and flexibility along with their sharpness to strip bone from cuts.
On top of these, these knives are the more versatile of the bunch given that you can do a lot of other things with them too.
Coming to an end, all of the knives above are going to be a great choice for those looking for the best butcher knives in Australia this year and that means you’re going to be in good hands in the kitchen.
Always be sure to choose a butcher’s knife that suits your own style of cutting and meat preparation though. Some products, as we mentioned, do have some rather strict requirements for maintenance and some aren’t designed to be held easily.
For those who sometimes find themselves in more moist or wet situations, focus on a knife with a good grip, and our readers who enjoy a more traditional looking knife, opt for a Hickory model.