Every home cook should own high quality, well-designed knives that make prep work faster, easier, and safer. But most knife sets don’t include a boning knife, since many home cooks don’t actually use them on a regular basis.
However, if you prepare a lot of fresh meat and fish, a boning knife is essential for speed and efficiency. And without the right tool for the job, you risk cutting yourself or wasting good meat.
A boning knife has a thin, curved blade that’s designed to remove meat from the bone, but it can even be useful in a pinch for other tasks that require precision, like carving cakes or trimming cookie dough.
Finding the right boning knife can be complex, since the size, flexibility, and thickness of the blade you’ll need depends on which type of meat you plan to use it for.
So to make it easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best boning knives that perform well on most types of meat and fish, and provided you with this guide that sums up everything you need to know before making a purchase.
Keep reading to find out which ones made it to the top of our list!
The 5 Best Boning Knives for 2020
High carbon steel
|64 layers of Damascus steel|
Walnut pakkawood handle
Precision edge technology
|56+ Rockwell hardness|
|Fibrox Pro handle|
Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife
About Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife
The Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife is made from one-piece high carbon Japanese steel for quick sharpening and a super sharp blade that’s easy to maintain.
The steel is designed to resist stains, rusting, corrosion, and discoloration.
The knife handle has an ergonomic design that’s made from Santoprene and polypropylene for durability and extra comfort, and it’s available in a variety of colors.
It also has textured points for a better grip, as well as a protective finger guard to avoid slipping and cuts.
This knife is NSF-certified to meet specifications for safety, quality, and performance.
You can find this knife for about $13, which is a very low price considering the quality. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
This knife’s 6-inch curved blade makes it easy to control, while the ergonomic handle feels very comfortable in the hand.
It’s also very sharp, and performs well for tasks like cutting up a whole chicken, slicing steaks, removing the skin from chicken and fish fillets, and butterflying pork roast.
Since it’s lightweight, there’s little to no fatigue involved when taking on big or complex tasks.
Overall, this is a highly functional and well-balanced knife that’s easy to use for novice cooks and home chefs, alike. And at this price point, there is little to complain about except for the fact that the knife handle looks somewhat cheap.
- Very sharp
- Comfortable to hold
- Low price
- Handle looks cheap
Shun Premier Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
About Shun Premier Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
If you’re looking for a high-end knife that combines beauty and performance, check out the Shun Premier Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife.
The blade is made with a VG-MAX super steel core for edge retention, and it’s coated with 64 layers of stainless steel for additional support and stain resistance.
It also has a hammered finish that’s both pleasing to look at and functional – it helps prevent food from sticking to the blade.
The walnut pakkawood handle is well-balanced and comfortable to hold in both the right and left hand.
You can find this knife for around $150, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
If you’re willing to spend more on a quality artisanal boning knife, you can’t go wrong with this one.
The blade is incredibly thin and sharp, so it glides through meat like butter. It’s great for everything from more fibrous game meats to delicate fish, and it feels very comfortable to use because it’s so well balanced.
This knife also excels at trimming fat, removing silverskin, slicing thin cutlets, and getting very close to the bone with no waste. Plus, the hammered surface does a great job at preventing sticking.
A few things to note, however, are that this knife isn’t dishwasher-safe, and it’s somewhat difficult to sharpen if you’re not experienced.
Check out the video below to learn more about this knife.
- Razor sharp blade
- Excellent performance on all meats and fish
- Attractive design
- Can be difficult to sharpen
Wusthof Gourmet Series Flexible Boning Knife
About Wusthof Gourmet Series Flexible Boning Knife
The Wusthof company was founded in Germany more than 200 years ago, and they’ve been producing high quality knives since the beginning. Their Gourmet Series Flexible Boning Knife is no exception.
This flexible 6-inch boning knife is ideal for cutting beef, pork, and chicken, and it’s designed to easily maneuver around smaller bones.
The blade is made from laser-cut, high-carbon stainless steel for an extremely sharp and durable finish that’s easy to maintain. It’s also resistant to stains and corrosion.
The handle is made from high-density polyoxymethylene which resists fading and dulling, but it feels very comfortable in the hand. It has a full bolster for better balance, as well as a finger guard to prevent accidents.
You can find this knife for around $60, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
This knife is a great choice if you’re looking for something that’s very sharp and flexible enough for more delicate poultry and fish, but it can stand up to beef and pork, too. However, it’s not the top pick for more fibrous cuts of meat.
It feels very lightweight and easy to grip, and the blade itself stays sharp after many uses. It’s also easy to sharpen.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, flexible boning knife that’s easier on the wallet than the Shun option above, this one is a good choice.
- Easy to sharpen
- Ideal for delicate meats and fish
- Not ideal for fibrous cuts of meat
Dalstrong Gladiator Series Boning Knife
About Dalstrong Gladiator Series Boning Knife
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series Boning Knife has a 6-inch flexible blade that’s ideal for deboning, filleting, trimming, skinning, and butterflying just about any type of meat.
The blade is made from high-carbon German steel that’s extremely sharp and resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion. The knife tip is slightly flexible, which allows for enough give to glide around small bones and into joints without loss of control or precision.
The handle is made from black pakkawood that’s laminated and polished to keep it sanitary and water-resistant, and it has an ergonomic design for comfort during use.
The knife comes with a PerfectFit sheath for safe storage, too.
You can find this knife for around $60, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
This is a very well-balanced knife that’s ideal for professional chefs, butchers, and experienced home cooks that want a premium quality knife without the extra cost.
This knife is very sharp, and its shape and slight flexibility lends itself well to working with almost any type of meat. The handle is thick and comfortable to hold, and the bolster adds a nice amount of weight and finger protection.
It’s easy to care for and sharpen, but it shouldn’t go in the dishwasher. The only real downside of the knife is that the handle isn’t textured, so if you don’t have a firm grip some slipping can occur.
Overall, this is a great choice if you want a boning knife that’s ideal for working with any type of meat.
- Ideal for any meat
- Includes sheath
- Reasonable price
- Handle prone to slipping
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Boning Knife
About Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Boning Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Boning Knife is designed for filleting, deboning meat, and sectioning poultry with maximum ease and comfort. It’s great for anyone from beginner home cooks to pro chefs.
The blade is made from a lightweight blend of French and Swiss steel with a high carbon content for extra strength and durability. The narrow, curved blade is semi-flexible, allowing you plenty of control to effortlessly separate meat from the bone.
The ergonomic handle is very comfortable to hold and provides a non-slip grip for extra safety.
The knife is dishwasher-safe, but hand washing is recommended for the best results and long-term quality.
You can find this knife for around $25, which is relatively inexpensive considering the quality. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Boning Knife is extremely sharp, but it’s easy to use even for amateurs.
The knife’s light weight and comfortable handle make it easy to maneuver, and it’s just as ideal for filleting a fish as it is deboning thicker cuts of beef and pork.
It also stays sharp longer than other knives in a similar price range, but it does sharpen easily when necessary.
A few downsides are that it doesn’t come with a sheath, and the handle isn’t very attractive to display after it’s been used and washed several times, since it’s prone to fading.
- Ideal for all meats
- Comfortable non-slip handle
- Very lightweight
- Handle prone to fading
- No sheath included
Best Boning Knife for 2020
We’ve chosen the Dalstrong Gladiator Series Boning Knife as our best overall pick. It has everything you need in a good knife – it’s very sharp, easy to maintain, and comfortable to use.
If you’re looking for a boning knife that delivers excellent performance without the high cost or frills, the Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Curved Boning Knife provides a lot of value for the money.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for premium quality and are willing to spend more for it, the Shun Premier Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife is at the top of its class for style, performance, and longevity.
All boning knives possess their own unique characteristics, and choosing the one that suits you best ultimately comes down to personal preference. With that said, any of the knives in this guide can provide you with quality performance.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.