Best Boning Knives for Professional Chefs and Home Cooks

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You know,

A boning knife is a straightforward knife that is specially designed for deboning meat.

While this knife is solely used for deboning tasks, it comes in handy in the kitchen. Most people confuse boning knives with filet ones.

Despite these blades being similar in their designs, they are quite different.

For starters, the blade in a boning knife is thicker and less flexible than that in a filet knife. You can use a boning blade for quartering chicken.

And in this review, we will take a look at my favorite list when it comes to this topic.

Top 7 Boning Knives for Your Money (Updated List)

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Related knife collections:

How to Choose the Best Boning Knife

how to buy a boning knife

Despite being used less frequently, these knives and their associated accessories play an important role in the kitchen especially for chefs who love preparing meat recipes often.

These blades just like other knives feature a wide range of options in their designs, styles, sizes, and performance. This is why you need to research extensively on the internet when you are looking forward to buying a boning blade.

Some of the aspects worth consideration include:

Flexibility 

The flexibility levels differ from one blade to the other. Some of the boning knives in the market are stiff while others are extremely flexible.

While most people presume that the choice of flexibility is mostly a personal preference, it is important to note that it has a direct impact on the ease of use and performance of the blade.

Flexible boning knives tend to be more multi-purpose than stiff ones.

Blade material 

The material will determine several factors including suitability, sharpness, edge retention, reliability, and durability.

Knives with high carbon stainless steel are the best choice since they are not only easy to sharpen but also hold up well against wear and tear.

With a steel blade, you will find it a lot easier to maintain the knife’s sharpness in the long run.

Additionally, they also have excellent resistance to corrosion, rust, discoloration, and are not affected by acidity.

Handles 

The handle determines how comfortable the blade will be as well as the level of control you will enjoy when using the boning knife of preference.

The best handles are those that are made from hard plastics such as G-10, high-quality wood, and strong fiber composite materials.

These types of handle materials are impervious to heat, are not affected by water or moisture, and have a comfortable and reassuring feeling in the hand.

Budget 

Usually, boning knives cost differently depending on aspects such as the quality of materials used, brand, and overall construction. Some boning knives are extremely expensive while others are readily affordable.

It is advisable to have a budget so that you limit yourself to knives within your affordability. Always ensure that the blade you settle for is solid and affordable to purchase and maintain.

Such a knife will give you great value for your money.

Consider customer reviews 

There are knife brands that adopt superior marketing strategies that make their blades appear to be of superior quality while they are not.

With customer reviews, you get first-hand information from people who have owned and used the knives.

Review of the Top-Rated Boning Knives

Mercer Culinary Millennia Boning Knife (Best Overall)

Definitely the best boning knife on my list here.

Mercer Culinary blades are designed to exceed the expectations of all chefs; pros and amateurs alike.

In line with this, this model is a superior quality blade that is NSF Certified due to its flexible design, elegance, performance, and reliability.

Mercer is a trusted brand as such, this knife guarantees to be a reliable tool for boning, filleting, and quartering chicken.

And it can be a good gift to anyone who loves cooking as well.

High-quality Japanese steel 

This boning blade features a superior quality type of Japanese steel that is popular for its unique resistance against rust, discoloration, and corrosion.

This steel is hard and strong for durability and reliability throughout the knife’s life. Additionally, it is made for accuracy and suitability when boning a variety of meat types including beef and pork.

The knife has a razor-sharp edge that makes chopping and cutting effortless and easy.

Ergonomic handle 

The ergonomic handle in this curved boning blade by Mercer is made using a combination of polypropylene (for durability) and Santoprene (for comfort). The handle comes with textured finger points for a better grip and slip resistance.

It is worth noting that the handle also features a protective finger guard.

The handle of this product is impervious to heat and moisture and thus ideal for a typical kitchen environment.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9.5/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9/10

Pros:

  1. High-carbon Japanese steel that is durable and reliable
  2. Curved blade for easy boning
  3. Precision edge technology
  4. Superior quality handle that is comfortable and durable
  5. NSF certified hence performance guaranteed

Cons:

  1. The cutting edge gets blunt and damaged easily when used on hard bones.

Other great collections:

SKY LIGHT 6 inch Boning Knife (Best Design)

If you are in the market for a flexible and multi-purpose boning knife, this 6 inch Sky Light boning knife will be the ultimate choice for you.

The knife offers a narrow and expertly curved blade that offers excellent maneuverability.

And it’s best for working around bones, skin, and joints.

The knife is perfect for deboning, filleting, trimming, skinning, and descaling.

Peak performance 

With an expressly sharp edge that is factory sharpened at 17 degrees on each side and nitrogen cooled for flexibility and hardness, this Sky Light knife boasts o excellent performance.

The knife is hand polished by experts and seasoned craftsmen to tear through meat and skin easily hen deboning or filleting.

The corrosion resistance properties in the blade guarantee that you can make the best cuts and slices using the knife.

Military-grade handle 

The ergonomic and stylish handle is made from a military-grade polymer.

As such, the handle is uniquely impervious to temperature variance (hot or cold), heat, and moisture. Additionally, the blade boasts agility, superior hand control, and comfort.

This in turn makes it effortless for you to control the flexible blade when working on delicate and soft meat like fish and poultry.

A really good product for sure.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  1. Easy and comfortable to hold
  2. Maneuverable and flexible blade or multi-purpose use
  3. Sharp edge with peak performance
  4. Nitrogen cooled blade for flexibility and enhanced hardness
  5. Precisely forged superior quality stainless steel blade

Cons:

  1. The ultra-sharp edge can be a safety hazard if mishandled

ZWILLING J.A Henckels Boning Knife (Best for Durability)

This 5.5-inch knife from ZWILLING has all the features you would want.

The Stainless Steel in the blade is strong and hard.

Therefore, it’s best for all your boning and filleting needs in the kitchen.

What is more amazing about the blade is that its cutting edge has excellent edge retention. Therefore, you do not need to sharpen the blade regularly.

POM Handle 

The POM handle in this boning blade is specially designed and constructed for a comfortable, firm, and secure grip.

Additionally, the black wooden handle has a flexible design such that it is easy to hold for chefs with different hand sizes from youthful cooks to old chefs.

The resilient handle makes it easy to use the blade for training your kids on how to debone beef or quarter a chicken.

Strong and solid blade with a curved bolster

This one prides itself on a high-carbon stainless steel blade.

The knife exhibits superb resistance to wear and tear rust, corrosion, and discoloration. In addition to this, the blade is easy to sharpen using standard sharpeners like a whetstone.

The knife has a pointed tip for piercing through meat and skins when deboning. The curved bolster provides for enhanced precision and safety when using the blade.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9/10

Pros:

  1. Stainless steel blade that is resistant to corrosion and rust
  2. The knife is very user-friendly
  3. Ergonomic handle that is comfortable to hold
  4. A flexible blade that maneuvers easily around bones
  5. Excellent edge retention

Cons:

  1. Not ideal for deboning massive meat carcasses

Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro Handle (Best for Home Cooks)

This is a classic deboning blade that is trusted and preferred by both culinary professionals and home chefs.

The best thing about this blade is that it is designed for boning even thin meat cuts and fish with utmost precision and accuracy.

The cutting edge in the blade is factory-sharpened such that you will rarely require to re-sharpen it.

Versatile

This Victorinox Swiss Army boning blade allows you to remove and trim the meat from bones with great ease and accuracy.

This makes the knife a perfect choice when deboning delicate and super-soft meat like fish. The pointed tip of the blade pierces meat easily while the straight cutting edge provides or smooth and clean cuts.

With this blade, you can easily trim meat on joints and cartilages.

Easy handling 

This product boasts a Fibrox Pro handle that is ergonomically shaped for non-slip grips. The textured black handle is comfortable and secure to hold even when wet.

For purposes of effortless handling and accuracy, the blade is lightweight and well-balanced hence easy to maneuver with when aiming at precision cutting.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10

Pros:

  1. 6-inch blade length that is sufficient for most meat types
  2. Perfect for delicate meats
  3. Easy handling with a non-slip handle
  4. Trusted Swiss quality
  5. Superior quality stainless steel blade

Cons:

  1. The knife gets damaged when washed in a dishwasher

Global (Best Design)

Definitely one of the best options out there.

Over the years, Global has become a trusted brand when it comes to kitchen knives and blades.

True to this spirit, the 6.5-inch boning blade by the brand is a highly sought-after boning blade by most professional chefs and upcoming cooks.

The knife is precisely balanced and has a flexible cutting edge that maneuvers easily around bones.

Stainless steel handle 

The most striking feature here is its stainless steel handle.

It is worth noting that the handle made of steel is specially molded and designed to fit the chef’s hand. Additionally, the handle is dimpled or providing a non-slip grip that is equally firm and non-slip.

The standard size of the handle makes it easy to grip for all cooks including the small-handed ones.

Superior quality blade

The knife is made from high-quality vanadium stainless steel that has the capability of remaining sharp for long.

It is important to note that the steel is resistant to corrosion, rust, and discoloration.

What is more amazing about the blade is that it is thin and flexible and hence ideal for deboning all types of meats including delicate ones.

That one is a really good trait of steel also.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10

Pros:

  1. Dimpled handle with non-slip properties
  2. Edge retains its sharpness for long
  3. The flexible blade makes the knife multi-purpose for many meat types
  4. Lightweight and perfectly balanced construction
  5. The knife is easy to clean

Cons:

  1. The knife becomes dull quickly when used to cut through bones

4603 Boning Blade (Best for Brand Recognition)

Wusthof is an incredibly popular brand among chefs due to its exclusive design and construction.

The 4603 by Wusthof is a great deboning blade that is best for not only easy to hold in the hands but also quite effortless to control for precision maneuvering when deboning delicate meats.

This world-class blade is built to last in your kitchen and sustains wear and tear.

High carbon stainless steel 

Like other high-end models, this Wusthof 4603 Boning blade features a high carbon stainless-steel construction. This type of steel is popular for its durability, reliability, and resilience.

As such, the performance of the blade is guaranteed on whichever type of meat you may be working on.

The steel in the blade has a Rockwell hardness of 58 and hence ideal for deboning all types of meat: both hard and soft types of meat.

Triple-riveted handle 

The full-tang handle in this boning blade is triple-riveted for stability and strength.

As such, the handle allows for comfortable and secure grips that in turn allow chefs and cooks to have the best control over the knives for precision and accuracy.

What is more amazing about the handle is that it comes with a finger guard that guarantees the safety of the fingers even when applying excess pressure when deboning tough meat.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  1. Precision edge technology hence ease of use
  2. High carbon steel that is easy to sharpen
  3. Excellent edge retention
  4. Triple-riveted handles for stability
  5. Comes with a finger guard for enhanced safety
  6. Ideal for many meat types

Cons:

  1. The knife breaks apart due to constant falls

Dalstrong Phantom Series (Best for Sharpness)

Dalstrong blades hold a solid reputation for being mercilessly sharp and reduced resistance due to hollow ground blades.

The knife is carefully tapered to provide minimal drag thereby making the blade ideal for a variety of meat types in your kitchen.

This masterfully elegant blade is perfectly balanced or has excellent control and handling.

Peak performance 

This Phantom Series boning blade by Dalstrong is finely refined to cater to the blade’s unique beauty, performance, purity, and power.

This professional-level boning blade is a powerful deboning tool that not only favors pros but also helps amateur chefs to hone their boning skills.

The narrow blade in this knife is flexible and maneuvers effortlessly around bones, skin, and joints to separate delicate meats from bones.

Design perfection

The stylish handle in this Dalstrong boning blade is made using a velvet-rich Spanish pakkawood that has a black that contrasts well with the shiny steel blade.

The D-shaped handle is laminated and hand-polished to ensure that it provides cooks with a comfortable and reassuring grip.

The handle tucks comfortably into your palm thereby providing you with ultimate control.

The knife also comes with a black sheath for easy storage.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9.5/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10

Pros:

  1. Durable construction
  2. Comfortable non-slip handle
  3. High-carbon stainless steel handle with excellent resistance to wear and tear
  4. Mercilessly sharp cutting edge
  5. Flexible blade for easy maneuverability
  6. Suitable for many meat types
  7. Comes with a handy sheath

Cons:

  1. Some chefs may find the handle a little long

Related reviews:

Shun Higo Nokami
Shun Premier
Shun Classic Knife Set
Shun Classic Cleaver
Shun Deba

FAQ’s About Boning Knives

Is a boning knife the same as a fillet knife?

Yes.

However, it can be used interchangeably for boning different meat types and filleting while a fillet knife is designed for deboning fish only.

Is a lifetime warranty possible for this type of knife?

I don’t know of any brand that offers a lifetime warranty for their boning knives yet.

But feel free to let me know.

Can you use it with other kitchen knives?

Yes, why not?

Is the Wusthof Classic knife good enough?

Even though I haven’t tried it yet, I have heard many good things about it.

So yeah, you can definitely try it out.

What price should I pay?

There is no fixed price.

Some boning blades cost as little as $20 while others cost more than $100. Most high-end boning knives are quite expensive and will set you back a good sum of money.

Should the knife be flexible?

The flexibility depends on the intended use.

If you are planning on boning tough and thick meats like beef and pork you will need to invest in a stiff knife.

Flexible blades can cause injuries when dealing with hard and tough meats as the blades bend easily.

How long should my chosen knife be?

The ideal length is 5-6 inches. However, some boning blades are 9 inches in length.

Is this type of knife necessary?

It is not an essential and necessary piece of cutlery unless you are considering butchering a lot of meat and poultry.

What is the purpose of a boning knife?

It is used during food preparation for removing bones in meat, poultry, and fish.

At what angle should you sharpen your knife?

If it’s for a fillet knife, then 18-21 degrees.

You should set the sharpening angle of your fillet knife within this range so that the blade is quick to sharpen and that it gains excellent sharpness.

With the right sharpening angle, you also don’t eat up too much of the cutting edge by sharpening back and forth.

How do you sharpen it?

The mode of sharpening depends on the sharpener you are using.

If you are using an electric sharpener, then all you need to do is place the knife in the sharpening slots. When using a whetstone, you need to place the blade at an angle between 18 and 21 degrees.

You should then slide the blade on the whetstone gently and consistently until one side of the edge is sharpened. Repeat the same process for the other side.

Conclusion

Many chefs, especially beginners find that boning fish and meat is one of the hardest kitchen tasks out there.

While removing meat from the bone and skin requires a lot of skill, the whole thing can be made easier with a quality boning knife.

And based on our research, we’ve found that the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Boning Knife is one of the best picks out there.

It comes from one of the most respected brands on the market and features a sharp and flexible blade that will glide in between the meat and the bone or skin.

For those in need of a sleeker and more modern knife, we recommend the Global 6.25” Boning Knife.

With its stainless steel handle and long and thin blade, making for a perfect fit in modern kitchens.

And if you need a quality boning knife on a budget, we recommend the Mercer Culinary Millennia Boning Knife.

Despite being a budget option, this knife has an incredibly sharp blade and ergonomic handle, making it easier for chefs and home cooks to accomplish complicated kitchen tasks.

Further reading:

How to Debone a Whole Chicken, Turkey, Duck

Tips for Deboning Chicken

Last Updated on October 11, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.