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Breaking knives are used primarily for breaking down carcasses. Generally 8 or 10 inches in length with a curved blade, the breaking knife spans through the carcass and provides the needed range of motion to make a clean cut. Breaking knives are lighter and not as wide as butcher knives making them a superior choice for trimming and slicing.
Boning knives are specialized knives used to remove bones from meat. The blade is thin, short, and pointed. The length of a boning knife blade is usually not more than 6 inches and may be flexible or stiff. The blade may also be straight or curved, wide or narrow.
Boning knife blades are made of stainless steel, or carbon steel and the handles may be made of plastic, wood, or metal. Boning knives are kept extremely sharp in order to cut easily through tough tissues.
Heavier, wider, longer blades are used for working with larger heavy cuts such as beef primals. Shorter more flexible blades are preferred for smaller cuts, poultry, and fish.