Best Boning Knife of 2019: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

best boning knife

Learning how to debone a whole chicken or fillet a salmon properly will always begin with a good boning knife. In case you don’t know yet, boning knives are more important than you think.

If you use a regular knife for deboning a chicken and other kinds of meat, you probably are missing out on the best and tastiest parts of the meat. The best boning knife can help you cut through the meat efficiently, thereby taking out the juiciest parts, which are those attached to the bone.

Finding a boning knife can be a bit time consuming, but we can help you save time through the list that we prepared. Below, we listed down some of the best boning knives that you can use in your kitchen.

Comparison Chart

Wusthof 4603 Boning Knife

SMTENG Boning Knife

Shun Cutlery Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

DALSTRONG Boning Knife

Best Boning Knife Reviews

1. Wusthof 4603 6-Inch Boning Knife

First on our list is a good-quality boning knife from Wusthof. The 4603 6-Inch Boning Knife can be used for deboning chicken or ham, as well as for trimming sinews and fats.

Product Highlights

This boning knife from Wusthof is a must-have for all kitchens due to its premiere performance and the fact that the six-inch blade is suitable for boning a variety of meat. The blade is flexible, making it possible to cut around the bone joints while ensuring that the meat is separated effectively.

German stainless steel is used for the blade, which is made by a forging process that ensures the knife keeps its sharp edge for a long time. This knife is of the full tang type, which is important for boning knives to ensure that the blade does not break off while being used on tougher pieces of meat.

The handle also deserves a special mention due to its polymer material, which has been ergonomically shaped. It is seamlessly attached to the blade using three strong rivets, and on the side of this handle, you will see Wusthof’s mark of excellence.

The bolster comes with a finger guard to prevent your fingers from slipping over the blade. Aside from that, the bolster also has another function, which is counterbalancing the blade so that the knife is easier to use.

This knife, unlike many others, is guaranteed dishwasher-safe. This is a great feature for those who hate washing up. However, you are still advised to hand-clean it when you can so as to prolong the life of the knife.

What's to like about the Wusthof 4603 6-Inch Boning Knife

The handle on this knife is extremely comfortable to use and feels secure in one’s grasp. Undoubtedly, this is due to the material used and its ergonomic shaping.

What's not to like about the Wusthof 4603 6-Inch Boning Knife

While the price would indicate that this is a high-quality knife, and it is, it does seem remiss that the logo on the handle fades very quickly, which is not what you’d expect in a product of this standard.

PROS

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    High-grade steel blade
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    Flexible to aid boning
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    Lightweight yet balanced
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    Traditional handle style
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    Dishwasher-safe

CONS

  • Quite pricey
  • Logo wears out

2. SMTENG 5.5-inch Boning Knife

SMTENG is a new emerging brand in the market. As early as now, it is already considered synonymous with high-quality products. The SMTENG 5.5-inch Boning Knife is one of its best creations so far.

Product Highlights

The SMTENG 5.5-inch Boning Knife is a multi-purpose knife. You can use this to debone different types of meat, including chicken, lamb, pork, beef, and more.

The blade is 5.5 inches long, the handle is exactly four inches long, and the thickness of the blade is 0.2inch/5mm with a weight of 260 grams.

Its curved blade boasts a hardness of 58 HRC, which means that this knife is hard enough to trim and debone different types of meat. It also has great edge retention, anti-corrosion, and anti-rust properties.

The wooden handle is ergonomically designed, providing the user with comfort when using it. It is made from logwood, so you can expect that the grain of the handle would be different from each other.

What's to like about the ProductName

The blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel, so it is incredibly sharp and extremely sturdy at the same time. The knife also comes with a beautiful gift box, making it a perfect gift for people who love to cook.

What's not to like about the ProductName

While this knife has anti-rust properties, there are instances where the blade would start to develop rust, especially when not properly maintained. The package doesn’t come with a free sheath, as well, which means you’d have to buy one separately.

PROS

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    Very sharp
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    Durable
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    Money-back guarantee
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    Anti-rust and anti-corrosion properties

CONS

  • The sheath is not included

3. Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

Shun Cutlery has always pursued perfection in every knife that they created. The Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife is one of the products that showcase the brand’s extraordinary craftsmanship.

Product Highlights

The Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife provides easy cutting. The narrow blade is made from authentic and high-performance VG-MAX steel that can boost its edge retention. In turn, it can help you debone and fillet meat with ease. It

This knife also has a half bolster design, which would enable you to sharpen the blade from the back of the edge to the tip.

The D-shaped handle provides a secure grip on the knife and gives you excellent control. The handle is made from ebony Pakkawood, which is both stunning and durable.

What's to like about the Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

One thing to love about the Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife is the blade itself. The blade is very easy to sharpen and is made from VG-MAX steel. This means that it is easier to maintain the edge of this knife compared to others.

What's not to like about the Shun Cutlery Six-Inch Classic Boning and Fillet Knife

Although the knife is advertised as a filleting knife, it is not as flexible as the brand claims it to be. It can be used for filleting, but not for most fish. The item doesn’t come in a storage box or a sheath, as well.

PROS

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    Extremely sharp
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    Stunning and durable handle
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    Easier edge maintenance

CONS

  • No sheath included

4. Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

Dexter-Russell is known as one of the best manufacturers of high-quality knives in the market. This is mainly because Dexter-Russell Cutlery is focused on creating high-end knives.

Product Highlights

The Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife comes with a curved blade that would allow you to cut through tight sections of bone and meat. The blade is made from high-carbon steel, so it is extremely durable and flexible for heavy butchering work. The knife has a standard-sized blade, which measures six inches.

This knife features a sealed Grip-Tex handle. This would provide the user with a solid grip. Combined with that is the fact that this is a non-slip surface, allowing you to slice and debone meat comfortably and safely.

What's to like about the Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

One of the best things to love about the Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife is its pointed tip. You can use it to pierce the skin of the meat and then let the sharp blade glide through the meat and joints.

What's not to like about the Dexter-Russell S131F-6PCP Boning Knife

The only thing that you should be wary about when it comes to this boning knife is the constant need for honing. The blade loses its sharp edge pretty fast, so you need to sharpen it from time to time.

PROS

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    Grip-Tex handle
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    Extremely sharp blade
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    Easy to hone

CONS

  • Blade loses its edge fast

5. DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife

The DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife is designed especially for deboning, skinning, filleting, and trimming your favorite meats with ease. The Gladiator Series features some of the most modern and sophisticated knife designs made by Dalstrong.

Product Highlights

The DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife is made from high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German Steel, which is very sharp and wear-resistant. This comes with a hardness rating of 56+ Rockwell.

The edge is sharpened to 14 to 16 degrees per side, and it features a hand-polished satin finish blade along with a tapered design for flexibility and hardness. The protective finger bolster can also provide the balance that you need when deboning, skinning, or filleting meat.

The handle is made from the best Pakkawood imported from Spain. This provides the knife with superior strength and a perfect grip. It is also triple-riveted, so you can expect that it would be extremely durable. It has an ergonomic shape to provide more comfort and maneuverability.

What's to like about the DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife

Among the boning knives on this list, the DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife is probably the most sophisticated. It has a modern design, and the blade is extremely sharp and durable. What’s more, it comes with a water- and stain-resistant Dalstrong PerfectFit sheath to protect the blade.

What's not to like about the DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Six-Inch Boning Knife

The blade on this knife is extremely sharp, but it dulls pretty fast. This means that you are required to hone the blade constantly. Although the handle fits perfectly in your hands, it is a bit big.

PROS

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    Extremely durable
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    Sharp blade
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    Water- and stain-resistant sheath
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    Pakkawood handle

CONS

  • Blade dulls fast
  • The handle is a bit big

Buyer's Guide

There are so many boning knives on the market, and it would be extremely difficult to find the best one unless you know what to look for. This buyer’s guide will provide some of the most important considerations when looking for the best boning knife.

1. Type of Blade Steel

Boning knives, or just knives in general, use different types of steel for the blades. The most common types are tool steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel. The blade is the lifeline of a knife, so choosing the best type of steel that would fit your preference is very important.

When choosing blade steel, you should not select based on the popularity of the features alone. There is no ultimate blade steel for a knife because they all have advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing blade steel would depend on where the knife would be used. We listed down some of the most common types of steels that are used for boning knives. This will help you decide what type of blade you want from a boning knife.

High End

High-end steel blades are more expensive because they have better features and specifications compared to the other types of blade. In a sense, they are a much better choice, but you need to have the budget to afford these types of knives.

  • 154CM Steel

This type of blade steel is extremely balanced in terms of edge-retention, corrosion-resistance, and ease of sharpening. Although this type does not excel in any of those three factors, it is a balanced knife that can provide the features that you require from a boning knife.

  • ATS-34 Steel

This is Japanese blade steel with the same quality as the 154CM Steel from the United States. They have similar characteristics and properties, which means that this type of blade steel is extremely balanced, as well.

  • D2 Steel

The main selling point of this type of blade steel is its edge-retention property. It is definitely better than 154CM and ATS-34 in terms of edge retention, but it falls short when it comes to corrosion-resistance and ease of sharpening.

  • VG-10 Steel

VG-10 Steel is quite similar to ATS-34 and 154CM because it is very balanced. However, it is like an upgraded version of the two. In fact, it is a much better choice in terms of edge-retention, ease of sharpening, and corrosion-resistance.

Upper Mid-Range

This is a bit more affordable than high-end blade steel. It is the perfect choice for chefs who are looking for good knife steel that is affordable.

  • 440C Steel

The 440C steel is great all-around steel used for many types of knives, especially for boning knives. This is practically stainless steel, and it is commonly used for pocket knives. Among the 400-series knives, this is the best one.

  • AUS-8

This Japanese steel is known for the fact that it is easy to sharpen. It may not hold its edge well and is not too good when it comes to corrosion-resistance, but the fact that you can sharpen it easily is something that a lot of people factor in.

  • CTS-BD1

This is vacuum-melted stainless steel that is very close to 154CM steel. The features are almost the same except when it comes to its edge-retention, which falls short compared to 154CM steel. However, it is more affordable, so if you don’t mind the edge-retention issue, this is a great pick for you.

Lower Mid-Range

Upper and lower mid-range steels don’t have a lot of differences. They were only divided to show the small difference between the two groups. You will find lower mid-range blades made from:

  • 440A Steel

This type of steel is very easy to sharpen, and the corrosion-resistance level is pretty good as well. However, edge-retention is a bit of an issue.

  • 13C26 Steel

This one is very close to 440A steel. It is on the lower mid-range category simply because of its inability to retain its edge for a long time.

  • 1095 Steel

This one is on the lower mid-range because edge-retention is low as well as its corrosion-resistance. It is very easy to sharpen, but overall, it is not really the best for knives. Its main selling point is its durability. Since it is made from 0.95% carbon, this is an extremely tough material for a boning knife.

Low End

All the steels in the low-end category are the cheapest, but they are definitely the best for general use. If you are on a tight budget, this is the best choice for you. When it comes to low-end options, you can choose between:

  • 420J Steel

Here, edge-retention is almost non-existent, but the corrosion-resistance and ease of sharpening are very high. It has low carbon content, and the blade is softer, but it is a pretty good choice for an all-purpose knife.

  • AUS-6 Steel

This is Japanese steel, which is pretty low in quality and has little carbon material. It is pretty much the same as the 420J steel.

2. Blade Length

When choosing a boning knife, the length of the blade should be around five to six inches, but there are instances where it would reach around nine inches. As long as the length of the blade is within that range, you won’t have a hard time using it to debone different types of meat.

3. Sharpness

Your boning knife should be extremely sharp to the point where you won’t have a hard time slicing or trimming different types of meat. You should know that the meat that is sticking on the bone is extremely hard to slice off unless the boning knife is very sharp.

4. Handle Material and Shape

The handle of your boning knife can be made from wood, steel, or plastic. Wood is a pretty sturdy material as a handle, but you cannot let the handle stay in water for a long time.

Plastic is pretty flexible and lightweight, and although it is not as sturdy as wood, it can also be a good handle material. Steel handles are usually very slippery, but they are the toughest material for a handle.

As for the shape, the cutting edge would be straight from the heel, and there would be an upward curve before it reaches the tip. However, you will notice that arched blades became popular lately. This features the entire blade rising upward from the handle.

5. Stain Resistance

The stain-resistance of a knife depends on the amount of chromium present on the blade. Although some people don’t really care about stain-resistance, you might want to look for a blade with at least 12% chromium.

6. Edge Angle

The recommended angle for a boning knife is between 17 and 25 degrees.

Boning Knife FAQs

When buying a boning knife, there are a few questions that you might want some reliable answers to. It is better to know some of the commonly asked questions about this type of knife before you decide to buy one.

1. Is a fillet knife the same as a boning knife?

No. While many mistake the two for each other, they are actually different. Although both of them can be used for deboning and filleting, fillet knives are thinner and are more flexible. Boning knives, on the other hand, have a thicker blade and are sturdier.

2. What is a boning knife used for?

Boning knives are used for the removal of bones from the meat. They are perfect for tougher and larger meats, such as beef, pork, and chicken. They can be used for fish, but fillet knives are a much better option when it comes to that.

3. What angle do you sharpen a boning knife?

The best angle when sharpening a boning knife is around 17 to 25 degrees.

4. How do you hold a boning knife?

The best way to hold a boning knife is to hold the handle using three fingers and the thumb. Put your index finger on top of the blade to gain more control. This can be used when you are using the tip of the blade to debone a chicken breast. You can also use this technique for other types of meat.

5. How long is a boning knife?

Boning knives are usually around five to six inches, but you can find some options that are nine inches long. Longer boning knives are better to use for larger chunks of meat, but for deboning chicken or a smaller part of the meat, five to six inches is already a good length.

Final Verdict

Boning knives are very flexible, and even if they are meant for deboning different types of meat, you can pretty much use them for different types of tasks. However, you need to be very meticulous when choosing a boning knife. Make sure that you check the quality of the blade and the handle.

Deboning would be extremely difficult if you don’t have the right type of boning knife to use. Therefore, instead of using a regular kitchen knife for this type of job, get a boning knife to help make the task easier.

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