What are good knives to cut through bone?

Knives

I have a lot of meat to cut up and I’m afraid I might dull my kitchen knives. Are those Japanese knives that cut through Coke cans any good?

In general knives aren’t mean to cut through the bones.
However, there are a few specialized blades for that, although in the end it all depends on the thickness and size of the bone.

To cut through the femoral bone of the cow you’d need a good axe or a saw, and that is what butchers use for that.

At home you most likely never have to deal with those kind of bones.

For small stuff meat cleaver will do, or a small hatchet. I personally use Busse "Paul’s ratchet" for that, even though it’s not a dedicated meat cleaver, it outperforms pretty much anything out there – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/busse/busseph.shtml

Another alternative is Japanese hon-deba, or "true deba", heavy blade which is good enough to cut through the fish and poultry bones, lamb ribs, etc. e.g. – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexbyst.shtml?Deba

As for the rest, Cutco knives are made of 440A steel which every knifemaker will tell you is a low end steel. So, the prices they charge for that is simply outrageous and nowhere near their performance.

If you go with Japanese chef’s knives a.k.a. gyuto then avoid any bone contact with those, the edges on them are too delicate for that and they’re designed purely for cutting soft food, which they do far better than any western chef’s knife be it Wusthof, Henckel or whatever else.
And they hold those thing, efficient cutting edges a lot longer than western knives too.

To work around bones when cleaning meat you need a boning knife – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexbyst.shtml?Boning


10 Responses to “What are good knives to cut through bone?”

  1. pascha — January 28, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    CUTCO best knives i’ve ever had
    References :

  2. Daniel — January 28, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    Did you kill somebody? You need a bonesaw for that.
    References :

  3. gnarlynessthesecond — January 28, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    some samurai swords can cut through five bodies. insane. i’m not even joking.
    References :

  4. imscrewed — January 28, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    I personally just chew through my victims. Why would you chew through a coke can?
    References :

  5. Raymond — January 28, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    The best knives out there right now are Wustof. They are top of the line. Used in Hell’s Kitchen. Pricy but guaranteed to cut through bone. If you don’t want to spend that much then Cutco knives are the second best bet.

    http://www.cooking.com/products/brand.asp?k=wusthof
    References :

  6. LeLe — January 28, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    I think you need something with ridges. Samurai swords are great, but need to be sharpened after you hack a body in half. As for chewing anything I don’t recommend that the skin gets stuck in your teeth.
    References :

  7. Sky — January 28, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    In all honesty, this isn’t about the brand of knife. This is about what knife is needed. A nice sharp clever would do the trick nicely.
    References :

  8. Daniel — January 28, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    Cutco would be the best answer to your question. If you need any help getting some you can e-mail me. Wustof’s are actually made with wooden handles which are very unsanitary.
    References :

  9. David C — January 28, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    ha! idiots are great….

    so…forget brand names for now because people will always bitch about what they think is the best brand…and usually they’re wrong (as the answers here have so kindly demonstrated), but anyway…depends on the type of bone…fish bones you can just use a chef’s knife (using the part of the blade closest to you…the heaviest bit). if you’re talking chicken bones…well you never need to cut through the bigger ones…you can cut those at the joints (sometimes you need to cut through the ribcage area, but that can again be done with a chef/french knife)…if you’re talking about breaking down big meat products like a piece of cow or pig or anything like that you need to have a meat cleaver…no doubt about it, but i doubt that’s the case in this situation…elaborating on what kind of bone you’re cutting would be a big help.

    brands shouldn’t be important to you…you’re not a culinary professional, and unless you have lots of money lying around that you don’t have another use for (and if that’s the case i’d be happy to take it), then sure…go buy yourself a good set of knives, but really you can get away with just about any knife that’ll hold an edge. go to a cutlery store (there are great ones out there depending on where you live…check online to check what they’ve got), and go in and get a feel for some knives in your price range and see which ones you like best. i won’t tell you what i think is best simply because the knives that i like (while they are fantasticly engineered) are not for everyone and i don’t want to bias you against something that you might like better because it doesn’t matter how good the knives are if they don’t feel right in your hand. while you’re at it buy a sharpening stone and learn how to use it. they’re pretty cheap, and oil stones are the best (you need to buy oil to go along with it). that way you can keep up your knives, which is important because if you buy a $200 knife and never care for it you may as well burn your money.

    to sum up…you’ll have virtually all you ever need to cut bone with a chef knife/cleaver. if you’re interested to know which brand of knives are best, then, first of all, it’s partially your choice, and second, make up another question for that because it’s something completely different…and of course, to close, because it is the most important thing…if you don’t know how to care for knives properly don’t buy nice knives…it’s silly, and it’s a huge waste of your money (diamond steel+oil stones are essential for good knives…get them, and learn how to use them). best of luck, and i hope that helps.

    EDIT: i would like to set a couple things straight. wooden handles are perfectly sanitary…and cutco aren’t great knives…they’re not bad knives, but they’re essentially overpriced, mediocre knives. wusthof are not the best knives out there…they’re neither the sharpest nor the sturdiest, and yes, i can back that up with firsthand knowledge. they are the best german knives out there perhaps, but german knives aren’t the shit anymore….japanese knives are all where it’s at. you can argue with me all that you’d like, but it really comes down to the fact that i know a lot about knives. you’re all welcome to your opinions i suppose, but a google searched answer really isn’t that great to go on.
    References :
    culinary professional, and lots of experience with knives of all kinds

  10. Visor — January 28, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    In general knives aren’t mean to cut through the bones.
    However, there are a few specialized blades for that, although in the end it all depends on the thickness and size of the bone.

    To cut through the femoral bone of the cow you’d need a good axe or a saw, and that is what butchers use for that.

    At home you most likely never have to deal with those kind of bones.

    For small stuff meat cleaver will do, or a small hatchet. I personally use Busse "Paul’s ratchet" for that, even though it’s not a dedicated meat cleaver, it outperforms pretty much anything out there – http://zknives.com/knives/fixed/busse/busseph.shtml

    Another alternative is Japanese hon-deba, or "true deba", heavy blade which is good enough to cut through the fish and poultry bones, lamb ribs, etc. e.g. – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexbyst.shtml?Deba

    As for the rest, Cutco knives are made of 440A steel which every knifemaker will tell you is a low end steel. So, the prices they charge for that is simply outrageous and nowhere near their performance.

    If you go with Japanese chef’s knives a.k.a. gyuto then avoid any bone contact with those, the edges on them are too delicate for that and they’re designed purely for cutting soft food, which they do far better than any western chef’s knife be it Wusthof, Henckel or whatever else.
    And they hold those thing, efficient cutting edges a lot longer than western knives too.

    To work around bones when cleaning meat you need a boning knife – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexbyst.shtml?Boning
    References :

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