which knives do you use for butchering up large pieces of meat?

May 25, 1999
Hi everyone, the forums been a little slow and I am not ready to jump into the pile of work I have on my desk (I'm having some java anyway....lol). I would like to know which knives you folks use to butcher up large pieces of meat, or game. For example if you had a whole thigh of a deer and you want to slice up some nice steaks, or you buy a large ribeye cut any you want to slice up some steaks.

I use a custom knife I picked up by a local guy: I haven't a clue what kind of steel it is, but it holds an edge real well! I touch it up a little and use it a couple of times a year just for vension

I picked up a Blackjack #1-7" (thanks again, knifenut!), and an 10" Marble's Trailmaker (should arrive at end of week, Thanks Joe!) that I plan on using in late November


Ray 'maddog2020'
I've used a Grohmann camp knife ever since I got hooked on them in the military.

Walt L.
I use forschner knives for meat and other kitchen chores. Having spent a couple of years doing custom slaughter/cut & wrap I aquired a number of good knives. My father in law was a meat cutter also, as was his father, and I've inherited thier knives too.
For skinning and field dressing I use the Uluchet.

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!

There is very little I can't do to any animal with a Forschner 6 inch simi-stiff curved boner (quit laughing!) and an 8 inch steak knife, both with fibrox handles. Like PJ, my Grandfather, Father, and Father-in-law were all meat cutters at times in their careers. I was a meat cutter during High School and College before I got commissioned in the Army. Forschners were the tools of our trade. Just find a butcher supply house for a good supply, or call the Cuttlery Shoppe (208) 884-7563. I know everyone wants to talk about how their special handmade 3/16" thick hunting knife is so good at separating an animal's muscle from it's bones, but the standard, inexpensive forschners are what the professional uses.

Bruce Woodbury
I use a cheapo Oneida 3" pointy fixed blade for seperating the muscles from the bone, or just pull the groups apart with my fingers. I think I may have paid $7 at a close out several years ago at a Oneida outlet (yes, the flatwear, silversmith folks). It has a stout little blade that is wicked hard to sharpen, but holds an edge well - no idea what kind of steel it is. I have learned that chilled meat is much easier to slice rather than meat at room temperature.

I hate it when some meat cutters use bandsaws to slice steaks! What a shame

I will have to look into the Forschner knives. Thanks, for the lead - former meat cutters!

I use my Project 1 for everything from catfish to boar, to 1,500lbs.+ aligators.

It's one piece design makes for easy disinfecting and cleaning. It is competent at both slicing and hacking, as well as breaking bone with a solid spine whack.
I got a good deal and good service on Forchner kitchen knives at www.chaicutlery.com
My wife and I like them alot and plan on getting more, and they're inexpensive to boot!
For boning game Bruce made almost exactly the same recommendation that I would make. The curved blade (actually more of a backward bend) on the boning knife lets you cut parallel to a heavy bone without puting your knuckles in the meat. This is the same advantage that you get with a Grohmann camp knife, but with a larger handle and a narrower blade. I favor a boning knife with an offset handle to achieve the same purpose (hard to find). When you are working on hanging meat or you are working cross-wise on a table the backward bend of the curved boning knife is not a problem, but if you are kneeling next to your work the back curve is a hastle. The Grohmann has a slight offset that is handy, but the blade is a little wide for working around a thigh bone. An offset- bladed straight boning knife allows the edge to cut down to the bone and be worked around it with minimum meat loss.

So I would use a straight 5"-6" boning knife and a similar offset boning knife. If I couldn't get the offset boning knife I'd use a curved boning knife in its place.

For big rib roasts I use a 10" carbon steel chef's knife. The design isn't as important as the length and the toughness of the steel. You need it a little thick and tough for working around the bone, but you want it sharp. That's why I favor the carbon steel. If I didn't have that knife I'd use one of the heavier, longer Forschners. Rather than buy many designs I'd probably go with an 8" chef's knife as the most utilitarian. A butcher knife or breaking knife would work for the purpose. See:

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 03 August 1999).]
It depends on the size of the piece I need to cut. If it's a large joint or if it has a large bone I use my two-handed beef splitter. It's very old, of German manufacture with a 12" blade and a 20" handle. (But that tends to only come out on slaughtering days.)

For smaller work, I prefer a long butcher knife from J.A. Henckles.

I use my set of old Henkels from when they were still the best butcher knives available, and actually made in Germany.