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For many deer hunters, one of the best parts of making a kill comes after the fact: in the skinning and butchering phase. Bringing the deer from the field and plating it as venison can be a soothing and therapeutic process for many seasoned hunters.
But not without the right knives. As any hunter will attest, the tools used in butchering make all the difference in how easily and efficiently it can be done.
If you feel you don’t have the best knives for butchering deer, don’t worry. Below, we’ve discussed and reviewed 7 of the best ones for you, and we’ve included a comprehensive buying guide to help you find the knife best suited to your needs. Come let’s have a look to pick good knives for butchering deer.
7 Best Knives for Butchering Deer
Don’t settle for a subpar knife for butchering your hard-won venison. Keep reading for our top picks in butchering knives!
1. TUO Scimitar Butcher Knife
For our first pick today, we have selected this highly rated scimitar knife from TUO. It is so named because of its long blade, which is contrasted beautifully against its short handle. It is one of the best knife for butchering deer in our opinion.
The versatility of this knife makes it suitable for several butchering applications, while its low price makes it an affordable competitor for the Dalstrong boning knife or breaking knife.
When working with this flexible boning knife, your quarry will be butchered and sorted in no time. Starting with the curved tip of this scimitar knife, you’ll be easily aided in the removal of fat and separation of meat and bone.
Meanwhile, the Granton edge of this boning knife also facilitates efficient deboning. And this is not only in the case of raw meat, but cooked as well.
The flexible knife has a sturdy, full-tang handle, which allows you to enjoy greater control when handling your game. Thanks to the soft and comfortable grip of Pakkawood, which is safe and secure, you can make flexible cuts. Hand fatigue sure is no joke, and a good knife will always keep it at bay!
- Ergonomically designed handle constructed from Pakkawood
- Full-tang knife allows for greater control and balance
- Curved knife tip allows for easy meat-from-bone separation
- Hard-ground German steel blade with 56+ HRC
- Might lose its sharpness sooner rather than later
This breaking knife is poised to make all of your butchering problems disappear with its impressive narrow blade and generous blade length. What we love most about it is its versatility. It’s just as suitable as a bread knife as it is a boning knife.
That said, its low price might come at the cost of lower durability, so it’s your risk to take. That said, it’s one of the best boning knives we’ve encountered.
2. Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery
When it comes to the making of great knives, you can trust the Swiss in a pinch. Victorinox is the Swiss brand where the Swiss army knife originated, so you can imagine why they are so widely praised. And if you can believe it, their breaking knife is almost as famous as their army knife!
Equipped with an 8-inch sharp curved blade and a short, sturdy handle, this is the perfect addition to any butcher’s arsenal. The ice-tempered, high carbon stainless steel construction of the blade makes it one of the most durable you’ll find, especially in this price range.
The ergonomic handle, however, is what makes this Victorinox boning knife a true winner in our eyes. Made from Fibrox, which is a Victorinox-patented material, this handle offers a superior non-slip grip. As a result, you get to work hassle-free even when the condition is slightly too moist or wet (as they tend to get when butchering!).
- Built for durability with high carbon stainless steel construction
- Ice tempered and conical ground for dependable, enduring sharpness
- Ergonomic Fibrox Pro handle lets you enjoy a reliable non-slip grip
- Comes with an 8-inch curved blade perfect for various butchering tasks
- The thinness of the knife-edge might invite damage
This is an excellent knife for deer butchering purposes for several reasons. The sharp, curved blade is well-balanced and features a high carbon steel construction, while the non-slip Victorinox Fibrox Handle offers a superb grip.
No wonder it’s loved by professional chefs all over the world and has a nearly perfect rating! Not to mention, it’s available in a 10-inch iteration and doubles perfectly as a butcher knife or skinning knife.
3. Global 6.25″ Boning Knife
Searching for the best boning knife for deer butchering is a decidedly frustrating and, at times, difficult task. To begin with, it isn’t easy to figure out what kind of blade you might need and whether that’s suitable for deboning deer.
But this boning knife from Global is one of the most versatile and flexible we have come across, and we invite you to consider its merits.
This boning knife is well suited to produce venison because it comes equipped with a lightweight and flexible blade. You’ll feel the smooth and precise balance as soon as you hold the knife in your hand, and you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the sturdy feel of the knife’s durable stainless steel construction.
Meanwhile, the knife’s dimpled handle also makes for a safe and comfortable grip that lets you take on your butchering safely and efficiently. All in all, when it comes to processing deer, this is an addition you definitely need on your knife block. Don’t compromise on the quality of your venison! these knives are good knives for processing deer in our opinion.
- Long-enduring vanadium stainless steel blade construction
- Sharp and efficient boning knife with a 6.5-inch blade
- Sand-filled handle allows for easy blade maneuvering
- Enduring stainless steel construction with face-ground build
- Dimpled handle for a smooth yet firm grip
- Might be difficult to re-sharpen
We love the flexibility of the blade, which is a trait we look for in the best boning knives. The blade’s tapered sharp edge is the ideal accompaniment for anyone attempting to separate the meat of their wild game from its bones.
You will find the unique dimpled anti-slip handle to be well suited for butchers with small hands. However, this knife can’t be put in the dishwasher and must be hand-washed and wiped with a soft cloth.
4. Hammer Stahl 6-Inch Boning Knife
This 6″ boning knife from Hammer Stahl is one of the most popular selections for users seeking a curved boning knife at a reasonable price and for long-term use. With German steel construction, tempered and forged treatment, and a large Pakkawood handle, it’s easy to see why this knife has garnered such an impressive reputation.
Let’s start with the knife’s flexible blade, making it one of the top contenders for boning and butchering deer. The tempered and forged high carbon steel construction of the blade not only gives it its long-enduring sharpness but facilitates the maneuverability that this knife is known for.
On that note, you’ll be sure to appreciate the quad tang of this knife, which combines with the Pakkawood and phenolic resin handle to give you greater control over your quarry. Not to mention, the durability of the handle makes this knife even more valuable to have, especially when combined with its low price.
- One of the most affordable boning knives for deer
- Razor-sharp edge thanks to tempered high carbon stainless steel
- Flexible and thin blade for precision and ease
- Quad tang design with a durable phenolic resin and Pakkawood handle
- There are no significant cons of this boning knife
This 6″ boning knife is one of the most efficient you’ll find for cutting through both tough and soft meat.
When using a curved boning knife on venison, a flexible or semi-stiff blade is always preferred, and this knife certainly delivers on that count. This knife also surprisingly durable and undeniably well-made, not to mention affordable!
5. KastKing Spartacus Fillet
Our next pick is this highly rated fillet cum boning knife from Spartacus, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Equipped with a high-performing stainless steel blade of 9 inches, this knife is a great budget option if you’re searching for a dependable knife that can do it all.
And by “it all,” we mean two of the most critical parts of butchering wild game: boning and separating. Thanks to the curved shape and considerable length of its blade, this knife allows you to get more work done with less effort.
We’re a big fan of how this knife has been formulated; its Cerakote ceramic finish is a thoughtful touch rarely seen in other knives of its kind. But it’s not just there for show (although it does help preserve the knife’s aesthetics for longer); this ceramic finish gives the blade the ability to withstand high temperatures.
Now, a secure grip is one of the essential components of a good knife, and KastKing certainly delivers on that front. This knife comes with a Kraton G polymer handle, which offers UV-resistant properties and enhanced durability. We know butchering can get messy, but this one takes care of itself!
- Comfortable polymer molded handle with UV-resistant qualities
- Comes with its own molded protective sheath for safe storage
- Long-lasting, corrosion-resistant Cerakote ceramic finish
- Suitable knife for filleting fish as well as meat
- The knife is liable to slipping easily out of its sheath
The value of this boning/filleting knife is undeniable, particularly for those of you on a budget. Its performance is on par with much more expensive knives, and its construction makes it surprisingly durable. Although the loose sheath is poorly designed and dangerous, you can always use the knife without its sheath.
6. KastKing Fillet Knife
Our second KastKing knife selection is just as popular, if not more, than the first. Despite boasting a super durable and robust semi-flexible blade and a sturdy handle with unparalleled comfort and grip, this knife comes with an affordable price tag.
The stainless steel construction of the blade no doubt has much to do with the knife’s overall popularity.
Not only does this knife have one of the most long-enduring sharp edges, but the flexible design of its curved blade also gives you a wide range of comfort and freedom when processing deer. But if you want to use the knife for filleting fish or deboning chicken, that’s easily achieved.
Meanwhile, the polymer handle offers a dependable non-slip grip that makes processing deer that much more comfortable (no one loves hand fatigue!). The butchering and quartering process will be over before you know it. And yes, just like our last KastKing pick, this one also comes with its own protective sheath!
- German steel blade with a tapered edge for greater control
- Suitable for tough deboning jobs as well as delicate filleting tasks
- Long-enduring rubberized handle with slip-resistant grip
- Flexible blade makes processing deer easier
- Available in 3 different sizes from 6″ to 9″ for your needs
- Dangerous sheath design with holes
This 6″ boning knife doubles perfectly as a filleting knife as well, and we can’t deny its usefulness in butchering a wide variety of games. Although it’s one of the most economical choices, you would hardly be able to tell based solely on its premium construction and high performance.
7. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels ZWILLING Flexible Boning Knife
We’ve saved one of the best boning knives for last. Zwilling is undeniably one of the most reputed brands you can turn to if you need a butcher knife or boning knife that will let you handle your meat with ease, confidence, and convenience.
And its versatility is unmatched: whether you’re deboning deer or filleting some chicken, this knife will readily come to your aid.
So how does it achieve this level of performance? It begins with the blade’s excellent construction, made of German stainless steel that holds its own for many, many years. Meanwhile, the comfortable handle lets you enjoy an unmatched amount of control and maneuverability when you work.
You’ll notice that the design of this knife is a little different from the others we’ve reviewed thus far; it curves out slightly before the rest of the blade. This is given to ensure that you enjoy greater control when you cut meat or are processing deer (or any other wild game meat).
However, it can be slightly dangerous to handle if you don’t have prior experience with such knives.
- Flexible boning knife with a solid stainless steel construction
- Curved and ergonomically designed bolster for a firm grip
- Suitable for a wide range of applications
- Lightweight build yet offers a sure grip
- The design makes it a little dangerous for inexperienced users
This flexible boning knife is one of the most efficient ones you’ll ever come across, even if it’s fillet knives or a 6″ boning knife you seek (this one is only slightly shorter).
It’s undeniably more expensive than others we’ve reviewed on this list, but the high price tag is justified, given this is chosen by many professional cooks. In fact, if you’re looking for a good Dalstrong boning knife alternative, you can seriously consider this offering from Zwilling.
Before You Buy What to Look for
It’s essential to put thought into the knife you choose for butchering wild games. Keep these factors in mind before making your purchase.
Butcher knives may not be as straightforward as you think. In fact, you have the option to choose between a butcher, breaking, boning, and fillet knife. Here’s a closer look at each type.
· Butcher Knife
Your first option is, of course, a butcher knife. Whether you’re attempting to break down cuts of venison or trimming fat, its slight curve can be very helpful in making precise cuts. Meanwhile, the knife’s Granton edge lets you get the job done without shredding or tearing.
· Breaking Knife
As the name might suggest, breaking knives allows you to cut large meat sections into smaller pieces. They also come with curved blades and make it easier to cut through cartilage, tough skin, and small bones. Trimming fats is also pretty easy with them.
· Boning Knife
A boning knife is crucial to any hunting kit. Why? Because it’s only with a good boning knife that you can separate delicate meat from bones with the least amount of waste. As you might guess from our boning knife reviews, they are available with a stiff blade or flexible blade and come in various sizes.
· Fillet Knife
Technically a type of boning knife, fillet knives are mainly used in filleting fish and measure between 15 and 28cm long. They’re a good choice if you struggle to remove skin and bones from meat, which requires a level of caution.
The “tang” of a knife indicates how much of the blade extends into the handle, which in turn affects balance. So, a full-tang blade is heftier than a partial-tang one and offers greater strength and balance. You can see, then, why full-tang blades are considered superior. However, it comes down to user preference.
One of the most critical factors to account for when buying any knife is its size—most knives for butchering deer range between 6 and 14 inches. Although 6 inches is seen as the ideal blade length, some hunters prefer longer blades for better maneuverability during skinning.
Smaller knives, however, are better for cutting around the bone. It depends on the knife type and your preferences what knife size will suit you best.
Blade Flexibility and Sharpness
Butcher knives come with sturdy and thick blades as they must often get through tough meat. However, a little flexibility might be a good thing, particularly in filleting and boning knives.
Next, you want a sharp blade: as sharp as possible for efficient butchering. Blades made from high carbon steel are best for this purpose. German steel and stainless steel are also good options.
Knife handles can be made from various materials: wood, steel, hard plastic, polypropylene, etc. Now, if you’re on a budget, you’re more likely to end up with a plastic-handled blade.
On the other hand, for an ergonomic, slip-resistant grip, textured handles are your friend. And if you’re going with wood for the (undeniably enviable) aesthetic, know that they tend to wear out without proper care.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the right length for a deer boning knife?
Most boning knives are in a 5″ to 8″ range; the right length depends mainly on what you’re personally comfortable with. However, most hunters seem to prefer 6″ knives.
2. Is it better to buy a boning knife than a fillet knife?
Go with a boning knife. Particularly for both field dressing and butchering, a boning knife can give you the best results. Its slightly curved tip combines with the blade’s short and thick stature to facilitate easy skinning and quartering, making it the best knife for deer butchering.
3. Why do some butcher knives come with hollowed-out edges?
These hollows, also known as divots, create space between the blade and the meat to help separate meat without sticking.
4. What is the best way to butcher a deer?
If you’re a beginner, you can start by reading this informative guide, then move onto instructional videos.
5. Can’t I just use a chef’s knife to butcher my deer?
It’s not impossible to get the job done with a chef’s knife. However, thanks to their long, curved blade, a butcher’s knife lets you handle large venison pieces with greater ease.
Selecting and reviewing all the best knives for butchering deer wasn’t easy, but we believe you deserve the best. The Victorinox Swiss Army cutlery boning knife is undoubtedly the star of our show, with its long-enduring construction (plus, it doubles as a fillet knife!).
If you’re processing your own meat on a budget, though, we would definitely suggest this boning knife from KastKing.
We wish you a seamless experience in processing deer!
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.