Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Whether you are a hobby chef or a professional, you won’t be happy with a simple kitchen knife in the long run. That is why many households have a variety of different cutting utensils. A special type of kitchen knife is the boning knife. It is mainly used for processing meat and fish products. The knife effortlessly removes bones and skin from hard meat, poultry and fish.

With our big boning knife guide, we want to give you the necessary know-how and help you find the best boning knife for your purposes. We not only compare the different materials, but also show you the advantages and disadvantages of this tool. This should make your purchase decision easier.


  • A boning knife is used to remove bones from meat and fish. It also offers the possibility to separate skin from meat due to the sharp blade.
  • When buying one, make sure that the blade is as sharp as possible and pointed. The sharper the blade, the easier it is to remove the bone and skin.
  • To prolong the life of the boning knife, it is important to clean the knife immediately after use. It is also important to have the knife sharpened regularly.

The Best Boning Knife: Our Picks

Boning knife: buying and review criteria

When buying a boning knife, there are a few things to consider to make the right choice for your purpose. Some criteria are:

In the following, we explain to you what is important in each aspect.


A boning knife, like other kitchen knives, should ideally be made of stainless steel. Damascus steel is also a good choice here, but the price is somewhat higher. The knife consists of a thin blade that tapers to a point at the end. The handle is made of stainless steel, wood or plastic. Even though some boning knives are dishwasher-safe, it is recommended to wash them by hand, as the high temperatures can damage the knife in the long run.


As mentioned above, weight also plays a major role when buying a boning knife. The weight depends on the length of the blade and also on the material of the handle. The more stainless steel used, the heavier the knife.

A boning knife weighs between 69 and 225 grams, depending on the material. Wood is the lightest material. It is followed by plastic and stainless steel. When choosing a knife, it is advisable to pay attention to the quality of the handle. A light knife is particularly suitable for faster work, while a heavy one, on the other hand, sits well in the hand and is therefore ideal for hard foods.

Blade material and length

A blade should have a length between 13 – 16 cm and be pointed. The fact that a boning knife is very thin allows the meat to be processed precisely. Longer knives are not suitable for removing bones and skin, as you lose grip and cutting strength. The shape of the blade can also vary greatly. The following shapes are available:

  • Straight blade,
  • Curved or curved blade
  • Extended blade length

A straight blade is suitable for piercing directly into the meat. A curved knife, on the other hand, is better for cutting along the bone. Which blade suits you best is a matter of habit and should therefore be tested thoroughly.

Handle types

Ergonomics and the safety of a knife play a very important role when cutting meat. Fortunately, the market offers a wide range of options. The following handle types are available:

Handle Definition
Stainless steel Stainless steel is one of the most stable materials. Since the blade and the handle are made of one piece, the knife looks very sturdy and elegant. However, due to the material, it is not very slip-resistant.
Wood A boning knife with a wooden handle is very comfortable to hold. The wood is obtained from nature. This makes the knife look very noble and traditional. The disadvantage of a wooden handle is that it must not be exposed to moisture for too long.
Handle with riveted plastic shells boning knives made of plastic feel very good in the hand and are quite robust. With these knives, the plastic is additionally connected to the blade with stainless steel rivets to prevent the blade from falling out. They are also ideal for the dishwasher.
Injection-moulded plastic handle The shape of the plastic handle means that the knife lies well in the hand and is quite inexpensive. It is mainly used in the butchery and slaughter industry. With particularly inexpensive knives, however, the handle can come loose after some time.

Boning knife: Frequently asked questions and answers

In order to clarify all open questions, we list the most important questions and answers about boning knives below. This should provide you with essential knowledge and thus simplify your purchase decision.

What is a boning knife?

A boning knife is a special type of kitchen knife. It is mainly used to remove bones and skin from meat and fish.


Boning knives are ideal for cutting and preparing steak and other meat products. (Image source: Jez Timms/ unsplash)

A boning knife can be purchased with either a Japanese cut (U-shaped) or a European cut (V-shaped).

It is characterised by having a thin and sharp point.

The blade is usually made of stainless steel, has a length between 13-16 cm and weighs on average about 100 grams. Depending on the use, you can buy the knife with a flexible or rigid blade.

What types of boning knives are there?

There are many boning knives with different materials. The five main types differ as follows:

  • Boning knife made of ceramic
  • Boning knives made of stainless steel
  • Titanium boning knife
  • Boning knife made of carbon
  • Boning knives made of Damascus steel

In the following, we explain which material is suitable for which purpose and what the respective advantages and disadvantages are.

Many boning knives are still forged by hand today. Some are even made in Germany.(Image source: Trinity Treft/unsplash)

Ceramic boning knives

Ceramic boning knives are usually lighter than stainless steel, which makes it possible to cut and slice food quickly. Since they are very robust and remain sharp for a long time, boning knives made of this material are very durable. In addition, they are rustproof, odourless and tasteless, which makes them particularly suitable for allergy sufferers. Boning knives made of ceramic are ideal for peeling vegetables or fruit. Boneless meat can also be processed very well with the knife.

However, because they are very light and flexible, they are not suitable for removing bones from meat. This could damage the blade and even break it.

  • Lighter than other knives
  • Durable due to robust blade
  • Allergy-friendly
  • Especially suitable for fruit, vegetables and boneless meat
  • Not suitable for hard meat or frozen food
  • Easily breakable
  • Not dishwasher safe

Stainless steel boning knife

A stainless steel knife is made of 70-88% stainless steel. To get the seal stainless, at least 10 % chrome is added. In addition to chrome, other materials can also be added, such as nickel. A knife made of stainless steel can be used in many ways in the kitchen. It is suitable for many foods and is suitable for both beginners and professionals. Since it is a relatively inert material, these knives are usually dishwasher safe.

However, the knife is not as sharp as carbon, for example, and therefore needs to be sharpened more often.

  • Robust
  • Stainless
  • No discolouration
  • Versatile
  • More susceptible to sharpening
  • blade less sharp than other knives

Titanium boning knife

Titanium is one of the lighter materials. It is also very easy to handle and the material is very robust. These knives are also very suitable for cutting many foods. However, care should be taken not to handle hard foods, as the light material can otherwise be damaged. Boning knives made of titanium are among the more expensive knives. These are rarely found on the market.

  • Robust
  • Not susceptible to rust
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not suitable for frozen food

Boning knives made of carbon

Carbon boning knives are characterised by the fact that they are very sharp and also last longer. They are much sharper than knives made of stainless steel and do not need to be sharpened as often. However, knives made of carbon react much more sensitively to acidic foods and can become discoloured as a result. This creates a substance that gives the carbon steel its protective coating. When the knife is used for the first time, the food can take on a metallic taste.

  • Very sharp blade
  • very robust
  • good value for money
  • Susceptible to rust
  • Discolours very quickly
  • Taste may rub off on food
  • Not dishwasher safe

Boning knife made of damask steel

Damascus knives are distinguished above all by their special characteristics. During production, both soft and hard steel are folded over each other in alternation. This is how the typical grain is created. This manufacturing process produces a knife that is not only particularly robust and sharp, it is also especially durable and easy to resharpen. A damask knife has a length of 15-20 centimetres and is usually very narrow. This makes the knife ideal for cutting and preparing a variety of foods.

  • Durable
  • Particularly sharp blade
  • Extremely robust
  • Very good cutting results
  • Very expensive
  • Not suitable for the dishwasher

What does a boning knife cost?

A boning knife can be bought both as a set and individually. Since they are among the more specialised tools in the kitchen, their price is set somewhat higher than normal kitchen knives. The cheapest models are available for as little as €10. However, depending on the manufacturer, the type of handle and the high-quality blade material, the price can be higher.

Material cost
Stainless steel 15 – 150 €
Damascus steel from 40 € to unlimited
Titanium 40 – 150 €
Carbon 30 – 70 €

What are the alternatives to a boning knife?

Since a boning knife is quite a specialised tool in the kitchen, there are only a few knives that are similar to it. The only knife that comes close to the classic boning knife is the filleting knife. It differs only in the blade. Filleting knives were originally designed to remove the skin from meat and fish.
  • Similar to a boning knife
  • Narrow blade
  • Suitable for filleting meat, fish and poultry
  • Very flexible material
  • Poor workmanship bends the blade

When buying a knife, you should always make sure that it is suitable for working with meat and bones. It should have a thin blade and not be too long so as not to lose its grip. The knife should be robust and made of a material that cannot be easily damaged.

How do you care for a boning knife?

First of all, it is important to remove all food residues immediately after using the knife. The acid in the food can attack the stainless steel and thus affect its durability.

To be able to use the boning knife for several years, you have to take care of it properly.

To avoid damage to the knife, it is important to use a suitable base. In general, wood is the best base for cutting food, as it is lighter than the blade. Stone, marble or plastic surfaces should be avoided as they can damage the blade. When buying a knife, make sure that it is dishwasher-safe before cleaning it in the dishwasher. Otherwise, it is always advisable to wash the knife by hand to avoid the least amount of damage.

How do I clean a boning knife?

Cleaning plays a big role when buying a boning knife. Some manufacturers sell products that are dishwasher safe. These are made of steel or robust plastic for both the blade and the handle.

It is important for the longevity of the knife to always wash it by hand, if possible.

However, this should be avoided if possible. The heat and the cleaning substances can affect the life of the knife. If you still want to put your knife in the dishwasher from time to time, you should make sure that it has been declared dishwasher safe by the manufacturer.


A knife block is suitable for storing knives safely and gently.(Image source: congerdesign/pixabay)

After cleaning, the knife should be stored in a suitable place. A knife block is best suited for this, as it not only protects the knife, but also provides additional space for other knives. A knife block is usually made of wood and has various grooves that are suitable for the knives.


A boning knife is a kitchen knife that is mainly used for processing meat and poultry. The thin but sharp blade allows the meat to be precisely removed from the bone and skin.

The variety of different boning knives offers both amateur chefs and true professionals the opportunity to find a suitable knife for the purpose. Ultimately, you should make sure that the knife suits you and your purposes.

Image source: Mingorance/ 123rf