Last updated: 16/10/2022

Welcome to our big oyster knife test 2022. Here we present all the oyster knives we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best oyster knife for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying an oyster knife.




Summary

  • Beginners should choose oyster openers with hand guards, experienced oyster cooks can also use French oyster openers. Professionals like to use a special oyster opener to efficiently crack many oysters.
  • When buying an oyster knife, you should pay attention to the material and the blade length – depending on whether you want to open large or small oysters.
  • An oyster knife must be sturdy and robust and have a blunt blade.

The Best Oyster Knife: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an oyster knife

Who is an oyster knife suitable for?

An oyster knife is suitable for anyone who wants to open oysters as efficiently as possible, i.e. for (gourmet) cooks as well as for guests in restaurants. However, it is important to note that different types of oyster knives are suitable depending on your experience in opening oysters.

Depending on your experience, you should also consider using special gloves in addition to an oyster knife when opening oysters.

In addition to an oyster knife, you also need a good cutting surface, preferably a soft one. Wood is particularly suitable for this. (Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels)

Depending on how often and what kind of oysters you eat, you can also consider buying an oyster knife set.

However, it is important to note that anyone who wants to open an oyster should use an oyster knife, as other knives are unsuitable for this purpose. If you don’t use a real oyster opener but another knife, you risk serious injuries.

Did you know that oysters have an important ecological function?

Oysters have been around for 250 million years and have a very important function in coastal waters. Oysters filter about 240 litres of water per day through their bodies. They also serve as prey for many sea creatures

How much does an oyster knife cost?

Prices for oyster knives start at around 2.50 euros. But you can also spend several hundred euros on an oyster opener.

Good oyster openers made of stainless steel are available from around 20 euros. Depending on the type and brand, the prices for oyster knives vary considerably.

Type price range
Simple oyster knife with hand guard 2.50 to about 50 euros
Simple oyster knife without hand guard 2.50 to about 50 euros
Short French oyster knife from about 20 euros
Long French oyster knife from about 20 euros

How do I use an oyster crusher?

You can open oysters either from the front or from the side. Regardless, you must first check which is the top and which is the bottom of the oyster.

The top side of the oyster is flatter than the bottom side, which is larger and curved. In both cases, take care not to damage the flesh and that no shell splinters get into the flesh.

Opening the oyster from the front

If you open the oyster from the front, make sure that the lower side of the oyster (the larger, curved side) is facing downwards and the tip of the oyster is facing forward towards the body.

When you open the oyster like this, you crack its shell and cut its sphincter. This sphincter is in the centre of the right side of the oyster.

This method is suitable if you do not want to damage the shell in order to slurp out the oyster.

  1. Check which is the top and which is the bottom of the oyster (flat on top, larger and curved on the bottom).
  2. The tip of the oyster must point forward, the curved side downwards.
  3. Push the oyster knife into the tip of the oyster and separate the shell halves by turning them.
  4. Now cut the sphincter of the oyster with the oyster breaker so that the shell pops open.
  5. Then simply remove the upper shell of the oyster.
  6. Insert the knife under the meat and separate the remaining sphincter.
  7. Check the flesh. It should be moist and juicy and smell pleasantly of the sea.

Opening oysters from the side

  1. Using a wider knife, slowly drill into the right side of the oyster. The knife must penetrate the oyster.
  2. Now separate the sphincter and break the tip (the hinge) of the oyster.

One disadvantage of opening from the side is that the shell of the oyster is usually damaged.

Important: When opening an oyster, do not pump, but move the knife sideways after entering the oyster and “slice” the oyster.

Also, do not spill the seawater contained in the oyster and make sure that the oyster is still alive. Eating dead oysters in particular can lead to poisoning.

You can test if the oyster is still alive by drizzling some lemon juice on the edge of the oyster. If the oyster is still alive, it will contract when hit by the lemon juice.

What are the alternatives to an oyster opener?

Alternatives for professionals who open and distribute oysters commercially are the Hector oyster opener or the Rekko oyster opener.

You can attach these to the table and open oysters relatively easily, but it is more suitable if you open oysters professionally.

Under no circumstances should you use a normal kitchen knife or a pocket knife to open oysters because of the high risk of injury.

Decision: What types of oyster knives are there and which is the right one for you?

On the one hand, you can distinguish oyster knives according to whether they have a hand guard or not. On the other hand, you can also subdivide oyster knives according to their suitability for certain people.

  • Oyster knife with hand guard
  • Oyster knife without hand guard
  • Oyster knife for inexperienced cooks
  • Oyster knife for experienced cooks
    • Short French oyster knife
    • Long French oyster knife
  • Oyster knife for inexperienced professional chefs

What distinguishes an oyster knife with hand protection and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An oyster knife with a hand guard (the so-called sleeve) is characterised by the hand guard. This prevents you from slipping into the blade of the oyster opener with your hand.

Advantages
  • Protection against slipping
  • Better grip
  • Less risk of injury
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Mostly blunt blade
Disadvantages
  • Unsuitable for professional use

What distinguishes an oyster knife without a hand guard and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An oyster knife without a hand guard can be used to open oysters just like an oyster knife with a hand guard. However, it carries a higher risk of injury.

Advantages
  • Pointed shape
  • Ground on one side only
Disadvantages
  • Higher risk of injury
  • Only suitable for professionals

What distinguishes an oyster knife for inexperienced cooks and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Oyster knives for inexperienced cooks usually have a blunt stainless steel or steel blade. The handle is usually made of wood or plastic and includes a hand guard. Because of the hand guard, these oyster knives are particularly suitable for beginners, as they have a lower risk of injury. However, they often have a blunt blade.

Advantages
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Blunt blade
Disadvantages
  • Wooden handles must be cleaned directly after use

What distinguishes a short French oyster knife for experienced cooks and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The short French oyster knife is suitable for experienced cooks and is usually characterised by a short stainless steel blade ground on both sides and a wooden handle.

This oyster knife is particularly suitable for opening European and small Pacific oysters.

The short French oyster knife has a hand guard and is therefore beginner-friendly. It thus prevents the oyster from being pierced and protects the fingers.

Advantages
  • Hand guard
  • Partially suitable for beginners
Disadvantages
  • Kline ground on both sides

What distinguishes a long French oyster knife for experienced cooks and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The long French oyster knife is a double-edged knife with a stainless steel blade. It is particularly suitable for opening larger oysters. The handle is made of wood and it has no hand guard, so it is more suitable for experienced users.

Advantages
  • Suitable for opening larger oysters
  • Stainless steel blade
Disadvantages
  • No hand protection/higher risk of injury
  • Unsuitable for beginners
  • Ground on both sides
  • Wooden handle must be cleaned directly

What are the advantages and disadvantages of oyster knives for professional chefs?

There are special oyster knives for professional chefs. These are usually used in catering kitchens when many oysters have to be opened.

Such professional oyster openers have a long to very long stainless steel blade, no hand guard, but a plastic handle.

Examples of such professional oyster knives include the “Boston Stabber”, the “Galveston Knife” and the “New Haven Knife”.

Advantages
  • Suitable for efficiently opening many oysters
  • Suitable for the catering trade
Disadvantages
  • Unsuitable for beginners
  • Unsuitable for private use

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate oyster knives

In this section, we will look at the main criteria you should consider when buying an oyster knife.

  • Material
  • Oyster knife type
  • Blade length
  • Handle length

Material

There are mainly oyster crushers with wooden handles, plastic handles, stainless steel handles, FRN handles or Ivorine handles. Basically, the choice of handle material is a personal one – depending on which material feels more comfortable in your hand.

Wooden handles usually feel soft and warm. They are not necessarily dishwasher-safe, but they are durable. For example, handles made of olive wood are not suitable for the dishwasher.

Advantages
  • Durable
Disadvantages
  • Not dishwasher safe

Stainless (high-grade) steel handles are characterised by their long life and resistance to corrosion. However, stainless steel is very heavy and can be slippery.

Such steel is often roughened so that the handle is not so slippery. There are also often handles made of a combination of stainless steel and rubber. This makes the knives feel better in the hand and you don’t slip off so easily. However, stainless steel is rarely used as a handle material because it is too heavy.

Advantages
  • Robust
  • Durable
  • Resistant to corrosion
Disadvantages
  • Heavy
  • Slippery in parts

Glass fibre reinforced nylon (FRN) consists of randomly arranged fibre strands. The glass fibre layers are placed in a resin mass and compressed. Under heat they are pressed and moulded.

FRN handles are robust, easy to clean and inexpensive, but they also feel cheap and do not have as good a grip.

Advantages
  • Robust
  • No maintenance needed
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Cheap plastic feel
  • Less grippy

Ivorine is a trade name for Bakelite. Bakelite is a substitute for ivory. Ultimately, Bakelite is a durable plastic that is resistant to mechanical impact, heat and acids.

However, bakelite is also very brittle, so knife handles made of bakelite can crack if they fall off.

Advantages
  • Fits well in the hand
  • Resistant to mechanical impact
  • Durable
Disadvantages
  • Bakelite is brittle
  • Darkens
  • Can crack

Oyster knife type

Depending on your practice and experience in opening oysters, you should choose a knife that is suitable for beginners or professionals. Beginners must pay particular attention to the fact that the knife has a hand guard.

Cooks who open oysters professionally should consider whether a professional knife for opening oysters makes sense for them. French oyster openers are suitable for experienced oyster connoisseurs, but not for beginners.

Blade length

The blade length of an oyster opener can vary. For smaller oysters, oyster knives with shorter blades are suitable, for larger specimens oyster knives with longer blades.

Oyster size knife type
small common French oyster knife, blade length about 5 cm
large elongated oyster knife with a length of 6 to 11 cm

Handle length

The handle length of the oyster knife varies depending on the size of your hand. You should choose an oyster knife that fits comfortably in your hand.

Facts worth knowing about oyster knives

How do you serve oysters?

Depending on whether you have oysters for guests, you can serve them open or closed together with an oyster knife.

Did you know that some types of oysters are among the most expensive foods in the world?

Oysters are considered a delicacy all over the world. One of the most expensive oysters is the Coffin Bay Area oyster from Australia.

The hefty price tag is around $100 per oyster. Considering that one oyster doesn’t fill you up, that’s a very handsome price.

Arrange the oysters in a visually appealing way on a plate. To enhance the flavour of the oysters, serve lemon with them. You can also use parsley or chives to garnish the oysters.

The eye also eats. Therefore, make sure that the oysters are presented attractively. (Image source: pixabay.com / rfsyzygy)

How do I clean an oyster knife properly?

Cleaning varies depending on the material of the oyster knife. Many oyster knives, especially those made of wood, are not dishwasher safe.

It is best to clean your oyster knife by hand. You should moisten wooden oyster knives before use and clean them immediately after use so that the wooden handle does not swell.

What do I have to bear in mind when using an oyster knife?

Basically, you should only use an oyster knife for opening oysters and only on soft surfaces.

To make your oyster knife last as long as possible, it should not be used on hard surfaces such as granite. It should also not be used for other foods or for anything other than opening oysters.

Should I sharpen an oyster knife?

You should only sharpen an oyster knife with a whetstone.

Image source: 123rf.com / freeprod

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