Everything You Need To Know About Handmade Butcher Knife

Everything You Need To Know About Handmade Butcher Knife

Everything You Need To Know
About Handmade Butcher Knife

The quality and taste of a meal on some grounds are affected by the type of knife you use. One of the highly used chef knives that have made it to every kitchen is the handmade butcher knife. It's known for its toughness and durability, making it suitable for heavy-duty tasks and cutting through tough meat and bone. Moreover, certain specific butcher knives have a pointed blade tip that allows for precise and clean cuts, especially in tight working spaces.

When choosing a butcher knife, it’s important to consider certain factors like the purpose, blade quality, size, handle, and how it looks. Confused? Dont worry. In this blog, we will discuss everything about handmade butcher knives, from their origin, types, and their uses. Read along!
Japanese whetstone

Handmade Butcher Knives Origin & Evolution

Damascus Steel Chef Knife
The story of butcher knives starts way back in ancient times. People used to hunt animals for food, and they needed tools to cut up the meat. At first, they used sharp stones as knives. Then, as people learned how to work with metals like copper, bronze, iron, and steel, they started making knives out of these materials. These metal knives were much stronger and more durable.

In medieval Europe, the first proper butcher knives, similar to what we use today, appeared. They were big and heavy, with wide blades and sturdy handles made for cutting through tough meat and bones. Over time, as butchering methods changed, so did the design of butcher knives. In the 1800s, the French came up with a style called the cimeter, which had a curved blade and a pointed tip, perfect for trimming and cutting meat.
Today, German knife makers are producing really good quality butcher knives with tough blades and comfortable handles. These knives have become super popular with butchers and chefs all over the world.

Types of Handmade Butcher Knives

Different types of Traditional-style butcher knives

  1. Traditional Butcher Knife: This one looks like a super-sized chef's knife with a curved belly. It's got a wide, thick, and sharp blade that might have a serrated edge. The serrations help keep raw meat from sticking, so you can work faster.

  2. Meat Cleaver: This is a heavy-duty tool with a thick, rectangular blade made for chopping down straight through meat and bones. It's perfect for breaking down an animal carcass into smaller pieces.

  3. Boning Knife: This one has a short, pointed blade that's great for separating meat from bones. It's flexible, so it can easily slide between joints and connective tissue without wasting any meat.

  4. Carving Knife: A long, slender knife with a sharp point. It's used for slicing cooked meats and poultry into neat, even pieces.

  5. Fillet Knife: This knife has a short, thin, and curved blade, perfect for removing fillets of fish from the bones without wasting any meat.

Different types of Japanese-style butcher knives

  1. Petty Knife: A medium-sized knife with a tapered blade that's great for detail work. It can handle smaller butchery tasks like trimming steaks or breaking down poultry.

  2. Honesuki Knife: This is Japan's version of a boning knife, with a triangular blade and a downward-angled tip. It's perfect for breaking down whole poultry into portions.

  3. Hankotsu Knife: Another small knife with a thick, sturdy blade. It's great for separating meat from bones and butchering smaller carcasses.

  4. Deba Knife: Like the Western fillet knife, this one is used for filleting fish. It has a triangular profile and tapers to a sharp point, making it ideal for slicing through fish with precision.

Uses of Handmade Butcher Knives

Butcher knives are really handy tools! Here are some ways you can use a handmade butcher knife:

Trimming and preparing cuts of meat

Butcher knives are specifically designed for trimming fat, tendons, and other unwanted parts from cuts of meat, ensuring that the final product is of high quality and ready for cooking. From breaking down a whole chicken to portioning a large cut of beef, butcher knives are essential for dividing large sections of meat into smaller, more manageable cuts for cooking.

Chopping and dicing vegetables and herbs

Butcher knives can also be used to chop and dice vegetables and herbs, making them a versatile tool for a wide range of food preparation tasks.
Damascus Steel Chef Knife

Crushing garlic and other herbs

The broad, sturdy blade of a handmade butcher knife can be used to crush and finely chop garlic and other herbs, adding flavor and aroma to dishes. 

Utility purposes

Some butcher knives, such as the chef's knife, are versatile for general utility functions, both indoors and outdoors, during trips and camping. They come in various types, including Japanese, French, and German chef's knives, catering to different needs like:

  • Cutting ropes or branches during camping trips.
  • Preparing and cutting meat for barbecues or outdoor cooking.
  • Slicing through tough or fibrous outdoor plants or vegetation.
  • Processing fish or game after a successful hunting or fishing trip.
  • As a versatile tool for general outdoor activities and survival situations.
  • Trimming and preparing firewood for campfires.
  • Cutting and preparing fruits and vegetables for outdoor meals or picnics.


A well-suited handmade butcher knife can significantly enhance a professional butcher's efficiency and productivity. Different types of butcher knives, such as the breaking knife for carcass breakdown and the cimeter knife for trimming, slicing, and breaking joints, are essential for specific butchering tasks.


The handmade butcher knife, tracing its origins to prehistoric times, has evolved into a vital culinary tool. With a history spanning from rudimentary stone knives to precision-crafted blades, butcher knives accommodate diverse culinary traditions. Both Traditional and Japanese styles offer a range of options, from robust cleavers to delicate boning knives, each serving specific purposes in food preparation. Beyond the kitchen, butcher knives find utility in outdoor activities like camping and hunting. Versatile and durable, they embody craftsmanship and innovation, enriching culinary experiences with every precise cut. The butcher knife stands as a testament to humanity's pursuit of culinary excellence throughout history.

Shop Yakushi Knives