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Breaking knives are often overlooked in the kitchen, but they can also cause a lot of confusion. They are a kind of butcher knife.
First, why do you need such a knife? Second, what is the difference between a breaking knife and other butcher knives? Finally, what are the best-rated options on the market? You want to learn from others’ experiences and know precisely what to expect from one type of knife or the other.
Here is our take on top breaking knives in the market.
What is an Ideal Breaking Knife?
Breaking knife has multiple uses. It will penetrate thick meat and cut it into smaller and manageable pieces. Such a knife can break down pretty much everything, including cartilages, skins, and even bones. Since the knife is lighter than other alternatives, it is more popular in residential kitchens. There are many types of breaking knives out there, but the one with the curved blade is the most common, as it also helps with far trimming tasks.
Breaking knives are handy to cut whole meat too. A sharp knife will easily go through pork loins or butts. The curved blade is more common because it provides extra leverage when cutting through tough tissues, such as small bones or cartilages.
2023’s 5 Best Breaking Knives
Dalstrong Giant Butcher’s Breaking Knife Gladiator Series
Also known as the devastator, Dalstrong’s best breaking knife is larger than average breaking knives and comes with a high-quality build. Dalstrong is known for never compromising on quality or performance. This knife will not let you down – stunning appearance, excellent materials, great craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technologies.
The knife has a full tang design for stability and durability. It is razor sharp out of the box and comes with a high carbon German steel blade. It is 12.5 inches in length and four millimeters in thickness. The edge is razor sharp out of the box – it is hand sharpened at about 15 degrees. It is tempered with precision in mind and can easily resist stains.
The knife is quite versatile in the kitchen and while it may look intimidating, it will provide access to a series of applications. You can use it to chop, break down large pieces of meat, rock, and debone meat. Most of the balance is towards the blade, so there will not be too much effort from your side. The knife measures 1.5 pounds and has a six-inch handle.
In terms of strength and sturdiness, expect a blade with an impressive Rockwell hardness – over 56. It is excellent against beef, pork, and poultry. The blade has a satin finish that will maintain its beautiful appearance and flexibility over time. It has a super sharp tip and a well-curved edge for plenty of leverage when dealing with tough tissues.
As for the handle, you will love the triple-riveted black unit. It is based on G10 garolite and provides a comfortable grip. Maneuverability will pleasantly surprise you, despite the weight and size. There is hand-guard protection, yet the knife is less likely to slip. Make sure you clean it manually and never in a dishwasher.
Yousunlong Max Butcher & Breaking Knife
Yousunlong’s best breaking knife is a mix between a machete and a modern butcher knife, yet it features all the points associated with a breaking knife. The brand has become a front runner due to its high-quality standards and durability – a bit of maintenance will ensure this knife can support your cooking applications for ages.
The knife has a unique appearance that stands out in the crowd. The so-called Damascus blade is textured and likely to draw some attention. It is also referred to as the Tsuchime hammered pattern. Pretty much everything about the blade is handmade. It is sharpened by hand, but also hand bones. It is razor sharp out of the box and has a sharp tip – hand guard protection is also included.
The blade is based on Japanese 67 layer high carbon stainless steel. It has a great Rockwell hardness – over 60. It is 12 inches in length and comes with a symmetrically ground double beveled edge. Given its size, it will work wonders on most types of meat. However, it is also appropriate for delicate operations – such as cutting fish and seafood for sashimi.
The handle has an ergonomic design and ensures nonslip operations. Your fingers will grab it intuitively for a comfortable operation. It will reduce fatigue when preparing large amounts of food. Covered in black leadwood, it provides great control, yet most of the balance is aimed towards the blade. In other words, you only have to guide the knife.
In terms of maintenance, make sure you sharpen it at 15 degrees. It has good edge retention and requires proper sharpness for maximum efficiency – use a sharpening stone or an electric knife sharpener. Cleaning it is just as easy – do it manually and never in a dishwasher. Since it has a high carbon content, dry it before storing it away.
Hammer Stahl Butcher’s Breaking Knife
Hammer Stahl does not need too many introductions. Its knives feature a simplistic approach that will simply get the job done. Its best breaking knife makes no exception either.
This unit was designed for all kinds of applications in the kitchen. It is often advertised as a barbecue knife because it can cut through all types of meats – including small bones – with no issues whatsoever. Not only does it look sleek and good, but it performs even better. It features premium materials and feels well put together.
Based on high carbon stainless steel – German X50CrMoV15, the blade is forged and tempered. It is extremely precise and measures 10 inches in length, so it works great for large pieces of meat. It has a good Rockwell hardness – about 56. While not very wide and bulky, the exquisite sharpness is what makes it perform so well.
The blade is razor-sharp out of the box. The sharpening angle is set at 20 degrees. Blades are measured with lasers before leaving the manufacturing stage. Other than that, you can sharpen it yourself over time – use a stone or a classic sharpener. Talking about maintenance, make sure you always clean the knife manually, rather than in a dishwasher.
The knife is very well balanced and can easily reduce the discomfort associated with large pieces of meat. It has a solid pakkawood handle – infused with resin. It brings in the beautiful appearance of wood, as well as the durability of hard plastic. There is a small hand guard protection, while the quad tang design ensures great durability.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Curved Breaking Knife
This is the best value for money breaking knife on this list. It comes from a reputable company and costs less than most of its competition due to not having any random bells and whistles. It is simple, efficient, and brings in the trusted Swiss quality associated with Victorinox since 1884.
Designed as a breaking knife, it provides exquisite results for pretty much any butchering project. Its main role is to break down large pieces of meat into small roasts. However, it is also great for slicing and anything else in between – not suitable for big bones, though.
The blade measures 10 inches in length – you can also find the same knife with a smaller eight-inch blade, but the larger alternative is more popular. It is based on high carbon stainless steel, but also conical ground and ice tempered. It has great edge retention – sharp out of the box. Furthermore, sharpening it is fairly simple with a stone or a classic sharpener.
Most of the weight is pushed towards the tip due to the compact handle, as well as the extra blade width. In other words, control is great, but the knife also reduces fatigue in the kitchen. The fibrox pro handle is ergonomic and features good handguard protection. Besides, it has a nonslip profile, even when your hands are wet. Its weight ensures a great balance when in use.
Other than that, it is worth noting that the knife is NSF certified to ensure excellent health standards. In terms of maintenance, unlike other similar knives, this one is dishwasher safe. However, while the manufacturer agrees on its easy maintenance, it still pays off cleaning it manually. After all, you want to preserve that sharpness for as long as possible.
Dalstrong Butcher-Breaking Knife Shogun Series
If you are serious about your meat applications or recipes, you better invest in the right tools as well. Part of the Shogun series, this knife follows the high-quality standards associated with Dalstrong. Expect to get a solid unit with a great appearance. Look after it the right way and it will become your best friend in the kitchen.
You can use the knife for all kinds of meats, from pork to steak. You might as well use it to chop vegetables and fruits. It is long and large but also balanced to reduce effort. It is mostly suitable for meat because the blade has rock hollow divots. Their main role is to allow some air between the meat and the blade – excellent to prevent sticking.
The blade measures 10 inches in length – standard for this range and good for large pieces of meat. It is slightly arched like a cimitar to provide more leverage. Razor-sharp out of the box, you can use the knife immediately. It also has an incredibly sharp tip to pierce before cutting. Based on Japanese AUS 10V steel, it has an incredible resistance to rust and corrosion.
The blade is made with 66 layers of folded steel. Each blade goes through a vacuum treatment based on nitrogen cooling. Sharpened at about nine degrees per side, its efficiency will pleasantly surprise you. Furthermore, this type of construction ensures the knife looks attractive too. Talking about sharpening, you can use a stone or a sharpener.
Moving on to the handle, it is obviously smaller than the blade and helps with stability. Just glide it along and the weight will do most of the work. The G10 garolite handle is ambidextrous and comes with an ergonomic design. It is triple-riveted for strength and has good handguard protection, yet it is less likely to slip anyway.
Maintenance should not be an issue either. Clean the knife by hand and never in a dishwasher. Dry it thoroughly before storing it away. It comes with its own sheath, so you can protect the edge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a breaking knife used for?
Most commonly, the breaking knife is used to cut larger pieces of meat into smaller, more manageable pieces. It is great for large quarters and can easily turn them into small pieces and roasts. The curved blade works wonders in removing flesh from bones.
Can breaking knives cut through bones?
Breaking knives are suitable for large and thick pieces of meat. They are not recommended for bones, yet they can cut through small bones – such as chicken bones. If you deal with larger bones, get a cleaver.
Why is the breaking knife curved?
The curved design adds to the leverage when going through meat or cutting cartilages and small bones. Furthermore, it helps when separating bones and flesh.
Choosing the best breaking knife might be a bit confusing because you can find great brands with an exquisite reputation. You will find good-looking knives with professional capabilities. Any of the above-mentioned knives could make the difference in your kitchen, but the Gladiator series from Dalstrong is probably the front runner. You can never go wrong with Dalstrong. Plus, it is longer than other knives in this range and has a wider belly. If you are on a budget, Victorinox breaking knife is also a good choice.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.