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Often referred to as a curved butcher’s knife among amateurs, the cimeter knife is usually long and features specific activities. It is mostly used against large pieces of meat into more accessible sizes – great for retail pieces, like steaks. The knife may also be known as a scimitar knife, from a sword featuring the same appearance, only it is longer.
Many cimeter knives are sold as butcher’s knives along with other varieties. A little research on the unique characteristics of this knife will help you make a more informed decision. At the same time, it pays off going through the best-rated options on the market before deciding. The more you know about their pluses and minuses, the better your choice will be.
What’s a Cimeter Knife?
The first time you see a cimeter knife, your mind will inevitably go to the old-fashioned Middle Eastern swords you see in old movies. The name is most likely taken from a Middle Eastern region, but there are no crystal clear facts about the origins.
Apart from cutting large pieces of meat into more manageable sizes, this knife is also handy to break down cuts, slice, and even trim. It can help you trim the fat off the lean meat, regardless of the type of meat you use.
If you are familiar with the breaking knife, the cimeter is relatively similar, only the blade is way wider. At the same time, expect the cimeter to be heavier, hence you need proper balance to deal with large pieces of meat.
Cimeters may also feature a few differences from one manufacturer to another. For example, you may find them with the Granton edge, but this is not a general rule. Granton edges come with hollowed-out parts throughout each side of the blade.
This type of design allows those grooves to take fat and juices. The contact between the blade and the meat is drastically reduced, so the meat is less likely to stick to the blade. As a direct result, your cut will be straight and uniform.
Since this is not a general rule, you can also find cimeters with full blades. Just because it might be a bit sticky – it depends on the meat, it does not mean that its functionality is compromised. In fact, little attention can still give you a straight and good-looking cut.
You can use the cimeter to work on lamb, chicken, beef, pork, and other types of raw meats. It is not suitable for fish though, as fish usually required finer and more refined cuts.
Now that you understand the concept of a cimeter, what is the best cimeter knife on the market? What exactly should you pay attention to before choosing the right tool for your kitchen?
2023’s 5 Best Cimeter Knives
Design – Available with a beautiful orange handle to make it easy to recognize among other knives, this scimitar knife features a forged design and a total length of 16 inches. It weighs just over 10 ounces, so it feels solid as you hold it. It is well balanced and most of the pressure is on the blade. It will do the job for you without even pushing too hard.
Great blade – The blade is made of molybdenum steel. It is durable, stain, and rust-resistant. It will also resist corrosion without too much trouble. The blade is cryogenically treated for excellent edge retention. It measures 10 inches and it feels stiff enough for pork, but also flexible and lightweight when it comes to fish or chicken.
Nonslip handle – Whether your hands are sweaty or wet while you cook, this knife will not slip out of them. The blade is made of plastic and it has a slight hand guard protection to prevent your hand from reaching the blade. It embraces the shape of your hand and is antimicrobial. It feels stiff and will most likely last for ages. The handle is six inches in length – suitable for large hands too.
Cleaning and maintenance – Generally speaking, you could clean this knife in the dishwasher, but it is not really recommended. Edge retention is a plus, but you want it sharp for as long as possible. Therefore, it pays off cleaning it manually with a mild dishwasher – let it dry before storing it. As for sharpening it, you can use a sharpening stone or any other classic sharpener.
- Well put together
- Nonslip handle
- Great edge retention
- Well balanced towards the tip
- Razor-sharp out of the box
- Not the best choice for very hard meats
Dexter Russell S132-10PCP
Style – The best cimeter knife from Dexter Russell is available in one size and one style only – a full silver design. It is designed to look good and stand out in the crowd. But on the same note, its construction is also safe, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. The unit weighs 0.45 pounds, so it feels a bit heavier than other units in this range – quality is never lightweight when it comes to knives.
Versatile – The knife makes an excellent butcher’s knife in your kitchen. It can also be used as a breaking knife and will work wonders on all kinds of meats – from hard pork and beef to softer fish and chicken. The blade is wider than in other cimeter knives, which adds to the balance and weight towards the tip – slicing has never been an easier task.
Excellent blade – The blade is designed to last for ages. It is curved and has a super sharp tip. It is made of stain-free high carbon steel. It is corrosion and rust-resistant, but also razor-sharp out of the box – careful when you unpack the knife. Other than that, the 10-inch blade is ideal for more types of meats without adding bulk to your cooking activities. Compared to other cimeters, it will make a difference in handling large species of fish.
Nonslip handle – The handle is made to reduce fatigue and pain around your thumb. It has an ergonomic shape, as well as a slight hand guard protection. It carries Sani-Safe quality standards. It feels comfortable and well-balanced, regardless of the size of your hand. Other than that, it will never slip out of your wet hands – quite common when you cook.
Versatile applications – You cannot really go wrong with Wusthof and its top-selling cimeter knife will not disappoint you. Given its size, design, and quality standards, it is more appropriate for commercial kitchens. It can slice through all types of meat with no issues whatsoever. But at the same time, more and more people switch to professional standards when it comes to their personal kitchens too – hence the popularity of this unit.
Durable steel – The blade measures 10 inches in length. If you have used other scimitar knives before, you will notice the bleed is wider than average. This type of design allows cutting through thicker pieces of meat. It is rust and corrosion-resistant and it has a super-sharp edge out of the box – not to mention the curved tip.
Ergonomic handle – The handle is relatively long too. It is a bit shorter than the blade, so most of the balance is aimed at the tip of the bladeless pressure on your hands. The polypropylene handle is thin and ergonomic, but it also ensures a good grip. It has a nonslip surface and good handguard protection. The unit is also NSF approved.
Care and maintenance – There is not much to think about when caring for your cimeter knife from Wusthof. You should wash it manually to expand the edge lifespan – the dishwasher could cause it to dull faster. It may not have a specific cover for the blade, so make sure you store it accordingly. Other than that, sharpening is quick and easy – use any sharpening device.
- Made to last for ages
- Built for commercial kitchens
- Super comfortable handle
- The wide and sharp blade
- Easy to look after
- You will have to buy a cover separately if you want to store it accordingly
Mercer Culinary BPX
Easy to use – Mercer has taken cimeter knives to another level. Its best scimitar knife has a relatively unusual design. The blade is way longer than the handle – more than twice its size. Plus, it is wide and relatively consistent in width. The balance is mostly focused on the tip of the blade, meaning there is not too much work for you to do – just put the knife in the right place and its weight will do most of the work for you.
High carbon steel – The blade is a mix between classic high carbon steel and stainless steel. The high carbon steel is excellent for amazing edge retention. On the other hand, stainless steel has excellent durability because it is rust and corrosion-resistant. This knife has the best of everything. Furthermore, the blade measures 12 inches and features a Granton design.
Safe handle – The size of the blade could be intimidating at first, but the handle takes all the dangers away. Made of polypropylene, it is likely to last for a lifetime. It also has textured finger points to prevent slipping out of your hand. Even if it slips, you have a protective finger guard, so your hand will never get close to the edge. The unit is available in one design only – a black handle.
Extras and care – In terms of extras, the Granton blade is clearly a plus. It featured a hollowed profile, meaning these holes will feel fat and juices. The meat will never stick to the blade, leading to a cleaner and finer straight cut. As for the maintenance, make sure you clean this knife manually with a mild dishwasher if you want to maintain the sharp edge.
- Made with high-quality standards
- Granton blade to prevent the meat from sticking to the blade
- Super long blade for long and deep cuts
- Superior handle with extra protection
- Excellent value for money
- A bit difficult to store, considering its size and the lack of a cover
Dalstrong Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar
Sizing and design – Dalstrong’s cimeter knife resembles the scimitar sword better than any other knife in this range. Its size makes it suitable for an ancient battle in the middle west than for a residential kitchen in the 21st century. While designed to be a cimeter knife, it makes a great breaking knife as well. It feels comfortable and the sizing standards place the balance on the tip – little to no effort from your side.
Massive blade – You can use this knife to slice and cut through all types of meat. It makes no difference how big they are. You can cut through pork, beef, chicken, or fish with no effort whatsoever. The blade measures 14 inches in length – about two times longer than the handle. Furthermore, it is based on German HC steel, which is both corrosion and rust-resistant.
Comfortable handle – The handle is ergonomic and carries the G10 Garolite quality standards. It features a beautiful mosaic and an engraved appearance. It is triple riveted and comes with a full tang for durability and stability. The handguard protection is relatively large and ensures your hand will never get anywhere near the blade – safety first.
Extras and long-term care – The scalpel design of the blade ensure you can get long cuts in a single motion. There is no need to see through hard flesh or cartilages. You can count on 56+ Rockwell hardness, as well as a hand-polished blade and superior tapering. The Granton design prevents the meat from sticking to the blade. The package also comes with a cover for proper storage. In terms of maintenance, clean the knife manually and never in a dishwasher.
- Features its own cover for storage
- Large and efficient blade
- Comfortable and nonslip handle
- Powerful and well put together
- Excellently balanced
- Heavier than other scimitar knives in this range
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Granton blade better than a classic blade in a cimeter knife?
From some points of view, it is, From other points of view, it is only an extra expense. The hollowed profile of this blade ensures there are some gaps on one or more sides of the edge. These holes will fill with fat or juices from the meat as you cut through it. In other words, you reduce the contact surface between the blade and the meat.
For this reason, meat is less likely to stick to the meat. On the other hand, there are a few cutting techniques that can provide the same results. Also, make sure the meat is thoroughly cleaned upfront to prevent it from sticking to the blade. Bottom line, the Granton blade can help when it comes to butcher’s knives, but it is not mandatory.
What is the difference between breaking knives and cimeter knives?
Cimeter knives and breaking knives are two different types of knives, yet they are often used interchangeably. They have specific purposes though. A breaking knife measures between eight and 14 inches. It is mostly used to break beef into small cuts – great for a stir fry or a stew.
The cimeter knife tends to be slightly longer. The typical blade is between 10 and 14 inches in length. The blade is also quite wide when compared to a breaking knife. It is used to break down all kinds of meats and cuts, but it is more efficient for chops and rib roasts.
Given their similar purposes, you can use a cimeter knife as a breaking knife and vice versa.
Is high carbon steel better than stainless steel in a cimeter knife?
High carbon steel has excellent edge retention, but it needs maintenance when not in use – such as oiling. Stainless steel is rust and corrosion resistant, but its edge retention is inferior.
The cimeter knife is an excellent tool to have in your kitchen if you are into meats. It will ensure a clean and straight cut without too much hassle, but it can be used for other types of foods too. Choosing the best cimeter knife depends on what you expect from this tool in the kitchen, as well as the types of meat you normally cook.
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.