Cimeter Vs. Breaking Knives

(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Cimeter knives and breaking knives look pretty similar. They are both relatively long and come in slightly different sizes, but they also feature similar handles and curved blades. They are both classified as butcher knives too. However, there are a bunch of aspects that can differentiate these two knives.

Victorinox Wood Cimeter 10" Blade, 10 inch, Multi
Victorinox Cimeter Knife


The cimeter or scimitar knife is used to prepare meat but also to cut it. It has a long and curved blade, so it works wonders when trimming fat off bones. You can also use a cimeter knife to break down large pieces of beef.

victorinox breaking Knife
Victorinox breaking Knife

You can use a breaking knife to break down large pieces of meat into smaller pieces. Blades are curved, but mostly because the user will require more leverage to cut through tough pieces of meat. At the same time, the breaking knife is also used to cut through small bones, cartilages, and tough skin. Additionally, given the curved profile of the blade, the knife is used to trim fat from meat.

From a technical point of view, they are used in different stages of the butchering process, meaning each knife is more appropriate for particular tasks.

The cimeter knife is ideally made to deal with retail cuts. Practically, it is great for roasts, as well as steaks. The breaking knife has a different purpose – it is meant to break down large pieces of meat. In fact, breaking knives are often used to cut through whole animals.

While the appearance is similar, the weight is not. The breaking knife is much heavier. The curved blade is not necessarily used to trim fat (yet, it can be used for this purpose). Instead, it provides more leverage, which you will need given its weight. The extra weight will make cutting through tough stuff without too much effort. Trying to do the same with a cimeter knife will give you some headaches because the knife is not solid or heavy enough to get the job done. It will, eventually, take you there, but not without a good beating.

Here is a video from Range Meat Academy for your better urnderstanding

When not sure which knife to purchase, you have to assess your actual necessities. If you only deal with retail pieces of meat (even if they are larger than a basic serving), a cimeter knife will suffice. But if you deal with large pieces or even whole animals, you will need a breaking knife. A breaking knife can do most of the tasks a cimeter knife does, but it does not always work the other way around – not without a lot of extra effort, at least.

If you are looking for buying either of these knives do refer to our guides.