What is a Breaking Knife?
By Bobby B. | April 2022 | Knife Blog
A breaking knife is a type of kitchen knife that is used for breaking down large pieces of meat. It is different than a butcher knife, which is designed for slicing meat. A breaking knife has a thick, curved blade that allows the user to cut through meat with ease. This type of knife is becoming more and more popular in professional kitchens, as it can help save time and make the process of breaking down meat easier.
A breaking knife is a type of kitchen knife that is designed specifically for breaking down large pieces of meat. It has a long, thin blade that is curved towards the tip, and a blunt end that is perfect for pounding meat. Breaking knives are also sometimes called butcher knives because they are perfect for butchering large cuts of meat. In this article, we will discuss the different types of breaking knives, their uses, and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Breaking Knife Characteristics
Breaking knives are often some of the most abused in a butcher shop. Since a breaking knife is made to be used a lot and to cut around large bones and through tough tissue and gristle, it’s important that are well-made and durable. A breaking knife is a type of butcher’s knife that is similar to a boning knife but on a larger scale.
Here are some characteristics that make up the blades and handles of a well-made breaking knife.
A breaking knife is usually made from a high-carbon stainless steel blade that is resistant to corrosion and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Edge retention is also critical due to the nature of the work these knives do. Similarly, they must have a sharp edge and are usually thinner than those of other kitchen knives, helping them glide through meat more easily.
Since a curved breaking knife is used on larger pieces of meat, they typically average 8-12 inches in length, although you can find them both shorter and longer than this. It’s also common for them to be mostly straight and then curve towards the tip of the blade, making it easier to slice raw meat and trim around bone.
Designed like a butcher knife, a breaking knife must have a non-slip grip on its handle. Whether at home or in a butcher’s shop, safety is always key, and when you’re slicing, trimming, or boning large pieces of raw meat, things can get slippery fast. Most use a handle material made with plastic of some sort. It’s comfortable to handle long periods and is durable.
3 Common Breaking Knife Uses
A breaking knife is used most commonly in butcher shops and professional kitchens. They are perfect for breaking down large cuts of meat into smaller, more manageable pieces and breaking through tough connective tissue.
Here are 3 other breaking knife uses that will save you enough money that you could pay for it many times over:
1. Buying meat in Bulk & Breaking it Down
You can save big money these days by purchasing meat in bulk from the supermarket or a butcher, but this turns into a storage nightmare unless you have a meat locker at home. You can use a breaking knife to break down the meat and solve your problem and affording you the ability to save money!
2. A Must-Have for Hunters
Hunters often take their game to a processor or butcher to have the meat prepared into smaller pieces and more convenient packages so they easily fit into a freezer. You can save time and up to hundreds of dollars per transaction if you’re able to do this meat cutting on your own at home, which is certainly feasible if you have a quality breaking knife.
3. Any Job that Requires a Long Knife Blade
Although a breaking knife is commonly used for cutting meat, through small bones, and trimming fat, it can also be used for cutting other things in the kitchen too. For example, we find that it works well and is a great tool for tasks like slicing watermelon and large cantaloupes. It can also help with filleting very large fish into smaller pieces. Once you have them, you’ll find that butcher and breaking knives are an essential tool in the kitchen.
Best Breaking Knife
There are so many good breaking knives available for purchase. Since these knives use a pretty simple design and have been common for many years, there’s no shortage of great knives available. Rather than pick just one knife as the best, we’ll break it down into two categories, standard and high-end breaking knives.
The Most Popular Inexpensive Breaking Knife
This is our opinion, but after scouring the web, it appears butchers love the Victorinox Fibrox knives. This knife is designed with value in mind. It’s inexpensive, uses quality materials, and has a comfortable, non-slip grip handle. Not to mention, it’s amazingly popular with thousands of 5-star reviews at Amazon!
This Fibrox Pro breaking knife meets all National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for public health and is produced by the same company, Victorinox, that makes Swiss Army Knives. Its high-carbon stainless steel is dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime guarantee against material and workmanship defects, which is a must for anyone, especially a butcher. The best part about this butcher knife is that it has a very affordable price.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8″ Curved Breaking Knife
The 8″ Victorinox Fibrox Pro Breaking Knife is the perfect tool for butchering tasks, both small and large. This knife is crafted with a comfortable handle, superior weight and balance, and a razor sharp edge that rarely requires re-sharpening.
It’s an essential tool for every kitchen. With its comfortable grip and superior weight and balance, this knife makes it easy to get the precision you need when breaking down meat. Plus, the razor sharp edge ensures clean cuts with little effort on your part.
- Easily break down meat into smaller portions
- Durable knife & easy handling
- Fibrox Pro hand w/ non-slip grip
- Trusted Swiss quality
Our Favorite Specialty Breaking Knife
A recent push in the kitchen knife market is towards flashier, high-end knives that look amazing in addition to being ultra-durable and using only world-class materials. Dalstrtong’s Gladiator Series Breaking knife is a prime example.
For less than the cost of a fancy dinner, you can have this knife with a razor-sharp, curved blade that’s perfect for reducing larger cuts of thick meat. They come in 4 different sizes. Each carries their 100% satisfaction or your money-back guarantee and feature high-quality German Steel blades.
Of course, this Dalstrong curved breaking knife is also NSF certified and we love all the styling and features you only find on higher-end knives. These include grantons for easier slicing, a full-tang and G10 handle for durability (butchers often cut around small bones), and a cool, protective sheath for storage. Some manufacturers would charge upwards of $200-$300 for a knife like this, but Dalstrong offers many of their butcher’s knives for less than half that.
Dalstrong Gladator Breaking Knife
The Gladiator Series Butcher’s Breaking Knife was designed with peak performance in mind. It’s made of high-carbon German steel and is incredibly razor sharp. Plus, the G10-Garolite military grade handle gives it a luxury feel and makes it resistant to stains.
This knife is sure to make butchering your meat easier than ever before. With its precision tempering and hand polished edge, you’ll be able to cut through even the toughest meats like butter.
- Razor-sharp, full-tang, tempered, and stain-resistant
- High-carbon German steel
- Triple-riveted G10 grip
- 100% Satisfaction guarantee
Breaking Knife Comparisons
Breaking knives are commonly confused with other, similar long blade knives that are used by a butcher to cut up meat. Most often, we hear confusion with a butcher knife, a cimeter, or a boning knife. It’s clear to see why there’s confusion, they all look very similar in shape, and they’re even used to perform similar tasks. Let’s discuss their differences.
Breaking Knife vs Butcher Knife
Both breaking knives and butcher knives are used by butchers to cut meat. A breaking knife typically has a long, straight, thin blade while a butcher knife has more of a curved blade. This makes it easier to slice through meat without tearing the flesh or cutting into bone. Breaking knives also usually come in different sizes, with some being much larger than a typical butcher knife.
Technically, breaking knives, cimeters, and boning knives are all “butcher knives” if you consider that anyone in that profession probably uses all 3 at one point or another in their job. However, in reality, if you’re not a professional butcher or commonly cutting up large pieces of meat (like a side of beef or just a ton of fish), using either a curved breaking knife or any other butcher’s knife will probably be just fine for your needs.
Breaking Knife vs Cimeter
A cimeter (also called a scimitar) is a large, curved knife that’s used to break down meat into smaller pieces. It’s very similar in appearance and function to a breaking knife but is usually a bit larger with a more pronounced curve.
The main difference between the two is that a cimeter is more commonly used for steaking and trimming fat for retail cuts of meat, whereas a breaking knife is designed to be used earlier in the butchering process to cut the meat down from much larger chunks to smaller chunks before any trimming takes place.
So, while a curved breaking knife and cimeter are oddly similar in many aspects, they are merely used in different stages of butchering. Again, if you’re a home chef trying to figure out which is best for you to use once a year, or if you need both, the answer is no. Either one will support your current needs at home just fine.
Breaking Knife vs Boning Knife
A breaking knife and a boning knife are similar in some aspects but very different in others. Yes, both knives are used for cutting meat, but that’s about where they cease to be related. Boning knives are much thinner than breaking knives and have a more flexible blade. They’re designed for removing bones from meat. They are often used on poultry, small cuts of meat, or fish.
As we’ve learned, breaking knives are meant for cutting the meat itself, and reducing the size of the cut. The main difference between these two is the blade size and flexibility, along with the size of meat their designed to cut.
Now that we’ve gone over the differences between breaking knives, butcher knives, cimeter knives, and boning knives, you should have a better understanding of what each one is used for.
As you can see, there are many different types of knives that a butcher can use, but the breaking knife is by far the most versatile. With its long, thin blade, it can easily slice through meat without tearing the flesh or cutting into bone.
It is also available in different sizes to accommodate different cuts of meat. If you’re in the market for a new knife, we highly recommend considering Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro or Dalstrong’s Gladiator Series.
Both are great options that will last you a lifetime and make butchering meat a breeze. Thanks for reading and happy chopping!