Butcher Knife Set Gear Guide For Hunters

Best Butcher knife sets for hunters in the field or at home.

The Best Butcher Knives For Hunters From Budget To High End

We’ve talked before about good knife sets for processing game in the field. But what about when you’re home, nice and snug in the butcher shop you definitely have, and it’s time to turn that kill into a freezer full of venison? What do you need to start butchering meat at home or in the garage, and what’s the best full set of butcher knives you can have in that situation? Here are some good sets of knives, from budget to high-end, to have in your kitchen or garage butcher shop for when it’s time turn some dead bodies into edible portions of meat.

Also I guess I should mention this list assumes those dead bodies will be, like, deer or turkey or something. But I’m not here to tell you how to live your life.

 

Butcher Knife Sets For Hunters Comparison Chart
Knife SetsRating 1-10
(Our Pick)
Picture
Forschner Fibrox Deluxe Butcher Knife Set
Full Review
 9
(Best Overall)
This compact butcher knife and field dress kit from Victorinox is a great kit for any hunter that wants to butcher their own game.
Ontario Knife Co. Old Hickory Knife Set 705
Full Review
8.5
(Best Value)
The Ontario Knife Company Old Hickory Set has a classic look and high quality durable blades.
P3 Mad Cow Cutlery Jero Brand Commercial Grade Butcher Knife Set
Full Review
8The Brand butcher knife kit from Mad Cow Cutlery comes with sharpening stones and a honing rod.
Mundial Mundihunt Butcher Knife Set
Full Review
8The Mundial Madihunt butcher knife set has orange handles and is a great value at it's price point.
High Desert Big Game Butcher Hunting Set
Full Review
7
(Best Budget)
This great butcher knife set from High Desert comes with a case that makes it easy to take into the field.
Dexter Russell Butcher Chef Set
Full Review
7The Dexter Russel Butcher Knife has knives with very comfortable handles

Anatomy of a Butcher Knife Set

Eery item from a butcher knife set broken down and explained.

If you’re new to butchering, all the different kinds of knives might seem over the top. I’ve talked to people who go through most of the process only using a boning knife and a slicer, or just the butcher knife or the breaker. But a lot of these different types of knives are made to make each step of butchering easier, which is a big deal if you’re going to be butchering a lot. Also the end result should be prime cuts of meat if you use the right tools for everything.

Cleavers

These are meant for heavy chopping. You want a big heavy blade made out of tough steel, and preferably a convex grind to reduce the chances of chipping. You use a cleaver for cutting big chunks of meat, sometimes with bone, in one quick motion.

Butcher Knives

A long blade with a big belly and usually a clip point. It’s the first of many kinds of knives made to section your meat. If you’re starting with a whole carcass, this is one of the first knives you’ll be reaching for.

Cimeter

You’ll see this variation of the butcher knife in a lot of butcher sets these days. Cimeter butcher knives are severely curved for better slicing. Generally, people who get the technique down seem to prefer this style. These are great for cutting up pieces into steaks and trimming fat.

Breaking knives

This is sort of a subset of butcher knife. Basically you’ll be using this to break down larger pieces of meat into smaller pieces of meat, for example, this is what you might want to use cut out the pork loin or the tri tip.

Boning knives

You can use this for a lot of things, but its stated purpose is separating and cutting bone out of the animal. There are different types of boning knives based on their flexibility, ranging from flexible, semi-flexible, and stiff. If you’re butchering something smaller and delicate, generally you’ll want a flexible boning knife, and for things like beef you’ll want a stiffer blade.

Slicer

This is that weird long knife that kind of looks like a bread knife but with a rounded tip. It’s very thin, and very sharp, and hopefully has a granton edge. You’re gonna use this for slicing thin pieces of cooked meat. This is essentially your lunch meat maker.

Butcher Saw

It would be really easy to say you can just use a regular hacksaw or wood saw for this stuff, but that would be disastrously wrong. Butcher saws have a certain shape of teeth that are meant to cut bone and avoid getting clogged up with fat and sinew. Also, they’ll cut meat up more evenly, which will be a big deal when you start cooking.

A Quick Note About Butchering Saws in Sets

There must be some kind of phobia about including a decent saw in a butcher knife set, because for the life of me I can’t find one. There are a lot of great butcher sets out there, but if they have a saw (and the majority of them don’t), it’s usually the weak link of the set. So I’m giving up on it.

If you need a saw in your butcher shop, just go get a set without one, and then get something like the Weston Butcher Saw. It’s fairly low cost and reliable. Or if you need to save room, go for this Bahco saw. Some chefs and butchers don’t even use saws, though, and we have a larger purpose with this blog, so let’s get on with it.

Butcher Knife Sets

I’ve tried to include a wide range in terms of price, which means that not all these sets are top notch quality, but they’re all good enough to take good care of your game.

Dexter Russell 3 piece Butcher Chef Set

The Dexter Russel Butcher Knife has knives with very comfortable handles

Includes:

  • 6” Boning Knife (flexible)
  • 6” Trimming Knife
  • 10” Steak Knife
  • Storage: None

Let’s start light. This 3-piece set is probably best for small game like fowl or rabbit. Either that or supplementing whatever butcher set you already have. The thing is, Dexter and Russell makes really solid stuff. They’re not top of the line by any means, but certainly good enough for a lot of professionals. These knives are a good place to start either building a full butchering set or replacing knives that are either too cheap or too worn to keep using.

 

Ontario Knife Co. 5 Piece Old Hickory Knife Set 705

The Ontario Knife Company Old Hickory Set has a classic look and high quality durable blades.

Includes:

  • 8” Slicing Knife
  • 3.25” Paring Knife
  • 4” Paring Knife
  • 7” Butchers Knife
  • 6” Boning Knife
  • Steel: 1095 High Carbon

Probably my favorite set on this list, if for no other reason than that it looks the best. It’s also crazy good though. Ontario Knife Co. know what they’re doing where hunters are concerned. They made this set with their typical 1095 high carbon steel with wood handles and compression rivets. It’s not the kind of thing you’ll see professional chefs using most of the time, because wood tends to harbor bacteria a lot easier, and that high carbon steel is harder to maintain over a 40 hour work week, but this is definitely good enough for any hunters who come home with a healthy load of deer or boar.

 

High Desert 5 Piece Big Game Butcher Hunting Set

This great butcher knife set from High Desert comes with a case that makes it easy to take into the field.

Includes:

  • 8” Butcher Knife
  • 4.25” Boning Knife
  • 4” Skinning Knife
  • Cleaver
  • Honing Rod
  • Steel: 420HC
  • Storage: Portable Hard Case

This set is actually a bit of a gamble, but it’s also the cheapest option you’ll find here. I mean, you can’t really expect to get a great butcher set for under $20 without some complications, but hear me out.

High desert claims this is 420HC steel. I’m inclined to believe them, but their heat treatment isn’t the most consistent. Odds are you’ll have to do some sharpening when this set arrives, and then again after each time you use it. The construction isn’t the best either, but the important fact is these knives will work. You can still get the job done, and if you’re on a tight budget, and know how to treat your knives properly, that’s really all you need.

 

Victorinox Forschner 6 Pc Fibrox Deluxe Butcher Knife Set

The Victorinox Forschner 6 Piece Fibrox Butcher Knife Set is a complete set with everything you need for a home butcher shop except for a saw.

Includes:

  • 6” Boning knife (Narrow)
  • 6” Boning knife (Flexible)
  • 8” Breaking Knife
  • 10” Cimeter Butcher Knife
  • Honing Rod
  • Steel: X50CrMoV15
  • Storage: Portable Soft Case

It’s hard to go wrong with anything made by Victorinox, but they’re usually in the pricier range. The Forschner line in particular gets a lot of attention from professionals. This set features two variations of boning knives so you’ll have a pretty broad range of ability in terms of what kind of game you’re processing. Also that cimeter style butcher knife is fantastic for slicing up sections. This would also make a pretty good hunting set, despite the clean-cut look. Between the roll-up case and the high carbon steel, this is a sturdy, portable set if you’re planning a long camping trip and have a nice spot to set up.

 

Mundial Mundihunt 5 Piece Butcher Knife Set

The Mundial Madihunt butcher knife set has orange handles and is a great value at it's price point.

Includes:

  • 10” Cimeter Butcher Knife
  • 8” Breaking Knife
  • 6” Boning Knife
  • 5.25” Skinning Knife
  • Honing Rod
  • Steel: High Carbon Stainless

The handle is probably where this set from Mundial excels. The steel isn’t better than the other sets on this list, with the exception of the High Desert set, but the soft grip handles on these things will change your life. I’m not sure what kind of science-raging magic they used to make these handles (it’s something like rubber, but I think it’s some kind of polymer) but it will make the long butchering process feel a lot nicer. Just be a little more careful with that steel. I’ve heard reports of it chipping. It’s still at a quality where, so long as you aren’t obscenely misusing the knife, everything should pan out fine. Just keep them sharp and clean.

 

P3 Mad Cow Cutlery Jero Brand Commercial Grade Butcher Knife Set

The Brand butcher knife kit from Mad Cow Cutlery comes with sharpening stones and a honing rod.

Includes:

  • 6” Skinner
  • 7” Butcher
  • 6” Boning (curved)
  • Honing steel

This kit from Mad Cow Cutlery looks like a bare bones set in comparison to the other stuff on this list, but I think they were going for economy of space here. The three types of knives they included in the set are all designed to work for a broad range of uses when you’re dressing game. The product description makes kind of a big deal about these “blade guards” that the set comes with, but most of the stuff I’ve read indicates these guards are pretty much useless. The knives are endlessly useful though. This is a great way to get your butcher set started or just keep things simple.

 

Victorinox Swiss Army Field Dress Kit

This compact butcher knife and field dress kit from Victorinox is a great kit for any hunter that wants to butcher their own game.

Includes:

  • 10” Cimeter
  • 8” Breaking Knife
  • 6” Boning Knife
  • 6” Fillet Knife
  • 3.25” Paring Knife
  • Honing Steel
  • Steel: X50CrMoV15

Victorinox is considered one of the most reliable brands when it comes to… well any kind of knife, really. But their chef knives are particularly solid. They’ve always been good at making sturdy equipment through their crafting ingenuity rather than by adding mass, and the fact that they used X50CrMo15 steel is an added bonus. These knives age well thanks mostly to the construction of the blades. Considering they also make some of the better chef knives and kitchen cutlery, it’s safe to say Victorinox knows their way around food in general. I’m pretty sure they intended this set for larger game like reindeer, but as always, a well made set can serve for most any kind of meat you put your mind to. It’s interesting that they threw in a paring knife, but considering that’s the most used type of knife in the kitchen after the chef knife, there’s no denying it can come in handy for butchering too.

 

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2018-10-31T22:56:28+00:00

About the Author:

Copywriter with vague delusions of grandeur. My time is spent aggressively oscillating between drinking coffee at my computer and running through the woods with pointy objects.
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