10 Best Knife for Butchering Deer in 2021

(Fact Checked By Luna L. Rusk | Last Updated on March 31, 2021 | As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Butchering knives are essential if you are a hardcore hunter. It does not matter what kind of dead animal is on your table- from turkey to deer- there is nothing butchering knives cannot handle. Next thing you will know; your freezer is brimming with venison or turkey.

We all had trouble like we would saw and saw the bones, and it would take ages for them to come apart, right? I remember when my father and I used to go hunting; I had the same issue.

Do you know what you need for a smooth butchering? A sharp and wide butchering knife. One day, my father bought a butchering kit with a cleaver. I learned it required just one stroke to break the bones, and my meat pieces had been perfect ever since. 

Today, I will round up the best knives for butchering deer, and you will not be able to thank me enough!

Top Pick


DALSTRONG Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife ( Editor's Choice )
DALSTRONG Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar Knife ( Editor’s Choice )
9.7/10
  • Brand: Dalstrong
  • Blade Material: High-Carbon German Steel
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Size: 14-inch
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
  • Made: Germany 
XYJ Full Tang Butcher Knife ( Best Seller )
XYJ Full Tang Butcher Knife ( Best Seller )
9.5/10
  • Brand: XYJ
  • Blade Material: High Carbon Clad Steel
  • Handle Material: Wood
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Size: 6.5-inch
  • Color: Black & Brown
  • Warranty: 3-months
  • Made: China
Dexter-Russell Butcher Knife ( Budget Pick )
Dexter-Russell Butcher Knife ( Budget Pick )
9.1/10
  • Brand: Dexter-Russell 
  • Blade Material: Hstain free, high crbon steel
  • Handle : Sanitary 
  • Blade Edge: stamped
  • Size: 8-inch
  • Color: White
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made: USA
  • Approved: NSF

How to pick the best butcher knife?


Blade

Obviously, it will be the most significant factor while choosing a knife. Butcher knives are no different. Compared to other kinds of knives, butcher knives have thicker blades. They are usually hand forged by trained technicians to secure toughness and robustness.

The blade has to be thick for the excessive force exerted on the bones to break them apart. What is more, they must be hard enough not to chip or warp. In addition to thickness, the edge has to be razor-sharp. It is better if you opt for high-carbon stainless steel because it provides the highest durability.

The stainless steel also requires less frequent sharpening. These kinds of steel tend to be stain and rust-resistant too.  Be sure that the knife you choose has all the qualities to be the best knife for butchering deer.

Balance

When buying your knife online, you may not have the luxury to hold them in your hand and inspect the flexibility. However, there are always specifications to analyze. There are reviews from users you can trust. 

If you are still unsure, you can check out the nearest hardware store to check out the butcher knives for sale and determine your desired product. Balance is essential when it comes to knives.

The balance depends on the tang, weight, blade shape, and handle of the knife. A perfect balance knife will offer you more controlled leverage. So, when looking for a butcher knife, this is a significant factor to ponder.

Size

Butcher knives usually have a longer and broader blade compared to others. Their blade range typically ranges from 8-14inches. The smaller ones can cut relatively soft-boned animals like chicken, turkey, or thick meats. The larger blades can cut animals like deer, elk, rabbit, pig, etc.

Thick and long blades can clean-cut a piece of meat in a single swing. Moreover, the small knives are more comfortable to carry for outdoor camping or barbeque parties.

But if you are a professional or an experienced hunter, you can check out the large knives. You will have a cabin or use the garage to butcher your hunts.

Newbies can find large knives overwhelming. If you are new to hunting, choose the smaller knives and practice on small animals first.

Handle

Handles are essential and have a profound impact on the performance of the knife. So, do not underestimate their value and choose wisely. There are several kinds of handles, and they differ from knife to knife. Some are smooth and plain-shaped. Other have textured ergonomic shape.

Smooth, even handles can get slippery as butchering can be messy. Try to choose a knife with a finger-fitting handle that allows a firm and secure grip. Then there are handle materials like wood, plastic, resin, etc. They all have merits and demerits. So, choose the one that fits your purpose and hand!

What is the best knife for butchering deer?


Butchering knives are mainly meat cleavers that can break down the thickest of bones. Generally, they have a flat edge and a wide blade. They are heavy so that you can exert maximum force on the meat with minimal effort.

The ultimate list for the best knives for butchering deer


In this guide, I will display butcher knives for sale on Amazon. You can choose the right one for you by comparing each of them.

01. XYJ full tang butcher knife review

XYJ Full Tang Butcher Knife Handmade Forged Kitchen Chef Knife High Carbon Clad Steel Butcher Cleaver with Leather Knife Sheath

This one is a distinctively shaped butcher knife. You will find this butcher knife for sale in super-shops within a reasonable price range. It has a curved, unsharpened one side.

The other edge of this knife is flat and too sharp for easy chopping. Knife-smiths make XYZ knife with handmade forged technology. So, it has an extended life-time. Additionally, it has a better performance than any regular blade. 

They craft this Chinese product out of manganese steel that makes it less susceptible to chipping. Moreover, the knife-smiths fuse the handle and the blade without soldering.

The full tang handle eliminates the chances of a broken handle. I know a handle can be very annoying, and it makes the knife useless.

Do you know how this knife stands out compare to others? It includes an attractive leather sheath. Yes, you read that correctly! You can also use the leather sheath to attach the knife to your belt when working outdoors.

As they make this knife from manganese steel, the brown sheath protects it from air and water to prevent rusting. More to the point, it provides you with the freedom to keep the knife in an open place.

Storing the knife in a well-ventilated, sunlit area is essential. The new leather may have an unpleasant smell for the first few weeks.

To avoid rust formation, apply olive or cooking oil to the blade once in a while. After using the knife on acidic or alkaline food items, clean them thoroughly.

Pros

  • The full tang handle makes it almost unbreakable
  • The knife is heavy yet comfortable to grip
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Attachable leather sheath

Cons

  • The manganese blade can rust
  • The curved edge may not appeal to many
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02. Sky Light butcher knife review

Meat Cleavers, 7 inches Chopper Knife German High Carbon Stainless Steel for Home to Cut Bones, Professional Butcher's Knife Heavy Duty Blade for Kitchen and Restaurant

This one is the most popular among German butcher knives with its sleek and shiny body. You will fall in love with the silver knife and its ergonomic black handle.

It has a stunning arc-shaped cutting edge. Compared to straight-edge blades, it concentrates the pressure on an exact point to save energy. At the same time, it exerts less force on your wrist.

The 3mm thick stainless steel blade is ideal for deer, rabbits, turkeys, and similar animals. However, this is not a multi-purpose knife. It is not suitable for slicing vegetables.

It is considered one of the best professional butcher knives for kitchens and restaurants for its fitting anti-slip handle. It is also popular among hunters for tending deer.

Although they made the blade and handle integrally, the tang is not full. Nevertheless, this does not affect the performance or robustness of the knife. With its Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene material, the handle is everlasting.

The blade is hand-forged by expert craftsmen to be wear and stain-resistant. It is nitrogen cooled to make it more rigid and sturdy. This process makes the edges immune to chipping and warping.

The German steel blade is corrosion and rust-free. Even so, I will recommend you to wipe it dry after every wash to hold its lustre. Do not injure your hand in the process, though!

Pros

  • The blade has a hole in the upper corner
  • It has a 7-inch long, extremely sharp blade
  • You will get clean-cut meat pieces with every swing
  • This knife does not need sharpening very often

Cons

  • It serves only one purpose
  • The heavy knife is not suitable for regular use
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03. Mad Shark Butcher Knife Review

Meat Cleaver Knives - MAD SHARK Pro Heavy-duty Butcher knife 7.5‘’ Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife,German High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife with Ergonomic Handle,Chinese Bone Knife,Best Choice for Kit

Many have claimed this knife to be the best knife for butchering deer. It has gained popularity with its clean and faster cuts that need minimal effort.

The knife is known for its long-lasting and robust properties. The German high-carbon steel gives it a gleaming and polished look. The blade is so striking that you can use it as a kitchen décor!

The 7.5inch long blade is excellent for chopping, deboning, cleaving, and slicing meats. You can even break coconuts with the unsharpened edge. You can add it to your hunting equipment set without thinking.

The handle consists of pakkawood. It reduces the tension in your wrist while offering a firm, comfortable grip. Even after tending a whole deer, your hand will not feel sore.

 Unlike the previous ones, this knife is not hand-forged. Laser light technology is applied to make the edge extraordinarily sharp and unbreakable. The stainless steel is corrosion-free and stain-resistant.

The knife comes with stunning packaging making it a perfect present for housewarming, weddings, or birthdays. You can also recommend it to your hunter friends.

One of the best characteristics of this product is that it is dishwater safe. There will be no risk of injuring your hand while washing the sharp knife.

Make sure you do not ever touch the edges with your fingers. Keep the knife away from children, and it is best to store them in a drawer or cupboard.

Pros

  • It is the absolute best knife for excessive chopping
  • There is a saw-tooth on one side for breaking bones easily
  • The hole reduces bounce
  • Easy maintenance knife

Cons

  • It needs a sheath to store
  • The handle may break if a sudden force is applied
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04. Cinlinso Bone Cutting Butcher Knife Review

This exclusively designed knife is often known as the mini axe. Because it resembles an axe, it has an axe-like blade and a long handle with a size of 13 x 6 x 1.5 inches.

The blade is 15cm long and 6.5mm thick. The tall edge avoids knuckles to graze the cutting board. Its thick and wide structure does an excellent job when it comes to breaking bones.

The edge is hand sharpened to 14-16° per side to the perfect balance and maneuverability. Moreover, the makers precisely tempered it for long-lasting quality.

The light brown Shabi pearwood wooden handle offers a secure and firm grip. It allows you to chop and debone with the perfect precision and ease.

It is time to replace you’re not-very-good knives for butchering deer and add this one to your butchering knife set. I can assure you this incredibly sharp knife will change your life.

The premium quality of Chinese stainless steel is rust-resistant and easy to maintain. It holds its edge retention for a long time. You do not have to sharpen it in the middle of chopping.

Although they primarily designed it for cutting bones, you can use it for multiple purposes. It is suitable for cutting vegetables and fish too. Other than hunting, you can utilize it in your regular kitchen work.

Moreover, I must say this. Please do not purchase this if you are an experienced hunter or a professional butcher or chef. I recommend wearing a butcher’s apron and steel-toed shoes to use them for a prolonged time.

Pros

  • Axe-shaped high-performance knife
  • It has an unimaginable sharp blade
  • Long handle for easy leverage
  • It has corrosion and stain-resistant blade

Cons

  • It weighs over 2 pounds
  • Has the risk of health hazards if not handled carefully
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05. Zhen Japanese Butcher Knife Review

ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer Forged High Carbon Stainless Steel Light Vegetable Chopping Chef Knife/Cleaver, 7-inch, TPR Handle

The blade-smiths made this butcher knife from 3-layer stainless steel. It has unique qualities and known for its strength, hardness, and sharpness.

It has a water-proof black handle. The TPR handle of Zhen Japanese Butcher knife performs as great as it looks. The full tang prevents the blade from falling out of the handle.

They carved the blade on one side for perfect balance. The hand-polished surface of this knife provides with a shiny mirror glaze. To ensure that the cook’s hand does not touch the cutting surface, you can utilize the wide Japanese cleaver.

The polished blade is rust and stain-free. The incredibly sharp edges need sharpening only once in 2-3 months.  Additionally, this butcher knife is multi-functional. You can use it to slice, cut, chop, and debone all at once. You can make it your go-to knife.

There is one downside to this product. It will need more frequent sharpening when used on thick bones. We recommend a 15-angle while honing with a whetstone.

To ensure mirror shine, clean the knife with soapy water after every use. Always make sure acidic, or alkaline juice does not stay on the blade. It can dim the shine of the blade.

Refrain from soaking the knife in water for a long time. The handle may get damaged from the water. Moreover, there is a risk of rust formation if the blade is not wiped dry.

Pros

  • The blade has high durability and Rockwell hardness
  • Made from incredibly razor-sharp, premium quality stainless steel
  • Easy to clean
  • The firm handle provides leverage

Cons

  • The rubber handle may damage over time
  • The blade is thin
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06. Dexter-Russell Butcher Knife Review

Dexter-Russell 8" Butcher Knife, S112-8PCP, SANI-SAFE Series,White

Unlike any other knife in this roundup, this one is the thinnest and lightest of all. However, it is as effective at boning as the others.

With a dimension of 14.75 x 2.76 x 0.16 inches, this knife is excellent for boning and cutting large sections of roasts and steaks. From soft tomatoes to thick bones, you can apply it to anything.

Like most butcher knives, they made its blade from high-quality stainless steel. The anti-rust and stain-free blade make it almost indestructible. Compared to other butcher knives, it has a slimmer blade. Even so, the edge is tremendously sharp and durable. 

Its quarter a pound body is easy to balance and maneuver. The white handle provides a textured, non-slip grip that keeps your hand from tiring as you chop for hours.

Moreover, the handle has safety finger guards to keep your fingers away from the blade. It also has the logo ornamented on it. It is excellent for you if you are a fan of the series Dexter!

Hunters featured this knife in a list of best butcher knife set for hunting. Many users have recommended it to professional cooks.

This knife is an excellent knife for camping, barbeque, or the typical deer hunt. Next time you pack for hunting, do not forget to bring this knife!

Some of you may back off seeing the white handle but rest assured, it is super easy to clean. It does not matter how bloody it gets.

Pros

  • The knife is light-weight
  • It has immensely sharp edges
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Perfect for breaking down deer

Cons

  • The white handle may get messy while boning meat
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07. kessaku cleaver butcher knife Review

Kessaku Cleaver Butcher Knife - Dynasty Series - German HC Steel - G10 Full Tang Handle, 7-Inch

This knife is one of the best butchering knife for deer that will quench all your culinary thirst. Designed in Japan, Expert technicians crafted this knife using cutting edge technology and premium-quality materials.

It has a straight edge, minimalistic look that you will not be able to resist. The German stainless steel makes the knife highly resistant to corrosion and rust.

The fibre-resin handle is repellent from heat, cold, and moisture. That means even if you mistakenly put the knife close to your stove, it will not be damaged.

The product’s ergonomic and firm grip handle will surely appeal to you. Moreover, it has a full tang with triple rivet construction.

The knife does live up to its Japanese name, Kessaku, which translates to a masterpiece in English. It is a gem when it comes to performance and durability. It is designed to fit in your hand and reduces aches and fatigue of your hands. The blade is incredibly sharp and holds its edge retention.

Another thing that is worth praising is the stunning black sheath that comes with it. It will protect your knife against air and oxygen as well as keep your children safe.

Moreover, the sellers pack this knife in a beautifully designed gift box with a magnetic closure. Furthermore, if your knife comes chipped, you can surely get a replacement.

Pros

  • It has a glass fibre-resin handle that prevents slippage
  • The razor-sharp edge that does not get dull quickly
  • It comes with a protective sheath and polishing cloth
  • It has a well-balanced body with the ideal weight and height

Cons

  • The blade may be chip if use aggressively
  • Rust may form if soaked in water for too long
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08. Freelander Cleaver Knife Review

Professional Cleaver Knife 7.3 Inch Handmade Meat Cleaver High Carbon Steel Full Tang Chef Knife Butcher Knives for Home Kitchen or Restaurant

This huge knife consists of an alloy of carbon and manganese. Unlike the usual butcher knife, the makers do not craft it from stainless steel. Thus, you have to keep it dry and clean to prevent rust.

However, the brighter side of carbon steel is that it retains sharpness better than stainless steel. Hence, you do not have to bring out the whetstone often.

 You may love this knife if you have a taste for artistic designs because the blade of this one is hammered on one half to have a textured, unsmooth grey surface.

The other half is shiny and sharp for cutting effortlessly. The upper end of the blade is concave that gives it a distinctive, stylish look.

Enough about its appearance, let us talk about its features. The 3-inch wide blade is sharpened at a 16-degree angle to have an extraordinarily sharp edge that can cut through the thickest of bones.

Now, about the handle. The handle contains wenge wood. It has a finger-shaped texture that makes it easier for you to hold the hefty cleaver.

The full tang design ensures the durability of the handle. It has a curved upper surface that will make the grip more firm and secure. It also eases the pressure on your wrist.    

Though you are looking for the best butchering knife for deer, this one can help you with other food items. So, you do not have to pack a lot of blades for your camping.

Pros

  • The blade does not lose sharpness quickly
  • Ergonomic wooden handle with a full tang design
  • Hand-forged razor-sharp edge
  • It has an exotic design

Cons

  • The blade is not rust-resistant
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09. Update Stainless Steel Boucher Knife Review

9" Premium Forged High-Carbon Steel Offset Bread Knife

The stainless steel cleaver is one of the most common and typical butcher knives by its appearance and performance. You will get everything you are expecting from a sturdy butcher knife.

The blade is a quarter-inch thick and wide enough to keep your knuckles safe. It has a straight, razor-sharp edge that cuts through bones like butter.

It is a heavy-duty cleaver used to take apart lamb, deer, turkey, rabbit, pig, and other numerous animals. No matter how thick is the bone, you will need one swing to make a clean cut.

As I said, “this one has no special features, but it is excellent at its job”. The handle provides a firm grip and offers you decent leverage. 

The blade is rust and stain resistant like any good-quality stainless steel knife. This butcher knife is the right one for you if you like things on a simple side.

Similar to most butcher knives, it is not dishwater safe. So, you have to do the cleaning on your hands. Store it in a dry, ventilated area and sharp the blade only when necessary. 

There is another thing you have to remember. You will need to use this knife on a hard surface. If you use a regular chopping board, the body can crack under a heavy swing.

If you are a hunter, I am assuming you already have a buttering table for your dead bodies. Surely I meant dead animal bodies; you are no Hannibal Lecter!

Pros

  • The knife is corrosion and stains free
  • Thick blade for heavy-duty chopping
  • The black, finger-shaped, plastic handle fits firmly in your hand
  • It has multi-functional properties

Cons

  • Some have said that the edge is not sharp enough
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10. Dalstrong Butcher Knife Review

DALSTRONG Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife -"The Reaper" - 14" - Extra - Long - Gladiator Series - German HC Steel - w/Sheath

Finally, the last item is one of the best knives for butchering deer in this roundup because the blade-smiths primarily engineered this one to utilize on moose, deer, elk, and stag.

Compared to other knives, this one has a unique design. It has a curved, scalpel-shaped blade to offer you the maximum leverage to make cuts in a single, smooth motion.

The extra-long blade does not require sawing on the bones and saves you a lot of time and energy. There are hollow divots to prevent food from sticking to the edge and reduce friction for effortless chopping.

The handle has black pakkawood. The blade-smiths engineered it carefully for your utmost comfort and leverage. The bolster at the end offers protection for your fingers while the rivets secure durability and toughness.

The knife includes a black, attractive sheath to protect itself and your fingers. It is almost like a sword with a sharp, point tip, and a 14-inch long blade!

A chromium layer is added to the blade surface to fight stain and rust. To increase your interest, I must add that many professional butchers have used it for years and gave good reviews.

You need to handle it with care if you want to bring the best out of it. The blade is not heat resistant, so do not heat it. Although it is resistant to corrosion, it is better not to soak it in water for an extended period.

Pros

  • It has a hand-polished, shiny blade
  • The knife possesses an extended durability
  • The blade has a unique design for a smooth experience
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • Some of the knives can have an uneven tang
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How to sharpen a butcher knife?


Sharpening a butcher knife is a simple process once you master the art. Firstly, you have to check the sharpness of your blade. Please do not use the finger to test. Instead, use a piece of paper and see how much effort you have to give to cut through it.

You can also simply cut tomato to check the dullness. If your tomato does not get squished, your knife is sharp.  You will need a diamond-edged, ceramic, or hard stone. Among these, the diamond-edged stone is the best, but the others will do the work too.

At first, add some oil or water to the stone. Then, hold the knife at an angle of 20 to the rock. After that, do seven to ten brushes from the bottom to the tip of the blade. Swipe both sides equally. You may skip a swipe or two depending on the dullness of your blade.

You can also use a sharpening steel. It does not sharpen the blade; it just corrects the edges. To whet your knife-blade, hold the steel vertically and swipe the edge of the knife at a 20-degree angle. If you use sharpening steel, that means you will have to the stone less frequently, which is more tricky. 

FAQ about the butcher knives


Final Verdict

I hope you will be able to choose a butcher knife to be included in your hunting equipment set from my list of the best knives for butchering deer.

I can guarantee if you use one of these knives for your next deer butchering, you will not be disappointed. You will enjoy your venison wellington with clean-cut pieces!

So, why are you waiting? Buy the knife you fancy and head off to another exciting hunt.

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