When choosing the blade style of your next boning knife, you will have the option of stiff or flexible. We recommend a stiff knife for tougher meats that you want de-boned in one clean cut. Flexible blades are great for tender meats and really having optimal control to slice right around the bone and through cartilage and joints. The more narrow your blade is, the easier time you'll have controlling exactly where you want to cut. With a wider boning knife, you don't have as much control over the blade, but you still get precise even cuts that will impress your friends.
Typically, boning knives are found ranging from 5 to 6.5 inches. Whether you are deboning a large piece of meat versus a small piece of meat will help you determine what size blade you'll need. If you are de-boning a small chicken or fish, opt for a 5 inch blade. On the other hand, if you have a large ham, turkey, or brisket, go with a 6 or 6.5 inch blade for sure. As with many knife sizes, if the sizes of meats you cut vary wildly in size, it may be best for you to own a 5 and a 6-6.5 inch boning knife.
Whenever we need optimal control and precision in our cuts, we need a quality knife handle that won't slip in our hand. This is why you need to look for soft, gripped plastic rather than hard shiny finishes like coated wood, rough wood, or low-quality plastics that feel cheap. Settling on a quality handle does not mean settling for a high price tag. Both Dexter Russell's SofGrip and Sani-Safe lines are quality and perfect for those on a lower budget.
Boning knives can be straight edged, curved, and have varying levels of flexibility. We'll start with the curved boning knife because it is a favorite in the culinary world. A curved, flexible boning knife makes skinning a fish, like salmon, a walk in the park. The flexible curved blade gets right between the skin and the top of the bones and meat in one clean cut. Once you experience the benefits of a curved boning knife, many won't go back to a straight edge, although of course they have their uses. A straight boning knife is great for large cuts of meat, large bones, and finely carved cuts of large meat. Straight edge boning knives also excel at many different cuts and types of meat- opt for this for a more universal boning knife.