Top 10 Best Oyster Knives (Aug. 2019): Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Simon Michel
There are special knives for opening oysters to prevent shell damage. As an oyster fanatic, I prefer a well-balanced knife with an ergonomic handle. Initially, it was challenging for me to open a shell from its side. However, my experience with expert shuckers helped me to understand the precision of this kitchen tool. Its short blade is specially designed to cut the tough membrane hinge of the shell.
Usually, a sturdy blade gets the job done by peeling the meat. With its thin blade, the knife can wiggle into the hinge of an oyster shell without a lot of force. Also, a well-designed knife can make easy cuts and a huge difference in you oyster meat preparation. They usually come with a non-slip handle for a firm grip so you can safely use with wet hands.
The Fisher Reel team carefully prepared this review to help you find the best oyster knife from a myriad of choices. In the end, you'll have a range of options to choose from that will serve you for years.
What You Will Get Here
- Types of Oyster and Suitable Blade Design
- Things to Consider When Buying an Oyster Knife
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Our Top Choice: Oyster Knife By HiCoup
- Also Great: Dexter-Russell S121PCP
- Good Value for Money: Victorinox 44695 VN44695
- Top Set: Melocean Oyster Shucking Knife Set
- For Chefs: DALSTRONG Oyster Shucking Knife
- A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
- Tips on How to Open an Oyster Easily
- Final Thoughts
Types of Oyster and Suitable Blade Design
There are five oyster species and each type can be found in different locations around the world. Usually, the bay or a habitat where an oyster was farmed will be named with it. The most common type is the Pacific, and in Europe, it's the native European Oyster. While Japan has Kumamoto oysters, Olympia is the name of the smallest kind in America. However, restaurant menus often refer to oysters according to their origin, and the Atlantic Oyster is Canada's favorite.
Also, there are different types of blade designs. Typically, these blades are stainless steel and made to resist corrosion from salty oyster shells. A French oyster knife is great for opening the native European oysters. However, you'll cut through the meat when you apply force with a French knife on the hinges of Atlantic, Pacific, and Kumamoto oysters. It has a short blade that can't get to the abductor muscle of larger species.
Another drawback of the new haven oyster knife is the failure of wriggling into the hinge of an Olympia or Kumamoto oyster, but this knife can cut Atlantic and Pacific oysters with ease.
Things to Consider When Buying an Oyster Knife
A stress-free shucking experience usually depends on many factors. You can save a fortune from a restaurant's charge if you use this kitchen tool to shuck and eat oysters at home. However, these are the factors you have to keep in mind when out looking for one.
Shucking many large oysters at a go requires convenience from a knife with a tough handle. Handling an oyster knife with mesh gloves increases the firmness of the grip, but a non-slip handle is better when your hands are wet. Handles of oyster knives are a variety that includes high-carbon, wood, and plastic materials. Many users prefer rubber-handled knives because they often come with anti-slip coats.
Usually, some models come with 'full tang' blades that don't need to be as sharp as a kitchen knife. With their relative bluntness, it's easy to cut through the tough shell and abductor muscle with ease. Also, a sturdy blade makes it convenient to prepare oyster meat from many shells. Usually, these blades are durable because they are made from rust-proof stainless steel materials.
You will also find high carbon steel blades, but this material is more likely to rust than the Ferritic 440c stainless steel types. A 3-inch long blade is ideal because it tends to cut the abductor muscle smoothly.
One with a flat and pointed tip ensures the blade can get through the shell's tight hinge to remove the meat. A well-constructed tip can help users shuck meat with ease. Also, the tip style will give precision and speed that you need when shucking oysters.
4. Knife Guard & Safety
It's optional to use knife guards because of the unnecessary weight they add while cutting oyster membranes. However, the knife guard reduces your chance of serious injuries. There's a bulge at the point where the blade meets its handle. You'll need to wear a mesh glove to ensure the protection of your hands and prevent the hazard of a slip.
Weight is an important factor because you can avoid hand fatigue with a lightweight model. Also, the weight factor of a knife should be considered when shucking multiple oysters for a long period.
6. Versatility & Efficiency
There are options for all the oyster species. You can use one to protect the shell from damage if you plan to serve oysters on the half shell. You have to pick one that makes it easy to find the spot between two shells that are close to the abductor's muscle.
7. Ease of Use & Maintenance
You don't need to exert much force for the hinge to buckle while preparing fresh oyster meat. Generally, oyster shells are packed tightly and the knife's sturdy blade can get into shells with precision.
A stainless steel blade has effective prying capacity, and can't be corroded by salts on shells. However, those with high carbon steel blades might not be durable products because of their quality. A high-quality model will prevent any accumulation of dirt or moisture when it's well-maintained.
Our Top 10 Product List
Choosing a great one could be an uphill task for the newbie. This buyers' guide will help every oyster meat enthusiast to analyze the basic factors behind our top picks.
Are you looking for premium quality, professional-grade oyster shuckers? You can get the Oyster Knife By HiCoup Kitchenware that comes with a Pakka wood-handle design. As a professional choice with a 'full tang' blade, it comes with a bonus sheath that helps preserve its quality. Here are other reasons that made us choose HiCoup as the top pick.
PAKKA Wood Handle With Hand-Guard: The Pakka wood handle design has an intrinsic appeal. The polished wood has three rivets that hold the blade firmly. As a special wooden design, the Pakka handle offers a firm grip when your hands are wet and helps it wiggle through hard shells. Also, the skid-free handle is attached to an oversized hand-guard.
Nice Gift Ideas: The importance of gifts during occasions can bring joy to the recipient. This can be a fabulous gift for anniversaries, weddings, Christmas, and donor appreciation events. This well-designed model and its genuine leather holster (as a safety feature) looks beautiful and can make a good impression on anyone.
Forged Stainless Steel Blade: The 420-stainless steel blade of the HiCoup looks like a mirror. This high-quality material is durable and resistant to weather effects. It gives precision and cutting accuracy because the design is a 'full tang' mirror finish blade.
A Sturdy Construction: The beautiful Pakka wood handle, oversized hand-guard, and stainless steel blade are compact. As a professional-grade choice, it can handle small and large shells with ease. It shows premium craftsmanship because of its sturdy materials. Also, this lightweight knife is comfortable and handy.
- Blade Type: ‘Full tang’ 420-stainless steel (2-1/2 inches)
- Overall Length: 6-1/2 inches
- Item Weight: 0.32 ounces
- Brand: HiCoup
In need of a shucker that's sturdy and great to handle? This HiCoup model is ideal for both starters and expert shuckers. As a professional-grade tool, it can open chestnut-size Kumamotos with ease.
The Dexter-Russell (S121PCP model) has a handle measurement of 2.75 inches (2 ¾") and gives more leverage when trying to shuck oysters. It's New Haven pattern is unique, and the Sani-Safe handle design makes a great impression. Before popping oysters with this Dexter-Russell S121PCP model, let's discuss its amazing features.
Stain-free DEXSTEEL: As a proprietary blend of steel, this oyster knife comes with high carbon, stain-free DEXSTEEL blade. This high-alloy blade is considered as an industry standard because of high-quality design.
Sani-Safe Handles: The Sani-Safe handle is an improved version that features a New Haven Pattern. Also, the manufacturer designed this knife with contours to help users pry oyster shells with less effort. This new design has a slight texture but offers a solid grip while having an ultimate shucking experience.
Easy to Maintain: After cutting shells, you should hand wash and dry its hard, non-slip plastic handle. This stain-proof blade is easy to maintain, and it's user-friendly. Also, its polypropylene handle is sealed with the carbon steel blade to prevent the retention of salt from your oyster shells.
Versatility: This S121PCP model resists impact and can shuck different species. As a versatile American design, this is what you need for any shape of oyster shells.
- Blade Type: High Carbon, Stain-free DEXSTEEL
- Item Weight: 1 lb
- Brand: Dexter-Russell
The Dexter-Russell (S121PCP) works well when shucking small shells. It comes with an improved design, Sani-Safe handle, and a New Haven pattern. Its non-slip handle is sealed with the blade and protects users from bacteria. Also, this knife is easy to clean after using it.
The Victorinox 44695 comes with a range of styles - the 4-inch Boston, 3-inch Boston, New Haven, Providence and Galveston (4-inch) style blade. Regardless of your choice, this versatile product can be used for hunting or camping. Here are some of the features that make it an essential tool.
Ergonomic Design: The non-slip, super-grip red handle is aesthetically beautiful. Also, the handle offers a secure grip in wet hands, and it's convenient to use. However, this robust handle protrudes to allow support for your palm and thumb respectively.
4-Inch High Carbon Steel: The tactile blade is made from high carbon steel material. With a length of 4 inches and thin edges, this blade is ideal for side-entry shucking.
Easy to Maintain: As a dishwasher safe knife, this tool is easy to clean after splitting lots of shells. It has low maintenance and makes a good option for anyone who decides to buy easy-to-maintain oyster knives.
Compact and Sturdy: The strength of an oyster knife depends on its material. As one of our top picks, this item can be used for hunting, camping, and general outdoor purpose. Also, its sturdy design makes this Switzerland-made knife durable.
- Blade Type: High carbon steel
- Overall Length: 6 inches (2.75-inch blade.)
- Item Weight: 4 ounces
- Brand: Victorinox
As a versatile choice with super-grip handle, this high-quality product can help you open oysters with ease. Also, the non-handle slip-resistant handle and carbon steel blade are ergonomically designed. You can use this Victorinox Oyster (GALVESTON-style blade) knife for hunting, camping, and general outdoor use.
Are you in search of a well-balanced set? The two oyster knives in this set have wooden handles and are well-packaged. It's a nice gift idea for oyster enthusiasts, friends, and family.
Non-Slip Wooden Handles: The ultra-safe non-slip, polished handles are aesthetically beautiful. Usually, machine-crafted handles like this Melocean knife's are carved from strong wood. Also, they have double rivets to hold their thick, and sturdy blades.
Full-tang Steel: As a professional-grade product, the blades are made from 3cr13 stainless steel materials. This top-quality, full-tang steel can open any type of oyster shell with ease.
Great Gift Idea: The Melocean set comes in an attractive wooden box. So, it makes a great gift idea to present this product to friends and family during Thanksgiving days, Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.
Bonus Oyster Opener Guide: This set of 2 package comes with a brochure & PDF guide. Both instructional materials contain comprehensive information for shucking oysters. Also, these books can help enthusiasts that have little experience in preparing oysters for eating.
- Blade Type: Full tang (3cr13) stainless steel
- Overall Length: 6.3 inches (2.5-inch blade.)
- Item Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Brand: Melocean
This Melocean set offers much value for money as a two-in-one package. Also, you are assured of having a spare when one goes missing. Both experienced and new shuckers will find the brochure and PDF books quite useful.
Dalstrong has a reputation for making ergonomically enhanced products, and this Gladiator Series oyster knife is not an exception. Its blade and hand-guard are made from high-quality German HC Steel.
ThyssenKrupp German Steel: A quick comparison shows that German steel is one of the toughest materials for blades. Its ultra-sharp, precision forged blade is made from high carbon steel. Also, this ThyssenKrupp German steel blade has great resistance to corrosion and it is durable.
Hand Sharpened Blade: Apart from the double-edge blade's stain-resistant quality, it is hand sharpened. Usually, the act of sharpening blade edges with hands is a painstaking endeavor, but it helps to maintain its sharpness and resilience. The blade's pointed tip can slide through tight shells with little effort.
Pakkawood Handle: The black, and triple-riveted Pakkawood handle is laminated to improve its durability. Also, it's engraved at the center with the DALSTRONG Gladiator Series logo. Owners of this DALSTRONG model will gain leverage while popping the shellfish and protection from the handguard.
Superior Quality Knife: DALSTRONG is a trusted brand in this old industry of knife making. It's every chef's delight to use a top-quality knife because it makes shucking easy. Also, the design and craftsmanship of this product are impressive.
- Blade Type: High-carbon (ThyssenKrupp X50CrMoV15) German steel
- Blade Length: 2.75-inch blade
- Item Weight: 15.8 ounces
- Brand: DALSTRONG
This Gladiator Series from DALSTRONG is a complete package. It comes with handguard and sheath for storage. DALSTRONG provides a professional-grade product with 14-16° blade edges that have a non-slip handle. It's a perfect choice for any oyster enthusiasts.
A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
Get ready to open oysters without any effort! The R. Murphy Duxbury from UJ Ramelson has a conspicuous polypropylene plastic handle and is comfortable to use. This Duxbury product comes with a short blade that measures 2-1/8 inches. Unlike the models with longer blades that tend to bend, this Duxbury model is compact and durable. Here are some amazing reasons you should consider this amazing choice.
New Haven Tip: R. Murphy Duxbury comes with a tough, slightly bent tip that requires little force to pry seashells. With the 'New Haven' tip design, users of this knife can slide through the hinge of many shells with ease.
420HC-Grade Stainless Steel: Its blade is made of (commercial-grade 420HC) high-carbon stainless steel material. This quality is a preferred choice for oyster lovers that need polished, shucking blades with a sharp cutting edge.
Lightweight Design: With a weight of 2.4 ounces, the R. Murphy Duxbury's lightweight design ensures that it's well-balanced in your hand. You'll find it convenient for your all-day shucking needs. Also, the knife's lightweight design makes your cooking preparation exciting.
High Quality from the USA: This American-made knife is a top-quality craft from the R. Murphy Duxbury oystermen at Island Creek Oysters (ICO) in Massachusetts. Unlike other knife products, this model offers quick cuts with little force.
- Blade Type: High-carbon (commercial-grade 420HC) stainless steel
- Blade Length: 2-1/8 inch
- Item Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Brand: R. Murphy Duxbury
The R. Murphy Duxbury has a blade tip (New Haven Tip) that's precise and accurate. While trying to cut through the hinge of seashells, it's shucking blade doesn't require much effort to go round. Instead, the 420HC high carbon stainless steel blade has been designed to make oyster meat preparation simple.
Do you want to add an oyster knife with Japanese stainless steel to your collection? Get this Toadfish model that comes with a rust-resistant stainless steel blade. Also, this shucker is durable and ideal for different oyster recipies.
Versatile: This Put ‘Em Back Shucker by Toadfish is a multi-purpose tool. It works well for preparing raw and steamed meat. Also, it is quick to shuck many shells with ease.
Non-Slip Handle: Its ergonomic design of an anti-slip handle ensures that a user can maintain a firm grip with wet hands. Also, the full-length blade offers maximum support, and strength to shuck seashells.
Eco-friendly: The use of shuckers that have been designed with recyclable plastic ensures environmental safety. Conservationists that need eco-friendly tools will be happy to add this Toadfish tool to their collections.
Safe for Use: There's no handguard in the design of this knife, but its pivot point blade is very safe for use. Its curved blade gives leverage to cut meats out of oyster shells with ease.
- Blade Type: High carbon stainless steel
- Blade Length: 3 inches
- Item Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Brand: Toadfish
This Toadfish model has a short, and sturdy blade that cuts with ease. As a Japanese stainless steel blade, chefs will find it easy to maintain this tool. It's ergonomically designed with a handle that has eye-catching color, and a curved blade tip. This design follows the physics of shucking oysters safely.
The Original Chesapeake Bay from RiverView Enterprise has a stainless steel blade and handguard. This tool can help you open a lot of oysters with ease because the handle offers a firm, comfortable grip. Here are some of the features that come with this seafood knife.
Durability: The full tang stainless steel blade is tough, and makes a durable item with its rounded, smooth handle. Though it's price is on the cheaper side, this shucker offers much value for money. It's an oyster knife that you wouldn't think of replacing soon.
Stainless Steel: The well-polished stainless steel blade is tapered to penetration an oyster's hinge easily. After piercing the steel tip, the blade allows you to tilt the knife and pop open your oyster meat.
Safe for Use: Oyster knives without hand guards are prone to hazards. However, this Chesapeake Bay's handguard gives good leverage of safety. When you apply extra pressure to cut through shells, there's a guarantee that your fingers will be safe.
Great Gift Idea: You can make your friends and family members smile when this oyster knife is offered as a gift. It's a great gift idea because of the ease of cutting shellfish like crabs, oysters, mussels, and clams.
- Blade Type: 420-grade Stainless Steel
- Blade Length:3 inches
- Item Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Brand: RiverView Enterprise
You don't want your fingers slipping forward while preparing different recipies. This Original Chesapeake Bay shucker is versatile because it works well for all shellfish. Also, you don't need to apply extra pressure before having easy penetration with this RiverView Enterprise Chesapeake Bay knife. It's an ideal brand for oyster lovers that need well-tapered stainless steel blades.
The Swissmar Paddy Universal model from Swissmar has a professional-grade handle. It's a suitable product for southpaws and right-hand users. Also, this black handle comes with a finger guard for safety. Let's analyze all the exciting features that come with this high-end model.
Easy to Maintain: It is one of the few products in our top picks that allows for machine wash. As a dishwasher-safe knife, owners of this tool will enjoy its low maintenance and split lots of shells happily.
Ergonomic Design: This tool comes with a distinctive design of ergo-dynamic, double axis pistol grip. Also, the pistol handle has a small finger guard that offers maximum protection. Users will have the leverage to transfer maximum power from the shucker's blade because the grip is comfortable.
The Sturdy Blade: The blade aligned with your forearm while using the knife's dual-axis pistol grip. As a top-quality material, this stainless steel (HRC 55-58) blade is sturdy and has a length of three inches.
The Versatile Shucker: Regardless of your orientation, this shucker allows for ambidextrous use. Also, a versatile knife that splits through all seashells is a great tool.
- Blade Type: Stainless steel (HRC 55-58)
- Overall Length: inches ( inch blade.)
- Item Weight: 0.32 ounces
- Brand: Swissmar
Our Swissmar Shucker's 3-inch blade comes with a tapered tip design that gives easy penetration through the hinges of oyster shells. This product offers precision and sharpness for all species.
The Wusthof Oyster Opener blade is made from a special blend of German steel. As a top-quality product, it works well for small oysters and penetrates where large oyster knives can't reach. Here are other exciting qualities of this model.
Synthetic Handles: The double-riveted handle is made from synthetic plastic material. Both sides of the handle are compressed with the full tang steel blade to give maximum strength.
High Carbon Steel: This no-stain, full tang blade is made from high carbon German (X50CrMoV15) steel. With the blade's tensile strength, you can wiggle through the hinge of the shell.
Great Gift Idea: This Wusthof tool will make a fabulous gift for birthdays, anniversaries, and wedding events. Knives with German steel blades are well-made and are often appreciated by people with a high sense of value.
Durability: As a high-end product with a compact design, this Wusthof model is a professional-grade choice. Usually, expert Schuckers prefer shuckers that are durable because it saves from early replacement. So, this product's durability is an advantage for experienced buyers.
- Blade Type: High Carbon German (X50CrMoV15) Steel
- Item Weight: 2.88 ounces
- Brand: Wusthof
With a tiny blade, this Wusthof allows you to cut through small openings between oyster shells. It's polished no-stain German (X50CrMoV15) steel provides extra strength, and makes it easy to prepare recipies.
Tips on How to Open an Oyster Easily
Here's how to shuck oysters through their sides
- Check for the shell's hard flat surface to ensure your hand is firm
- Align the hinge of the shell to face you, and hold the knife with your dominant hand
- It's the tiny gap between the shells that you should put the blade's tip, and drill slowly
- When you find a fluted crust, break off its edge with the blunt part of your blade
- As the hinge faces you, apply the knife vertically and break the abductor's muscle with the blade's tip
- Align the blade against the top layer oyster of the oyster shell, and keep it away from the oyster meat.
- Apply back and forth pressure on the edge until you break the oyster's abductor muscle
- Pry open the top shell to see where the abductor muscle's scar is positioned
- Place the knife's blade under the oyster with care, and slice through the point of contact between the bottom shell and the abductor's muscle
- You can now overturn the bottom shell on a clean bowl for your oyster meat to slip into the plate.
Hinge-Entry Shuck Method
Here's how to shuck oysters through their hinges
- Align the hinge of the oyster shell to face you, and insert the blade's tip slowly
- Twist the tip with vigor, and force more of the blade between the hinge point until both parts of the shells have a gap
- Keep pushing the blade's edge towards the top crust to hit, and break the abductor's muscle
- Pry open the top crust to see where the position of the abductor muscle's scar
- Gently insert the blade tip and slice through the contact point. That point is between the abductor muscle and bottom crust
- Invert the base of the shell on a container, and allow your oyster meat to drop on it
- Regardless of your shucking choice, you'll need some patience and skill to pry your large oysters. It may be hard for first-timers, but practice makes you perfect when you use the right tool and technique. Also, try to prevent sand particles on the shell from contaminating the oyster meat inside the container.
The old tradition of shucking with special knives will be replaced with the electric oyster shucker soon. However, you have increased your knowledge of prying oysters without hurting yourself. There's no magic about shucking since it involves techniques and using the right oyster knife. Aligning the oyster knife target on the membrane could be tricky, but you get the spot when you are patient. Usually, the final decision of oyster knife buyers is based on their personal preferences.
The right product for starter shuckers is the Melocean Oyster Shucking Knife Set. This two-in-one oyster knife set package includes both a brochure and PDF guide that teach beginners how to shuck oysters. Apart from the process of learning, this choice makes replacement of an oyster knife easy because the other knife acts as a spare. Also, the Oyster Knife By HiCoup is a professional-grade tool that has both a bigger handle and hand guard.
Expert shuckers can handle small and large oyster with ease when they use this HiCoup knife. Regardless of your choice, every product in this review will fit your budget. Additionally, they have been tested by our team of oyster chefs and certified to have the features I have enumerated. However, don't forget to share your experience as you use any of the oyster knives in our top picks.
You can also visit our other pages where we reviewed different fishing equipment like:
e) Fish Finders