Shucking oysters without a knife specifically designed for that purpose is not only difficult but also dangerous.
But what are the best oyster knives? The best oyster knives have a short sturdy blade made of corrosion-resistant metal. The handle should be big and have an ergonomic design. It is also important for the knife to not be overly heavy.
In this article, you get a detailed buyer’s guide to oyster knives as well as a list of nine of the best oyster knives.
Why Do You Need an Oyster Knife?
If you have ever tried to cook oysters at home without doing proper research beforehand, you have surely had trouble opening them.
Oysters have two shells. There is a hinge between these shells that joins them and keeps them closed. Oysters, as opposed to other shellfish species, have shells of different sizes.
In the case of clams, the two shells align. In the case of oysters, one shell is bigger than the other. The bottom shell is rounded while the one top is relatively flatter. The ends of the shells are pointed, and the hinge that connects them is located on the pointed end of the oyster.
You need a proper utensil to shuck oysters as not every knife can withstand the pressure you will be using to open up the shells and reveal the juicy oyster meat inside.
Additionally, the knife should be sharp, sturdy yet thin enough to fit in between the tightly closed shells.
If you try hard, you may be able to open an oyster without an oyster knife. But the right tools make the job easier, and most importantly, safer.
To make shucking oysters an extra safe experience, you might want to invest in a pair of oyster shucking gloves.
What Is the Difference Between an Oyster Knife and a Clam Knife?
If you are a seafood lover and often cook mollusks at home, you surely have a clam knife in your kitchen utensils drawer.
As oysters and clams look somewhat similar in terms of their anatomy and how you shuck them, you may think that you can use a clam knife to shuck oysters.
Here is how clam knives and oyster knives differ:
First off, the techniques of opening oysters and clams are different.
To open clams, you need to force the knife into the crevice between the shells. To open oysters, you need to push the knife through the back of the shell, holding the oyster with the hinge facing you.
As these two shellfish species are opened differently, the knives designed for shucking them have a few differences too.
A clam knife is longer while an oyster knife is shorter. Oyster knives are broad and very sturdy. Clam knives, on the other hand, are leaner. The tip of an oyster knife is sharper as opposed to the tip of a clam knife that is more rounded.
If you are a pro at opening clams, you may try shucking them with a regular knife. It will work as long as the knife has a rounded edge. Things are different with oysters. You need a short and sturdy knife to shuck them.
Don’t try to use a pointed kitchen knife to shuck oysters or clams as you will be risking cutting yourself when applying pressure to open the shell.
How Do I Choose an Oyster Knife?
Here is what you should consider when buying an oyster knife in order for it to be long-lasting and serve its purpose.
When it comes to the blade, there are two things to pay attention to: the material and the shape.
As for the material, stainless steel is your best bet. A corrosion-resistant material is always a good choice when it comes to kitchen utensils, especially if you will be working with oysters that have saltwater inside. The latter can damage the blade if it is not corrosion-resistant.
Buy a knife with a blade that is around 3 inches long. Longer blades are not suitable for shucking oysters. They will bend as you apply pressure to open the shells.
When looking for an oyster knife you may come across blades of different types. Some oyster knives have curved blades while others have straight blades.
The length of the blade may also differ depending on the type. Some are long and narrow while others are thick and wide.
If the blade is well-made and sturdy, it will work perfectly for shucking oysters so long as the knife is designed for that purpose. The rest is a matter of preference and what type of blade you feel most comfortable working with.
An added feature you may want to look for in an oyster knife is the upturned tip. It makes working the knife into the hinge easier. The upturned tip also helps to avoid cutting and damaging the oyster meat inside.
The design of the handle is almost as important as the shape and material of the blade. It should be the right size for your hand and have an ergonomic shape.
Having a good grip on the oyster knife will help you minimize the risk of cutting yourself. Additionally, with a knife that has an ergonomic handle, the task of shucking oysters becomes less tiring.
Also, pay attention to the material of the handle. Depending on the material, you may or may not wash the knife in the dishwasher.
Oyster knives with a wooden handle, for example, can’t be washed in the dishwasher.
The weight of the knife is important.
In most cases, you may be shucking dozens of oysters for one meal. Thus, having a knife that is light and easy to handle will certainly make your oyster-shucking task easier.
Do not confuse lightweight with flimsy. You can always find an oyster knife that is not heavy but still sturdy and durable.
9 Best Oyster Knives
No matter what your preferences are regarding the design of an oyster shucking knife, you will surely find one in our list of 9 best oyster knives.
|1.||OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife||Non-slip handle|
|2.||Dexter-Russel Oyster Knife||Sani-safe handle|
|3.||Victorinox Oyster Knife||Dishwasher-safe|
|4.||Winco Oyster & Clam Knife||Can be used for oysters and clams|
|5.||Rockland Guard Oyster Shucking Set||Comes with cut-resistant gloves|
|6.||Mercer Culinary Oyster Knife||High carbon stainless steel blade|
|7.||Tescoma Oyster Shucking Knife||Protective finger guard|
|8.||Toadfish Oyster Shucking Knife||Full-length blade|
|9.||Ramelson Duxbury Oyster Knife||Blade with beveled edges|
1. OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife
As you already know, two things make a great oyster knife: a high-quality blade and a nicely shaped handle. This OXO Good Grips oyster knife meets both criteria.
The stainless steel blade is sturdy, with a slightly angled tip that makes prying open oysters easy and quick.
The soft-touch handle has an ergonomic design. Thanks to the shape of the handle, getting a secure good grip on this knife is easy.
Additionally, the handle is non-slip. Even when handling the knife with wet hands it won’t slip away and cause an injury.
OXO Good Grips oyster knife is dishwasher-safe. It also has a hanging hole for convenient storage in case you like having all your tools close at hand near your working area.
2. Dexter-Russel Oyster Knife
Sturdiness is the most important property when it comes to oyster knives. This Dexter-Russel knife meets all standards when it comes to the quality and durability of these tools designed for shucking oysters.
Dexter-Russel oyster shucking knife has a Sani-Safe handle. This means that the blade is securely sealed inside the handle. No matter how much pressure you apply, it won’t break.
While this knife is not dishwasher-safe, hand washing is enough to get it clean. Make sure to dry the knife after each use.
The blade on this oyster knife is 2.75 inches long. It also has a curved tip that helps to get it in between the tightly closed shells of an oyster.
The blade is made of stainless steel and is rust-proof.
3. Victorinox Oyster Knife
Some people feel comfortable working with oyster-shucking knives that have straight blades.
Others find it easy to pry open oysters with knives with angled tips. If you are one of these people, then this Victorinox knife will surely meet your standards.
This oyster knife has a New Haven-style blade. This suggests a 2.75-inch bent tip blade that is designed to ease the process of shucking oysters.
The handle of this knife is big and shaped ergonomically to fit nicely in the palm of your hand and provide a secure grip. It is also non-slip even when wet.
Additionally, thanks to the bright color of the handle, you will easily find this compact knife in your kitchen drawer packed with tools.
Victorinox oyster knife is easy to clean – just put it in the dishwasher after each use.
4. Winco Oyster & Clam Knife
If you like shellfish but oysters are not what you cook most often, it certainly makes sense to buy a knife that can be used both for oysters and clams.
Winco oyster knife has a short flat blade. The tip is flat to enable you to use it for clams too.
The material is stainless steel, which is always good, especially for tools used for seafood. Non-corrosion-resistant blades are a big no-no when it comes to oyster and clam knives.
The handle on this knife is wooden, with a comfortable rounded shape and a smooth finish.
While the manufacturer claims that the knife is dishwasher-safe, we recommend washing it by hand whenever you have time. This will minimize the damage to the wooden handle.
5. Rockland Guard Oyster Shucking Set
The Rockland Guard oyster shucking set is a perfect gift for yourself and anyone else that has decided to start cooking shellfish at home instead of eating it only in high-class restaurants.
This set comes with a well-designed shucking knife and a set of cut-resistant gloves –two things every novice at shucking oysters needs.
The stainless steel blade of the knife is 3.5 inches long.
While longer than the blades of many shucking knives, it is wide and sturdy and can withstand the pressure you apply to open the shells.
The tip of the blade is bent to make it easy to slip it in between the shells.
The handle has an ergonomic design and a non-slip finish. The knife is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
6. Mercer Culinary Oyster Knife
If you are looking for an oyster shucking knife that will open any type of oyster with ease, then this Boston-style shucking knife by Mercer Culinary is your best bet.
The blade on Boston-style oyster knives is long and narrow. This allows you to open oysters of any shape and size.
Made of high carbon stainless steel and being thick, the blade of this oyster shucking knife is not flimsy. It is 3 inches long and securely attached to the white handle.
The handle is rounded to provide a comfortable grip and with a textured surface to make it slip-resistant.
7. Tescoma Oyster Shucking Knife
If want to learn how to shuck oysters, starting with an affordable but sturdy knife is a good idea.
Tescoma oyster shucking knife will make it easy for you to learn how to shuck oysters properly.
It has a short 2.4 inches long sturdy blade with a pointy tip, which makes it easy to position the knife right in between the shells.
The handle has a convenient rounded shape and a protective finger guard for a safer experience.
The blade is stainless steel while the handle is high-quality plastic. You can wash this knife in the dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning.
8. Toadfish Oyster Shucking Knife
Whether you are an experienced oyster shucker or need a durable oyster knife to use in a commercial kitchen, then the Toadfish oyster knife it is.
This knife is on the expensive side. However, the price is surely justified.
It has a curved blade with a pointed tip. Made of stainless steel, it is also rust-resistant and stain-free.
Made for experienced shuckers that will be using this knife to shuck thousands of oysters, the manufacturer has made it as sturdy as possible.
The blade goes all the way through the handle which is securely riveted to withstand maximum pressure.
9. Ramelson Duxbury Oyster Knife
Some people struggle with opening oysters while others have a hard time releasing the juicy oyster meat from the shell.
If you have this problem too, then the Ramelson Duxbury oyster knife is the option you should look into.
The blade of this knife is 2 1/8 inches long. And as you know, shorter blades are very sturdy, especially when made of such high-quality material as this one.
The high carbon stainless steel blade of this knife has beveled edges. This is what makes removing the oyster meat from the shell effortless.
The pointy and sharp tip is another feature of the blade that eases the process of opening the oysters.
The handle is made of polypropylene plastic and has an ergonomic shape for an easy and secure grip.
Now that you’ve chosen your oyster knife, here’s a quick video from Everyday Food on the best way to shuck an oyster. Enjoy!
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