Oyster knives are the best option to use when you are shucking oysters, but what makes an oyster knife good? Does it actually matter if the knife you use to shuck oysters is an actual oyster knife? The answer to the latter question is yes.
An oyster knife is designed to provide the best shape and comfort to the user while shucking oysters, which is a task that is already fairly difficult to do. An oyster knife can make this tedious experience so much easier for even an inexperienced oyster shucker.
In this article, we will go over all the best oyster knives available in today’s market with detailed review and ratings about what each knife is best at, the price to quality ratio of the knives, and just general information that will help you to make a decision about which oyster knife to buy.
Table of Contents
- Best Oyster Knives Available in 2021
- How to Shuck Oysters
- Why is an Oyster Shucking Knife a Good Idea to Buy?
Best Oyster Knives Available in 2021
Not to be a downer, but not all oyster knives are the same or even work the same. Some get very dull, very fast, while others stay sharp for longer amounts of time. Some have handles designed for good grip and pressure distribution, while others are flat and not ergonomically designed.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the best oyster knives!
1. OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife with Non-Slip Handle
Although this knife might look simple, it has been carefully designed to make the most of your oyster shucking experience. The blade is made from stainless steel to make it durable and long-lasting, so you do not have to buy a new one sooner.
- Safety Grip Even When Wet
The grip on the handle of the knife has been carefully created to minimize the risk of your hand sliding off of the handle while you are shucking the oyster, thereby reducing the chances of you hurting yourself or damaging the bottom shell of the oyster.
- Dishwasher Safe
Another great thing about this oyster knife is that you can pop it into the dishwasher without any worries of damaging the metal or synthetic aspects of the knife. This means that cleaning up after shucking is way easier.
- Bent Tip
Bend in the tip of this oyster knife is not accidental damage, but a clever and widely used design technique to help the person using the knife to pry the shells of the oyster apart and get the knife inside.
This means that you do not have to use as much force or pressure and strain your arms and wrists to get the oyster open. Because you can open the oyster easier, you will spend less time shucking and more time enjoying the fruits of your labor.
- Very Blunt and Short Blade
Many oyster shucking knives are fairly blunt, but this one is very, very, blunt. This is fine for some people, however, those who have had a few more years of shucking experience would probably prefer one that is a bit sharper.
For the length of the blade, a more experienced oyster shucker might find it a bit too short to feel satisfactory, but for a beginner, it will probably be just fine.
2. Oyster Knife By HiCoup
This is more than just an oyster knife, this is the whole dang set! The oyster knife itself is a full tang blade, and it comes with a beautiful protective leather sheath for storage and cut-resistant gloves to protect you from any slips or mess-ups that could cut you.
- Full Set Style
This oyster knife is fantastic for those who shuck oysters on the move, fresh out of the water. The sheath is great for people who like to go camping by the seaside or who want to make sure that they do not stab themselves while they are rummaging through the kitchen drawers.
In addition to the sheath, the cut-resistant gloves are a perfect addition for people who are a bit more on the clumsy side, (like me,) or who are just starting out learning about how to properly shuck an oyster. This way, newbies and klutzes are safe from their own mistakes.
- Stainless Steel Blade
The blade of this oyster knife is made from high-quality 420 stainless steel and made by expert artisans who prioritize their craftsmanship over all else. The blade itself is a full tang blade and held in place by 3 powerful rivets, secured by compression from ultimate security.
The stainless steel has been reinforced with high-carbon so that it has the best rigidity and can smoothly slip under the shell of even the toughest oysters to make shucking a breeze!
This oyster knife is truly beautiful in addition to being extremely practical The stainless steel blade has been polished to a reflective mirror and is attached to a handmade handle made out of pakka wood.
In addition to the beautiful pakka wood handle, the handle also has a handguard to keep your hands safe. The handle also boasts a skid-free grip so that even with wet hands, wet gloves, or a wet handle you can safely maintain your grip on the knife and open up oysters, clams, or other bi-valves.
- Skinny Handle
Some folks who have bought this oyster shucking knife found that the handle was just a bit too thin for them, which made their hands get tired faster. However, this does not mean that every person who purchases or even uses this oyster shucking knife will have the same experience.
3. Dexter-Russell (S121PCP) – 2.75″ New Haven Style Oyster Knife
This is a great oyster shucking knife for those people who prioritize the simplicity of the design and functionality over things like safety, stylishness, over superficial aspects. This is a great and simple oyster shucking knife that works well and surely gets the job done.
This is a New Haven pattern blade, meaning that the tip is slightly curved to get underneath the lip of the oyster’s shell (or other bi-valves) to pry open the shell and help you shuck them easier.
- Sani-Safe Handle
The handle of this oyster shucking knife is designed by Sani-Safe. This means that it has anti grip ridges so that regardless of any water on your hands or the handle of the knife, your hands will stay put. It is also an ergonomically designed handle so your hands do not feel as much pressure or get blisters.
- Used By Professionals
Because of the price and functionality of this oyster shucking knife, many professional chefs and restaurant or oyster bar owners swear by it. It is simple, yet effective. It is not sharp enough to cut through a towel or slice someone’s hand, but it is sharp enough to slice through the muscle attachment tendon in the oyster and pops the hinge open on any bi-valve.
This means that if a professional chef or oyster shucker approves of this oyster shucking knife, it is a dang good one that you should totally check out!
- Durable Blade
The blade itself is slightly rounded so that while you are shucking, you can break the vacuum that is sometimes created by the force of both the oyster and the knife. This makes it easier to get the oysters open.
The blade itself is a high carbon, high alloy, stain-free blend that will last you years with proper care. The blade is also NSF certified if that is important to you.
- Easy to Care For
This oyster knife is incredibly easy to take care of. It is recommended that you handwash it, however, it is not hard to wash in any way. In a pinch, it can be tossed into the dishwasher, which will not affect the quality of the oyster knife in any way.
Dry it when you are done washing it and put it away! It is super simple and easy to give this oyster knife good care. This knife has a long lifespan if it is taken care of properly and since it is so easy to take good care of it, you should be completely fine and have this oyster shucking knife for years!
- Great Quality for a Great Price
This oyster knife is not an expensive one. That in no way means that it is a cheaply made knife or a bad one. The quality of the final product is highly praised and beloved by almost all of the customers. That is why people who prefer simple, cheap, and practical products adore this oyster shucking knife!
- The Handle Stains Easily
The only downside to this oyster shucking knife is the white material that makes up the handle stains very easily. However, this does not affect the quality or functionality of this oyster knife in any way, so if you can look past a little bit of discoloration in the handle, you should check out this knife.
4. TANG SONG 8PCS Oyster Shucking Knife
If you are looking to buy multiple oyster shucking knives, then this is the product for you. Not only is this one of the best, most fantastic deals you might ever be able to find on oyster shucking knives, but you get great quality oyster knives that will be sure to satisfy your needs.
These oyster shucking knives come in an 8 pack. Each oyster shucking knife has a smooth wooden handle, a hand/finger guard at the hilt of the knife, and is eco-friendly! The blade is made out of high-quality stainless steel materials, making it safe to use, healthy, and super strong as well as durable.
- Comes as a Bulk Pack
Whether you are planning on giving oyster shucking knives out as a party gift, as a holiday gift to your whole family, your co-workers, or you run a legitimate oyster bar where you need plenty of oyster shucking knives to fill the hands of your employee, look no further!
These oyster shucking knives come in a pack of 8 for a crazy good price so you will not have to buy 8 individual oyster shucking knives, which can become crazy expensive. This pack of 8 costs about the same as one Dexter-Russel oyster shucking knife, (listed above,) so you know that this is a fantastic deal.
The blades of these oyster shucking knives are made from reflective and polished stainless steel material, while the handles are made from beautiful polished wood. The wooden handle is rounded, which makes it comfortable in the hands of any shucker.
This oyster shucking knife also has a finger/handguard at the hilt of the blade so that any sharp pieces of shell do not hurt you if the knife slips as you shuck. It also helps protect your finger from any other external damage to your hands or fingers that could be inflicted while shucking the oysters.
- Multi-Purpose Shucking Knife
This is not only an oyster shucking knife but a scallop, clam, muscle, etc opening knife. This way, if you need to open multiple different types of bi-valves for one evening or meal, you can open up a whole bunch without switching from one tool to another. This makes the cleaning and shucking process much faster and speeds up cleaning afterward because there is only one knife to clean up.
- Smooth and Slippery Handle
The only complaint that customers have for these oyster shucking knives is that the handle is not ergonomically designed, curved, or ridged. This means that when the handle or hands of the shucker are wet, the handle can become overly slick and smooth, causing the shucker to lose their grip on the handle of the knife and make a mistake or worse, harm themselves accidentally.
This could be fixed by wearing gripping gloves or sanding the handles a little bit to create some catch and reduce the slipperiness of the handle. The handle is also not curved or designed to distribute pressure well, so the shucker’s hands might feel a bit sore after or get tired very quickly while shucking.
How to Shuck Oysters
Shucking oysters is fairly easy, despite what you might think. All you have to do is prepare all your tools correctly and understand the instructions and you will be fine!
Here is what you will need to gather or purchase before you can successfully and correctly shuck any oysters:
- Your tool of choice
- A protective fabric to hold the oysters in
1. Your Tool of Choice
Your tool of choice is the knife or tool that you will use to open up the oysters. Some people would rather not buy a knife only to be used for shucking oysters every once and a while might use a flat head screwdriver or a butter or table knife.
Folks who want to do it the professional way will use a good oyster shucking knife that was designed to open up oysters, like any of the ones from our list above.
2. Protective Fabric
For this piece, you will want an old oven mitt that you do not mind getting dirty, a kitchen towel, a rag, an apron, or cut resistant gloves. This is what you will wrap around the oyster to lower the chances of any juice squirting out while you shuck the oyster, reduce the chances of your hand getting cut from the sharp shell, or accidentally slicing your hand open.
3. How to Shuck:
First, get yourself set up. Wrap the oyster in the cloth protective piece you have. You want the flatter side of the oyster facing up, so all the juices and water inside will stay in the deeper part of the shell and not leak and run all over the place.
Identify where the hinge is. The hinge is the pieces of the two shells that connect them through the exoskeleton. The rest of the connection is all internal muscle tissue. Insert the knife at or near the hinge since it tends to be the easiest spot.
Now shimmy the knife over toward the hinge and then pop it by twisting the blade of the knife. Sometimes just inserting the knife will cause the oyster’s hinge to pop, but other times it will require twisting the knife sharply in one direction to make it open up.
Stubborn ones will require you to really work for it and angle the knife around to find the right spot. If you are a beginner, this might be a spot that you struggle the most in.
Once the hinge is popped, you have to severe the rest on the internal connective tissue inside. Push the knife all the way through until it comes out the other side.
Now, you have to shimmy and slide the knife down from the hinge to the wider side of the oyster to open it cleanly and remove the top piece of the shell. This is usually the easier part to do for most people unless the tool or oyster shucking knife that you are using is too dull.
A dull tool or oyster shucking knife can make this part take forever because the blade cannot cut through the connective muscular tissue. At the end of the oyster, you might encounter some more resistance than what you felt while slicing the middle parts of the shell.
Once you have sliced all the way through, open it up! Keep the deeper side on the bottom still, because that is where are the flavorful juice and most of the mear will be.
Scrap off any muscle or meat from the other side of the shell and add it to the juicy, deep one. Keep them on a plate of crushed ice once you have shucked them. Try to serve or eat them as soon as possible after shucking them if you want to have them raw, otherwise, they can spoil.
Do NOT even consider storing the raw oysters in the fridge overnight. They WILL spoil and you will get food poisoning or sick from eating them the next day.
Why is an Oyster Shucking Knife a Good Idea to Buy?
Oyster shucking is a fairly precise action, meaning that if you are a beginner and trying to learn how to shuck oysters using a flat head screwdriver, the only thing you will be driving is yourself insane.
Like my grandfather always says: “The proper tool for the proper job.”
Just because some works at an acceptable level of decency and quality does not mean that it is the easiest or the best way at all. Just because you can knit a scarf using two pencils does not mean that that scarf is going to turn out great.
Oyster shucking knives are fairly cheap and they will make your shucking experience so so so much easier. There is no reason not to get one!
Maybe down the line, you will end up being great at shucking, cleaning, cooking, or preparing oysters. Maybe you become known in your family for being able to create the most delicious oysters. All thanks to the simple purchase of an oyster knife.
Plus, most oyster knives (even though they do not advertise them in this way,) can be used for plenty of other bivalves.
Bivalves include clams, scallops, and muscles, which are in a similar or same family as oysters. This means that they have to be cleaned up, opened up, and prepared in a particular way for them to be enjoyed in their raw form.
The final words on oyster shucking knives? Just buy one.
Buying a good, high-quality oyster shucking knife like the ones on our list is not that big of a purchase. It will not send you over the edge and into debt if you have $30 to your name.
Granted, the super fancy oyster shucking knives that have ornate handles, leather sheaths, and polished mirror blades are going to be more expensive, the average oyster shucking knife is not that pricey.
An oyster shucking knife is a tool that all budding or aspiring shuckers or cooks should have in their cooking toolbox, no doubt.