Best Oyster Knives

Oyster Knives - Reviews & Guides For 2024

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Oyster knives buying guides

Are you looking for the best Oyster knife? If yes, we have got you covered with our excellent guide that will help you to buy the right oyster knife that can assist you in shucking oysters in a jiffy.

We believe that you should be aware of all the characteristics that an ideal oyster knife must possess before opting for the best oyster knife.

We have included all the ins and outs about different features of oyster knives. Besides this, we have sorted all the points properly to provide you with all the crucial specifications that play a pivotal role in choosing the best oyster knife!

So, let's get started!

Why should you buy Oyster Knives and not regular Knives?

Before jumping directly into the desirable traits of the oyster knives, you must know why opting for them is essential rather than any other regular knife.

Oyster knives are mainly designed to shuck the Oyster; therefore, their chief function involves more prying and probing, whereas you can slice and cut with your regular knives.

For shucking oysters, the knife's blade must be shorter precisely, with only 3" tops, but the regular knives have a longer blade that is susceptible to bend while you shuck oysters. Moreover, oyster knives come with a special upturned tip that will help in easily prying the shells.

Thus, these two primary parameters make oyster knives unique, and hence, you cannot expect the same operation with your regular knives.

Top 3 reasons you read a buyer's guide before making your final purchase?

You might be in a dilemma as to why you should read a buyer's guide before selecting your right oyster knives.

  1. There are many options for oyster knives in the market, making it challenging to pick an apt oyster knife. Thus, the buying guide will streamline your purchase with filtered yet right choices.
  2. The availability of different materials for making these oyster knives is another point that makes it essential to have in-depth knowledge of different materials.
  3. A buyer's guide will be your handy tool to help you get all the information in one place and make an informed decision.

Going further, we will check out how to buy oyster knives, but before that, you should have some basic knowledge about oysters. Here we go—

What are oysters?

Primarily, An Oyster is a type of bivalve mollusks. Mollusks are invertebrates, and they have a covering of skin, commonly known as the mantle.

Oysters have two separate shells, unlike many other mollusks such as snails, cuttlefish, etc. According to the anatomy of an oyster, there is a hinge between the shells. All bivalves have a strong adductor muscle attached with the middle of the shell, and the mantle is found inside the shells. An oyster has a round bottom shell and a flatter top shell. Both of the shells meet in the end.

Different Types of oysters

Eastern or American Oyster

This medium to large-sized oysters are known for their sweetmeat. They were harvested in the US and hugely found near the Gulf of Mexico.

Edible or European Flat Oyster

These oysters are smaller in size, and they are easily found all around western Europe, starting from Norway to the Mediterranean.

Pacific Oyster

These fast-growing oysters are commonly found in the Asian Pacific Ocean. These easy-shucking, tasty oysters are appropriate for commercial farming.

Types of oyster knives

To choose the right oyster knives, you must learn about the variety of knives available in the market for shucking oysters. Remember, all these knives are easily accessible, sturdy, and durable. It is just their size that differentiates them from each other.

The Small Frenchman

This knife is made of a 2-inch high carbon blade and has a riveted handle. This lightweight knife is sharp on both sides, which makes it appropriate for the native European oysters or any small oysters. The hit guard protects the knife from accidental drops so you can hold it with a tight grip.

The Boston Stabber

This knife is designed with a high carbon steel blade and a pear-shaped handle. It has a 3-4 inch long blade that has a flat rounded tip.

The narrow tip of this knife helps to open different types and sizes of oysters, including vast Atlantic and Pacific oysters. The non-slip handle with a thumb rest allows you to hold the knife comfortably with a good grip.

The Galveston

The 4-inch blade of this knife makes it appropriate for commercial use. The sturdy and sharp blade helps to cut the strong abductor muscle of any oysters so you can easily use it for large Atlantic or medium to large European oysters. You can use this knife effortlessly as it is very lightweight.

The blade is flat and convex, which gradually narrows to a rounded tip. The pear-shaped handle ensures a good grip for the users.

The New Haven

This knife, with a 2.75-inch high carbon steel blade, is very suitable for the classic hinge method of shucking. The convex tip gives you the extraordinary leverage of opening oysters hinge correctly.

The pear-shaped handle is designed with hardwood or polypropylene that offers a comfortable grip and hold without any slip. So, you can use this for small to medium-sized Pacific, Atlantic, and Olympia oysters.

The Large Frenchman

It is a bigger version of the Small Frenchman that has a 2.5-inch stainless steel blade. The sharp edge of this knife is perfect for Kumamoto, European, Olympia oysters. Also, you can use it for small Pacific and Atlantic.

The Providence

This knife is more like the New Haven one; however, it has a straight, small, and broad blade. The high carbon steel blades do not have any upward curves. With a long pear-shaped handle, this knife provides an excellent grip to open medium-sized oysters, but you can use it for all sizes of oysters comfortably.

Main Characteristics of oyster knives

Oyster knives are the most crucial kitchen tools ensuring the ultimate comfort of shucking and eating oyster meat at your home.

If you want to enjoy a hassle-free shucking, consider some unique parameters before making the right choice.


When it comes to shucking many oysters at a time, you should choose a sturdy and durable handle. It is better to go for a rounded handle designed with a thumb rest and also big enough so that your fingers can curl adequately. You are suggested not to buy oyster knives having straight edges and irregular shapes.

  • Wooden handles are good to use, but it can soak moisture and get damaged soon.
  • In that case, knives with plastic and rubber handles are appropriate to use because they are designed with an anti-slip coat.
  • Try to avoid silk material for a knife handle. It takes longer to open many large oysters at a time but also comes at the risk of accidental slip while using wet hands.


The blade of an oyster knife is usually used in cutting the abductor's muscle. So, you should choose a moderately sharp blade which is sturdy and durable to shuck a large number of oysters effortlessly.

A 3-inch blade is ideal for medium to large-sized oysters, but you must be careful about the materials. Choose the blade with corrosion-resistant metal so that the salty water can not damage the knife quickly.

A knife made of ferritic stainless steel 440c can be a little expensive so that you can look for high carbon steel material instead. Dexter, Russell, Wusthof, etc. are some trustworthy brands that provide you with the best quality oyster blades.

Knife guard

The knife guard increases the weight of the oyster knives. If you like to have a lightweight knife, then knife guards won't be a good option for you. It protects you from injury caused by accidental slips.

Nowadays, the bulge design of the handle where it meets the blade gives ultimate protection to make sure the knife does not slip from your hand comfortably. You can also wear a mesh glove to avoid any type of injury.


A flat and pointed tip of the blade allows you to cut the tight hinge smoothly and eat the meat with ease. You need a well-designed tip to shuck conveniently. An appropriate tip size will support you with precision and speed to open the Oyster with less effort.


With a lightweight oyster knife, you can open the oysters effectively. It won't stress your hands, and you can hold it tightly. So if you need to shuck many oysters for an extended time, consider the weight for your comfort.


Another essential factor you must look for is versatility and efficiency in work. For example, you can choose a knife carefully when you want the oysters in half shells to break the shells. Also, a right oyster knife helps you to detect the abductor muscle between two shells efficiently.


You should always pick up an oyster knife that is convenient to use. Blades made with stainless steel material can get through the shells quickly. Moreover, they are resistant to corrosion, so the salty water can not cause any damage.

On the other hand, carbon steel blades are not durable, and they do not last long. Some oyster knives can absorb moisture and dirt easily. Therefore, you must choose a standard quality oyster knife that is user-friendly and easy to maintain.


The durability and longevity of the oyster knives directly depend on the materials used in designing the blades. Usually, the oyster blades are made up of two types of materials like—

  • Forged Stainless steel

The 420c stainless steel blade is perfect for commercial use. This high-quality material makes the knife sturdy and gives a mirror effect. It is also resistant to weather, so you do not need to worry about the decay. Along with a smooth finish, forged stainless steel material blades ensure a precision and flawless cutting.

  • High carbon steel

It is an alloy of steel and carbon, which comes with a stain-free feature. It is also known as DEXSTEEL. Because of the industry standard, it provides the highest quality of the knife to make them durable and sturdy. Carbon steel blades are also suitable for side-entry shucking.

  • Full tang steel

High quality 3cr13 stainless steel material is used to make the oyster blades to make sure you can open any types and sizes of oysters with these blades. Some of the blades are made of high carbon German steel (X50CrMoV15) so that you can get through the hinge smoothly.

Methods to shuck oysters

Usually, people use two conventional methods to shuck oysters with oyster knives. Before opening, you should make sure that the shells are cleaned properly and choose a sturdy knife to shuck at ease. You can also check out this easy tutorial for shucking oysters like a pro.

Sideway entry method

  • Find a hard and flat surface to ensure that your hand is placed firmly.
  • Keep the oyster hinge facing you and hold the knife as per your convenience.
  • Look for the small gap between the shells and get through with the blade tip, slowly.
  • Use the blunt part of the blade to break the fluted crust.
  • Hold the knife vertically and cut the abductor muscle with the tip.
  • Keep the blade against the top oyster shell to keep it away from the meat.
  • Keep on pushing on the edge to break the abductor's muscle.
  • Pry open to locate the scar position of the abductor's muscle.
  • You can slice them carefully and overturn the bottom crust on a clean bowl so that the oyster meat slips in.

Hinge entry method

  • Place the hinge of the Oyster facing you and slowly insert the tip of the knife into the hinge.
  • Push the tip between the hinge point with twisting to make a gap between the shells.
  • Keep pushing the blade edge to hit the top crust, so the abductor's muscle breaks off.
  • Pry open the top shell to identify the scar position of the abductor's muscle.
  • Insert the blade slowly to slice through the point of contact.
  • Now, take a clean bowl and Upturn the shell on the bowl for the oyster meat to slip in.

It requires a lot of practice and patience to master the methods of pry opening large oysters. Have the best quality oyster knives, follow the right techniques, and be able to shuck effortlessly.

Safety Tips That are a Must-follow while Shucking Oysters

Different oyster knives come with various institutions, and the best way to shuck oysters ideally is to follow those instructions. However, there are some fundamental tips that you should maintain while shucking the oyster meats.

  • Always use the oyster knife safely and securely. Safety should be the primary concern because your non-cutting hand is very close to the point you are cutting.
  • It is better to wear a mesh glove while holding an oyster. Try to avoid using a double-folded towel on your hands to hold the oysters. There is a risk that you can slice the holding hand directly.
  • Another important tip is to use very cold oysters or steamed oysters. Do not ever try to shuck frozen oysters.
  • When it comes to raw oysters, make sure they are alive. You should not eat dead raw oysters. You can tap on the partially open shell with the oyster knife to check whether it is alive. If the shell does not move, then do not use it anymore.
  • Place the oysters in a tray full of ice and clean them with a bristle brush before shucking.
  • Brush the shell properly and wash with cold water to clean the grit effectively.
  • Put the oysters on your holding hand in a way so that the top crust facing up and the pointy part faces you.
  • Hold the Oyster's knife with the utmost care and twist it gently when you find the hinge. The 'pop' sound will tell you that the hinge is released correctly.
  • Do not spill the juice while cutting the abductor's muscle. You should hold the bottom crust carefully.
  • Keep the raw oysters on ice, and do not wait to eat.

Top FAQs

How should you maintain an oyster knife?

You should be happy as it is effortless to maintain an oyster knife. You don't need to follow any specific procedure, just like cleaning your regular knife by rinsing it with water and using a little dishwasher. Voila! It's done.

How can you tell whether the Oyster is good or bad?

There are mainly three ways to check that the Oyster is fit for consumption or not.

  • A healthy oyster shell is not cracked from anywhere, so if your shell is broken, it is a sign of an unfit oyster. Throw it in the trash right away!
  • As you open the shell, if you see a chubby oyster with a glossy tan color, just smile! It is your fresh, healthy Oyster ready to be cooked! Any other color like pink, grey, or black/brown should be disposed of immediately as it is contaminated completely!
  • Lastly, smell the Oyster to confirm your diagnosis. If you smell a mild, fresh smell, pat yourself on your back as you will be served with a fresh oyster. Any type of pungent smell should be a confirmation that it's time to put it in the trash box.
How can you shuck an oyster without using an Oyster knife?

If you don't have an oyster knife, don't feel bad. You can still shuck oysters without any hassle by using a screwdriver. Although this process takes more time and is not much efficient, you still can get through the shells and get your oysters out for cooking! You can watch this video to get it done rightly!

Which is the best type of oyster knife?

While choosing the best type is up to the personal preference of every chef or home-cook. We have keenly observed what different professional chefs prefer so that you can opt for it.

Its name is "The New Haven." It is the most opted oyster knife owing to its ease of opening and shucking the Oyster within a few seconds.

Wrapping Up

Finally, we have acknowledged every single factor that had an indispensable role in guiding you to choose the best oyster knife for yourself. We are sure that this definitive buyer's guide will be your ultimate answer to all the queries regarding buying oyster knives. So, it's time that you start researching and shortlisting for the best oyster knives for yourself! / - © Copyright 2020