Happiness could be summed up by eating raw oysters. However, nothing makes eating oysters more enjoyable than shucking them from the shells. While a screwdriver may pass for an oyster opener, having the right tools makes shucking oysters easy and smooth, like an oyster knife.
Choosing the best oyster knife is not straightforward, considering the different shapes, sizes and materials used to make them. Additionally, there are crucial elements you ought to look out for in the best oyster knives. These include a sturdy blade, an ergonomic handle, not to mention the overall quality and durability.
Keep reading to discover our top picks, as well as a buying guide to help you get your shuck on.
What Is An Oyster Knife
To better understand the work of an oyster shucking knife, it is essential to look at the structural build of oyster shells. Oysters have two shells, the top and the bottom half shell, that encapsulate the oyster meat. In addition, the top shell is flat, while the bottom half-shell is more cupped and rounded.
An oyster knife has a small and sturdy blade that helps to shuck oysters with precision. The blade tip is pointed to allow it to pry through the oyster shell hinge, which is between the two shells. Additionally, oyster knives have thick blades, which help to crack open the top shell.
Unlike regular kitchen knives, oyster shucking knives do not need to be sharp. This is because they are meant to open the oyster shells and not to cut through the meat. They are also about 2-4 inches long, making them perfect for shucking small oysters and large oysters. Finally, an oyster knife should also have a sturdy and ergonomic handle. This helps to provide grip and comfort.
Below are the best oyster knives on the market.
1. HiCoup Oyster Shucking Knife
- HIGH CARBON BLADE: The finely crafted artisanal oyster shucker features a blade forged with...
- SAFETY: The pakka handle is furnished with a hand-guard and fits comfortably in your palm. A...
- DURABILITY: This oyster knife shucker, measuring 6-1/2 inches from tip-to-tip with a 2-1/2 inch...
- COMPACT: Tiny enough to handle small oysters yet sturdy enough to tackle large ones, the oyster and...
- ADD SOME JOY TO THE HOLIDAYS: Good things come in small packages. Whether it is as a stocking...
Shucking oysters could easily be a hobby with this HiCoup oyster shucking knife. Being a professional-grade oyster opener, this knife has a stainless steel blade with high carbon to make it durable and sturdy. The mirror finish on the blade makes it very appealing too.
If you are looking for a knife that will blend with your kitchen aesthetic, this is an excellent choice. The pakka wooden handle is designed to hold the thick blade tightly and see that it does not come off while in use. In addition, three rivets are compressing the handle to see that it is securely fitted.
HiCoup has a hand-guard that enhances safety while holding the knife. This ensures that your hand is protected during shucking. In addition, you can use the knife with wet hands since the handle is non-slip. In addition, there is an added pair of gloves that you can use to protect your hands when using the knife.
2. Dexter-Russell New Haven Style Oyster Knife
- New Haven pattern with a Sani-Safe handle
- High Carbon, High Alloy, Stain free DEXSTEEL
- This knife is NSF certified
- Care: Hand wash and dry after use
- Made in USA
Dexter-Russel is a household name in the cutlery industry, so you are assured that this knife features high-quality construction. Made of high-alloy and high-carbon steel, this sturdy and solid knife blade pries through the oyster to open the top shell in no time. In addition, the blade features a bent, curved tip that makes opening oysters relatively easy compared to using regular oyster knives.
The handle of this Dexter-Russell New Haven-style oyster knife has a Sani-safe handle that improves your grip and prevents injuries from accidents should your hands be wet. Additionally, this knife has a good weight that offers leverage but is also light to handle.
3. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Oyster Knife
- Sturdy stainless steel blade
- A bent tip makes prying open oyster shells easier
- Soft, comfortable handle won’t slip in your hand, even when wet
- Dishwasher safe
OXO good grips is a cult favorite among oyster lovers. Made of stainless steel, this knife is durable and sturdy to last you many family dinner nights. In addition, the blade makes prying into the oyster shell a breeze thanks to the bent tip.
OXO good grips ensure that your safety is a priority with this soft and stylish handle. Apart from being non-slip, this comfortable handle fits in your hands to offer grip. Additionally, the sturdy grip on the handle ensures that the knife does not slip if you are using oily or wet. Finally, once your oysters are open, you can throw this knife into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
4. Victorinox Oyster Knife
- Compact and sturdy
- The world's most know brand for multi-tools and pocket knives
- Made is Switzerland
- Ergonomic, supergrip handle slip resistant even when wet
- High carbon steel blade
Victorinox is a well-known Switzerland brand that manufactures multi-tools and pocket knives. This high-quality knife wiggles through the oyster shell effortlessly to crack it open. The 4-inch long high carbon stainless steel blade is perfect if you're looking to shuck large oysters. Additionally, the thin blade allows you to use the side method as an alternative to open the oyster.
The rounded tip of this Victorinox blade is great for eastern oysters. The handle of this New Haven oyster knife is constructed from Fibrox, which is a rubberized material. This unique design gives an excellent grip for oyster shucking. Additionally, the pear-shaped handle has a protruding rear and front, which offers extra support for your thumb and palm.
5. Mercer Culinary Oyster Knife
- Textured poly handle for sure grip, rounded handle back for comfort
- High carbon, stain-resistant steel blades for durability and sharpness
- Rounded blade tip for safety
- Hand wash knives for blade edge and surface care
This oyster shucker knife by Mercer Culinary is a perfect choice for beginners on a budget. At 3-inches, this Boston-style oyster knife features a polypropylene handle that is very stylish and functional. In addition, the handle has a rounded shape for grip and comfort to prevent the knife from slipping.
The high carbon steel blade is durable and sharp to crack open the oyster shell. In addition, the rounded tip on the blade helps to prevent injury from accidents. Bearing in mind how inexpensive this knife is, the effectiveness and quality will surprise you.
How Do You Determine the Best Oyster Knife?
When shopping for oyster knives, you need to focus more on specific details. These include:
1. The Type of Oyster
As you will see below, the knives are designed based on the type of oyster available in the region. You will find that the most popular oysters include Pacific oysters, large Atlantic oysters, Olympian, European and Kumamoto oysters. For this reason, it is advised to get an oyster knife based on your oyster preference.
Some knives work well with small oysters and others with large ones. For example, oyster knives can shuck a clam, but clam knives are too weak to open an oyster shell. You would better get an oyster knife that can open other shellfish, hence serving more functions.
2. The Type of Blade
The blade is an integral part of an oyster knife. Different knife blades have different-looking tips. For example, some knives have rounded tips that are beginner-friendly, while others have pointed and bent tips.
Typically, an oyster knife is between 2-4 inches. You will find that some have sharpened blades on both sides, while others have only one sharp side. This is helpful when you use the side method to open oyster shells rather than the hinge method.
The blade material is also important to consider. Knife blades are often made of carbon or stainless steel. To enhance the build and durability of the blade, most manufacturers use high carbon and stainless steel. However, although more long-lasting than stainless steel, carbon is subject to corrosion, rust and discoloration.
3. The Handle
Oyster knives are either made of plastic or wood. The handle should be comfortable and sturdy. Since an oyster knife is small, you will find that the shucking knife handle fits into your hand to offer grip. Additionally, an oyster knife should have a non-slip handle. This ensures it doesn't slip out of your hand and cause an accident.
It is also essential that the knife is heavy enough to offer leverage, but not too much that it is tedious to use. Since they are dull, small and made of wood or plastic, oyster knives are dishwasher safe. This helps to clean out the fishy residue better. However, some knives require hand washing.
4. Knife or Hand Guard
A knife or hand guard helps to protect you while shucking an oyster. Since your hand may slip during the process, a knife guard has a non-slip region that prevents your hand from being injured by the blade. Although not many knives have this feature, you might want to consider it if it is important to you.
5. The Type of Knife
Oyster knives are available in five different types. These types are named after regions that made the knives popular.
a). New Haven
New haven style oyster knife blades are about 2¾" inches. They are short and wide, featuring a curved tip adapted to the hinge method of opening oysters. New haven knives are perfect for small to medium-sized Atlantic and pacific oysters. In addition, you can use this knife for Olympia and Kumamoto.
Unlike the New haven, Providence knives have a short, broad and pointed edge. This makes the knife perfect for small and medium-sized Pacific, Olympia and only small Atlantic oysters.
A Boston knife is usually long, narrow and has a pear-like handle shape. This makes the knife easy to carry around and also enhances your grip. Since it is about 3-4", this knife can go through all oyster sizes.
A Galveston blade is 4" long. It is often used commercially to shuck large oysters. The blade is also quite wide and sharp so that you can open more oysters easily.
This french oyster knife has wide and sharp edges. However, they are also short and work well with small to medium oysters.
How to Use the Best Oyster Knife
- Put a clean towel flat on your working surface
- Place your oyster on the kitchen towel, with the top shell(flat side) facing up
- Fold the kitchen towel over the oyster exposing only the hinge
- Use your non-dominant hand to hold the oyster
- Holding the knife on your other hand, locate the hinge and gently wiggle in the blade
- Twist subtly until the top shell cracks open
- Run the knife to separate the top shell muscle and remove it completely
- Slide your knife through the other half-shell to separate the meat
- Enjoy your raw oyster
How you open oysters may make or break your dinner party. However, with the best oyster knife, shucking an oyster is not only effortless but also enjoyable. In addition, quality and effective oyster knives are an added advantage to restaurants that shuck many oysters at a go. We hope that our oyster knife reviews bring you one step closer to enjoying your fresh oysters.