What is an Oyster Knife and why do you need one
The Oyster Knife is a special type of knife to pry open oysters and separate their meat from the shell. This is also called shucking.
It has a short, thick blade and usually a thick and short but bulbous handle. This kind of handle is best for the grip-and-twist motion you need to do when opening an oyster. Some Oyster Knives come with a shield after the handle. This way your hand can not slip to easy from the knife. But more important, it prevents the blade to go too far into the shell. Typically, the knife will have a sharp pointy tip that you insert into the tightly closed shell to pry the shell apart. After the oyster is open you cut through the muscle and oyster membrane to separate the meat from the shell.
Of course, you could use a normal knife or a screwdriver to open an Oyster but you might not only break part of the shell or the whole shell if you do it this way. It is also dangerous because you could easily hurt yourself. So if you are going to enjoy preparing your own oysters you should get a proper knife for it. And they are really not expensive and should last a lifetime.
Experienced oyster lovers usually own more than one oyster knife. Although you can open an oyster with any kind of oyster knife some do a much better job on certain oyster types and sizes than others.
What are the different Blade Styles for Oyster Knives:
The DALSTRONG 2.75″ Oyster Shucking Knife is a perfect example of a French Oyster Knife. They have a straight, thin blade which is sharp on both edges.
The Original Chesapeake Bay Oyster Shucking Knife is a perfect example of a Chesapeake Stabber with a tapered blade. It does allow the easy penetration of the shellfish. It has little if any flex to the blade. The knife also cuts the adductor muscle easily.
The Dexter-Russell 3″ Boston-style Oyster Knife is an perfect example of an Bosten Oyster Knife. The names Boston, Boston stabber, Cape Cod stabber describes a famous American oyster knife design. They feature long, moderately narrow stainless or high carbon steel blades. The blade is slightly convex and strong with rather dull edges. The handles are long oval-round or pear-shaped and wooden or synthetic. You can use any shucking method with this knife, except side-knife method.
The Providence Pattern Oyster Knife with Polypropylene Handle is an good example for an Providence Oyster Knife. It has a narrow slightly rounded tip. It is easier to spit oyster shells with the straight flat blade than using thicker ones. The shorter blade provides a bit more of a manageable angle as well. These knives are good for oysters of all sizes but especially medium-sized onex.
A Galveston Oyster Knife is sometimes referred to as a Southern or Gulf Knife. In general, Galveston’s feature a long, very strong, and broad blade. In general, the blade is flat and only a little bit convex and the tip narrows to a rounded point. The handle is the same as the ones you find on Boston knives. A good example is the 4″ Galveston Oyster Knife
If you like to open your oysters with the classic hinge method you should try this kind of knife. The blade is fairly wide and blunt. The convex tip can travel high inside the oyster. The upward angled tip makes it easy to move inside the oyster but away from the meat. The convex shape of the blade makes it easy to cut the adductor muscle without puncturing the meat. The R Murphy New Haven Oyster Knife Shucker is a fine example of such a knife. It is versatile and works well on most small to medium East, West & Gulf Coast oysters. It is light-weight and perfectly balances in your hand.
Our Top 10 Oyster Knives
Victorinox Oyster Knife
Victorinox is the world’s most known brand for multi-tools and pocket knives and their knives are made in Switzerland. But for many years Victorinox is making kitchen knives and tools as well. On vacation with the misses, I took her out to a nice restaurant for her birthday. This was in France and they opened the Oysters at the table. Curious what tools they use I asked and Victorinox it was. In fact, it was the Victorinox Oyster knife hooked tip New Haven-style blade.
The knife has an ergonomic, super grip handle that is slip-resistant even when wet. The high carbon steel blade is rustproof and you can wash it in the dishwasher. This Oyster Knife is NSF approved. Victorinox guarantees all knives and tools to be of first class stainless steel and also guarantees a life time against any defects in material and workmanship.
Like a different Blade?
If you like this knife but you need another blade – no problem! Victorinox has this knife with different blades. The grip is the same and you get it with an 3-Inch Narrow Boston Style Blade, 4-Inch Boston Style Blade, Galveston Blade Knife and with an 2-3/4-Inch Providence Style Blade. So everybody can find his favorite knife for his favorite type oysters.
OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife
The OXO Good grips oyster knife is the perfect knife for eating oysters in your home. It is one of the best oyster knives on the list. The sturdy stainless steel blade has a bent tip that makes prying open oyster shells easier than ever. The soft comfortable handle ensures that you won’t slip even when it is wet. If you want to wash it in your dishwasher you definitely can. If you are on a budget, do not hesitate to make this purchase! You get a great knife for under 10$.
Swissmar Shucker Paddy Universal Oyster Knife
The Swissmar-Shucker-Paddy-Universal-Oyster-Knife.jpg is one of the most unusual oyster knife around. I have to admit it took me a few Oysters to get used to this knife. You see – the usual Oyster Knife has only one axis like all the other knives in your kitchen. This Shucker has two. One down the blade and another down the length of the grip. This dual-axis gives you a lot more leverage. Once you get the hang of it you will love it!
The Shucker Paddy has an ergo-dynamic dual-axis pistol grip with finger guard. The knifes 135-degree angle keeps the forearm in alignment with the blade for maximum transfer of power. It features a 3″ blade. The tip is sharpened on both the top and bottom, for ease of use on all types of oysters. Swissmar gave it a perfect sharpness for all types of oysters. This knife is dishwasher safe and you can use it with both hands.
After testing it for this review I gave it to a friend. I have quite large hands (Glove Size XL) and if you have large hands the handle is a bit too small. You are better off to get another Oyster Knife from this page.
HiCoup Oyster Knife
The HiCoup Oyster Knife is one of my favorite Oyster Knife looks a bit different than the rest. It has a fine Pakka Wood-handle with an oversized hand guard to keep your fingers safe. You will work the Oyster with a 420 stainless steel full tang blade. The handle is secured with 3 rivets which are compression riveted in order to hold wood and steel strongly together.
I am not sure if I like the looks of the DALSTRONG Oyster Shucking Knife better but you might have a favorite already. The Hi Coup comes with a Lifetime Guarantee and a leather holster to store the knife when you not use it.
Zyliss Oyster Tool and Knife Set
I know what you are thinking – at last, some of you. How can the Zyliss Oyster Tool and Knife Set end up in this Top 10 List? When I saw it the first time I was skeptical but I got one to give it a go. And it does work! The silicone oyster pocket has non-slip feet so you put one oyster in it and hold it from the top. No need for a glove or towel you can now open the oyster easier. It provides leverage while keeping hands safe during use. The non-slip handle is quite big and fits nicely in the hand. This combination makes it super easy to open your favorite oysters. I gave it to my mother since she never liked to open oysters. Now she is very happy with her toolset.
The Zyliss Knife set has 5 years guarantee and is dishwasher safe.
PUT ‘EM BACK Oyster Shucker by Toadfish
The PUT ‘EM BACK Oyster Shucker by Toadfish is a bit different from the rest. Toadfish looks at it more like a tool than the other manufacturers. Made from Japanese stain-free and rust-resistant stainless steel the full tang blade gives you more control when working with it. The tip of the blade is bend which allows for easy opening from the hinge of the Oyster. For the Handle Toadfish counts on recycled materials. It features a thumbprint on one side. This way you will not slip and have a better grip which results in a safer opening process. The tip section of the blade is sharp to cut the oyster out of its shell.
Toadfish does not recommend that you use this knife on raw large ‘rock’ Gulf Coast oysters. The knife comes with a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. If you do not love the knife they replace it or offer you a refund.
Toadfish plants 10 sq. feet of new oyster habitat for every knife they sell!
Winco – 7 1/2″ Clam Knife
The Winco 7 1/2-Inch Clam Knife is a Classic single-edged blade clam knife. The wood handles are triple-riveted and guarantee a firm grip. The stainless steel blade is stiff and you can open a lot of Oysters quick and easy with it. The blade is not really sharp but sharp enough to part the shell from the flesh of the oyster.
I would recommend this knife only to people that have a bit of experience. Since there is no finger guard you should know how to work with this knife to avoid injury.
R. Murphy Duxbury Knife
The R. Murphy Duxbury Oyster Knife is my friends favorite oyster shucker tool. It is Made in the USA as well. The 2-1/8 inch blade is made from with commercial grade stainless steel. It has a tough pointy tip and requires only a bit of force to ease in the oyster hinge. The tip is a bit bent which is called a New Haven Tip which makes it easy to work into the oyster hinge. For the handle they use a polypropylene plastic that is very ergonomically shaped. I do like the way it feels in the hand and it is great to work with it. They call the color “Murphy Green”.
Melocean Shucking Knife Set of 2
The Melocean Oyster Shucking Knife Set is similar to the knife above for the experienced oyster lover. I would not recommend it to someone that is a beginner. For the blade material, Melocean chose 3CR13 German stainless steel. That makes the blade very strong and it is rust-proof. It has a strong tip with a sharp edge so you can penetrate the hinge easy. The blade ends in a forged bolster that adds to the durability of the knife. The blade extends all the way to the end of the handle to increase strength and leverage. We call that a full tang knife.
The 2.5″ blade will not bend so you “feel” what you do and you can work fast end efficiently without chipping the shell. The handles are made from non-slip French wood and reinforced with two rivets. Melocean gives a lifetime warranty for the set.
The the knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is Made in the USA.
Dexter New Haven Style Knife
The Dexter Russel new haven style oyster knife has a bent tip to help you open oysters easier. You guessed it – the name of the knife told you already. Dexter uses high carbon, high alloy stain-free DEXSTEEL for the 2.75″ blade. For the handle, they use their own Sani-Safe material. It is a textured, slip-resistant, easy-to-clean polypropylene. The knife is NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified.
How to Open an Oyster with an Oyster Knife
If you have never shucked an oyster or don’t know anything about shucking oysters then I highly recommend that you watch the video below that will teach you to shuck any oyster in less than 30 seconds provided you have already purchased one of the preceding oyster shuckers.
How to Open an Oyster without an Oyster Shucking Knife
Ok so maybe you don’t have an oyster knife but you still want to open an oyster without buying one of these knives. You can use a screwdriver, just watch this following video to find out how.