The Essential Guide to Butchery Equipment

For any aspiring butcher, having the right tools and equipment is essential for efficiently breaking down cuts of meat. Investing in quality butcher equipment will make the job much easier and safer. Here is an overview of the most essential butchery tools every butcher needs in their kit.


Breaking Knives – These rigid, heavy knives are designed for cutting through joints and bones and are essential butchery equipment. They have thick blades with pointed tips and feature either wooden or plastic handles. Different sizes are available for breaking down larger or smaller carcasses. A boning knife can also be used for this purpose.

Boning Knives – With thin, flexible blades, boning knives are ideal for removing meat from bones. The blades allow butchers to trim cuts very closely. A sharp pointed tip lets them separate meat from connective tissue and joints. Stiff boning knives work well for beef while flexible ones are better for pork and poultry.

Filleting Knives – Thin and flexible like boning knives, filleting knives have a longer blade and are used to remove skin and bones from fish and to trim fat and silverskin from meat. The extremely sharp blades provide precision cutting.

Cleavers – A heavy cleaver knife is essential for chopping through meat and bones. The hefty, wedge-shaped blade makes quick work of cutting steaks from larger primal cuts and breaking down poultry.

Paring Knives – Small paring knives come in handy for detailed trim work. The short, sharp blades offer control for removing membranes and fat.



Hand Saws – These traditional butchery saws have stiff blades and large wooden handles. They provide the hacking power needed to cut through meat and bones that knives can't handle. Options like beef scimitars and pig stickers are specially designed for cutting specific types of meat.

Electric Meat Saws – Electric powered saws make quick work of sawing through primals and carcasses. A bandsaw uses a revolving long blade while a circular saw has a round rotating blade. They should only be used by experienced butchers.

Jarvis 444 Saw - Abattoir Supplies UK

Cutting Boards

Durable cutting boards are a must-have for any butcher. Hardwoods like maple provide an ideal cutting surface that is kind on knife edges. Grooved plastic or poly boards with juice runoff channels are another good option since they're easy to clean and sanitise. Large butcher blocks give plenty of workspace.


Meat grinders are essential for making fresh sausages, burgers and other ground meats. Manual grinders consist of a housing, worm gear, and rotating blade that mixes and grinds meat as it passes through. Electric grinders provide more power and automation. Commercial sized floor models handle high volume work. Grinder blades and plates come in different sizes for coarse to fine textures. 

Meat Processing Machinery from AES Food Equipment

Sanitation Equipment

Cleanliness is vital in a butchery, so equipment to keep tools and surfaces sanitised is essential. Commercial sanitisers and disinfectants approved for use in food prep areas should be used regularly. Other must-haves include scrub brushes, soap, hot water pressure washer and sterilising solution for knives. 

With this core set of butchery tools - knives for breaking, boning and filleting, saws for hacking bones, a durable cutting board, meat grinder, scale and sanitation equipment - butchers can be well equipped to handle all cutting tasks. Investing in durable, commercial-grade equipment built to withstand constant use in a professional butchery will give years of reliable service.