Did you buy a bag of oysters but don’t have any idea how to open them? Well, don’t worry – here you’ll learn how.
The first thing you’ll need is the best oyster knife. Well, it is actually the only thing you’ll need.
We know this because we’ve opened oysters for years. And the only thing you’ll need to do it is a well-made shucker that gets the job done.
In this article, you’ll learn more about them and how you can pick the right model. Care to learn everything they have to offer and more? Then keep on reading!
What are Oysters
Before you learn how to open oysters and how you can pick the right model, let’s first go into details about the food itself.
What sets shellfish apart from other mollusks is that they have conchs. Or what you would know as shells, hence their species name. But these shells are a little stronger than other mollusks, and it is because they have a hinge.
This hinge is what you need to fight when opening an oyster. And that’s why an excellent oyster knife is critical to do so.
Types of Oysters
Not all oysters are the same, and they could make a big difference in how large and difficult it could be to open. Here are a few types to consider:
Also known as American oyster, it can be medium or large. It is found everywhere from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the US.
If you are in the US, this is the typical type of oyster you’ll find. There are thousands of eastern oyster farms across the coast, and it is one of the sweetest to eat.
Apart from all that, this oyster is super challenging to open.
European Flat Oyster
Also known as the edible oyster, you can find it anywhere from Western Europe to Norway and even the Mediterranean.
This type of oyster is very common all around the world and is farmed practically anywhere on the coasts of the US.
It is the sweetest you can find and is often pretty easy to open. But it is the smallest as well.
Coming directly from the Asian Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Oyster is the faster-growing in the whole world, and people have farms practically all across the globe.
This is also the most abundant species and has a strong taste and texture. It is also the most affordable and easiest to find.
This oyster is also super easy to open, but not as much as European oysters. Yet, you can find it canned, in restaurants, supermarkets, and practically anywhere else.
How to Open an Oyster with Ease
The first thing you’ll need to open an oyster is an oyster shucker tool like the ones below. But even with the best knife, it is crucial to follow the right steps. Here’s what you should do:
- Pick the thinnest knife you can. Then look for the hinge. This is the part in the back of the oyster. Or in other words, the part that’s not rounded but pointy.
- Now try to wiggle the knife into the hinge opening. It should be deep enough so you can push slightly for the conchs to open.
- Before pushing, make sure the knife fits well. You should have enough leverage to move the knife up and break the hinge. Don’t be too strong, though, you may end up breaking the shell.
- Once the hinge breaks, the shells will open, and you’ll have a ready-to-eat oysters.
There’s the side-opening method as well, but it takes more effort and time to learn. And it could be disastrous if you don’t know how, so try to stick with this method instead.
What to Consider When Buying an Oyster Knife
Before you get an oyster opener tool, you need to learn what to look for. So, before giving our reviews away, you should learn how they’re made and how you can pick the right one:
The handle makes the whole difference in comfort, grip, and strength that you’ll have when opening an oyster.
We recommend molded handles with rubber. These are the easiest to use and the most comfortable on your hand. Rounded designs are excellent.
You may also go for plastic handles. They won’t be a bad choice, either. Just make sure it comes with a rounded design, so you have proper grip and comfort when using.
Wooden handles are not wrong either. But slick metal is horrible, try to avoid metal handles as much as you can.
After going through the handle, you’ll need to go for the finest blade possible. Of course, it all comes down to durability, strength, and resistance.
The best material here would be high carbon steel. It is the hardest you can find and decently resistant to rust and corrosion.
But if you want even more resilience, then go for ferritic stainless steel. It is often found as 420 or 440 steel. It is expensive, though.
Stay away from alloys, if possible.
After going through the material, make sure you get the right size. This is essential because it’ll tell you how easy the knife will be to handle.
We always go for sizes between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Anything below that or over tends to be too large and complicated to use, or too small and inconvenient. So choose accordingly.
The shape of the blade also matters. It will tell you how effective or dangerous the knife can be.
For example, pointy blades are not very common but are often easy to get through the shells. However, they can be a little dangerous, especially if you’re opening oysters with your bare hands.
As with round blades, you will be safer when using them. However, getting through the hinge or opening can be harder, mainly because these shapes tend to be a little thicker than others.
You should also remember that some knives are thinner than others, and some pointy knives are sharper than others. So, be careful when choosing.
Finally, you should decide whether you want a custom oyster knife with a guard or one without it.
The knife guard is where the handle and the blade meet. This part can be pretty helpful to keep your hand from sliding to the blade and cutting yourself.
But still, guards are probably unnecessary if you’re careful enough. Instead, go for handles that come with a bulge exactly where it meets the blade. That will be enough to keep you from cutting your hand.
5 Best Oyster Knives Reviews 2019
After going through all the critical info about oyster knives, it is time to read about the best models out there. Here, we bring 5 high-quality shuckers to consider:
Whenever someone talks about knives, there’s a brand that can’t be missed: Victorinox. And sure enough, this Victorinox oyster knife will not disappoint.It is one of the smallest options on the market, but one of the strongest nonetheless.
This knife boasts a 2.75-inches blade with a dull, rounded design. You will get an easy-to-use and safe product that quickly gets through the hinge of the conch to open them easily.
With a high-carbon steel blade, and a super-grip handle made of slip-resistant rubber – you won’t have any problem using this knife.
The width of the blade is also ideal for opening small and medium oysters if needed. And it is too strong enough for the largest ones.
Whatever you want to open with this knife: it won’t let you down. And it is still dishwasher safe for extra convenience.
- Durable & resilient high-carbon steel build
- Comfy & safe super-grip rubber handle
- Perfect length & width for easy use
- The thin blade may bend over time
- The rounded tip may chip
It comes with a 2.75-inches blade, with a pointy tip, and with a thin design to get through any shell easily.
What really stands out is the construction, coming with ThyssenKrupp German high-carbon steel, one of the strongest in the market. It also stands years of use and makes it easy to enjoy easy oyster opening.
All of this pairs up with a full-tang handle, one of the longest out there, made with pakkawood. This handle allows perfect grip and offers a stylish riveted design to the whole knife. You will also get a knife guard for extra safety.
To make it even better, the handle is laminated, which ensures fewer stains and more grip. This knife won’t get out of your hand.
Overall, this is a high-end model for demanding users who love quality above anything else.
- Practical pointy tip for easy use
- High-end pakkawood handle for looks & grip
- Outstanding high-carbon German steel build
- The pointy tip may break with strong oysters
- The thick blade does not enter small oysters easily
If we had to pick the best oyster knife review, we wouldn’t give it to any other model than the Melocean Oyster Shucking Set.You will get two knives, entirely made with 3CR13 stainless steel and sharpened with high-end tools. They will offer the perfect oyster-opening experience, so you can get inside smoothly and open oysters in seconds.
The knives are full-tang, which means the handles are pieced together with the blade. This ensures more durability to the whole piece.
Yet, it is the solid wood construction with polishing that makes the handle so amazing. More durable & grip-oriented make both knives super useful.
Each blade is merely 2.5-inches, but that’s enough to easily open any type of oyster – large or small. And even more so with the decent pointy tip, narrow design, and thick build.
- High-quality stainless steel build
- Solid wood handles for grip & durability
- Excellent shape & width in blades
- Sharp blades can be a little dangerous
- The long full-tang design could be hard to use
For those who just want an affordable knife, then the Aedgoye set will be a perfect choice. This is a reliable set for a fantastic price.At first touch, you’ll know this is not a simple cheap knife like all others. Instead, it comes with a thick blade that stands lots of oyster openings, and an attractive pointy shape that allows easy use.
This pairs up well with Super-grip ABS textured handle. It allows you to operate the knife more effortlessly and safely. You won’t have to worry about your hand slipping across. And if it does, then you’ll be saved by a thick knife guard that also allows extra grip.
Sure, you will get not only one knife but two. This will make it way more convenient, especially if one knife breaks or chips.
Add the premium gloves for safety, and you’ll find this set fantastic.
- Thick blades for durability
- Grip-oriented Supergrip ABS handle with knife guard
- Practical glove set for safety
- Soft fabric gloves won’t prevent cuts
- Small blade design can be challenging to use
If we wanted to make a complete list of shuckers – we couldn’t leave the Rockland Guard Oyster set behind.This excellent set boasts a 3.5-inches blade in different handle sizes, going from Small to Large, Medium, and Extra Large. You can pick whatever matches your needs.
The blade is made of stainless steel, which ensures proper opening when needed. And sure, the handle is non-slip, which makes it safe to use.
An exciting part of the blade is a blunt rounded tip. It allows a smooth operation without being dangerous. You won’t have to worry about cuts when using it.
Lastly, it is ultra-light and easy to handle. When it comes to opening oysters, this design makes it a piece of cake.
- A wide array of handle sizes for comfort
- Safe & secure to use rounded-tip blade
- Perfect blade length for effectiveness
- Added gloves are not precisely protective
- The fragile blade may bend over time
Now that you’ve gone through all our reviews, it is time to pick the right model for your needs. But we know this is not as easy as it seems – so we’re giving you a little help.
For us, the Victorinox 44693 Oyster Knife would be an excellent choice if you want something affordable but still hugely reliable. It stands out in terms of build & ease of use.
But if you want something high-end and even more useful & well-made, then go for the DALSTRONG Gladiator Oyster Shucking Knife. It will surpass your expectations in terms of looks, effectiveness, and durability.
Still, remember that the best oyster knife is the one that fits your needs. That’s what you should focus on. As long as it enters within your budget, goes well with your desired use, and looks well on your kitchen – then that’s the model to go for. Choose one now!