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Aug 13, 2009 08:22 AM

Really Good Oyster/Clam Knives at China Fair

A ways back there was a discussion of oyster knives, where to buy good ones, and what exactly a good one looks like here:

I have a very particular oyster/clam knife that I like, and it was very hard to find one on line. Most places have the pointy french style ones that I don't like. In fact I think they are dangerous, cause if you slip, you stab yourself. On top of it places like Williams Sonoma charge $10-12 bucks for one.

The one I found on line looked pretty good, though the blade seemed a little wide; price was right at $3.35:

Go figure I was stumbling around Porter Square and walked into China Fair. I needed a few kitchen knicknacks having recently accidentally destroyed a friends corkscrew on a tough bottle of wine.

Low and behold they had the classic, super tough oyster knife of my dreams: tough thick stainless blade, rounded end, a bit narrower then the one above, nice maple handle. Tough as nails. $2.50 at China Fair. Bot two, one for a certain hound's husband whose household knife I destroyed while using it to shuck clams last summer.

China Fair
(There is no way to buy this knife on line, but I am sure if you called they would ship it).

China Fair
2100 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140-2012
(617) 864-3050

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  1. That place is a gem. I can go years between visits. Then I wander in and kick myself for not having gone sooner. You never know what you will find and you never leave with empty hands.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PinchOfSalt

      I lived around the corner from them in the late '70s, when I was first starting to cook seriously. Every time I tried a recipe that needed some tool or utensil I didn't have, I'd head over to China Fair and they usually had it, super cheap. Half my kitchen drawers to this day are stocked with items I got there.

      I still go back when I need to stock up on things like everyday wine glasses.

    2. The pictured knife is a clam knife, used to penetrate between the shells parallel to them and cut(but careful not to go through the belly). An oyster knife is designed to pry the muscle apart with the point, then slide under and release the muscle. Each is much easier to use for it's designated task.

      3 Replies
      1. re: trufflehound

        I guess I knew that strictly speaking it was a clam knife as that is what is described on the food service web site. That said, it is my preferred knife for either clams or oysters.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Forschner makes a nice clam knife with rounded tip. Online its more money that the one you posted or china fair, but I have found them for slightly less at some local shops in the past (Eastern Bakers, DA Bucci).

          1. re: itaunas

            Was it this:


            I tend to like the squared off wood handle over plastic which I find a bit slippery when ones hands are covered with shellfish goo. The square geometry and grippy wood make it almost slip proof.