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Dec 21, 2011 03:24 PM

Meat cutting saw for home use

Can anyone suggest what type of electric knife or saw I should get to use in the kitchen for meat cutting? I have three 10 lb pork shoulders to trim down and grind up for sausage and am purchasing part of a pig. Don't need anything too fancy, just a good electric tool to do the hardest part and I can do the rest by hand.


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  1. Assuming you're cutting meat only and not bone, this one might interest you:

    3 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I do need one that will cut through bone as well. A local butcher told me he uses a hacksaw, but I don't have the strength for that. I assume the electric knives aren't strong enough to cut thru bone, but I haven't used one in years. Should I get a saws-all type knife and just use it for the kitchen?

      1. re: sandiasingh

        I have used a sawzall to cut the hocks off of hams. It's not the best for the job, but it will work. Investing in a wellsaw, instead, is probably the right way to go if you intend to be using it with any regularity over time. E.g,

        1. re: sandiasingh

          If you don't have the strength for a hacksaw, I suspect you won't have the strength for a sawzall, either. I've used an Allway Handy Saw, not dissimilar to a sawzall, to cut ribs into bite-sized pieces and it was a tedious process.

          The wellsaw MGZ references looks great, but you'd have to be doing an awful lot of butchering for that to pay off.

      2. If strength is an issue then I would definitely look into a small manual hand saw. The ability and weight differences between an electric knife and an electric saw are quite dramatic. Electric saws are not light and may be more tiring than a manual saw.

        Another option is to pay the butcher to do the difficult parts.

        1. It seems like starting with a handsaw would be a good idea. I'm not a wuss but am not a WWF contestant either. The saws-all and Wellsaw may be overkill and the point about the weight of the saw itself is well taken.

          I will report back with my progress after the holidays.

          Thank you.

          1. Hi, sandiasingh:

            If you have room in your kitchen to butcher a hog, I have the saw for you--a 440V three-phase splitting saw. It weighs about 250 pounds so you'll need a ceiling mounted counterweight and pulley. I'll make you a great deal on it.


            1 Reply
            1. re: kaleokahu

              Kaleokahu, I think that's a little more than I had in mind, but surely someone out there can use it. A lot of home butchering going on these days with people wanting to source their own meat. I'd have my own pigs but we live in cougar and bear country so have to find a pig farmer who can give us the end product in smaller pieces.

              I'd certainly put it on eBay or work thru your local farmers market to find a buyer.

              Thanks for the offer.

            2. True story-when I first moved to Puerto Vallarta it was hard to find good meat in the grocery stores. Then found a restaurant supply outlet Commercial Americana. Without thinking bought from price list veal, Colorado lamb and ribeye. Turned out all of these were on the bone. Tried to cut with hacksaw but found that the blade fouled to quickly. Back in Toronto went to Home Depot looking for a reciprocating saw. But generally speaking they were too big and expensive. Then I saw a smaller inexpesive Black and Decker model PHS550G. I asked the area expert what he thought of and he said "Waste of money the only thing it's good for is cutting meat". I'm sure he didn't believe me when I said that's exactly what I wanted it for.
              End of story it worked but was very dangerous because of difficulty holding meat in place. Also difficult to get even slices. Butchers of course use a bandsaw. Fortunately Costco opened and great ribeyes were available.

              9 Replies
              1. re: mexivilla

                Yep, now I'm scared. The meat can get very slippery! I want to do it myself because I get a better price on the meat, which is expensive, organic Colorado pork. The price we pay!

                I think our pueblo friend uses a reciprocating saw when they slaughter for feast days, but he's an experienced carpenter. Maybe I'll ask for his help.

                1. re: sandiasingh

                  Reciprocating saws are pretty dangerous tools. I used them extensively when I renovated my house and I cannot see how they can be used safely to cut meat. Don't do it. Instead, get a stainless steel meat cutting saw which you can buy at sporting goods stores that cater to hunters. Cutting through bone takes more time than strength.

                  1. re: fmed

                    Aha, Fmed. Great idea. I will def look into that at the sporting goods store.


                    1. re: sandiasingh

                      I owned a meat plant and in addition to two band saws, we had a hand meat saw. It looked like a hacksaw, only twice the size. We used when the saws were already cleaned up for the day and somebody wanted to cut a few pork chops.

                      Strongly agree with posters who say do NOT buy a reciprocating saw to cut meat. First of all, how would you sanitize the blade and cutting path? Takes two hands to run the saw, what holds the meat in place?

                      Most pork and lamb can be fairly easily cut with a cleaver, (takes a little practice).

                      1. re: chejfeff

                        Is this the kind of hand saw you're talking about?


                        Not sure where In my apartment kitchen I could store it, but at least it's affordable. Do you think it would work better than the Allway Handy Saw I referenced above for cutting spareribs? I simply can't imagine cutting spareribs into 1-1/2" in pieces with a cleaver. I'm sure I couldn't do it.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Exactly. The allways saw is not food grade/stainless/designed to be sanitized. If it were me, I'd ask the butcher shop to cut spare ribs on a band saw, as it would be no particular fun with any saw. Also,this is a process infinitely safer to hire done. You may have to shop around to find a shop willing to cut stuff bought elsewhere. I wouldn't do it, particularly if there was no mark of inspection on the product.

                          1. re: chejfeff

                            Excellent advice. Thank you. I often buy spareribs at Asian markets just because of the price. But from now on, when I want them cut, I'll pay Citarella prices to have it done for me.

                    2. re: fmed

                      This thread has me intrigued. I've been wanting to make some ham hocks but haven't found a source through the normal places I look. At least one place has suggested cutting my own.

                      I think a reciprocating saw and a long demo blade is a pretty slick solution, especially if you already have one (which I do). That said, I'd imagine you'd have to clamp/strap down the meat you're cutting and use two hands on the saw. Otherwise, definitely not safe given the weight and forward balance of most saws.

                      Anyway, it's a guy solution that I wouldn't completely discard (maybe not so much for the OP).

                      1. re: ted

                        I suspect my pueblo friends hang the carcass and have several people hold it while somebody does the sawing. I should see them this week or next and will ask for deets.