Clam Knife

A knife made specifically for opening clams.

  • Easy to grip handles are important for wet hands.
  • Strong thin blade that is not very sharp.

What is a clam knife?

The clam knife (shucker) should have an easy to grip (even if wet) handle and the blade should be strong and thin but not sharp. The tip of the blade should be rounded rather than pointy.

Clam knife has a stury blade, rounded tip and easy to grip handle.

Shucking (opening) fresh clams is not very easy, especially when you don't have the right tool. The clam knife is a specialized utensil that is designed to do one thing very well which is opening clams.

A clam knife is a much safer and easier to use option over using a normal knife or blade.

knife blade inside of clam shell

Clam shells are stronger than they look. Using the wrong blade can lead to getting cut or hurt by a snapping or broken blade.

A clam knife has a dull but strong blade with a rounded tip. They also will typically have handles that are easy to get a good grip on, even if it is wet. These features are exactly what you and your guests need to open clams without getting hurt.

How to use a Clam Knife

clam being opened by a clam knife
  1. Identify the "weak point" by examining where the two shells come together.
  2. Hold blade next to clam shell and using your fingers squeeze the blade into the shell at the weak point.
  3. Slide blade across and beneath the meat to the other side.
  4. Use blade as leverage to slide top shell over.

What to look for when you buy:

Clam knife with two clams on a cutting board.

The main things to look for in a clam knife are the material of the handle, the shape of the blade and the brand of the knife.

Handle material

Unlike most knives, a clam knife is used while your hands are wet and slippery. Because of this, quality clam knifes will feature handles that are easy to get and keep a good grip on.

The material of the handle is a good clue to use. Wooden handles are often less slippery than smooth hard plastic handles are. Large, round and textured or soft plastic can also give an amazingly solid grip as well.

Stay away from smooth hard plastic handles.

Shape of handle

It should be clear from just looking at the handle that it is easy to grip. The handle should be large and solid. If the handle is smaller, it should be squared off to allow for a grip. If it is larger it should likely be oval or round to really fill the hand.


When choosing a clam knife, go with a brand you trust or have heard of. This may seem obvious, but I mention it because national brands will not put out a blade that will snap under pressure, but the cheap ones from brands you have never heard of may use cheap materials or less testing.