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How to Choose the Perfect Saw Blade for Your Meat Shop

July 5, 2024

Any meat shop with a busy cutting floor will tell you that having the right saw blades is as important as having the right butcher’s knife. 

This is another specialised area that most of us will never have to experience. But even so, if you run a meat shop, you’ll want to find the right saw blade for your needs, and this guide will help you understand the basics. 

The type of abattoir equipment, meat equipment, or butchery equipment you use will likely affect the saw blades you need.

Understanding Saw Blades

Meat shop saw blades come in different shapes and sizes and are made of different materials, just as they must be for all cutting and shredding. The most common types of blades found in meat shops are:

  • Band Saw Blades: For cutting thick meat and bone and keeping workflow moving for any workforce, ensuring the right blade is essential to safety and output.
  • Reciprocating Saw Blades: With cuts that move back and forth, these blades are good for detail work on smaller jobs.

Material Matters

The most crucial thing is the type of steel the saw blade is made of. Stainless steel blades are preferred for corrosion resistance and longevity. High-carbon steel blades are preferred for their hardness and sharpness. The choice depends on the amount of work and types of meat you process. It’s always a balance of output and processing. 

Blade Teeth and Their Importance

The number and shape of the teeth on the blade determine how fine and clean the cut will be, with a greater number of teeth required for finer cuts (important for delicate meats, for instance) and fewer for tougher cuts. When a knife takes big bites out of something, it can be useful for there to be less space between the teeth, or ‘pitches’ as this is known.

Matching Blades with Equipment

The blade you select must be compatible with the restraints of your existing abattoir and butchery equipment. 

For example, if your band saw is a heavy-duty machine, it must be coupled with a blade that can withstand daily use in cutting bone and frozen meat. 

On the other hand, if your meat products are not as tough and are indeed lacking in bone, such as fish or poultry, the best band saw blade choice is probably a scalloped-edge one. 

Considerations for Abattoir Equipment

The blades would need to be strong and reliable if they were going to be used in an abattoir, which is a place where large quantities of animals are processed at any given time. A blade is needed to cut through beef and possibly pork and sheep, too, and it needs to do a clean cut each time.

Saw Blades and Where They Made Their Mark in the Industry

Saw blades are an important part of the meat-processing industry, performing various functions at different stages of the manufacturing process. Saw blades are usually used for:

Initial Meat Processing

In slaughterhouses and abattoirs, meat is first separated from bone with saw blades. This is the beginning of breaking down the carcass, where the faster and cleaner the action, the better the meat.


Once things start getting small enough, saw blades slice the large primal cuts into smaller, easy-to-handle portions. This is an essential step for the butcheries and meat shops, dividing the meat into the cuts consumers recognise.

Finishing Touches

Saw blades are also used at the end of meat processing in detailing work, such as trimming and preparing the meat for the marketplace. 

It wasn’t until industrialisation that the use of saw blades in meat processing became widespread. During the 1880s, when mechanical mixers, stuffers and choppers were developed, it was the beginning of the modern meat-processing industry. 

However, it wasn’t until 20 years later, when in the 1920s, band saws and the meat mincer were finally invented, that meat processing could be made faster and more efficient, thus paving the way for the mass production of popular meat products. 

And those products are the ones we have today. Amazingly, saw blades are still prevalent worldwide in meat processing facilities.

Saw blades today are planned to industrial specifications and are tailored to the precise needs of the industry, allowing for the fast and hygienic cutting of meat and its quick processing. These blades embody technological change in food production. 


Choosing the right saw blade style for your meat shop could mean the difference between producing good quality and efficient products. Analyse your business operations. Identify the kinds of meat you prepare and process and the equipment you use. A meat shop operating with the proper saw blade has the chance to run more efficiently and produce the best possible product for its customers.