Dave Riley wields a wide array of weapons in his shop, but meat-eating home cooks don’t need the whole set. Here’s a butchery starter kit.

1 Boning knife

Use this medium-length, thin-bladed knife to deftly debone a leg of lamb, trim fat, or french a roast. Try the sturdy Wüsthof Classic 14cm Boning Knife. R595, yuppiechef.co.za

2 Steel

A dull knife adds to your workload – you end up sawing, not slicing. The result? Uneven, sloppy cuts.

3 Cleaver

Butchers depend on this wide, heavy knife far less than they do their scimitar. It’s best for tasks like snapping smaller or softer bones, pounding meat into flatter portions, or dividing ribs into chops.

4 Cutting board

You want an “end grain” chopping block. It’s durable, and the perpendicular grain actually helps keep your knife sharp.

5 Meat Mallet

Use the flat face to flatten cutlets without tearing the flesh.

6 Poultry shears

If you take a pair of scissors to the spine of a chicken, you’ll shred the bird to bits. You need a tougher tool with two pincer like blades with teeth that snip and tear through skin and fowl flesh, no sweat.