Guide to Knives for Industrial Chicken Processing

Poultry processing and packaging is a high-speed, high-volume industry dedicated to providing the quality, affordable nutrition Americans need every day. With rising demand and increased automation, it’s a vast industry that depends on sharp, dependable, long-life machine knives to keep moving safely, hygienically, and efficiently.

We take a look at the specific roles machine knives play in the industry, and why choosing quality blades from a reliable supplier like TGW International will help keep you ahead of the flock.

Poultry Processing

Commercial chicken processing is a fast-moving game. Sharp, durable knives boost your birds per hour, minimize waste, reduce line downtime and improve food safety. Here’s how.


Birds arriving at a plant for processing are each placed on the line in a “kill cone” and dispatched quickly and efficiently before being bled and plucked. TGW International’s precision-ground beveled circular slicer ensures cleaner cuts and better edge retention.


Birds’ feet, necks, and gizzards are cut away, entrails are removed and birds are washed and chilled. With increased automation, manual processing using hand-held blades on tables is rapidly being replaced by machine evisceration using circular gizzard cutters and other blades mounted right on the line.

Cut Up & Deboning

Birds are weighted and graded using a combination of automated weighing and testing and human inspection, and meat is selected for a wide range of end-product use, from whole birds to processed meats.

TGW stocks poultry processing blades designed for specific line functions, including breast, leg, and wing deboning knives and a choice of notched and serrated blades to separate bone and tougher tissue.

Further Processing

Once parts are portioned or deboned, they are processed to meet specific use requirements including right-sizing portions, skinning or trimming fat, or trimming breasts into loins and tenders. For these applications, TGW supplies a broad selection of specialized poultry slicers.

Depending on your application, poultry slicers are available with:

  • Straight single and double bevels
  • Scalloped and serrated edges
  • A variety of notched designs
  • Micro-notched and micro-dentured edges

Poultry Packaging Equipment

Almost all poultry products are shipped, stored, or sold in plastic at some point on their journey from producer to consumer. Plastic stretch film, laminates, and preformed trays offer safe, cost-effective, durable, and endlessly flexible food packaging solutions for every application.

That said, even relatively lightweight plastic packaging material places unique demands on commercial chicken processing equipment, and choosing the right blade can prevent damage and minimize wear on poultry processing equipment, meaning fewer stoppages and maintenance costs over time.

TGW offers a range of cutting and sealing blades to meet specific needs in the meat and poultry processing industry, including hundreds of edge configurations designed to perform consistently in even the most demanding applications. We leave no part unprocessed!

Vacuum and Shrink Wrapping

Vacuum packaging and shrink wrapping poultry make products easy to handle and extend shelf life. Vacuum-sealed packaging is used to ship wholesale products to retail outlets for repackaging and sale and is also popular for off-the-shelf processed products.

Safe, consistent vacuum packaging demands tough, durable slitter blades for cutting heavier-grade films, and sealer blades and cutoff knives that perform in high-speed, high-temperature applications. Clean-cutting TGW crosscut knives will keep your line moving smoothly with less threading, stringing, or time-consuming gum-ups.

Tray Sealing

Sealed tray packaging is essential for direct-to-consumer unfrozen poultry products. Automatic tray packaging machines can process thousands of products an hour, but require precision cutting and sealing equipment to deliver a uniform, safe and appealing product.

TGW International specializes in manufacturing tray sealing knives in specific shapes and sizes to meet the needs of your product and process.

Vertical Form, Fill, Seal

Vertical bagging equipment is used for frozen poultry products and to repackage processed products for sale. Bagger machines typically use straight or scissor cut-off blades to separate products accurately and cleanly.

TGW can supply knives with serrated, scalloped, and zigzag profiles to give your product the edge, along with standard or customized EZ open tear notches.

We also supply specialized hole-punching equipment for adding hang tags or notches to your packaging, as well as clip and tie clippers and blades for case sealers to make sure every order leaving your facility is perfectly shipshape.

Get the Edge You Need with TGW International

TGW International is the largest supplier of machine knives to the poultry processing and packaging industry. With more than 100 years of experience crafting quality machine knives, we make tough, durable blades from the best materials with high tolerance, precision-ground edges with competitive pricing, and the industry’s shortest lead times.

At TGW we are dedicated to making sure you have the blade you want when you need it. We ship knives from our vast in-stock inventory overnight, or we can manufacture a custom blade to order within a few weeks. And our dedicated service team double-checks the material, coatings, and specifications of every order we ship to make sure you get exactly the knife you ordered.

Click below to learn why choosing a premium machine knife from TGW can add value to your product today and deliver long-lasting savings for your company down the line.


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