A boning knife is usually five to six inches (13-15 cm) long, and shaped so that it can assist with the removal of bones from meat and poultry. These knives typically have a slender point that is very sharp to help them slide along a bone while slicing through the tough ligaments and other connective tissue that bind the meat to it. These blades are narrow to help reduce drag while enhancing maneuverability, and are usually fairly straight, though curved varieties are not unknown. In addition to the blade's shape, boning knives are often flexible, which can further aid control and enhance versatility. Nonprofessional chefs will have less need for this knife, as they will usually buy their meat from a butcher who has already done the majority of the preparatory work. This knife is also useful, though not necessary, for a variety of meat cutting jobs that require a particularly sharp and thin blade. These include removing silver skin and creating pockets in meat for stuffing.
If you are attacked by an axe murderer in your kitchen, these make decent weapons, since by nature they can easily slip through an attacker's ribs, unlike some of the other cooking knives. Despite their unassuming nature, they would probably be preferable to the larger chef's knife in deadly combat. Be wary of the short reach however.