Razor Clams, commonly called the Atlantic Jackknife Clam, Ensis directus, is found along the Atlantic coast from as far south as South Carolina and north to Canada. Razor Clams are distinct from other clam species due to their unique slender shape. It has a large muscular “foot” that extends from one end of the narrow-bodied clam that is capable of extending out almost one half of its body length. The Razor Clam has a strong resemblance to the straight razors that first appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries in England or a jackknife.
Razor Clams reside on the sandy bottoms in the intertidal zones. It has a large muscular “foot” that extends from one end of the clam out to almost one half of its body length. They burrow vertically in the sand. The clam propels itself through the water by opening and closing its shell and drawing in its foot and expelling water.
The meat is very sweet and tender.
Razor Clams are difficult to harvest and tend to be limited commercially. They are harvested by hand in order to collect them alive and in one piece. Another limitation for harvesters is that the clams can only be collected during the lowest tide, during the full moon. This gives harvesters access to the clam beds only a few days out of the month.