Rhamnogalacturonan I (RGI) modifying enzymes catalyse the degradation of the RGI backbone and encompass enzymes specific for either the α1,2-bond linking galacturonic acid to rhamnose or the α1,4-bond linking rhamnose to galacturonic acid in the RGI backbone. The first microbial enzyme found to be able to catalyse the degradation of the RGI backbone, an endo-hydrolase (EC 184.108.40.206) derived from Aspergillus aculeatus, was discovered 25 years ago. Today the group of RGI modifying enzymes encompasses endo- and exo-hydrolases as well as lyases. The RGI hydrolases, EC 220.127.116.11–EC 18.104.22.168, have been described to be produced by Aspergillus spp. and Bacillus subtilis and are categorized in glycosyl hydrolase families 28 and 105. The RGI lyases, EC 22.214.171.124–EC 126.96.36.199, have been isolated from different fungi and bacterial species and are categorized in polysaccharide lyase families 4 and 11. This review brings together the available knowledge of the RGI modifying enzymes and provides a detailed overview of biocatalytic reaction characteristics, classification, structure-function traits, and analyses the protein properties of these enzymes by multiple sequence alignments in neighbour-joining phylogenetic trees. Some recently detected unique structural features and dependence of calcium for activity of some of these enzymes (notably the lyases) are discussed and newly published results regarding improvement of their thermostability by protein engineering are highlighted. Knowledge of these enzymes is important for understanding microbial plant cell wall degradation and for advancing enzymatic processing and biorefining of pectinaceous plant biomass.