5 Best Steak Knives America’s Test Kitchen

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The best steak knife should slice through meat easily without tearing or shredding it. It should feel balanced in your hand and be comfortable to hold. Our top-rated knives are attractive enough for the table but sharp enough to get the job done right on the cutting board, too—without taking off a finger in the process.

We used a wide variety of meats, both cooked and raw, to compare the performance of different types of steak knives. We quickly found out that a serrated knife can make a decent-enough approximation for a straight edge when you’re slicing raw meat, but it isn’t truly comparable—so we decided to compare only straight-edged blades.

After we’d tested 21 knives and had the top five, we took them to a professional butcher and asked him to slice 1-inch cutlets from two different beef tenderloins: one prime and one choice. We ran each knife’s performance through an informal battery of tests—slicing raw meat for tartare, slicing cooked steak for roast beef sandwiches, and slicing cooked prime rib for a holiday dinner.

Along the way, we learned that a good steak knife should be able to handle the meat of all kinds. Here are the 5 best steak knives:

 

1. DALSTRONG Steak Knives Set  5 

Dalstrong’s Shogun Series set of steak knives was the only five-star model in our tests. Each knife has a full tang and bolsters—features that make it feel well balanced in your hand as you slice. It’s also comfortable to hold, thanks to its pakkawood handles with a deep finger notch on the front bolster. The Shogun Series knives have beautiful Damascus-patterned blades, which are sharpened to a Japanese double-bevel edge.

 Even though these knives are dishwasher safe, hand washing them will help extend their life because of the hard blade coating that makes it tough to cut other tough materials like bones or gristle. However, if you do put these knives in the dishwasher, make sure to buy a knife guard—more on those later.

Pros: Overall, the Dalstrong steak knives are top performers in our tests because of their excellent balance and sharpness due to high-quality blades and Pakkawood handles. Besides having triple-riveted construction, it is fully tang and stain-resistant.

Cons: Our only complaints about the Dalstrong Shogun Series set of steak knives were with their scabbards and limited lifetime warranty. We found the sheaths difficult to use and we had questions about that warranty’s limitations. The warranty is good for “manufacturing defects,” but not for damage due to misuse, neglect, or normal wear and tear. Moreover, it is costly. 

2. Wusthof CLASSIC Six Piece Steak Set

This six-piece set of steak knives from Wusthof is a top performer in our tests that deserves its place on the table of any steakhouse or high-end restaurant that cares about quality cutlery. It includes six 4″ slicers with black-coated blades, stainless-steel handles, and full tangs. You won’t find triple-riveted construction here, but the knives’ blades and handles are well-balanced in your hand when you’re cutting. The Wusthof knives sport a blade angle of 16 degrees (the blades start at the handle and narrow to a sharp point), which gives them their keen ability to slice through meat without tearing or shredding.

Pros: The Wusthof Classic knives are a good value, especially if you prefer the feel of lighter-weight knives in your hand. They have an excellent balance of sharpness and resistance to corrosion that comes from high carbon steel blades that are ice tempered to retain their sharpness longer. This set is fully tanged with an ergonomic design and a fine finish, but the knives come with a limited lifetime warranty that covers defects.

Cons: The Wusthof steak knives cost more than three times as much as our Best Buy winner, and they don’t have the sharpest blades in our tests. While these steak knives will work for most tasks, they aren’t appropriate for tougher proteins like  beef bone-in cuts. Some users may be turned off by the large “W” logo on each handle that looks like it came from a discount store. Moreover, it is not dishwasher safe, recommended for hand wash only.

3. Mercer Culinary Genesis 7 Piece Forged Steak Knife Set

This set of seven steak knives from Mercer Culinary features forged high-carbon stainless steel blades (with a Rockwell hardness rating of 56) and ergonomic black polymer handles. The knives are fully tanged for better balance, and the overall design is well-balanced in your hand as you cut, making them comfortable to use. These steak knives also have a knuckle guard that prevents your hand from slipping onto the blade, adding an extra touch of safety.

Pros: The Mercer knives have precision-forged construction which promises durability. These are sharp with well-balanced blades and handles. They are heavy-duty enough to handle boning tasks as well as steakhouse tasks like cutting bread or cheese. This set costs less than our Best Buy winner and comes with a lifetime warranty that covers any defects or damage. These knives are NSF certified and easy to clean.

Cons: These knives are costly and not as sharp as the Wusthof Classic’s blades, and they’re not as resistant to corrosion because their blades are not ice-tempered. The handles lack any embellishments and feel blocky and clunky in your hand compared with other knives we tested. In addition, the Mercer knives are not dishwasher safe, recommended for hand washing only.

4. Wusthof Classic Four Piece Steak Set, 4 Hollow Edge, Black, Stainless Steel

This four-piece set of steak knives from Wusthof Classic is a top performer in our tests that deserves its place on the table of any steakhouse or high-end restaurant that cares about quality cutlery. It includes four 4″ slicers with black-coated blades,  triple-riveted synthetic polypropylene handles, and full tangs. Each knife has a blade-and-handle design that feels good in your hand when you’re cutting. The Wusthof knives sport a blade angle of 16 degrees (the blades start at the handle and narrow to a sharp point), which gives them their keen ability to slice through meat without tearing or shredding.

Pros: The Wusthof Classic knives with precision edge technology are a good value, especially if you prefer the feel of lighter-weight knives in your hand. They have an excellent balance of high-quality blades with sharpness and resistance to corrosion that comes from high carbon steel blades that are ice tempered to retain their sharpness longer. This set is fully tanged with an ergonomic design and a fine finish, but the knives come with a limited lifetime warranty that covers defects.

Cons: The Wusthof steak knives cost more than three times as much as our Best Buy winner, and they don’t have the sharpest blades in our tests. While these steak knives will work for most tasks, they aren’t appropriate for tougher proteins like beef bone-in cuts. The handles are pretty basic. This set is not dishwasher safe; hand washes only.

5. Messermeister Avanta 4-Piece 5 Fine Edge Steak Knife 

The Messermeister Avanta steak knives are the sharpest knives we tested that cost less than $50, which makes them a no-brainer if you’re on a budget. These 4″ slicers come with fine-edged blades that start at the handle and taper to a point. The Pakkawood handles have a warm, nutty feel as opposed to the cold plastic feel of other knives we tested, and the knife’s overall design is comfortable to hold.

Pros: These are excellent knives for the price having triple-riveted construction. The Messermeister Avanta steak knives have a good weight in your hand as you cut, with well-balanced blades and sandblasted stainless steel handle that makes them easier to handle than some other brands. These knives are rust-resistant and have a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons: These knives have no bolster so the blades are not as strong as those on other knives we tested, which means they may not be suitable for tougher tasks like cutting through bones or chopping hard vegetables. The Messermeister Avanta steak knives don’t come with sharp blades out of the box, and they aren’t as resistant to corrosion as the Wusthof or the Mercer knives. However, for those on a budget, these are some of the best steak knives available and easily outperform other more expensive brands like Rada Cutlery. They are not dishwasher safe and need to be oiled.

On a concluding note, these are the top 5 best steak knives that you can find in the market. All of them have their unique features and benefits which you can take into consideration before choosing your preferred steak knife. If price is not a concern, go for Wusthof Classic Four Piece Steak Knife Set as it offers the best performance and quality. The Messermeister Avanta 4-Piece 5 Fine Edge Steak Knife Set is a great value pick for those that are on a budget. The Mercer Culinary Forged Steak Knife Set is the best choice if you want a more affordable option with a beautiful design and a durable feel in your hand. The DALSTRONG Steak Knives Set is unique as they are constructed from a single piece of steel.

It is also important to note that if you take care of your knives, they will last forever and you will never need another set! They can be sharpened and even customized (for the Wusthof and Messermeister models) and can become an heirloom for your grandchildren.

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