Last Updated: July 2017
You’ve purchased a fantastic cut of meat, seasoned it with a wonderful combination of oils and spices, and have grilled it to absolute perfection. As you put the steak onto a plate, you are drooling as you imagine yourself making that first cut and biting into a tender, juicy and flavorful piece of meat. In fact, your taste buds are practically dancing. And then, your dreams of enjoying your steak are squashed when you realize that your knife just won’t cut through it.
That’s definitely not a situation that you want to encounter, and you won’t have to, as long as you have a great set of steak knives.
Though it may seem like a simple task, shopping for steak knives is actually a bit challenging. There are so many different options available and things to look for, which can make it tough to determine which type of steak knife will best serve your needs. In order to help make the process of buying a steak knife a bit easier, we have put together this buyer’s guide for you. Full of valuable information related to steak knives, after reading this buyer’s guide, you will know everything that you need to in order to purchase the best set of steak knives to ensure that when you are dining on steaks, chops or any other type of coarse meat, your experience will be as enjoyable as possible.
What You Need to Know About Steak Knives
Steak knives are different than any other type of knife that you may have in your cutlery drawer. They are designed to serve one purpose: Cut through steak and other types of course meat. However, it should be noted that not all steak knives are created equal. Here’s a look at what separates a good quality steak knife from a poor quality steak knife.
There are certain features that indicate a steak knife is well constructed and is of good quality. When you are shopping for a set of steak knives, make sure to look for the following features to ensure that you are purchasing the best option possible:
- High Grade Steel. The best steak knives will have blades that are constructed of high grade metal, such as stainless steel or high carbon steel. A high quality steel is vital to ensure that the blade is strong and will be able to cut through meat without breaking, bending or quickly wearing down.
- Full Tang Blade. The tang of a steak knife refers to how the blade is attached to the handle. Unless you are purchasing a steak knife that is constructed of one solid piece of steel, you are going to want to pay attention to the tang. If the knife has a handle that is made out of wood, plastic or any other material, make sure that it is full tang.
A steak knife that has a full tang design means that the upper portion of the blade runs through to the end of the handle. The upper portion of the blade will be secured to the handle with fasteners. Those that have three fasteners are the best, as this will ensure that the blade is as securely attached to the handle as possible. A full tang steak knife will allow you to cut through your meat with the highest level of precision. It also prevents the blade from buckling, breaking or bending under the pressure that is applied to it while you are cutting through that coarse meat.
- Serrated, Straight or Hallow Edge. The best steak knives will have blades that have a serrated, a straight or a hallow edge. The edge of a serrated blade will have what appears to be teeth, or a zigzag design. These ‘teeth’ will allow the knife to cut through the meat with great ease, as it can easily tear through the meat. Steak knives that have a straight edge blade will have a smooth edge on their blades. The straight edge creates a cleaner cut through the meat, which allows it to retain more juice when it is cut. Knives with a hallow edged blade will have hallow indentations along the edge of the blade. The hallow edges create air pockets when cutting through the meat, which allows the blade to glide through the meat with very little effort.
- High Quality Handle. The best steak knives have handles that are constructed of durable materials. These materials include fully forged steel, wood or high grade plastic. Fully forged steel offers a seamless long because the handle and the blade are constructed of the same piece of metal. This also means that the blade is attached directly to the handle; in other words, there is no separation between the two, so there’s no reason to fear that the handle will ever separate from the blade. Wood is also a common material used for handles. If you decide to go with wood, make sure that you choose a highly durable wood, such as rosewood or ebony. Plastic is another option for the handle, but make sure that it is high grade plastic.
Choose a poorly constructed knife and you could end up bending the blade, or even having it break off the handle, while you are using it. Here are some things that indicate a steak knife is poorly constructed. Avoid these things so that you don’t end up leaving the blade behind in the meat when you are slicing it.
- Low Grade Metal. Stay away from steak knives that have blades that are constructed of low grade metal. If the metal is of poor quality, the blade will not stand up to the demands of cutting through meat. Poor quality metal can bend or break away from the handle, and the blade will not retain its sharpness as long as high quality metal will; and, poor quality metal can be difficult to sharpen.
- Partial Tang. As mentioned above, the tang of a steak knife refers to how the blade is secured to the handle. The best steak knives are full tang, meaning that the end of the blade runs through to the end of the handle. Some steak knives have a partial tang, or a sub tang, design. With this design, the tang is usually very narrow, and it is inserted through only part of the length of the handle; generally only up to where you hold grip the handle. Obviously, this design can be problematic. The blade is more likely to bend or completely separate from the handle, as there will be more pressure placed on the portion of the handle.
- Poorly Designed Handle. So many people focus on the blade when they are shopping for a steak knife, which is understandable, because the blade certainly is an important part of a steak knife; however, it isn’t the only important part: The handle is just as valuable as the blade, but many people overlook it. If the handle is not comfortable, or is constructed out of poor quality materials, you could be looking at issues with your knife. For example, poorly designed wood or plastic handles are more likely to fray. Fraying not only impacts the durability of the handle, but it can also make the handle very uncomfortable, and even dangerous to use; the materials can splinter and stab you while you are cutting your steak.
The Best Steak Knives in 2017
Knowing how to tell the difference between high quality steak knives and poor quality knives is so important; however, though you now know what to look for when you are shopping for a steak knife set, it can still be difficult to shop for a good set. Why? – Because there are so many high quality steak knife sets on the market.
So, how do you know which set of steak knives to buy? We have taken the liberty of helping you out with your quest for finding the best set of steak knives. We have conducted extensive research to find the best steak knives on the market today. Below, you will find five our top five picks for the best sets of steak knives. Each one of these five sets meets all of the requirements that make a steak knife high quality.
Wusthof Classic Four Piece Steak Knife Set
Wusthof has long been regarded as one of the top manufacturers of high quality cutlery in the world. Based in Solingen, Germany, this company has been expertly crafting cutlery since 1814, and they have truly mastered the art of producing high quality steak knives.
The Classic Four Piece Steak Knife Set is a true testament to Wusthof’s commitment to creating high quality cutlery. The full tang blades of these knives are constructed of high grade carbon stainless steel. In fact, the steel that they use is some of the best quality steel available; it scores a 58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. The blades of these steak knives truly are some of the most durable you will find.Check Price
Thanks to the Precision Edge Technology, which sharpens the blades by 20 percent, and increases their life span, you can be sure that you will have a set of long lasting steak knives that will effectively cut through even the coarsest meats with ease. Add to that the fact that the blades have a computer controlled cutting edge, which ensure that the edges of the blades are uniform right from their tips all the way to their heels, these really are some of the best steak knives on the market today.
The blades aren’t the only part of the Wusthof Classic Four Piece Steak Knife Set that are high quality; the handles are, too. Constructed of Polyoxymethylen, a highly durable synthetic material with a very tight molecular structure, the handles are smooth and comfortable to hold. They are also resistant to fading and discoloration.
With a lifetime warranty, you can be sure that you will have a superb set of steak knives if you decide to purchase the Wusthof Classic Four Piece Steak Knife Set.
Zelite Infinity Steak Knife Set
Another set of steak knives that we highly recommend is the Zelite Infinity Steak Knife Set. Zelite is also committed to producing the highest quality cutlery, and their Infinity knives are the best that they offer.Check Price
The blades are constructed of Thyssen Krup high carbon stainless steel, a German steel that has scores a 56 on the Rockwell hardness scale. With serrations that are set at 18 degrees, the blades offer the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness. They will cleanly cut through your meat, creating perfect slices and never tearing. These knives will ensure that you get the fullest flavor, as they allow the meat to retain its flavorful juices instead of seeping the juices onto the plate. Though the edges of the blades are extremely sharp, the tips are rounded to ensure safety.
The handles of these knives are also of exceptional quality. They are triple riveted, fully securing the full tang blades and ensuring their strength and durability. Ergonomically designed, the rounded handles are extremely comfortable to hold and ensure a solid grip. And, not only are the handles durable and comfortable, but they are also attractive will surely add a luxurious look to your dining table.
Zelite is so confident that you will love their steak knives that they offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee; if you are not satisfied with these knives, you will be fully reimbursed. They are also backed by a lifetime warranty which protects them from any defects that may have been made during the manufacturing process.
JA Henckels 8 Piece Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set
We chose the JA Henckles 8 Piece Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set as one of our top picks because they expertly engineered, are comfortable to use and offer long lasting durability.Check Price
The blades of these steak knives are constructed of 18/10, 4-inch high carbon stamped stainless steel. The serrated edges of the blades provide you with a cutting edge that will be able to glide effortlessly through all cuts of steaks, chops and anything else that you throw their way.
Made from one continuous piece of metal, the blades transfer right to the handles, so you will never have to worry that they will separate, bend or break. The handles are also ergonomically designed to offer you a comfortable grip and making them extremely easy to use.
Dishwasher safe, cleaning the JA Henckles Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set will be an absolute breeze. And, because they are resistant to corrosion and stains, you can be sure that they will retain their beauty for years to come.
Wusthof Gourmet Four Piece Steak Knife Set
We opted to choose another set of steak knives from Wusthof because this manufacturer is truly one of the best on the market. There Gourmet Four Piece Steak Knife Set is specifically designed for the gourmet chef – and the gourmet eater. The blades are made of high quality stamped carbon steel, which are protected with a stain resistant allow material. The smooth edges of the blades are extremely sharp and will cut through any type of meat with the greatest of ease. Using these knives, you can ensure that you will be able to cut your meat to the perfect size, and get the tastiest morsels because they enable the meat to retain its flavorful juices. Hand honed, the blades are precisely tapered from the bolster to the tip, as well as from the back to the edge.Check Price
The high grade, full tang poly handles are smooth and sleek, making these steak knives easy to hold and operate. There are three thoughtfully place rivets in the handles, which ensures that the blades are well secured and prevents any buckling, bowing, bending or breaking.
Designed to provide an extremely sharp cutting edge that is comfortable and easy to use, with a blade that retains its sharpness and is easy to sharpen when the need arises, you will have confidence knowing that you will be able to cut your meat perfectly each and every time with the Wusthof Gourmet Steak Knife Set.
Amazon Basics Premium Eight Piece Steak Knife Set
To round out our picks for the best steak knife sets, we have included an option that is extremely affordable, yet is exceptionally sharp and durable: The Amazon Basics Premium Eight Piece Steak Knife Set.Check Price
These steak knives are expertly crafted from a single piece of high grade, stain resistant steel. The edges of the blades are micro serrated and sharp, providing you with a powerful cutting edge for all types of meat. They never need to be sharpened, so you can be sure that you will always have a sharp knife that can power through any type of meat with very little effort required.
The blades are full tang and are triple riveted to the ergonomically designed handles. Bolsters ensure that your fingers are kept a safe distance away from the blade. Easy to operate, comfortable and powerful, and all at a truly affordable price, you really can’t go wrong with the Amazon Basics Premium Steak Knife Set.
Our Consumer Guide to Steak Knives
What is a Steak Knife?
Steak knives are table knives that are specially designed to cut through steak, chops and other types of course meat. They have sharper blades than other types of table knives, which allow you to cut through your meat with the greatest of ease. They also ensure that you will be able to get the tastiest bites because they don’t gnaw or tear through the meat, which allows the meat to retain its flavorful juices.
Types of Steak Knives
There are three main types of steak knives, which include:
- The serrated edge steak knife
- The straight edge steak knife
- The hallow edge steak knife
The Serrated Edge Steak Knife
A serrated edge steak knife has a blade that features a tooth design, which allows the blade to easily move through even the toughest pieces of meat. In addition to being able to cut through all types of meat with ease, the main advantage of the serrated edge is that it does not need to be sharpened as often as other types of steak knives. In fact, the highest quality serrated edge steak knives can go for a year or more without needing to be sharpened.
The serrations can be either large or small. The latter offers more space between the serrations, which means that less meat will stick to them, while the former have less space between the teeth, which meat does tend to get stuck between.
The Straight Edge Steak Knife
The edges of the blades on these steak knives are straight. This means that they cut through the meat with even greater ease than serrated edge steak knives and they create a cleaner cut. A cleaner cut means that the meat retains more of its juices, allowing for more flavorful bites.
Straight edged steak knives do need to be sharpened more often than serrated edges steak knives because they are more susceptible to become dull.
The Hallow Edge Steak Knife
This type of steak knife has hallow indentations along the edge of the blade, which create air pockets that allow the knife to glide through the meat with the greatest of ease. Additionally, the hallow edges prevent food from getting stuck to the blade of the knife.
The downside of this type of blade is that it can be difficult to sharpen. As a matter of fact, it is usually recommended to have them sharpened by the manufacturer or by a professional knife sharpener.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an Steak Knife
There are quite a few factors that you are going to want to consider when you are shopping for a set of steak knives. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best set of steak knives for your specific needs.
Here’s a look at some of the most important factors that we think you should keep in mind when you are shopping for steak knives.
The Blade Material
There are two types of materials that steak knife blades can be constructed of: Stainless steel and high carbon steel. High carbon steel is often the preferred material, as it is easier to sharpen than stainless steel and it retains its sharpness for a longer amount of time. Stainless steel blades, however, are more convenient than high carbon steel because this material is resistant to rust and staining.
The Handle Material
Another consideration that you are going to want to make is the material that the handle is constructed out of. The material used for the handle will impact how comfortable the knife is to use, and will also impact the aesthetics of the knife.
Materials for the handles include fully forged steel, wood and high grade plastic. Fully forged steel offers a truly seamless look, as the entire knife, including the handle, is constructed of one solid piece of metal. It creates a beautiful look, and makes the knife stronger and more durable. Wood is one of the most popular materials for a steak knife handle. It looks beautiful and it is comfortable to hold; however, there is a risk of splintering, especially if the wood is not well constructed. High grade plastic is the least expensive, and it is easier to care for than wood or fully forged steel. However, though it may be durable, it is not as attractive as wood or steel.
How It Feels
You want to make sure that the steak knife feels good in your hand. The best steak knives are comfortable to hold and easy to operate. Test out the steak knives you are considering buying to determine if they will be comfortable to use.
As described above, tang refers to how far up the handle the blade is attached. Full tang steak knives have blades that attach all the way through the handle, right to the end. Partial tang knives have blades that only go partially through the handle. Full tang is the best option, as it offers the most stability for the blade and prevents it from breaking away from the handle. It also prevents the blade from bending or buckling under the pressure of cutting.
The Cost of the Steak Knives
You are also going to want to take into consideration the cost of the steak knives. Prices can vary significantly, ranging from around $20 to upwards of $100 or more. Generally, the higher the quality of the materials and the design, the more expensive the steak knives are going to be. Now, that does not mean that the cost will directly impact the quality of the knives; there are plenty of excellent steak knives that are offered at affordable prices. However, do makes sure that you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so that you can avoid spending more than you are comfortable with.