Which steak knife set is best?
Nothing ruins the chargrilled perfection of a beautifully seared steak faster than a dull knife. The blade grabs and shreds rather than slices, changing the texture of the steak and drying it out with a series of ragged cuts. Dull knives can also be dangerous, forcing you to apply more pressure to cut. The best steak knife set is beautiful, functional and seriously sharp.
If you are looking for a well-crafted, durable set of knives, the Wusthof Gourmet Steak Knife Set is a great choice.
What to know before you buy a steak knife set
Number of knives
If you regularly serve grilled meats, a good steak knife set is a must. You’ll need to get enough knives for everyone when family and friends sit down to eat. Most steak knife sets come in six, but it’s possible to find sets of eight or more.
Blade and handle material
Most steak knives are made from either stainless steel or high-carbon steel (although ceramic is gaining in popularity). Stainless steel is durable and resists rust, but it can also be flimsy if it’s not of good quality. High-carbon steel is popular for its longevity and ability to keep a sharp edge, but it can cost more.
Handles are available in wood, plastic resin materials or metal. Wood is classic, but more modern designs can be found in plastic and metal.
Type of blade
There are three basic types of blade: serrated, straight and hollow.
- Serrated: These blades stay sharper longer as there are more cutting surfaces along the entire edge. The sawing action of these are best for roasts and crusty bread. Serrated knives stay sharp longer, but can be sharpened when needed.
- Straight: When you want a seamless cut, straight blades are best. They do not tear the meat but produce a clean cut. The blade is easily sharpened.
- Hollow: The finest slices are created by a hollow steak knife blade. There are slight indentations along the side of the blade that prevent slices of food from clinging to the knife. These can also be sharpened easily.
What to look for in a quality steak knife set
An included knife block makes for easier storage. Knife blocks also protect your knives from damage they might incur when banging around in a silverware drawer.
The tang of a knife is the part that extends into the handle. A full-tang knife reaches all the way to the end of the handle and also spans its width. This type of steak knife feels weightier and is more durable than a knife with a tang that narrows to insert into the handle.
Easy to sharpen
Every knife will dull with use. The best steak knife set will be easy to sharpen and hold its edge longer.
Triple-riveted handles with no visible gaps or evidence of joinery are going to be stronger and more durable. These also feel better in the hand generally, as the whole construction feels more substantial.
Comfortable and balanced
A good knife feels comfortable and balanced in the hand. That means that the handle fits nicely whether you use it in your right or left hand, and the blade feels substantial in relation to the knife. The handle and blade should feel about the same weight.
How much you can expect to spend on a steak knife set
Steak knives can be a good investment if you regularly indulge in delicious cuts of steak, chicken and other meats. Expect to spend $50-$200 on a set of six or more.
Steak knife set FAQ
How do you care for steak knives?
A. Your steak knives should not be washed in the dishwasher. The high heat of the drying cycle causes the handles to warp, and other silverware can ding the blade.
Instead, hand-wash each knife in mild detergent and warm water. Dry them completely before storing.
How do you sharpen steak knives?
A. All steak knives, even serrated ones, need to be sharpened eventually. There are a few different methods — which one works best depends on the type of blade and blade material you’re dealing with.
Straight or hollow steel blades can be honed after each use with a honing steel. This straightens the blade but does not remove any material. To sharpen this type of blade, use a damp whetstone and run the blade across it from handle to tip at a 15-degree angle. Do this multiple times on each side, testing the blade for sharpness after a dozen or so strokes.
Serrated steak knives can be sharpened with a ceramic sharpening rod or a triangle sharpener. Each of these is designed to get into each toothed area.
Of course, the easiest way to sharpen your steak knives is to send them out to a professional. Many grocery and hardware stores provide this service.
What’s the best steak knife set to buy?
Top steak knife set
What you need to know: Professional chefs rely on this brand, and their steak knives are of similar professional quality.
What you’ll love: They are well-balanced in the hand and easy to use. The high-carbon stainless steel blades are strong and hold an edge and the handles are triple-riveted and resist warping or discoloration.
What you should consider: It’s an expensive set if you only need steak knives occasionally.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top steak knife set for the money
What you need to know: These knives are sharp, durable and come with a beautiful storage block.
What you’ll love: German steel makes these knives strong and sharp. The fire-engine red handles are hefty and balanced. Triple rivets keep handles secured to the tang of each knife. The storage block can be stored both vertically and horizontally in a drawer.
What you should consider: If you have limited space, the storage block is not a good option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a solid set of knives at a reasonable price.
What you’ll love: The high-carbon stainless steel blade resists rust and corrosion. It has a one-piece full-tang blade secured by two rivets in the handle. The handle itself is made of wood and feels good in the hand, and this set comes in a gift box.
What you should consider: Some users found them too light.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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