The 7 Best Steak Knives of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

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We recommend the Material Table Knives for their comfortable grip, easy slicing, and ability to produce clean cuts of steak.

<p>Williams Sonoma</p>

Williams Sonoma

Steak knives are an essential addition to any cutlery collection for their ability to slice through steak with ease. And believe it or not, there are several factors to consider before settling on a great set of steak knives. “You should be looking at the blade and the type of steel, as well as whether it is serrated or not,” says Alex Delecroix, Director of US Sales & Operations at Opinel. “Then, pay attention to the handle material and whether it is dishwasher-safe. Lastly, the weight and balance of the knife is mostly driven by the tang of the knife construction,” he says.

To determine the best steak knives, we tested 20 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on design, size, performance, cleaning, and value. In addition to Delecroix, we spoke to Aaron Foster, owner of Foster Sundry, Sheila Patinkin, owner of Vermont Wagyu, and Howard Kalachnikoff, chef at Rolo’s in New York City. We recommend the Material Table Knives for their effortless ability to cut through steak, balanced feel, sturdy construction, and more.

Read on to learn more about our top picks and how to choose the best steak knives for your meat slicing needs.

Material Table Knives

Best Overall Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who want modern steak knives that come in different colors.

Who it isn’t for: People looking for serrated steak knives.

Our tester was very impressed with these steak knives from Material. Before they even began cutting the steak, they were taken by how “extremely sharp” the blade felt. Given this, the knives unsurprisingly cut through the steak “effortlessly,” even though the outer crust on the steak was quite tough. Our tester also liked how the steak knives felt “very balanced, sturdy, and comfortable” in hand, and appreciated the fact that the set came with its own storage unit, making it possible to store on the kitchen countertop.

These steak knives boast a straight blade, which explains the solid sharpness, and are made of stainless steel, so they will never rust. The handles are designed to be stain-resistant and come in multiple color options, which is not common with steak knives. You can purchase these knives in a light orange, an even lighter baby blue, navy blue, and beige, or get a set with all of these colors together. Our tester said these knives were so aesthetically pleasing they’d use these knives while hosting a dinner party.

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Blade Type: Straight

  • Blade Length: Not listed; total length is 8.75 inches

Umogi Stainless Steel Steak Knives

Best Budget Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who want the most bang for their buck.

Who it isn’t for: People who want their steak knife set to come with a storage unit.

Out of all the knives our tester tried out, they said that this set from Umogi was their favorite. “The sharp blade sliced through my filet like butter, producing even cuts with very little effort,” they told us. They also tested the knife out on other foods, including fruits and veggies, and said the knife didn’t falter one bit. These knives are made of a high-carbon stainless steel, a material known for its durability. Plus, unlike other steak knife sets, you can choose between sets of six or eight instead of the usual four, adding to this product’s overall value. Considering its solid performance, good looks, and incredibly low price, we think this is an absolute steal.

You can buy these steak knives in straight or serrated blades. Although these steak knives are dishwasher-safe, the brand recommends you wash them by hand. Don’t worry though—according to our tester, “these knives took seconds to clean.” All they had to do was “just run a quick scrub of a sponge and some soap to properly clean them.”

Price at time of publish: From $30

Product Details:

  • Material: High carbon stainless steel

  • Blade Type: Straight or serrated

  • Blade Length: 4.5 inches

Miyabi Artisan 4-Piece Steak Knife Set

Best Splurge Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who want authentic Japanese steak knives.

Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t in a position to splurge on steak knives.  

If you have a big budget for kitchen tools, consider going all in on these top-of-the-line steak knives. Miyabi is known for creating exceptional knives that are lightweight in hand, razor sharp, and striking in design. These particular knives feature a blade that is hand-hammered, as well as beautiful rosewood D-shaped handles that our tester said felt comfortable to grip.

In terms of performance, we were delighted to discover that these knives lived up to their reputation. “I was extremely impressed with their performance,” said our tester. “I don’t think I’ve ever used a knife that cut steak so easily. It took next to no effort to slice my strip steak, and the cuts were very clean.” They also found the blade to be longer and wider than other steak knives they used, which wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, they told us that the knives are “perfectly proportioned” with a “balanced feel.”

Price at time of publish: $590

Product Details:

  • Material: Micro-carbide powder steel

  • Blade Type: Straight

  • Blade Length: 5.5 inches

Wüsthof Gourmet 4-Piece Steak Knife Set

Best Classic Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who want German-made steak knives that are extremely versatile.

Who it isn’t for: People who want steak knives that come with a storage box.

Like Miyabi, Wüsthof has garnered a reputation for producing quality knives. What’s different is that these are German-made knives, which are known for being heavier in hand but also very durable. These knives are full tang, meaning that the blade extends fully into the handle, ensuring more stability (no wobbling) while cutting.

During testing, we found these knives lived up to the hype. Our tester was able to cut through our steak with absolute ease, telling us the “blade glides through the steak in a couple of strokes” and that “the slices have perfectly straight edges.” They also liked how comfortable the handle was, saying that “it felt like a natural extension of the hand.” When asked if they would buy these knives for themselves, especially considering the price, they told us they would. In fact, they said that considering the stellar performance, they believe the product to be fairly priced. However, the one thing they do wish is that it came with a more substantial storage box.

Price at time of publish: $325

Product Details:

  • Material: High carbon steel

  • Blade Type: Straight

  • Blade Length: 4.5 inches

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Messermeister Avanta 4-Piece Steak Knife Set

Best Steak Knives for Thick Cuts

Who it’s for: People who want extremely sharp steak knives to cut through tough meat.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to go through extra maintenance to clean and care for their steak knives.

Our tester told us the way these knives “cut like a dream.” According to our tester: “I loved using this knife. It was very sharp and cut smoothly through the thickest part of the steak with no tearing.” These knives are so sharp that our tester ended up cutting themselves while washing it by hand, which is the required maintenance for these knives. The blades of the Messermeister Avanta knives are full tang and made of German stainless steel. Meanwhile, the handles boast a beautiful amber-colored Pakkawood that will certainly stand out on a place setting.

In addition to their excellent performance and good looks, our tester said these knives were the “perfect size” and also felt comfortable to hold. The set includes four knives but not a storage unit, which our tester said was the only complaint they had with this set. In addition to hand washing, you also need to clean it with a soap that contains no citrus extracts, and every once in a while you’ll need to oil the wooden handles with a food-safe mineral oil. This may be a couple steps too many for some, but the value of long-lasting knives will be worth the extra effort.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Blade Type: Straight

  • Blade Length: 5 inches

Viking Steakhouse Pakka Wood 6-Piece Steak Knife Set

Best Serrated Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who frequently entertain.   

Who it isn’t for: People who want to easily sharpen their knives themselves.

Having a set of six knives on hand instead of the average four comes in handy in more ways than one. The larger number is very helpful if you frequently entertain a handful of people, or if you eat steak often and want to have several dedicated knives on hand. The Viking Steakhouse Pakka Wood 6-Piece Steak Knife Set is an incredible value, offering not only more knives for less, but also a similar look and feel to the more expensive, four-piece sets we tested. “Everything about the knives and storage box felt luxurious,” said our tester. The knives boast a full tang blade that is made of stainless steel, which can be safely secured in a wood storage box that will look pretty displayed in your kitchen.

A big difference between these knives and our other top picks is that they are slightly serrated. Serrated knives are often frowned upon because they are more difficult to sharpen and don’t produce as clean of cuts as straight blades. However, during testing we didn’t find that to be the case. Our tester told us that each cut was clean and smooth, and compared the ease to that of cutting through butter. Considering this, the design, comfortable handles, and more, they’d buy these for themselves “in a heartbeat.”

Price at time of publish: $120

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Blade Type: Serrated

  • Blade Length: 5 inches

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Laguiole en Aubrac 4-Piece Steak Knife Set

Best Designed Steak Knives

Who it’s for: People who want knives that perform well and look good on the dinner table.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t entertain often and want a less design-focused knife set.

Along with performance and comfort, you also want your steak knives to look good. Steak knives are generally taken out when there’s an occasion—and that’s why we recommend these Laguiole en Aubrac steak knives. These steak knives are handcrafted and feature a stainless steel blade, wood handles that are sustainably-sourced, and the brand’s signature bull’s head emblem. Our tester found them to be “stunning” and “timeless,” with the ability to “dress up any dinner table.

The knives’ cutting abilities also make them a worthwhile purchase. “These knives were sharp enough to glide through steak without sawing the blade back and forth,” our tester said. The knife was also so comfortable to hold that they told us it “fit naturally” in their hand, making it “a joy to slice with.” You get four knives in this set as well as an equally attractive storage unit that holds the knives in place magnetically. Our tester said they would recommend this knife to others, especially as a gift.

Price at time of publish: $320

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel

  • Blade Type: Straight

  • Blade Length: 4.5 inches

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Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Material Table Knives for their ability to produce clean steak cuts with ease, comfortable feel, durable materials, and the multiple color options. These knives also stand out for the modern look and relatively lower price point.

Our Testing Process

We tested 23 different sets of steak knives in our Lab and evaluated them on design, size, performance, cleaning, and value. Before we started testing, we unboxed each knife set and examined each knife. We noted if the knives felt comfortable to hold, if the weight felt balanced in hand, and if the knives were safely secured in their included storage units (if the knife sets came with one).

Our first test involved assessing each knife's sharpness by cutting through a piece of paper. We recorded how much effort it took to cut through the paper and if the paper teared while doing so. After that, we used the knives on cooked steaks. We took note of how much effort was required to cut through each steak, if the knife felt comfortable in hand while doing so, and if the knife sliced cleanly through the steaks or tore through it. Once we completed this test, we washed each knife by hand to see how easy they were to clean. We used all this information to come up with the best steak knives.

How to Shop for Steak Knives Like a Pro

Material

When we asked our experts, all of them told us they favor either stainless steel or high-carbon stainless steel knives. Both Foster and Kalachnikoff prefer high-carbon stainless steel knives: “We [at Rolo’s] like high-carbon stainless steel for its sharpness, ease of sharpening, and ease of maintenance,” says Kalachnikoff. “Stainless steel alone tends to be harder to sharpen and not hold an edge, and high carbon steel is too difficult to maintain because it tarnishes with acidic food.”

Though this doesn’t mean that stainless steel doesn’t have its own merits. Foster and Patinkin both told us that stainless steel is durable and rust-resistant, making it a good, long-lasting choice for a steak knife.

Blade Type

There are two blade types that make up the majority of steak knives: straight and serrated. Most of our experts we spoke to were adamant members of team straight steak knives.

“When serving a fine steak, I desire a steak knife that cuts cleanly and showcases the appearance of the beef and conserves the juices, which of course contain flavor,” says Patinkin. “I advocate a straight edge [knife] sharpened to razor thin, leaving a clean finish to both raw and cooked steak.” She tells us another pro of straight knives is that they require little to no effort while cutting. The little teeth present in serrated not only require more effort, but tend to produce shreds of meat rather than slices. This style of blade poses another problem: They are much harder to sharpen at home. With all this said, Foster finds that serrated blades are best for bread knives.

However, we encourage you not to knock serrated knives until you try it. When we tested the Viking Steakhouse Pakka Wood 6-Piece Steak Knife Set, which are serrated, we were able to get clean cuts of steak. Serrated knives tend to also be cheaper than a straight knife set. So if you’re on a budget and don’t cook steak that often at home, a serrated set may work better for you. Delecroix says if you do go the serrated knife route, “look for [a blade with] a smooth and fine serration rather than large, saw-looking teeth.”

Tang

Although we found that not all manufacturers list the tang of their knives, it’s a term to know in the knife world. “The tang of a knife is the full length of a blade as it extends fully down inside the handle,” says Patinkin. “Sometimes the blade only extends half-way through the handle, and is thus a half tang. The length of the tang affects how the knife feels and functions; a full tang will be heavier than a half tang.”

In our research, we found claims that tang type affects a steak knife’s performance, but our experts didn’t confirm this to be true. For Patinkin, tang is a matter of personal preference. To Foster, tang isn’t the most important factor to consider when buying steak knives. “A full tang knife might have better balance, but often at the expense of overall weight,” he says. “More tang = more steel, and a generally higher cost. A properly made knife will be durable and well-balanced regardless of tang style,” he says. So instead of thinking of tang as an indicator of performance, think of it as a measure of comfort. If you’d prefer a lighter steak knife, go with something that isn’t full tang.

More Steak Knives to Consider

Henckels 8-Piece Stainless Steel Serrated Steak Knife Set: This 8-piece set is an incredible value considering most knife sets that are a lot pricier only include four. Because these knives are serrated, our tester said it took more effort to slice the steak, and the resulting cuts looked more like “neat tears” instead of the clean cuts we were looking for.

Shun Classic Steak Knives: Our tester told us that these knives were “beautifully designed” with blades that are “extremely sharp.” They sliced through our steak with little effort needed, but do require extra effort to properly clean.

Questions You Might Ask

Why do you need dedicated steak knives?

You can technically use a paring knife or chef’s knife to cut steak, but there are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to invest in some steak knives. “Anyone who's tried to cook steak at home for guests, forgetting that they did not own any steak knives, can probably tell you why [owning steak knives] is useful,” says Foster. “If you have several paring knives, you could hand those out [to guests]. But they wouldn't match and wouldn't be engineered for cutting on a dinner plate.”

Delecroix agrees that steak knives are just easier to use on steak compared to other knives in your kitchen’s arsenal. “Steak knives’ blade lengths and shapes are designed to optimize efficiency on steak (especially once cooked).” Plus, owning steak knives isn’t just about creating the best cuts for your meat—it’s also about elevating your steak-eating experience. “Using a handsome, well-maintained steak knife enhances the experience of dining on a world-class steak,” says Patinkin. Foster seconds this: “It's classy, convenient, and makes eating fun,” he says.

On the flipside, you can maximize the use of your steak knives by using it to cut other foods. Just know that the more you use the knife, the quicker it’ll dull, which will make cutting steak harder over time. Steak knives should really only be bought if you cook steak regularly, especially considering many sets are hundreds of dollars.

What’s the difference between German and Japanese steak knives?

The same way that Italy is known for its leather and France is known for its wine, Germany and Japan are known for their knives. Kalachnikoff broke down what makes them so renowned: “German and Japanese knives are the most popular because of the quantity of manufacturers and their quality,” he says. “The main difference between the two is the steel used and what’s called the bolster, which is the end of the blade towards the handle that usually protects the user’s cutting hand. Japanese knives have a higher quantity of carbon in the steel used, are usually slimmer in the blade profile, and don’t have a bolster so you can sharpen the entirety of the blade length. German knives tend to be heavier and made for home use as they do not need as much maintenance,” he says.

When it comes to steak knives, Foster doesn’t believe that the origin of the knife maker should weigh heavily on your decision. Patinkin wasn’t concerned with this either—she actually told us that Sweden too is known for producing quality knives, praising them for their “razor-thin blades.”

Will steak knives dull overtime?

Like other knives, yes, they will. But if you are using them on just steak, they won’t dull as quickly as a knife you use for multiple different foods. It’s important to know that straight blades are easier to sharpen by yourself, while serrated blades are more complicated.

“Sharpening serrated blades is a challenge that requires skills usually found in professionals,” says Delecroix. “The risk in doing it yourself is that you may permanently damage your knife.” You can also prevent the dulling of your knife by hand washing and drying instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Even if steak knives are advertised as dishwasher-safe, it’s still generally recommended to wash them by hand to increase their longevity.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best steak knives and tested 20 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on design, size, performance, cleaning, and value. We also sought the advice of four steak knives experts for this story: Alex Delecroix, Director of US Sales & Operations at Opinel; Aaron Foster, owner of Foster Sundry; Sheila Patinkin, owner of Vermont Wagyu; and Howard Kalachnikoff, chef at Rolo’s in New York City.

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