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David Gromov
David Gromov

The Best Steak Knives To Buy

Our favorite steak knife set is the Messermeister Avanta, which performed incredibly well and comes with a very reasonable price tag. We have a few other top picks, which you can read about below, but we don't think you'd be disappointed by the quality of the Avanta.

the best steak knives to buy

"A sharp knife is the best knife for a steak," says James Beard nominee Laura McIntosh, the executive producer and host of Bringing it Home on PBS. "That being said, the serrated knife gives you a bit more ease when cutting into food with a thick outer crust because it acts like a saw. The serrations keep the knife sharper longer but also give a bit more grip when cutting through tough exteriors."

According to McIntosh, you should never place your steak knives in the dishwasher. "I think the most important step is drying your knife," she says. "Even while using your knife during cooking prep, it's important to keep your knife dry. Drying especially after hand-washing removes excess water, thus preventing rust. It can also help remove missed debris not otherwise cleaned with soap and water."

Yes! Steak knives can be used for more than just cutting through beef. Since they're designed to be sturdy enough to slice through tough meat, they can be used in myriad useful ways, from coring apples and slicing avocados to cubing cheese. With tofu and alternative meats more popular than ever, even vegetarians may find room in their kitchen for steak knives.

The right style for you ultimately comes down to personal preference. Regardless of the blade type, quality steak knives should stay sharp and rust-free after many uses. While the Bellemain knives top our lists, we heartily recommend all of the below sets to upgrade your cutlery collection.

Best known for its eco-friendly cookware, GreenPan also makes a gorgeous set of steak knives. Made from recycled stainless steel, the serrated blades are heat-treated to increase durability, then coated with titanium to prevent corrosion and maintain sharpness. Additionally, the ergonomic, slip-resistant handles are made from FSC-certified walnut wood to minimize environmental impact without sacrificing quality (and looks).

The best steak knives come in a truly vast range of prices. Whereas budget-friendly picks start around $15 dollars for a set of four knives, luxury sets of six can retail for as much as $500. Generally speaking, hand-crafted knives cost more than those that are mass-produced. The quality of materials used and where the knives were manufactured also factor in. When deciding which price point to aim for with your steak knife purchase, consider how often you will use the knives and whether or not you will primarily use them for entertaining purposes.

The best steak knives are sharp, durable and glide easily through steaks (or any type of food they encounter, for that matter). Their handles, meanwhile, are ergonomically designed to feel comfortable in your hand, allowing for precise, powerful cuts. While there are many worthy steak knife sets available, our favorite is the Bellemain Serrated Steak Knife Set, which delivers on all of these criteria at a reasonable price point.

But in our original steak-knife test, a consensus did emerge: everyone strongly preferred straight edges. Even the least-impressive straight-edge knife sliced through the meat smoothly and easily, whereas even the best serrated knife forced everyone to saw back and forth. So for 2016's update I focused my research exclusively on straight-edge knives.

One thing I learned right away: You can spend $2 on a steak knife and you can also spend $200 (or more). On the former, you get what you pay for: not much, aesthetically or functionally. On the latter, you mostly pay for looks, not vast leaps in performance over well-made mid-priced knives. Between the extremes are knives of every quality and price.

Insisting on straight-edge blades also eliminated a huge swath of the inexpensive and mid-priced serrated steak knife options. Serrated blades are very cheap to manufacture; almost every steak knife set under $100 features them. In fact, finding good straight-edged knives at low prices proved to be the biggest research challenge.

Several testers diverged from the pack on steak knife aesthetics, preferring something with cleaner, modern lines instead of the traditional look. If that also describes you, the Opinel No. 125 Bon Appetit Set, which used to be called the South Spirit, is our recommendation. The Opinel blades are noticeably less sharp than the Messermeister and Wüsthof, but they still cut our tough test-steaks neatly and efficiently. The beautiful handles are made of olivewood, which, in addition to being pretty, is naturally water-resistant (though not virtually waterproof, like the pakkawood on the Messermeisters; the Opinels absolutely must be hand-washed).

First and foremost: hand-wash them, and dry them afterwards. (This is especially important for the Opinel and Chicago Cutlery models' natural wood handles.) Dishwashers are hard on knives, both because of the high temperatures and chemicals in the soap, and because of the banging around. Spending a few minutes after dinner hand-washing your steak knives will go a long way toward keeping them performing well for years.

Stainless steel is steel alloyed with at least 12 percent, and usually 14 to 18 percent, chromium. The chromium forms a dense layer on any exposed surface which rapidly oxidizes, preventing oxidation (rusting) of the steel underneath. There are multiple types of stainless steel, some more corrosion-resistant than others; all those used on our recommended knives (and all those used by major manufacturers) are high-performing: extremely corrosion-resistant, capable of taking and holding a sharp edge, and easy to re-sharpen.

In ancient times, Damascus referred to a special type of steel created by Middle Eastern smiths. In legend and perhaps in fact, it was tougher, harder, and held a better edge than any other steel in the known world. Today, Damascus simply refers to a decorative, layered type of common steel, formed by stacking slabs of different alloys, welding them into a solid block, and folding the block over itself repeatedly. (Watch here.) Despite loud claims to the contrary, Damascus knives are not sharper or stronger than knives made of a single piece of steel, but many people consider them more beautiful.

The Wüsthof Gourmet Steak Knife Set was not more highly recommended than the other Wüsthof and Henckels knives we tested. We also tried this set out at Williams-Sonoma and thought the handles felt cheap.

The Wüsthof Classic Hollow-Ground Knife Set looks identical to the Wüsthof Classic set we tested, except the knives have dimpled blades, which are supposed to slice more easily. The Classic set we tested received better reviews, so we opted not to test this one.

Wüsthof is a name that is synonymous with quality, and the Gourmet Series steak knives are no exception. They feature a clean and simply designed polypropylene handle and high carbon stainless steel blades that are incredibly sharp.

I did notice that as I used the knife, I struggled with fingerprints on both the handle and the blade, which could be a bit annoying while you are setting a table for company, but they are dishwasher-safe, which is not typical with steak knives.

The knife felt very big in my hand and definitely has a masculine feel to it. When I sliced into the steak the knife did a good job, but I did have to put a bit more effort into slicing it because of the serrated edge and sheer size of the utensil.

The price point on this 4 piece steak knife set is really great at just under $30.00 for a set of 4, making each knife around $7.50 so I think these knives are a great choice if you just want some knives for your collection that do the job without being fancy.

The first thing I did was inspect the packaging for flaws that may have been caused during shipment. Luckily, I did not find any major packaging flaws in any of the steak knife sets. I did note that only 3 of the 7 sets came in a package that would be suitable for future storage, which I personally view as a plus.

The best packaging was by far the Dalstrong Gladiator Series set. It features a bright green ombre-colored case with the Dalstrong logo right in front. Each knife came with its own sheath, and they included care instructions and a collectable pin inside the box. The packaging also doubles as a storage case for future use.

The Zwilling Knife Set had the best storage case by far, crafted from wood with the Zwilling logo emblazoned on both the outside and inside cover. The steak knives sit upright in the case in a way that does not put unnecessary pressure on the blades, and I was very impressed by the quality of the design.

One of the most important things in a steak knife is the weight and balance of the knife. You want something that fits comfortably in your hand, but with a balanced weight that works with you while you are slicing into your steak.

The knife that felt the most balanced in my hand was the Wüsthof Gourmet Series. It was light, but had a great grip that allowed me to easily control it while slicing into my steak. The polypropylene handle was not slippery and I was impressed by the overall design.

I was not a fan of the Amazon Basics Steak Knife Set when it came to weight and balance. The knife was not balanced at all and the blade is significantly lighter than the handle, which takes away from the control you need to have to slice a steak properly.

By far my favorite when it comes to looks was the Trudeau Laguiole Knife Set. The packaging was gorgeous from the get-go and the steak knives inside were even more beautiful. The sleek and slightly serrated blades shine beautifully against the gorgeous pakkawood handle. The handles also have stamped steel at the edge and overall the knives just look elegant.

The worst design from an aesthetic standpoint was the Chicago Cutlery Steak Knife Set. As I mentioned before, the packaging was flimsy and the knives inside were not much better. The wooden handle was unfinished and came in an odd, grayish brown tone. The knife has a giant Chicago Cutlery logo on the blade that was not quite evenly placed and the knife just looks really cheap. 041b061a72


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