Our Pick: Wsthof Classic Ikon 7
*At the time of publishing, the price was $380.
The best knife set for home cooks is the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set. The knives in this set were the sharpest compared with all the others we tested in this price range. Since the Classic Ikon knives are extremely durable, they can take more abuse in your kitchen. The ergonomic knife handles provided a superior grip next to those knives with slick handles, which became slippery when wet. Unlike most sets, the Classic Ikon set comes with the most basic and useful knives without a lot of unnecessary filler. And the handsome walnut block gives this set a classic look that will fit the aesthetic of almost any kitchen.
The Wüsthof Classic Ikon set comes with a 15-slot walnut block , pull-apart kitchen shears, a honing steel, and four knives: a 3½-inch paring knife, a 6-inch utility knife, an 8-inch chefs knife, and an 8-inch serrated bread knife. Though some of the Japanese knives we tested were sharper , the Classic Ikon knives still cut with excellent precision and seemed more durable than the competition. Chef Joseph Simon, a culinary instructor at the International Culinary Center, noted the heft of the Classic Ikon knives and said, Theyre sturdy, they will last forever, theyre going to keep an edge, and they will be easy to sharpen.
The block has extra slots for both kitchen and steak knives, which allows you ample room to grow your collection.
Why You Should Trust Us
Ive been cooking for myself and for crowds since I left high school between that and various stints in construction and landscaping, Ive come to appreciate well-made, well-designed hand toolsincluding knives. And having wasted money on crummy, expensive knives more than once when I was younger, I have a particular regard for knives that truly justify their price .
For my own needs and as a journalist, Ive researched deeply into knife-making materials, knife design, and knife performance over the years Mark Richmond, owner of Chef Knives to Go, has been particularly helpful on several occasions. Our 2015 guide, researched and written by Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset, produced a wealth of information also incorporated here. Christine gathered reviews from Americas Test Kitchen , Saveur, and Serious Eats she learned about knife styles and materials from Dexter Ewing of BLADE magazine and Howard Nourieli of Bowery Kitchen Supplies and she spoke to Rick Gresh, then the executive chef at David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago for practical advice on steak knife performance and care.
Finally, weve now tested 15 different steak knives on 16 pounds of beef in two real-world test sessions, involving a dozen Wirecutter staffers and friends. If theres a question about steak knives, however obscure, weve asked it and found the answer.
Best Serrated: Misen Steak Knives 4
Misen which is known for funding its product introductions on Kickstarter has a loyal following amongst in-the-know foodies. The brand consults everyone from beginniner cooks to the pros, as well as engineers and product designers, to develop products that are well-priced but with a great design. So it’s no wonder that their steak knife set looks good and performs even better.
These knives have a distinctive look: The handle is a linear continuation from the blade, so it has a clean, contemporary look. The blade is made from high-carbon German steel and the handle is made of a synthetic material. While the straight shape of the handle isn’t as comfortable to hold as some of the handles that have a more ergonomic shape that is contoured to the hand, the material has a warm, comfortable feel to it and a pleasant heft and width. But larger-handed people might feel like the design, where there is no clearance between the blade and the handle, can cause the knuckles to get in the way.
Buy It: $80 misen.com
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Lamson Premier Forged 10
Set includes the following: 3 paring knife, 3.5 paring knife, 6 utility knife, 6 fillet knife, 7 Kullenschliff santoku knife, 8 bread knife, 8 chef knife, 10 slicing knife, 10 honing steel, sharpening steel and a 9 slot wood storage block
Lamson is an American Cutlery company that has been producing quality knives for over 183 years. To their credit they have continued to update their manufacturing and heat treatment processes to ensure their knives are competitive with the big name brands from Germany and Japan. The combination of old school craftsmanship and modern production methods is evident in their Premiere Forged knife series. These well designed knives offer great performance and are incredibly durable. Lamson backs up their quality claims with a confidence boosting forever warranty.
The Premiere Forged Chef knife pictured above and the Kullenschliff Santoku knife are two of the standouts in this ten piece set.
The blades of the Premiere Forged series of knives are made of 4116 German steel which is a steel often found in budget hard use pocket knives. This is a tough steel, but it is a little softer than most of the steels used by other high end cutlery makers. However, Lamsons heat treatment process seems to produce a harder version of 4116 steel than is found in most other knives made the same steel. The edge retention will still be a bit less than many of the other knife sets listed in this article.
Best Luxury Wsthof Classic Steak Knife Set
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
If you are looking to splash out on a top-quality set of steak knives that are really worth the extra cash, then this Classic Steak Knife Set by Wüsthof is the one to go for.
These steak knives feature four and a half-inch, razor-sharp straight-edge blades. Whatever youre eating, they will cut through it like butter.
However, they do require regular sharpening, so be sure to invest in a decent sharpener to keep them in prime condition.
The blades are made from a high carbon stainless steel to ensure greater durability, as well as being precision cut for outstanding sharpness.
While the polypropylene handles wont be to everyones liking, they are highly durable, and as theyre heat and impact resistant as well as dishwasher-friendly, this knife set is a great practical choice.
The handles are triple-riveted and cover the blades full tang completely, so you have perfect balance and precise control of your blade, without any unevenness or discomfort.
This Wüsthof Classic Steak Knife Set would also make a great gift for any occasion, as the knives are delivered in a lined and molded protective case. Carefully crafted in Solingen, Germany, where Wüsthof has been forging knives for over 200 years, this set is also covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
What we like:
What we dont like:
- Require regular sharpening Straight-edged blades offer superior cutting but do require regular sharpening to maintain results.
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Best Appearance For The Price Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife Set
If youre looking for a steak knife set that looks the part, be it as a gift or for yourself, you wont find any better than the Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife Set by Messermeister.
Easy on the eye, this set certainly looks much more expensive than its reasonable price tag.
Whats more, these knives come complete with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing or material defects.
These exceptional knives are made from high-quality German steel X50CrMoV15, renowned for its sharp edge retention, strength and durability. It is also easy to maintain and sharpen, making it an excellent choice for your home set of steak knives.
With their fine edge, five-inch long blades, these knives cut through steak and other tough cuts of meat with ease.
Performance aside, this set is also extremely good-looking. The exposed full metal tang, visible at the end of the handle, is a testament to this knifes high-quality as well as being extremely stylish.
The forged bolsters balance the blade, protect your fingers and provide added comfort while the durable pakkawood handles give a premium look, on a par with models that cost over three times as much.
Just be aware that the finish could be a little smoother on the handles although, for the price, this is only a small niggle rather than a major complaint.
What we like:
What we dont like:
- Handles could be smoother The handles are a little rough in the hand when compared to more expensive options, but theyre certainly not uncomfortable.
How To Sharpen Steak Knives
You could either go to a professional and have it done or use the best electric knife sharpener that you can get your hands on. We do suggest the professional, especially if you have an expensive set. However, sharpening is still a good skill to have if youre daring, and youre willing to put your good steak knives through all that experimenting, then by all means go for it.
Read Also: What Is Grass Fed Steak
Upgrade Pick: Wsthof Classic Ikon Set
*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.
Our testers all favored the Ikon’s classic understated elegance.
The Wüsthof Classic Ikon steak knives arent cheap, but they are the cheapest of the three high-end sets that we tested. With little to distinguish between the high-end sets on performancewhich was universally exceptionalaesthetics played the largest role in this pick, and our testers all favored the Ikon’s classic, understated elegance. Their razor-sharp blades have the ideal upswept shape. The unique double-concave curves of their satiny black POM handles fit the hand wonderfully both our smallest and our largest tester found them the most comfortable to hold of all the knives we tested. Their full-tang construction adds strength and, at 77 grams/2.6 ounces, pleasing heft. Lastly, their construction is flawlessas it should be for the price. Because in truth, its the flawless fit-and-finish, more than anything else, that separates an exceptional luxury steak knife from a really great mid-priced oneand that you pay for.
One criticism: the Ikons come in a simple, clear plastic box. Its sturdy enough to use for knife storage but left us wishing for something more distinguished-looking, particularly if the knives are intended to be a gift. For about $100 more, the blackwood-handled Ikon steak knives come in a walnut case its unfortunate that this is not an option for the standard model.
Best Starter Set: Henckels 4
Henckels is another big name in cutlery, and even though this set is on the lower end of its price range, its performance does not disappoint. The blade is serrated from point to halfway up the blade, and has a sharp, straight edge the remainder of the length to the handle. Most of the cutting action happens where the serration is, and the micro-serrated edge does a great job in cutting through the meat without shredding or ripping. The riveted plastic handle is chunky, with a slightly contoured shape that fits comfortably in the hand.
It’s on the short side, but the thickness of the handle would definitely suit someone with larger hands. Low-maintenance folks will appreciate that these knives are dishwasher safe, and the molded plastic packaging they come in is suitable for storage, if not particularly attractive. With a great price point and decent performance, these knives are an ideal starter set for the college student or new apartment dweller looking to build their kitchen collection.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Dry Aged Steak
Buying Guide For Best Steak Knife Sets
Whether youre a carnivore at heart or a casual chef with a taste for the finer things in life, you probably appreciate a basic principle of cooking and grilling: sharp is much better than dull. When it comes to purchasing a new steak knife set, its important to choose a set that will arrive ready to work, yet look beautiful resting in a knife block on your kitchen counter.
Cutting with a poor-quality knife or one that isnt suited to the task at hand is not only frustrating, it can be dangerous. A paring knife is far too flimsy to cut through dense layers of meat and fat it can bend or slip. Likewise, the handle of a table knife isnt designed to provide leverage for slicing easily through a thick cut of meat. A high-quality steak knife does its job safely, making your cooking and dining experiences much more enjoyable.
The shopping guide below will help you make the best decision possible when purchasing a steak knife set youll enjoy for years to come.
Number And Types Of Knives
Knife sets will vary in how many knives and what type of knives are included. Know that more isnt necessarily better if you wont use all of the knives. If you already have a set of steak knives, you probably dont need another half-dozen. However, if you dont have any decent knives at all, it might be your best option to buy a complete set so you get everything you need at the best price.
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Bellemain Premium Steak Knife Set Of 4 Stainless Steel
So now were viewing this Bellemain Premium Knife Set, which comes with four high-grade stainless steel steak knives.
The key aspect of this knife set is that all the blades are made to a surgical standard in that they stay rust-free. On top of this, they have incredibly razor-sharp serrated edges, so you can slice with minimal effort through your steak.
In fact, these 5-inch precision blades have been designed specifically for the steak connoisseur. The knives have been treated with a process of ice-tempering so that they keep their edge even longer than your average heat-tempered knife blade.
A full-tang design
With each knife being constructed with one piece of metal, you get a full-tang blade which should show more strength and resilience than your average steak knife.
As well, balance is really nice with these knives, making your cutting action effortless with every bite of steak you cut off. Plus, the handles have been ergonomically designed to rest comfortably in your grip.
Finally, Bellemain has been confident enough to say that theyll buy back this knife set if you are in any way not happy with it after purchase.
- No presentation box included.
How We Picked And Tested
To determine the most essential knives for home cooks, we turned to chef Brendan McDermott, an instructor at Kendall College in Chicago. I would suggest most home cooks have three or four knives, said McDermott. Most essential is a chefs knife thats the one you really want to focus on.
We took McDermotts advice and searched for sets that had the most necessary knives. We concluded that a good set should include the following pieces:
- An 8-inch chefs knife
- A 3¼- to 3½-inch paring knife
- A serrated knife
- Pull-apart kitchen shears
We tested knife sets by evaluating the overall sharpness of the knife blades. We also tested whether the knives were comfortable to hold and evenly balanced. For larger knives, we noted whether they had enough hand clearance to prevent our knuckles from hitting the cutting board. We tested chefs knives by chopping carrots and onions. We tested paring knives by mincing shallots and peeling and coring apples. We tested serrated knives by cutting through wide, crusty country loaves and thinly slicing tomatoes. We used the honing steels to see if they could effectively hone blade edges. And we cut parchment paper and butchers twine using the kitchen shears.
We tested knife sets by evaluating the overall sharpness of the knife blades.
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How To Sharpen Serrated Steak Knives
Its upon you to select the sharpener or grindstone for sharpening the steak knives. In the first step, you hold the serrated knifes tip pointing away from your body.
Now push and pull the blades of sharpening serrated of the steak knives. Done this process approximately four to five times then check it on steak. If its accurately sharpened cut fast in limited times.
Final Thoughts On The Best Steak Knives For The Money
Getting your moneys worth out of a knife is more than just landing the best deal. Its about getting the best quality, the longest lasting, and a knife with the least maintenance and care requirements.
Ive chosen 5 knives I would be proud to see on my table, but Ive also tried to give you the information and expertise you need to pick a great steak knife, no matter where you find it.
Whether youre using these knives on giant steaks or grilled eggplant, I hope you get the most out of your knives, and your meal.
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Cangshn V2 Series 59502 German Steel Forged 8
Every detail about this knife set is designed to impress. From the beautiful Acacia wood block to the subtly patterned German steel, this set is absolutely beautiful. Its functional, too. Made from X50Cr15MoV steel with carefully designed serrations, you and your guests will have no problems cutting through meat, bread, and vegetables.
One of the nicer things about this set is the sheer size. While its not the cheapest set on this page, its the biggest. 8 knives means a family of 4 can use this set twice before having to do the dishes. Because you wont want to put this quality steel in the dishwasher, this is a very nice touch.
The handles on these knives are made out of a tasteful plastic material. Theyre not quite as fancy as some wood-handled steak knives, but theyre much easier to take care of. The knives are quite ergonomic and have wonderful balance and heft. Youll really feel like youve got a work of art in your hands while you use them. Best of all, the steel is lightly patterned and looks incredibly beautiful.
If youve got a big family or you want to tastefully display your steak knives, this incredibly sharp Cangshan set is a great choice.