The Paper Test Gave Us An Idea Of Factory Sharpness But Didn’t Tell The Whole Story
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
As Daniel did with chef’s knives, the first and last tests for this review were performed to check the sharpness of each knife. I ran the blade of each knife, from heel to tip, through sheets of printer paper that had been folded in half. This test isn’t a precise measure of sharpness, but it allowed me to see which knives had a factory edge sharp enough to effortlessly slice through paper, and note which ones got snagged and tore at the sheets.
The knife that performed the worst was the one micro-serrated knife that we tested, which tore and got caught on the paper. The knives that performed best were generally the premium straight-edged knives, while the cheaper knives had more trouble. The Messermeister Avanta was the notable exception to this trend it was one of the most budget-friendly knives of the dozen that were tested, and it sliced through paper just as well, if not better, than ones that cost five times more. It is also worth noting that the serrated steak knife that we tested aced the paper test, cutting through the sheet smoothly even with its saw-toothed edge.
Best Overall Knife Set
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Straight To The Point
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.
Like having a collection of houseplants, or a large reusable tote bag stuffed to the brim with more reusable tote bags, owning a set of steak knives is a tangible, material proclamation of adulthood. Steak knives appear on seemingly every wedding registry for a reason: They fall into that category of aspirational but non-essential household items you always wanted to have, but maybe never felt the need to drop a serious chunk of change on for yourself. Steak knives are about form and function they need to be sharp enough to easily slice through a butter-basted ribeye , and they should look good while doing it. We put a dozen steak knives to the test to find a curated selection of well-crafted, attractive knives that offer exceptional performance and value commensurate with their price tag.
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Can You Put Steak Knives In The Dishwasher
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.”
Bad Packaging Can Dull A Good Sharp Knife
The knives were first inspected for construction and packaging flaws, which can damage the knives en route. One of the most expensive steak-knife sets arrived in a fancy wooden box, but the notches that held the knives didn’t secure them tightly in place, so during transport the tips of the blades had been rubbing against the inside edge of the box, cutting grooves into the wood. That’s good for neither the box nor the knives.
Read Also: How To Cook Steak On Gas Grill
Premium Japanese Knife Sets For Your Meal Prep Needs
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Notes On Materials And Construction
If youve spent more than a few minutes researching knives, youve likely run into a bewildering fog of jargon and technical specifications. Heres a quick guide, which applies to steak knives, chefs knives, and everything in between:
The phrase high-carbon steel is basically marketing hype: every steel alloy used to make knives is high-carbon. You can ignore the phrase it if its used, and you neednt worry if its not. Do note, however, that if a knife is listed only as high-carbon or carbon steel, it will easily rust. To be sure your knife is rust-resistant, make sure it is also listed as stainless.
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 of the steel underneath. There are multiple types of stainless steel, some more corrosion-resistant than others all those used on our recommended knives are high-performing: extremely corrosion-resistant, capable of taking and holding a sharp edge and easy to re-sharpen.
There are thousands of different steel alloysmixtures of iron, carbon, and any of 20 or more other elementseach designed for a different purpose. Knife alloys alone run into the dozens, and the names are alphabet soup: AEB-L, VG-10, 19C27, ZDP-189. My advice is: ignore them all, at least for steak knives. Whatever alloy a good manufacturer chooses will perform perfectly well.
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How Do You Sharpen Steak Knives
“The best way to make sure your knives are at their best is to take them to a knife sharpening professional twice a year,” McIntosh says. “There are many ways to sharpen your knives at home with little effort. For ease, an angled manual sharpener will do the trick and is easy to use. However, for a more robust experience to keep your knives in peak condition, invest in a whetstone and a steel or ceramic rod. There are two steps to sharpening your knives: grinding and honing. Grinding your knives removes any pieces of steel from the blade â the whetstone is perfect for this. Once your knife is clean of nicks and any steel, the second step is honing, which is basically fine-tuning your blade. Use the steel rod for this by gliding the knife’s blade at an angle against the steel.”
Global Steak Knives Set Of 6
- Globals award-winning knives are made to the exacting standards of professional Japanese chefs
- With the ideal balance, Global cutlery helps reduce hand fatigue and provides greater control
- Razor-sharp blades easily slice through sirloin, T-bones, ribeyes and more
- Ergonomic, molded handle ensures comfortable slicing, and Globals signature dimple pattern provides a stronger grip
- Seamless construction from a single piece of high-tech CROMOVA stainless steel eliminates food and dirt traps
- Blade is face-ground with a long taper, so the edge remains sharp longer
- Material: CROMOVA 18 stainless steel
- Dimensions: 4.5″ blade
- Hand wash and dry immediately
Does The Handle Matter On Steak Knives
To a certain degree, yes. Although the handle may not be as immediately important as the blade, it will make or break your experience using the knife. Ideally, steak knives should have well-balanced handles that are easy to grip, and feel comfortable in your hand. The material used is largely up to personal preference, although price will vary depending on material .
Our Pick: Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood Set
*At the time of publishing, the price was $60.
The Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood steak knife set was our clear winner. No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction. Their blade-edges are well-formed, smooth, and extremely sharp they cut even the toughest steaks as well as knives we tested that cost five times as much, which cant be said for most others in their price range. Their handles are finished with pakkawood, a durable resin-impregnated natural wood usually only found on more expensive knives. And unlike any other knives we found at the price, they feature full-tang construction: A single piece of steel forms the blade, bolsters, and handle. This adds strength , balance, and heft. The latter is an aesthetic concern, but an important one: 2015’s test revealed that a knife weight of around 80 grams feels just right in the hand. The Messermeisters weigh 89 gramspleasantly robust, and significantly nicer to hold than the lightweight knives typical at this price.
No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction.
The only flaw we found was the not-quite-perfect finishthere were slightly-raised rivets on some handlesbut still, the Messermeisters quality of construction is well above that of the other knives we tested in its price range. Simply put, with most knives you get what you pay for with the Messermeisters, you get more.
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Types Of Global Knives
While Global boasts of over 100 types of blade in their line, Crate & Barrel has selected the knives most used in daily kitchen tasks. Choose from our open stock collection that includes bread, paring, chef’s and utility knives as well as slicers. Depending on the knife and its intended use, you can select straight, serrated and hollow-ground edges. We also have Global knife sets that bring together a collection of the most essential pieces along with a handsome storage block and ceramic sharpening rod designed to keep the Global knife edge in peak performance.
Shop our selection of Global knife sets and open-stock cutlery to experience the performance this well-designed, iconic cutlery.
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.
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Also Great: Opinel No 125 Bon Appetit Set
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 .
The Opinels underperform noticeably in one category: weight. At just 35 gramsbarely more than an ouncethey feel insubstantial in the hand. They also come in a simple cardboard case that wont last long in your silverware drawer youd want to store it somewhere less trafficked like a high shelf. But on looks and performance, theyre winners at the price. Lastly, if youre looking for something to brighten your table, Opinel makes a version of this knife set thats fitted with colored hornbeam-wood handles. You can also buy the knives open stock if you want to build your own set in different colors.
What Were Looking For
Number of pieces: As I said before, knife sets can come with anywhere from three pieces to more than 20. For this story, I leaned significantly toward the smaller end of that spectrum. Im of the opinion that, most of the time, it makes sense to buy a smaller core group a chefs knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife and then assess. Are you always wishing you had a second chefs knife so you dont have to clean in between tasks? Does it turn out youd benefit from a boning knife because you eat fish and chicken multiple days a week? From your core group, you can always add on as you see what your real needs are.
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Vortex Blade Power Blender
Powerful 2.2 horsepower+ and 22,000 RPM motor quickly and easily creates healthy smoothies, creamy soups, smooth nut butters, crushed ice, and more2-Litre jar is shatter-,scratch- and stain-resistant, as well as BPA-freeVortex Blade Technology is specially-designed to circulate food while blending or chopping for perfect, consistent resultsPre-set functions and manual speed settings for easy operation and precise control – Pre-sets include smoothie, soup and crushed iceDynamic Control Dial for precise control of the blending function, speed and timeSelf-cleaning cycle makes washing the blender jar and blades quick and easyTamper included for processing thick mixtures2-Year Limited Warranty*ManualDisclaimer:+: 2.2 horsepower is the peak horsepower output of the motor, and does not reflect the operational horsepower of the blender. Peak horsepower is measured in laboratory testing. During actual use, the blender will operate at a lower rating than the peak horsepower.
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The Criteria: What To Look For In A Steak
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
Like a kitchen knife, a good steak knife needs to be sharp, comfortable in your hand, well-balanced, and sturdy. You don’t want to be sawing and tearing away at an expensive, perfectly cooked steak with a flimsy knife. But steak knives need to be pretty, as well. Like a set of power-player, giant red wine glasses, most of us aren’t busting out our steak knives every night at the dinner table steak dinners are special occasions, and the knives should fit the bill on an aesthetic level. This means that selecting a steak-knife set is even more subjective of a process than picking out a great chef’s knife.
The Best Modern Steak
If you’ve got a little extra coin burning a hole in your pocket, or are due to receive or dole out some fancy gifts in the near future and want to go with a Parisian bistronomy vibe when entertaining, then these Perceval 9.47 knives might be right up your alley. The 9.47 knife was designed by a former Michelin-starred chef, and, unsurprisingly, it’s a dream to cut with. While its modern, minimalist look isn’t for everyone, there’s no arguing with its performance. It’s worth noting that unlike other steak-knife sets, the 9.47 is not available in a set of four knives, just sets of two and six.
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Global Knives Review: Are They As Good As They Say
Global Cutlery makes some of the most unique kitchen knives in the entire world. Unlike most, Globals knives are made almost entirely out of steel. This gives them an ultra-modern, industrial look that so many chefs really like.
It may be hard to discern at first, but Global knives are Japanese-made. As mentioned above, theyre made almost entirely out of stainless steel, an alloy called CROMOVA 18, which provides great stain resistance and creates a very sharp cutting edge. The blades are heat treated to a hardness of 56-58 which makes them durable and allows for good edge retention.
Though its not readily apparent, Global knives are stamped not forged. This is one reason why they are less expensive compared to other brands such as Wusthof or Shun. They also have no tang, and no bolster. Therefore, to balance the knife, they fill the hollow handles with sand.
The signature characteristic of Global knives is their straight edge blades. Unlike most Western-style knives that have a standard beveled edge, Global grinds their edges to a point resulting in a blade that is sharper and has increased edge retention. The blade performs like a Japanese-style knife would yet, it has the durability that we typically see with Western-style knives.