Sharpening A Knife With A Wet Stone
Wet stones are atried-and-true methodof sharpening good quality knives. The process for using wet stones to sharpen a knife is simple, even if youve never used them before. By following these steps, you can sharpen your knives with high-quality wet stones to ensure your knives stay sharp for years of repeated use.
Best Overall: Messermeister Avanta 4
Blade Type: 5-inch straight edge | Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel
Premium performance at a shockingly affordable price point makes this set a clear winner. The upswept blades are crafted from German high carbon stainless steel, creating a long-lasting, rust-resistant, smooth, and uber-sharp edge that is evenly ground and honed.
The shape of the blade is the star with an upward curved tip designed to separate meat from the bone, while the gradually sloped blade efficiently cuts through boneless sections, making for even slicing of the thickest cuts. During our tests, these portion out our next bite easily and cleanly, without too much effort. Out of the box, they were sharp enough to slice paper like a great pair of scissors.
Pakkawood handles, forged bolsters, and fully exposed tangs ensure the 4-piece straight-edged set is durable, strong, balanced, and attractive. The triple-riveted, sandblasted stainless steel handles are comfortable but have the heft you want in a quality steak knife. If pakkawood won’t fit with your modern flatware aesthetic, there are full stainless steel and black options available. With regular sharpening and honing, this set is a long-lasting investment.
Best For Gifting: Zwilling 8
This Zwilling set comes in an attractive wooden presentation box, so gifting is as easy as throwing on a bow. The eight-piece set is top to bottom high-carbon stainless steel, made with professional-grade design and materials. The serrated blades will hold their sharpness for longer than traditional knives. The thin handles look great at any table setting, and even bettershoppers can catch the set while it’s on sale for just $85. Give it as a wedding gift, Christmas gift, or birthday gift.
To buy: Zwilling 8-Piece Steak Knife Box Set, $85 at target.com, macys.com, or zwilling.com
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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.
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Blade Grind And Length
The different blade grinds influence the handling of a steak knife. In principle, all too common variants are suitable for dividing your steak with a clean and filigree cut without great pressure.
With the length of the blade, you should make sure that it is between 4 and 5 inches. However, the longer the blade, the easier it is to cut your meat. Measuring 5 inches, the Lynx 6-Piece Steak Knife Set and the DALSTRONG Steak Knives Set have the longest blade length in the review.
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Best Budget: Amazon Basics Premium 8
Blade Type: 4.75-inch serrated edge | Blade Material: Stain-resistant steel
If you are looking for affordable, no-frills knives, this Amazon Basics 8-piece set is a great option. Not only is the price right, but they also feature full tangs for balance, ergonomic handles for comfort, and full bolsters for ease of use and maximum finger protection.
The edges of the alloy steel blades are micro-serrated with deep teeth. This resulted in more tearing of meat during testing, but the blades will never need sharpening. A serrated edge also helps with other foods like bread and tomatoes. But that serrated edge snagged when we tried to slice it through paper. That said, these are sturdy, workmanlike tools with a traditional design that will last and not break the bank.
“This is a very basic knife set, something you buy when you only need multipurpose serrated knives. They can handle your steak and stew meat, but also tomatoes, bread, and long enough to fit into a peanut butter jar. They’re durable for a budget knife set, but not something I would give as a high-end gift necessarily.” Siobhan Wallace, Commerce Editor
Blade Type: 4.75-inch straight edge | Blade Material: VG-MAX steel
Best For Steak Knives: Laguiole Jean Dubost 6
Whether youre cutting into seared steak, roasted vegetables, or comforting baked pasta, a sharp table knife is essential. And the Dubost family has been crafting fine cutlery for generations. The French brands timeless design is not only chic but comfortable to hold. Whats more, each knife is hand-polished for an extra shine before heading out of the factory.
This stainless steel set comes in a beechwood box and features slightly curved blades with serrated edges to cut effortlessly through meat. Its the perfect buy for entertaining, or even as a holiday gift to your favorite steak lover. These look great with most place settings, but are also super knives, a user gushed about the brand. I spent quite a bit of time comparing the available sets of steak knives and Im so happy I settled on these.
To buy: $100 at williams-sonoma.com
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Best For Entertaining: Dubost Laguiole Natura Steak Knives Set Of 6
These ornate steak knives look like an heirloom passed down from Grandmaand maybe they will be one day. They have a classic, old-school design, with a gracefully curved handle made of polished plastic that has a slightly swirly, pearlized finish. The set includes three each of the two handle colors: Chocolate and Fudge . Adorned with the French cutlery maker’s iconic bee on top of the bolster where the blade meets the handle, these knives have an eclectic look that will dress up any dinner table.
As for their performance, the knife blades have a unique construction of tiny serration interspersed with larger cutout hollows. The hollows prevent juicy steaks from clinging to the blade, and the tiny serration created less tearing and drag than some of the longer-toothed blades we tried. The knives are very lightweight and had decent balance, and the handles were comfortable to hold, with the curve fitting nicely into the pinky-finger end of the hand. However, these delicate, narrow knives might be difficult to use for someone with larger hands.
The French brand Dubost Laguiole has stood the test of time it’s 100 years old and is a leader in the plastic-handled cutlery category.
Buy It: $100 williams-sonoma.com
Best Durable Set: Henckels 8
Over 2,500 five-star reviews rave about this one-piece stainless steel Henckels set. The serrated edge won’t need sharpening, and home cooks have even referred to the blades as “the best tomato knife.” The stainless steel handle looks sleek for table settings but makes it easy to store in the utensil drawer as needed.
“I had four of these knives for many years, and they are still like new,” one shopper wrote. “I not only use them as a steak knife, I use them for chopping and slicing, also, when I run out of my other knives when cooking. These are the best knives I have ever owned.”
Another reviewer praised the versatility of this set. “These knives are fabulous! They’re easy to hold and the weight is just right,” they wrote. “They haven’t lost their sharpness even after being cleaned in the dishwasher numerous times!” Though we’d never advise putting steak knives in the dishwasher regularly, if you’re able to dry these blades quickly, rust should be easy to avoid.
To buy: Henckels 8-Piece Stainless Steel Set, $45 at or bedbathandbeyond.com
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Best For Table Settings: Misen Serrated Knives
Misen’s serrated blades are comfortable and affordable if you’re looking to outfit your table for hosting family and friends for dinner. Hundreds of Misen users have complimented the brand’s usefulness and great price.
“Recently we bought Misen knives for cooking and liked them very much, so we decided to try the steak knivesat a small fraction of the cost of our Shun’s. We love them! The sharpness is as good as any and I hope will last longer.”
The Misen reviewer also liked the handle’s grip, as well as the decor aspect, “The discrete edges give a tactile feel to where the knife is, rather than the nebulous round handles of the Shun’s,” they wrote. “We love the blue color, which is subtle but stands out enough to get a comment every time.”
To buy: Misen Steak Knives , $20 per knife at misen.com
Best Overall: Shun Premier 4
Shun’s Premier line of steak knives puts the meaning behind the phrase, cutting “like a hot knife through butter.” They really do effortlessly slice through even tougher cuts, with the lightest of pressure and very little sawing motion. Meat is cut cleanly with absolutely no tearing, which is ideal for very rare cuts so juices will stay intact.
Their performance is in part due to its construction: The knives are crafted with Damascus cladding, where micro-thin layers of metal are stacked and welded together creating a lightweight blade that’s also durable and can be sharpened to a razor-thin edge. This construction also contributes to the knives’ beauty: Damascus construction is indicated by the rippling, watery pattern on the side of the blades. The handles are equally well-designed made of polished Pakkawood , they feel sleek and are tapered a bit at either end so they fit nicely in the hand. It’s lightweight but well balanced in the hand. The handles are thick enough that it would be comfortable to use for someone with larger hands, and the width of the blade gives plenty of clearance for the knuckles.
Made by Kai Corporation, a cutlery company with roots in Japan’s knife-making tradition, the knives come in a hinged wooden storage box.
Buy It: $440 , williams-sonoma.com, or surlatable.com
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Advantages Of Steak Knives
Classic steaks are short-fried pieces of meat from the loin of beef or veal. Sometimes the term is also used for other cuts of meat, often mentioning the animal used. We are talking about poultry steak, pork steak, or fish steak. Steak lovers often prefer a cooking level between rare and medium, and the meat in this state contains a lot of meat juices that make it tender and tasty. If you use a traditional table knife to cut your steak, tear up the meat fibers instead of cutting them cleanly, then a lot of meat juice will leak out.
The characteristic taste of the steak will be reduced as a result, as a large part of the meat juice ends up on the plate. If, on the other hand, you use a high-quality, sharp steak knife, you will separate the meat fibers cleanly. Less meat juice escapes, and you can enjoy a juicier steak. The general advantages they offer depend on the edge design of the blades and the material.
The non-serrated steak knife
- Little effort required when cutting
- Long-lasting blade sharpness even with frequent use
Best Value: Henckels 8
For a quality brand with a full-size set, this Henckels set with eight serrated steak knives has nearly 2,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers who call them a “superior set of steak knives.” The larger serrations cut through any food easily with little force, and the triple-rivet handles ensure a sturdy hold for the long run. For home cooks looking to use a solid set of steak knives without breaking the bank, Henckels tools are a great option and come with a lifetime guarantee, too.
“These knives cut well, never need sharpening, and hold up extremely well over time,” wrote one five-star reviewer. “The classic J.A. Henkels style with the full-length single piece of steel is virtually indestructible. Unlike other steak knives, the knives have a micro-serrated edge but still manage to cut rather than tear meats like some other lesser quality knives.”
The reviewer also noted that despite hand-washing being advised, “The set I own been through the dishwasher cycle hundreds of times and look and perform the same as the day I purchased them.”
To buy: Henckels Triple-Rivet 8-Piece Steak Knife Set, $39 at , bedbathandbeyond.com, or wayfair.com
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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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Zwilling Pro 7 Piece Ash Self Sharpening Knife Block
Best investment knife set
- Pros: Excellent quality and innovative knife block design, includes scissors
- Cons: Price may put some off
Set contains: Ash block, 4in paring knife, 5in utility knife, 8in slicing knife, 8in chefs knife, 8in bread knife, kitchen scissors.
This is a knife set that oozes quality. The five knives should cover every kitchen task youd need and the scissors are a welcome bonus, too. The ice-hardened stainless steel knives are full tang and are pleasingly weighty in the hand. The slight curve at the bottom of the handle makes them particularly comfortable to hold.
The knives cut effortlessly, with the bread knife gliding through our crusty loaf. We particularly liked the serrated utility knife, which was perfect for cutting anything from tomatoes to grapefruit.
While the black handled knives with flush rivets look traditional, the knife block itself is clever and innovative. Each knife has its own slot, with an image next to it to show you which one goes where. The slots for non-serrated knives have integrated ceramic sharpening stones so they are gently sharpened each time you pull one out or put it back.
The ash block is also attractive and sits quite low, meaning you can happily place it under a cupboard.
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Best Value: Mercer Culinary Genesis 6
Mercer-made knives are the perfect middle ground between price and quality. At just under $160, this set is a great deal for all the knives a home cook needsan 8-inch chefs knife, a bread knife, a boning knife, a utility knife, and a 3.5-inch utility knifeinside a stylish wood and glass block.
The German-made blades are tough, easy to care for, and extraordinarily sharp. Theyre designed with a full tang and taper-ground edges for extra stability and feature easy-grip rubbered handles that wont slip when wet. Best of all, they sell for a fraction of what other sets cost. One happy customer wrote, As a chef and culinary instructor, I have worked with many different expensive German steel forged knives and these are as good or better than knives costing 10 times the price!
To buy: $156 at
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Remember to bring Photo ID and your Order Number. Face coverings are required for in-store pickup.
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Best Modern Set: Material Table Knives
Material Kitchen’s new table knives are designed to address a common kitchen problem: proper storage. The maple holder stands upright on the countertop or lies horizontally in a drawer to protect the blades from any wear and tear. They look great on the counter, at the table, and the grippy matte handles make it easy to slice with the Germain stainless steel blades.
Just like Material’s chef’s knife , these straight edge-knives are designed to work with the brand’s sharpener, which means the blade will keep as long as you care for it at home. Even better, the knives come in mixed colors or in full sets of Material’s signature hues: deep , persimmon , morel , and glazed .
To buy: The Table Knives , $90 at materialkitchen.com
How We Chose Our Winners
We chose our winners by evaluating knives based on the scores they were given for overall performance and looks while taking into account their cost. We wanted to choose sets of steak knives that could work for people who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, as well as those who are in the market for something special. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a hand-crafted steak knife, you’re going to need to spend some money.
Without knowing the cost of the knives on display, all but one of the testers stated that they would want to spend less than $200 for a nice gift set of steak knives, and $100 or less on a set for themselves. With that common thread, a clear winner emerged from this test. I have also included the favorites from the high-end steak-knife set options.
Finally, all of the winning steak knives listed below are available with handles in a variety of colors. As with kitchen knives, these steak knives should be washed by hand, and not put in the dishwasher.
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