Everyone loves firing up the grill and cooking up a steak. If you’re like us, when you go to your butcher and lay out your hard earned money, you go for quality over quantity. When you get that piece of meat perfectly prepared, pulled from the grill and rested well, you need a quality set of steak knives that can cut through your beef like butter, whether top sirloin or filet mignon.
You might think there is no need for a quality set of knives, but having proper cutting utensils means maximizing the quality of your meat because a cleat cut means minimal juice lost and the most flavor hitting your taste buds. A poorly constructed knife will leave your precious meat looking like a mangled mess. When a knife isn’t quality, it doesn’t sit right in your hand and makes cutting up your food an awkward experience. I am sure we have all been places where the cheap cutlery felt like a toy and could break at any moment.
There are two major things that are different about choosing steak knives versus other kitchen knives. The first is that when you buy steak knives, you want them to look good. When buying a kitchen knife, like a Chef knife or butcher’s knife, the way it looks isn’t something you worry too much about. A steak knife, however, is something you want to look nice on the table, as well as in your guest’s hands. You go through a lot of work to cook a steak to perfection, and you can’t be using second-rate looking knives on a first-rate cut of beef. Good looking knives that will last you a long time aren’t always cheap, but the extra few dollars spent will pay you back over many years to come.
The second thing is, a steak knife is pretty much the only type of knife you’re going to buy that instead of being used on a cutting board of some sort, this set will be used on plates. Plates are hard ceramic or porcelain, and these surfaces are extremely hard on knives. It’s a good idea to understand that your steak knives will undergo far more wear and tear than your other kitchen knives. The difference in having to use them on a plate versus a cutting board is the edge of the knife.
3 Types of Blade Edges to Consider
When it comes to choosing that edge that we talked about, there are basically 3 ways to go. There is the straight edge, the serrated edge, and the micro-serrated edge. Each three of these have advantages and disadvantages.
Knives that have a straight edge are fantastic as long as they are kept extremely sharp. When these knives are new, they will give you the smoothest, cleanest cuts of your meat. As long as your blade is sharp, making precise thin cuts with a straight edge knife should be a breeze. You’ll feel like you’re using a razor blade when you have a high-quality straight edge knife in your hand, however, they come with their issues. When you use your straight edge knives on plates for extended periods of time, they wear down. The hard makeup of ceramic plates bring even the best straight edges to a dull, soft blade, and they are tough to bring back to their original sharpness.
Serrated blades are going to give you the longevity you want and expect out of a quality steak knife set. Because not all of the knife edges are exposed to the elements of whatever you’re cutting they last longer. The downsides can be that they can tear the meat a bit more than a straight knife and also that they are hard to sharpen, however they don’t need to be sharpened nearly as often. The longest lasting serrated edges are those with large serrations on the blade. Making sure you have these will mean you will get the most life between sharpening sessions. A good serrated knife is typically regarded as the best utensil for cutting meat, which is why this is the type of knife you typically find sitting on the table at a fine steakhouse.
Micro-Serrated of Hollow Edge
While the idea behind the hollow edge knife is a good one, the execution typically falls short. You will typically find the micro-serrated blade on lower end knives. That’s not to say there aren’t quality options, but this type of knife is not much of an upgrade over using a straight blade. They typically have small stamped ripples that help them grab onto the food that they are cutting. The problem is that the small serrations dull quickly just like a straight edge blade and when it comes to sharpening this type of knife, well, there is no sharpening it. Once these go dull, you might as well just toss them.
Reviews of the Best Steak Knives For 2017
Equinox 4 Piece Knife Set
- SUPERIOR QUALITY: Equinox brings to you the finest...
- FULL TANG BLADES: Unlike cheaper alternatives, our...
- AESTHETIC: Not only have we designed the finest...
These equinox knives bring fantastic quality along with affordability. They are made from High Carbon German stainless steel. They feature full tang blades, which means that the metal blade extends the full length of the handle. This gives knives a great feel and balance in your hand, as well as adding durability. The handles are made from a dark wood and has two polished rivets. They come in a really nice black case and feature not only a 30 day 100% money back guarantee, but also a lifetime warranty! This means being able to take this set for a spin in your kitchen without any risk at all.
Dalstrong Gladiator Series Steak Knives
- The NEW Standard in Steak Knives: Outstanding...
- Incredibly sharp, full-tang, imported Thyssenkrupp...
- Award winning design, with satisfying heft,...
This stainless steel knife set features best of the best build quality, design, and feel in your hand. They feature a specific Thyssenkrupp high-carbon German steel that has serrations made at precise angles to give you the cleanest cuts possible. The special edge also should not need sharpening even through heavy use. It has a great hefty feeling when it’s in your hand and a very sharp appearance. It features three rivets along the full tang blade and has a beautiful satin finish. These knives are backed by 100% satisfaction guarantee as well, and make a fantastic gift or everyday utensil.
J.A. Henckels International Stainless Steel 8-Piece Steak Knife Set
- Durable, corrosion-resistant, stainless steel...
- 1-piece construction with full tang
- Serrated cutting edge never needs sharpening
This set is a budget friendly knife set, but still, does a great job of cutting any cut of meat you need to. They are extremely durable, made fully out of stainless steel – both the blade and the handle. They feature a serrated edge with good separation between the serrations which helps with the longevity of the knife. This set should stay sharp for a long time to come. If something should ever happen to your set, you’re covered by a lifetime warranty. These knives are also fully dishwasher safe and make for easy cleanup.
Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-Piece Forged Steak Knife Set
- Ergonomic Santoprene handle offers superior...
- Bolster strengthens the knife, adds durability,...
- High-carbon, no-stain German cutlery steel resists...
The best feature of this set of knives is the way they feel in your hand. Instead of a slippery wooden handle, they are Santoprene, which means even if your hands are covered in oil, they won’t slip. They also don’t break down from being exposed to anything your kitchen will throw at it. A High Carbon German blade prevents you from ever dealing with rust or corrosion of your knives. These knives will last you a long time while staying sharp and too feature a lifetime warranty. This is probably the best set of knives on the list for those
Wusthof 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set with Wooden Gift Box
- Eight steak knives packaged in presentation box...
- High-carbon 18/10 stainless-steel serrated blades
- Contemporary, polished 18/10 stainless handles
This eight knife pack comes from one of the most well-known cutlery makers in the world, and as such, you know you are going to get a high-quality item. They come in a gorgeous wood box that you can be proud to have on your counter, and because they are on the smaller side of steak knives, they don’t take up a ton of room. They feature a laser cut high carbon blade, and are backed by a lifetime warranty from Wusthof.
Barenthal Laguiole Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set, 6 Piece
If there was a French fine wine of knives, these would be them. The blades are serrated but thin, and incredibly sharp. You can tell there is real craftsmanship behind this set of knives! There are a lot of knockoffs of these knives floating around in the world, even at large online retailers. A way too low price is one dead giveaway, and extremely poorly worded product descriptions is another. Get yourself a set of these high-quality knives and you’ll absolutely feel the difference from the first time you use them.
Taking Care of Your Steak Knives
Any of the knives on this list are pretty easy to care for. There’s always a few best practices to caring for your knives though, and we’ll mention those below.
Most importantly, take the time to hand wash and dry your knives after each use. If you have wood handles, this is even more important! Don’t put them in the dishwasher, as they can be harsh on quality knife materials, and you risk them banging into one another and dulling the blade. If you take the time to wash them by hand, you’ll find they will last you much longer!
In reality, there are hundreds if not thousands of steak knife sets available both online and in brick and mortar locations. We tried to provide you with a range of the best sets available, and hope you can use this information to find the perfect set for you. The sets offered here all have a great balance of feel in your hand, style, as well as functionality. Pick knives you like enough to have for years to come. Happy slicing!