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Whether you’re 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, it’s 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 isn’t 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 isn’t 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.
To provide you with the most accurate information possible, the team at BestReviews buys all products from the same stores you do ⸺ we don’t accept free samples from manufacturers. We perform our own field tests and gather expert research.
The shopping guide below will help you make the best decision possible when purchasing a steak knife set you’ll enjoy for years to come.
A knife is a relatively simple tool, but there are many things to consider when choosing a steak knife set. A good knife set is an investment, and it’s important to find the set that best meets your needs.
If you cook beef, pork, lamb and other meats multiple times each month, you need a knife set that is versatile enough to deftly cut through each meat while leaving it looking beautiful on a serving platter. You require durability and knives that are able to be used frequently while remaining sharp and effective. Conversely, if nice cuts of meat appear on your dinner table once per month or less, you might not need the fanciest knife on the market. A cheaper version could be just as effective at serving your guests in style.
Always cook steak to a temperature of at least 145°F to ensure it is safe to eat. Allow steak to rest for three minutes after removing it from the grill.
Another consideration is knife design. Does the blade slice smoothly through the meat you are cutting, or does it hesitate, creating an uneven finish? A blade that catches or snags while cutting is either poorly designed or simply the wrong type of knife for the task. How well does the handle fit your palm? Is it sturdy or slippery? Comfort and safety are key factors as you decide which knife can cut well, without the risk of slicing your hand.
Solid design helps ensure usability and safety. A knife with a triple-rivet handle design is typically stronger and less likely to come apart. A longer handle is also preferable, as a shorter handle can slip out of your hand. The quality of the blade itself is important – check reviews or our product matrix to determine whether the blades in a particular set need constant sharpening.
Steak knife handles can be made of stainless steel or wood, such as rosewood.
Knives aren’t that big, but they certainly take up space on kitchen counters. If you have a spacious kitchen with plenty of room to spare, a nice steak knife set with big handles and bold colors can capture guests’ attention and add a sense of professionalism to your surroundings. If you live in a cramped apartment, a smaller set of really good knives that can easily be stored probably makes more sense.
Steak knife sets typically range from four to eight knives.
Steak knives are often constructed from wood and stainless steel. To ensure the longest, useful lifespan for your knives, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wash them by hand if machine washing is discouraged. Automatic dishwashers can crack your knives, and the handles can store water. Keep your knives indoors, in a dry place. With proper care, high-quality knives should last a long time despite regular use.
Always read the manufacturer’s washing instructions carefully to get the maximum lifetime out of your knives. Many knives require hand-washing only.
It’s certainly possible to get a good steak knife set for under $25. Check product reviews carefully in this price range to ensure the set you choose is a strong, budget item, not outright low-quality.
In the mid-range of $25 to $50, knife sets should display a bit more attention to aesthetics. The handle shapes may be a bit more elegant, and color choices might vary a bit more than in the budget range. In this price range, sets often come with storage boxes or display blocks.
Steak knife sets above $50 should boast superior blade quality, and most likely come with a warranty.
Many steak knife sets cost less than $20, but read reviews carefully to ensure the cutting quality and design match what you are seeking. Avoid low-cost knives with sub-par blades. Instead, choose a steak knife set with proven results and expert reviews that can vouch for its utility in the kitchen.
Before purchasing, make sure the set you’ve chosen has enough knives to suit your needs – a typical steak knife set contains four to eight individual knives, though some sets do offer more. Check for warranty information. Some sets offer lifetime warranties, others come with no warranty at all. Several of the knife sets we reviewed come with a storage box.
Q. Aren’t all steak knives the same?
A. Not at all! Our research shows that knives vary widely in ergonomics of the handle and the durability of the design makes a big difference. Also, higher-quality knives provide smooth cuts that makes your cooking experience far better than when using a sub-par knife.
Q. Can I mix and match my knives?
A. Absolutely. While some knife users prefer to use the same knives for family meals and parties, others have a nice set of knives along with a lower-cost option for simple kitchen tasks day to day.
Q. How should I clean my steak knives that can’t be washed in a dish washer?
A. Store them in a bowl in your sink before washing to ensure they don’t slip beneath soapy water and cut your hands. Use a washcloth to scrub with hot, soapy water, then rinse off the soap before air-drying or drying with a towel. Then you can simply place the knives back into their storage box for your next cooking experience.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.