Single-bevel, 6-inch Japanese steel blade with scalloped serrations to slice through foods with ease. Ebony pakkawood handle is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Dishwasher-safe.
Expensive. Smooth handle can be tricky when wet.
Cuts through soft fruits and vegetables without smashing or crushing. Cuts meat well. Lightweight and easy to manipulate. Grippy handle is comfortable in hand. Five-inch stainless steel blade.
Hand-wash for best results.
Hand-polished German steel with scalloped serrations for ease of slicing. Full-tang construction is sturdy and precise. Triple-riveted handle for secure construction. Satin-finished, 5.5-inch blade.
A bit heavier than expected from the size.
Fully forged from high-quality German steel. Full-tang construction through the handle for strength and control. Triple-riveted handle fits securely. Five-inch stainless, satin-finished blade. Dishwasher-safe.
May be too light and flexible for some users.
Don't let the friendly colors mislead you, this set of knives is razor sharp. Crafted in Switzerland by master cutlers, these 4.5-inch serrated knives will slice effortlessly through everything. Additionally, the knives come with a lifetime warranty so you can purchase with confidence.
The handles of this set of knives may be a little small for individuals with larger hands.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Every well-appointed kitchen needs an assortment of quality knives. If you aren’t looking to purchase a full set, choosing the right knives for your kitchen can be challenging — but a serrated utility knife is one of the most versatile options and will prevent you from squashing your tomatoes, flattening your bread, and shredding other expensive treats.
These versatile, toothed knives are a safe choice when you’re not sure which knife to pick. As size goes, they split the difference between shorter paring knives and longer chef’s knives. Serrated utility knives vary in length, material, and design, making the task of choosing the right tool somewhat challenging.
Our buying guide will walk you through the most important aspects of utility knives to help you find the right tool for your kitchen. If you’re ready to buy, check out our recommendations for the best serrated utility knives on the market.
Most serrated utility knives feature blades made from stainless steel or high carbon steel. An increasing number of knives feature ceramic blades — a material with advantages and disadvantages.
Many users find stainless steel blades to be tougher than high carbon options since they are not prone to chips, rust, or other stains. They owe this durability to their chromium content — but this alloy also makes them slightly softer than blades made with high carbon steel. This means they lose their sharpness a little more quickly.
High carbon steel
Blades made from high carbon steel are coveted for their unrivaled sharpness. They’re stronger and harder than stainless steel blades, so they stay sharp longer. These blades are, however, more prone to chipping. High carbon steel blades also have little rust resistance, so they must be cleaned and dried thoroughly after each use. If properly maintained, high carbon steel blades can last for years.
Many chefs are increasingly reaching for knives with ceramic blades. These knives are often brightly colored, adding some fun to your kitchen tasks. Their blades tend to be sharper than metal blades and require less frequent sharpening. Ceramic knives are lightweight, and since they contain no metal, they don’t rust.
The lack of metal can be a downside, too. It’s not uncommon for ceramic knife blades to break, unlike those made with steel. If you drop a ceramic knife on a hard kitchen floor, it can shatter like a ceramic bowl. You must also choose your cutting boards carefully since marble, granite, and glass cutting boards can damage ceramic blades. You’ll need to use only plastic or wooden boards, and never use a ceramic blade to cut through hard vegetables, frozen food items, or bones. If you find these restrictions too limiting, it may be best to stick with metal blades.
Serrated utility knife blades vary from 4 to 7 inches in length. Knives in the middle of the range — 5 to 6 inches — are often the most practical. Short blades don’t give much more leverage than paring knives and may not effectively cut larger fruits and vegetables. Longer blades may stick out from the food you’re cutting, increasing the risk of injury.
In the past, most high-end knife handles were made from wood. A handful of them still feature wooden handles, but they have drawbacks. Wood is an organic, porous material, so putting it in the dishwasher is unthinkable. Wood handles can absorb water even with normal washing, which sometimes leads to bacteria growth and food contamination.
More recently, manufacturers have started using rubber, plastic, and other synthetic materials to make knife handles. These handles are dishwasher safe — technically speaking — and don’t have openings to soak up water or harbor bacteria. Many are coated with materials that give you a better grip.
Some knife makers combine natural wood and synthetic materials to create handles with the benefits of both. The end result is a knife with the classic wooden look but fewer sanitation concerns.
Serrated utility knives aren’t known for having loads of bells and whistles, but a few features go a long way toward making your utility knife last.
Full tang: Full tang knives are made from a single piece of metal that runs from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle. A full tang gives the knife more strength and stability. Knives with shorter blades that simply insert into the handle require more effort and may break more easily.
Rivets: A serrated utility knife with a full tang should have metal rivets securing the tang to the handle. Rivets should be flush with the handle, so they don’t irritate your skin or snag on clothing.
Bolster: The lack of this feature shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but many quality knives feature a bolster at the top where the blade meets the handle. The bolster is wider than the blade and indicates the original thickness of the steel before being tapered to a slender slicing surface. It gives the knife balance, provides a space for fingers to rest, and serves as a tactile cue to stay away from the sharp spots.
When comparing serrated utility knives, you should also consider these features:
Though a serrated utility knife serves multiple purposes in your kitchen, it can’t do it all. Here are a few other tools to help you prep for any meal.
Paring knife: DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Paring KnifeIf you’re looking for a knife the next size down, this option from DALSTRONG can’t be beat. Amazingly hard and seriously sharp, its high carbon blade is triple-riveted into a comfortable composite handle. Paring knives are designed for peeling and dicing, and this 3.5-inch model gives you the precise control needed for both.
Chef’s knife: Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Even a utility knife can’t handle everything. For bigger jobs, consider this powerful model from Shun. Its blade is made from a proprietary steel formula that maximizes the benefits of its chromium, tungsten, and carbon alloys. Its Japanese construction makes it lighter and thinner — but by no means inferior — compared with classic German designs.
When it comes to knife prices, the sky’s the limit. But it doesn’t have to be. You can find dependable serrated utility knives to fit almost any budget.
Inexpensive: It’s possible to find reliable serrated utility knives priced under $20. Some multi-packs may even dip below $10 per knife. In this bucket, knife blades will likely be made from stainless steel. Most are not full tang but are instead insert into a handle made from synthetic materials. Some may last a surprisingly long time without sharpening.
Mid-range: The next tier of utility knives will likely run you $30 to $50. Knives in this price range should have a full tang blade made from steel with a high carbon content. Handles should be riveted and may be made from synthetic materials or a combination of naturals and synthetics.
Expensive: The best, highest-priced serrated utility knives often cost $100 or more. If you’re paying this much for a knife, it should be extremely well-balanced and forged from superior high-carbon steel. It should have a full tang riveted into a handle made from grippable synthetic or combination materials. Knives that cost this much should last for years.
Renowned knife maker J.A. Henckels doesn’t disappoint with this 5-inch classic utility knife. One look reveals this knife’s quality, from its forged, full-tang construction to its smooth, triple-riveted handle. Though the manufacturer labels it as dishwasher-safe, we recommend hand washing.
If you need something less pricey, this 4.5-inch selection from Good Cook may fit the bill. It’s a little shorter than average, but it’s hard to beat the price. Users say its stainless steel blade expertly handles tomatoes long after purchase.
Q. Why don’t serrated blades crush food like straight blades?
A. Straight blades require pressure to force an entry point into food. Serrated knives can ease their way in without forcing the issue. This reduces friction when the rest of the blade goes in. Once the serrations puncture the surface, the blade can saw through the food without tearing.
Q. It is possible to sharpen a serrated knife?
A. Yes, but it’s not as simple as sharpening a straight-edged knife. Each serration must be sharpened individually with a tool designed for serrated knives. To sharpen, you’ll place the cone of the sharpener in the valley of each serration and slide it back and forth over the beveled edge. You can move to the next serration when you feel a rough edge on the backside of the knife. Once you’ve sharpened each serration, turn the knife over and gently grind the burrs off using a flat pass of the sharpener.
Q. Are there any tasks that are off-limits for a serrated utility knife?
A. While serrated utility knives can be used for almost everything, there are a handful of jobs that they won’t do well. They often lack the precision for mincing and peeling produce — look for a paring knife instead. Crusty baguettes may tear if cut with a serrated utility knife, but a good bread knife should slice it neatly. And these versatile knives lack the size and strength to slice through bones or navigate joints.