Cuisinart CEK-41 Electric Knife Set with Cutting Board
Credit: Amazon

The Best Electric Knives for Easy Cutting and Carving

Find out which electric knives made the cut, like our top choice, Cuisinart’s CEK-41 Electric Knife Set With Cutting Board.
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A good chef's knife can do just about anything in the kitchen, but an electric knife can be useful when you're tasked with carving large roasts or slicing up homemade sandwich bread. The earliest version of this device dates to 1964, when inventor Jerome L. Murray created a knife to cut even slices of steak or brisket without the manual sawing motion that could potentially damage the delicate fibers of cooked meat. 

Today, electric knives hold a lot of nostalgia for many, evoking a time when gathering around a roast was part of a weekly routine. For Angie Mar, executive chef and owner of Les Trois Chevaux in New York City, childhood Sundays included prime rib. "I have the fondest memories of my father standing in the kitchen with his electric carving knife, slicing the rib. I would always stand at his side, waiting for him to slice off a fat-laden piece for me," Mar told us. The electric carving knife still has a place at holiday tables to carve a Thanksgiving turkey or slice of holiday ham. Additionally, an electric knife can slice through loaves of bread without compromising the integrity of the interior crumb — even fluffy brioche can maintain its airy texture when sliced this way. 

The attributes we considered in electric knives include wattage, blade length, handle comfort, ease of cleaning, included pieces, and versions with cords versus cordless electric knives. We concluded that the Cuisinart CEK-41 Electric Knife Set With Cutting Board offers the best performance, regardless of what needs slicing. Whether you're a beginner cook or an experienced chef, you'll find a model worth adding to your kitchen arsenal here. Read on for the best electric knives of 2022.

Our Top Picks

electric knife
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Best Overall: Cuisinart CEK-41 Electric Knife Set With Cutting Board

View at Amazon ($50)

Also available at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Pros: It's a great value, easy to clean, and has a safety lock.
Cons: Unlock switch can be a challenge for those with weaker grip strength.

This model from Cuisinart tops our list of electric knives — it's an updated version of the CEK-40, the higher-end option out of the two that the brand currently offers. Featuring an ergonomic handle, it can be held comfortably and securely by both right- and left-handed users. 

Carve a turkey or slice up a crusty sourdough loaf with the micro-serrated universal blade.  Made from stainless steel, it cuts bread and meats quickly and easily (the previous model offered separate blades you had to change out for each function) and also doesn't require sharpening. The knife action operates via a trigger, and a safety lock activates as soon as the trigger is released, making it simple to use, even for beginners. 

Once you're done using the knife, you can remove the blade and either wash it by hand or run it through the dishwasher for no-fuss cleanup. This bundle also includes a bamboo cutting board and carving fork, plus a storage tray to keep the set tidy when not in use. 

  • Includes: Blade, power handle, bamboo cutting board, carving fork, storage tray
  • Blade Length: 8 inches
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
electric knife
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Best Value: Hamilton Beach Electric Knife

View at Amazon ($25)

Also available at Target and Wayfair.

Pros: It's lightweight and compact for storage. It includes carving fork.
Cons: It has a smaller blade than other models.

Those who love value paired with performance will like this model from Hamilton Beach. It's lightweight and is designed to be used in either hand to cut through breads and meats without having to change out the blade. It features a serrated stainless steel blade that can make quick work of a holiday ham or brioche loaf—the reciprocating action ensures you won't shred your beautifully cooked meats or compress the interior of your favorite breads. 

Included in this set are a handy 12-inch carving fork and a storage case to keep the kit stowed together in one compact unit. The fork can be washed in the dishwasher, but it is recommended to hand wash the blade to preserve its sharpness—scrub with mild dishwashing liquid and a sponge and towel dry for best results. 

  • Includes: Blade, handle, carving fork, storage case
  • Blade Length: 7.5 inches
  • Dishwasher Safe: No
electric knife
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Cordless: Elite Gourmet EK9810 Cordless Electric Knife

View at Amazon ($63)

Also available at Macy's.

Pros: Lightweight, charges quickly
Cons: No storage

A cordless electric knife is ideal for those who want more flexibility—for example, you can carve a prime rib outdoors without having to look for an outlet. This model from Elite Gourmet delivers in a major way, requiring just an hour and a half of charging for 70 minutes of continuous use. The ergonomic handle can be used either right- or left-handed, and the stainless steel serrated blade can cut through bread, meats, vegetables, and can even be used out of the kitchen for crafts, showing off its versatility. 

To operate, simply squeeze the trigger to start the blade action—once you let go of the trigger, the power shuts off for safety. Make quick work of roast chicken, prime rib, or a loaf of fluffy white bread while maintaining great control over your knife. The included blades are removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, power cord, two stainless steel blades
  • Blade Length: 7.75 inches
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
electric knife
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Fish Fillets: Bubba Lithium-Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

View at Amazon ($115)

Pros: Cordless, ergonomic design, comes with multiple blades
Cons: Expensive 

An electric knife for fish fillets is very specific—unlike traditional carving knives, a fillet knife requires more flexible options for slicing through more delicate flesh and around the curvatures of the fish's spine. This rugged option from Bubba is a higher-end model designed for fisherman (or fishmongers) who deal with all sizes of fish, from smaller trout to larger catch like marlin and ahi. With that in mind, this model comes with four different corrosion-resistant blades of varying size and stiffness to cater to someone who deals with cleaning and portioning fish in volume. 

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, this cordless model has a longer runtime than most, and also features a battery indicator to let you know how much power you have left. The handle is non-slip and ergonomically designed so you can fillet fish comfortably for as long as you need to. 

  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, power cord, four stainless steel blades, storage case
  • Blade Length: 7 and 9 inches
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes 
electric knife
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Set: NutriChef PKELKN16 Electric Knife Set

View at Amazon ($33)

Pros: Great value, versatile use, compact storage
Cons: Thumb-activated power button is less comfortable than trigger design, maximum 5 minutes continous use

Two sets of stainless steel blades accompany this electric knife set by NutriChef: a v-shaped version meant for meats and a u-shaped blade made for slicing bread. The ergonomically designed handle boasts a powerful motor with a built-in safety lock designed to hold the blades in place. To use, simply press the button with your thumb to start the blade, and release to stop the action. You'll be able to make consistent slices with very little effort.

The butcher block stand acts as a storage unit for the handle and blades, and can be placed laying down in a drawer, or standing on the counter for easy access. While the blades for this model are not dishwasher safe, cleaning is easy with mild soap and warm water.

  • Includes: Electric knife, blades, wooden storage stand
  • Blade Length: 9 inches
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Conclusion

Choosing an electric knife will depend largely on what you're using it for, how you want to store it, and how much you want to spend. For a model that comes with everything you need to carve and serve, we like the Cuisinart CEK-41 Electric Knife Set With Cutting Board. For a budget friendly-option that also comes with a serving fork and storage case, the Hamilton Beach Electric Knife is an excellent pick.

Factors to Consider

Power

Look for at least 100 watts of power to be able to properly slice through most cuts of meat. Weaker motors may not slice as cleanly or quickly.

Blades

A good quality electric knife will have serrated stainless steel blades that hold their edge for a long time. Blades that are about 8 to 9 inches long are ideal, but slightly shorter blades (7.5 to 8 inches) are still perfectly functional. Some models will come with one universal blade while others will have separate blades for meat and bread.

Corded or Cordless

Deciding on whether you want a corded or cordless model will depend largely on where you're planning to use your electric knife. If you like to carve at the dinner table, but don't have an outlet nearby, opt for a cordless model. Planning on carving in the kitchen? A corded design might suit you just fine—just be sure the cord length is adequate for your space. 

Handle Comfort

How the knife feels in the hand is one of the most important considerations, since you want to feel secure and in control when using it. Look for an ergonomic design that won't make your hand cramp as you carve a turkey for your extended family, and if you're left-handed, be sure the model you choose can be used with your dominant hand.

Ease of Cleaning

Many of the options note that the blades are dishwasher safe, in which case, you can certainly run them through a dishwashing cycle to clean. Note that automatic dishwashers can often dull blades faster than hand washing, so it's best to wash by hand whenever possible. Ensure that the blades of your electric knife are easy to clean with minimal joints that need extra scrubbing and detailing.

Included Pieces

Storage cases, different blades, and carving forks are additional pieces that are included with some electric knives. If these are important to you, be sure to choose a model that has the options you are looking for.

The Research

Our product reviews expert researched the topic and, drawing on her own expertise in kitchen tools and cutlery, scoured the market for the best options available. She selected options based on performance, value, and ease of use.

Q+A

Q: Do chefs use electric knives? 

A: Most chefs will opt to rely on their knife skills in the kitchen, but an electric knife can come in handy for caterers or large-scale restaurants specializing serving in serving up a big volume of prime rib, steak, or roast turkey. An electric knife is also often used to cut gyros, doner kebab, and al pastor so the slices are very thin and uniform. In a commercial kitchen, you may see a cook using a restaurant-grade electric knife to cut frozen meat or fish, but as a whole, a good chef's knife is used instead.

Q: Can you sharpen electric knives?

A: Ideally, electric knife blades should be professionally sharpened, or just entirely replaced. The smooth edge of a chef's knife is easy to sharpen at home, but the serrated blades of an electric knife need to have each serration sharpened individually, making the process tedious and difficult for amateurs. If you still want to sharpen your blades yourself, you can do an at-home sharpening job using a tapered honing rod designed for serrated blades. 

Q: Can an electric knife cut bone?

A: It depends on the knife. Commercial-grade knives may be powerful enough to do so, but most models are designed only for meats, cheeses, and breads. Check with your knife's manual to verify if cutting through bone is advisable with the model you have. 

Our Expertise

Bernadette Machard de Gramont is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine, and kitchen products. She has worked in the wine industry since 2009, and uses her expertise to advise clients on how to collect, store, and sell prized vintages.