We Tested the Best Steak Knives for Better Dining

Our top pick: The Laguiole En Aubrac Steak Knives.

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Steak Knives

Food and Wine / Allison Wignall

Just like a poor-quality chef's knife can turn slicing and dicing into a slow, hazardous chore, or the wrong paring knife can make prepping your fruits and vegetables a pain, a dull steak knife can put a real damper on eating your meal. What hungry person wants to hack away at their perfectly cooked piece of steak, rattling the table and getting all those delicious juices everywhere? With a sharp steak knife that's comfortable to hold and effortless to use, dining becomes a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. Plus, despite its name, this type of knife isn't limited to fancy steak dinners — they're useful with all kinds of meats, from baked chicken to roasted pork loin, and side dishes like roasted vegetables.

We tested nearly two dozen steak knives, evaluating each one's design, size, performance, value, and cleanability. In the end, Laguiole En Aubrac Steak Knives came out as our overall winner, earning high marks in all categories. Keep reading to see our list of the best steak knives you can purchase right now.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Laguiole En Aubrac Steak Knives

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Pros: A sharp blade, excellent comfort in the hand, and beautiful aesthetics make these knives winners.

Cons: The knives are expensive for how many you get, but remember you're paying for high-quality craftsmanship and performance.

As our best overall pick, these knives prove that you don't have to sacrifice form for function. During our tests, cutting through a thick piece of New York strip steak required minimal effort thanks to the sharp blade, and the knife's weight made it feel balanced and substantial without being too heavy to use easily. "The knife is very comfortable to hold," one tester said. "I appreciate that the thinner handle is easy to grip." They also mentioned that they would work well with a variety of hand sizes. After use, you'll have to hand wash them, but there's no difficulty there.

The product's luxuriousness is emphasized by its packaging since the knives come in a cushioned wooden storage case with disposable plastic blade protectors. When looking at the high price, keep in mind what one tester said, "because they are straight-edged blades and you can sharpen them over time, they feel like an investment."

Price at time of publish: $400

  • Number of Knives: 4
  • Blade Type: Straight
  • Blade Material: Sandvik steel
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

Best Serrated: Henckels Stainless Steel Set

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Home Depot.

Pros: At an economical price, these dishwasher-safe knives offer precise cuts.

Cons: These knives don't look the fanciest or have the most design flair.

For how well these knives perform, their price feels like a real steal — especially considering that our testers found them suitable not just for meat but also for slicing produce for further, everyday use. Its serrated blade makes it particularly ideal for tomatoes.

One tester said "because of their sharp edges and delicate shape, it feels like a precise, almost surgical tool." Needless to say, the narrow, serrated blade cuts through a slab of steak with ease, even in the grisly bits. The knives are really a pleasure to use, as our testers agreed that although they're light, they still feel sturdy.

The cherry on top is that you can throw these in the dishwasher, but even if you decide to hand-wash them, the serrated edge is still easy to clean. Since the handles are also made from stainless steel, a quick polish after drying will make them ready for your table setting.

Price at time of publish: $60

  • Number of Knives: 8
  • Blade Type: Serrated
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: 11.5 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Best for Thick Cuts: Dalstrong Steak Knives

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: With their seriously sharp blades, these knives are smooth and effortless to use, and they're built to last.

Cons: The only real issue here is that the knives are heavy, which may make you want to exert more pressure.

When these super-sharp knives were put to the test against a sheet of paper, they required zero effort to slice cleanly from the top to the bottom. Cutting a steak was just as easy with the blade gliding through the meat, so these knives make for an excellent choice to tackle thick, tough cuts.

These easy-to-clean knives are on the heavier side, but even though the handles are weightier, they still feel balanced and even "indestructible" as one tester put it. That durability is supported by the triple-riveted handle with a high-pressure fiberglass-like coating that resists heat and moisture.

Because of their big branded logo on the blade, they may not suit your aesthetic taste as much as others, but one tester said, "they stand out in all the ways that matter," adding, "their design is thoughtful and enhances their performance."

Price at time of publish: $97

  • Number of Knives: 4
  • Blade Type: Straight
  • Blade Material: High-carbon German steel
  • Length: 9.65 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: No

RELATED: The Best Butcher Knives to Slice Your Favorite Meats, According to Experts

Best Modern: Material Tables Knives

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Material Kitchen

Pros: These knives check the boxes of attractiveness, ease of use, and high-quality construction.

Cons: The blades are so sharp that you should take extra care if you decide to hand wash them (which actually isn't even required).

Function marries style with these knives. From the light orange shade (persimmon) to the evergreen shade (deep), the pretty matte color options for the stain-resistant handles would suit any modern kitchen. Looking at size and performance, one tester said, "the knife has a nice weight to it that feels sturdy yet easy to control." During both the paper and steak tests, these knives' extremely sharp blades delivered clean, straight lines.

Other things the busy, modern cook will appreciate about these knives are that they're dishwasher-safe and come with a wooden block that you can position vertically or horizontally for neat, versatile storage and convenient protection. Price-wise, the knives are in the middle of the pack of all the ones tested, but their performance puts them in the top ranks, making them an excellent value.

Price at time of publish: $90

  • Number of Knives: 4
  • Blade Type: Straight
  • Blade Material: German stainless steel
  • Length: 8.75 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
Material Table Knives

Bridget Degnan

Best Splurge: Miyabi Artisan Steak Knife Set

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Also available at Amazon and Wayfair.

Pros: These well-balanced knives have beautiful, comfortable handles and extra-sharp blades.

Cons: These knives don't come in the sophisticated packaging you might expect from their price (it's just a box with foam and bubble wrap), so you'll need to sort out something else for storage.

For kitchen products worth splurging on, knives are definitely up there since they're used so frequently. No, this knife set may not come cheap, but the high price comes with high performance and top design.

The knives have a sloped, katana edge that's incredibly sharp (be careful when hand-washing), so they passed both the paper and steak tests with flying colors. "I don't think I've ever used a knife that cut steak so easily," one tester said. "It took next to no effort to slice my strip steak, and the cuts were very clean."

The elegantly designed rosewood handles have a D-shaped curve that makes them fit snugly in your palm. Despite being much longer and wider than your average steak knives, testers found them to be balanced, describing them as "not too heavy and not too light." Looking at the blade, one tester said that the hand-hammered finish "gives it a lovely rippled texture on the back end and is intended to prevent sticking."

Price at time of publish: $590

  • Number of Knives: 4
  • Blade Type: Straight
  • Blade Material: SG2 micro-carbide-powder steel
  • Length: 13 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: No
Miyabi Artisan Steak Knife Set

Taysha Murtaugh

Best Value: Umogi Stainless Steel Steak Knives

Best Steak Knives
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Even though they have a low price point, these high-quality knives still deliver razor-sharp cuts.

Cons: There's nothing wrong with the knives' design, but their shape and the logo on the blade might not be everyone's cup of tea.

If you're looking for a starter set or everyday steak knives, you can still have something of quality with this affordable collection. The low cost is even more impressive considering you get six in the set, not to mention that the polished finish makes them look more expensive.

With these knives, a thick, curved handle that offers a good, comfortable grip meets a sharp blade that curves at the tip. One tester said, "the tip is pointy and sharp, and although it doesn't look very sharp, it is." How sharp? Another tester said, "it cut through the steak filet like butter, producing even cuts with very little effort."

Although they're technically dishwasher-safe, we recommend hand-washing them. The good news is that they just take seconds to clean with a quick, soapy scrub.

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Number of Knives: 6
  • Blade Type: Straight
  • Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Length: 9 inches
  • Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

RELATED: The 6 Best Cutting Boards for Every Kitchen Task

Umogi Stainless Steel Steak Knives

Prairie Rose Free

Our Favorite

The Laguiole En Aubrac Steak Knives topped our list of best steak knives due to their gorgeous, timeless design as well as their excellent performance and usability. Coming in a close second is the Material Tables Knives because of their stunning, modern look and effortless cutting.

The Tests

Our experts tested 23 different types of steak knives by using them to cut a sheet of standard printer paper and also a medium-rare New York strip steak. During both tests, they assessed whether the knife could slice cleanly or if it tore through, and how much effort was required for cutting. In addition to performance, the testers examined the knives' design and size, noting how functional and comfortable they were to hold. To round out their assessment, they also looked at whether the knives were fairly priced for the results they delivered and how easy they were to clean by hand, regardless if hand-washing was necessary.

Factors to Consider

Blade Material

Steak knives are most commonly made with stainless steel blades so they stay sharp, are easy to clean, and are resistant to wear and tear. Some are still made with carbon steel, as are older sets, which can be slightly better for sharpness but requires much more diligent maintenance since they can rust. We are just beginning to see ceramic steak knives, which are a great sharp material but can chip if stored improperly.

Edge

There are three edge styles for steak knives: Straight, serrated, and dual, with straight at the center and bottom and serrated on the top third. The best edge can be a personal preference. Serrated blades need sharpening less frequently, but they are harder to sharpen once dulled and can be rough on more delicate proteins, giving a sawn look instead of a smooth cut. These are a good choice if you use steak knives for hearty steaks and chops. Straight-edged blades will need sharpening more frequently, but they can be easily maintained at home with a honing steel and sharpening tool and will not need professional sharpening as serrated blades do. They are the most versatile since they work well on hearty cuts but also handle delicate foods, like chicken or fish, without turning them into shreds. Dual blades frankly do not really give the best of both worlds, since you will still have the sharpening issues of a serrated blade and no real benefit on the smooth edge.

Construction

As with all knives, steak knives come in either a full-tang blade or a partial-tang blade. Full-tang means that the metal of the blade extends to the base of the handle, providing stability to the knife and preventing warping over time. This can also make them a bit heavier. Partial-tang blades are inset into the handle at the top, which makes them lighter, but you can also have issues with the blade coming loose from the handle over time. While full-tang blades are fairly essential for work knives, such as chef's or bread knives, it is less important for a steak knife. So if the knives you like are not full-tang, it shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Comfort

The most important feature of a steak knife beyond the blade function is comfort in the hand. A knife that doesn't sit well or is unwieldy can be dangerous to the user. While there is a trend of giant-handled steak knives, those hefty handles are often not ideal for ease of use and especially difficult for younger people or anyone with limited hand strength or mobility. Some knives have ergonomic handles, which can also be a smart choice.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should steak knives be serrated?

    "A sharp knife is the best knife for a steak," says James Beard nominee Laura McIntosh, the executive producer and host of Bringing it Home on PBS. "That being said, the serrated knife gives you a bit more ease when cutting into food with a thick outer crust because it acts like a saw. The serrations keep the knife sharper longer but also give a bit more grip when cutting through tough exteriors."

  • How do you sharpen steak knives?

    "The best way to make sure your knives are at their best is to take them to a knife sharpening professional twice a year," McIntosh says. "There are many ways to sharpen your knives at home with little effort. For ease, an angled manual sharpener will do the trick and is easy to use. However, for a more robust experience to keep your knives in peak condition, invest in a whetstone and a steel or ceramic rod. There are two steps to sharpening your knives: grinding and honing. Grinding your knives removes any pieces of steel from the blade — the whetstone is perfect for this. Once your knife is clean of nicks and any steel, the second step is honing, which is basically fine-tuning your blade. Use the steel rod for this by gliding the knife's blade at an angle against the steel."

  • Can you put steak knives in the dishwasher?

    According to McIntosh, you should never place your steak knives in the dishwasher. "I think the most important step is drying your knife," she says. "Even while using your knife during cooking prep, it's important to keep your knife dry. Drying especially after hand-washing removes excess water, thus preventing rust. It can also help remove missed debris not otherwise cleaned with soap and water."

  • Can you use steak knives for other things?

    Yes! Steak knives can be used for more than just cutting through beef. Since they're designed to be sturdy enough to slice through tough meat, they can be used in myriad useful ways, from coring apples and slicing avocados to cubing cheese. With tofu and alternative meats more popular than ever, even vegetarians may find room in their kitchen for steak knives.

What Didn't Make the List

Strong Contenders

  • Wüsthof Classic Steak Knife Set ($325 at Amazon)
  • Viking German Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set ($120 at Amazon)
  • Shun Classic Steak Knives ($350 at Williams Sonoma)
  • Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife Set ($70 at Amazon)
  • Opinel Table Knives ($59 at Bernal Cutlery)

Results Still Simmering

  • Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Set ($55 at Amazon)
  • Flyingcolors Laguiole Steak Knife Set ($41 at Amazon)
  • Cuisinart Triple Rivet Steak Knife Set ($15 at Amazon)
  • Henckels Steak Knife Set ($45 at Amazon)
  • Misen Steak Knives ($80 at Misen)
  • Trudeau Laguiole Steak Knives ($47 at Amazon)

Low Performers

  • Global Classic Steak Knives ($170 at Williams Sonoma)
  • Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition Steak Knife Set ($35 at Amazon)
  • Cutco Table Knives ($170 at Amazon)
  • AmazonBasics Premium Kitchen Steak Knife Set ($26 at Amazon)
  • Oneida Flight Steak Knives ($17 at Amazon)

Our Expertise

Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer and avid home cook who has previous experience in cookbook publishing. Her writing has been featured in Allrecipes, Blue Apron, The Kitchn, and EatingWell among other publications. For this piece, Food & Wine editors tested 23 different steak knife models in their own home kitchens to find the best ones.

This piece was also updated by Stacey Ballis, a freelance writer, recipe developer, and product reviewer. Stacey has been published in Food & Wine, Eating Well, Allrecipes, MyRecipes, Delish, and more.

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