Steak knives are great to have for any meal that features steak, chops, or other thick cuts of meat that are difficult to cut with regular cutlery. They can also come in handy in the kitchen for slicing tomatoes, slicing bread, or cutting sandwiches neatly in half.
There are two basic styles of steak knives: serrated knives are more common, stay sharp longer, and cut easily, whereas straight-edged knives are easier to sharpen. If you only bring out the steak knives for special occasions, sharpening may never be an issue. If you toss the knives into a drawer and use them daily like utility knives, sharpening may be required more often. While expensive knives will last longer, budget knives can be replaced every few years to add a different style to the table.
We researched 23 of the top steak knife brands available and tested them at home, paying particular attention to sharpness, weight and length of the handles, price, ease of cleaning, and how well they performed while cutting through NY strip steaks. Of course, since these knives are likely to become a focal point of your dinner table, we also took aesthetics into account.
Here are the best steak knives for your kitchen, according to our tests.
Zwilling Henckels Stainless Steel Serrated Steak Knife Set
Larger eight-piece set
Delicate tips may bend if stored improperly
This eight-piece steak knife set will look great at the holiday table or family dinners. Henckels steak knives are made to fit comfortably in your hand and can cut through any meat, thanks to the sturdy blade and handle design. The knives have a serrated edge that will never need sharpening. If you don’t need all of the knives for dinner, the spares will come in handy in the kitchen as utility knives for tasks like slicing tomatoes or cutting sandwiches. Cleaning is easy because they're dishwasher-safe.
During testing, these knives performed well while cutting even gristly parts of steak. The light-yet-sturdy design made precise cuts, thanks to the sharp, serrated edge. Our tester also loved how the knives are made of stainless steel, making them easy to clean.
Price at time of publish: $45
Number of Pieces: 8 | Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4 inches | Knife Length: 8.5 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"I was very impressed with the performance of these steak knives. The narrow blade and serrated edge were very pointy and sharp, and cut through the slab of New York steak with ease." — Prairie Rose, Commerce Editor
Oneida Flight Steak Knives
Coordinates well with existing flatware
Can easily be mistaken for dinner knives
Couples and small families don’t need a wide array of steak knives taking up storage space, so this four-piece set makes family dinners more special without eating into the steak budget. They’re made entirely from stainless steel with a high-luster finish and swooping design on the handle that will look good with any flatware you already own.
The knives have a serrated edge for easy cutting and have weight to them that suggests quality construction. These are dishwasher-safe, too. If the flight design doesn’t fit your style perfectly, the company makes similar steak knives with different handle designs to better match your flatware.
According to our tests, the knives may require a few sawing motions to cut through tougher items, like steak, since the edges are serrated on only half of the blade. Likewise, be sure to dry these knives immediately after washing them, to avoid rust stains and spots.
Price at time of publish: $17
Number of Pieces: 4 | Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 5.4 inches | Knife Length: 10.4 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"This would be a great starter set or budget pick for someone who wants to double up on everyday dinnerware and steak knives." — Dana Fouchia, Senior Commerce Editor
Material Table Knives
Comes with wooden block
Variety of shades
Not available in basic colors
Modern, stylish, and functional, this set of steak knives from Material makes a beautiful gift for special occasions and housewarming parties. They're available in four different shades (light orange "persimmon," beige "morel," powder blue "glazed," and dark green "deep") with an included maple wood holder that can stand as a vertical block on your countertop or lay horizontally in your drawer.
The blades are made from German stainless steel, and the handles and hand-finished with matte, stain-resistant composite. According to our tester, the handles felt smooth in their hand without slipping, and the full-tang construction made the knives extra-durable and sturdy. The edges were sharp enough that the knives sliced effortlessly through the tough crust of a steak.
Although dishwasher-safe, they're also easy to clean by hand, thanks to the straight blade and smooth handles—just be careful with the extra-sharp edges.
Price at time of publish: $90
Number of Pieces: 4 | Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Length: 8.75 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"These knives are equal parts functional and stylish. They perform exceptionally well, clean easily, and come with a convenient storage block. Very impressed!" — Bridget Degnan, Associate Commerce Editor
Best With Storage
Wüsthof 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set
Beautiful wooden storage case
Durable stainless steel construction
The contemporary look of these steak knives is modern enough to pair with sleek dinnerware and classic enough to pair with Grandma’s china. The attractive blades and handles are made from stainless steel for durability, and the serrated edges will easily slice through steaks and roasts while staying sharp for a long time.
As an eight-piece set, these knives are great for large family dinners and parties. They come in an olivewood presentation box that makes them perfect for gifting, and the box is also excellent for safe storage, so you won't have to worry about the knives rattling around in the utensil drawer.
What sets these knives apart are the rose-stained wooden box and handle design, which our reviewer says is not too bulky, yet still comfortable and big enough for larger hands. Thanks to the slightly-serrated edges and stainless steel construction, these knives were also easy to clean by hand.
Price at time of publish: $98
Number of Pieces: 8 | Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4 inches | Knife Length: 8.7 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"These knives were great when cutting through fruits and vegetables. They sliced through a tomato like butter!" — Prairie Rose, Commerce Editor
Umogi Stainless Steel Steak Knives
Convenient set of six
Sleek, modern design
Need occasional resharpening
Made entirely from stainless steel, these knives will pair well with a wide array of flatware, dishes, and serving pieces. The straight edge is sharp and non-serrated to slice through steaks, roasts, and other meats. This six-piece set can easily be re-sharpened, and it's affordable enough to buy several sets for large gatherings.
Thanks to the all-metal construction, these are dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is simple when dinner is over. However, hand-washing is recommended. According to our tests, these knives produced even cuts through steak with very little effort, and the curved handle felt comfortable in hand. Thanks to their exceptional sharpness and expensive look, they're also a steal at such a low price.
Price at time of publish: $28
Number of Pieces: 6 | Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4.5 inches | Knife Length: 9 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes, but hand-wash recommended
"I like this knife's curved handle and super-sharp blade. It's comfortable to use and has a good weight for a steak knife." — Perri Kressel, Commerce Editor
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Serrated Steak Knife Set
Easy-to-grip ergonomic handle
Safer for fine motor skill challenges
Very sharp for smooth cutting
Not attractive for formal dining
These steak knives offer a contemporary look with a little safety tucked in; the tips are rounded to prevent accidental pokes. That can be very helpful for children as well as people with fine motor skill challenges. The knives are handmade in Switzerland by the same folks who make Swiss Army Knives, and they have a serrated edge for smooth, easy cutting.
The handle is made from polypropylene, which is slip-resistant and easy to keep clean. The handle shape is ergonomic and simple to grasp, with a bolster for safety. This six-piece set is dishwasher-safe. The Victorinox steak knives performed well during testing, boasting a lightweight design and reasonable price that's great for beginner cooks or those on a budget.
Price at time of publish: $28
Number of Pieces: 6 | Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4.5 inches | Knife Length: 11.7 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes, but hand-wash recommended
"The knife is balanced, but it's definitely on the lighter side. I think it would be sturdy enough to handle most tasks." — Bridget Degnan, Associate Commerce Editor
FLYINGCOLORS Laguiole Steak Knife Set
Great price for this special style knife
Different handle finishes
Attractive ornamental design
Laguiole-style knives have a distinctive shape that’s easy to recognize. They’re distinct from other kitchen knives, making them a conversation piece as well as a cutting tool. This set of six knives has wooden handles with three rivets for security and a full tang; they also feature a decorative pattern in the metal, along with the handle.
The same knives are available with other handle materials, so it’s simple to find the ones that are a good match with your existing flatware. These should be washed by hand.
Our tester found that these knives sliced cleanly with minimal resistance, even with tough cuts of meat. They also appreciated the ergonomic handle that fits comfortably in hand, as well as the sharp, straight edge that makes the knives effective and easy to use.
Price at time of publish: $41
Number of Pieces: 6 | Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4 inches | Knife Length: 8.5 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: No
"These knives are exceptionally sharp, and the price point is hard to beat for the quality you receive." — John Somerall, Editorial Project Manager
The eight-piece J.A. Henckels International Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set is our top pick, because it's durable, ergonomic, sharp, and beautifully designed. For children and other folks with fine motor skill limitations, the Victorinox Classic Serrated Steak Knife Set features rounded tips and ergonomic handles for safety and ease of use.
How We Tested
We sent 23 steak knives to Dotdash Meredith editors for testing in their own homes. Tests included cutting sheets of paper to asses the knife's sharpness right out of the box and slicing through NY strip steaks. They especially paid attention to size, design, performance, and ease of cleaning, providing comprehensive ratings for each. Testers also offered additional insights about each steak knife's strengths, weaknesses, and aesthetics.
What to Look for in a Steak Knife
Number of Pieces
While it might make sense to buy steak knives in a quantity that matches your place settings, there are other things to consider. Would you like an extra knife or two to use in the kitchen? Would you limit steak knives to the adults in the family? To decide how many knives you want, consider who would be using them, and for what uses.
Think about what dinnerware you plan to use with your steak knives—whether that's your everyday plates and bowls or your china on special occasions—and pick a set that coordinates.
While the general rule of thumb is that sharp knives should always be hand-washed for safety and to preserve their edges, some steak knives are safe for cleaning in the dishwasher. If hand-washing a set of steak knives is a task that does not need to be added to the to-do list in your home, it may be worthwhile to opt for a set that is fully dishwasher-friendly.
How long is a steak knife?
Typically, steak knife blades range from 4 to 6 inches in length. Including the handle, steak knives tend to be around 8 to 9 inches long.
Can you sharpen a serrated steak knife?
The recessed nature of the serrations cause these types of knives to stay sharper longer. When yours begin to dull, use a sharpening rod to get each individual serration. The flat of the blade won’t need attention; just the curved indentions need sharpening. For full details about how to use a sharpening rod, see this Spruce Eats article.
Where does the steak knife go in a place setting?
When setting the table, utensils are placed according to the order they are used. With the plate in the center, the steak knife takes the place of the dinner knife, just to the right of the plate and next to the soup spoon. Salad and dinner forks are placed on the left side of the plate. Be sure to set the sharp edge facing the plate.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ease of use, material, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Originally compiled by Donna Currie, this collection is one of many kitchen and dining product round-ups that Donna has contributed to The Spruce Eats. She specializes in kitchen tools and gadgets and has been contributing her wisdom to The Spruce and The Spruce Eats since July 2016.
This article was updated by Katya Weiss-Andersson, a writer and editor who has nearly a decade of experience as a professional chef.