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Steak knives are great to have for any meal that features steak, chops, or other thick cuts of meat because they’re a little difficult to cut neatly with the regular cutlery that came with your flatware. They can also come in handy in the kitchen for slicing tomatoes or cutting a sandwich neatly in half. There are two basic styles of steak knives. Serrated knives, the more common style, stay sharp longer and cut easily, but can be difficult to sharpen at home. Straight-edged knives are easier to sharpen but lose their edge a little faster.
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 every day like utility knives, sharpening will be required more often. While expensive knives will last longer, budget knives can be replaced every few years to add different style to the table. Here, find the best steak knives for your specific needs.
Best Overall: J.A. Henckels International Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set
Larger 8-piece set
Super durable 1-piece construction
Delicate tips may bend if stored improperly
This 8-piece steak knife set will look great at the holiday table or for family dinners. Cleaning is easy, since they’re designed with dishwasher safe and corrosion-resistant stainless steel blades and handles. They’re made in a single piece with no seam, so they won't collect food or debris.
The knives have a serrated edge that will never need sharpening. If you don’t need all the knives for dinner, the spares will come in handy in the kitchen, too, as a utility knife or for slicing tomatoes or cutting sandwiches for lunch.
Best Budget: Oneida Flight Steak Knives
Coordinates well with existing flatware
Can easily be mistaken for dinner knives
Couples and small families don’t need a huge array of steak knives taking space in storage, so this four-piece set makes sense for special family dinners, but they won’t eat into the steak budget. They’re made entirely from stainless steel with a high-luster finish and a 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 for easy cleaning. 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.
Best with Storage: Wüsthof 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set
Beautiful wooden storage case
Durable 18/10 stainless steel construction
Hand wash only
The contemporary look of these steak knives is just modern enough to go with sleek dinnerware, but classic enough to pair with grandma’s china. The blades and handles are made from the same 18/10 stainless steel for durability along with the attractive look. The serrated blades slice easily through steaks and roasts and stay sharp for a long time.
This is a set of eight knives, so there’s plenty for family dinners and for parties. The knives come in a rosewood presentation box that makes them perfect for gift-giving, and the box is also excellent for safe storage, rather than letting them rattle around in the utensil drawer. The knives should be hand washed.
Best Straight Edge: UMOGI Stainless Steel Steak Knives
Convenient set of six
Need occasional resharpening
Made entirely from stainless steel, these knives will pair well with any flatware, dishes, or serving pieces. The straight edge is sharp and non-serrated, to cut easily through steaks, roasts, and other meats and can be resharpened easily when necessary. This is a set of six knives, so there’s plenty for family dinners and small parties, and they’re affordable enough to buy several sets for large gatherings. Thanks to the all-metal construction, these are dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy when dinner is over, but hand washing is preferred.
Best Round Tipped: Victorinox Classic Serrated Steak Knife Set
Easy to grip ergonomic handle
Safer rounded-tip design
Not attractive for formal dining
These round-tipped steak knives offer a contemporary look with a little safety tucked in, since there’s no point for accidental knife pokes. The knives are handmade in Switzerland by the same folks who make Swiss army knives and have a serrated edge for smooth, easy cutting. The blade is mirror polished, so they’ll look beautiful at the table.
The handle is made from proprietary Fibrox material that is slip resistant and easy to keep clean. The handle shape is ergonomic and easy to grasp, with a bolster for safety. This is a set of six knives. They are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Best for Parties: M MCIRCO MCIRCO 18/10 Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set
Economic price for large quantity
Durable 18/10 stainless steel construction
Clean design to match existing flatware set
Serrated edges aren't especially deep or sharp
When it’s party time or a big holiday is coming, steak knives can come in handy for that roast you’re serving, or to replace the beat-up flatware knives that aren’t fit for display. But who wants to spend big bucks on knives that will go into hiding when the party’s over?
These knives are budget friendly and come in a set of eight, so you can stock up for an occasion and tuck them away with the tablecloths when the party is over. They are made entirely from stainless steel and are corrosion-proof and heat resistant.
The knives have a thickened ergonomic handle and serrated cutting teeth and they look stylish at any table. These are dishwasher safe, but should not be soaked for long periods. They should be dried after washing to maintain the appearance.
Best Laguiole Style: FLYINGCOLORS Flying Colors Laguiole Steak Knife Set
Great price for this special style knife
Different handle finishes
Attractive classic ornamental design
Hand wash only
Laguiole-style knives have a distinctive shape that’s easy to recognize. They’re distinctive from other knives, making them a conversation piece as well as a cutting tool. This set of six knives has wood handles with three rivets for security and a full tang. An interesting feature is 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 one that’s a good match with existing flatware. These should be washed by hand.
Best High End: Jean Dubost Laguiole Steak Knives with Olive Wood Handles, Set of 6
Timeless classic design
Attractive olive wood handles
Beautiful and generous wedding gift idea
Hand wash only
Periodic sharpening and oiling to maintain
There are Laguiole-style knives, and then there are Jean Dubost Laguiole knives. As you probably know, Laguiole is not really a brand of knife (although many manufacturers may market them that way), but a style of knife from the Laguiole village in France. Originally, it was a high-quality carving utility knife where the blade folded into the handle. But the dependability and interest in the unique style of the blade prompted the Jean Dubost cutlery company to produce the first non-folding Laguiole-style knife intended for dining in 1987. Since then the Jean Dubost Laguiole steak knives have been seen in the most fashionable dining rooms around the world.
This set of knives is an impressive addition to any flatware set, with olive wood handles that encase a full tang stainless steel blade. The top of the blade is decorated with the traditional vine-like design and a small bumblebee at the top of the handle. The set includes a convenient wooden box for storage. These knives also require a little extra care, including handwashing, as well as occasional resharpening and oiling of the handles.
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 just the adults in the family? To decide how many knives you want, consider who would be using them.
Think about which of your 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 washed by hand for safety—and to preserve the edge—some steak knives are safe for cleaning in the dishwasher. Think about if you prefer the easy-cleaning option or if you'd rather wash your steak knives by hand.
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 piece was most recently updated by Jenny Kellerhals, a food and beverage writer based in Queens, NYC. She thinks a reliable steak knife is useful for so much more than steak, but also a necessity for quality duck, lamb, and venison dishes.