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. Apart from your favorite steak recipes, 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 (either using a home knife sharpener or a professional service) 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.
To help you choose the best steak knives for your kitchen, we researched 23 of the top steak knife brands available and tested them at home, paying particular attention to sharpness, weight, length, 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.
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 offers the perfect blend of attractive design and outstanding performance. 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 set also makes a beautiful gift for special occasions and housewarming parties.
The blades are made from German stainless steel, and the handles are hand-finished with matte, stain-resistant composite. During testing, the handles felt smooth in 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
Zwilling Henckels Stainless Steel Serrated Steak Knife Set
Larger eight-piece set
The serrated edge is very pointy and sharp
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.
We were very impressed with the performance of these steak knives during testing, even while cutting the more gristly parts of the steak. The light-yet-sturdy design made precise cuts, thanks to the sharp, serrated edge. We also love 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
Miyabi Artisan 4-Piece Steak Knife Set
Very comfortable to hold
Hand-hammered finish helps prevent food sticking
Well-balanced despite the size
Doesn't come with storage case
Might be too heavy for smaller hands
If stunning craftsmanship and functionality are what you're looking for, this set of Miyabi steak knives is certainly worth the investment. The design marries traditional Japanese design with more modern, innovative knifemaking techniques for an exceptional steak-slicing experience.
The blades feature durable SG2 micro-carbide-powder steel that's been honed by hand to a katana edge inspired by Japanese swords. They're also hand-hammered to a tsuchime finish, which gives it a lovely rippled texture on the back end and is intended to prevent sticking. The smooth rosewood handles felt great in hand during testing, and the D-shaped curve created an ergonomic fit inside the palm.
Although the knives are a bit more substantial than most steak knives, we didn't find them cumbersome to use at all. It took next to no effort to slice through strip steak, and the cuts were very clean. It was also easy to hand-wash these knives after testing, taking care while wiping along the razer-sharp edges.
Price at time of publish: $590
Number of Pieces: 4 | Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Material: SG2 micro-carbide-powder stainless steel | Blade Length: 5.5 inches | Knife Length: 13 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: No
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, serving pieces, and dinnerware sets. 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 budget-consicous 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. We appreciated the super-sharp blades during testing, plus the knives were easy to use and had a good weight for steak knives. They produced even cuts through steak with very little effort, and the curved handles felt comfortable in hand. Because of 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
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 we found to be comfortable and big enough for larger hands without being too bulky. They performed especially well while cutting through fruits and vegetables (slicing through tomatoes like butter). Thanks to the slightly-serrated edges and stainless steel construction, these knives were also easy to clean by hand.
Price at time of publish: $130
Number of Pieces: 8 | Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Material: Stainless steel | Blade Length: 4 inches | Knife Length: 8.7 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
Shun Classic 4-Piece Steak Knife Set
Lightweight, yet sturdy construction
Cuts through steak cleanly with minimal effort
Doesn't come with storage case
Experts in crafting high-quality Japanese knives, the Shun brand used 34 microthin layers of high-carbon stainless steel for this unique set. PakkaWood handles help the knives resist moisture for added durability and feature a D shape that's comfortable in hand while slicing.
These knives not only impressed us with their beautiful design combining traditional and contemporary styles, but also their performance. During testing, the knives cut through the steak in a clean, swift line with barely any effort. The blades were super sharp and the handles were perfectly balanced in weight and size—feeling soft and luxurious in hand despite the sturdy wooden material.
Although pricey, these knives would be a great addition to kitchens looking to invest in long-term, quality knives for special occasions. They would also make a great gift for a friend or family member celebrating a wedding or anniversary.
Price at time of publish: $350
Number of Pieces: 4 | Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Material: VG-MAX stainless steel | Blade Length: 4.5 inches | Knife Length: 9 inches | Dishwasher-Safe: No
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 an added safety feature tucked in. The tips are rounded to prevent accidental pokes, which 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. These steak knives performed well during testing, boasting a lightweight design and reasonable price that's great for beginner cooks or those on a budget. The knives are also quite balanced, and although definitely on the lighter side, we think they would be sturdy enough to handle most tasks. This six-piece set is dishwasher-safe.
Price at time of publish: $32
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
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, 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.
We found that these knives sliced cleanly with minimal resistance, even with tough cuts of meat. We 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. Overall, these knives are exceptionally sharp, and the price point is hard to beat for the quality you receive.
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.
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
The Material Table Knives are our top pick because they are durable, ergonomic, sharp, and beautifully designed. For something more budget-conscious that still boasts a high-quality design with a sturdy, serrated edge, consider the Henckels 8-Piece Steak Knife Set.
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.
Should steak knives be serrated?
Serrated steak knives can come in handy while slicing through thicker cuts and crusts of meat since the serrations help grip and tear through the steak rather than relying on sharpness alone. Straight-edge knives hold the advantage of producing cleaner cuts and being easier to sharpen, though they can sometimes be more expensive and lose their sharp edge more quickly. Really, it comes down to personal preference.
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.
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.