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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 comes with your flatware. They can also come in handy in the kitchen for slicing tomatoes or cutting a sandwich neatly in half.
Our winner is the J.A. Henckels International Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set because you get eight durable knives that fit comfortably in your hand, can cut through any meat, and look good on any table, whether for weeknight family dinners or holiday parties. For a wonderful budget-friendly set, we recommend the four-piece Oneida Flight Steak Knives.
There are two basic styles of steak knives. Serrated knives are more common and 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 daily 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 a 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 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 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. Cleaning is easy because they're dishwasher safe.
Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
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 wide 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 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.
Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Best With Storage: Wüsthof 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set
Beautiful wooden storage case
Durable stainless steel construction
Hand wash only
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 slice easily through steaks and roasts and stay 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, meaning you don't have to worry about the knives rattling around in the utensil drawer.
Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: No
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 various 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 resharpened, and they’re affordable enough to buy several sets for large gatherings, family dinners, or small parties. Thanks to the all-metal construction, these are dishwasher safe, so cleanup is simple when dinner is over. However, hand washing is recommended.
Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Round-Tipped: Victorinox Classic Serrated Steak Knife Set
Easy to grip ergonomic handle
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. Perfect for entertaining, these knives will look beautiful on any table.
The handle is made from polypropylene that 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.
Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but hand wash recommended
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 when you need to replace beat-up flatware knives—but who wants to spend big bucks on knives that will go into hiding once 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. 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'll look stylish on any table. These are dishwasher safe, but should not be soaked for long periods. Dry them after washing to maintain their appearance.
Blade Type: Serrated edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Laguiole-Style: FLYINGCOLORS Flying Colors Laguiole Steak Knife Set
Great price for this special style knife
Different handle finishes
Attractive ornamental design
Hand wash only
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. 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.
Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Materials: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best High-End: Jean Dubost Laguiole Steak Knives with Olive Wood Handles, Set of 6
Timeless classic design
Attractive olivewood handles
Beautiful and generous wedding gift idea
Hand wash only
Needs periodic sharpening and oiling
There are Laguiole-style knives, and then there are Jean Dubost Laguiole knives. As you probably know, Laguiole is not a brand (although many manufacturers may market them that way), but rather a style of knife from the Laguiole village in France. Originally, it was a high-quality carving utility knife in which the blade folded into the handle, but the dependability and interest in this unique style 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 dining rooms around the world.
This set of knives is an impressive addition to any flatware set, with olivewood handles that encase a full tang stainless steel blade. The top of the blade is decorated with the traditional vine-like design, and the set includes a convenient wooden box for storage. These knives also require a little extra care, including hand washing, resharpening, and oiling the handles.
Blade Type: Straight edge | Blade Materials: Alloy steel | Dishwasher Safe: No
The eight-piece J.A. Henckels International Stainless Steel Steak Knife Set is our top pick because it's durable, ergonomic, sharp, and looks good, too. If you're in search of a budget-friendly set, Oneida Flight Steak Knives are a reliable choice.
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 hand washed for safety and to preserve the edge, some steak knives are safe for cleaning in the dishwasher. Think about if you prefer an easy cleaning option or washing your steak knives by hand.
How long is a steak knife?
Typically, steak knife blades range in length from 4 to 6 inches. Including the handle, steak knives tend to be 8 to 9 inches total.
Can you sharpen a serrated steak knife?
The recessed nature of the serrations cause these types of knives to stay sharper longer. When yours begins 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 piece was most recently updated by Jenny Kellerhals, a food and beverage writer based in Queens, New York. 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.
Carrie Honaker is a food writer who has tested many steak knives over the years. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of finding the right knife for your grip and needs. She loves her Laguiole steak knives for their timeless beauty, functionality, and deep history. Carrie's work has appeared in many publications including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast.