What To Look For In A Quality Steak Knife Set

Every household kitchen needs certain essentials: proper silverware, dishes, cups, appliances, knives, you name it. Among these items should be a set of capable steak knives.

Why? Well, unless you’ve sworn off meat, managing to cut steak and pork chops is going to be a bit of a challenge.

Even if you don’t use them that often, they help to ensure smooth, effortless cutting through your meat. Moreover, steak knives can be used for chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower dishes.

However, the fact that there is a plethora of different steak knives in the marketplace, can make choosing the right one a bit difficult. Fortunately we have what you need to look out for when  buying a steak knife.

What Is a Steak Knife?

A steak knife is a knife that is specifically designed to cut through the meat of a steak easily without resorting to hacking or shredding the meat. This design also prevents you from spending more time cutting versus savoring the steak you painstakingly prepared.

Steak knives are made to be more powerful than your average table knife, which is why they can be a welcome addition to your knife collection. They also aren’t made only with steaks in mind; they are also a great tool for cutting chops and chicken breasts.

Does It Feel Right?

Choosing a steak knife is more than just aesthetics or the type of blade. The best steak knife will be one that “feels right” in hand. Cheaper, mass-produced steak knives often are generic in feel, with little difference from blade to blade.

Conversely, a forged blade that is made with precision and care ensures the knife feels like an extension of your own hand, enabling you to make safe, precise cuts with ease.

Simply put, if it doesn’t feel right, put it back.

The Handle

Steak knives have handles that may be made from various materials. Generally speaking, the two best types of handle material for a steak knife are treated wood and epoxy resin. These offer several advantages in both appearance and performance in the kitchen.

Wood Handles: The Good and The Bad

  • Traditional look and feel
  • Cheap/affordable
  • Susceptible to moisture damage over time
  • Plain and boring

Plastic Handles: The Good and The Bad

  • Impervious to moisture
  • Cheap
  • Durable
  • Can slip in hand when wet
  • The blade may come loose over time
  • May damage under pressure
  • Can melt in dishwasher

Epoxy Resin Handles: The Best

  • Impervious to moisture
  • Heat resistant
  • Antimicrobial surface
  • Offers a good grip
  • Affordable

Serrated or Non-Serrated Edge?

A feature of the steak knife that can usually set it apart from other knives is its blade’s edge. This is because more times than not the steak knife’s edge is serrated (jagged edge), but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Whether or not you choose serrated or non-serrated knives, it all comes down to how you intend to use your steak knives.

Serrated Steak Knives

Serrated steak knives tend to be more common than straight-edge steak knives. A serrated knife edge means that the blade has a sharp, tooth-like appearance, much like a small saw. These sharp ridges can also sometimes be called scallops or gullets.

When you use a serrated blade it allows you to cut through meat with a tougher exterior but with a juicier interior. Much like a medium-rare steak that you want to perfectly cut into bite-size pieces.

When using a steak knife with a serrated blade you will use a more saw-like motion versus simply applying pressure with the blade. This makes the cut more of a clean tear into the meat. 

Straight-Edge Steak Knives

As the name implies, a straight-edge steak knife has a sharp straight blade similar to that of a paring knife. The key difference is a steak knife blade will be longer and thicker. The straight-edge steak knife is meant to be used in one stroke versus the saw-like motion required for the serrated steak knife.

If what you are going for is the look of your steak, then the straight edge will give you a smooth clean cut from your steak and will not tear at the meat fibers. If a basic knife that cuts meat is all you require, then a straight edge blade would be an added benefit to your collection.

However, an important thing to note is that a straight edge does not have the same longevity as a serrated knife. If you decide on a straight-edge steak knife you will need to learn how to sharpen the blade. Sharpening will keep your straight-edge steak knives in good condition and will most likely extend their shelf life. It is suggested that you sharpen your straight-edge steak knives at least once every two months, depending on how often you use them.

Finding the Right Balance

When looking for a good set of steak knives, balance might be the furthest thing from your mind, but in fact can play an important role in your selection. This, of course, doesn’t mean that the steak knife needs to be perfectly balanced with the weight of the blade, but there are other factors of balance that you should consider.

  • Is the knife’s handle proportional to its blade
  • Is the blade’s position straight or coming at an angle?
  • Is it comfortable to grip and hold?

Most of these features can easily be discovered by handling the knives themselves before you decide to purchase, that’s why we recommend buying your knives at a store instead of online.

You will want to get a good feel for the knife from the handle to the blade before picking a steak knife set for your kitchen. Many houseware stores even have handles on display without the blades in order to test your grip and to get a better feel for the handle itself.

Another important part of looking for the best balanced steak knife is to look for the “fit” of the blade or how well the components that make up your steak knife fit together. You don’t want a steak knife that has a visible gap between the blade and the handle. Your steak knives should look seamless. In fact, high quality steak knives should have a “fine fit.” This will add to the steak knife’s strength and rigidity. It will also mean owning a knife that can prevent unwanted particles and moisture from getting into your knife’s handle causing rust or shortening its life span.

How Long Should the Blade Be?

The length of the steak knife’s blade is also something to consider. Steak knife blades can range from five inches to seven inches, however, many experts agree that a smaller blade is most effective for cutting a steak. If you go with a shorter knife, shop for blades around 4” to 5” in length.

These shorter blades will become more natural to use when you’re sitting down with friends for a meal and want to look competent with your knife. If you’re trying to cut with a larger blade it can feel clumsy and more difficult.

There are blades around 7” in length, though, if you want a longer blade. Longer blades present more impressively when you’re setting the table for a fancy meal. As you mull over the options, consider what attributes are most important to you.

Go for the Full Tang Option

Part of a competent knife’s fit is its “tang.” The tang is the portion of the blade that extends into the handle. You’ll notice that in cheaper knife sets, the blade ends right about where the handle begins, it has a partial tang. A shorter-tang blade can snap off if you’re aggressively cutting something.

The mark of a high-quality steak knife is an extended if not full tang. The blade will be less likely to fall off at some point and the knife will be more secure in your hand because of the added weight.

Look for Stainless Steel Blades

Since you want a knife that will be strong and effective you should pay attention to the material that the blade is made out of. There are different schools of thought on which material is best, but one type is king: steel.

There are tempered blades, carbon blades, and cold steel varieties, among others. Each type presents a different advantage. In any case, a stainless steel blade is what you should look for.

For a sharp and durable blade go with cold steel. Some experts prefer high carbon blades because they feel light in your hand for a more enjoyable cutting experience. Others like tempered blades because they are less of a headache to clean. Most experts agree that you should avoid ceramic blades, which are not as durable. They may be tempting because of the lower price tag, but they won’t give you the long lasting quality you need.


A quality steak knife set is a great investment for anyone who enjoys serving steaks at home. A high quality set ensures you can slice through meat smoothly and without tearing, maintaining the texture and flavor of the steak.

A good steak knife set should be made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel. It should have a sharp edge that easily cuts through meat without tearing it. The knife should feel comfortable in your hand and be well balanced for precise control.

While it is possible to use regular kitchen knives to cut steak it is not recommended. Most kitchen knives do not have a sharp enough edge, which can cause the meat to tear instead of cleanly slicing through. Plus, using the wrong knife can damage the blade, making it dull and less effective for other tasks.

Absolutely! A good steak knife set is a must-have for anyone hosting dinner parties or entertaining guests at home. It allows you to serve perfectly cooked steaks that will slice with ease and impress your guests with your culinary skills.

Here at WiseGuys we know that even if you love cooking and serving steak in your own home, sometimes it is nice to sit down at the table and enjoy a perfectly cooked steak meal. Join us at WiseGuys for a perfectly cooked filet, ribeye, or porterhouse (or others) served to you at a table that is perfectly set…right down to the steak knives.

The Bottom Line

When you’re shopping around for new steak knives, remember that you’re making an investment that should last your lifetime, assuming you take care of them. Eating a perfectly cooked steak should be a divine experience. Make sure you buy a steak knife set that is worthy of your cut of meat.

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