The 10 Best Steak Knives
10. Chicago Cutlery Tradition
9. Messermeister Avanta
8. Victorinox Straight-Edge
7. La Cote Olive
6. Mercer Culinary Genesis
4. Cangshan S1 Series
3. Dalstrong Gladiator Series
2. Wüsthof Classic
1. J.A. Henckels Stainless Steel
Cuts Like A Knife
Depending on how you were brought up, a good knife might seem like a right of passage. I know when I was a kid, I had to wait until I got a little older to completely participate in kitchen activities like chopping, mincing, dicing, or even cutting my own meat.
That can be devastating to a five-year-old with a keen interest in the culinary arts, and when I finally did get my hands on the knife and the cutting board I was hooked.
As adults, we sometimes take our cutting permissions for granted, content to push any old piece of metal through our food.
It often takes a rare experience with a stellar knife to open our eyes to what's truly possible at the dinner table, and all of these knife sets offer you such an experience.
They do so by providing you with incredibly sharp edges that can slice through even the toughest meats. In the options we have listed, those edges are either serrated or flat, and the difference between the two is significant.
Serrated edges have those visible teeth to them, making the knives look like little saws, and those teeth bite into whatever you're cutting to tear it as you slide the blade through the meat.
The advantage of a serrated set is that it requires less maintenance and sharpening. The disadvantage is that your cuts of meat might not be as smooth on the palate.
Also, when it does come time to sharpen a serrated edge, you can't use a simple tool, as you can with flat edged blades.
Flat edges are much easier to sharpen, as they work more like razor blades, employing an edge so thin that it attains a kind of microscopic serration to it. Your cuts of meat are much smoother, and maintenance, though required more often, is easier.
A Knife For Every Knight
King Arthur had a big, round table for himself and his twelve fellow knights. That's thirteen place settings for dinner.
Fortunately, the Knights of the Round Table all had their own very large, very sharp steak knives: their great swords.
Chances are your guests won't be arriving with that kind of hardware in tow, so it behooves you to have some great steel waiting for them to wield.
If you have thirteen knights descending on your home, you're going to need more than one of the knife sets we're looking at, the largest of which comes with eight knives.
So, in addition to asking yourself whether you want flat or serrated edges on your steak knives (see the comparison above), and in addition to asking yourself whether you care that the knives look as good as they cut, there's one more simple question to answer.
How many knives do you need? Are you a family of six? A four piece set won't cover you. It seems like a minor consideration, but it might just guide your hand that much closer toward or away from that set that caught your eye in the first place.
From Flint To Steel
Ancient knives made from carved flint have been found around the world dating back over a million years.
Now, that wasn't technically a steak knife, since pretty much every cutting knife had a sharp edge to it in the west, until after the second world war.
For millennia in the western world, the only things people ate with were knives and their hands. Elsewhere, in the eastern Asian countries specifically, knives were only used in the kitchen, and were forbidden at the table.
Developments in steel forging after WWII made commercially viable the easily sharpened, stainless steak knives we all use today.
Will steak knives disappear if the country eventually goes vegetarian? Probably not.