You’ve taken the time to carefully select and prepare the very best cuts of meat to serve, and with a great carving knife, you’ll be able to present perfectly sliced portions that look just as good as they taste.
Whether you’re looking for a carving knife to use for special gatherings, professional buffet use, or big, festive family meals, you’ll find that the knife’s quality makes a big difference.
In this guide, we provide insight into choosing the best carving knife for your needs, as well as reviews on five top-rated carving knives.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
Sometimes referred to as a slicing knife, a carving knife is generally longer and thinner than a chef’s knife. With a carving knife, you use a back-and-forth sawing motion to produce uniform, visually appealing slices of meat. Keep the following considerations in mind when selecting the best carving knife for your purposes.
Length – Carving knives come in a variety of lengths, usually between seven and fifteen inches long. The knife you choose should be long enough to slice through meat in a single stroke. If you tend to serve big, traditional roasts, for example, then a long blade will work better than a short one.
Blade Shape – While all carving knives are long and thin, not all are shaped the same. Look for a carving knife with a pointed end if you tend to serve cuts of meat that contain bones; choose one with a rounded end if you usually serve boneless meats.
Edge Type– Some carving knives have straight edges, but many feature Granton edges, which feature shallow depressions along the lower portion of the blade. The Granton edge is designed to ensure that each slice of meat is released from the blade without sticking.
Flexibility – A good carving knife offers a solid feel while providing a bit of flexibility. Flexibility is particularly important when you must navigate cuts of meat that contain bones.
Blade Thickness – The thinner your carving knife, the nicer your slices will be.
Matching Fork – You might or might not need a matching fork to go with your carving knife. Some are sold as sets, and others are sold separately. A fork helps with the serving process, and offers a pleasing, traditional look.
With these considerations in mind, you’ll find it easier to select the best carving knife for your needs.
Dalstrong Gladiator Series Carving Knife & Fork Set
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series Carving Knife is crafted of high-carbon German steel, and features a hand-polished edge on its Granton blade. An attractive black pakkawood handle, which has been well-sealed and polished, delivers a combination of great looks and sanitary performance.
The carving knife features a full tang for excellent strength, and its tall blade provides a good level of knuckle clearance. A matching fork is included, along with a honing rod and a protective sheath for knife storage.
Complete set offers an attractive appearance
Balanced, comfortable feel
Not as sharp as some competitors, easily remedied
One report of manufacturing flaw; company provided replacement
This Knife is Ideal For:
The Dalstrong Gladiator Series Carving Knife set makes a fantastic addition to any family’s kitchen, and is a very popular choice for wedding and holiday gift giving, as well as for Father’s Day gift giving. If you are looking for a good-quality carving set at a moderate price, then this may be ideal for your purposes.
Designed to handle everything from large turkeys to roasts, the Mercer Cutlery Genesis 10-inch Forged Carving Knife features a full-tang blade made from high-carbon German stainless steel. With a generously proportioned bolster, it offers good balance for a pleasant feel in hand.
The knife’s handle features an ergonomic shape and is made from Santoprene for sanitary use as well as a non-slip grip. The Mercer Cutlery Genesis carving knife is NSF certified and comes with a one-year warranty.
Feels hefty and comfortable
Works well on a variety of meats
No blade guard included
May need to be sharpened more frequently than more expensive knives
This Knife is Ideal For:
If you need a good carving knife for your kitchen and plan to cut a variety of different meats, you’ll probably appreciate this one from Mercer. While it is not part of a complete set and may not be ideal for use in situations where appearances matter, it offers solid performance at an affordable price.
Featuring an ice-tempered stainless steel blade with a full tang, plus an attractive handle design, the Top Chef by Master Cutlery 2-Piece carving set makes a nice addition to any kitchen.
A polished bolster provides a comfortable grip, and the blade has been hollow ground to prevent sticking. This carving knife set is officially licensed by Bravo’s Top Chef television program, and is embellished with the show’s logo.
Good quality for the price
Very attractive appearance
Not the best balanced feel
Only moderately sharp, but can be honed to a sharper edge
This Knife is Ideal For:
While the Top Chef carving set isn’t likely to work well in a professional setting, it is a good choice for home use, particularly if you use your carving set just once or twice per year. Its attractive appearance makes it worthy of gracing any well-set table, and it functions well enough to carve a roast or turkey with ease.
Victorinox 12-Inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade
Made in Switzerland and crafted of fine European stainless steel, the Victorinox 12-inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife features a Granton blade for superior release and reliable performance.
The knife’s edge has been ground in two different directions, assuring razor-sharpness, good edge retention, and easy honing and sharpening. The handle offers comfort, balance, and just the right amount of weight. This knife is NSF certified, and comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Excellent value for cost
Even, attractive slices
Some reports of knives arriving unsharpened
This Knife is Ideal For:
While the Victorinox 12-inch Fibrox Pro slicing knife might not be the most attractive model we’ve reviewed, it delivers an outstanding performance under demanding conditions. Perhaps not the best choice for situations where looks matter, it is just right for home cooks and chefs who want to put together attractive platters in the kitchen for presentation at the table. It’s a good choice for buffet use, as well.
The Wusthof Classic 2-Piece carving set is made in Germany, with a blade of high-carbon stainless steel and smooth, attractive synthetic handles for sanitary use and easy cleanup.
With a full tang and a weighted bolster, the knife feels sturdy and comfortable in hand. Its edge has been hollow-ground for quick release and no sticking. The matching fork makes it easy to serve meats in any setting.
Very sharp knife, holds its edge well
Costs a little more than some other sets
No sheath for the knife
People who Bought This Knife Said:
Great products. I was hesitant at first because I though I might have overpaid, now that I’ve had it for a few months I see it was a wise choice. Great in the kitchen and nice on the eyes when on the dining room table.
Wusthof is quality. I’ve owned Wusthof cutlery for many years and just recently added this carving set. It does not disappoint, and can be considered a value item in that it is very reasonably priced.
This Knife is Ideal For:
Demanding consumers who appreciate quality are certain to enjoy the Wusthof carving set for its reliable quality and its attractive appearance. While it costs a bit more than some other carving sets we’ve reviewed here, it is built from high-quality components and is meant to last a lifetime with proper care.
Meat Carving Tips: How to Get Perfect Slices Every Time
You’ve taken a lot of time to select the best carving knife for your purposes; now, it’s time to use it to its full potential. Use these quick tips for carving meat and you’ll enjoy great results while impressing your family and guests.
Remember to Let Meat Rest: Meat needs to rest when it comes off the grill or out of the oven, not only to finish cooking, but to allow for even distribution of juices throughout the entire thing. Pull your meat from the heat source when it is five to ten degrees away from the recommended cooking temperature, and then allow it to rest for at least ten minutes. Cover it with foil to retain heat.
Use a Cutting Board with a Well: Unless you plan to cut your meat at the table, it’s a good idea to use a cutting board with a well for catching juices that escape. You’ll make less of a mess this way, and your board will not slip.
Carve Away from Yourself: Be careful not to cut toward yourself, as this can lead to accidents.
Use Long, Steady Strokes: Use patience and work slowly, making long, steady strokes with your carving knife while using a large fork to hold your meat in place. If you are new to carving meat and want to impress everyone at a holiday gathering, practice your meat carving technique before the big event. Practice on roast chickens, smaller pot roasts, and other cuts of meat that you serve your family. Even though it will add a little time to your meal prep, you’ll have the opportunity to improve your technique before the big day arrives.
Cut Against the Grain: Meat contains muscle fibers that go in a certain direction. You’ll want to cut across or “against” the grain of each muscle. The slices will look nice and be more tender. If you are carving meat that contains bones, try to avoid nicking them with your carving knife.
Watch Tutorials: Learn how to properly carve different cuts of meat by watching tutorials. Different items call for specific techniques!
Keep your Knife Sharp: Be sure that your carving knife is sharp! Besides honing and sharpening, you can use an edge protector to prevent other objects from creating dullness. Be sure to carefully hand-wash and dry your knife to prevent it from being damaged in the dishwasher.
Paired with the best carving knife, good techniques make meals more enjoyable, and make all the time and effort you’ve put into selecting and preparing delicious foods worthwhile. We wish you success in your next culinary adventure!