There’s a knife for cutting pretty much every type of food. And for good reason—the blade you use to slice vegetables won’t work as well on the Thanksgiving day turkey. For that, you’ll need a carving knife.
Carving knives are distinct from their chef’s knife brethren in their shape. They have a much more narrow blade and come to a pointed tip, a structure that helps them cut hunks of meat into thin slices. If they were wider, then the carving would generate too much drag, making it harder to cut uniform portions. Carving knives are also longer so that they can cut a large piece of meat all at once without having to be sawed back and forth.
Of course, even within these parameters, there are many different kinds of carving knives out there. Some may be longer and better suited for larger cuts, while others come with matching carving forks to keep the meat in place while slicing. No matter what your preference (or what you’re cutting), here are four you should consider.
1. Dalstrong Carving Knife
If you’re cooking up a big turkey or pheasant for a holiday or family gathering, then you’ll want to have Dalstrong’s carving knife on hand. At 12 inches long, it can cut through big fowl without you having to saw back and forth. Plus, its high-carbon steel blade will slice through most meats no problem. Clocking in at 56+ on the Rockwell scale, it’s a sturdy carver with a black pakkawood handle that looks plenty impressive.
Pros: Long blade makes cutting even large pieces of meat a cinch.
Cons: Its size can make it difficult to store.
2. Hammer Stahl Carving Knife and Fork Set
This set doesn’t just come with a carving knife; it also includes carving fork to hold the meat in place while you chisel away at it. The knife itself is nothing to scoff at, though. It’s a high carbon stainless-steel blade with a Rockwell scale hardness of 55. It’s a stylish set, too, boasting pakkawood handles that are infused with resin—so it has the look and feel of wood, but the durability of plastic.
Pros: A versatile knife that’s plenty stylish.
Cons: At 8 inches long, it won’t work as well for larger cuts.
3. Enso Slicing Knife
Enso’s slicing knife is a true thing of beauty. Handcrafted with a Damascus steel core, it has a Rockwell hardness of 61. The double bevel edge means you can use it with either your right or left hand, and the black canvas handle gives it the look and feel of wood, without the danger of cracking. Plus, the hammered finish makes it a real showstopper.
Pros: A gorgeous knife with top-notch performance.
Cons: One of the pricier carving knives out there.
4. Wüsthof 9740-1 Carving Set
Wüstof’s set is sturdy and dependable. Its high carbon stainless-steel blade has a Rockwell hardness of 58, while the fork helps to hold meat down as you’re cutting away. Made in Solingen, Germany, which is otherwise known as “the city of blades,” it goes without saying that it’s a set that boasts peerless craftsmanship.
Pros: A straightforward, sturdy set that gets the job done.
Cons: Spare design may not be for everyone.