The 3 Best Carving Knives

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Originally Published: 
food photography image of roast gammon ham joint of meat being carved with mans hand holding a knife...

A carving knife, though most often reached for during the holidays, makes slicing into any big roast pretty effortless, making it a worthy investment to round out your kitchen arsenal. The best carving knife will have a narrow blade made of high carbon stainless steel that’s long enough to carve larger roasts. Depending on your budget and carving needs, there are a few great options here.

In terms of blade material, high carbon stainless steel is a wise blade choice for its ability to maintain a sharp edge without rusting. Blade length is also an important factor since carving knives are used to slice into large cuts of meat; look for at least a 9-inch blade. Serrated blades tend to shred or tear meat, so it’s best to avoid them for a carving knife. However, a blade with divots along the blade reduces friction so it’s even easier to cut thick or thin slices.

When debating between a wood or synthetic handle, know that a synthetic knife handle provides a good grip and is durable for safely slicing with these long knives, whereas wood handles can be porous, absorb moisture, and be more difficult to keep clean. A full tang blade extends through the handle, which creates more balance and adds durability. That said, a partial tang blade will be more affordable and may be good enough if you use the knife just once or twice a year.

In a hurry? These are the best carving knives for turkey, brisket, and more.

1. The Overall Best Carving Knife: Wüstholf Classic Carving Knife

2. The Most Affordable: Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Carving Knife

3. The Best For Turkey Or Brisket: Victorinox Fibrox Pro 12-Inch Slicing Knife

With all this in mind, here are the three best carving knives. Each of my picks is highly rated on Amazon, including an under-$40 knife with over 3,000 reviews.

1. The Overall Best Carving Knife

Though this is the priciest pick on the list, this carving knife is an investment piece that will stand the test of time. Made of high carbon stainless steel forged from a single block, the knife is designed to have a sharper blade with better edge retention than older models. Serious Eats likes Wüstholf's carving knives best in part for their ultra-sharp yet flexible blade and comfortable handle, making it easier to maneuver around bones.

The 9-inch blade comes with divots to reduce friction, and is full tang and the knife's synthetic handle is made from easy-to-grip polypropylene. Many reviewers commented that this knife outperformed the electric carving knives they previously used during the holidays.

A helpful review: “This is a great carving knife. My food-snob cousin visited and used the knife and could not say enough good things about its performance. I really like its length which is more than long enough to carve any types of meats I my be cooking in the kitchen. Super sharp. It feels really precise in hand and is very well balanced. A real good weight for its size."

2. A More Affordable Carving Knife With A Cult Following

This knife's incredible value has made it a cult favorite with a 4.8 rating and over 3,000 reviews. This affordable carving knife has a 10-inch blade forged of high carbon stainless steel without divots. It's a full tang blade with a synthetic handle and reviewers say it boasts a comfortable, ergonomic grip. This one has the added benefit of being NSF certified, which means it must meet standards that ensure its materials are high quality.

A helpful review: “Opened the knife and cleaned it for immediate use to carve a turkey. The slicing action was smooth and I did not encounter any grabbing by the meat against the surface of the blade. Very sharp and easy to clean."

3. The Best Carving Knife For Turkey Or Brisket

This carving knife for turkey or brisket has the longest blade on this list at 12 inches. Any of these carving knives are suitable for slicing into turkey or brisket, but the extra length and divots on this blade make it especially smooth and allow you to cut thinner slices. The long blade is made of high carbon stainless steel and it has a synthetic handle; the partial tang of the blade keeps this long knife affordable, but keep in mind it lacks the luxurious weight of a full tang knife.

This highly rated carving knife has more than 2,300 reviews, including more than 100 specifically touting its performance with brisket, including two reviewers who commented that it “cuts a brisket in half with little to no effort” and it “performed flawlessly on our first brisket.”

A helpful review: “Wow! I'm just getting into the slow-smoked BBQ brisket game and was told I should get my hands on a Victorinox 12" Slicer. And they were right! This knife slices through meat like butter and has no problem making the 1/4" slices I want. I can't recommend this knife enough. I also can't wait to see how it does on this year's Thanksgiving turkey."

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