Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big carving knife test 2021. Here we present all the carving knives we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best carving knife for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a carving knife.




Summary

  • A carving knife differs from other knives by its special blade.
  • Carving knives are a rather more expensive type of knife.
  • There are blades for carving knives made of stainless steel, carbon steel or Damascus steel.

The Best Carving Knife: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a carving knife

What is a carving knife?

A carving knife is a French knife designed to cut meat.
The name of the carving knife comes from the French and translates as "to cut up".

Carving knives are mainly used to cut up meat and poultry. (Image source: unsplash.com / José Ignacio Pompé)

Because it is used to cut meat, another name for a carving knife is a meat knife. A carving knife cuts meat best when it is cooked.

A carving knife alone can cut meat well. But you can work best with a carving knife if you are familiar with carving utensils and use them. At the very least, you should use a carving fork to complement the knife.

What does a carving knife look like?

The blade of a carving knife can have many different lengths. Generally speaking, however, the blade is between 15 cm and 30 cm long.

One characteristic of the carving knife is the wide blade, which can be up to 3cm thick at its widest point. At the back, the knife is rather wide and it ends in a very pointed and sharp tip.

The blade is very finely worked so that the meat can be cut as easily as possible. Unlike other knife blades, the surface is very smooth so that the meat can slide off the knife.

What are carving knives used for?

A carving knife is used, as already described above, to cut up pieces of meat, such as a roast.

It is particularly appreciated by chefs because the meat structure is preserved as well as possible. This keeps the meat very juicy. They usually use the carving knife with a carving fork. Together, the carving fork and the carving knife make up the so-called carving set.

A carving knife together with a carving fork can achieve excellent results. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Kotsch)

Another advantage of the carving knife is that the meat slides off the knife instead of sticking to it after you have cut it.
It achieves this thanks to its unique shape and special sharpness.

A carving knife is used for cold carving as well as for hot carving. The names already give you an idea of what it is: Warm carving involves cutting up warm food, whereas cold carving involves cutting up food that has already cooled down.

What alternatives are there to carving knives?

There is no alternative to the carving knife as such, because no other type of knife can cut meat so tenderly and no other type has such a smooth blade that meat does not stick to the blade.

But if these qualities are not so important to you, you can of course use a normal chef's knife. For meat, it is important that you have a longer blade, between about 15 cm and 30 cm.

In addition, the blade of your knife must be very sharp so that you can cut well through the meat.

Utility knives are not suitable for carving meat, as they have far too short blades and are usually not sharp enough to carve a roast, for example.

What is the difference between carving knives and chef's knives?

The difference between a carving knife and a normal chef's knife is that the carving knife is a special knife for cutting meat. The chef's knife, on the other hand, can be used in many different areas.

This means that you can probably use a normal chef's knife more often in the kitchen. With this knife, you can not only cut meat, but also vegetables and fish the way you want.

For many amateur chefs, a normal chef's knife will suffice for cutting meat. However, if you want to have precise pieces of meat that retain the structure of the meat as well as possible, then you should consider buying a carving knife.

Also, if you roast meat very often and cook with it a lot, then it is worth taking this step. However, if you don't like to cook that much or only cut a little meat, then a simple chef's knife is also suitable.

How much do carving knives cost?

Carving knives come in all price ranges. Some cost as little as €20, many are between €40 and €70, but there are also some that cost more than €150.

Of course, it all depends on how much you value quality in your knives and how often you will use them. Higher priced knives often come with higher quality.

Inexpensive knives are usually not well made either. Another advantage to higher quality knives is that they promise a long life. Some suppliers even advertise that they give a lifetime guarantee on their knives.

Decision: What types of carving knives are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a carving knife, there are three alternatives to choose from:

  • Carving knives made of stainless steel
  • Carving knives made of carbon steel
  • Carving knives made of Damascus steel

Depending on the area of application, you can choose one of these three categories. The following sections will help you make your decision.

What distinguishes a carving knife made of stainless steel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

One advantage of stainless steel knife blades is that they are unlikely to rust. In addition, stainless steel still shines after many years of use and there are few signs of wear.

Although stainless steel knives are sharp, they are still not as sharp as other materials for blades. However, a stainless steel knife is very well made for everyday cutting. It is difficult to break and withstands many everyday tests.

Advantages
  • Stable
  • Stainless
  • Long life
Disadvantages
  • Not as sharp as other materials for knives
  • Does not resharpen as easily as other materials when worn

What distinguishes a carving knife made of carbon steel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Carving knives with a carbon steel blade are known for being very sharp and having a long service life.

They are also cheaper than most knives without sacrificing much quality. Another advantage of carving knives with a carbon steel blade is the ease with which they can be re-sharpened when they no longer have the desired sharpness.

Unlike many other materials that can be used for knife blades, carbon knives may impart a slightly metallic taste to the food being cut. This usually only happens when they are brand new.

In addition, knife blades made of carbon can rust if they are not cared for properly. This happens more often with this material than with other materials.

Advantages
  • Good quality at a comparatively low price
  • Easy to sharpen the knife
  • Very sharp
Disadvantages
  • Rust can occur
  • It can give off a slightly metallic taste to the cut food

What distinguishes a carving knife made of Damascus steel and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A carving knife that has a blade made of Damascus steel is basically only suitable for professionals. Damascus steel is made of different types of steel and has a very special grain.

It is characterised by being extremely sharp and durable.
For this reason, however, it is also extremely expensive and probably less suitable for use in private households.

Despite the fact that a carving knife made of damask can be a very high investment, the results are convincing due to the sharpness and cutting accuracy of this sharp material.

However, cleaning must be done using mild detergents and a carving knife made of Damascus steel should not be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Advantages
  • Very sharp
  • Special material
  • Very long life
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive
  • No cleaning in the dishwasher

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate carving knives

We have listed the buying criteria that you should definitely consider when buying a carving knife. It is important that you think about each point carefully before buying a carving knife.

  • Blade material
  • Price
  • Size
  • Cleaning
  • Material of the handle

We have written a description of each criterion to make your choice easier.

Blade material

The material of the blade is a very important factor when deciding on a carving knife. You can choose between a carving knife made of Damascus steel, carbon steel or stainless steel.

We have explained the different types above and also highlighted and compared their advantages and disadvantages.

A carving knife is characterised by its special blade. (Image source: unsplash.com / José Ignacio Pompé)

Price

An important criterion when buying is, of course, the purchase price. It is important to think about how much money you want to spend on your new carving knife.

Quality and price are usually closely related, especially with knives. You should make sure that the carving knife is of good quality so that you can use it for as long as possible.

When buying, you can also look at whether the manufacturer gives a lifetime guarantee on its product. With these, you have a greater assurance that the knives are of adequate quality.

Size

Carving knives can vary greatly in length. The average length of a carving knife is between 15cm and 30cm. The length of the handle must also be right. The knife must be comfortable for you to hold and you must be able to cut well with it.

Women are better off with shorter handles and blades, as they are usually smaller than men and have smaller hands.
Smaller handles often fit better in their hands and they can therefore handle shorter blades better.

Men, on the other hand, should prefer longer blades for their knives. They usually have larger hands and not only need a longer handle, but also a longer blade to achieve their optimal cutting result.

Blade length size of chef
16cm - 20cm chefs under 175cm
20cm chefs between 175cm and 185cm
20cm - 30cm chefs from 185cm

Cleaning

The cleaning of the carving knife is also an important topic that needs to be considered before buying. Questions you should ask yourself include whether the knife can be cleaned in the dishwasher or not.

Many knives should not be cleaned in the dishwasher, as the handle can be damaged and the blade can become blunt.
However, you can put some knives in the dishwasher without hesitation. Always check the manufacturer's specific instructions before buying.

The manufacturer or the seller of the carving knife will also tell you about other cleaning options. One possibility, for example, is to use a mild washing-up liquid and a cloth to clean the knife carefully.

Material of the handle

Just like the material of the blade, the material of the handle is also very important if you decide to buy a carving knife. There are wooden handles, steel handles and plastic handles.

In the table below we have summarised the types of handles:

Handle material Description
Wood Individual material that is very comfortable to hold and looks very nice. However, it requires extensive care and cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher as the wood can swell.
Steel A very stable and durable material that can be used for years without showing major signs of wear. Due to the smooth material, you can slip off the steel if your hands are wet, which could affect your safety. Because the knife is so cold, it can feel uncomfortable in your hand.
Plastic Plastic as a material for the handle of a knife is scratch-resistant and it feels good and secure in your hand. However, frequent cleaning can make the handle porous and change its texture.

Facts worth knowing about carving knives

How can I sharpen a carving knife properly?

You should sharpen your carving knife fairly often with a whetstone or sharpening rod so that it still glides perfectly through your roast and cuts perfect slices of meat.

If you neglect to sharpen your carving knife, you will see this in the cutting result.

When buying a sharpening rod or a sharpening stone, it is important to make sure that the material of your knife blade is suitable. If it is not suitable, your knife may break.

How can I clean a carving knife properly?

A carving knife should be cleaned properly after each use, especially since the knife is mainly used to cut meat, bacteria can settle on the meat. However, by cleaning your carving knife properly, you can use it safely.

To protect the blade and keep it as sharp as possible and prevent it from rusting, you should wash your carving knife by hand and not put it in the dishwasher.

If you are not sure how to clean the blade of your knife without breaking it, you should use a mild dishwashing liquid. With this and lukewarm water, you can clean your knife without breaking it.

Image source: unsplash.com / Emerson Vieira

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