Choosing a good steak knife set is a lot more tricky than you might think. Knowing those factors might be the difference between you grinding into your steak vs. a few clean cuts.
Sharp edges are a good start, but we plan on digging into what you need to look for when selecting the best steak knives.
The Characteristics of a Good Steak Knife Set
The best set has the following qualities:
The combination of all these factors creates a quality steak knife. Below, we will dig into why these factors are essential:
Serrated Knives vs. Straight Edges - Steak Knives
When cutting cooked meat, a straight blade won't cut it (literally). This is a problem regardless of how much sharpening you do to the edge.
The reasoning comes back to the lack of grip that comes with straight edges. While straightforward, curved blades are great when you press down; pressing down onto a steak will tear the meat.
Unless you want to turn your steak into ground beef, you will not want to cut it with a straight edge.
A serrated edge works great for both bread and tomatoes for the same reason. The serrated edge "grips" onto the surface of whatever your cutting, allowing you to perform smooth back-and-forth motions.
It would be best if you did not have to press down with a well-sharpened serrated edge. The result is a clean cut without forcing through the meat.
An Ergonomic Handle (with a Full Tang)
A good steak knife set has to be of medium weight, partially from choosing a full tang. Full-tang construction applies a level of sturdiness and heaviness to the blade. That way, it lasts for a long time.
The best steak knives need to keep the shape of the human hand in mind. Many of your economy options have a straight, wooden handle. If you don't want to spend the money for it, that's fine, but you will find yourself gripping to the handle uncomfortable.
A promising sign that your handle works come from comparing it to the size of your blade. If the two are comparable (with your full tang), that means you have a balanced knife.
Stainless Steel vs. Carbon Blades - Which is Better?
Carbon blades are great at being incredibly durable. As a long-lasting product, you don't have to spend a lot of time worrying about them. They are also pretty easy to sharpen.
However, stainless steel products have two primary advantages over carbon-style blades:
Don't be fooled into thinking that a shiny blade is your best bet. The best form of this comes back to German stainless steel.
German steel is tough, long-lasting, and durable. Our Kobe Classic Black Four-Piece Set is made of this material because of those advantages.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with carbon steel blades, but our preference will always be for the long-term effectiveness of these blades.
High Marks on the Rockwell Ratings
Rockwell Hardness Ratings are a proven statistic on the durability of knives. If you want to buy a set of expensive knives that will last forever, you need to check this scale.
Rockwell ratings come from the level of pressure they can withstand. This pressure is measured in Newtons, with one newton being equivalent to an apple resting on a table under earth's gravity.
Ideally speaking, your Rockwell rating for good knives should be at least 45. Even better if they are up to 50.
The idea of a knife surviving 50 newtons of force sounds a bit silly, but knife makers use it as a test of long-lasting durability. Good knives will be more than willing to run this test.
The best steak knife, sometimes called a table knife, is known for having a stainless steel serrated edge. The blade must be heavy enough to allow for controlled cutting and ergonomic to fit into all-sized hands. Your dinner table should settle for nothing less when it comes to smoothly cutting through your tough meats.
We have a series of fantastic steak knives that we'd love to thank our knife makers for providing us. If you want to buy a set, we would be eternally thankful.