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Nov 3, 2012 05:06 PM

Good or better quality steak knives? Wusthof Classic? Henckels Professional S?

Looking on-line, it's pretty hard to discern meaningful differences in the high end "German" steak knives. Some are plain edged, others "hollow" edged, some have aluminum cases but, the real differences are lost in weak descriptions.

What high quality steak knives would you buy? Where would you shop? My price range is ~$100~$150 for 4 FWIW and I'm nowhere near a good knife store so online really is my only option.


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  1. I don't have steak knives. I find my regular knives adequate. Aren't you one of the knife experts here? Who are you looking advices from?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I'm looking for a good set of knives to use with friends and family at dinner. No laminated Japanese knives, handmades, uber-expensive, etc. Yes, with good cuts of meat cooked properly, who really needs a knife? My mom in particular selects meat that tests my cooking skills so, I need to bring something that really cuts but isn't over the top and .... don't cringe, could suffer through a dishwasher.

      The stamped stuff I have tried shreds meat and doesn't seem to really "cut" meat. I need something durable (i.e. against bones and ceramic plates) that won't be damaged with non-knife knutts. Also, something that won't suffer unduly from being washed the following morning.

      My German steak knife experience is non-existent. Japanese Petty's and other options are fine for me but, not for most of my friends and definitely not family members.

      If you want to talk Messermeister vs. Wusthof vs. Henckels Chef's knives I'm good to go. Add the Japanese equivalents with knives from 210mm to 300mm and I'm covered well. Laminates, stainless, handmade carbon, yep.

      How, specifically, do the German "steak" knives compare to each other with tougher cuts of meat? I don't really want to throw away the time and money with a sub-par set of "steak" knives.

      1. re: Sid Post

        Research *Gaucho* knives. Inexpensive round edge, or more expensive blades. They are restaurant industry standards that have some weight and good feel when handled.

        This is assuming you are looking for something reliable and gets the job done.

    2. woot's been decent to me. occasionally they have steak knives on. great quality knives... but who needs them for steak? Don't you cut steak on a plate? Wont' that dull the knives toot sweet?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chowrin

        Sometimes, there is no way around cutting up a tough cut on your plate. When I cook things I bought, all I really need is a fork. However, I need some knives in the ~$25~30 range that will work well and won't make me cringe when a friend or family member "saws" against a bone or plate when another family member serves imitation shoe leather as a steak or some other cut.

      2. I have this 8 pc. SS set from Henckels that are well within your price range. They have a no-stain serrated edge that is plenty sharp. The full stainless steel design will present nicely with your better than everyday place settings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: letsindulge

          Thanks letsindulge! I saw a set of those recently. Do they work well on tougher meat and around bones? The pricepoint is easier to deal with at family events and the all stainless design will certainly tolerate some abuse better than most of the other options I have.

          1. re: Sid Post

            It's not a "honking huge" knife. The blade is 1/2" and despite it looking stylishly elegant, it get's the job done with excellent maneuverability and finesse.

        2. Sid,

          There has always been a debate between serrated steak knives vs non-serrated steak knives. Serrated knives are a bit more aggressive, but they sometime shred the meat.

          Regardless, Victorinox steak knives have been recommended here a few times on CHOWHOUND. This includes the cheaper ones and the more expensive ones:

          Needless to say, Laguiole steak knives have been recommended a few times here as well:

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Thanks Chem!

            I have used a set of knives like those in the first link. In fact I still probably have them packed away somewhere. They were not stiff enough to really cut a Thanksgiving ham that wasn't cooked enough to be tender.

            The bolsterless design of the second set is attractive. The wood scales look nice but, I'm not sure they are up to rougher service. At ~$140, I'm not sure a stamped blade is good value either.

            Laguiole is one brand I will try someday. I keep thinking about one of their "picnic" knives and will probably get one if I ever go to France (or next time I go to Europe). Their slim handles are out for this application. When my hands and wrists are bothering me, a Petty or Utility knife works well but, that is a "no go" for my mother and sisters.

            "There has always been a debate between serrated steak knives vs non-serrated steak knives. Serrated knives are a bit more aggressive, but they sometime shred the meat."

            That's one thing I was hoping to get owner feedback on. The Wusthof "scalloped" edges seem like they might still be a fairly keen edge for cutting, not shredding, tough meat. With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, under cooked ham and dry turkey from years past has me looking for a graceful way to bring a better knife to my mother's table.

            1. re: Sid Post

              I have dishwasher safe Laguioles Sid, and they're great. Micro serrations, but no shredding whatsoever. Just excellent cutting. I'm 6'3" with big hands but the slim handles seem to work just fine. Different if you have joint issues though I guess. Mine are dirt cheap (circa $50 for 6) and fun colours. We have the matching forks too:


                1. re: Robin Joy

                  Agree on the Laguiole-style (I've got Barenthal ones). I'm 6'5'' with pretty big hands, and they work well.

                  Having said that, I also have a slim Henckel stainless steel set as well as a Dansk one with thick wooden handles. It varies which we use, but generally I enjoy more delicate ones for e.g. filet, and the heavier ones for T-bone and ribeye.

            2. For serrated edge steak knives I have never found or used any that worked better than my steakhouse style knives from Ace Restaurant Supply and they were about thirty dollars for a dozen. If you really want sharp, non-serrated, how about paring knives? I sometimes use a Nogent paring knife as a steak knife. The steak knives from Wusthof and the like look awfully like 4" paring knives to me. Of course, none of the options I mentioned will look nearly as nice as Laguioles...