Best Carving Knife in 2020

After more than 16 hours of research and testing, our pick for best carving knife goes to the Dalstrong Carving Knife. This carving knife is very well-rounded with a 12″ German steel blade, 56+ Rockwell hardness-rating, and a comfortable ergonomic handle that makes it easy to hold.

Choosing the best carving knives could mean the difference between excess drag and a poorly cut steak and precise cuts each time. Our evaluation focused on design, construction (e.g. high carbon steel, flexible blade), multi-purpose ability (skinning, boning, etc.), food safety, and auxiliary features such as sheaths and finger guards. Keep reading to learn more about the Dalstrong Carving Knife and other high-grade carving knives available for purchase.

Top 7 Best Carving Knives

 #1  Dalstrong Gladiator Series Carving Knife

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best carving knife for cutting through thick slabs of meat and prepping vegetables, thanks to a high-carbon 56+ Rockwell hardness-rated construction and flexible blade.

Pros
  • Extra-long blade & great with precise cuts
  • Excellent 56+ Rockwell hardness
  • Includes a decorative sheath for easy storage
Cons
  • Heavy wear and needs regular sharpening
  • May be too long for some people

This chef’s knife is ingeniously designed, featuring a triple-riveted, high carbon 12″ ThyssenKrupp German steel blade, providing ample clearance between the hands and food prep table. At 12 inches, this is the longest blade on our list. We love it for carving all kinds of foods, including fruits, vegetables, ham, and heavy roasts.

Thanks to an ergonomic handle, this Dalstrong carving knife cuts through the thickest meats like butter. A flexible, 56+ Rockwell hardness-rated blade also helps with leverage and works equally well with trimming, skinning, and filleting to thin strips. Kudos for being BPA-free, a common chemical additive found in plastics known to cause health defects. If you want the best from your other knives, our guide to the best knife brands might be a good place to start.

 #2  Mairico Ultra Sharp Premium Carving Knife

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 11-inch stainless steel carving knife comes with a lightweight construction and a finger protecting bolster on the blade’s base, making it a great choice for beginner cutters.

Pros
  • Best on a budget
  • Easily cuts through thick brisket and other tough meats
  • Includes BPA-free, stain-resistant sheath
Cons
  • A little stiff for skinning and slicing fillets
  • Could have a bit better weight distribution

This best carving knife for brisket is very expertly designed with a super sharp 11-inch stainless steel blade. We love it for cutting brisket, smoked salmon, roast, as well as fruits and vegetables. An ergonomic design uses a contoured black pakkawood handle, which conforms well to your hand for good control and little hand fatigue.

We love the hand-polished bolster on this carving knife, which helps create better weight distribution for a finer cut. It also helps protect your fingers from getting sliced accidentally. Kudos for an included sheath, which is BPA-free and stain-resistant. This is especially convenient for those who do not have a knife block to place it in when not in use. If you’re serving appetizers, you might also want to read our review of the best oyster knife.

 #3  Wusthof Classic Two Piece Carving Knife

Award: BEST FOR LARGE ROASTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This full-tang knife is made with a 58 Rockwell hardness-rated high-carbon stainless steel and includes a meat fork, making it a great choice for guiding large roasts for cutting.

Pros
  • Hollow edged, vertical blade indentations for cleaner cuts
  • Rust-resistant handle
  • Includes straight meat fork
Cons
  • Does not ship with a case

This carving knife cuts through meats cleanly with a polished tip and small vertical indentations, which create air pockets between the blade and food to help limit friction. This results in really clean cuts with no drag. Kudos for an included straight meat fork which helps larger slabs of meat in place while cutting.

Aside from the world-renowned Wusthof name, we love this carving knife’s rust-resistant polyoxymethylene (POM) handle, which creates a comfortable grip. A full bolster and finger guard also prevent nicks or accidental cuts. We appreciate this for clumsier beginner cooks with limited cutting experience. If you need a knife that you can take with you on the go, take a look at the best pocket knife.

 #4  Cangshan S1 Series 61895 German Steel Forged 2-Piece Carving Knives

Award: SHARPEST

WHY WE LIKE IT: This knife set comes with a 9-inch steel forged carving knife with a 601 TYCC sharpness rating, making it very well suited for very heavy use (such as restaurants).

Pros
  • Patented handle provides an excellent grip
  • Includes straight meat fork
  • Long-lasting sharpness 601 TYCC (total cord cut) rating
Cons
  • Not rust resistant
  • Not the most durable handles

This steel forged knife is very, very sharp with a rating of 58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. An ice-hardened blade and ULTRA6 heat treatment really help create a high-quality product. Plus, with a 601 TYCC (total cord cut) rating, a measurement that reflects sharpness longevity, it is highly recommended for heavy restaurant and commercial use where there may be little time for sharpening.

This carving knife’s handle is slightly curved for a nice ergonomic grip, allowing users to retain good control when cutting. Kudos for an included 10-inch straight meat fork which helps control large slabs of neat, such as full turkeys while cutting. If you already have the best butcher knife, you’ll also be interested in our guide to the best butcher block oil.

 #5  Paudin Pro Carving Knife

Award: MOST DURABLE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 8″ carving knife comes with a soft, ergonomic handle and German steel blade construction, great for people who want a very durable blade expected to go under heavy wear and tear.

Pros
  • 56+ Rockwell hardness-rated blade
  • Rust and stain resistant
  • Glides easily for precise cuts
Cons
  • The stopper may be too small for some people
  • Not dishwasher safe – hand washing recommended

We love this carving knife’s construction, consisting of a 56+ Rockwell hardness scale rated stainless steel blade which really slices onto fruits, vegetables, soft meats (e.g. fish), and harder meats (briskets) really effortlessly. A contoured wooden ergonomic handle makes it very easy to hold and the weight distribution is evenly proportioned for good control. Consider this one of the best wood carving knives.

We like the fact this best slicing knife’s razor-sharp blade is rust and stain-resistant. Combined with its hardness rating, it is an absolute workhorse that should suit commercial kitchens and high volume areas well. All in all, we were very impressed with this carving knife’s overall build quality.

 #6  Henckels Classic Carving Knife

Award: EASIEST TO CLEAN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This classic carving knife comes in a set consisting of an 8″ knife and a 7″ straight carving fork, both of which are dishwasher safe, making this a good choice for people who prefer easy cleanup and extra help cutting larger slabs of meat.

Pros
  • High quality fully forged blade
  • Even weight distribution and balance
  • Includes a sturdy straight meat fork
Cons
  • Handle corners may feel a bit sharp for some people

This carving knife’s construction is spot on, constructed using premium-grade German stainless steel. A triple-rivet handle also makes it very easy to control. While testing, cutting into soft filet mignon and thicker briskets was effortless, with finely cut sliced meat every time. Weight distribution is pretty balanced, so we are confident using this knife for preparing fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Kudos for this knife and fork being dishwasher safe and inclusive of a straight meat fork, which helps keep the meat in place while cutting. We like not having to purchase a separate fork, which may or may not match the knife’s aesthetics.

 #7  Dalstrong Phantom Series Carving Knife

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 12″ slicing and carving knife comes with a heavily tapered construction, good for reducing drag for more precise cuts who also want a safer storage option when not in use.

Pros
  • Nitrogen-cooled blade; cuts effortlessly
  • Granton edge for a cleaner cut
  • Stainless steel end cap for a nice balance and weight distribution
Cons
  • Sharpening recommended out of the box
  • Some users may find handle too heavy
  • Popping sheath best when laying knife flat

This best carving knife is an absolute workhorse, with a high carbon steel construction and 58 Rockwell hardness scale rating for ultra sharpness and durability. Kudos for a decorative D-shaped Spanish pakkawood handle, which confirms well to the palm for a sturdy grip, as well as a stainless steel end cap to counterbalance.

Engraved indentations along this Japanese steel carving knife’s blade also produce air pockets between the blade and meat. This is what’s known as a Granton edge and works wonders for a cleaner cut.

How We Decided

In determining the best carving knife to buy, we explored design, construction (e.g. high carbon steel, flexible blade), multi-purpose ability (skinning, boning, etc.), food safety, and auxiliary features such as sheaths.

The design is absolutely critical. Larger blades (8″+) allow for ample clearance between a slab of meat and body and small details, such as engraved indentations on the blades (e.g. Dalstrong Phantom Series Carving Knife) create more “space” between the knife and meat, resulting in less drag/friction and a cleaner cut. This is also known as a Granton edge. Handles should also be slightly contoured and non-slip for a well-controlled grip.

Another important component of design and construction is a knife’s hardness. Its Rockwell rating measures hardness. The higher the number, the harder and more durable the knife. What a way to hold an edge. High-quality knives typically range in the 56 to 66 hardness range, with smaller knives (e.g. throwing knives and everyday carry) a little less. High carbon steel blades typically hold the highest scores.

We recommend carving knives that are lightweight and maneuverable enough to perform a wide range of cutting types, including skinning, and filleting. Sharp blades allow for a nice precise cut.

Lastly, we focused on auxiliary features such as sheaths for easy safeguarding and straight meat hooks, which help cooks better maneuver large slabs of meat for easier cutting.

Best Carving Knives Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Design
    We like 8″+ blades, which are long enough for more precise cuts and greater clearance between the table and meat. Engraved identification and flexible blades also help create a more precise cut by eliminating friction and drag. Ergonomic handles are also a plus, with D-shaped handles and weighty bolsters preferred.
  2. Construction
    Look for Rockwell hardness rated carving knives with at least a 50 score or higher, which speaks to the durability and cutting ability. The higher the number, the harder the steel and the better its sharp edge retention, resulting in less time spent sharpening.
  3. Multi-Purpose Ability
    Look for carving knives that are lightweight enough for skinny and filleting to fully take advantage of all of the benefits it has to offer. This could also help you discern between slicing and carving knives. Why have multiple knives for different purposes when you can use just one?

Carving Knives FAQs

How long should a carving knife be?

We recommend carving knives that have at least an 8" blade (10" preferred), which works best in cutting larger pieces of meat. These blade lengths also create better spacing between user and meat to prevent accidental nicks.

What is the difference between a carving and slicing knife?

In the battle of slicing knife vs carving knife, carving knives are used for cutting larger pieces of meat, whereas slicing knives are more suited for smaller fruits and vegetables. Note, they are not mutually exclusive with the difference carving knives are typically longer.

What makes a good carving knife?

Look for blades at least 8" long (10" preferred) with a sharp point to better cut through thickest meat, bone, and cartilage.

What is the best carving knife?

In our opinion, the best carving knife is the Dalstrong Gladiator Series Carving Knife It is an absolute winner with a high-carbon 56+ Rockwell hardness-rated construction, flexible blade, and an ergonomic handle that makes it comfortable to trim, skin, and fillet.

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Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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