A professional chef without the right set of knives is like a violinist without a bow. He/she can learn to work without it, but the perfection can be created only while using the right equipment.
Imagine if you're on your perfect chef shoes and going to prepare a dinner for some famous international guests who are about to invest in your restaurant. Your foot might be comfortable but you're not while thinking about the meal. It has to be delicious and beautifully decorated at the same time.
However, you've heard that your guests are real meat lovers, so you decide on making some poultry related dish. You are one of the best and most experienced chefs in the world, and you know that if you want to make thin and round slices - high-quality carving knife is an absolute necessity besides your normal chef's knife. At that point, you are happy that you had just bought new carving knife last week.
A few hours later, your investors are amazed at your cooking skills, and they decide to give you a generous amount of money. Everything went better than expected.
Think about that carving knife that saved your life in this situation. If this happened in reality, which brand would the knife be? Where would you buy it? What type would it be? How much money would you spend on it?
We are here today to help you find answers to all of the questions above. We are determined to find the best carving knife on the market. Keep reading for more information.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
What is a carving knife?
Carving knife or carver is simply the knife we use when we want to slice the meat, divide it and portion it. It usually has an 8 to 15-inch long blade, and it produces thin and uniform slices of poultry, meat or roasts. The length of the blade you choose depends on your needs. Your knife should always be longer than the largest piece of meat you plan on slicing.
These knives have thin, narrow blades and pointy tips, which help them slide through meat more efficiently and cut around bones and joints. Some people decide to use extremely sharp but wider chef's knife for carving, which then hampers the slicing, and results in meat drag. This is why it is important to look for thin and narrow blades instead of sharp and wide ones.
Some of the carving knives are improved with grantors. This means they have shallow dimples along the blade’s sides, which reduce meat resistance even further and cut thinner slices.
Except for narrow pointy knives, you might also come across ones with a rounded tip or serrated edge.
Carvers with a rounded tip are often used instead of the regular carving knives because they reduce the danger of injury that can happen while using a knife with a pointy end. They are mainly used for carving ham or boneless roasts. Usually, they come with the Granton edges.
On the other hand, knives with serrated edges can be used as carvers but they are not such a good idea. Because of the meat’s texture, serrations tend to tear or shred the meat. That's okay if you don't care about the looks of your food, but if your food’s decoration has to be exceptional, stay away from serrations. However, if you plan on cutting through tougher things than meat, such as bread or some fruit, the serrated blade will serve you right.
What to look for when buying a carving knife?
When you decide on buying a carving knife, there are certain things you should look for. Of course, now you know to search for pointy tips or round ones, Granton edges, to avoid serrations and so on. However, there are some general rules in knife purchasing that can be applied to carving knives too.
As first, buy in a store that lets you take a knife in your hand. Of course, you can order your knife online because that can save you a lot of money, but still, go to some store, and hold in your hands the knife that you plan on buying online. This is a crucial step. Also, if you have enough money, it is always better to go with a hand-forged knife.
You’ll need to pay attention to the blade, the handle, grip, balance, weight, and many other factors. Going through all of these tips would provide you with a hundred pages long buying guide, so we are advising you to visit this page that will help you recognize high-quality knives.
How to use the carving knife?
At last, we come to the most important question. What to do with the knife once it is purchased? Well, carve the meat of course, but how to do it. Here are some guidelines that should help you handle the meat carving like a pro:
- After you take your meat out of the oven, let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. This will enable it to finish cooking and make it easier for cutting at the same time.
- Place a wooden board underneath your meat. Contact with metal or porcelain will ruin your knife.
- Be gentle, don't apply unnecessary pressure. This will affect the shape of the meat and blunt your knife at the same time. Remember to slice against the grain.
- If you buy a good knife, it will do the work for you. The right knife will be lightweight, so you'll be able to make long even strokes with its whole length.
- If there's a bone in the meat, watch out for it. Make an incision along the bone so that the slices can fall off freely.
- After you carve the meat, do not wash your knife in soapy water. Wipe it with a damp cloth, dry it and rub the blades with olive oil. At last, wrap your knife in greaseproof paper, and it will be ready for next use.
If you are more of a visual learner, this video might help you learn how to carve meat properly.
The Best Carving Knives - Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
- #1. Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife - Lightweight and sharp
- #2. Culina 2-piece Knife and Fork Carving Set - Heavy and comfortable
- #3. Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife - Balanced and trustworthy
- #4. Victorinox 12 Inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade - A little machete
- #5. Mercer Culinary Millennia 14-Inch Granton-Edge Slicer Knife - Sturdy and long
Mercer’s 8-inch knife is one of those knives that can serve many purposes. For the amount of money you pay, you will get a blade that can cut through meat, vegetable, fruit and bread, almost anything you imagine. The knife is extremely sharp, so you better watch your fingers!
However, you shouldn't be too worried about unfortunate accidents because it offers an excellent grip. Mercer’s handle is designed to protect your fingers, and it is not slippery. The blade is made of one piece Japanese steel, which should guarantee high-quality.
On the other hand, it gets duller after only a few uses. You probably guessed by now, but you shouldn't put it in the dishwasher, just clean it with a wet cloth. When you get the knife in your hands, you'll notice it is extremely lightweight; you will barely feel it. Some people think this is great because it can be used for several hours without your hands getting numb, but others think it is a disadvantage because they trust heavier knives more.
- Ideal for cutting bread.
- It has an excellent grip.
- Extremely sharp.
- It has a high-quality blade.
- Quickly gets dull.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Wider than usual carvers.
- Very lightweight.
For those who disliked the lightweight of the previous knife, this set is a perfect solution. It is heavy, and it feels good in your hands. For the money you invest in this set, you will get two pieces - sharp knife and fork. Both 10 inch long, which you should pay attention to before purchasing because many people prefer 8-inch blade better.
This is made for dealing with turkey and other big meats. The knife will cut your meat perfectly, while fork keeps it securely in place. Both pieces have comfortable, riveted handles which offer good grip and safe slicing.
However, this is not a heavy-duty product. It is made out of food safe stainless steel, but we wouldn't swear on its quality. The fork tends to bend a little if you push it too hard. However, if you follow our instructions above and use the set properly, you shouldn't have any problems.
- The knife is sharp.
- Both pieces of the set are comfortable in hand.
- Anyone can afford it.
- Heavy and sturdy.
- Handles offer ergonomic design.
- The fork might bend a little.
- The knife is not made out of the best steel.
- Both pieces might be longer than you've expected.
#3. Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife - Balanced and trustworthy
If you are out to buy a bread knife exclusively, we would recommend this one. If you want it to cut meat or other things, simply skip it. Why? Well, it has a serrated edge, and we already talked about how that can be a problem for softly textured groceries.
On the other hand, if you purchase this knife you will get sharp, well-balanced blade that comes with a well-designed handle to protect your hands from injuries. At the same time, you won't spend too much on it, and you will get high-quality Japanese stainless steel. This, of course, means that the knife is not dishwasher safe.
However, if you complained about previous Mercer’s knife being too lightweight, you will have the same problem with this one too. Prepare your sharpening stone, because the blade needs to be sharpened regularly in order to give its best performance. Also, this is a 10-inch blade, I cannot imagine bread wide enough to require a blade of such length, but here it is.
- Handles have an ergonomic design./
- The knife is well balanced.
- Very very sharp.
- It has a good price.
- Made out of Japanese stainless-steel.
- Made exclusively for bread slicing.
- Too long for the purpose.
- Needs to be sharpened too often.
- More lightweight than expected.
#4. Victorinox 12 Inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade - A little machete
If you decide on buying Victorinox’s slicing knife, you'll probably spend more than you have planned but it will pay off. Well, it depends on your taste. However, you will get high-quality, durable knife made in Switzerland that comes with a lifetime warranty.
The blade is extremely sharp and has grantons, which means it can slice everything with ease - meat, fruits or sandwiches. Still, remember that the blade is 12 inches long, so you'll be practically getting a little machete instead of a knife. No matter the great balance, you can still have problems handling such a long blade.
The handle is textured, so it won't be slippery, but you will still have to watch for your fingers. The blade may come as razor sharp once you buy it, but it will need regular sharpening to stay in shape. However, you should consider buying a sleeve or a tip for it, because you might have a problem storing such a long knife.
- It has grantons.
- It is very sharp.
- Good for slicing through very tender meat.
- The handle is non-slip.
- It has a good balance.
- Too long to grasp safely.
- Needs to be often sharpened.
- It has difficulties slicing through tough pieces of meat.
#5. Mercer Culinary Millennia 14-Inch Granton-Edge Slicer Knife - Sturdy and long
If we compared the previous knife with the machete, this is literally a sword. Also, Mercer’s knife is more affordable than the one above, and it has grantons, too. If you decide on buying this blade, you will get a sturdy and sharp piece of equipment that comes with a lifetime warranty.
Of course, it cannot go into a dishwasher, and it gets dull quicker than you would like, but it is still pretty easy to maintain. A damp cloth and a good sharpener will solve the problem. Again, this knife is extremely lightweight, which may be a disadvantage considering its length. It gets you to question its balance.
You should be aware, that even if it is made of Japanese stainless steel, the knife is manufactured in Taiwan. It is useful for slicing through brisket or any other large meat, but it might be complicated to handle if you want to cut some smaller pieces.
- It comes with the limited lifetime warranty.
- Made out of Japanese stainless-steel.
- It’s sharp and sturdy.
- It is affordable.
- It is easy to maintain.
- It gets dull quickly.
- Made in Taiwan.
- It weighs only 8.8 ounces.
- Hard to use on smaller pieces.
After considering all of the blades, and the fact that we were looking for a carver that will give us the perfect, uniform and thin slices of meat - we decided to go with the Victorinox 12 Inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade.
It might be a little over the top and expensive, but it offers the best qualities. However, it is not a traditional carving knife, because it doesn't have a pointy tip and it would be difficult to slice meat that has bones with it. So, we would recommend buying the Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife at the same time. That way you will have all of the equipment you need to slice like a pro!
Enjoy your carving and have a good meal!