The Best Steak Knife Sets Go Beyond Black Handles and Chunky Profiles
But if you like that, we have a normcore pick, too.
Published Sep 11, 2022 1:21 AM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
Cutting meat with a butter knife is like drinking wine out of a coffee mug—it gets the job done, but it’s a bit…off. A far better approach for your next rib eye would be picking up a beautifully crafted steak knife set. Though sometimes overlooked by those who don’t eat meat as frequently, keeping a set of these sharp beauties is an easy way to impress your guests (and to better enjoy your meal).
And before you start thinking about spending your money on any old run-of-the-mill knife set, we’ll take this moment to interrupt: Knives can be fun! Chic, even! Our style editor, Julia Stevens, knows this. “Because you probably won’t use steak knives for every meal, they’re a good category to have a little more fun with than typical flatware,” she notes. “Opting for rainbow colors, textured wood, and glossy finishes are all ways to make your knives feel as celebratory as the delicious meal you just cooked up.” Ahead, eight examples to prove our point.
- Best colorful: Opinel 125 Bon Appetit Table Knives
- Best stainless steel: Mepra American Steak Knife Set
- Best classic steakhouse vibes: Zwilling Steak Knife Set
- Best modern: Material The Table Knives
- Best chic French look: Schoolhouse French Steak Knife Set
- Best old-school elegance: Capdeco Conty Steak Knife Set
- Best rounded blades: Claude Dozorme Marly Steak Knives
- Best sleek: Jean Dubost Laguiole Steak Knife Set
Best Colorful: Opinel 125 Bon Appetit Table Knives
Length: 8.5 inches | Handle: Varnished wood | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Several cute colorways
- Heritage label
- Need to be hand-washed
Why we chose it: Opinel has been making knives since 1890. They’re durable, long-lasting—and this set of four is less than $50.
What started as a small pocket blade in the late 1800s is now a beloved knife company hailing from the French Alps. We love these Bon Appetit table knives from Opinel for their stainless steel blades and varnished wood handles (the complementary Countryside and Celeste color sets are so cute, no?). Each set comes with four knives, and they should be hand-washed and dried quickly to maintain the vibrancy of the colors. Oh, and if you enjoy fun facts, Pablo Picasso used an Opinel knife to carve his sculptures—how’s that for a durability endorsement?
Best Stainless Steel: Mepra American Steak Knife Set
Length: 9.75 inches | Handle: Stainless steel | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Sleek design
- Double serrated blades
- Heavy in the hand
- Handle is stainless steel
Why we chose it: Heavy in the hand and easy on the eyes, this entirely stainless steel set is as smooth as they come.
Lombardy-based Mepra is a fine flatware and tableware brand whose history goes back several generations (it’s been around since 1947). Its steak knives are crafted entirely out of 18/10 stainless steel and are so elegant you’ll find yourself reaching for them on days when you’re not even having steak. We love the stainless steel finish but also wouldn’t mind a set in rose gold, champagne, or gold. Plus they’ve got a great hand weight to them, which makes gliding into something like a tenderloin feel like strings on a cello.
Best Classic Steakhouse Vibes: Zwilling Steak Knife Set
Length: 10.63 inches | Handle: Matte plastic | Blade material: Special formula steel
What we like:
- 3-rivet handle
- Blades are high carbon and ice hardened
- Lifetime warranty
- Straightforward design
Why we chose it: A German powerhouse delivers on this steak knife set made from high-carbon steel in a style that transports us directly to a steakhouse.
Germany is known for its strong, robust blades, and this four-piece steak knife set from Zwilling upholds that reputation. These knives are made from stamped German stainless steel that was Friodur ice hardened to keep them sharp, durable, and void of rust. The blades are crafted from a special formula steel that’s high in carbon (you know, that compound that makes things stronger), and the whole thing is assembled in Spain. Up top, the handle is triple-riveted for an ergonomic dining experience. Did we mention they are less than $50?
Best Modern: Material The Table Knives
Length: 8.75 inches | Handle: Matte composite | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Straight blade (not serrated)
- Handle is stain-resistant and slightly grippy
- Includes a maple-wood holder
- Nearly $100 for a set of 4
Why we chose it: These straight-blade knives come with a stylish minimalist holder and can be used with more than just steak.
Before even getting into the knives themselves, the fact that Material’s set of four knives comes with a maple holder that can lay horizontal in your drawer or stand vertically on the countertop is a major sell for us. But, of course, the knives also have to pull their own weight (and they do!). This set is made from German stainless steel, and the handles are matte, stain-resistant, and offer a nice amount of grip. They come in four different colors or you can choose to do the “mixed” selection and get one of each hue (all options feel modern and artful). The blade is straight—not serrated—and gives that perfect clean cut you expect from a sharp knife.
Best Chic French Look: Schoolhouse French Steak Knife Set
Length: 8.75 inches | Handle: Stained beechwood | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Beechwood handles
- Brass rivets and hilts
- Handles occasionally need to be treated with oil
Why we chose it: Refine your tablescape with these French-made steak knives featuring wood handles and brass hardware.
Whip up a French-inspired dish to complement these elegant steak knives from Schoolhouse (steak au poivre, perhaps?). Each knife is hand-polished and features a heavy-gauge serrated stainless steel blade that’s been finished with brass rivets and beechwood handles. The set of four comes in a wood storage box that’s equally as refined as the knives. The knives should be hand-washed with warm, soapy water and dried thoroughly. It’s worth noting that since the handles are made of wood, they should be treated periodically with a food-safe oil to ensure their longevity.
Best Old-School Elegance: Capdeco Conty Steak Knife Set
Length: 10.5 inches | Handle: Wood | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Handle is cylindrical
- Set of 6
- Timeless look
Why we chose it: These steak knives are designed with a unique handle and hail from France’s cutlery capital.
Thiers, where French flatware label Capdeco is based, is considered to be the cutlery capital of France. The company is known for its assortment of striking handles, and we love this set of six steak knives featuring a cylindrical wood handle with a natural black stain. The blade is made from stainless steel, and the set comes in a handsome storage case. If you’re going for old-school elegance but with a subtle, modern touch, set these beauties out at your next dinner party.
Best Rounded Blades: Claude Dozorme Marly Steak Knives
Length: 8.25 inches | Handle: Methacrylate | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Modern design
- Rounded blades
- Set of 6 and comes in oak box
- A big investment for nontraditional steak knives
Why we chose it: A gorgeous set of six steak knives featuring a rounded blade and all-around chic look.
Seen on the tables of Paris’s Le Français, Le George, Le Café Marly, and more, these painfully chic steak knives from Claude Dozorme are it. The brand was established in 1902 by Blaise Dozorme, and this set eschews the norm with its rounded steel blades. Available in black or cream and with a methacrylate handle and steel blade, there’s nothing left to do but sit back and admire their unique beauty. Unfortunately, it will cost you upwards of $500 if you choose to do so, but for the fervent foodie, it might just be worth it.
Best Sleek: Jean Dubost Laguiole Steak Knife Set
Length: 9.25 inches | Handle: Olive wood, stainless steel, white | Blade material: Stainless steel
What we like:
- Thick stainless steel
- Micro-serrated blades that are curved
- Good variety of handle styles
- Should be hand-washed
Why we chose it: An effortless addition to the dinner table, these French-made steak knives have a sharp, slightly curved blade and a sleek design.
The Jean Dubost Laguiole steak knives are crafted from thick, heavy-gauge stainless steel, and the six micro-serrated blades are slightly curved to help cut through meat more easily. The handles each have three rivets and come in white, stainless steel, and olive wood. Each includes the Laguiole region’s iconic bee symbol on the hilt and is individually polished and finished by hand, arriving neatly in a wood tray. This is the kind of flatware that won’t make a splashy statement but will elevate the look of your tablescape—versatile and sleek!
How We Chose These Products
Whether it’s the best flatware sets or a powerhouse kitchen knife, cutlery is one of those categories that can be hard to shop for online without seeing or touching IRL. So when it comes to steak knives, we knew it would be helpful to include several perspectives while culling a list of favorites for you to shop. Keeping this in mind, the Domino Style team weighed in on their favorite steak knife sets across a broad range of price points, styles, and flatware designers. We prioritized options with a positive track record of not only performing well at the dinner table, but maintaining their vibrancy after several uses. We also tapped a seasoned dinner party host for her advice on how to select, store, and maintain your steak knives to ensure you’ll be using them for many years to come.
Our Shopping Checklist
While a steak knife’s blade is usually limited to one or two materials, the handle is where you can have some more fun. If you’re looking for a sleek, uniform finish, you can seek out options crafted with a stainless steel handle. Prefer a more traditional design? Perhaps try a handle made from a wood such as beech or olive. There are also composite materials that can be used for both a minimal look or something more festive and modern. What we’re getting after is that a steak knife handle is where customization comes into play, so choose based on what you think will complement your dinner table best and don’t be afraid to have fun with it.
Many of the best steak knives you’ll find are made with a stainless steel blade. This is because stainless steel is very resistant to rust and good at maintaining its luster. It can also stay sharp for a long time and is fairly flexible, meaning it’s less likely to chip. On the other side is carbon steel. Blades made from carbon steel can unfortunately corrode very easily, as they’re not so good with water and humidity. However, they’re considered to be sharper (and easier to sharpen) than their stainless counterpart.
Some of the steak knives on our list note they are safe for the dishwasher. That said, we can’t help but think it’s not worth the risk. “If you’ve gone to the effort to cook, you can go to the effort to hand-wash your steak knives with care,” says Stevens. “We can save time throwing things into the dishwasher on takeout night.” Plus if it’s only four to six knives you’re dealing with, it won’t take so long to show your blades some TLC (warm water and soap is fine, followed immediately by a thorough drying).
Q: How should I store my steak knives?
How you store your steak knives depends on how often you use them and how much space you’re working with. “As we use them so often, they are in the utensils drawer,” Lorenza cofounder Michele Ouellet tells us. If you’re looking for something dedicated solely to your knives, that works, too. “It’s no surprise that Material came out with the smartest storage for its Table Knives (I think every Domino editor owns its magnetic wood stand),” Stevens shares. “Turn it upright if you’re rich in counter space, or lay it down flat if drawers are more your thing.”
Q: Should I be sharpening my steak knives?
If you have steak knives with a serrated blade edge, it’s best to leave sharpening to the professionals. But if they have a straight blade, you can (and should!) use a sharpener to keep your knives razor sharp. Need a suggestion? We love Material’s handheld model.
Q: What’s the best material for steak knives?
A stainless steel blade is most common for steak knives and what we’d recommend. As for the handle, Ouellet is all about a festive pick. “I’ve had my rainbow-handle ones from Laguiole for years and they are used at every meal,” she says. “On the table they add a little color and weight to the tablescape. I also enjoy picking out which color knife goes with each person’s seat.” If you’re looking for something subtler, she adds that seeking out knives that have “a good weight but are not overly heavy or rugged” is the best approach.
Q: Can I use a steak knife on food that’s not steak?
Why yes, you most certainly can. “I like an elegant and chic knife that is versatile and not only used for steak,” Ouellet says. While we wouldn’t recommend using a steak knife on something like a watermelon or to slice a loaf of bread, if you’ve made a roast chicken or even a vegetarian dish, it’s a perfect occasion to break out your beautiful (and sharp!) flatware.
The Last Word
Steak knives are the Cadillac of the dinner table setting—they’re sleek, a bit sexy, and make your meal more pleasurable. Regardless if you’re a big steak eater or not, investing in a stylish set for your home is an obvious choice for those who love to cook, eat, and host.