carving knives with cutting board and watermelon wedges
Credit: Rachel Johnson

The 9 Best Carving and Slicing Knives, Tested by Allrecipes

The Global Classic 2-Piece Carving Set is one of our favorites; read on for the rest.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Related Content

You'll reach for your chef's knife for most kitchen tasks, but adding a carving or slicing knife to your collection will make your life a lot easier. The longer, thinner blades on carving knives slice through large roasts and maneuver around bones and cartilage with ease. But the uses don't stop there: You can use carving knives or slicing knives to slice through breads, cakes, or large fruits and vegetables, like, say, a whole watermelon

To help you find the best carving and slicing knives for your kitchen, we asked our veteran product tester, Rachel Johnson, to put the top options on the market to the ultimate test. She considered each knife's performance, comfortability, maintenance, and value.

With these considerations in mind, she found the Global Classic 2-Piece Carving Set to be a worthy option.

Read on to discover the rest of the best carving and slicing knives, according to our testing.

Best Carving Knives at a Glance

What To Consider When Buying a Carving Knife

Types of Knives

  • Carving Knives: Most of the knives tested in this review are carving knives. You'll notice carving knives have pointed tips meant for maneuvering around bone or piercing joints. A carving knife is what you'll want for slicing your Thanksgiving turkey or any large roast that requires you to move around bones. They can also be used for slicing boneless cuts of meat, but their sharp tips are prone to piercing the meat, which can release some of the delicious juices onto your cutting board. 
  • Slicing Knives: These can be identified by their rounded tips and longer blades. They're generally meant for slicing through boneless cuts of meat, and their rounded tips prevent the loss of juices. Slicing knives are also an excellent choice for slicing through more delicate foods like breads, cakes, and even produce. 
  • Japanese Carving Knives (Sujihiki): A sujihiki, which translates to "muscle cutter" or "flesh slicer," is a Japanese knife that can be used for both slicing and carving. They tend to be harder, less flexible, and retain their edge better than their Western counterparts. 

Stamped vs. Forged Knives

Knives are constructed one of two ways: by either stamping or forging. Stamped blades are literally stamped out of a large sheet of metal, like you would do with a cookie cutter on dough. Generally speaking, they tend to be lighter and less expensive, as they're less labor intensive to construct. 

Forged knives are made by heating and hammering a knife out of a single sheet of metal, which results in a harder knife that keeps its edge for longer. For this reason, forged knives are going to be more expensive than their stamped counterparts. 

It used to be that forged knives were considered to be better quality, but those lines are beginning to blur. In fact, our top pick from the 13 knives we tested is stamped from high-carbon stainless steel, a type of stainless steel with a high carbon content that makes it harder and more durable. 

Blade Length 

The knives tested in our review range in length from 8 to 12 inches. The shorter the blade, the more you'll have to saw, but a long blade can also be unwieldy when maneuvering around bone. This is why carving knives tend to average around 8 inches, while slicers tend to be 11 inches or longer. 

Handles

Comfort is key when you're dealing with kitchen knives, and the handle plays a major role in that. Handles with some texture will help to prevent slippage if your hands are moist from grease or juice. We favored materials like pakkawood (wood that has been impregnated by resin for durability and water resistance), textured steel, or handles made of thermoplastic polymers that provide a nonslip grip. 

The Best Carving Knives of 2022

carving knife and meat fork with textured handles
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Best Carving Knife: Global Classic 2-Piece Carving Set

We love this set for its overall look, durability, and efficiency. The carving knife's 8-inch blade is stamped from hard Cromova 18 high-carbon stainless steel, and the handles are made from stainless steel with a different finish on the handle for a better grip. The result is a well-balanced yet lightweight knife that makes carving and slicing easier. "This knife blade has a great shape and feels good in the hand," says Rachel. Meanwhile, the meat fork has the same textured handle and is made from stainless steel.

Both the knife and the meat fork have an ergonomic design for easier handling. However, this might not be the best choice for lefties: "The only cause for concern is that this set might be ergonomically designed for a right-handed person. If the carving fork were to be used in the right hand, the rounded prongs would be flipped, making for a clumsy experience," says Rachel.

The considerably wider blade on this carving knife slides seamlessly through roast beef, slicing a variety of widths without any sticking. But keep in mind that the width of this knife can make it a little more difficult to cut small pieces of chicken with precision.

For maintenance, you can simply hand wash this set with warm water and soap and towel-dry. For sharpening, you can use a whetstone, knife sharpener, or have it professionally sharpenered.

Overall, this carving set puts comfortability and design at the forefront, making it a great choice for most uses. 

Buy it: $180; williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com

carving knife and meat fork with wooden handles
Credit: Amazon

Best Budget Carving Knife: Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood 2 Piece Kullenschliff Carving Knife

At just a third of the price of the Global knife set, Messermeister's two-piece knife set is an excellent value. The 8-inch blade is forged out of one piece of German stainless steel and features a pakkawood handle, a material often reserved for higher-priced knives. 

Rachel found this knife to be well-balanced thanks to the weighty bolster, but not so heavy that it's unwieldy to use: "It isn't too heavy, providing more agility with trickier knife work like breaking down a chicken."

This set also performed well when used to slice through roast beef, though it didn't provide the thinnest slices of those tested.  

Buy it: $40; amazon.com

slicing knife next to cured meat
Credit: Amazon

Best Slicing Knife: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Blade 

The extra-long blade (12 inches) and rounded edge makes this knife excellent for its intended purpose — slicing! "It made quick, smooth movements and made even slices very easily," says Rachel. The ridges on the blade are intended to create air pockets that minimize friction. 

It didn't perform very well when used to break down a chicken, but that is to be expected of a slicing knife. It just edged out the Mercer Culinary slicing knife for its more refined feel and sharper blade, but the two are fairly comparable. It comes complete with a protective sheath for safe and easy storage. 

Buy it: $43 (was $50); amazon.com or surlatable.com

slicing knife with black handle
Credit: Amazon

Best Budget Slicing Knife: Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Slicer

At less than half the price, the Mercer Culinary slicer is an excellent alternative to its Victorinox counterpart. And, at 11 inches instead of 12, beginner cooks might find this knife a little easier to wield than the Victorinox. The ergonomic handle has a nonslip, textured surface for a secure grip. 

Like the Victorinox, the blade has divots to minimize friction and prevent sticking. Rachel found that, overall, this knife performed well when slicing roast beef, but struggled a bit with ultra-thin slices.

"While this knife isn't the prettiest out of all tested products, it is efficient. It would be great for a commercial kitchen or a home cook who doesn't display their knives out in the open," says Rachel. 

Buy it: $18.49 (was $21); amazon.com

carving knife and fork
Credit: Amazon

Best High End: Shun Premier 2-Piece Carving Set

Shun is known for its hand-hammered ("tsuchime")' knives designed with both style and efficiency in mind, and this carving set is no exception. Not only is the hammered blade stunning, the finish helps to prevent food from sticking — something that is unique for a carving knife, which often have smooth blades. And the pakkawood handle gives the appearance of wood with the durability and water resistance of synthetic materials. 

The 9.5-inch forged blade is slightly longer than your standard 8-inch carving knife, making it well suited for both carving poultry and slicing through roasts. 

If you're looking for a carving knife that combines an elegant look with an unparalleled performance, Shun delivers. "Not only is it stunning, it slices beautifully and will complete any advanced cook's knife set," says Rachel.

Buy it: $320 (was $432); amazon.com, williams-sonoma.com, or surlatable.com

carving knife with black sheath and Dalstrong label
Credit: Amazon

Best for Carving Poultry: Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki Slicer Knife

Designed unlike any of the other knives tested, the Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki Slicer has a slightly angled tip, making it excellent for detailed carving work. And a bonus: It was extremely efficient for slicing, requiring only two to three slicing motions to cut through an entire roast beef. 

For beginners, the unusual shape and heft of the knife may be a little intimidating to handle: "It's essential to gain some trust with it before moving too quickly," says Rachel. It has a hammered finish to minimize friction, much like the Shun, but far more uniform, as opposed to the Shun's hand-hammered appearance. 

The ergonomically-designed handle sits well in the hand, but it's heft may not make it the best option for those with limited grip strength. 

"For a premium quality knife, this is a great price point without breaking the bank. It would make a great fit for a chef or an advanced home cook to add to their collection," says Rachel. The knife comes complete with a knife guard and a cleaning wipe. 

Buy it: $130; amazon.com

carving knife and meat fork with black handles
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Best Set: Zwilling Pro 2-Piece Carving Knife & Fork Set

Nearly identical to the Victorinox Grand Maitre Set (see below) in blade makeup, handle design, and fork design, Zwilling's set offers professional quality cutlery at a lower cost. If you're looking to equip your kitchen — or someone else's kitchen — with a quality set that will last a lifetime, look no further: "This set would make a fantastic wedding gift! It sits at a reasonable price point for a high-end knife and has all of the features of a professional set," says Rachel. 

The knife and fork performed reliably when breaking down poultry and slicing roast beef, but the wide blade did prove to be a bit cumbersome for detail work. 

Buy it: $190 (was $275); amazon.com, bedbathandbeyond.com, williams-sonoma.com, or zwilling.com

Other Carving Knives We Tested 

carving knife with sheath
Credit: Amazon

Farberware EdgeKeeper Slicing Knife

Keeping in mind the $13 price point, the Farberware performed relatively well when breaking down a whole chicken; separating wings and thighs was easy and comfortable to do with the 8-inch blade. However, it wasn't quite sharp enough to slice the beef without any dragging. 

The too-light construction and high-carbon steel blade (a very hard, brittle steel that can be prone to breaking) didn't make us feel confident that this knife is made to last. We also had some concerns about the smooth handle, which didn't provide much traction, causing some problems with tougher meats and foods that release a lot of juices or grease. 

The sheath with a built-in sharpener is an added bonus, boosting the value of this already cheap knife. If you're needing a cheap knife to use on your Thanksgiving turkey once a year, this might still be a good choice. But for a knife that gives you years of constant use, you'll need to spend a little more. 

Buy it: $13; amazon.com or walmart.com

carving knife and meat fork with wooden handles
Credit: Amazon

Victorinox Grand Maître Carving Set, 2 pieces

This knife set did an excellent job breaking down the chicken, but the smooth blade surface made it difficult to slice through roast beef without friction. Ultimately, as a carving knife, there is nothing wrong with the set, except the price: "This knife is very expensive compared to other tested knives without added features like a ridged surface to avoid tension while slicing, carved wood handle, or hammered Japanese steel. This set is very straightforward and does the job well but for such a high price point, there should be a little more value."

Buy it: $200; amazon.com, crateandbarrel.com, or wayfair.com

How We Tested Each Carving Knife

To test each knife and/or knife set, Allrecipes product tester Rachel Johnson used each one to break down a raw chicken into separate parts, in order to test its ability to maneuver around bone and pierce joints. She also used each knife to slice through a round roast beef to get a feel for how much sawing is required to slice through a boneless cut of meat. During testing, Rachel paid special attention to the following factors: 

  • Performance: How easily does this knife carve and slice meat? Does it require a considerable amount of sawing? 
  • Comfortability: How heavy is the knife? Is it unwieldy? Is the handle comfortable to hold?
  • Maintenance: Is it easy to clean, sharpen, and store?
  • Value: Is it worth the money? Does it come with any additional tools, such as a meat fork?

Related: