As a child I loved to be in the kitchen watching my mother work while she created delicious and simple meals for our family.
One of my earliest memories of knives is watching my mother almost cut her finger off with a knife, which had come with a set she had been given as a wedding gift when she and my father got married.
She was carving slices of ham from one which she had baked for the family. The knife slipped, slicing right through her finger, almost severing it.
This was probably due to her not using a proper Carving Knife, combined with the fact that her knife was undoubtedly not properly sharpened.
I have long felt that the most dangerous tool in the kitchen is a dull knife.
I also really believe that you need to have the right knife to use for the right job, especially when it comes to doing things like slicing and carving meat, boning meat, etc.
Having the right one can make a huge difference not only in the quality of sliced meats you are serving but in your presentation of the finished product.
Top Pick: Best Carving Knife
I reviewed the best 8 carving knives from brands such as Wusthof, Zwilling or Cangshan, but my top pick is Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood 2-piece Kullenschliff Carving Set.
Keep reading to see why and how I’ve picked the Messemeister as my top pick.
What Are Carving Knives?
Generally speaking, a carving knife is a knife which is a bit slenderer and much longer than a normal use knife.
Used specifically for slicing cooked meats and poultry, they can range from between 8 to 15 inches (20cm and 38cm) in length, and will be quite sturdy, not having any give or flexibility.
When you are slicing meat, you want a knife that stays rigid. This will give you much more control and professional results.
What Are Carving Knives Used For?
Carving is the term which is used for cutting or slicing meat or poultry into manageable slices, ready for consumption.
This can be done in the kitchen prior to service, or it can be done right at the table on special occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The carving of the roast turkey or of a joint of meat at the table have become a huge part of our holiday table traditions.
Often only one or two slices of meat are carved at the table, with the remainder being taken back into the kitchen and carved there, placed on heated platters, or ready to be plated up for service.
Carving knives also come in very handy when you are slicing cooked meat into thin slices for use in sandwiches or salads.
One thing is certain, you will want to have the best meat slicing knife that your money can buy.
This will not only save time but can make the difference between having a well-presented result at the end or something which is a mess.
Nobody wants to eat a sandwich that looks like the filling has been hacked and stuffed into it, or that is hard work to eat.
Properly sliced meat and poultry can make all the difference in the world, and it really does make the eating experience much more pleasant.
With that in mind, I would like to share some of my perfect picks for what I believe are some of the best carving knives available today.
Best Carving Knives
Zwilling J.A. Henckles Professional “S” Carving Knife
Manufactured in Germany, it has an 8-inch stainless steel blade and a black ergonomic polymer three rivet handle which has been perfectly bonded to the full tang.
Specially formulated from high carbon no-stain steel, this sigmaforge knife is forged from a single piece of steel and has been ice-hardened to stay sharper longer with superior resilience.
It has a thin sharp blade which holds an edge and feels right in the hand. It comes in very handy for carving smaller roasts, turkeys or Cornish game hens precisely without shredding or tearing the meat.
Classic Ikon 9 inch Carving Knife
This is the Classic Ikon 9 inch Carving Knife by Wusthof.
This knife is precision forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel and has a black polyoxymethelene handle.
Its full tang is triple riveted to the handle for precision control, which is really important when you are cutting meat.
It also boasts precision edge technology which produces a blade that is 20% sharper with twice the edge retention.
This a beautiful knife and the balance in the hand is perfection. It just feels right.
Zwilling Pro 2-piece Knife & Carving Fork Set
If you are looking for a carving set, the Zwilling Pro 2-piece Knife & Carving Fork Set, by J.A. Henckels comes very highly recommended.
The knife in this lovely set boasts a durable and resilient curved handle, which has been designed for comfort, safety and precision cutting.
The precision honed blade with its laser-controlled edge ensures the ideal cutting angle for sharpness and durability.
The well-built fork is perfect for holding the meat you are cutting in place, providing yet another level of safety and security.
This is a very attractive set which also gives a great performance.
Another option is the Dalstrong Gladiator Series Slicing carving knife.
This 12-inch carving knife is composed of German steel, boasts a 12-inch edge and comes with a sheath that helps to protect your knife when in storage.
Featuring outstanding craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, this knife not only looks great with its luxury imported laminated pakkawood handle but packs a fabulous performance at a very reasonable price.
Outstanding craftsmanship with a razor sharp, hand-polished edge, and a full tang, this is a cutting knife which feels comfortable in the hands and cuts on par with many other more expensive carving knives.
If you are looking for quality at a good price, this may well work for you.
Cangshan S Series Steel Forged 2-piece Carving Set
I do really like carving sets.
They are designed and meant to work together.
This Patent-Pending Design knife set focuses on ergonomic handles that are easy to use and have a comfortable grip.
The full tangs are triple riveted to the handles for exceptional durability and control.
Forged from German Steel, the set includes a carving knife with a 9-inch blade and beautiful carving fork.
It also comes with a National Sanitation Foundation Approved, limited lifetime warranty.
Sleek and slim with contrasting boldly angled lines and smooth curves, this knife set combines a dynamic balance with a sharp focus.
Truly a tool that a chef or home cook can trust.
TUO Cutlery Slicing Carving Knife
This well-designed knife is the TUO Cutlery Slicing Carving Knife by TUO Cutlery.
This slicing carving knife – Fiery Phoenix was selected as one of the world’s best kitchen knives by wiki.ezvid.com.
The extra-long 12-inch slicer is perfect for carving roasts, turkey, ham, prepping large fruits and vegetables, as well as slicing loaves and layer cakes.
It is composed of high carbon German premium stainless steel, boasting good rust resistance, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance for a long-lasting performance.
The attractive handle is made from Pakkawood and is ergonomically designed for a sure and comfortable grip. Elegant and robust.
Beautifully crafted, this knife cuts well without tearing even the most tender cut of meat.
This is always a bonus when you are trying to slice meats which tend to shred like a meltingly tender cooked brisket or pork shoulder.
Cangshun S1 Series 61895 German Steel Forged 2-piece Carving Set
For a beautiful carving set you can’t get much better than the Cangshun S1 Series 61895 German Steel Forged 2-piece Carving Set.
Full tangs are triple riveted to the handle for exceptional durability and control. Forged from German steel with an HRC 58 =/-2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, this lovely two-piece knife set includes a carving knife with a 9-inch blade and a matching carving fork.
I love the design of this which is attractive as well as durable. It also comes with a National Sanitation Foundation approval and has a limited lifetime warranty.
Exceptionally well balanced with flush seams, this knife set has a great feel to its grip and holds well.
Fabulous for heavy kitchen use and easy to keep clean and sanitary. Sharp and attractive and very comfortable to use.
I really like the colour of this set, which is quite unusual and attractive when it comes to carving sets.
Wusthof 2-piece Knife Set
Another good option is the classic 2-piece Wusthoff 9740-1 Knife set.
Made in Solingen, Germany and composed of High Carbon Stainless steel this set boasts a 58 Rockwell hardness and a triple riveted handle.
Precision forged with a full tang, and a granton edge with a durable sharp edge, it is a beautiful well-built Carving Set, with a knife that easily glides through whatever meat you are cutting.
Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood
Finally, I would like to recommend the Messermeister Avanta Pakkawood 2-piece Kullenschliff Carving Set.
This carving set is a part of a series of knives which was developed for one of the leading Culinary Schools in America for their Culinary Student Sets.
Crafted from the highest quality German Steel, it is a set that is sharp, rust-resistant, easy to maintain with a long edge-retention.
It is also easy to re-sharpen.
The beautiful Pakkawood handle is not only durable but dense. It also boasts a full exposed tang with an end cap, signifying that it has been composed of one piece of steel, providing great balance and heft.
Designed with the utmost thought and detail, without compromise in either quality or materials, it is also quite affordable.
Smooth and comfortable handles and sharp, with a nicely polished look and a substantial weight which feels great in the hands.
I hope that I have provided you with some food for thought here when it comes to choosing the best Carving Knives for your own purposes and needs.
It may seem like a bit of an investment, but I truly believe that when it comes to knives you need to buy the best knife that you can afford.
Bonus Tips: Carving Knives – Proper Care and Storage
You will want to clean them in warm soapy water and polish them dry as soon as possible after use.
You will also want to regularly sharpen them using a proper tool which has been designed specifically for that purpose.
It goes without saying that such an investment deserves to be stored properly and with care, rather than just thrown haphazardly into a drawer. Don’t ever do this, if only for your own safety.
With proper care and storage, there is no reason why one of these meat cutting knives cannot last you a lifetime.
Recommended Read: Best Japanese Chef Knives
Marie Rayner is a Canadian, who moved over to the UK and began a new life in the year 2000. At the age of 45 she decided she needed a career change and went back to College to take a Chef’s course, after which she worked as a Personel Chef for a number of years.