Best Carving Knife

Long carving knife on top of a partly sliced brisket on a wooden cutting board

Best Carving Knife

  1. Shogun Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife
  2. Omega Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife
  3. Shadow Black Series 9” Carving Knife and Fork Set
  4. Gladiator Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife
  5. Quantum 1 Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife
  6. Phantom Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife
  7. Crusader Series 9” Carving Knife and Fork Set
  8. Gladiator Series Extra-Long 14” Serrated Slicer
  9. Shogun Series 12” Spanish Style Meat & Ham Slicer
  10. Shogun Series 8” Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife
Black carving knife and steel fork on a wooden cutting board with a white background

What You’ll Learn:

  1. What Is A Carving Knife?
  2. How To Choose The Best Carving Knife For You
  3. Best Carving Knives
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is A Carving Knife?


Though it may not be a knife you use every day, a carving knife is an important one to add to your knife set if you cook and eat a lot of large roasts and meats. Even if you only cook them on special occasions and holidays, a good, sharp carving knife is indispensable. 

The carving knife has a long, narrow, thin blade, and is used for cutting even, uniform slices of cooked meat such as roasted turkey, chicken, pork, venison, beef and even large fish. The narrow, thin blade of a carving knife is meant to reduce the drag and resistance as you’re pulling your knife through the meat.

Knives such as a chef knife, have a knife blade that is thicker and wider, and its larger surface area creates resistance that can make slicing your meat into even, uniform slices more difficult. Some carving knives have a pointed tip and some have a rounded tip. A pointed tip is useful for carving meat while working around bones and joints, and a rounded tip carving knife is great for slicing ham or boneless roasts.

Carving knives range between 8 and 14 inches, though the most common is a 12” carving knife. Typically, the longer the carving knife, the less “sawing” you will do as you are slicing, which damages and tears the flesh of the meat.

Many carving knives will have a granton edge on the blade as well, which is a row of little indentations or scallops that run along the knife blade. A granton edge reduces the friction and drag while slicing and keeps food from sticking to the knife. Most rounded tip carving knives have a granton edge. 

The terms carving knife and slicing knife, or slicer, are often used interchangeably, and for most purposes, they can be, but technically a carving knife is a type of slicing knife. 

2. How To Choose The Best Carving Knife For You

Carving knife with hollow stainless steel handle next to sliced meat and a carving fork

So how do you know which is the best carving knife or what to look for in a carving and slicing knife? There are a lot of great options. What length you go with depends mainly on personal preference as well as what kinds of meats you will be cutting most often. Same goes with the choice between a pointed tip and round tip blade and a serrated blade vs. a non-serrated blade. Some carving knives come as a knife set with a carving fork.

A carving fork has two long prongs that are used to hold the meat steady as you’re cutting. If you’re an aspiring professional chef, you may want to have both a pointed tip and rounded tip carving knife. But if you’re a home cook that only cooks large meats on occasion, having a knife set with a carving fork might be the best option for you. If you’re somewhere in between, the best carving knife for you really depends on what you’ll be using it for most often. 

Whether you’ll be using your carving knife daily, weekly, monthly or only on holidays, you want your carving knife to last you a long time. So having a high quality knife with a super hard and sharp blade is key. The harder the steel, the sharper the knife can be sharpened. So you want a knife blade that is very hard and sharp, durable and will maintain its sharp blade edge longer. The Rockwell Scale is a scale of the steel’s hardness, and generally you want to make sure the knife has a rating of 56 or above. 

Another characteristic that may be of importance to you when looking for quality is whether it is a forged knife or a stamped knife. A forged blade is made from a single piece of steel and then carefully crafted into shape. A stamped blade is cut or stamped out of a large sheet of metal. Though it’s possible to find decent quality stamped knives, in general, forged knives are heavier and higher quality. Forged knives tend to be harder and therefore have better edge retention. If you’re making the investment, you want a forged carving knife. All the knives featured here are forged.

It’s impossible to pick just one best carving knife, especially considering that they vary in purpose and characteristics, but here are a few of our suggestions. Decide for yourself which one (or two!) best suits your slicing needs, preferences and style.

3. Best Carving Knives

1. Shogun Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife $130

Shogun Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

The Shogun Series 12” Slicing and Carving Knife is ideal for cutting briskets, roasts, ham, turkey, sides of salmon, and other large cuts of meat. Its long, razor sharp blade gives you thin, uniform slices in a single stroke. It’s also well suited for prepping large fruits and vegetables, slicing bread loaves and layer cakes.

Its blade is precision forged from
 a single piece of ultra premium Japanese high carbon stainless steel with 67 layers of Damascus cladding for stain resistance and durability. Precise cryogenic tempering with liquid nitrogen increases the steel's crystalline structure, enhancing strength, flexibility and hardness. The ergonomic handle is constructed of G-10 Garolite, an incredibly strong military-grade, non-porous fiberglass-like material, giving excellent comfort and hand control while you’re carving and slicing. This Dalstrong carving knife is, hands down, a superior meat cutting knife. 

Pros:

  • Super sharp steel blade with exceptional edge retention
  • 62+ Rockwell hardness
  • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting

Cons:

  • At a higher price point, this knife may be out of budget for some people. 

Bonus: 

Guga Foods holding a Dalstrong Shogun Series 12'' Slicing & Carving Knife
"Which knife do I use the most? It’s the Shogun 12" Slicing & Carving KnifeIt’s the best knife you guys make."
- Guga, Sous Vide Everything & Guga Foods

2. Omega Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife $130

Omega Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

The Omega Series 12” Slicing and Carving Knife is as striking and impressive as it looks. Featuring ultra-premium American forged hyper steel, the blade's composition and added vacuum heat-treatment to 63 Rockwell provide astonishing performance. Gorgeously laminated and hot-forged, the unique ‘LiquidMetal’ pattern on the blade minimizes drag and stuck on food while maximizing your slicing efficiency and cutting through your roasts and briskets with ease. 

Pros:

  • A truly beautiful, high end, high quality knife
  • Impressive and unique stainless steel\ blade
  • Military grade G10, ergonomic handle for life-long durability

Cons:

  • This higher end price point is an investment, but does not fit everyone’s budget. 

3. Shadow Black Series 9” Carving Knife and Fork Set $90

Shadow Black Series 9" Carving Knife & Fork Set - NSF Certified

The Shadow Black Series 9” Carving Set gives a unique sense of style along with its superior performance as a knife set. Its sleek and aggressive blade is a precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single piece of high carbon steel with a black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating which adds corrosion resistance, toughens the blade, and enhances the non-stick properties. It has a 58+ Rockwell scale rating. The Shadow Black Series edge is painstakingly honed by expert craftsmen to 16-18°, ensuring clean, precise cuts and excellent blade edge retention.

The unique design of this slicing and carving knife is as stylish and sophisticated as you’ll find anywhere. 

Pros:

  • This set comes with a carving fork that gives extra stability as you’re cutting. 
  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified
  • High quality knife set at an affordable price
  • Unique style
  • Ergonomic handle shape gives maximum comfort, grip and maneuverability

Cons:

  • With a design inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter, it may not be everyone’s style for slicing and carving.

4. Gladiator Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife $80

Gladiator Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

Even at $80, this is a great quality classic slicing and carving knife. The blade is precision forged from a single piece of imported premium quality, high carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel and has a Rockwell hardness of 56+. Its design is simple, yet it’s a classically beautiful knife that ensures your meat cutting is an easy task.

Designed for the tough day-to-day demands of the commercial kitchen, this is a versatile knife for carving roasts, prepping large fruits and vegetables, and slicing bread loaves and layer cakes. It gives you the ability to cut a beautifully long, thin slice of larger cuts of meat without tearing or shredding it.

Pros:

  • Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
  • Wide blade for knuckle clearance
  • Ergonomic handle shape for maximum comfort, grip and maneuverability
  • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting

Cons:

  • Some people may prefer a more detailed design to the simplicity of this one. 

5. Quantum 1 Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife $130

Quantum 1 Series 12" Slicing & Carving Knife

The Quantum 1 Series 12” Slicer is a meticulously crafted and forged knife, proudly engineered for exceptional performance, and painstakingly hand sharpened by expert bladesmiths. This knife has a high-performance, precision forged blade made of a single piece of high carbon American steel, and has an impressive Rockwell Scale hardness of 63+.

Pros:

  • Unique blade pattern that reduces drag as you slice
  • Added chromium for stain resistance
  • Fiber-resin military grade carbon fibre hybrid handle is nearly impervious to heat, cold and moisture
  • Cleans easily for low maintenance

Cons:

  • At a higher price point, this knife may not be in everyone’s budget.

6. Phantom Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife $90

Phantom Series 12" Slicer & Carving Knife

The Phantom Series 12” Slicing and Carving Knife is the ultimate weapon for briskets, large roasts and salmon and a favorite among professional chefs. This classic carving and slicing knife features Japanese AUS-8 steel beautifully engraved with the Dalstrong name down the spine as well as the Japanese kanji for ‘phantom’ or ‘ghost’. With high levels of chromium added, this carving knife has a Rockwell hardness of 58. And to top it off, this knife has a premium quality laminated pakkawood handle imported from Spain with a carefully crafted brass and copper ‘phantom spirit’ mosaic. This razor sharp knife makes a great addition to the arsenal of any pitmaster, chef, or home cook.

Pros:

  • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting
  • Very high quality knife at a mid-range price
  • Cleans easily for low maintenance
  • Full tang for incredible robustness and quality

Cons:

  • Some prefer the military grade non-porous handle to the pakkawood.  

7. Crusader Series 9” Carving Knife and Fork Set $80

Crusader Series 9" Carving Knife & Fork Set

This stunningly designed, all-steel knife and matching carving fork offer a minimalist aesthetic with unobtrusive beauty. Made from one piece of ThyssenKrupp German high-chromium stainless steel, this knife is one seamless work of art. At 58+ Rockwell, the blade edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side, maintaining the perfect balance between ultra-thin slicing and maximum resilience.

Pros:

  • Great knife at an affordable price
  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified
  • The single seamless piece of steel from the handle to the blade makes for an easy to clean, hygienically superior knife.
  • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting
  • Comes with a hand-crafted Acacia wood magnetic sheath

Cons:

  • Some people may prefer a solid or wooden handle.

8. Gladiator Series Extra-Long 14” Serrated Slicer $80

Gladiator Series Extra-Long 14" Serrated Slicer

This serrated slicing knife is a precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece of high carbon German steel at 56+ Rockwell. Many professional chefs like to have both a serrated and a non-serrated carving and slicing knife. This knife with its serrated blade is carefully designed for pitmasters, bakers, deli-workers, sandwich shop owners and chefs. Engraved with precise micro-serrated teeth, this knife will effortlessly slice through delicate briskets, roasts, large fruits, and crusty sandwiches.

And don’t let sharpening your serrated knife be an intimidating deterrent. Learn how to sharpen your serrated knife here.

Pros:

  • Extra-long blade ensures cutting of the largest pieces of meat
  • Great knife at an affordable price
  • Tall blade height provides useful knuckle clearance

Cons:

  • Some people prefer a non-serrated slicing knife. 

9. Shogun Series 12” Spanish Style Meat & Ham Slicer $120

Shogun Series 12" Spanish Style Meat and Ham Slicer

The essential tool for aspiring and professional meat carvers, the Shogun Series 12” Spanish Style Meat and Ham Slicing Knife is a master at delivering the perfect slice. The long, thin blade is precisely engineered to provide the optimal amount of flex and firmness for exceptional maneuverability. It easily handles the curves and ridges of a variety of cooked meat and cured hams (prosciutto, serrano, jamon, pancetta, chorizo, speck, etc.) and its razor sharp edge will give you a paper thin slice every time. 

The blade is precision forged from
 a single piece of ultra premium Japanese high carbon stainless steel with 67 layers of Damascus cladding for stain resistance and durability. Precise cryogenic tempering with liquid nitrogen increases the steel's crystalline structure, enhancing strength, flexibility and hardness. This knife gives you the edge when cutting super thin slices of meat. 

Pros:

  • Military grade G10 handle for exceptional durability
  • Super sharp blade with exceptional edge retention
  • 62+ Rockwell hardness 

Cons:

  • At a higher price point, this knife may be out of budget for some people.

10. Shogun Series 8” Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife $110

Shogun Series 8" Butcher & Breaking Cimitar Knife

The Shogun Series 8” Butcher and Breaking Cimitar Knife is a must-have for any professional or aspiring butcher or chef who prepares large quantities of beef, pork, poultry, fish and other meats. A cimitar knife is a butcher knife with a large, curved blade. This knife has a slightly shorter blade and offers superior control and maneuverability slicing through raw flesh and breaking through cartilage.

The blade is precision forged from
 a single piece of ultra premium Japanese high carbon stainless steel with 67 layers of Damascus cladding for stain resistance and durability. Precise cryogenic tempering with liquid nitrogen increases the steel's crystalline structure, enhancing strength, flexibility and hardness.

Pros:

  • With a Rockwell Hardness rating of 62+, it has incredible edge retention.
  • Granton edge reduces friction while cutting
  • Ergonomic handle for superior hand control, agility and comfort

Cons:

  • This higher end price point is an investment, but does not fit everyone’s budget. 

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Carving knife resting on partly cooked meat that's on a wooden surface

Omega Series 12” Slicing & Carving Knife

Can you use a serrated carving knife in place of a bread knife?

Yes, in most cases, you can absolutely use a serrated carving knife to cut bread or cakes. 

Can you use a chef’s knife in place of a carving knife?

    Though a chef’s knife is a more versatile knife, it is not recommended to use a chef’s knife to do the type of cutting you would use a carving knife for. A chef’s knife is best used for chopping, slicing and dicing. To slice large pieces of meat, you really need a knife with a long blade specifically designed to be cutting even slices and to work around bones and cartilage. 

    Do I need an electric carving knife?

      Though they may seem appealing because you think you have to do less work, an electric knife is actually far inferior to a sharp, high quality conventional carving and slicing knife. Not only are they harder to clean because food and grease can get caught up in the space in the handle where the blade clips in, an electric knife is so unforgiving that you can easily shred and tear your meat before you even realize it. It can also be more difficult to get uniform slices with an electric knife. 

      What other knives do I need in my knife set?

      In addition to a carving knife, a well-stocked home kitchen arsenal for someone who cooks a lot should have a good chef’s knife or two, a paring knife, a serrated knife such as a bread knife (if your carving knife is not serrated), a boning knife, a utility knife and a honing steel. These are the most important and will get you by for quite a while. Once you start expanding your knife collection, however, you may want to delve into the world of Japanese knives.

      STILL LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT KNIFE?

      You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs. 

      Dalstrong Expert Knife Finder

      Written by Meredith Sims
      Devoted follower of the farm-to-table scene, Meredith is most well-known for her ability to whip up a gourmet meal in the tiniest of spaces, including her camper van.