Ever since people have been using electricity to power their civilization, they've been trying to find easier ways to do things. The best electric knife you can buy today is a result of that quest for ultimate comfort. Think about how an electric-powered knife is the pinnacle of blade development which started when our ancestors first cut something with a sharp stone. Now we can carve a roast one-handed.
That's great if you're anything like me. I'm not very handy when it comes to carving meat. As the eldest male brother, and a husband and father, I'm often handed a big carving knife on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving. "Here, slice the meat!" And every time I get a feeling of anxiety, knowing that I'm going to botch the job. Sure enough, I mess it up. My tiny wife gets a massive six-inch-thick piece of turkey while my ever-hungry brother receives a pile of shavings. An electric knife would undoubtedly save me some holiday stress. The best electric knife would save me a lot of embarrassment, but how do I find one?
How to Choose the Best Electric Knife
Don't be like me, and instead, get yourself the best electric knife that you can find. But it's not that easy. There are dozens of electric knife brands to choose from, and many of them aren't worth the money. If you select the wrong knife, you're looking at cheap, broken blades or tiny motors that can barely cut through cranberry sauce. Below are some of the questions you can ask before deciding on the best electric knife.
What is an electric knife?
An electric knife is usually a long, serrated blade attached to a hand-held motor which saws the blade back and forth quickly. All you have to do is hang on and press down as the knife effortlessly saws through the meat. The first electric knife came to the market in 1964, when prolific American inventor Jerome L. Murray created the design and patented it. Forty-five years later, nothing has changed in the design or technology of the electric knife. This is partly because of the patent, and partly because of the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Why do I need one?
If you've ever hosted a holiday dinner or wanted some evenly-sliced meat on your hot open-faced beef sandwich, then you need an electric knife. The knife ensures that your cuts are even. You can get a great deal of precision from an electric knife that you can't do with your old kitchen knife and a strong forearm. But wait, there's more! With an electric knife, you don't have to stop at slicing roast meats. You can cut a watermelon into perfect shapes, slice foam to upholster your furniture and slice PVC pipes. Of course, using your electric knife for home renovations will probably void your warranty.
How do I choose?
In order to choose the best electric knife from among the herd, first figure out what kind of electric knife you need. There are two main types: corded and cordless. A cordless electric knife needs to be plugged in and charged, while a cordless is ready to go but requires that whatever you're about to carve is within range of a wall socket. You'll also want to determine what kind of blade you need. Most have an 8-inch serrated stainless steel blade. However, we suggest ensuring that the blade is detachable, and can be swapped out for other types of blades. The best electric knife for you is the one that can perform multiple roles, so why not have a bread knife, carver, and hand saw in one?
How much do they cost?
The best electric knife doesn't come cheap, but that doesn't mean you need a loan to get one. You can expect to pay between $30 and $80. Some may cost more, especially if they come with extra blades, cutting boards, or other accessories. We advise that when you're shopping for an electric knife, you don't buy the cheapest one you can find. A good rule to follow is that if it's less than $25, you don't want it. This way you'll avoid buying an electric knife that breaks down after one or two uses.
How We Reviewed
Surprisingly, reviewing the best electric knife of 2019 wasn't easy. There are so many electric knives to choose from, and so little time to research them all. Instead, we read through piles of Amazon customer reviews to get an idea of how each knife held up in the real world. We started by looking for those knives with plenty of reviews. Then, we made sure they didn't have anything under a four-star rating. If an electric knife met those two criteria, we checked it out.
We looked at the specs of the knife, the pricing, any warranty information we could find, and other details you will want as a buyer. Then we read the Amazon customer reviews for that knife. Finally, we had a list of the nine best electric knives you can buy. Why nine? That's because these were the best. There wasn't a tenth that we could call the best electric knife, so you get nine.
The Best of the Best
Whether you've used an electric knife before or not, they all have some things in common. That is a long, serrated blade and a bulky handle with a button on the top or slung underneath the handle like a trigger. The basic design of the electric knife hasn't changed in four decades. We'll be honest, electric knives are not stylish or attractive. But they're useful, and for something that you only use a few times a year, that's what matters.
The first knife we reviewed is a great contender for the best electric knife of the year. The CuisineArt CEK-40 electric knife meets our criteria in every way. It has a terrific motor that can power through almost anything, and it comes with additional blades you can swap out. Also, this set includes a cutting board. Unlike virtually all the other electric knives we looked at, this one is rather pretty. That's the CuisineArt way. An aesthetically-pleasing electric knife with good quality is hard to find, but the CEK-40 accomplishes it.
This is a corded knife, with an internal compartment in the handle for storage, so it keeps out of the way when you're not using it. There's a one-touch trigger to activate the blade and a safety mechanism which requires you keep your thumb on it or it stops sawing. That's cool. Expect to pay between $ and $ for this excellent electric knife. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.3 out of 5.0 stars, with most praising how well the blade cuts through anything, including frozen food.
Next up we have a rather simple electric knife with a minimalist design. The Krups 371-70 OptiSlice is small and precise. It has all the basics that you need in an electric knife: thumb-controlled on/off switch, detachable blades, and power cord, Also, the blades are dishwasher safe. We like this knife because it's small and versatile and looks nice, if not a little too utilitarian. When you pull this electric knife out at your next Thanksgiving supper, you're telling all your guests "I will slice this turkey and be done with it!"
You'll pay between $ and $ for this sturdy little knife. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars, with everyone impressed by its longevity. This knife doesn't die! One person wrote simply "Great."
The third best electric knife is the Hamilton Beach electric knife. We like this knife because it comes with a two-pronged fork and a stylish storage case. The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. But what really sets this knife apart is that there is not one, but TWO reciprocating blades. These two blades can power through even the most overcooked beef roasts with precision. Soft cheese doesn't stand a chance.
The Hamilton Beach electric knife costs between $ and $ and comes with 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Most people loved using it, and there no complaints about the design of the handle.
Next is the 9-inch electric carving knife from Black+Decker. This knife is all utility in its appearance. It has a 9-inch blade, as its name suggests. The blade itself is part-carver, part-break knife, and there's a lot of saw in there, too. This thing looks like it means business. You can carve a turkey and saw a chair leg in half. The blade is detachable and dishwasher safe.
You'll pay between $ and $ for this mean little machine, which makes it the fourth best electric knife of the year. Also, it comes with an Amazon customer rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. Almost everyone said this is a no-nonsense electric knife that carves through anything and is simple to use.
Fifth on our list is the NutriChef PKELKN16, which is an "electric carving slicer kitchen knife." This knife makes the list because it has a reliable motor, stainless steel detachable blades, and an attractive wooden block that holds everything for storage. The handle is ergonomic, another feature we like.
The PKELKN16 knife costs between $ and $. Amazon customers gave it 4.0 out of 5.0 stars and said that it works perfectly as it was intended. Some people cut turkey with it, and others cut foam. One person said they couldn't figure out which blade was for meat and which was for bread, but they both cut everything just fine.
Next is the simply-named Chefman electric knife. It features reciprocating dual 8-inch knives and a rubberized handle for a comfortable grip. The blades are dishwasher safe, and the cord stores into the handle, keeping it out of the way between turkeys. But you can carve more than meat with this, including fruits and foam. Best of all, the knife comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a one-year warranty. That's the kind of after-sale support we look for in the best electric knife.
The Chefman knife costs between $ and $. On Amazon, it received 4.0 out of 5.0 stars from customers. Most people said that it works fine, and many liked how easy it is to store thanks to that nifty cord storage.
The seventh knife on our list of the best electric knife of the year is the Waring Commercial WEK200 cordless electric knife. Although it's a commercial knife, it can be just as useful in your dining room. Especially because it comes with an LED light, has a rechargeable lithium battery, and a sturdy carrying case. You know, for when you need to saw a turkey in half in the backyard at night.
This incredibly strong knife costs between $ and $, so you need to be serious about slicing roasts if you're going to get this knife. Or maybe you just really need that LED light. Customers gave it 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Most said it powered through meat, including turkey and prime rib, without any issues.
When you order your VonShef electric knife to power through a cantaloupe, it replies "Jawol!" and does it. That's why we consider it a contender for the best electric knife of 2019. The VonShef 10-inch electric knife looks like a cross between a hand saw and a hedge trimmer. Its stainless steel construction is definitely eye-catching, and the elevated handle means you don't feel vibrations while you're cutting. It comes with two dishwasher-safe stainless steel blades, one for meat and one for softer victims such as veggies.
Expect to pay between $ and $ for this cool-looking electric knife. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.1 out of 5.0 stars, with most saying it did what it was told to do. We like a dependable knife that doesn't argue back when there's a turkey to carve and a dozen pairs of eyes watching us.
Finally, our ninth best electric knife of the year goes to the Proctor Silex 74311 "Easy Slice" electric knife. This is a dainty-looking knife compared to the beastly Waring and VonShef knives. That's because it's meant to simply slice your meat and then get out of sight. This knife is very light, weighing only 1.5 pounds. It features a nicely-contoured handle and a stainless steel blade that you can detach for dishwasher cleaning.
The fact that this knife only costs between $ and $ shouldn't detract you from how good it is. We advised you not to buy a knife that costs, but for this one, we'll make an exception. It has 4.1 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon, and the customer reviews are amazing. People praised how reliable this little knife is. One woman said she originally bought it to cut foam for her chairs but ended up using it on turkey and other food throughout the year. It never failed her.
And the Best Electric Knife is...
Hands-down, the best electric knife you can buy right now is the CuisineArt CEK-40. This knife can do everything the other knives can, but it looks beautiful, comes with accessories, is easy to hold, and has a decent price. If you're not a fan of CuisineArt, or you want something that's under $, then the VonShef is a close runner-up. For something that looks as cool as this knife, it is surprisingly quiet and precise. Also, your guests will be impressed. There really is no other electric knife like it.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite electric knife or any funny stories about carving a turkey to share? Let us know in the comments!