For most of my life, I associated electric knives with one thing: Thanksgiving. Every year, my dad would take his trusted electric knife out of the drawer, plug it in, and carve the turkey in seconds. The whir of the knife would be audible throughout the house, and hearing the silence afterwards signified that dinner was ready. Afterwards, the knife would be cleaned and swiftly returned to the drawer, not to be seen again until the next year. I never saw or thought of one outside of that, and didn’t consider it an essential part of a kitchen repertoire.
Now, I’ve come to learn that electric knives are surprisingly useful gadgets. Yes, they’re certainly useful when carving roasts or large cuts of meat, but they also come in handy when slicing homemade bread or cutting whole fish. To find the electric knives that are worth purchasing, we scoured the Internet and spoke with David Lang, a butcher of more than 40 years. Below, find our top three choices that will conquer whatever crosses your cutting board.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Cuisinart Electric Knife
Weight: 3.4 pounds | Blade length: Eight inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
- Includes separate blades for bread and meat
- Comfortable to grip
- Dishwasher safe
- Doesn’t include a knife sheath
Why we chose it: Cuisinart’s classic knife is expert-recommended for its weight, grip, and multiple blades.
A quick search for electric knives will result in this Cuisinart model over and over again. It’s not just hype, though—Cuisinart’s knives are also recommended by butcher David Lang, who runs the website Butcher Magazine. Lang always searches for electric knives with double blades, which means that one blade is actually two separate pieces that work together. “Multiple blades offer a more efficient and even cut,” he says. Additionally, Lang recommends Cuisinart for their lightweight handle and comfortable grip. With an additional blade for slicing bread, this set can please both butchers and bakers alike. Both the carving and bread blades are dishwasher-safe and can be stored in the included block. If you prefer to keep your knives in a drawer, you’ll have to purchase a knife sheath separately, as this set doesn’t include them.
Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER Electric Carving Knife
Weight: Less than one pound | Blade length: Nine inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
- Double blades
- Dishwasher safe
- Safety lock may be uncomfortable for some
Why we chose it: For less than $20, you can purchase a lightweight electric knife that carves like a dream.
This Black + Decker model is perfect for those who are unsure of how often they’ll really use an electric knife. Though not as durable as the Cuisinart, the Black + Decker’s double-bladed knife makes quick work of carving meat, slicing bread, and even cutting foam for school or craft projects. It’s also dishwasher safe, which makes cleanup a snap. The knife includes a safety lock button that prevents it from turning on while plugged in, but it can be a bit difficult to lock and unlock. Still, its low price point and effective blades make it a worthwhile purchase.
Best for Fishing: Bubba Electric Fillet Knife
Best for Fishing
Weight: About one pound | Blade length: Ranges from seven to 12 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No
- Multiple blade options
- Included case
- Safety lock may be uncomfortable for some
- Can overheat with prolonged use
Why we chose it: This lightweight, powerful knife can carve a whole fish from any angle.
Pro fisherman (or those who cook whole fish), will appreciate this lightweight, powerful knife. Perfect to bring on the dock or aboard the boat, it’s equipped with an eight-foot cord that can move around the fish to cut from all angles. The knife comes with four blades, two flexible and two stiff, in a variety of sizes that can be stored inside an included case. Like the Black + Decker, this knife includes a safety lock to prevent the knife from running when not in use. Additionally, the knife can overheat with prolonged use, so take breaks every so often.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Knife
As Lang says, an electric knife with double blades is ideal for precise carving and slicing. Consider the length of the blade, too. Eight to 10 inches is versatile enough for most tasks, from slicing bread and cheese to carving turkey and ham. Some knives include separate blades, one for bread and one for meat, but it’s not necessary to have.
Some knives come with accessories, like sheaths, knife blocks, and more. While it’s not necessary, a knife sheath is an added bonus to avoid injuries or dulling of the blade.
Long cords can be useful if you’re carving something large or working around a table. Additionally, some electric knives are cordless, which can be easier to use but require charging.
Is an electric knife worth it?
Per Lang, “If you are looking for a fast and efficient way to slice cooked meat, then an electric knife is a good investment. With an electric knife, you can quickly and easily slice through thick cuts of meat, making it a great option for those who enjoy entertaining or cooking for large groups. Additionally, electric knives can be used to carve fruits and vegetables, making them a versatile kitchen tool.”
What do you use an electric knife for?
An electric knife can be used for a wide range of items, including roasts, fish, bread, and more. In addition to the mentioned uses, Lang also says that electric knives can be used for cutting through thick crusts, like pies and cakes.
Do you use both blades on an electric knife?
As stated above, multiple blades allow for a more uniform and precise cut. Lang says, “If you are looking for an electric knife that can offer a more efficient and even cut, then consider one that has multiple blades.”
If you’re looking for a versatile kitchen tool that can assist with carving meat or slicing baked goods, an electric knife is a worthwhile investment. We chose the Cuisinart Electric Knife as our overall winner for its multiple blades, comfortable grip, and expert recommendation.
To test the best electric knives, we consulted with butcher David Lang and researched the available models from online retailers. We pored through customer reviews and specs, including weight, blade length, and accessories, to determine which knives offered the best value. Lastly, we cross-checked our selections with reviews and lists from other websites to ensure that our reviews were accurate and free from bias.