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Best Kitchen Knives

Having a good set of kitchen knives is essential for any cook. That’s why we did extensive research to find the best kitchen knives made in the USA. Below, you’ll find our top recommendations along with extensive details about each product and the methodology behind our picks. Enjoy!

Our Findings

After conducting our research, we found several American cutlery manufacturers that made the cut for each of the categories we examined. Rada Cutlery is making some of the best knives sets on the market, and for a very affordable price. If you’re looking for a high quality chef’s knife, Warther Cutlery has been handcrafting theirs since 1902 and New West KnifeWorks is another great option. Dexter-Russell and R. Murphy Knives were two brands that stood out in subcategories for fillet and other specialty knives. More details on each of these brands below!

Top Recommendations

Best Kitchen Knives Best:
Rada Cutlery Starter Knife Set Starter Set
Rada Cutlery S43 Colossal Oak Block Set Block Set
Warther Cutlery 7″ French Chef Knife Chef Knife
Dexter-Russell Fillet Knife Fillet Knife
New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion Chef Knife Sharpest Blade
R. Murphy Knives Specialty Knives
Cutco Table Knives Steak Knives

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below are some additional details on each of our top picks – product features, how they tested against the competition, what we liked, and some things we didn’t like.

Best Knives Starter Set

Rada Cutlery Starter Knife Set

Rada Cutlery has been making knives in America since 1948 out of their facility in Waverly, Iowa. Their starter knife set is the perfect pickup for yourself or someone else who might be moving into a new home. The set (from top to bottom) comes with: a slicer, cook’s knife, six-inch bread knife, super parer, tomato slicer, veggie peeler, and a regular paring knife. I ordered this knife set (pictured here) and the knives come out of the box very sharp and keep their edge well. They are still in my knife block and I use them every day! I also really love the lifetime product guarantee that Rada Cutlery offers its customers with this set.

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Things we like:

  • Lifetime product guarantee
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Sharp blades and easy to sharpen after extensive use
  • Magnetic, so they can be hung anywhere

Things we don’t like:

  • Hand wash only – the handles will oxidize if you put them in the dishwasher

 

Best Block Knives Set

Rada Cutlery S43 Colossal Oak Block Set

Once again, Rada Cutlery comes through with their high quality oak block set. This set of knives looks great on any kitchen counter and makes knives easy to access while you’re cooking. In this set, you have 8 knives: a French chef knife, slicer knife, steak knife, veggie peeler, butcher knife (cleaver), carving fork, super parer, and regular paring knife. The blades are made with a high carbon stainless steel, a strong material that prevents rust and lasts a long time.

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Things we like:

  • Hand sharpened to ensure a good edge right out of the box
  • Easy to sharpen yourself
  • Lifetime guarantee from Rada Cutlery
  • Sturdy, stylish oak holder

Things we don’t like:

  • Hand wash and dry required (the aluminum handles will oxidize and lose their sheen in the dishwasher)

 

Best Chef Knife

Warther Cutlery 7″ French Chef Knife

Warther Cutlery is a 4th generation family business who has been making knives since 1902 at their headquarters in Dover, Ohio. Each knife is crafted for comfort and durability, with a razor sharp edge they get from hand grinding each and every one. The seven-inch French chef knife was the best one we found in the chef knife category. The curve on the blade makes for a nice and easy rocking motion when you’re cutting, and the blade is thin (yet durable) enough to handle pretty much any task. The blade also runs all the way through the handle, which is going to give you a sturdier performance than other knives that stop the blade at the tip of the handle and use adhesive to bond it all together.

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Things we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Hand grinded edge
  • Unique look
  • Comfortable handle
  • Comes in a larger set (link below)

Things we don’t like:

  • None

The 3-Knife Set: Warther Cutlery Chef Knife Set

 

Best Fillet Knife

Dexter-Russell Fillet Knife

Dexter-Russell is one of the largest manufacturers of cutlery in the U.S. and started making knives in the New England area during the early 1800s. Since then, they have grown tremendously, but still stick to their roots of producing high quality and durable cutlery. Their fillet knife is one of the sharpest on the market, complete with a 7-inch blade made of high carbon steel. This knife performs well with pretty much any meat, whether you need to fillet poultry or prepare a fish. It is consistently used in restaurant kitchens across America.

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Things we like:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Narrow blade, fit for any finesse job
  • Stays sharp

Things we don’t like:

  • Be careful, does not come with a sheath

 

Sharpest Blade

New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion Chef Knife

New West knives are a bit more expensive, but they make some incredibly high-quality chef knives. Their G-Fusion knives are unlike anything I have ever seen before. It has an incredibly sharp blade and is really well balanced. These G-Fusion knives are made in a lot of different varieties, everything from 6″ to 12″ and a few different edges to choose from. If you’re willing to splurge a little bit on a chef knife, you really can’t go wrong with New West KnifeWorks – these knives will last you a very long time.

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Things we like:

  • Very sharp blade
  • Well balanced
  • Lots of options
  • Comfortable and solid grip

Things we don’t like:

  • A bit expensive

 

Best Specialty Knives

R. Murphy Knives

R. Murphy dates all the way back to 1850 and they are based in Massachusetts. They put a ton of care into each and every knife they make and they have a lot of good specialty options. If you need to shuck some oysters, their oyster knives are very popular (shown here). In addition to your traditional knives in a set, R. Murphy also makes bar knives, bar saws, dough cutters, paring knives, butcher knives, and several others. If you need something outside of your normal block set, definitely check them out.

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Things we like:

  • Affordable price for quality you are getting
  • Well designed
  • Cuts well
  • Commercial grade stainless steel

Things we don’t like:

  • Honduran rosewood used in some handles

 

Best Steak Knives

Cutco Table Knives

Cutco is synonymous with American made knives and aren’t just the door-to-door salesman anymore that you probably encountered growing up. You can get any of their knives online and they have great sets and individual knives. I really like their table knives which are a perfect set for steak knives to keep in your kitchen drawer. They have a few color options to choose from and they are backed by the famous Cutco Forever Guarantee, a great warranty. These table knives will stay sharp for a very long time and slice through pretty much any meat you throw at them. Overall, Cutco table knives are a great set to have around the kitchen.

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Things we like:

  • Durable
  • Backed by lifetime warranty
  • Affordable
  • Easy to handle

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Recap: Best American Made Kitchen Knives


YouTube Video: How to Find Kitchen Knives Made in the USA


Factors We Considered

Blade

The blade is the most important part of any good piece of cutlery and you want to make sure you get American steel. We looked for American made kitchen knives that fit a few different criteria:

  • Made of high-carbon stainless steel for strength and rust prevention.
  • Full tang – the blade extends the length of the knife to improve stability and durability.
  • Sharp blade out of the box – this is typically a signal of hand grinding, not cheap factory stamping.
  • Ability to sharpen – some blades take an edge better than others. We looked for knives that responded well to sharpening so you can keep that edge for years to come.

Handle

Handles can make or break a good knife. They can also come in many varieties – aluminum, rubber, wood, and many others. One style doesn’t really trump another, it’s mostly based on personal preference. Where the difference comes in is in handle construction. We made sure the handles for the knives we chose were well constructed and comfortable to use.

Hilt

The hilt of the knife is where the handle meets the blade. It should be well joined and easy to clean. If there is any gap in there, that can increase weakness in the knife and also be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Overall Balance

You might be surprised that balance between the blade and the handle plays a huge role in the performance of your knife. A well balanced knife can improve your accuracy, precision, and speed in the kitchen.

Items in the Set (If Applicable)

When we evaluated the wide selection of kitchen knife sets available, we looked for sets that had knives that are most commonly used around the kitchen. After all – if you get a set of 10 knives and only use 2 or 3 regularly, then what’s the point of getting a set of them? Here are the most common knives that we looked for:

  • Chef’s
  • Paring
  • Serrated
  • Boning
  • Carving/Slicer
  • Cleaver
  • Santoku

If you’re currently outfitting your kitchen, be sure to check out our guides on the best cookware made in the USA and best cutting boards made in the USA as well.

Value

We want to make sure that you’re getting the best knives for your money. We only chose knives that we thought were a fair price for the quality that you’re getting. Keep in mind, if you’re buying high quality knives, they will last you a lifetime if you treat them well, so the price might be a little higher.

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