A good electric knife is critical once the holidays roll around. They make carving work easy and fun. But before purchasing, you’ll need to answer a few questions. Cordless or not? Extended handle or traditional? I’ve outlined the pros and cons of the best electric knives currently on the market in an effort to make this decision a bit easier for you, so that you can get back to cooking. Here are the 6 best electric knives you can buy.
The Hamilton Beach Electric Carving Knife is quite similar to some of the other knives on this list – with respect to size, design and indeed price – but with a few notable differences that I think make it a more worthwhile investment.
First, the stainless steel blades are removable and 7 ½ inches long, which is as long as you will get for an electric knife in this price range. These are, of course, dual reciprocating blades, and you’ll need to have both installed for the knife to work as intended.
Second, the Hamilton Beach comes with its own serving fork, which is particularly convenient since you will always need one to hold your protein while carving. The only thing I don’t love about this is that the serving fork has a black handle, while the electric carving knife itself is white. I’m not sure why they did this, and wish they had put some more thought into that aesthetic decision.
But the third detail that makes this knife worthwhile is the storage case that holds the product when not in use. A good hard shell storage case is important for kitchen tools such as these, not only because they protect your tool while not in use, but because they also keep small parts in one place. If you’re like me, you’ll need a case to avoid losing important components.
Unfortunately, like a few of the other electric knives on this list, you’ll need to keep the on/off button depressed while in use. This is an important safety feature, and one I understand, but it’s nevertheless something that gets a little bit tiring, especially if you’ll be using the knife for very long.
And speaking of intense use, the Hamilton Beach knife can heat up a little after extended use – nothing to be concerned about, but something to keep in mind.
Beyond these extra details, the Hamilton Beach electric knife is just a solid, well made product. Hamilton Beach is obviously a well known, household name that you can trust. They make well designed, comfortable kitchen tools while keeping costs down.
Affordable and well made, the Proctor Silex is a great option if you’re looking for a decent electric knife and you’re on a budget. This thing is pretty simple, without much to differentiate it from the pack. But that said, there are a few details of note to consider when looking at the Proctor Silex.
First off, the design is classic. In some ways this thing actually looks more like an electric toothbrush than a knife. It’s all white, with an ergonomic, hand-contoured grip that makes for pretty easy carving.
The Proctor Silex also features dual reciprocating stainless steel blades. It’s important to use both, or the electric knife simply won’t work. With both blades going though, it slices through nearly anything, effortlessly.
Operating the Proctor Silex is also pretty straight forward. A simple on/off switch controls the power, which I like quite a bit over push-button models that you need to keep pressed while in use. The switch on the Proctor Silex is simple and easy to use.
In terms of downsides, there are just two. First, I’d love a longer power cord. Coming in at just two feet, the cord restriction makes it difficult to use the Proctor Silex anywhere but next to an outlet, which presents some obvious limitations.
Second, the reciprocating blades are relatively short, at just 6 ½ inches long. This isn’t a veto feature by any means, just one you’ll need to think about when considering what you’re going to be cutting, and, realistically, how big your knife should be.
Before you look at the pricetag and keep scrolling, just hear me out. While the Cuisinart Cordless Electric Knife may be the most expensive electric knife you ever buy, it will also be the last.
First off, it’s cordless. This is a big deal for those of us who like to actually carve at the table. The convenience factor of cordless is hard to overstate.
This Cuisinart comes with two, rechargeable 3.9-volt lithium ion batteries, each that will run for 20 minutes straight per charge. The nice thing though, is that if you so desire, you can also plug the Cuisinart in, so there’s never any risk of “running out of juice.”
The blades are made from the highest quality stainless steel, and dishwasher safe, although I’d recommend hand washing. Cuisinart includes one set of serrated and another straight-edge, which I find to be particularly good for tender proteins like fish.
I also really like the heavy-duty storage case. Although this is actually an electric knife that I could see myself getting more regular use out of – given the power and convenience – I do particularly appreciate the case for safe storage, and to make sure I don’t lose anything.
The handle is sleek and ergonomic, working well in either hand. It’s also just aesthetically pleasing. You can tell this is a Cuisinart product immediately just by seeing the matte black and brushed steel.
Alright, so this is a lot of money to spend on a carving knife. But, if you are looking for your last electric carving knife, and one convenient enough that you might actually get regular use out of it, I would give the Cuisinart Cordless Electric Knife some real consideration.
The NutriChef 8.9 inch electric carving knife is our pick for the best electric knife under $30. It’s really a fantastic option for any one on a budget, or someone who’s looking to get an electric knife for sporadic use.
The NutriChef features dual, removable stainless steel blades. It’s important when purchasing an electric knife to figure out exactly how big the functional cutting length of the blade is, as opposed to the length in general. This knife has a functional cutting length of about 6.5 inches, which isn’t as long as I would like, ideally, but still not bad.
I also really like the handle, which is raised, rather than straight across. It could be that there is more leverage, or that it allows for more nuanced angles while slicing – I’m not sure. There is just something about this design that feels good while carving.
This knife is also surprisingly powerful, making short work of anything you may need to carve, and that includes turkeys, hams and brisket. And although the knife needs to be plugged in, the power cord is about three and a half feet long, which is just enough freedom to carve unencumbered.
The only real downside to the NutriChef electric knife is that it doesn’t come with any kind of protective case to store it in when not in use. Electric knives are niche items, meaning they won’t be getting daily use, and I find that it’s always helpful to store those kinds of products securely and safely. This keeps blades sharp and components from going missing.
The fact that there is no case isn’t the end of the world though – this will fit easily into an extra canvas bag or even a pencil case. I wouldn’t let this small detail keep you from pulling the trigger. It’s a solid electric knife and selling at a great price!
The Waring Rechargeable/Cordless Electric Knife checks all of my boxes. This next level electric knife is both powerful and aesthetically pleasing, and comes with all kinds of great features. So let’s get into it.
First, the Waring is cordless, as you can tell from the name, which for me is a fundamental feature if you’re going to be paying top dollar. I love that this knife isn’t tied to the wall, and that I can bring it out to the dining room to carve, and really put on a show.
The Waring runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery, which is included with purchase. It charges quickly and lasts a long time, though I’d like it if Waring had included two batteries, so that I could charge one while the other is in use.
This electric knife also has an integrated LED light for visibility in low-lighting. I’m imagining carving a turkey in a low-lit dining room on Thanksgiving without needing to turn the overhead lights on to see what you’re doing. A little unnecessary, perhaps, but why not?
But in terms of actual ergonomics and functionality, I really like the design of this knife. I’ve come to prefer the extended handle design on electric knives, over the straight handle, because I think it allows for a little bit more leverage. It takes getting used to, and is not the most natural position to grip a knife, but electric knives aren’t normal knives and at the end of the day I think this just works better.
The Waring is also extremely powerful and durable – you won’t have any trouble slicing through anything you might throw at it. Waring just makes really solid products – I actually have a Waring hair trimmer and it’s the best one I’ve ever had.
The Waring Rechargeable/Cordless Electric Knife also comes with a heavy duty carrying case. As I’ve said elsewhere, this is really important for such an expensive tool, both to protect it and to avoid losing small components.
On the downside, it is expensive, and you need to keep the on/off button pressed while using. Again, this is a safety feature, and one I’d really encourage designers to work around. It’s kind of par for the course at this point though, so I can’t fault Waring. At the end of the day this is a fantastic carving knife, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to add to my kitchen toolkit.
American Angler perfected their hand held reciprocator for fishing, but there are no rules when it comes to bringing this thing into the kitchen.
Alright, so the American Angler PRO Series EFK is not technically made for kitchens. It’s actually designed – as the brand name implies – for fishing and filleting fresh catches. That said, there is no reason it won’t work in a kitchen, and given the quality, I’d say it works quite well.
One of my favorite things about this knife is that it’s actually a few different knives. Unlike some other electric knives on this list, this one comes with five interchangeable blades, different sizes to meet different needs. The American Angler scores an A+++ for versatility.
American Angler lists these as one 10 inch saltwater blade, one 10 inch heavy duty shark blade, one 8 inch curved tip blade, one 8 inch heavy duty shark blade, and finally, one 5.5 inch curved tip blade. Although these were designed for fish, they actually work extremely well on any cut of meat – including turkeys – that you might imagine.
Although the bright orange handle might stick out in your kitchen, it’s also pretty comfortable. And, importantly, it’s built with airflow technology that keeps the handle cool during use. This knife is more powerful than most, so the extra cooling is necessary and noted.
On the downside, the American Angler knife needs to be plugged in. For the money, I’d really hope for a cordless knife with rechargeable batteries. But, given the superior quality, power and 2-Year Limited Lifetime Warranty, I’d say this is a small price to pay.
So, ready to buy?
Here a few final considerations before pulling the trigger, just to make sure you get the right electric knife for you. There are a few notable differences in the products listed above, and a few critical design features that are worth paying attention to.
My first thought in selecting an electric knife is deciding how important cordless is to you. An electric knife that you don’t have to plug into a wall is incredibly convenient; there’s just no disputing that. Carving at the table without having to worry about being next to a power outlet makes a huge difference.
That said, the cordless options tend to be a bit more expensive, or rather, quite a bit more expensive. So, is it worth the investment? I generally think so, but that’s because I find these cordless options to be superior machines, beyond just being cordless. They are powerful and sturdy, and I feel confident using them on a daily basis, rather than just storing them for 11 ½ months out of the year.
Another thing to consider is design. Some of the knives on this list have an extended handle, kind of like a suitcase handle, while others resemble more traditional knives. Ultimately, this will be a matter of personal preference.
While I started out preferring traditional handles, since they most closely resemble my normal knives, I’ve slowly started to prefer extended handle models. They just feel a little more sturdy, and let’s face it, electric knives are not normal knives, and don’t slice in the same way.
Finally, let’s talk about blade length. Electric knives usually work with dual, reciprocating blades that oscillate side by side, in an alternating pattern. These blades, typically stainless steel, make short work of most proteins.
But because these blades are also removable, you’ll need to pay attention to how far the blade extends beyond the handle to get a sense of actual use potential. Sometimes vendors can be a little misleading, and claim that their blades are 9 inches long, for example.
While this may be technically true, they don’t mention the fact that 3 of those 9 inches need to be inserted into the handle, leaving only 6 inches of functional blade length. So, on this list I’ve tried to include only functional blade length, and don’t detail any length inserted into the handle. I think of this as a more honest picture of what you’ll get when you unpack your knife.
At the end of the day, all of these electric knives work beautifully. They range in cost and in terms of design, but each one excels at their specific, intended use. Take a moment and think of your specific needs from an electric knife, and then buy with confidence!