Electric knives are becoming a staple of the modern kitchen because of their utility. These helpful knives do most of the work for you, allowing you to prepare meals faster and easier. They are used by professional chefs and novices alike and are also popular with anglers and campers for outdoor use. A powerful electric knife makes short work of carving tough meat cuts, preparing fish, and chopping up fruits and vegetables. This handy guide goes through the best electric knives on the market, so you can make an educated decision before you buy.
Our Top Picks:
Short on time? Here’s an overview:
|Best Overall: Hamilton-Beach Electric. |
From one of the most respected kitchen brands comes a cordless electric knife that can handle meat, bread, fish, and more with ease.
|Best on a Budget: Proctor Silex Electric. |
This corded blade features an ambidextrous handle and versatile application at a price anyone can afford.
|Best for Slicing Bread: Black and Decker EK700. |
If baking’s the game, then this Black and Decker EK700’s the name!
|Best for Carving: Oster Electric. |
Neither steak, nor poultry, nor fish, nor pork, nor roast, nor pastrami will stop this carving blade from getting the job done!
|Most Versatile Kit: Cuisinart CEK-40. |
Another well-respected brand, this Cuisinart blade comes with two sets of reciprocating blades to handle meats as well as breads. It sits stylishly in a butcher-block stand.
|Best Heavy-Duty: Rapala Heavy-Duty. |
If you need a little extra horsepower in the kitchen, check out Rapala’s heavy-duty electric knife.
|Best for Filleting Fish: American Angler Pro. |
Anglers and novice fishermen (and women) alike will appreciate the five different blades that come with this blade, making filleting any fish fun and fancy-free.
|Best for Brisket: NutriChef Electric. |
When you want your fall-off-the-bone brisket to slice evenly, no one does it better than this NutriChef blade.
|Best for Foam: RoMech Foam Cutter. |
While you can use a standard electric kitchen knife to cut your DIY materials, why not turn to one designed specifically to cut through foam?
Best Electric Knives: A Closer Look
We’re going to bring the turkey out of the oven as we take a closer look at our top picks.
1. Hamilton-Beach Battery Powered Electric Knife
The best electric knife overall
Brand: Hamilton-Beach | Blade: 7.5 Inches | Type: Cordless | Motor: 100 Watts | Price: 💰
Hamilton-Beach is a well-known kitchen brand, and we’re not surprised to see them top our list. This electric knife is super-affordable and comes with a stainless-steel chef’s fork to assist in many preparatory applications. Dual reciprocating blades and a 100-watt motor make this little knife a powerhouse that can carve through bone as easily as meat. It won’t flinch at denser food items like hams or other meats, but is still gentle enough for freshly-baked breads. Plus, the entire set comes in a convenient storage container!
- The handle is ergonomically shaped and comfortable to hold
- Affordable price for a cordless model that’s much more maneuverable
- Dual reciprocating blades take care of dense meat, fish, and delicate bread
- The handle can be a little bulky for those with smaller hands
- The power switch sits on the underside of the handle, which some reviewers felt was awkward
2. Proctor Silex Stainless Steel Electric Knife
The best budget electric knife
Brand: Proctor Silex | Blade: 7 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 100 Watts | Price: 💰
The Proctor Silex blew us away with their incredible price and thousands of 5-star reviews. This stainless-steel knife looks good, feels good, and cuts good – and the removable blade is machine washable for easy clean-up! The ambidextrous handle is comfortable for both lefties and righties alike.
- Trigger handle makes operation safe and simple
- Lightweight blade is easy to hold over longer periods
- Versatile blade is suitable for everything from meats to breads to carving foam for your next DIY
- A few reviewers reported the handle getting uncomfortably warm over extended use
- The handle is smaller in size, which some reviewers with larger hands said made it difficult to use
3. Black and Decker EK700 Electric Carving Knife
The best electric knife for slicing bread
Brand: Black and Decker | Blade: 9 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 100 Watts | Price: 💰
If you’re a baker, pastry chef, or just someone who got into baking a lot of bread (like so many of us in recent times), then this Black and Decker EK700 is for you. Heavy wheat and rye breads are known for being stubborn to slice, but this blade handles them with ease. Where other electric knives may tear up your nice crust or rip apart softer breads, the EK700 has a more delicate touch, so no bread is left behind.
- Ergonomic, comfort-grip handle
- Both blades are removable and dishwasher-safe
- Integrated safety-lock for peace of mind when the knife is plugged in but not currently in use
- The included blade case is a soft plastic material, which may fail over time
- While perfect for bread, this blade may not be suited for denser meats and heavy-duty jobs
4. Oster Electric Knife with Carving Fork and Storage Case
The best electric carving knife
Brand: Oster | Blade: 8 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 60 Watts | Price: 💰💰
Oster has made a name for itself in kitchen appliances, and this corded electric knife is no exception. The stainless-steel blade is removable for easy cleaning, and its ergonomic design is perfect for carving your holiday feast! This set comes with the blade, the motorized handle, and a bonus carving fork that all fit snugly into the included hard plastic case. Though it might not have any fancy bells and whistles, this powerhouse is the perfect blade for carving meats – pork roast, rotisserie chicken, pastrami, steak, you name it, making it one of the best electric carving knives available.
- Ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold
- Designed to handle whatever meat you have to throw at it
- Comes with bonus carving fork and hard plastic storage case
- The included storage case is a thin plastic that some reviewers found “flimsy”
- Some reviewers reported the motor inside the handle getting very warm during use
5. Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife
The best versatile electric knife set
Brand: Cuisinart | Blade: 8 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 130 Watts | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife is a great kit for most kitchens. The 4-foot cord is plenty long for most standard home kitchens. Included in the set are two sets of stainless-steel blades (a serrated set for breads and a smooth set for carving), the motorized handle, as well as a butcher block knife stand to store your blade when not in use. The ergonomic handle with easy to reach on/off trigger contributes to its high safety ratings.
- Ergonomic handle with simple trigger operation and safety lock
- Comes with two sets of stainless-steel blades for versatile application
- Attractive butcher block stand will catch eyes on any kitchen counter and keeps your electric knife always at-the-ready
- The handle may heat up slightly during use
- This model may be noisier than other models
6. Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife
The best heavy-duty electric knife
Brand: Rapala | Blade: 7.5 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 110 Volts | Price: 💰💰
If you’ve got dense poultry and thick roasts to cut, consider the Rapala Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife. Though technically a fillet knife designed for fish, this blade is definitely more than capable of handling whatever meats you deal with. True to the name, it cuts through fish like a hot knife through butter, even if the meat is still partially frozen. With its 8-foot power cord, you won’t want for maneuverability.
- Thin, slightly-curved blade is uniquely suited to filleting fish
- Long 8-foot power cord for plenty of room to move around
- Heavy-duty electric knife stands up to any type of meat, even partially-frozen ones
- Does not come with a carrying or storage case
- The power cord, though long, is very stiff, and some reviewers found it to inhibit flexibility
7. American Angler Pro Electric Fillet Knife Kit
The best electric knife for filleting fish
Brand: American Angler | Blade: 5 Blades | Type: Corded | Motor: 111 Volts | Price: 💰💰💰💰
While the Rapala is heavy-duty enough to handle any meat, if you’re looking for something specifically to tackle (pun intended) any type of fish, then this American Angler knife is for you. No single blade could handle both sand trout and black drum, which is why the American Angler Pro comes with five different dual-reciprocating blades. Easily switch them out to suit the type of fish you’re dealing with. In addition to the blades, this knife comes with a protective glove and mesh carry case that easily lets water drain away for cutting on the water.
- Comes with five different blade sets for filleting any fish
- Long 8-foot power cord for more freedom from outlet location
- Pro Series motor offers twice the torque to slice through big bones like butter
- Much more expensive than anything else on our list, though definitely worth the pretty pennies
- To accommodate that extra power, the handle is much larger than other electric knife models, which may make it difficult to use for some
8. NutriChef PKELKN16 Electrical Food Cutter
The best electric knife for brisket
Brand: NutriChef | Blade: 6.5 Inches | Type: Corded | Motor: 100 Watts | Price: 💰💰
There’s nothing better than fall-off-the-bone brisket you can almost eat with a spoon – but not all briskets are created equal. Depending on the cut you get and the way you want to serve, sometimes you need to slice rather than shred. That’s when this NutriChef electric food cutter steps in. With two sets of dual-reciprocating stainless-steel blades, this knife is tough enough to handle dense meat and gentle enough for breads should the occasion arise.
- Integrated safety switch
- 5-foot-long power cord for plenty of range from outlets
- Comes with an attractive butcher-block-style storage unit that is as attractive as it is functional
- The power button has to be held down continuously during use, and is a little awkwardly placed for that
- Some reviewers found the blades difficult to attach and detach, though they appreciated how securely they stay once attached
9. GOCHANGE 3-in-1 Electric Foam Cutter
The best electric knife for cutting foam
Brand: GOCHANGE | Blade: 3 Blades | Type: Corded | Motor: 18 Watts | Price: 💰💰
While plenty of the blades on this list could probably handle cutting foam easily, if you’re going to spend your money on an electric knife because you’re up to your ears in DIYs and crafts, why not get a cutter specifically designed for foam? This GOCHANGE foam cutter, rather than using reciprocating blades, uses heat to carve through foam like…well…a hot knife through foam. Though you won’t be able to use this on breads or meats, you can use it on pretty much any foam material, like KT board, pearl cotton, EPP, sponge, EPS, and cellular glass.
- Simple on/off button with LED indicator light for safety
- Reaches temperatures from 80 degrees Celsius to 150 degrees Celsius
- All-inclusive kit comes with two straight blades, one curved bow wire cutter for precision cutting, a knife stand, replacement wire, blue marking pen, and long cord with power adapter
- The long blades don’t cut as cleanly as the wire blade
- The blades cool down quickly, which is nice after a project, but can make starting and stopping a pain
What are Electric Knives?
The electric knife is a small kitchen appliance that automates the cutting and/or carving process. The design is pretty straightforward. Typically, the blade and handle are two distinct pieces, making cleaning or trading out an old used blade for a sharp new one an easy task. The motor is found in the handle and transfers cutting power to the blade itself, saving your arm and wrist in the process. Wireless electric knives draw power from batteries while wired electric knives draw power from a wall outlet. Some manufacturers offer different types of blades, such as a ‘bread blade’ and a ‘carving blade’ for meats.
The Evolution of the Knife
When electric knives were first introduced to the public, they were generally considered sub-par compared to regular knives. Horror stories of shredded and poorly cut meat and dangerous injuries scared many people away from the concept altogether.
The older models of electric knife were, unfortunately, pretty terrible. But recent years have seen an incredible jump in quality, to the degree that many professional now employ an electric blade or two in their kitchens.
They’re still categorized as convenience items, and there are plenty of knife purists out there wholly set against them. But they can make more sense than a ‘regular’ knife in some situations. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food, or if you’re a hunter or angler who tackles a lot of tough meat, then an electric knife will cut down on the work you have to do. People with wrist pain, arthritis, or hand weakness may find electric knives make preparing food easier than with traditional cutlery.
Of course, there will always be a place for traditional knives in the kitchen. It just doesn’t always make sense to bring out the electric knife. For example, suppose you are just chopping a few strawberries. In that case, there’s no real need to bring out the heavy artillery. A small traditional knife will be plenty sufficient for such a task. An electric knife is a versatile addition to any chef’s arsenal, but not a replacement for the traditional kitchen knife.
The Benefits of Electric Knives
Not every slicing job calls for the helping hand of an electric knife, and in some cases, they can be a little overkill. But there are plenty of tasks where they excel and make life easier, thanks to their capabilities.
Since the electric knife does most of the work for you, you can focus on the placement and angle of each cut. This helps ensure all your cuts are consistent, especially when preparing hard-to-cut items like baked poultry, or vegetables like squash.
Electric knives can cut through virtually any food item quickly. That means less food prep time which adds up quickly after weeks and months of preparing meals.
Another benefit is safety, which may appear counterintuitive at first. However, since the best electric knives easily cut through tough food, there’s less chance for slippage or human error. Anyone who has a lot of experience chopping up fruits or vegetables has nicked their fingers a few times knows what we’re talking about.
Unlike traditional knives that need to be regularly sharpened, electric kitchen knives usually have replacement blades, which means you’ll always be using a sharpened blade. Some of the best electric knife kits add in special blades for bread and different kinds of meats and vegetables, allowing you to customize the blade for the task at hand.
Lastly, another excellent advantage is economics. Surprisingly, even the best electric knives cost less than the mid- and high-quality standard kitchen knives. There’s a lot of prestige surrounding certain brands in the traditional knife category and some degree of craftsmanship backing some of these knives. This has allowed many manufacturers to get away with charging a hefty premium for their flagship knife or their knife sets.
What to Look for in the Best Electric Knife for You
There are several features to keep an eye on when you’re shopping for an electric knife.
- Cordless vs. Cord: The key trade-off between these two types of electric knives is power versus portability. Cordless models may run out of battery or run low on battery in the middle of a big job. Sometimes when the battery starts running low, the electric knife won’t cut as well because it lacks power. A plug-in model will sustain consistent cutting power throughout the entire cutting process. The downside with a corded model, though, is a compromise on maneuverability. You’re limited in how far you can move away from an outlet by how long the cord is. Depending on how bulky the cord is, it may also inhibit your ability to angle the blade. Some models can switch between cordless and cord mode, so you get the best of both worlds.
- Cord Length & Battery Life: Hand-in-hand with the previous point, if you decide to go cordless, you’ll want to know the battery life of the model. It isn’t fun to pull out your electric knife for some heavy-duty cutting only to find it is out of juice and go on a wild goose chase for those double-A batteries. If you go with a corded option, check the cord’s length and make sure it is suitable for your setup.
- Material: The blade material is essential, as it bears the brunt of the work. Stainless steel blades are a clear favorite in this category. That is because, as you probably know, stainless steel holds up well over time, resisting rust and tarnish. You may also find some models incorporating blades constructed of composites or other types of materials.
- Types of Blades: Some electric knives will come with blade kits. Most feature a blade for slicing bread and then a blade for everything else. You may want to check out the length of the blade(s), which is usually in the product information. Some lengths are optimal for poultry, while others are better for fish. For example, some manufacturers have thinner 7.5-inch-long blades that are ideal for filleting fish.
Consider These Qualities
Here are a few more benefits that will come from some of the electric knives on the market. Consider these before making your purchase!
- Handle: If you can, purchase a knife with an ergonomic handle. A contoured handle will pay dividends when you’re in the thick of things and said handle is vibrating vigorously. Furthermore, a handle with a smart design will reduce the risk of you cutting one of your fingers. Look for a handle that is near the switch and control buttons for easy and safe operation.
- Safety Mechanisms: Most electric knife models include safety features such as a locking trigger or double locking mechanism. This prevents adventurous children from turning it on.
- Dishwasher Safe: In some models, both the handle and blades are dishwasher safe. After some devoted meat cutting action, it’s pretty nice to have clean up as simple as placing the unit in the dishwasher.
- Warranty: As a general rule of thumb, a longer warranty means the manufacturer has more confidence in their electric knife.
- Style: While not the top at everyone’s list, some folks prefer this smaller appliance not to be an eyesore. If your kitchen has a theme, or you run a catering business, for example, you’ll probably want a model that looks professional. You can show off a stylish knife at parties and other holiday occasions, making you look like the pro chef that everyone secretly envies.
- Extras: Extras such as wood storage blocks, extra handles, long cords, and safety buttons are other things to look out for. Some electric knives will have multiple speed settings so you can get the desired cutting power for the task at hand.