It is largely a matter of personal preference between a traditional carving knife and an electric knife, but the latter has some advantages as well.
With electric knives, blades are moved back and forth quickly (by a motor), so you can slice meats, breads, and even large batches of produce faster and more easily than by hand.
With today’s electric knives, you won’t have to worry about ripping a roast to shreds or giving up mid-way through a leg of lamb. Our test of eight of the best electric knives, backed by experts and home cooks, shows that the Hamilton Beach Electric Knife is the best. It doesn’t require much investment to acquire one. Here are our favorite electric knives on the market after carving a lot of meat and slicing enough crostini to feed an army.
What To Consider When Buying an Electric Knife
Corded vs cordless
As a result of their lower price and popularity than cordless electric knives, corded electric knives make up the majority of the knives in this review. The appeal of cordless electric knives is easy to see: they don’t require an outlet, and they give you the freedom to maneuver the knife without having to worry about pulling the cord out of the wall.
You also have to consider battery life when it comes to cordless models. Nobody wants to prepare a holiday roast and find their knife’s battery runs low when it comes to carving the meat. If you’re someone who regularly carves meats like brisket or roasts, or if you’d like to be able to carve outdoors, then a cordless option is probably your best bet. Just make sure the battery is long-lasting.
Electric knives with a cord are far more common and cheaper (ranging from $15 to $50). Make sure that the cord is fairly long so that you can manipulate the knife at your convenience.
It is important to consider the comfort of an electric knife. Nobody wants an electric knife that vibrates excessively as they carve. Even low-vibration knives can be uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time. Having an ergonomic handle makes a knife the most comfortable to hold.
It is common for electric knives to come with just one blade, usually around eight to ten inches long, but some models come with additional blades for different cooking tasks. The blades are usually removable and often dishwasher safe for the once- or twice-per-year user.
Here are our favorite electric knives (and what else we tried) now that you know the lowdown on electric knives.
Best Electric Knives at a Glance
The Best Electric Knives of 2022
1. Hamilton Beach Electric Knife with Storage Case
The Hamilton Beach electric knife is an ideal choice if you want an electric knife that can cut meat and bread well and is easy to store. Aside from its good weight, sleek appearance, and ease of grip, it was one of the easiest knives to hold for an extended period of time without feeling like your hand would vibrate.
It did not heat up quickly either, which wasn’t a problem with other knives.
It was ergonomically correct, had two different blades – one for bread and one for meat – and a long cord that allowed it to be moved around easily.
You can keep everything in one place using the storage case, which comes with either a drawer or cabinet. The only downside is the lack of a child safety lock.
While we didn’t use it for our testing, the description states that you can also use the knife to carve foam, making it perfect for cake making or arts and crafts projects.
2. Black + Decker ComfortGrip 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife
It does have a safety lock, “a big plus for parents of small children,” says Samantha, but it costs only slightly less than our “best overall” pick.
There is only one blade and no carrying case, but the circumference is smaller than the Hamilton Beach, so it can be stored in smaller spaces. It cuts well, and there is low vibration as well.
3. Waring Commercial Rechargeable/Cordless Electric Knife
With a price tag 10x higher than most knives we tested, this one is for serious chefs, those who spend a great deal of time smoking briskets, roasting turkeys, or making other things that require precision.
It comes with a guide to help you slice evenly, as well as a cordless design, making it easier to maneuver than any other knife.
As one would expect, it’s more suited to meat than bread. The vibrations were also minimal. “This knife has everything you’d want,” Samantha says, “but unless you use it very frequently, the steep price may not be worth it.”
4. Cuisinart CEK-41 AC Electric Knife
This Cuisinart electric knife did a good job cutting both bread and meat, and we appreciated the hearty blade it came with. In spite of all of the extras it included, we found that the higher price point wasn’t justified to us at close to $50, even though it comes with a safety lock and trigger release.
Overall, a good electric knife, but at close to $50, we were expecting more from it. The cutting board and serving fork are likely to already be in your drawer, and although nice as a gift set, we didn’t find them to be necessary.
5. Proctor Silex Easy Slice Electric Knife
The Proctor performed well for the price point, but we think you’d be better off going with the Black + Decker for a budget option. This knife did not cut quite as well as the others, and it cut bread better than meat. This one does not come with a safety lock. But if you use it once a year for a turkey, it probably will do the trick just fine.
6. NutriChef Portable Electrical Food Cutter Knife Set
Our review of NutriChef was not very positive. In spite of cutting well, it was difficult to push the top button while cutting (versus an ergonomic trigger) and the vibration was almost unbearable. “It felt like starting a lawn mower,” Samantha explains. Our favorite thing about the wooden storage board was that it locked on the blades, but it did not make up for the knife’s bad qualities.
7. Mueller Ultra-Carver Electric Knife
This knife was very similar to the NutriChef with the push button on top and the heavy vibration. It comes with the same criticisms, but it has less frills — only a single blade and no carrying case. The knife cuts decently, but it is a lot harder to maneuver than similar knives.
8. Cuisinart CEK-30 Electric Knife
There is no safety lock on this Cuisinart knife, and it vibrates quite a bit as well as gets extremely hot quite quickly.
The Final Verdict
We like the Cuisinart Electric Knife with Cutting Board the most, as it includes a carving fork, a bamboo cutting board, and a knife. The 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife from Black + Decker is a more budget-friendly option—especially if you don’t plan on using the carving knife often. It’s not only easy and secure to use, but it’s also dishwasher safe.