Kitchen Utility Knife Reviews
I would like to premise this entire conversation by stating that this page and all of its related articles and reviews focus on kitchen utility knives. These are basic 4.5 to 6-inch knives with stationary blades used in preparing food. These are not knives with retractable blades used for cutting tie straps and drywall. If you are looking for reviews of that type of knife you will need to look elsewhere. However if you are here in search of kitchen utility knife information and reviews, you have come to the right place.
In preparing this page, I have spent hours researching kitchen utility knives to come to a solid understanding of what makes a kitchen utility knife great (and not so great). I have prepared each of these reviews based on that information. Where did the knives I chose to review come from? That is a great question. I selected each of these knives based on their popularity. Yes, this was a popularity contest. It only made sense to select them this way for two reasons. First, you are most likely to find these knives when conducting an internet search for kitchen utility knives. Second, there is usually a reason why the most popular knives are the most popular knives. Of course, this may sometimes be because they are extremely affordable, so many people buy them before realizing that they aren’t the greatest options. However, the greats will always rise to the top, regardless. I have seen it time and time again.
I have included a list of the Top Three best utility knives I was able to find in terms of quality, price, and type. The Honorable Mentions section of this page will bring you a list of additional utility knives I believe are worth taking a moment to read about and consider.
Top Three Choices
As with all the other knife reviews on this website, I have taken great care in selecting the Top Three Choices of utility knives. This list is based on a comprehensive review of the top-selling, popular kitchen utility knives on today’s market. After locating the most popular knives I whittled that list down to the eight knives featured on this page based on the consumer reviews they had received. From there, I whittled the list even further to identify the best three knives based on their particular qualities. The following three knife reviews are the result of that process.
Best in Class
Wusthof 4.5-Inch Classic Utility Knife
Wusthof is known for creating quality knives. In fact, many Wutshof knives have graced the pages of this website – a handful even falling into the Top Three Choices in multiple categories. This Wusthof knife maintains the good reputation that others have received.
Whereas some other utility knives are too short to complete some slicing tasks and others are too large to comfortably peel a small fruit, this knife is perfectly mid-sized. The 4.5-inch blade on this knife will easily handle tasks such as peeling apples, slicing onions, and cutting through sandwiches. The blade is full tang and has been triple-riveted into the synthetic handle for extra strength and durability, and to offer a more even weight-distribution.
The handle itself is made from a synthetic material and has purposely been shaped to offer your hand a solid grip. The steel bolster at the base of the handle serves two major purposes. First, it lends weight to the handle, acting as a counterbalance to the weight of this knife’s solid high-carbon stainless steel blade and allowing you to easily maneuver the knife. It also serves as protection for your fingers, stopping them from sliding downward toward the blade.
This high-carbon stainless steel blade is strong, yet sharpens very easily. Though it may need to be sharpened more often than a high-carbon blade, it will certainly hold its edge for much longer than a typical stainless steel blade. This knife’s 14-degree cutting angle can quickly and effortlessly slice through most food you place in its path. Consumers have reported that the angle is quite sharp and stays sharp.
Zyliss 5.5-Inch Utility Paring Knife
I must admit that I was shocked at the affordable price of this particular utility knife. Though its 5.5-inch blade may seem a little large for many tasks, it does epitomize the idea of what it means to be a multi-function knife. You cannot expect this knife to perform the same intricate tasks as a paring knife, but it will slice and peel with ease. Unfortunately, I am uncertain of this knife’s cutting angle, but have been assured by consumers is sharp enough to handle most tasks.
What I found most impressive about this knife is its handle. Though I normally prefer a handle which is triple riveted for extra strength, I do not often place extreme pressure on my utility or paring knives and, thus, do not require the added security of three rivets. This knife’s handle does not appear to be triple-riveted, but it is extremely non-slip. The texturized rubber grip on this handle should ensure that, no matter how slippery your hand may be, it will stay put. This was most impressive to me, because safety is always my number one priority in the kitchen.
Adding further to the impressiveness of this knife is that it can be purchased with either a high-carbon stainless steel or a non-stick stainless steel blade. I am, personally, a fan of high-carbon stainless steel, simply because it is stronger and holds its edge much better than regular stainless steel. However, the non-stick option may be preferable to those who often use their utility knives to cut things such as cheese and garlic, which are notorious for sticking to knife blades.
Best in Serrated
Shun DM0722 Classic
After reviewing all of the knives I decided to feature on this page, I realized that it is very important to include a Best Serrated spot in the Top Three Choices. Serrated utility knives are more versatile than regular utility knives, but are still usually preferred by a select group of people who intend to use their utility knives for slicing through baked goods.
Although I am, personally, a fan of utility knives with microserrations, I could not ignore the popularity and positive reviews received by the Shun DM0722 Classic which, clearly, features deep serrations. Though these serrations will make peeling a little more difficult, they will definitely aid in slicing and will help this Shun live up to the nickname received by many utility knives around the world – the sandwich knife. These serrations will quickly and effortlessly cut through the bread, meat, and vegetable toppings of any sandwich, from the crust-less one in your child’s lunch bag to the hoagie you grab as a secret snack on your way home from work.
The wood grain texture on the blade of this knife, like that featured on many other Shun blades, serves more than a merely aesthetic function – it also creates tiny air pockets which stop food from sticking to the side of the blade as you go about slicing and dicing small fruits and vegetables. The 16 layers of cast stainless steel which make up this blade may not hold an edge as long as the high-carbon steel blades on today’s market, but is very rust-resistant.
The following list of “Honorable Mentions” are all knives I felt that I could not ignore in creating this web page. Though they were not impressive enough to warrant a position in the list of Top Three Choices, one of the knives on this list may be just the right knife for you. I was very particular in my selection of the Top Three Utility Knives and must admit that not everyone will have the same personal preferences that I do, or even those preferences which I assume the majority of people would have. For that reason, and also to simply include more variety, I created this list of Honorable Mentions.
J. A. Henckels International 5-Inch Fine Edge
This 5-inch stainless steel utility knife is the perfect size for most cutting, peeling, slicing, and dicing tasks. Though its straight edge will not cut through soft baked goods with ease, it will create smooth cuts of fruit and vegetables and will create a nice pressed seal around the edges of your child’s crust-less sandwich.
This knife’s blade is full tang and triple-riveted into its solid polypropylene handle. The full tang blade offers better balance than partial-tang blades, placing more weight in your hand for optimal control. The three rivets hold the blade securely inside the handle, ensuring that the blade and handle will not separate when placed under pressure.
The polypropylene handle of this knife is hard and solid, offering stability, and support. It has not been textured but has been shaped to hold your hand in a secure position while you are working. The handle also features a bolster which protects your fingers from sliding forward. Unfortunately, this bolster does not provide any counterbalance to the weight of the blade, because it is not made from steel.
An unfortunate downside to this basic utility knife is the quality of stainless steel from which it has been created. Consumers have repeatedly reported that this low-end steel will not hold an edge for very long and requires more frequent sharpening than the stainless steel blades featured on competing utility knives.
Shun DM0701 6-Inch Classic
Unlike the serrated Shun Classic featured in our list of Top Three Choices, this Shun Classic features a straight-edge blade. In all other respects, however, this knife is essentially the same as the one which was selected as the Best Serrated utility knife. It features a wood grain texture on its blade which serves a beautiful aesthetic function while also creating air pockets to keep food from sticking to the blade. At 6-inches long, this blade may be too long to allow you to safely and effectively peel a fruit or vegetable, but will still be helpful in slicing, dicing, and cutting through sandwiches.
The cylindrical Pakkawood handle is not shaped to the curves of your hand and may, thus, be a little difficult to control. It has, however, been shaped somewhat like the letter D to stop it from spinning around in your hand. Although the wood has been coated for extra protection against water and rot damage, I do not suggest placing this knife in the dishwasher, because the high heat environment inside the dishwasher may break down the protective coating.
This knife’s blade has been cast from 16 layers of stainless steel, making it strong and rust-resistant. The knife features a steel bolster and end cap which both lend a counterweight to the weight of the stainless blade. Consumers have reported that this balanced weight distribution lends greatly to their ability to control this knife with confidence.
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution 5-Inch Utility Knife
I absolutely love the microserrations featured on the blade of this knife. In all honesty, I believe that this Kyocera has the most versatility of all of the knives listed on this page, as a result of its microserrated blade. I find microserrations impressive because they allow one to effortlessly cut through baked goods but do not impede one’s ability to peel thin skins from or make clean slices through fruits and vegetables.
The ceramic blade featured on this knife has incredible edge-retention, which means that it will stay sharp for a very long time. In fact, many ceramic blades rival, and sometimes beat, the longevity of high-carbon steel blades. Ceramic blades are also lightweight and easy to counterbalance. The plastic handle featured on this knife appears to offer a rather comfortable grip and has been textured to reduce the likelihood of your handle slipping while you are slicing, dicing, or peeling.
I would like to include a few words of caution, however, to anyone thinking of purchasing this knife. Be very careful not to drop it and do not use it for cutting through hard foods, especially bones, because ceramic is very brittle.
Victorinox Cutlery 6-Inch Straight Knife
This 6-inch utility knife has been stamped from high-carbon stainless steel. Though it cannot live up to the strength and durability of forged high-carbon stainless steel, this knife should easily stand up to most of the tasks you send its way. The 6-inch length of this blade does restrict its possible uses, as it detracts from your ability to control the knife with precision.
This knife’s plastic handle is a little thin, which may make it difficult to find a comfortable and steady grip. The plastic on this handle has been textured for extra grip but, based on its slim design, I would worry about this knife slipping and flipping in your palm as you try to work. One upside to this handle, however, is that it features a protective bolster which will stop your fingers from sliding forward as you work. Another upside is that, when combined with the rust-resistance of the high-carbon stainless steel blade, this knife’s plastic handle means that it is completely dishwasher-safe.
OXO Good Grips 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife
This affordable serrated utility knife is advertised as having a blade created from “no stain” steel. I am not quite sure if that means stainless steel or high carbon stainless steel. I am willing to bet that it denotes some sort of low-end stainless steel, based on the simple fact that the company chose not to include the type of steel in any description of this knife. If the steel was something to boast about, I am sure they would have. Still, consumers haven’t complained much about this knife or its cutting ability. For the most part, they seem satisfied with what it can offer for such a low price.
The blade is full tang, extending the entire length of the handle, creating a great counterbalance to the weight of the blade. The blade does not appear to be riveted into the handle, however, so I caution against applying significant force to this knife. My main concern is that the blade and the handle may separate under pressure. The handle itself is rather impressive. It is thick and has been rounded to lend you a solid grip. It also features a soft, non-slip coating which will make your cooking experience not only more enjoyable but also safer.
Its deep scalloped serrations make this knife perfect for peeling citrus fruits and slicing through breads with hard crusts. Although it will not make beautifully clean cuts through vegetables and fruit, this OXO will still manage to effectively complete any small to mid-sized slicing job.