Whether it’s time to carve the turkey or if you’re just tired of having to force your regular knife through everything which comes across your path, finding the best electric knife may be just what your kitchen needs. Electric knives come in a lot of varieties, however, and choosing the perfect fit for your home can be hard.
We feel that most people will be quite well served with the Cuisinart CEK-50 Cordless Electric Knife. It’s simply one of the best around and although it runs a pretty high price we feel that it’s largely worth it at the end of the day.We’ve compiled five of the best currently on the market for you, however, so take a look and see what you can find. We’re sure that one of our favorites will find an amazing fit in your home.
For the average home, however, we found the cordless CEK-50 to be the perfect knife to liberate your food from the labor of manual cutting.
Top 5 Electric Knives
|Cuisinart CEK-50 Cordless||2||Yes||Check Price|
|Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife||2||No||Check Price|
|American Angler PRO||1||No||Check Price|
|Hamilton Beach 74250||1||No||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Electric Knife
Cuisinart CEK-50 Cordless Electric Knife
Cusinart produces the majority of the high-grade electric knives which you’ll find available. The CEK-50 Cordless is a great example of everything an at-home electric knife should be. It comes with a power rating of 130 watts of power as well, making short work of anything that might cross your path in the kitchen.
The cordless power source lasts for around 20 minutes of cutting, which is enough time to handle roasts, turkeys, and hams without getting close to running out of power. It also comes with two blades, one specifically for carving and one for bread.
If it’s got a crust, you’ll be able to get through it with this knife.
It’s probably not the best for hobby usage, where longer cutting is going to be necessary and it’s not the sharpest of the ones we looked at. The handle is also a bit bulky for those with smaller hands, although most of our reviewers had no issues with it.
Pros and Cons
- Comes with two blades
- Long running batteries
- 130 watts of power
- Handles most kitchen tasks with ease
- Not the most ergonomic electric knife
- Cordless model is rather expensive
2. Best Corded Electric Knife
Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife
One model down from the CEK-50 is the excellent CEK-40. The corded model is fantastic for long days in the kitchen, but you’ll have to deal with all of the stuff that comes with using a cord.
It also has a remarkably nice stand which won’t look out of place in the modern kitchen. It resembles a wooden knife block and allows you to fold the cord around the back. For what it’s worth it’s probably the best presented model of the ones that we looked at.
Like it’s more expensive cordless cousin it comes with both a bread and carving blade, both of which also fit on the wooden block. It runs at 130 watts as well, which is more than enough for most kitchens.
The great presentation and high-quality of the knife make it a go-to if you’re not wanting to work with a cordless blade.
Like most of Cusinart’s electric knives, however, there’s a small problem: the handle is big and you have to hold the on-button. For those with small hands this can make things a bit troublesome.
If you’re looking for a corded electric carving knife for the kitchen then you’ll be in luck with the CEK-40. The presentation makes it an attractive addition to the kitchen while the blade itself makes short work of even the toughest meats.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent “chopping block” for storage
- Comes with blades for meat and bread
- Durable construction
- Not the most ergonomic design
- On button is a bit hard to hold for small hands
3. Best Electric Fillet Knife
American Angler PRO Professional
If you’re looking for a great fillet knife to make short work of any fish that comes across, then this is the one you’ve been looking for. It has a ton of torque, considerable power, and a variety of available blades which will let you handle pretty much any fish you pull in.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the knife that you’ve been looking for if you’re going to be working with the usual fare. Bread and meat are going to eat up the specialized blade in a hurry and that’s no good for anyone.
When it comes down to it, however, there’s no better way to crunch through fish bones and end up with a perfect fillet than to go with an electric fillet knife. This one is top-rated, recommended by commercial fisheries, and comes in with the price tag to prove it.
They’re a niche item, but you never know when you might want to handle a fish that comes across your kitchen. If you eat fresh fish often they’re simply a great investment.
If you’re looking to make short work of fresh fish, then an electric fillet knife is what you’ve been looking for this entire time. This is the best of the best, and while it may not be worth it for every kitchen you’ll be glad to have it when you need it.
Pros and Cons
- Tons of different blades available
- Provides an incredible amount of power and torque
- Cuts through fish bones easily
- Extra-high build quality
- Not suitable for most kitchen tasks
4. Best Electric Knife for Hobby Usage
Hamilton Beach 74250 Carve 'n Set
With a tough casing, high-power, and a low cost this is the blade you’ve been looking for if you’re trying to cut foam or balsa wood. Let’s face it: electric knives aren’t going to last forever when you’re not using them for their intended purpose so you need something easy to handle, high-powered, and easy to use.
The ergonomic handle on this one allows you to easily make delicate cuts in foam and other materials. It also uses a “trigger” style button which is easy to pull while you’re making your cuts.
Unlike our favorites, however, it only comes with one blade. While they market it as being great for every task… we found that it really wasn’t the best thing when you were slicing bread.
As long as you keep it well-lubricated, however, this is an awesome knife for any kind of hobby task.
While not our first choice for use in the kitchen, this little electric knife is excellent for cutting foam and other hobby use. It’ll make short work of most materials and the handle is well-designed for precise movements.
Pros and Cons
- Trigger style power button
- Rather cheap overall
- High-powered motor
- Ergonomic handle design
- Not the best for kitchen usage
- Only has one style of blade available
5. Best Budget Electric Knife
BLACK+DECKER 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife
If you’re only planning on using your knife around the holidays then many of the options on our list just don’t make financial sense. Black+Decker offers this excellent, cheap electric knife which is great for only occasional use.
This one does a good job, it just doesn’t have the durability of the majority of our picks. The blade also has a rather odd offset which we didn’t care much for but other than that it’s a solid piece.
The handle is probably the best part. Ergonomically designed with an intuitive trigger button it’s easy to use even if you have smaller hands.
Indeed, of all the knives we tried this one might have the most comfortable handle.
With a super low price, an excellent handle, and sharp blades this budget knife is great if you’re only planning on occasional use. Unfortunately, the offset of the blade and the lack of overall durability makes it hard to recommend for those looking to get a lot of use out of their electric knife.
Pros and Cons
- Comes with a stand
- Low priced
- Excellent handle
- Super easy to use
- Not the most durable electric knife
- Relatively low powered
The Uses of an Electric Knife
Most people find relatively limited use with an electric knife. It’s a nostalgia thing for a lot of us, remembering the slicing of turkey and ham when we were kids during the holidays.
That’s not the only use, however, many people have found that the serrated tearing action of an electric carving knife actually works very well on many things.
Remember that an electric knife functions more like a saw than like a regular knife. That alone should help you figure out when these will be useful.
When you want to cut something smoothly which has a hard or loose exterior they’re a great tool.
Some of the following cut well with an electric knife:
- Tough meats
- French bread
- Tough skinned vegetables like squash
The difference is in the action. A normal knife, unless kept preposterously sharp, has trouble with the skin on many things.
They can also reduce the effort required when you’re working with something large. You simply don’t need to apply as much manual force when you’re using an electric knife.
Surprisingly, electric knives are also a remarkably safe way to cut things. Regular knives, when not used properly, have a tendency to slip and cause injuries. While an electric knife isn’t one hundred percent safe the only real chance of one jumping unexpectedly is if it hits bone.
Temporary Infirmity or Old Age
If you’re getting up there in years or have an injured hand then you’ll find using a regular carving knife to be a bit unwieldy. Arthritis and other ailments can turn a “once a year” appliance into something with regular usage in the home.
They also make a good temporary aid for those who’ve been injured.
So, if you’re not able to wield a knife as well as you once were then it may be time to make the investment in an electric carving knife.
Catering and Entertaining
If you’re a caterer or regularly entertain large groups of people then you may just fall in love with your electric knife. They save on time and effort when preparing larger meat dishes and allow you to easily make quick, straight cuts in even the thickest of roasts.
Not everyone uses their electric knife for foodstuffs. We made sure to find a heavy-duty knife which is best suited for those who are looking to cut foam, balsa wood, and other materials for crafts.
While almost all electric knives are made specifically for food, the qualities that go into a good one for crafts are a little bit different.
Electric Fillet Knives
While they deserve their own guide, electric fillet knives are fantastic for making short work of fish. They’re a lot more expensive than your run of the mill electric carving knife but they’re a lot more specialized.
Using one is one of the best ways to work with larger fish. They tend to have a wide variety of different blades available for usage, ranging from smaller freshwater rated blades to non-corrosive, large blades for saltwater fish.
They’re common in commercial kitchens which handle a lot of fresh fish, since they produce a remarkably even and consistent cut. Don’t bother with using them for roasts however.
They won’t produce as fine of a cut as an actual fillet knife, but they make for a lot less work in the end.
How Does an Electric Knife Work?
Electric carving knives work through the action of two blades. The blades are serrated and move back and forth at a high rate of speed, allowing for a sawing action which can get through most foods quite easily.
There are both corded and cordless models available these days.
Like pretty much any appliance, the trade-off is convenience. Corded electric knives are more powerful but you have to deal with the cord and finding a plug to use one.
While the sawing action may not be quite as accurate as those found with a standard knife, it does make the knife easier to use and produces less tearing when cutting into things like skin.
Most electric knives are relatively simple affairs. They’ve been around since 1939 and the design hasn’t really changed all that much in that time.
Since they’re simple, the qualities you’re looking for are pretty easy to sort out.
What You’re Looking for in an Electric Knife
When it comes down to these simple, but handy, devices there’s not a whole lot that needs to be checked on.
The biggest factor for most people is durability. There are a lot of cheap electric knives out there and they have a tendency to burn up rather quickly and then end up in the trash.
Whatever you choose should be sturdy and durable. A warranty is also a good idea, as it is with anything with integrated electronics.
Blades which can be switched out are a big plus. Our favorites all had longer knives for cutting turkey and roasts and shorter ones which could be easily switched out. The shorter knives were great for those times you just need to chop some vegetables or bread.
The handle can make all the difference as well. Look for ergonomic, easy-to-hold handles for the best results. Something with a bit of rubber to mold to the hand is even better, but not always possible.
As far as power goes… just make sure that you have at least 100 watts. You don’t need something comparable to a Sawzall, but any lower than that and you’re likely to have some trouble using it to cut thicker items.
Basically, you don’t want it to be like grabbing a trash can lid or you’re going to end up not having a good time using it.
Corded vs. Cordless Electric Knives
We preferred cordless electric knives when we were looking over them. Having to stop to plug a knife in is a pain and only the most time intensive tasks are going to require you to stop. They also don’t seem to overheat as easily.
There’s a trade-off, however. Corded models are undoubtedly more powerful. They have higher wattage and you don’t have to worry about batteries while you’re using them. They may be best for those who aren’t planning on using their knives frequently, however, and we all know that family that only brings their electric knife out once or twice a year to slice into turkey.
Cleaning Your Electric Knife
Knowing how to clean your electric knife will help you to maintain it for longer periods of time.
For the most part, the serrated blades just need to be replaced once they’ve dulled. If you’re not a frequent user of the knife, however, this really isn’t all that much of a concern.
Instead, cleaning is the problem which most frequently presents itself to users of electric knives. While you should always consult the manual for the product you’re using, it’s a pretty simple affair for the most part:
- Clean the blades themselves with a sponge like you would a normal knife. Be careful not to get too much water on the housing.
- Wipe off the housing of the knife with a damp cloth
- Dry thoroughly
- Don’t stick it in the dishwasher. Seriously.
If anything does go wrong with your knife they’re relatively simple to fix but keep in mind this may end up voiding the warranty.
Prepping an Electric Knife for Craft Use
If you’re going to be using your electric knife for crafts then you may want to put a little bit of extra thought into the matter before you just go cutting away.
Lubrication is a great practice for cutting foam and other dense materials. By adding lubricant you’ll dissipate heat quicker, allowing for easier cutting and avoiding most of the problems which may occur.
It also helps to keep your electric knife separate from those you might use in the kitchen. This will allow you to use a mineral-oil based lubricant instead of requiring you to use something which is food grade.
At the very least you’ll want to use a separate blade for crafting purposes. It’s easy to do since most models will allow you to replace the blade easily and their manufacturers will sell extra blades fairly cheap.
Look for a heavy-duty, corded model for the best results with craft use. Cordless often don’t have the “oomph” required to get through really tough materials.
There are a lot of electric knives out there, so make sure that you don’t end up with a dud. Instead you want to ensure that you have the best electric knife for your kitchen or craftroom. A good model will be easy to handle, durable, and have enough wattage to cut through anything you might need.
Our choice is still the Cuisinart CEK-50 Cordless Electric Knife for the average kitchen. The replaceable blades, cordless capabilities, and high wattage make it a sterling example of what an electric knife should be.
On the other hand, for crafters the product might be the way to go.
The determining factor is always going to be what you’re planning on doing with your knife, however, and that decision rests on you. The best choice is always going to be the one that you have at hand after all.
So why not pick one up today and add a touch of nostalgia to your next Turkey Day?