In a hurry? My pick for best electric knife is the Cuisinart CEK-30 Electric Knife.
If you find yourself cutting loaves of bread, large roasts, tri-tips, and other tough meats, you're the perfect audience for an electric knife. They can be used with a myriad of different foods – and perhaps surprisingly – are relatively affordable.
If you do not know what to look for, here is a simple buying guide and a list of the top 5 electric knives that you can see and get now.
As the section title suggests, there are two major categories for electric knives: corded and cordless.
Corded electric knives plug directly into a standard electrical outlet while cordless knives are powered by batteries (nowadays, usually rechargeable lithium batteries).
They both cut things the same way, but each type has its benefits and disadvantages when it comes to their performance.
Corded models tend to cut faster since they sport more powerful motors – they can draw "limitless" power straight from the plug. That advantage comes at a cost, of course: since you need to plug them in, the cord can make some cuts awkward, and the knives aren't as portable.
Cordless models can be more useful on the portability front aspect but tend to be less potent than the knives that have cords. Also, cordless knives tend to lose cutting power when the batteries drain.
Some electric knife kits come with several blades that are different sizes. Still, most come with one blade and perhaps a matching spare. Most commonly, blades are between 7 and 8 inches.
If you are planning to cut a variety of foods like such as bread, meats, vegetables, etc., then you may want to get a knife kit that comes with several blade sizes and styles.
If you are going to be cutting bread, look for a knife that has thinner blade thickness but is longer. A longer knife is excellent for big loaves.
For slicing bone-in meats, look for shorter, thicker blades. Thicker, smaller blades are ideal for slicing chicken or turkey since a smaller blade can be easier to maneuver around the bones.
If you plan to slice large pieces of meat that have no bones, a long blade is usually best, though the thickness of the blade can depend on how tough the meat it.
For fish, you can consider a dedicated electric fillet knife, or use a longer blade with a general electric knife.
Electric knives can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to cut up or carve anything. Whether you're cutting a small loaf of bread or a large Thanksgiving turkey, you'll appreciate the efficiency.
They are very convenient for people who find it hard or tiresome to spend 15 or more minutes cutting and carving other foods, too.
Additionally, since many electric knives have interchangeable blades, they can be incredibly versatile and last a long time.
Other than power source and blade size, pay careful attention to the knife handle. Some handles are ergonomically shaped to fit a person's hand, while others have a simple curve around the power button.
On that note, pay attention to where the power button is located. Sometimes, the switch is on the face of the knife, while other times it is on the bottom.
If you are more inclined to use your thumb to turn it on or off, look for a knife with a front-facing power button. Otherwise, consider a knife with a back-facing power button if you like to use your pointer finger.
All knives are dangerous – that's just a fact. When you throw a motor into the mix with an electric knife, the potential for danger only increases. Always respect the tool when cutting.
Here are some tips which will help you cut safely with your electric knife:
Yes, in my opinion, electric knives are definitely worth it.
They do have a few downsides, of course! Electric knives are generally a more significant upfront investment, can die or have the motors burn out, and are more dangerous than manual knives.
That said, those concerns can be alleviated:
Children should not use your electric knife – or really, even be near one as it is being used. This warning goes double for corded models since there is the added danger of the electric cord.
Be sure to store your electric knife (and other knives) in a place where children can't reach.
The Cuisinart CEK-30 Electric Knife is available with either a single blade or a carving fork or two blades. The packages are a great feature if you are gifting the Cuisinart. No matter which package you pick, the knife is an excellent value for the money.
The CEK-30 has dishwasher safe blades (although I recommend you hand wash your knives to keep them sharp longer). I like the safety feature on the power switch – you need to hold down the power button, or the knife will turn off. The button feature is particularly useful if a child does get control of the knife since they would need to hold down the button to keep it going.
Of course, this has another edge (puns always intended) as it can be a little awkward to hold the button down for minutes at a time for larger chunks of meat. Keep that in mind if you have joint pain or arthritis.
The Cuisinart CEK-50 Cordless Electric Knife is a larger knife that comes in a convenient cordless model. Unlike many other cordless electric knives, owners find the CEK-50 can stay alive and powered long enough to cut nearly a whole, large turkey on a full battery.
Because the handle and blade are bigger than most, it can be a little awkward for people with smaller hands to hold it.
Even so, the CEK-50 definitely deserves your consideration. Cordless knives usually take knocks due to their (lack of) power and battery life, and this one shows up well in those categories.
The Proctor Silex 74311Y Easy Slice Electric Knife is an excellent affordable, durable electric knife that will last for quite a few years. It is a little larger than your average electric knife, but this knife is a corded model (despite the pictures on the box).
However, this knife is less powerful than most of the other corded models on this list. Users also report the handle does feel a little cheaper than others. On the other hand, this knife shines for crafts: artistic owners found it cuts most crafting foams very easily.
The blade that the knife comes with is sharp enough for crusty loaves of bread and thick meats, but it might have trouble with softer loaves of bread or meats as well.
The Hamilton Beach 74250R Electric Knife is very similar to the Proctor Silex 74311Y above but has some key differences to consider.
The handle is smaller than a typical electric knife, which means it can be more comfortable to hold for those with small hands. Owners also found the blades are relatively easy to change. It comes with a carrying case and a carving fork and can cut both soft and hard loaves of bread and meats.
One downside we saw in our research? Users report that after the knife is turned on, it begins to heat up quickly. For some owners, the handle can become uncomfortable. Still, it is one of the more affordable electric knife options.
Hamilton Beach makes excellent electric knives, and the Hamilton Beach 74275R Electric Knife is no exception. The 74275R is a newer model than the 74250R I reviewed directly above.
The 74275R is an excellent, affordable choice in a knife. Unlike some other knives, it comes in a sleek black style and is very aesthetically pleasing and modern. Out of the box, it comes with a carrying case and a carving fork – excellent additions for convenience.
Similar to the previous Proctor Silex 74311Y knife I reviewed above, this knife has many fans in the crafting community. Creative users found it has excellent crafting foam cutting and carving ability.
The most concerning issue users found is it can struggle to cut softer meats. Others complained that the plastic handle feels a little cheap and less sturdy than other electric knives.
The Waring Commercial WEK200 Rechargeable/Cordless Electric Knife is a unique-looking electric knife. The handle of this model almost reminds me of a lawn tool – it is one of the only knives with a handle that continues over where your hand rests.
In terms of quality: the Waring is a very powerful electric knife for a cordless model. Despite the professional looks, it is pretty lightweight. Another positive is that it comes with a carrying case, an extra blade, and that big differentiator: it is cordless.
However, it does face the standard issues of cordless models. The battery will run out if you use it for extended sessions, and you can beat its power with a corded model. That said, for a cordless option, the power is almost unmatched.
The Nutrichef PKELKN16 Portable Electrical Food Cutter Knife is, even for a corded model, quite powerful. It can handle thick or soft meats, hard or soft loaves of bread, and also firm and hard vegetables. It's straightforward to handle, a considerable benefit that matches well with its excellent cutting ability.
For downsides, users found this knife can be awkward to change the blades. Other users found the materials feel lower-quality.
However, users also found the stand very easy to use. They stress that the stand is well designed, and the knife and blades fit securely.
When comparing all of the knives on this list, their features, quality, popularity, strength, and ease of use, my pick for best electric knife is the Cuisinart CEK-30 Electric Knife. It is one of the most powerful and useful models out there and can cut a wide variety of foods while remaining a great value.