Elevate Your Home Dining Experience by Stocking Up on the Best Knives for Every Entertaining Need

We found elegant options for cutting everything from steak to cake.

White Marble Cheese Knives
Photo: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Whether you're enjoying a holiday meal or a simple weeknight dinner, having the right knives for cutting and serving can enhance the experience. Your everyday dinner knife likely won't cut it if you're eating steak, and a giant chef's knife isn't necessarily what you want sitting on a cheese plate. If you've got the extra room in your kitchen, pick out some knives for specialized tasks as they'll definitely come in handy.

When shopping for knives, Paul Downie, director of operations at Bar Lula in New York City, recommends looking for something that not only looks good, but is also comfortable to use and hold. "You'd be surprised how quickly your hands will start to strain during a meal if there's not enough substance in the handle for you to use all of your fingers for the work," he says. "There are some beautiful looking minimalist pieces out there that will give you serious problems if you use them every day." John Doherty, chef and owner of Black Barn Restaurant in New York City, stresses the importance of keeping your knives sharp––even the ones you eat with. "The problem with all knives is that they get dull over time and then they are not safe or effective," he says." If you're not the type of person to stay on top of keeping your knives sharp, he recommends buying inexpensive knives and replacing them when they eventually dull. "A cheap, new knife is more effective than an expensive dull knife," he says.

Top Picks

01 of 06

Best Steak Knife

Wüsthof Gourmet Steak Knife Set
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Wüsthof is a household name for kitchen knives, so why not use their offerings in the dining room, too? These German-made knives have high carbon steel blades that slice through steaks and chops with ease. The sturdy material is also good at resisting stains and corrosion. Each knife in this four-piece set has a 4.5-inch long blade and a polymer handle.

Shop Now: Wüsthof Gourmet Steak Knife Set, $125, williams-sonoma.com.

02 of 06

Best Butter Knife

MOMA Butter Up Knife
Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

This stainless-steel knife cuts through sticks of butter on one side and creates soft strands on the other. The latter is particularly useful for spreading butter on waffles, toast, or biscuits when you've forgotten to take your stick out of the fridge before it's time to eat. The butter strands will help it to warm up and become spreadable faster, which means you can get on with slathering it on whatever you're eating.

Shop Now: MOMA Butter Up Knife, $24, neimanmarcus.com.

03 of 06

Best Cake Knife

Laguiole Cake Serving Set
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Cut and serve homemade and store-bought cakes, pies, and more with this elegant serving set from Laguiole. The French-made serrated knife and cake server come in an indented pine storage box, and each piece bears the brand's signature bee where the resin handle meets the stainless steel blade. Hand washing is recommended to preserve the quality finish of these pieces.

Shop Now: Laguiole Cake Serving Set, $79, potterybarn.com.

04 of 06

Best Cheese Knife Set

White Marble Cheese Knives
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

This set is the perfect complement to a cheese plate or charcuterie board. Each item in the four-piece set (which includes a wide spade, a spreader, a fork, and a pronged knife) has a stainless steel blade and a vintage-inspired polished marble handle.

Shop Now: Pottery Barn White Marble Cheese Knives, $25, potterybarn.com.

05 of 06

Best Fish Knife

Berghoff Cosmo Fish Serving Knife
Courtesy of Target

You don't see fish knives on dining tables as much these days, but their wide, flat blades with a sharp point are specially designed for eating fish and are especially useful if it's served whole. This stainless-steel knife measures 10.75 inches and has a curved handle that's comfortable to hold. It's lightweight (because it's hollow) and dishwasher-safe.

Shop Now: Berghoff Cosmo Fish Serving Knife, $12.99, target.com.

06 of 06

Best Spreader Knife Set

West Elm Forged Cheese Spreaders
Courtesy of West Elm

Spread soft cheeses, jam, and butter in style with these gold-tipped cheese spreaders. Each stainless-steel spreader measures just over six inches long, and they're sold as a set of four.

Shop Now: West Elm Forged Cheese Spreaders, $34.99, westelm.com.

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