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Electric knives may remind you of eating holiday dinners at your grandparents’ house, but modern electric knives outshine their vintage predecessors. Even if you haven’t considered buying an electric knife, you’d be surprised what the new generation of electric knives can do.
Best Electric Knife on the Market
When you think “electric knife,” you may get an automatic image of your grandfather meticulously carving the meat away from the sides of a large turkey or ham. They seem to be particularly associated with the 1970s, and many of the models people have from their childhood years are even in fetching shades of dark orange or olive green to really bring that vintage feeling forward.
However, electric knives can be an extremely useful addition to any modern kitchen and even the workshop to a certain extent. Electric knives can make slicing delicate, freshly-baked bread or soft angel food cake very easy as there’s less risk of accidentally smashing the air-puffed dough. If you have problems with accurately slicing freshly-baked bread (many of us end up with the dreaded “doorstop” shape), an electric knife can help you make straight cuts with a lot less effort since you can focus on the direction of the blade.
Electric knives are also very helpful for slicing boneless cuts of meat like prime rib into thin, uniform slices. Of course, they are also used for the ubiquitous Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey as well, since they make slicing the large sections of meat into thin, manageable slices quick and easy.
Electric knives have many uses outside the kitchen, however, particularly if you are a DIYer. Even professional upholsterers are known to reach for an electric knife when it comes to cutting upholstery foam, as it’s a light and easy tool to effortlessly get clean cuts through thick foam. Basically, many people use electric knives like a small automatic saw. As an electric knife is not made to go through a thick chunk of wood it won’t be a good replacement for a table saw, but it can easily cut through thinner materials like PVC pipe or wooden dowels. Electric knives are also great for cutting styrofoam or sculpting floral foam into appropriate shapes.
Electric knives are portable and have many great uses inside the kitchen and around the house. While they may scream “vintage” to many people, they are a worthy addition to any modern household. We have studied a collection of electric knives to help you pick the best electric knife for the needs of you and your family.
Have the Problems with Electric Knives Been Fixed?
One of the reasons why electric knives were such a thing about 40 years ago and seem to have disappeared into oblivion is related to all the problems with old electric knives. While they were very popular back in the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of these older models left a lot to be desired.
For instance, older models of electric knives may have ended up shredding the meat rather than cutting it, and given that so many of these knives were used in “presentation” cases (grandfather cutting the Christmas turkey in front of the whole family, for instance), one can imagine that if the electric knife started spattering meat bits all over the neatly set table rather than producing thin slices, this would cause the electric knife to become unpopular.
This is the main reason why so many people went back to hand-use knives. However, the technology behind electric knives has been improved vastly since the electric knives of yore, and the modern brands you’ll find in 2018 greatly surpass the quality of their vintage predecessors.
What Are The Features?
Modern electric knives come with a variety of different features that you can choose from to suit your needs. There are some electric knives that will come with one set of blades and that’s all, but those are by far the simplest variety. If you’re in the market for the best electric knife, there are certain attributes that you should be aware of.
Cordless Knives vs. Corded Knives
Just like with drills, you’ll get a choice between corded or cordless electric knives. Of course, which is the best for you depends on what your particular needs are and how you plan on using the knife. If you plan on using the knife primarily behind the scenes and only in the kitchen, you may want to go with a corded knife. Corded knives tend to be a bit cheaper and don’t require you to recharge or buy batteries.
Of course, the bad part about a corded knife is that you need to be attached to an outlet to use it. This makes using it at the kitchen table a bit unwieldy, depending on where your electric outlets are located relative to your table. You may also find it more difficult to use it around the house if it’s corded.
A cordless knife is much more versatile, and you can pick it up and take it to wherever you want to go. This makes it more useful for a utility knife aspect as you can take it wherever you need to cut your foam or dowels very easily. However, you may need to keep a ready supply of batteries on hand or monitor when your electric knife needs recharging, particularly if you don’t use it that often.
This one can be a bit tricky. One of the potential negatives of an electric knife is its tendency to vibrate in your hand. This can become uncomfortable after a while, and many even affect the cleanliness of your cuts. You definitely want to get a model that will feel good in your hand and won’t make it numb with use. A good ergonomic handle can help you have a full, secure grip. It’s better if it’s made with a firm rubber grip as opposed to entirely plastic, particularly if your hands get wet while using the knife.
Good Blade Sets
If you’re buying a top-quality electric knife you should make sure that it comes with a blade for cutting meat and a blade for cutting bread. These are the two main (food-based) purposes for electric knives, and you want to make sure that you can use the best blade fit for the job.
Pay attention to what you will get when you are purchasing your knife. Generally speaking, all electric knives will automatically come with the blade used for cutting meats, but some of them will make you purchase the blade used for cutting bread separately. If you are never going to be cutting bread you may be able to get a cheaper purchase if you’re just going with the meat blade, but if you want to use your electric knife to its full potential, you’re better off getting both at the same time.
The Best (Corded) Electric Knife
Cuisinart Electric Knife
- Set includes 2 high quality stainless steel blades. 1 for carving meat and the other for cutting bread
- The butcher block holding tray stores the knifes and motor base when not in use
- The ergonomically designed handle has a one-touch pressure-activated on/off trigger and safety lock
Unsurprisingly, the best corded electric knife of 2018 is also Amazon’s top pick. For the best electric knife, we recommend that you go with the Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife. It’s not the cheapest electric knife on the market, but users relate that it is extremely affordable for what you get with the purchase, and it comes from one of the most trusted brands in cookware. Thus, the quality is top-notch.
The Cuisinart CEK-40 comes with two blades – one for meat, one for bread – a handle and its own butcher-block storage space. The ensemble looks attractive enough to live on your counter next to your traditional knife block if you are inclined. However, if you would like to store it out of sight, it also lies flat so it will fit easily into any drawer you have available for it.
Any good chef knows that a knife needs to feel balanced and comfortable in your grip, and the Cuisinart CEK-40 passes the ergonomic test with flying colors. The comfortable grip allows for easy manipulation of the knife even when doing difficult precision cuts, and the rubber grip absorbs the majority of vibrations.
Users report that the Cuisinart CEK-40 will last for years if taken care of properly, which makes it worth its higher budget. Plus, the electric cord is 4 feet long, which will allow for a reasonable amount of distance between the user and an electric plug. Users who have children in the house are pleased that the Cuisinart CEK-40 has a safety switch, so if the knife slips out of the hand it will be toggled off immediately.
There is also a very handy one-touch toggle to remove the blades (which can only be activated when the blade is safely off). This means that swapping out blades is quick, easy and doesn’t require any handling of the blade itself until it’s out of the knife base. No more dangerous tugging to get the knife out of the handle!
The one problem that some users have experienced is that the gears can strip if the knife accidentally runs into bone when being used on meat. However, this is an issue that will affect any electric knife (they are not meant to cut through bone), so a little bit of practice and knowledge will help avoid this issue.
And if there is any sort of problem with the knife there is a three-year warranty on it, so Cuisinart will replace your CEK-40 right away if necessary.
For its quality, longevity and multiple uses, we recommend the CEK-40 for those out there looking for a serious electric knife to add to their kitchen collection.
The Best (Cordless) Electric Knife
The best cordless electric knife of 2018 is easily the Waring Commercial WEK200 Rechargeable/Cordless Electric Knife. This is a commercial-grade knife that is meant to stand up to the rigors of commercial kitchens, so it will definitely work wonders in your home kitchen.
The main problem that many cordless electric knives have is the vibration issue. Many other cordless electric knives on the market can vibrate to the point where the knife is unsafe to use, and the vibrations can even end up cracking the body of the knife itself! This is an issue that even high-end cordless electric knives have; the aforementioned Cuisinart CEK-40 has a cordless relative, but many people complain that the cordless version vibrates so much that it breaks. The Waring WEK200 has no such issues!
What makes the Waring WEK200 so great is the unique shape of its handle. You can tell that it’s meant to be used in a heavy-duty environment. The handle is firm, a good solid shape, and can be held comfortably by hands of all sizes. The motor is extremely powerful, but the knife hums quietly when you use it. There’s even an integrated LED light that is useful if you are in a low-light situation (such as a candlelit dinner) when using the knife.
Unlike the Cuisinart, the Waring WEK200 doesn’t come with an attractive butcher-block-style holding block, but instead in its own heavy-duty plastic case. (It looks like a case that’s meant for a drill!) However, buyers loved that it was so easy to transport around.
Another major plus to this unit is that it is cordless. Users loved that they were free from wall plugs when they were using it around the house, and many people say they’ll never go back to corded electric knives again.
The Waring WEK200 comes with two different blades, a charger, the knife base, a cutting guide and the aforementioned carrying case. With this cordless electric knife in your arsenal, the sky’s the limit with what you can do with it.
The one main negative of the Waring WEK200 is the budget. As it’s a piece of commercial-grade kitchen equipment, it comes with a commercial-grade budget. However, if you’re looking for an electric knife that can get the job done, comes with all safety features, is well constructed and will last the test of time, this is the model for you.
Buying the Best Electric Knife
There are many options on the market for modern electric knives. But in terms of value and quality, these two are the best options in both corded and cordless forms. With a good electric knife in your kitchen you’ll be able to cook faster and with less effort.
Plus, you can recreate those vintage memories of granddad with his electric knife at your own table – it’s just that yours will be higher quality and the memories will involve eating perfectly cut slices of meat rather than the meat being shredded and getting all over grandma’s tablecloth.