Favorite steak knife?

I really like the steak knife included in this Shun cutlery set, which also includes a matching fork and stand. The steak knife has a wavy edge and is like a small version of the Shun “Ultimate Utility” knife.

So far, it’s still nice and sharp despite cutting on glass plates. When it does need to be sharpened, I hope that the wavy edge isn’t too much of a problem. I figure a relatively thin ceramic rod should do the trick.

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We have this Laguiole set and are very happy with it. Their finger rest ‘butterfly’ is an especially nice touch, though it’s not really necessary for lighter duty use.


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We have a very similar set of Laguiole knives, and we really love them.

Hi, Tanuki:

IMO, this is the best set I know of. http://www.gknives.com/index.php/products/kitchen/steak-sets/original-rosewood-set-detail It’s the classic D.H. Russell profile.

I’ve copied this Russell profile in several steak knife sets I’ve made over the years, and everyone has loved them.



When I began looking for the “perfect” steak knives a while ago, Laguiole was definitely a top contender. The only thing that worried me was that (since Laguiole is not actually a brand name) there are many, many cheap knock-offs on the market, some of which even come with fake “certificates of authenticity”. It seems that even some pretty pricey “Laguiole” knives are actually fakes. The only way to be sure is to buy from a reputable store like WS where you can actually handle them. Unfortunately, since I live in rural Japan, I do almost all of my shopping online. Just a little too risky in this case IMO.

Hi Kaleo.

I really like those! I think I kind of prefer the wider blade of the Russell and Shun as compared to the narrower blade of Laguiole-style knives. It makes it easier to push things like mashed potatoes or peas onto your fork.

One of the main considerations when I was seeking the perfect steak knife was whether to go with a serrated or smooth edge. I’d previously been using a nice little Japanese petty knife, but I didn’t like the idea of dulling the smooth edge on my glass plates. OTOH, serrated blades are impossible to sharpen (by me, at least). I’d even tried ceramic for a while, but found that they really scratched up my dishes.

I think the wavy edge of the Shun is a good compromise, as is the serrated tip of the Grohmann knives you linked to. I just hope that sharpening the Shun isn’t beyond my abilities.


Well, my wife works at a Bloomingdale’s store and bought them there… so pretty safe I think.

Hi, Tanuki:

Glad you like them. I can attest to the handle ergonomics and that wider, elliptical blade geometry. I think it’s desirable in a steak knife that it feels like it fills your hand. D.H. Russell created an eminently useful profile that’s been in production since 1957. I often wear one of their belt kives, but the steaks are scaled to the “bird & trout”.


Well, if the “fakes” ones actually perform equal or better, then I don’t mind.

LOL, I guess that’s true, CK. What put me off is reading the many Amazon reviews for Laguiole steak knives. Even for exactly the same product listing of “brand name” Laguiole knives marked “France” on the blade and with a “certificate of authenticity”, some people said they were fantastic and others said that they were obvious fakes. I don’t think the wide variation in reported quality can be attributed to differences in the experience and expectations of the reviewers.

Here’s a typical example of a worrisome Amazon listing:

As one reviewer reported:

“We received two sets of these knives. The first set were the original
ones from France. Excellent quality and a nice balanced weight.
Beautiful engraving and the bee. The box was the one with the hinged
lid. Ordered the other to add to the first from the same place and they
were definitely fake. Nothing matched the picture.”

And another comment:

“Much of the items on Amazon are copies, fakes, counterfeits, and replicas now. Buyer beware.”

That’s why I decided not to take the risk of buying “Laguiole” steak knives online. I’d only feel safe purchasing them at a reputable brick and mortar store, as Midlife did.

I see. It is good to see you like your new steak knife set. It is interesting to see these wavy steak knives, especially most of Shun steak knives are not of that shape. They are more like the regular shape:

Yeah, the wavy one is the Shun DM0751 “Classic Ultimate Steak Knife”. It seems to only be available as single knives (not as a set) at Amazon US. And at Amazon JP, I believe it is only available in the three-piece knife/fork/stand set shown in my original post.

I have some ten year old Zwilling JA Henckels “Professional S” 4.5" knives that are really good.

They look like mini chefs knives and I sharpen them in the same way I sharpen my cooking knives. They hold their edge and are sharpe enough to slice raw meat very very thin…they are still as good as when I bought them.

Current online special is $200 for four (down from $340)…about what I paid all those years ago…!

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Cool. Just curious. Did you bought one set (one knife, one fork…? Or did you bought like multiple of these sets? I had to go to the official site to read about the little piece. They call it a “table rest”. So this is where your knife and fork can rest, right?

To answer your question, I have three sets, which I figure is more than enough for a single guy who doesn’t entertain that often. Shun seems to intend the little thing to be used as a cutlery rest as shown in the picture below (it’s flat on the bottom), but here in Japan I suspect that it would more often be used as a chopstick rest.

I have these dirt cheap ($15 for 6) but fun Laguioles, and I wouldn’t swap them for anything. The micro-serrations work really well with all meats. We have 12, with the forks and spoons too, and we mis-match the colours for outdoor/BBQ type meals. Silly really, but just a bit of fun.

I think you’ll find it’s a bee, not a butterfly.

Got a set la cote as wedding gifts. Never heard of them before but starting to like it. Plus I just like the variations and presentation.

I have a set of 8 Laguiole non-serrated steak knives with olive wood handles, and I love them. I gave away my serrated Henckel steak knives after getting the Laguiole.

We eat quite a bit of steak & never liked the serrated blades. Also can’t see spending a lot of money for super hard non serrated blades as even they will succumb to the harder material most plates are made from and they can be much more difficult / time consuming to sharpen.

Any decent straight edge steak knife like a vintage US made Chicago Cutlery 103 S works fine. Nice large handle, curved blade and steel that sharpens up nicely / effortlessly with a dozen passes against an aggressive oval shaped 12 inch long diamond sharpening rod which can be had for about $20.

My “guest” black bamboo flatware settings by Jean Dubost include a serrated multipurpose knife that is quite satisfactory as a steak knife:


If you follow the link, there is a specific image of the knife blade. It’s a great hybrid of flatware and steak knife for limited steak cutting.

For more demanding empty nester use (myself and a guest),

I have two Wusthof Precision paring knives:


And a slightly longer Shun Kaji:


All in all, my serrated all purpose Jean Dubost flatware is more than enough for most purposes, since the frequency of need for steak cutting is very limited.


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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr