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Review: Best Carving Sets

Whether you're carving up a turkey for a holiday meal or a roast for a family dinner, a good carving set will help you make thin, even slices like a pro. Carving sets come with a carving knife, which has a long, thin blade that can cut cleanly through a variety of different meats. They also come with a carving fork, which is a long, two-pronged fork that's perfect for holding a cut of meat in place while you carve. All of the best carving sets in 2021 listed below were chosen because they are made out of quality stamped or forged steel, and feature comfortable handles that will last for the life of the blade.

Comparing the Best Carving Set

best Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Classic 7-Piece Carving Set

Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Classic 7-Piece Carving Set

One of the best names in knives is Victorinox, a company that's most well-known as the manufacturer of the Swiss Army Knife. The Victorinox 2-Piece Carving Set comes with an 8-inch carving knife and carving fork. Both pieces are made from stamped steel that, thanks to recent improvements to the stamping process, are just as strong and durable as forged steel tools and cost only a fraction of the price. The handles are made of fibrox, a material that offers incredible comfort, even when you're carving up a large roast. The blade of the knife also keeps its edge for a long time before it needs to be sharpened.

best ikon carving set

Wusthof Classic Ikon 2 Piece Carving Set

One of the world's best knife-makers, Wusthof, offers a high-quality carving set that's backed by a lifetime warranty. The 8-inch carving knife that comes with this set is made from high-carbon forged steel and has a tang that extends the full length of the handle. The blade resists stains and keeps its edge with only minimal sharpening. The knife and the 6-inch fork both feature triple-riveted handles made from a synthetic material that is comfortable to hold. Though this carving set can be cleaned in the dishwasher, it'll last longer if washed in warm soapy water right after use.

HENCKELS CLASSIC Stainless Steel Carving Set

Zwilling has been making knives for nearly 300 years and it's safe to say, after all these centuries, that they know what they're doing. The Zwilling Pro 2-Piece Carving Set has an 8-inch carving knife and long carving fork that are both made from a high-carbon German steel. The handles of both these pieces have been designed for maximum comfort, even if you're working with them all day long in a professional kitchen. The curve in the handles also makes it easy to grip onto them firmly, even if your hands are wet. Though the knife and fork in this set are both dishwasher safe, you'll keep them working like new for longer if you hand wash them.

best non-stick carving set

Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery Carving Set

Featuring a carving knife and carving fork made with high carbon forged steel, the Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery 2-Piece Carving Set is one of our Best Picks. The blade of the knife has been honed by hand in the factory, giving it a perfect 15 degree angle and a razor-sharp edge. It also has a full tang, making it well-balanced and comfortable to hold. The handles on the knife and the fork are made of a hard plastic that's reinforced with fiberglass. Both these pieces need to be hand-washed after use, which isn't a problem since the stainless steel surfaces are easy to clean. Calphalon also backs this set with a lifetime warranty.

best japanese steel carving set

Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged Carving Set

Ginsu may be known for its quotable infomercials, but over the decades, this company has made a name for itself by backing its claims with high-quality products. Today, the Ginsu Chikara 2 Piece Carving Set in Bamboo Display Box is one of the best carving sets on the market. Both the knife and the 8-inch carving knife feature strong plastic handles and have a full tang for better balance and greater strength. The curved design of the handles also makes them comfortable to hold and helps prevent slipping. The knife is made from a forged Japanese steel that resists staining and rust. It's also able to keep a razor sharp edge for a long time before it needs to be sharpened. When you aren't using the knife and fork, they can be stored safely in the attractive display box that comes with them.

Buyer's Guide

Whether you want a carving set for the upcoming feast or for professional use, choosing the best carving sets is no easy feat. You need to do your homework to rest assured that you are investing your hard-earned money in the best option. This buyer’s guide will help you make an informed decision.

What Are Some Important Considerations Of Buying The Best Carving Sets?

Steel composition

The majority of carving knife sets are constructed of stainless steel or high carbon steel. Both metals have benefits and drawbacks.

Knife blades made of high carbon steel are usually sharper than those made of stainless steel. They're also tougher and keep their edge for longer without needing to be sharpened. However, high carbon steel is less resistant to rust and chips more easily than stainless steel.

Construction of a knife's blade

Blades labeled "stamped" and "forged" can be found when looking at knives. A blade pattern is pressed into a sheet of metal to create stamped blades. Even though they can be constructed from the same metal as forged blades, they are the less expensive option. This manufacturing method does not produce a blade with the same strength as forging.

Molten metal is poured into a mold to create forged blades. The blade becomes stronger, sharper, and more flexible when the metal is heated. This is why a knife with a forged blade will usually cost more.

Fork tines

The carving fork is generally overlooked in favor of the knife, which is totally wrong. Two long, narrow tines on a good fork can hold your meat motionless without poking holes in it. Large holes are not only unsightly, but they can also enable your roast's natural fluids to leak out, affecting taste and texture.

The tines of a fork are usually curved or straight. Curved tines make transferring slices of meat from platter to plate a little easier. Straight tines are marginally more effective at keeping flesh static during carving.

What Are Some Key Features Of The Best Carving Knives Set?

Length

Carving knives are available in a variety of blade lengths. It's tempting to get the longest knife you can find, but that's not the ideal strategy. An excessively long knife will protrude from most items, exposing the blade and increasing the risk of harm. To avoid shredding the meat, make sure your knife's blade is at least as long as the object you're cutting. You'll get more use out of a knife that's between nine and 12 inches long. Consider whether you'll be cutting smaller roasts and chickens or giant festive hams and turkeys.

Riveted handles

Riveted handles are used on some knives to link the blade's sides to the handles physically. Riveted handles are far more durable than glued-together handles. Three rivets secure the handle to the metal of the best knives. So, you should consider buying a carving set with riveted handles.

Ice hardening

Ice hardening can strengthen your knife blade even more. Blades that have been ice-hardened are usually forged and then cooled to sub-zero temperatures. This technique improves the cutting strength of the blade while also making it more vulnerable to chipping.

Full-tang

A full-tang knife is composed of a single piece of steel that runs the length of the handle from tip to bottom. Knives with a full tang have more strength and leverage than those with a partial tang that ends where the handle begins.

How Have We Chosen The Carving Sets To Review?

There is a variety of carving kits available, ranging from inexpensive to luxurious. We ran the selections through several filters to help restrict the choices.

Price

We set a budget for a functional, appealing, and simple set, intending to find something outstanding for less. We kept $200 as a range for "special" sets—the kind you might buy as a gift—but looked above and below.

Functionality

We excluded any knife and fork set that had many buyers complaining about performance and/or durability in reviews, no matter how amazing it looked on paper.

Construction material

POM (a durable, food-safe resin beloved by knife manufacturers for decades) and pakkawood (a durable, food-safe resin favored by knife makers for decades) were used as handle materials (resin-impregnated wood, similarly food-safe and time-tested). Knives constructed of these materials require less maintenance than knives made of carbon steel blades, rust, or pure wood handles, which can expand and splinter if exposed to excessive moisture.

Availability

We restricted ourselves to sets from well-known manufacturers that were widely available. Obviously, this meant we missed out on a few gems from smaller manufacturers. It's no good if you can't buy a set because it's sold out or taking too long to ship—especially if you're buying only a few days before your big holiday dinner.

How Much Can A Carving Set Cost?

Carving knife sets come in a wide range of prices, depending on the materials, quality, and construction.

Inexpensive

Carving kits ranging from $25 to $30 are available for people who are on a budget. Stainless steel will be used for sets in this price range. Knives with a stamped blade will usually be partial-tang knives.

Mid-range

Carving knife sets priced between $80 and $100 are often made of stainless or high carbon steel. They should have riveted full-tang blades for added strength and security. Sheaths and sharpening tools may be included as extras.

High-end

If you're spending $130 to $150 on a carving set, the knife and fork should be constructed of high carbon steel with additional treatments to make them even stronger. Knives should have full tangs and riveted, textured handles. Sharpening tools should be included, but they should not be used frequently.

Best Carving Sets FAQs

Q: What makes a carving knife different from a slicing knife?
A: The main difference between these two is that a carving knife's tip is pointed, whereas a slicing knife's tip is round. Both of these are used for different purposes.

Q: Is it necessary to serrate a carving knife?
A: Serrated blades should not be used to carve meat because they tend to rip the meat and make it difficult to carve raw and cooked meat thinly and uniformly.

Q: Is it possible for you to sharpen the carving knife?
A: When a knife is sharp, it performs optimally. To keep your knife in top shape, you can use any classic methods, such as a whetstone, tabletop sharpener, or grinding wheel. However, before sharpening the blade, remember to hone it.

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