Best utility knife

Cutlery & Knife Accessories

The utility knife is also known as a petty knife, and has both a Western and a Japanese version. When searching for the right utility knife for you, you may notice the different styles of the blade and handle. The Japanese handles will have more of an octagonal shape rather than the Western rounded shape.

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Which utility knives are best?

Every kitchen should have a utility knife. These knives are great for chopping and dicing smaller foods and vegetables. What is essentially a smaller version of a classic chef’s knife allows for more precise cutting work. 

A utility knife is usually 2 inches longer than a paring knife but around 3 inches shorter than a chef’s knife. This knife is best suited for cutting small citrus fruits, cheeses, and mid-sized vegetables. 

This list covers the best utility knives, including our favorite — the Enso HD Hammered Damascus — along with some key things to keep in mind when looking for your perfect utility knife. 

What to know before you buy a utility knife

Length 

The length of your knife is very important. Although it’s only a few inches shorter than a chef’s knife, the utility knife won’t be able to effectively cut through bigger vegetables and produce. The average length of a utility knife will be between 4 and 6 inches long. 

Weight 

As with any knife, you’ll want to hold it and get a feel for it before buying it. The weight of the blade balanced by the handle is significant and helps you effectively cut through your vegetables. A well-made utility knife will use the weight and the shape of the knife to do most of the work; all you’ll have to do is hold it and give it some momentum. 

Comfort 

The comfort of the knife all comes down to your individual preferences and the weight and shape of the knife. Utility knives come with various shaped handles, so going in-store and holding the knives before you buy them is very important. 

Serrated or not

Utility knives are available in both serrated and non-serrated versions. The serrated version is suitable for cutting bread or smaller rolls and some occasional tomatoes or cucumbers. 

What to look for in a quality utility knife

The blade

A good utility knife will have a scalloped edge perfect for slicing leafy greens. The scalloped edge is there to create tiny air pockets so that the blade glides through the leafy greens with ease and prevents sticking. You’ll want to make sure you hand-wash these knives to preserve their sharpness and gliding effect. 

The metal

Most knives are made from stainless steel or high-carbon steel. High-carbon steel needs to be dried and oiled every time it is washed to make sure it doesn’t rust, so make sure you consider this when considering your options. 

The handle

A good handle will be ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. The handles of most utility knives will be constructed of reinforced, laminated materials or wood. Some high-end knives are made from eco-wood, which means less cracking, shrinkage, and an overall improvement of durability. 

How much you can expect to spend on a utility knife

Just like with any knife, you can find budget-friendly options that will get the job done but won’t last as long. The cheapest price you’ll find for a utility knife will be between $5-$12. A mid-range utility knife will cost around $20-$50, and the higher-range knives could be upwards of $75. 

Utility knife FAQ

What is the difference between a utility knife and a chef’s knife? 

A. The main difference between a utility knife and a chef’s knife is the size of the blade. A chef’s knife can do the smaller vegetables and produce, but will feel slightly oversized at times. That’s where a utility knife comes in handy: The utility knife is the perfect mini-version of the chef’s knife for taking care of small vegetables. Both knives are equally versatile.

Can I use a utility knife for meat? 

A. The utility knife is well-suited to boning smaller cuts of meat or poultry as well as common fruits and veggies. 

Should I buy a serrated utility knife? 

A. The serrated edge limits what you will do with your knife, but is certainly helpful if you find yourself making sandwiches a lot or packing baguettes for picnics. 

What’s the best utility knife to buy?

Top utility knife

Enso HD Hammered Damascus 

Enso HD Hammered Damascus 

What you need to know: This is an expertly crafted knife that works like a dream in the kitchen. 

What you’ll love: The blade’s cutting core is made from VG-10 steel and 37-layer stainless Damascus steel. The tsuchime finish gives the metal a rustic yet high-quality look.

What you should consider: This knife will need careful attention when sharpened

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top utility knife for the money

J.A. Henckels International Forged Synergy Utility Knife 

J.A. Henckels International Forged Synergy Utility Knife 

What you need to know: A 6-inch blade with a satin finish for effective slicing and dicing in the kitchen. 

What you’ll love: The knife measures 6 inches in length and is made from heavily forged stainless steel. The blade is finished off with a clean satin look. The Santoprene handle is both comfortable and ergonomic. 

What you should consider: The knife will need to be hand-washed. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohls and Amazon

Worth checking out

Mercer Culinary Renaissance 5-Inch Forged Utility Knife

Mercer Culinary Renaissance 5-Inch Forged Utility Knife

What you need to know: This 5-inch Renaissance model knife is crafted from a high-carbon steel alloy. 

What you’ll love: The blade features a Delrin handle and is triple-riveted. The rounded spine provides comfort and a good grip when in use. This knife is sharpened easily, thanks to the shortened bolster. When in use, the balanced, full-length tang works well and will help you slice through vegetables with ease. The German steel is corrosion- and rust-resistant. 

What you should consider: This knife is on the smaller side, which will only suit certain individuals. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lottie Winsor writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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