Like the younger brother of a standard chef’s knife, with many similarly useful qualities, a utility knife can be great to have in your arsenal of cutlery, whether you’re an amateur home cook or a rising culinary star..
Sleeker and sharper than its larger, more frequently used counterpart, you’ll find it’s great for working with ingredients on the smaller side and making more precise cuts. Finding a good one in a sea of shoddy impersonations could prove difficult, though.
That’s where we come in: presenting five of our favorite utility knives available right now, which are sure to be an excellent addition to your kitchen. We’ve picked a range of different price points, with one to suit any customer’s budget.
Should you prefer to learn more about the specific parts that make up a utility knife, or the features to look out for in procuring a good one, look no further than our Buyer’s Guide. Simple, yet thorough, it should tell you all you need to know.
And yet… if you find yourself confused or with more queries, consult our set of Frequently Asked Questions. We’ve picked up and answered recurring inquiries from your fellow customers, and we might have solved yours too!
Need A New Knife Right Now? Here’s Our Top Pick:
OUR TOP PICK
As our number one choice, this forged utility knife from Mercur Culinary is a budget-friendly offering that retains the characteristics of a higher-end design.
Composed of high-carbon, stain resistant German steel, this is a tool built to last.
Ergonomically designed to fit the contours of your hand, with triple rivets to ensure secure attachment, the Delrin handle is forged for superior strength.It also has a rounded spine, to offer a more comfortable grip no matter the user.
Shorter than average, the bolster of this knife exposes the entire blade’s edge, which makes sharpening easier and more successful with less effort.
The manufacturer recommends you hand wash to retain sharpness and rust-resistance of the surface.
It’s full tang, with the blade running for the entire length of the handle to provide added balance, whilst the taper-ground edge allows for long lasting sharpness, increased efficiency of food preparation and more stability in general.
You’ll find premium construction enables a lengthy lifespan, protecting the blade from corrosion, discoloration and rusting.
As well as NSF certification, proving standards are met for performance, quality and safety, there’s also a limited warranty.
- More affordable than other offerings, yet just as good
- Ergonomic, comfortable Delrin handle that resists extreme temperatures
- Precision forged high carbon German cutlery steel
- May require a decent sharpening on arrival
With a ruthlessly sharp blade, reminiscent of a scalpel, the edge of this Dalstrong utility knife is finished to a mirror polish, sharpened using the traditional Honbazuke method.
It absolutely exudes quality from every angle!
Using an incredibly powerful, AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core, at 62+ Rockwell hardness, it offers extraordinary performance, with seriously impressive edge retention, boasting 66 layers of premium, high-carbon stainless steel.
Having been Nitrogen cooled, it offers enhanced hardness, as well as added corrosion resistance and increased flexibility; the G-10 handle is military strength, both triple riveted and with full tang, and hand polished - it’s equally as resilient
Creating a harmonious balance, it’s been engineered to perfection, minimizing surface resistance with precise tapering that allows for buttery-smooth slices and the added bonus of enhanced sticking prevention.
A Dalstrong PerfectFit saya sheath is included with every purchase, as is the 100% Satisfaction Or Money Back guarantee.
You are also promised a lifetime warranty against damage - paired with renowned customer service, you’re in good hands.
- Painstakingly crafted from layers of Japanese super steel
- Sharpened in accordance with the traditional Honbazuke method
- Perfectly packaged to ensure it arrives in optimum conditions
- Money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty for peace of mind
- On the more expensive side
Available to purchase in both a serrated and flat-bladed model, Shun’s take on the utility knife is a professional, industry standard knife, and its quality is immediate.
The manufacturer promises that it is a must have for any kitchen.
Handcrafted in Japan, with an emphasis on technology in its design, their heat-treated steel ensures the knife has even finer grains, ensuring it is as strong and hard as possible. This also allows it to be thinner and sharper, for longer.
Shun’s proprietary VG-max cutting core is produced using high-end super steel, with Damascus cladding made from 34 layers of stainless steel on either side of the blade.
This not only supports the core, but furthers corrosion resistance.
A traditional, Japanese-style Pakkawood handle have a slight ridge on their right side, fitting perfectly into the ridges of your fingers and creating a comfortable, secure grip.
It’s waterproof, highly durable, and deflects bacteria without absorbing.
With a warranty in place for manufacturing defects and a lifetime of customer support, Shun will also very kindly sharpen your knife as often as you’d like, for free, for as long as it is in your possession.
Talk about good service!
- Handmade in Japan - the home of knife perfection
- Unique, hardwearing, edge retaining design - super strong
- High quality, comfortable handle
- Free knife sharpening for life!
- It’s a professional knife, with a professional price tag!
Known in the culinary community for their especially high standard of cutlery, we would be remiss not to include Wusthof’s utility offering, a classic 4 and a half inch blade, precision forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel.
The sharper than average point is ideal for more intricate and precise cutting, especially with smaller ingredients; most of this knife’s weight is carried by the handle, so you’ve got plenty of control no matter what.
Thanks to Precision Edge Technology (PTEC), this blade offers an exceptionally long edge retention and an excellent life span - highly precise robots sharpen every blade ona whetstone, for right out of the box precision like you’ve never seen.
A full bolster offers safety and balance, whilst protecting your hands, and the robust synthetic polyoxymethylene (POM) handle uses rivets, not joints - it’s comfortable to use, safe as well as practical, and it’s also very robust.
A great all rounder!
Finishing touches, like one final polish with a specialist disc to create the optimum cutting edge along the blade’s entire length, clearly illustrate Wusthof’s commitment to creating cutlery that works well and is made to last a lifetime.
- Comfortable yet robust handles for a well-balanced knife
- Forged from one piece of steel for a solid, sturdy blade
- PTEC technology for the sharpest possible edge and lengthy retention
- Founded in Germany over 200 years ago, Wusthof are a reputable company amongst amateurs and professionals alike
- Not available with a serrated blade, if you want it
Now this one is for the true professionals amongst us. Created by legendary designer Komin Yamada, who used the organics shapes of nature for inspiration, this utility knife is intended to serve as a natural extension to your own hands!
Crafted from Cromova 18 steel, the exact combination of which is a trade secret, it’s hard enough that the sharpness is retained, but soft enough that whetstone sharpening is easily achieved - high chromium offers great resistance to rust, also.
Its blade is five inches, and has been ice-tempered and hardened in order to offer the toughest knife possible, whilst the hollow handle fits easily in your hand, meaning precise cuts are easier than ever.
Their prioritisation of lightweight comfort and a balance that ensures your steady hand means that holding this knife is never unpleasant. If you need to prepare a hefty amount of food, this is the knife to do it with!
GLOBAL’s patented straight edge is razor sharp, ground to an acute angle, with a dramatically sharper point that retains its sharpness for far longer than a Western-style knife, extending a quarter of an inch up from the knife’s tip.
- Chef style utility knife, made for professional standards of cooking
- Five inch, Cromova stainless steel blade, ice-tempered
- Rust, stain and corrosion resistant
- Hollow, lightweight blade for deft and speedy cutting
- Does not come with a sheath for protected delivery
Best Kitchen Utility Knife Buying Guide
Properties Of A Utility Knife
A standard kitchen utility knife has a blade between 4 and 7 inches long, slightly longer and larger than a paring knife, but smaller than a chef’s knife, it’s ideal for preparing food that also falls between those two sizes!
You can find a utility knife that is with either a straight edged or serrated blade, as the latter features little notches that make cutting softer foods easier. Ingredients such as bread, fruits like tomatoes, and vegetables like cucumbers benefit from this.
The blade is usually narrow, with a smaller than average tip, which means that for more delicate preparatory methods, it can often be a lot better for slicing, trimming and fileting than your go-to chef’s knife.
Features to Look Out For
Solid advice when buying any knife is to prioritize durability, which means a product made from quality materials. In this case, stainless steel or other more lightweight metals are your best bet, as these will stay sharper and rust-free for longer.
When you have money to spend, aiming for a high-carbon knife is going to prove beneficial, as they’re much easier to maintain, but also offer improved edge retention, so you won’t need to sharpen as often.
Look for blades that have been heat-treated, or otherwise reinforced to offer enhanced rust-prevention and resistance to corrosion, as this will also ensure your knife lasts for as long as it should.
Much as a decent blade is imperative, you also want a good quality handle that feels good in your hand and is lightweight, so you won’t struggle to get through denser foods, as well as being sturdy enough to support the whole knife.
As the size can vary, making sure you opt for a knife that’s the right size for your hand is important, especially if you plan on using it regularly, otherwise, it will prove cumbersome instead of improving your culinary expertise.
Checking the reviews of other customers will help you find out about a knife’s edge retention, and how regularly you will need to sharpen the blade for best results. You’ll also be able to establish how sharp it is out of the box.
Maintenance Tips - Keep Your Knife Looking Sharp
Once you’ve got yourself an impressive utility knife, you’re going to want to maintain its sharp blade and beautiful appearance. For those who aren’t experienced, here’s how you’re going to do that.
First things first: stick to hand washing only. Sure, tossing your knives in the dishwasher is easier, but leaving it to soak in water or exposing it to intense temperatures and moisture is asking to warp and damage it.
Likewise, you’re going to want to dry your knife as soon as it’s clean, with the most absorbent dish towel you have. Finishing off with paper towels ensures that every last drop of water has been soaked up.
You want your knife to be as sharp as possible, so regularly sharpening whenever they begin to feel dull is imperative to maintain that edge, though between the thorough sharpening, a honing rod or leather strop is a good alternative.
Immediately rinse and dry your knives after you’ve finished cutting anything, especially acidic foods such as onions and citrus fruit, otherwise the blades will succumb to corrosion much faster than they should!
Using a food safe, neutral oil after every wash and dry will add a protective layer, serving to prevent exposure to acid, moisture and other hindrances after future uses, without leaving any oily residue or drying out your steel.
We would highly recommend that you avoid machine or belt sharpening methods, as these techniques often prove to damage your knife’s blade, removing too much steel by being too abrasive for their delicate structures.
Storage wise, a magnetic rack or individual sheath for each knife is your best bet for edge retention and a long life span. Tossing them in a cluttered drawer or pushing them into a tight block could have lasting effects on their hardness.
You should also aim to always use a cutting board whenever preparing food with your knives, not only to protect your surfaces, but the thin and vulnerable edge of your blades themselves. Aim for a wooden board if you can - these are best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a utility knife?
That depends on your personal circumstances! If you want a full set of kitchen knives, we’d recommend it, and most pre-assembled sets will include a utility blade, in spite of some arguing they’ve been rendered obsolete by chef and paring knives.
However, if you’re a home cook who already has a decent chef’s knife or a solid paring knife, then you’ll probably be able to cope fine without one, should your budget not permit purchasing one of decent quality. Don’t bother with cheap!
What is a utility knife used for in the kitchen?
Often you’ll find tricky mid-size ingredients, from fruit and vegetables to bread and pastry, that just requires a thinner, more delicate touch, whilst retaining a bit of length. As a hybrid of the paring and chef’s knives, this is excellent middle ground.
It can also prove especially useful for more precise filleting and detail work for aesthetically driven food preparation, if you’re a professional chef and plating up is more artistic than it normally would be.
How are kitchen utility knives different from others?
Referring to knives used outside of the kitchen, a regular utility knife is essentially a small, short bladed knife that is replaceable, often also featuring a set of new blades. The user can just snap off the old one once dulled and immediately replace it.
Kitchen utility knives are, as we have already covered, designed especially to fill a gap between the existing paring and chef’s knife, suited to cutting random, mid-sized ingredients and performing more accuracy-driven detail work too.
Is a serrated or flat utility knife better?
That depends - serrated edges tend not to offer as clean a cut as their flat bladed counterparts, though they’re very useful for food that has a harder exterior than its interior, like bread, as they offer a little extra nudge for that first initial cut.
Other than that, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two, especially if you’ve already got a large collection of other knives to choose from. To see which you prefer, you could always order both and send the one you prefer least back!