Anyone who has struggled with carving a holiday roast or turkey while the rest of the family watches and gives advice knows why electric carving knives are popular. When a good electric knife works properly, the blade falls lightly through the cut and perfect slices slide away.
Of course, every advanced technology has a few bugs, and electric knives are not immune. Owners struggling to change blades have been known to bend things slightly out of line now and then, and once that happens things never seem quite right again. Many electric knives are light duty machines, meant to run for a few seconds and then pause, and if someone tries to use them like a sawzall the results are disappointing.
Dull blades would be the most common problem with an electric knife. It’s so easy to just run the removable blades through the dishwasher (taking the edge off the blade in the process) instead of washing them by hand as you should. The serrated edges should last years if cared for properly, but running the blades across a ceramic platter just once is enough to dull the tips of the teeth that do most of the work.
Our pick for the best electric knife is the Cuisinart CEK-40. It has two interchangeable blades and a handle well sealed against food contamination.
The Hamilton-Beach Carve’N’Set requires a light touch but does good work.
If you need a battery powered electric knife, consider the Sonic Blade Cordless. Follow directions for charging and maintenance or you’ll ruin the battery.