The Ultra-Sharp $40 Utility Knife I Swear By for Daily Meal Prep

published Jun 5, 2023
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close up of hands chopping broccoli with a chefs knife
Credit: Kitchn Video

One of the reasons I chose to rent my current NYC apartment is because it ostensibly came fully furnished — cookware included. Just bring your own towels and bedding, the real estate agent told me, and everything else is provided. The first time I tried to prepare a basic at-home meal, however, I found that every knife in the kitchen was either far too dull or far too big to use for everyday purposes. I had countless butter knives on hand, but nothing to slice a simple tomato with. Buying a full knife block set seemed excessive; my tiny kitchen barely had the counter space for one, anyway. Just as I was considering walking into Target and trying to find a single multipurpose blade to suit my needs, however, I got the chance to try Hammer Stahl’s 6-inch serrated utility knife, which is available on Amazon. Now, this simple but indispensable tool is the first thing I reach for every single time I cook at home.

I must admit, I don’t know a ton about cutlery. Many of my colleagues here at Kitchn can tell you the best blade shape, brand, and material for pretty much every purpose, but I just wanted something versatile and efficient. This Hammer Stahl knife fit the bill. At 6 inches long, it doesn’t make me feel like I’m wielding a dangerous weapon the way my roommates’ huge santoku blades do. But that’s not to say that this knife is meager or insufficient. Although it’s relatively lightweight, it’s easily the sharpest blade I’ve ever used. Regardless of whether I’m chopping a stalk of broccoli into florets, cutting through a hard block of cheese, or slicing through an avocado that’s not yet perfectly ripe, this handy piece of cutlery does it all with ease; its high-carbon stainless steel material never wavering. Its tip also tapers into a fine point, which is perfect for dicing things like potatoes and butternut squash into tiny pieces.

Credit: Hammer Stahl

Another feature of note is the knife’s serrated edge. This is incredibly helpful for cutting into tougher foods, like bread and citrus fruits, whereas many flat-edged blades might struggle. I’ve been using this knife on a daily basis for months now, and two of my roommates also pick it up from time to time. Regardless of that, it’s still as sharp as the day I took it out of the packaging. In addition to being incredibly practical, the Hammer Stahl utility knife is also sleek and stylish; its two-toned handle is super easy to spot amid the clutter in our cutlery drawer, so I can grab it and get to work right away. Really, this brilliant little meal prep tool saves me so much time and stress, no matter what I’m whipping up in the kitchen on any given day.