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Who Invented the Electric Carving Knife and How Do you Choose the Right One for You?


With Thanksgiving Day near (for those of us in the United States), many of us are turning our attention to the cornucopia of food and how we will prepare and serve it. The electric carving knife is one kitchenware that can make slicing the turkey, big chunk of pot roast, and hard-to-chop vegetables on the day easier. Who invented this handy appliance, when did it come into existence, and which is the right one for the impending jobs?

New Yorker, Jerome L. Murray was the man behind the invention. This prolific inventor and entrepreneur held 75 patents when he died in 1998. From his teenage years to the ripe old age of 85, the last year of his life, Murray had a keen eye for noticing what could make life easier, simpler or just plain better. He saw the need for the electric knife after observing how hectic the lives of housewives were in the late 1940s. He combined a couple of blades with a combustion motor and the electric carving knife was born. Murray received its patent in 1964. The knife’s technology is currently being used to make surgical equipment.

In addition to the carving knife, some of Murray’s other inventions included the airplane boarding ramp, the dental drill, peristaltic pump for open-heart surgery and kidney dialysis, and food processing for which the pump was later adapted.

Choosing the Right Electric Carving Knife

Today, there are a variety of electric carving knives on the market. But choosing the right one does not have to be daunting. The main things to consider are the following: What is it most needed for? Will you be slicing meats, vegetables, bread or all of the aforementioned? Then consider ease of use in terms of grip and weight. With regard to grip, there are steel handles, wooden handles, and ergonomic handles. Lighter weight knives offer more control. The best way to determine which feels secure is to hold an actual knife in your hand. Type and length of blades are also important. Do you prefer stainless steel and an 8-inch blade with a flush-cut? Safety is a critical consideration too. Some brands come with safety locks on their blades and a carving fork accessory is usually provided.

Top manufacturers include Black & Decker –they actually brought the knife into the mainstream, Hamilton Beach, Shun, Williams-Sonoma, Cuisinart, Rival, and Granton.

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