Rada knives promise low-cost, stamped quality knives that will last a lifetime, hold their edge appropriately and make your cooking efficient.
Do they hold up to that promise, or is that just another claim we can toss in the bin now?
I won’t make you wait too long for the answer: Rada is genuinely worth the cost savings they offer you.
Before you go all out and splurge on their knives, though, there are some things you need to know.
Read through this complete, unbiased Rada knives review to see the pros and understand the cons before spending on these knives.
Where Are Rada Knives Manufactured?
Rada knives are made by the parent Rada Cutlery company located in Waverly, Iowa, USA.
The company is an all-American brand that has been in existence since 1948, during which they have sold more than 170 million individual pieces of cutlery made to the highest standards.
Rada Cutlery employs local labor and sources parts locally, ensuring a high-quality assurance around its products.
The fact that they’re an all-American brand is one of the most intriguing to me, given the prices they can afford to sell their knives at.
What Knives Do Rada Knives Make?
I have reviewed different kinds of knives to see how the respective brands present in sets or individual units.
With Rada knives, I am most impressed with how they present their knives in categories then dive in to refine those categories better.
They came up with a category for paring knives, meat and poultry knives, and the Anthem Wave category. While I’m not too fond of how they don’t have a chef knife category, they did something nice for chefs under the Anthem Wave.
Read on to find out more about these categories.
Rada Paring Knife Category
The Rada Cutlery Company ships up to four different knives under the paring knife category.
|Paring Knife||Best For||Blade Length||Steel||Handle||Check Price|
|Rada Regular||Slicing small fruits, dicing vegetables, coring fruits, chopping smaller meals.||3.25 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Heavy Duty||Slicing||3.25 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Peeling||Peeling fruits, peeling vegetables, creating garnishes, precise cutting.||2.5 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Granny||Small, spherical foods. Detailed food work.||2.375 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Super Parer||Everything a paring knife can do, only better.||4.375 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium.||Check on Amazon|
- Rada Regular Paring Knife: An all-round best-selling paring knife from the brand. Best for slicing small fruits, dicing veggies, coring fruits, and chopping smaller meals.
- Rada Heavy Duty Paring Knife: Features a slightly-longer handle to provide better grip and balance. Useful for normal paring duties on a large scale, or when bigger food items are involved.
- Rada Peeling Paring Knife: A specialist paring blade designed for improved peeling and making finer cuts. The knife to use when you want better attention to details on your meal cuts.
- Rada Granny Paring Knife: Get more detailed cuts with a reverse-curved blades that cuts properly in any direction you use it in. Needs a bit of specialist handling to use this one best.
With these picks alone, Rada shows you they’re not a one-hit-wonder when it comes to paring knives. They know their knives in-depth, and they’re not afraid to show it.
You can watch all of these paring knives in action if you want a better, visual feel of what they can do:
So, whether you’re looking for a general paring knife or something better specialized to a particular task, this brand has you covered.
Rada Meat and Poultry Knives
The name of this category says it all.
Whether you’re looking for a nice butcher’s knife, going for a boning knife, or needing a smaller knife to handle your precise meat cuts, you have suitable options here.
|Meat & Poultry Knife||Best For||Blade Length||Steel||Handle||Check Price|
|Rada Utility/ Steak Knife||Cutting steak, prepping pizza toppings, slicing fruits and vegetables||5.875 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Serrated Steak Knife||Cutting meat.||3.875 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Slicer||Cut tough-skinned fruits, vegetables, slice pies.||7 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Carver/ Boner||Cut poultry and beef roasts away from the bone||6.625 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
|Rada Ham Slicer||Precise cuts on ham||9.5 inches||T420 high carbon stainless steel||Molded Resin; Cast Aluminium||Check on Amazon|
If you were looking for a BBQ knife for ribs, you might not get it above. Follow the link to that.
But for other meat and poultry needs, the brand impresses with these options:
- Rada Utility/ Steak Knife: I am usually partial to having steak knives with serrated edges but Rada chose to make this one a straight-edged blade. That decision pans out as the blade remained functional but it boils down to personal preferences.
- Rada Serrated Steak Knife: Now, this is more like it for me. Besides the serrations, the knife is also perfectly balanced with a solid grip to it.
- Rada Slicer: At 7 inches, this is the longest knife yet from Rada Cutlery, and that is for good reason. The well-sharpened slicer is notorious for gliding through meat seamlessly, giving you a low-effort yet high yield result when handling larger bodies of meat.
- Rada Carver/ Boner: I wouldn’t recommend this for raw meat but it finds good application on the meal table. The Rada carver is a fine knife for making precise meat cuts and deboning cooked meat on the dinner table.
You can get all of these knives as a gift set for yourself or someone else at Rada’s fundraisers or via Amazon.
If you’d also like a look at what you’re getting out of the box, here’s a video for you:
You’d most likely love what you see, just like me and the millions of people that have had their Rada knives for years now.
Rada Anthem French Chef Knife
There are many more knives in the Anthem series, but I am particular about the chef knife alone.
This is the only place where the chef knife occurs from this brand, so I am curious to see what they do with it.
On the Rada Anthem French chef knife is a bit more unconventional design than I like. I am concerned about how this one performs as a chef knife.
However, my fears are unfounded, and Rada proved that they know what they’re doing here.
Choosing a T420 high carbon stainless steel, as usual, means that we get good edge retention and improved sharpening on this blade.
Its ergonomic handle also provides for better handling and improved balance during usage. Finish that off with a sturdy blade that will effectively make larger and smaller cuts, and we have a winning formula.
Should You Buy the Rada Knives at All?
I would say yes.
In the subheadings below, I walk you through the thought process that makes these knives worth purchasing for your kitchen.
Knife Build Materials
Rada makes their knives with a single choice T420 high carbon stainless steel for quality and improved edge retention.
High carbon stainless steel is known for extra sharpness, making this a fine choice for the knife.
Given that T420 isn’t the best grade of high carbon stainless steel, you might need to hone it before using it to get the best out of the knife each time. You won’t need that if you’re a home chef who doesn’t spend too much time with your knives at once.
The Rada knife handles are usually made of aluminum, which I have an issue with. One of the reasons is that aluminum doesn’t provide a generally excellent grip and might make using the knife less than ideal for chefs who have to handle their blades for longer.
However, aluminum might be better because it doesn’t rust, but it isn’t as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel. The overall corrosion resistance is more important to me here.
To Rada’s credit, they offer the option to pick their knives with a black resin handle instead.
Based on usage, I am not sure how long a resin handle will last, but you’d have to change the handle in about 6-10 years. That’s a long time anyway, and considering the prices of these knives, a good deal.
Knife Range and Versatility
Rada doesn’t try to do too much with any of its knives, allowing each one to be a specialist.
This is why they can offer paring knives and meat knives, even digging deeper to ensure each category is well-served.
The brand balances things out with a single French chef knife model, allowing you to purchase the essential trilogy of:
- Paring knives;
- Chef knives and
- Serrated knives
Speaking of the serrated knives, I was going to be disappointed when I saw they ship a non-serrated steak knife. It turns out there is also the option to have your steak/ utility knives serrated too, so all is good here.
Rada knows the game and has you well covered when it comes to range and versatility.
Every knife from the Rada knife company is hand sharpened to a razor edge sharpness before shipping.
Doing so helps ensure you don’t face dull knife dangers once you get the blade.
You only have to do a delicate first wash, and the knives are ready to use. Remember that knives aren’t dishwasher-safe, so carefully wash these by hand.
Once you get your Rada knife, here are some safe knife sharpness tests you can do at home.
Rada Cutlery company also works a finger guard into their knives to help protect your fingers when cutting.
Every good knife user knows the proper usage and safety tips to keep themselves safe when using a knife, but it never hurts to have such additional safety features onboard.
Finally, you get a unibody knife build that seamlessly shapes from the handle to the blade. This high-quality build and design keep the knife blade and handle together, preventing any accidental separations that might cause injury in the kitchen.
What I Love the Most About Rada Knives
In the case you haven’t already guessed it from above, I love Rada’s combination of:
- Quality core steel;
- Ergonomic handle design;
- Competitive pricing;
- Smart knife range choices; and
- An all-American approach.
You’d rarely find those things in a knife, so it’s fantastic that we have all here.
I am also fascinated that this brand has sold more than 170 million cutlery units as of this writing and counting. If anything, that tells me they know what they’re doing – and they’ll continue trying to stay on top of their game.
I have also heard from many users who have had their Rada knives for over 40 years now.
I would think this is only possible on the bigger blades, but the paring knives are lasting so long, I’m surprised. This shows an excellent investment if you ever choose to buy one of these knives.
What I Don’t Like About the Rada Knives
There is little to take away at this price point and the quality the knives already offer. Still, I would prefer they do away with the aluminum handles instead of other knife handle materials.
They could even go with wood handles for their knives, which would be better.
The knives also wear down quicker than, say, a Wusthof knife. The gulf in pricing between both knives should tell you all you need to know about that, though.
Fortunately, Rada offers their in-house sharpening tool, which works with all of their blades and is the most recommended for sharpening the steel. Check out how it works below:
With those out of the way, every other thing is steady going for me on these knives.
Enjoy Rada’s Affordable Quality
If you’re in the market for some fancy chef knife, you won’t find that here. If you have been looking for a paring or steak knife that brings the bells and whistles, this isn’t the knife for you.
Rada gives the expensive brands a run for their money for the chefs and home cooks who don’t want to spend too much on a quality knife that will handle kitchen tasks quite effectively.
Rada knives don’t offer Japanese knives if you want those, but you can pick the best ones from Shun knives. You should look at this Coolina knife review for other specialty tasks and see if it’s worth your money.
I would also understand if you’re not convinced about the Rada knives company alone yet. In that case, check out other buying guides and knife reviews to make the best choice.