6 Best Chef Knives for all Chopping Needs

One tool essential in every kitchen is a chef’s knife! For home cooks and professional chefs, there is a knife for everyone and choosing one depends on your needs and personal preferences. 

best chef knives

One thing is for sure, a chef’s knife should be sharp for slicing, chopping, dicing, and mincing tasks. A good knife should be an extension of your hand with a decent grip, well balanced and not too heavy. 

The best knife for you isn’t necessarily the same as for another cook. It is important to find a sturdy knife you feel comfortable holding and using, making your chopping tasks easier.

List of best chef knives

Things to consider before buying 

Size

Chef knives are available in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones range from 6-10 inches (15-25 cm). Blades with a curved tip are best for cutting and chopping whereas longer blades are best for slicing larger pieces of food. The size of a knife chosen will depend on the size of your hands and what you feel most comfortable to cut with.

Quality

A knife should be rust-free, sturdy, and always sharp. A knife used often will need sharpening more regularly. It is recommended to hand wash knives to retain their sharpness for longer even if some brands specify dishwasher safe. 

Price

Although a chef’s knife is an essential kitchen tool, it doesn’t mean you have to ‘break the bank.’ If you cook often, we recommend investing a little extra into a knife that will last, however there are many affordable options available.

What to use a chef’s knife for

A chef’s knife is the answer to all your cutting needs. Meat, fish, herbs, soft or hard produce, this knife will chop, slice, cut, and even ‘smash’ ingredients you need for your recipes. Front, back, and sides, the entire knife can be used depending on the required cooking task.

In addition to the right chef knife, if your family loves meat, you will want to have a set of the best knives for cutting steak.

Overview of best chef knives

Best overall – Wusthof CLASSIC 8-Inch Cook’s Knife

At Wusthof they call this knife a workhorse. This German made knife has a curved blade and a synthetic handle that allows a good grip. Although this knife feels a little heavier than most other chef’s knives, it is sturdy, sharp, and well balanced with a thin blade that cuts smoothly through the hardest vegetables. The long blade with full bolster and finger guard allows safe cutting. Vertical indentations on the blade push food off the blade and reduce friction and grade during cutting.

Related: Best paring knives for the home cook

Most popular – Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

This mid-range Swiss made knife is perfect for home cooking. The ergonomically shaped Fibrox handle appeals to many because the knife feels comfortable, is non-slip, and is easy to manoeuvre. 

The straight blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel, it has a curved tip and maintains its super-sharp edge. 

Related: How to choose the best knife block set

Best 6-inch – Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Chef’s Knife

Another mid-range chef’s knife with a 6-inch blade which is perfect for smaller hands or people with limited storage. 

The handle is made from Santoprene, is NSF certified, and provides a firm, non-slip grip, even when wet. The blade of carbon forged steel from Soligen, Germany, is rust and corrosion resistant. The edge is taper-ground for added stability and allows easy honing for long lasting sharpness.

Related: Best knife sharpeners and how to use them

Best all-metal – Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

We personally love Global knives and might not be completely objective. Although the entire knife is stainless steel without joints or a plastic handle, it is still lightweight and easy to use. The handle has dimples to offer a non-slip, comfortable grip, and the blade is razor sharp. 

The knife is made to offer a good balance, and as we said in the introduction, it should be the perfect extension of your hand. Global knives come with a lifetime warranty against defects and breakage.

Related: Best oyster knives

Best ceramic – Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution 8-inch Professional Chef’s Knife

Ceramic cookware and knives are becoming increasingly popular and with good reason. Ceramic is resistant against rust, corrosion, and acids. This 8-inch knife is large enough for people with big hands and it is lightweight with a great balance and an ergonomic handle to reduce fatigue when lots of cooking is required. The blade is ultra-sharp and maintains this sharpness longer compared to stainless blades.

Related: Best ceramic cookware sets

Best budget – Utopia Kitchen Chef Knife 8 Inches

Finding a good chef knife under 10$ is easy but not all are sturdy enough for all chopping tasks. This knife is made of 100% stainless steel which is rust and tarnish resistant. This knife is a little heavier, but the handle has a decent grip for safe handling. All Utopia knives are dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended to retain the fine quality of the blade as with all knives.

Best steel for chef knives

Selecting the best steel for chef knives is a combination of personal preference and functionality. The steel used affects the knife’s sharpness, durability, edge retention, and ease of maintenance.

Here are some popular types of steel used in chef knives:

  • VG-10 Stainless Steel:
    VG-10 is a popular type of Japanese steel frequently used in high-quality chef knives. It’s a stainless steel with a high carbon content, making it very sharp and durable. It’s also resistant to rust, which makes it an excellent choice for a chef’s knife.
  • SG2 (Super Gold 2 or R2) Steel:
    SG2 steel, also known as R2, is a high-end powdered stainless steel known for its exceptional sharpness and edge retention. It’s also rust-resistant and isn’t as brittle as some other high-hardness steels, but it’s typically more expensive.
  • AUS-10V Steel:
    This is another Japanese steel known for its great balance of sharpness and durability. It’s more affordable than SG2 but still provides excellent performance.
  • High Carbon Steel (like 1095):
    High carbon steels are very sharp and maintain their edge well. They are, however, more prone to rusting and staining, so they require more care.
  • Damascus Steel:
    While not a specific type of steel, Damascus refers to a process of folding and forging multiple layers of steel. Damascus chef knives often have a distinctive pattern on the blade. The performance depends on the types of steel used in the layers, but generally, Damascus knives are sharp, durable, and expensive.
  • German Steel (like X50CrMoV15):
    German steel is known for its durability and toughness, although it might not be as sharp or hold an edge as long as some Japanese steels. Knives made from this steel are typically more affordable and are a great choice for general use.

To conclude, each type of steel has its pros and cons, and the best steel for a chef knife will depend on the chef’s personal preferences and needs.

One Comment

  1. Fantastic article! Very informative – thank you

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