Ask any skilled chef in the event that they had been stranded on a desert island and will solely deliver one kitchen tool, and so they’d in all probability decide a chef’s knife. Whereas different kitchen knives, like serrated knives and paring knives, have extra individualized makes use of, a very good chef’s knife can do all of it, from slicing and dicing to extra sophisticated duties, like carving a hen and chopping a pineapple.
With regards to chef’s knives, there are two principal classes to select from: German knives and Japanese knives. They are not as dissimilar as one might imagine (and plenty of knives really mix facets of each types!), however listed below are the important thing factors of differentiation value noting:
German knives: Heavy and thick, particularly on the bolster (the place the blade meets the deal with), German knives can be utilized for every little thing from mincing garlic to chopping via hen bones. They’ve thicker blades that are typically curved to facilitate rocking and are comprised of softer metal, so that you’ll must sharpen steadily.
Japanese knives: Light-weight and razor sharp, western-style Japanese knives are inclined to have a thinner blade and straighter edge than their German counterparts, making them excellent for exact duties like cleanly slicing cucumbers or tuna. And since they’re crafted from more durable metal, they’ll usually go longer between sharpenings however could also be liable to chipping or cracking.
Our specialists within the Kitchen Home equipment and Know-how Lab examined to seek out the perfect kitchen knives available on the market. We examined with residence cooks in thoughts and evaluated how properly every knife reduce and retained an edge after slicing and chopping via onions, hen, cooked steak, carrots, and cheddar cheese. We sliced basil into effective ribbons, minced garlic and parsley, and sliced tomatoes. Essentially the most spectacular knives had been tremendous sharp and made paper skinny slices of tomato with no effort in any respect.
We additionally checked the consolation of the deal with and grip and the general expertise utilizing the knife: We liked knives that rocked backwards and forwards simply and ones that required little strain to chop via meat.
Throughout testing, the small print that stood out probably the most had been how the handles felt in our hand and the burden of the knife. Whereas heavier ones felt extra sturdy, they drained our fingers when it got here to slicing onerous substances like carrots. The bigger dealt with, lighter knives gave us extra management, whereas the smaller handles knives allowed us to slice shortly and thinly.
Our prime decide is the Wusthof Eight-inch chef’s knife. It is razor sharp and tremendous versatile, and it was one of many solely knives in our take a look at that would cleanly slice tomatoes, chop onions, and bone a hen with ease. Under rounded up the top-tested knives that we predict are universally interesting for everybody’s wants — listed below are those that made the reduce!
Greatest General Chef’s Knife: Wusthof Traditional Eight-Inch Chef’s Knife
Greatest Worth Chef’s Knife: J.A. Henckels Traditional Eight-Inch Chef’s Knife
Greatest Chef’s Knife for Novices: Pampered Chef 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Sharpest Chef’s Knife: Global Santoku 7-Inch Chef’s Knife
Best Multi-Purpose Chef’s Knife: Misen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Best Chef’s Knife for Small Hands: Shun Classic 6-Inch Chef’s Knife
Longest-Lasting Chef’s Knife: Kramer by Zwilling 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Best Ergonomic Chef’s Knife: Victorinox Rosewood Forged 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Sturdiest Chef’s Knife: Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef’s Knife
Most User-Friendly Chef’s Knife: Made In 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Most Versatile Chef’s Knife: Wusthof Classic Craftsman Knife
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Best Overall Chef’s Knife
Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This Wüsthof 8-inch chef’s knife is razor sharp and super versatile. It was one of the only knives in our test that could cleanly slice tomatoes, chop onions, cut up carrots, bone a chicken, and create thin ribbons of basil. The German classic is fully forged and has a full tang, which helps it feel perfectly balanced and ergonomic in your hand. It’s dishwasher safe (a rarity for cutlery), but we recommend hand-washing to extend its lifespan.
Best Value Chef’s Knife
Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This excellent J.A. Henckels Classic Chef’s Knife has the heft, shape, and performance of a splurge-worthy chef’s knife but comes at a much nicer price point. It’s a quintessential, all-purpose tool that does an ace job of blitzing parsley into dust, dicing onions, or deboning a chicken.
Best Chef’s Knife for Beginners
8-inch Chef’s Knife
Pampered Chef’s unique bolster makes it very easy and comfortable to hold. It practically guides you to hold the knife exactly how you should (by pinching the bottom of the blade.) The handle sits in the center of your palm, making this knife a true extension of your hand.
This fully forged, high-carbon German steel knife cut through almost every task very easily. It also comes with a protective plastic covering, making it extra safe to store.
Sharpest Chef’s Knife
Santoku 7-Inch Chef’s Knife
Global’s Santoku is all stainless steel, so there aren’t crevices that trap food. The blade also has hollow notches along the edge, so veggies don’t stick as they’re cut. This Japanese knife excelled at all tasks but wowed us with its ability to power through chicken bones. Also worth noting that it was one of the sharpest knives we’ve tested.
Best Multi-Purpose Chef’s Knife
8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This multi-purpose knife from direct-to-consumer company Misen is made of Japanese AUS-8 high carbon stainless steel, which means it’s tough, durable and super sharp.
The sloped bolster encourages the user to hold the knife properly (with a pinch grip), but regardless of how you hold a knife, you’ll find the Misen knife feels balanced, sturdy, and comfortable in your hand. It’s beautifully designed — knives of this quality typically cost upwards of twice as much.
Best Chef’s Knife for Small Hands
Classic 6-Inch Chef’s Knife
Shun’s beautiful chef’s knife literally glides through ripe tomatoes with its sharp edge. The rounded black pakkawood handle is comfortable even for small hands to get around, and if an 8-inch size (the most common length of a chef’s knife) feels excessive and heavy, we think the 6-inch blade on this one will be a perfect fit.
Longest-Lasting Chef’s Knife
8-Inch Chef’s Knife
$199.95 (20% off)
The Kramer by Zwilling J.A. Henckels Chef’s Knife is one of the top selling knives on Amazon. We’ve been using the same one for years and can vouch that it stays sharp a long time between honings. It does just as excellent a job at slicing through delicate ribbons of basil as it does plowing through a rough-and-tough butternut squash.
Best Ergonomic Chef’s Knife
Rosewood Forged 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
The Victorinox Rosewood Forged Knife doesn’t just look beautiful. In our testing, it made quick work of chopping parsley, slicing tomatoes, dicing onions, and even boning a chicken. The knife’s gorgeous rosewood curved handle gives you a comfy, ergonomic grip.
Sturdiest Chef’s Knife
Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef’s Knife
This Mercer Culinary chef’s knife felt good in our hand from the moment we picked it up. It felt sturdy and not too heavy. With its high-carbon, no-stain German steel blade, it effortlessly sliced through tomatoes and cut carrots — we barely had to use any pressure because the blade was so sharp! It sliced through onions very easily, too.
Most User-Friendly Chef’s Knife
8-inch Chef’s Knife
When there’s a product everyone’s talking about on the internet, we know we have to get our hands on it. The Made In 8-inch Chef’s Knife did not disappoint. In addition to being very pretty to look at, it performed every cutting task well. We loved how easily it diced onions and how smoothly it sliced celery.
The Chef’s Knife may be bought individually or as part of a 3- or 4-piece set. It comes in cute packaging that is not only safe and easy to open, but also instructs you how to hold the knife and how to use the entire blade like a pro.
Most Versatile Chef’s Knife
Classic Craftsman Knife
We almost feel like we’re cheating by including this knife in our “Best Chef’s Knives” story. This 7-inch Craftsman is a chef’s knife, boning knife and carving knife in one. That means it can perform all your chef knife tasks, like chopping and slicing, as well as boning and filleting with the tip and clean slicing with its “hollow-edge design.”
This knife was a top-performer in almost every test. It was extra sharp and cut through chicken best. It even cut through bone without even trying. We also especially enjoyed slicing tomatoes and cutting carrots with this knife — it was almost too easy!
How to choose the right chef’s knife
When shopping for the best chef’s knife, it’s important to hold them and get a feel for them if you can. Here’s what to consider:
Handle: The first thing you’ll likely notice are the different handles and how they attach to the blade. Some are made of wood/wood composites, some of plastic, and some of metal. The type of material affects the weight of the knife, the feel of it, as well as the price.
Tang: Some knives also have a full tang, which means the blade runs through the handle and helps balance it.
Bolster: How the blade flows into the handle, aka the bolster, is another point of differentiation. Some are angled, while others are straight. We found that angled bolsters allow for a more protected grip, better for novices, while straight bolsters allow for a more controlled grip for chef’s who like to pinch the heel of the blade.
At the end of the day, finding your go-to chef’s knife is largely based upon personal preference. What might feel, say, perfectly balanced to one cook may feel heavy to another. Our best words of advice: Look for a knife that feels like an extension of your hand and keep it sharp.
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