Having the proper tools will make your time in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable, whether you’re a professional chef working in a restaurant, or just someone who cooks for fun. One of the most time-consuming aspects of cooking is the preparation of food when you’re slicing and dicing your ingredients. Picking the best chef knife will go a long way to make this process easier. The best chef knives are sharp, lightweight, and made with craftsmanship. They cut smooth and effortlessly. They also save your wrist when you’re preparing large meals and doing a lot of cutting.
In your search for the best kitchen knife, you’ll have different styles, sizes, and price ranges. But don’t worry, we have you covered. This Top 7 Guide will show you some of the top rated, best kitchen knives available today.
This kitchen knife tops our list for its combination of high-quality materials and beautiful design. If you’re looking for a knife that performs well and will impress your guests with its craftsmanship, this may be the best chef knife for you. The blade is forged with 67-layer high carbon stainless steel and a visually impressive Damascus pattern.
- Liquid nitrogen tempered steel for long lasting sharpness
- Ergonomically designed round handle for comfortable grip
- Handle is triple riveted to full tang for increased durability
- Unique, attractive Damascus pattern
- 12 to 15-degree edge for razor sharpness edge
- May require some sharpening before first use
- Due to the very fine edge, this knife may need sharpening more often than other kitchen knives
PriceThis kitchen knife represents a middle ground in price compared to the other knives on this list. The high-quality materials and attractive design make this knife an excellent choice for the price. This Zelite is one of the best kitchen knives for any experience level.
This knife boasts a Hammered Tsuchime finish which compliments it’s black, triple riveted handle. This is a great, ready for work kitchen knife. The blade is described as ‘ruthlessly sharp,’ made with Premium Japanese VG-10 Super Steel, which is why it made our best chef knives list.
- High carbon stainless steel blade features a razor sharp edge
- Balanced bolster to minimize wrist fatigue
- Durable design includes a full three rivet full tang inside an ergonomic grip
- Deep blade for knuckle clearance
- Stain and rust resistant
- Beginners will need time to adjust to the 57mm deep blade
- Heavier than most Japanese knives
- Deep blade may not fit in some knife blocks
PriceThis model is more expensive than the top ranked knives on our list, although they are relatively similar in features. They both use the same high-quality Japanese steel with a wonderful, durable handle. The Executive Chef Edition stands out because of it’s deep knuckle clearing, which is ideal for heavy duty food prep.
3. Kai Shun Damascus DM-0706 – Best commercial knife
The Kai Shun DM 0706 is a classic style kitchen knife made from a traditional design. The blade is less ornate than the Zelite models, yet still very sharp. It uses a laminated Pakkawood handle that feels comfortable and solid in your hand. Shun is a respected cutlery manufacturer, and this is another candidate for the title of best knife for commercial or home use.
- High carbon Japanese steel
- Pakkawood handle that is NSF certified for use in commercial kitchens
- Rockwell hardness rating of 60-61 means that it maintains sharpness longer
- Handles available for right and left handed chefs
- Small design can feel awkward in large hands
- Prone to chipping
PriceKai Shun Damascus DM 0706 – All things considered this knife is a good buy. It’s one of the more expensive knives in our guide, but high-quality steel, a very sharp edge, and a comfortable handle make this one of the best knives for the price.
This chef knife differs from the rest thanks to the Santoku style it’s crafted with. Santoku knives are perfect for thin slicing and dicing. This too is a kitchen knife that is ready to work with a precision formed blade and a durable, comfortable handle.
- Santoku shaped blade is perfect for slicing and dicing
- Double bolsters and full tang provide balance
- Triple riveted handle for security
- Edge allows foods to release easier from the blade
- Comfortable handle
- Blade requires sharpening often
- Less useful when cutting hard produce
PriceWüsthof CLASSIC IKON Santoku – This chef knife is a great alternative if you’re looking for a non-traditional option. This blade isn’t necessary a jack-of-all-trades, but it’s great for slicing, dicing, and chopping. It’s one of the least expensive knives listed, and the price is fair.
5. Wüsthof CLASSIC Cooks Knife – Best for beginners
The second Wusthof featured in this guide could be considered the best knife for beginner chefs that are still learning knife skills. It has helpful, useful features, is made well, and looks pretty good, too. This is a no-fuss knife that can handle an average workload.
- Sturdy, full tang handle
- Synthetic handle that offers comfort and durability
- Finger guard for safety
- High carbon stainless steel blade
- Heavy style, ideal for chopping
- Heavy in comparison to most chefs knives
- May require sharpening out of the box
PriceWüsthof CLASSIC Cook´s Knife – This is a classic all-purpose chefs knife that could find a place in anyone’s kitchen. It’s also the least expensive knife featured in our guide. This is a great kitchen knife for new chefs searching for the right kitchen knife to start with or an experienced chef wanting to augment their collection.
6. Kyocera GEN Series Ceramic – Best ceramic knife
This ceramic knife from Kyocera is a bit of a departure from the other knives in this guide. The blade is sharpened to microscopic precision and maintains it’s sharpness as well as steel. It is completely impervious to rust, and won’t stain. Keep in mind, ceramic knives do require slightly different maintenance than their steel counterparts. By far, it is the lightest on our review list.
- Extremely lightweight
- Very sharp and durable edge
- Ergonomic handle
- Full tang for balance
- Requires a special tool for sharpening
- Blade is subject to breaking if dropped
- Will not fit in some knife blocks
PriceKyocera GEN Series Ceramic Chef´s Knife – The Kyocera Ceramic knife is the second least expensive option here, so it’s a pretty good value for the price. If you are looking for something a little less traditional, than this could be the best kitchen knife for you. Consider your cooking requirements and see if ceramic is a good option for you.
Last, but not least, the G2 from Global is a sleek, high-tech chefs knife that offers quite a few unique qualities. The blade is crafted with a mix of molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel. This combination is stain resistant and holds an edge longer than regular stainless steel. It’s also lightweight and balanced, checking all the boxes for our in our review guide.
- High tech material for a sharp, lightweight, durable blade
- Stainless steel molded handle for grip
- No divits or crevices for food to get trapped
- Finger notch near blade for safety
- Hollow handle filled with sand for ultimate balance
- Stamped, not forged
- Average sharpness
- Handle is smaller than most knives
PriceG2 Global Cook’s Knife – Overall, this knife has enough features to make it worth its mid-level price point. The G2 requires a bit more care than some of the others, but it’s a durable, well-made blade that stands out amongst similarly priced kitchen knives.
Chefs Knives Buying Guide
Kitchen utensils of all kinds abound. Just look in any kitchen store or in the aisles of kitchenware at other retail stores and youll see an amazing array of items used for cooking. Some kitchen utensils are used only for one very specific task, so may not be used often. However, there are other utensils that are more versatile, and used daily.
Knives Are The Workhorse of The Kitchen
If you do much cooking at all, you will use not one, but several kinds of knives. Each of these kitchen utensils has a specific function, like chopping, slicing, or filleting food. However, all knives have pretty much the same parts.
The Major Player The Blade
The blade is pretty self-explanatory, being the metal part of the knife used for cutting, from the handle to the tip. Its the most important part of the knife, and the quality of the blade determines how well the knife cuts. Good quality blades make it much easy to do food preparation for cooking.
A Better Bolster
The bolster is the small part between the blade and the handle, connecting the two together. Obviously, it needs to hold the blade securely to the handle so the blade doesnt fall off while youre using it.
Its also worth noting, however, that there is an advantage to having a bolster that is not the full width of the end of the blade. That might seem sturdier, but it gets in the way of sharpening the blade. A bolster that doesnt reach clear to the edge of the blade is preferable for that reason.
The Whole Tang
The tang is an extension of the blade. It runs through the middle of the handle and not only provides a way to attach the handle, but it helps give the knife a good balance. It also strengthens the knife and makes it more durable.
The tang is of varying lengths, and sometimes only runs partway into the handle. The higher quality knives have a tang that runs the full length of the handle, making it strong and well-balanced.
Getting A Handle
You need a way to safely hold a knife, and thats the handle. The handle wraps around the tang and holds it secure. A handle can be made of many different materials, including wood, metal, or various types of plastic.
Not only should the handle should be sturdy, but it should also be easy to hold. Youre going to be using a knife a lot, and it should fit your hand well.
Types of Kitchen Knives
Checking the different parts of the knife for quality gives you an idea what to look for when buying a good knife. However, when it comes to buying a knife, theres a tremendous variation of types. Some of these include:
- Boning Knife
- Butter Knife
- Cheese Knife
- Chefs Knife
- Deli Knife
- Filet Knife
- Frozen Food Knife
- Mincing Knife
- Paring Knife
- Sandwich Knife
- Serrated Knife
- Slicing-Carving Knife
There are also specialty knives for chestnuts, clams, grapefruits, deveining, lettuce and oysters, plus specialty knives for different types of cuisines such as Japanese and Asian.
Fortunately you dont need to buy every kind of knife out there.
The Bare Essentials of Knives For The Kitchen
While every knife has a use, most people dont need so many of the more specialized knives. There are a few types, however, that should be found in every kitchen. These are the more versatile knives that can do a number of different types of food preparation.
The Paring Knife
If you dont have any other knife, you need a paring knife. Its a small knife with a straight, sharp blade. Paring knives run from about three to five inches long with a thin blade that tapers to a point at the tip.
This little knife is easy to handle and use. As indicated by the name, its main function if for paring foods. Its also good for cutting up small items, coring apples and such, and mincing garlic and other foods. Every kitchen should have at least one good paring knife.
The Chefs Knife
The Chefs or Cooks knife is another versatile knife. It comes in several different lengths, running from about 6 inches to 12 inches long. The smaller sized chef knives are called mini chefs knives. These are the best chef knives for people with smaller hands. The larger chef knives are handier for people with bigger hands that allow the bigger chef knives to balance better in their hands.
The chef knife picks up where the paring knife leaves off, and can cut bigger vegetables, fruits and meats. Its great for chopping, dicing, mincing or slicing foods. The bigger size makes it better suited for the heavy duty work, and making thicker slices than a paring knife.
A Serrated Knife
Instead of a straight edge like the paring and chef knives have, the serrated knife has notches in the blade. It can be anywhere from 5 to 10 inches long. It is best used for foods that are hard on the outside, while being soft on the inside. A perfect example is a loaf of homemade bread. The serrated blade is also good for slicing tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Don’t Forget A Cleaver
You could make do with a paring knife, chefs knife and serrated knife, but theres one other blade that is highly useful in the kitchen. This knife had a very wide blade which is usually about 6 inches in length.
A cleaver is good for pounding and crushing foods, although it can also be used to chop and shred foods like the other knives. Additionally, this is a good knife for cutting through hard materials like bones in chickens.
Not only can a cleaver pulverize meat, but the flat of the blade can be used to crush garlic and other herbs. It takes up a lot of space in a kitchen drawer, but most cleavers come with a hole near the end of the blade so it can be hung up somewhere out of the way.
Choose Good Quality Knives For The Kitchen
Whatever knives you chose, get the best quality you can. A kitchen knife gets used a lot, so make you food preparation easier by buying good ones.
The more you cook, the more you will appreciate using good quality knives, and may wish to expand your selection to include more types. For a starter kitchen, however, the paring knife, chefs knife, serrated knife and cleaver are good basic equipment.
Every kitchen can use a few good knives.
Conclusion – Best Chef Knives
Although the Zelite Infinity 8″ – Executive Chef Edition (number 2 on our list) is rated 5 stars on Amazon and in our own review as well, we rate the Zelite Infinity 8-inch – Best Quality Japanese knife as the overall best chef knife we have reviewed and it rightly takes our top spot in our product test. Why? In terms of quality, it is extremely close to the Executive Chef Edition knife but being £30 cheaper it really is a no brainer. With the money saved you could buy yourself a decent knife sharpener and never need another chefs knife again, ever.
However, that being said. If you choose any of the knives in our top list, you will not be disappointed, they are all terrific in their own rights. Our review criteria is based on knife quality, ease of use and price. All of these knives offer a great balance of those criteria and we would be delighted to use any of them in our kitchens at home or at work. Whatever you choose, enjoy!