Best chef’s knives

Cutlery & Knife Accessories

A dull blade is the usual culprit behind most kitchen cuts and scrapes. Keep the blade of your chef’s knife sharp by using it on a wooden or plastic cutting board rather than a hard counter.

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Which chef knife is best?

When you’re slicing and dicing in the kitchen, you need high-quality knives to get the job done, and few are as versatile as a chef’s knife.

Chef knives feature a large, wide blade that’s sharp enough to handle a variety of kitchen tasks. They can slice, dice, and chop vegetables, but they also work well for cutting meat and can even get through some bones to take apart larger cuts.

There are few cooking prep jobs that a chef’s knife can’t tackle. To help you find the best chef’s knife for your kitchen, we’ve taken another look at the options and trends and have included a new entry on our list as well as two of our long-standing favorites that are worthy of your consideration.

Best chef’s knives 

Our short list of favorite chef’s knives are all full-tang models made of hard, durable steel. Take a look through the article for a deeper analysis of each model.

What to look for in a quality chef’s knife

Model

When you’re shopping for a chef’s knife, the first question to ask yourself is whether it’s a forged or stamped model. Forged knives are constructed from a piece of metal that’s heated and pounded to create its desired shape. They are usually thicker and heavier and hold their edge well. Stamped knives, on the other hand, are punched from a sheet of metal and sharpened. While forged knives are generally higher quality, you can still find some impressive stamped knives.

Steel

You have your pick of a few different types of steel for a chef’s knife. Stainless steel is the most affordable, sharpens easily, and doesn’t rust or stain. However, it doesn’t keep its edge as well as other options. Carbon steel holds its edge very well and is easy to sharpen, but it can discolor and rust over time and is pricier than stainless steel. High-carbon stainless steel is more expensive still, though it doesn’t rust or stain and maintains its edge very well.

Handle material

Don’t overlook the importance of a chef knife’s handle material. Wood usually has the best feel in hand, but it’s not as durable as other options and can harbor bacteria. Plastic is lightweight and easy to clean, though it can crack and split pretty easily. You can also find knives with handles made of laminate, which is a wood/plastic composite. It resembles wood but lasts longer and doesn’t require as much maintenance.

Tang

After the construction and materials, the most crucial feature of a chef’s knife is its tang. The tang refers to the section of the knife that fits into the handle. A partial tang only extends halfway or three-quarters of the way into the handle. A full tang knife extends all the way through the handle, which offers a much more balanced feel in hand. It’s usually more durable, too, because the blade isn’t as likely to snap off the handle.

How much you can expect to spend on a chef’s knife

Depending on the type of construction and quality of the materials, you can pay between $12-$200 for a chef’s knife. Home cooks usually don’t need high-end, luxury knives and can find an excellent model that costs between $30-$60.

Chef’s knife FAQ

Q. Is it better to buy a chef’s knife separately rather than as part of a set?

A. When you need several different types of knives, a set can be a cost-effective way to get a chef’s knife, but if you only want a chef’s knife, you can wind up paying for knives that you don’t need. In most cases, a chef’s knife purchased individually is usually higher quality than those bought as part of a set.

Q. How should I store a chef’s knife?

A. For your knife to have a long life, proper storage is crucial. Don’t store it in a drawer, where its blade can get dulled and possibly nicked. Instead, invest in a knife block or a magnetic knife holder. If you opt for a block, make sure to place the knife with the blade up to maintain its edge.

What are the best chef knives to buy?

Top chef knife

Shun’s Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Shun’s Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

What you’ll love: Features a carbon steel core for added strength and durability, as well as 33 layers of Damascus steel. Includes tungsten for improved sharpness and chromium for corrosion resistance. Handle is made of a hardwood/resin composite, so it’s easy to clean and highly durable.

What you should consider: Some buyers find the blade to be too thin.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top chef knife for the money

Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

What you’ll love: Made of high-quality high carbon stainless steel that’s low maintenance and very sharp. Comes in at an extremely affordable price point considering its quality. Ergonomic handle.

What you should consider: Doesn’t hold its edge as well as some buyers would hope.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

J.A. Henckels International’s Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

J.A. Henckels International’s Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

What you’ll love: Made of high carbon German steel. Features fully forged construction and a full tang handle for improved durability. Has a stable, balanced feeling in hand. Dishwasher-safe.

What you should consider: Some buyers complain the blade loses its edge easily.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

 

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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