There is no other kitchen utensil more important than your set of chef knives. If you think about it, the knife is used almost every time you prepare a meal.
It chops, slices, and dices away almost every day, so finding your favorite set to use is crucial if you fancy yourself a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen.
However, not all knives reach the same level of quality and what works for one person may not work for another. Many factors come into play when choosing what works best for you; the size of your hands, what you will be cooking, and also the level of comfort you have with using a knife.
So which set is best for you to invest in? Your local homeware store may provide you with many options, which can make choosing your new set of tools quite overwhelming. So we’ve taken the stress out of knife shopping for you!
We’ve whittled down our favorite brands to guarantee you have the best blades at your fingertips and can impress family members, guests, or even just yourself, with your shiny new chef knives.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
If you’re new to the world of cooking, let us introduce you to this fantastic knife which is an ideal choice for beginners.
Praised by both professional chefs and home cooks alike, this Swiss-made carving knife has a non-slip, ergonomic handle as well as boasting an extra-wide blade.
Thanks to the balance with this design, this knife is great for those with smaller hands who may struggle to find the perfect fit.
It promises to add both ease and efficiency to your meal prep and poses no problems when it comes to slicing through your favorite meats or vegetables. With its non-stick finish, you’ll also have no issues keeping your food on the chopping board, no matter how sticky or small your ingredients may be.
Incredibly easy to clean, this knife is dishwasher safe and also National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) approved. There’s also no need for this knife to be regularly sharpened as it’s incredibly durable and will tackle any kitchen task thrown at it for years to come.
So whether you’re slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, or shredding, this knife will be the best friend you never knew you needed with you in the kitchen.
- Weight – Lightweight for extra comfort when using.
- Non-slip – The handle has been made for extra grip and comfort no matter the hand size.
- Effortless – Long, curved blade for that ‘rock’ motion when mincing or chopping.
- Texture – The non-grip material can feel rough when used.
MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife
This brand is fantastic if you want your knife set to not only perform well but also look great in your kitchen.
Considered an ‘all-rounder’ by its users, including both professional chefs and amateurs in the kitchen, this brand seems to be a firm favorite if you’re on the hunt for a new set of knives.
Made in Japan, this knife boasts a blade with a thickness of 2.5mm and is beveled to a very thin, acute angle making it incredibly sharp. The reason for it being so sharp? The founder used a razor as inspiration for the knife’s design – it doesn’t come much sharper than that!
The dimples along the blade help to guide you through sticky foods, such as squash or potatoes with ease, which will give you a much cleaner cut.
It’s also very durable as it’s made from high-carbon stainless steel. However, thanks to the dose of molybdenum in it, it’s still flexible enough to prevent any chips from appearing.
The wooden handle adds extra comfort when using and although it may look like a heavy knife, it’s incredibly lightweight, so perfect for anyone to use.
The only downside we can find to this knife is that it has to be washed by hand as it’s not dishwasher safe. But for finely chopped vegetables and perfectly diced meat, we will happily don our rubber gloves and get stuck into some soap suds.
- Sharpness – Razor sharp blade for extra fine cutting.
- Durable – Made from high carbon stainless steel with a dose of molybdenum.
- Comfort – The wooden handle provides extra comfort for any user.
- Washing – Hand-washing recommended.
Wüsthof Classic 8-inch Cook’s Knife
This best-selling German blade is a strong contender for being the most indestructible blade out there and is a firm favourite by both professionals and home cooks.
Considered an essential tool when it comes to preparing any meal, this knife features an 8-inch long blade and a 5-inch long handle. Heavy and powerful, this knife is wonderful for cutting through bones or cubing the toughest of vegetables.
As well as being versatile, the handle design is ergonomic and has been made from a synthetic material that resists fading and discoloration. If you want to keep your knives looking brand new, then this is the choice for you.
Compared to previous models by this brand, this knife has a blade that is 20% sharper and has twice the edge retention so a great upgrade if you’re already familiar with this brand. This knife is created by being forged from a single block of high-carbon stainless steel which receives a final polish after it’s made for that extra sharpness and durability.
The wide-bellied blade on this knife creates that all-important rocking motion and with a sharp blade on both sides of this knife, it’s perfect for left-handed cooks.
Even though it is dishwasher safe, it’s highly recommended that you hand-wash this knife to prolong its lifespan. It looks like our rubber gloves will be getting a lot of use with these knives!
- Non-discoloration – synthetic material is used to prevent this.
- Sharpness – Significantly sharper than previous models by this brand.
- Balance – The weight of this knife allows for comfort when used.
- Weight – Some users may find the knife too heavy to use.
Santoku Hollow Ground Knife
One of the most important features of a knife is its edge, and this Japanese knife boasts one of the sharpest around. Known for being ‘high tech from tip to handle’, this brand is worthy of a spot in your kitchen.
Made from chroma 18 stainless steel – a mixture of molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium – this knife is tough enough to retain its sharpness over time, yet soft enough that it can easily be sharpened with a whetstone when needed.
Made with a high chromium content, these knives are also excellent at keeping rust and staining at bay so they are guaranteed to look good in your kitchen for years to come.
The handle is also generally smaller than many other options around, which makes this a great option for those who struggle with larger, heavier knives. The handle is also molded for extra comfort and the ‘dimple’ design provides the user with a safe grip.
The balance of this knife is also thanks to its handle design. Injected with a precise amount of sand for each particular blade style, the sand then flows inside the handle as the blade moves.
This allows continual balance when the knife is being used, so will always put the user in full control of the knife.
Considering this knife is smaller in size than others, it’s incredibly strong, even though it’s extremely lightweight, and powers through chicken bones with great ease. Its razor-sharp edge coupled with the weight of this knife is perfect for users who suffer from hand fatigue.
This knife excels in all kitchen tasks so is a perfect all-rounder knife to have in your set.
- Weight – Lightweight and balanced for ease.
- Sharpness – Super sharp to tackle any kitchen task.
- Dimpled handle – Provides extra grip and comfort.
- Weight – It could be too lightweight for some users.
KRAMER by ZWILLING EUROLINE Essential Collection 8″ Chef’s Knife
This knife is one of the most popular around and a must-have for anyone kitting out their cutlery drawer.
Manufactured in Japan, this knife follows a traditional 3-step hand sharpening routine so you can expect an exceptionally sharp knife that delivers every time.
It has a perfect balance to it so will feel comfortable in the user’s hand, and is great for tackling both soft and hard vegetables or meat.
One of the guarantees that this brand makes is that the sharpness of this blade won’t fade. So no matter how often it is used you can expect the same results every time thanks to its great craftsmanship and execution.
Crafted from carbon steel, the blade on this knife is extremely strong and is designed to meet Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer’s exacting specifications, so you can expect very high quality. The blade is also extra wide and features a rounded spine for a more comfortable grip and balance in the hand.
As well as being strong enough to easily smash up a garlic clove, this knife is also perfect for delicate slicing, so an incredibly versatile tool to own.
Available in a variety of colors and sizes, this knife is guaranteed to make your life in the kitchen easier as well as letting any guests know that you expect nothing less than excellence.
- Sharpness – Incredibly sharp with little need for sharpening in between uses.
- Balance – Designed to feel comfortable in the user’s hand.
- Variety – Available in a variety of colors and sizes.
- Handle – Users have reported that the seams on the handle could be tighter.
Victorinox Grand Maitre Chef’s Knife
This Swiss-made knife not only performs well but is also a delicious feast for the eyes!
Elegantly finished with a natural rosewood handle, this knife is considered timeless and traditional amongst both professional chefs and home cooks.
The hand-polished, curved handle makes this knife extremely comfortable to use and will suit most cooks, no matter the size or shape of their hands. Forged from stainless steel with a straight-edge blade, this is a classic tool to have in the kitchen that is guaranteed to make cooking a breeze.
The extra-wide blade means this knife makes easy work of chopping, slicing, and dicing meat and vegetables, and is more than capable of carrying out most kitchen tasks to a very high standard.
It delivers razor-sharp cuts with its wear-resistant blade which and thanks to it being perfectly balanced and uniformly hardened, this incredibly durable knife will last you a lifetime if it’s looked after properly.
The wooden handle means that this knife has to be hand-washed rather than being put through the dishwasher. But a quick 2-minute rinse is worth it to keep this knife looking its best.
- Handle – The natural rosewood handle is a beautiful finish for this knife.
- Balance – The curved handle provides comfort for most users.
- Sharpness – The blade maintains its sharpness and is incredibly durable.
- Washing – Hand-washing is recommended with this knife.
When it comes to buying the right knife for you, it really does come down to personal choice. What feels right for you, might feel completely wrong for someone else.
You may prefer something with more weight to it. Or a wooden handle as opposed to a metal one. Whatever your preference, you should feel comfortable using it and it should inspire you to cook more often with confidence.
To make your decision easier, we’ve listed some points that are important for you to take into consideration before deciding which knife is best suited to you. Hopefully, by keeping these points in mind, you’ll be cooking up a storm to glorious reviews in no time!
The balance of a knife is very important. If the balance is off, you simply won’t feel comfortable using it to prepare your meal and it will also make you work harder – something that nobody wants to do more of in the kitchen!
The way to check the balance of a knife is to hold the knife by the handle and check where you can feel the weight distribution. If the majority of the weight is toward the back of the handle, or the end of the blade then this knife probably isn’t for you.
Side-to-side balance is also a key point to remember as the last thing a knife should feel in your hands is unstable. When you come down on the blade, check if the knife feels like it wants to teeter toward one side or the other. If so, the balance is off.
Remember that when checking the balance of a knife, you should feel in complete control of it and it should remain stable in your hands.
The weight of a knife is again a personal preference. Some users prefer a heavier knife, while others prefer something more lightweight.
Some believe that the heavier the knife, the easier it is to cut through food as it will be able to fall with more force. Others believe that the lighter the knife, the easier it is to maneuver and will therefore flow more freely.
Neither one of these beliefs is wrong or right. It is simply down to what you, the user, and would prefer to work with.
Another big factor when buying a knife is what type of handle to go for. Along with weight and balance, the style of the handle will make a big difference to how comfortable the knife feels when holding and using it.
Several different materials are generally used for knife handles. These include wood, plastic, metal, and composites. Once again, much like weight and balance, this is another case of personal preference that depends on such things as your hands’ strength, size, and shape.
The most common material used to create a knife will be stainless steel. This material is durable, strong, and easy to maintain.
You will also come across some knives that are made from carbon steel. The upside to using this type of steel is that it’s both stronger and sturdier than other materials. However, the downside is that it is less durable. Issues such as rust and stains are quite common with carbon steel knives.
But you can avoid these problems by washing and drying your knife thoroughly immediately after each use.
Another material you may come across is high carbon stainless steel. This material falls somewhere between the two. It’s a little stronger than your typical stainless steel knives, but it’s also more durable than carbon steel options.
If you wanted to say clear of steel knives, you also have the option of ceramic. These knives are more lightweight than others, perfect for those who struggle with the weight of some of the metal options.
They also keep their sharpness for a very long time. However, once that starts to fade and they start to become slightly dull, you will find that they are harder to sharpen.
With many sharpening tools available for you to use at home, you can always attempt this yourself but you may find it difficult. If so, you have the option of sending these to a professional who can work their magic on them for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Knives Does A Professional Chef Need?
Knives are an important part of any professional chef’s tool kit. If they use the wrong knife to prepare a meal, it could completely ruin the outcome of the dish.
There are many different types of knives a chef can have and it all depends on what the chef will be using the knife for. The three main knives that a chef will no doubt have in their kit are:
- The chef’s knife – This is probably the most important out of all the knives a chef will own. It has a broader blade and helps with the speed of slicing, dicing, and cutting. The blade normally spans about 6-12 inches long and the 8” chef’s knife is typically the most popular among chefs.
- The utility knife – The utility knife has a shorter blade that ranges 4-7 inches in length. It can be serrated, which makes slicing smaller vegetables or meat a lot easier.
- The Santoku knife – This knife is generally thinner and shorter than a chef’s knife and is typically flat. Its flatness means that you’re unable to rock this knife which can make it less popular among chefs. The blade usually has divots on it so is great for cutting through meats or other sticky food.
These three knives are generally a high-performing set that would cover most basic tasks in the kitchen for any chef.
What Knives Does Gordon Ramsey Use?
Gordon Ramsey has been known to use Wüsthof and Henckels branded knives. These knives are known for their high quality and craftsmanship. Creating knives since the early 1800s, these companies are considered two of the best knife manufacturers in the world.
What Is The Best Size For A Chef’s Knife?
The most popular size amongst home cooks is around 8 inches. This size knife offers versatility and while there are bigger sizes, they may feel intimidating to use, especially if you’re still finding your feet in the kitchen.
Some prefer the 10-inch knife as it makes light work of a big job. It’s also popular with those who are taller as they feel more comfortable working with something a little bigger in their hands. The 8-inch knife, however, is smaller and therefore easier to use be in control of.
What Is Better, German or Japanese Steel?
Japanese and German knives each have their advantages and disadvantages. Japanese knives in general are made from a harder type of steel than German knives. However, the harder the steel, the more vulnerable the blade is. This is because it is less flexible so it’s more prone to damage.
On the other hand, the Japanese steel retains its sharpness for longer whereas a German blade needs to be sharpened more often. With German steel less vulnerable than Japanese, a German crafted knife can be used for more tasks with less chance of any damage.
How Do I Keep My Knife Sharp?
There is nothing more annoying than getting ready to start your meal prep only to find that you have a blunt knife in your hand.
Every time you use a knife, it gets bent out of shape ever so slightly – something that you’d have to use a microscope to see. But over time this dulls the knife and stops it from performing as it should.
As well as being imprecise, a dull knife is also more likely to cause injury which nobody wants. However, there are a few things you can do to stop this from becoming a problem.
Use a Honing Steel
This is a great tool for keeping your knives sharp and in tip-top condition and is very easy to use.
Hold the honing steel vertically with the tip on a flat surface and a strong grip around the handle. The key is to keep the honing steel as vertical as possible while you slide the knife’s length along the edge of it.
There’s a spot on the honing steel where you can feel the textured metal and this is what you should be running your knife against.
You’ll want to press the bottom of the knife’s blade against it while pulling the knife downwards. This motion should carry through to the tip of the blade.
Remember to repeat this motion on the other side of the knife, but keep the knife in the same hand. If you can’t quite feel the textured metal, simply adjust your angle until you can. Continue for 8 strokes on each side and repeat until you’re satisfied with the sharpness of the knife.
Use a Whetstone
The old-school way to reform the edge of your knife blade is by using a whetstone.
The safest way to use it is by placing a damp sheet of kitchen paper under the whetstone to stop it from sliding around as it’s being used. Remember to always place the whetstone coarsest side up, and to lower friction, you can also wet the knife blade a little as well.
Placing the knife on the stone with the tip facing away from you, you should rest your fingers on the flat side of the blade.
Your knife should be at an angle of 15-20 degrees, and as you drag the knife in a circular motion across the stone, you should try and keep this angle constant.
Repeat this around 5 times then turn the knife over and repeat the process on the other side of the blade. Once you’ve done this on both sides, turn the whetstone over to the smoother side and repeat.
Once finished you should have an incredibly sharp knife ready to be used.
Electric sharpeners follow the same process as the previous two ways but with the added benefit of speed.
These devices have both honing and sharpening slots and by dragging a knife through the slot, you sharpen the blade. The spring-loaded grinding wheels inside the device automatically polish knife edges at the correct angle.
However, by using this device incorrectly, such as by pausing, twisting, or pressing downwards, you can actually oversharpen and damage the knife blade. If you want to avoid this, always read the manual and follow the instructions given to you. favorite