Generally, most of the knives we tested were nice and sharp out of the box and all were stainless steel grade or better, but from there they varied when it came to grip, build and weight, which affected performance. The three winners earned points for great maneuverability, aesthetics and included extras.
The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.
If you’d like to step things up a few notches, it’s hard to go wrong with the Willing Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set. Complete with four knives all forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, the precision-honed blades are extra-sharp, stylish and just feel really nice in your hand.
We were blown away by the sturdy construction, comfort of use and reliable execution that came with each piece in this all-inclusive set. At first blush, we didn’t think we’d like the poly padded handles, but they were actually extremely comfortable and kept the knives from slipping, even after they had just been hand-washed.
Plus, it is exceptionally sharp and took practically zero effort to drag through a few-days-old loaf of crusty bread, take the rind off a cantaloupe or slice berthing pieces from a tender tomato or peach, earning it more points than the Willing or Author versions. After plenty of chopping, slicing and dicing, the Chicago Cutlery knives remained as sharp as their brand-new counterparts.
When you’re seeking out knives that are super sharp, durable, ergonomic and will last a lifetime, we highly suggest you stop and give this standout set a good look. Heckles, which was founded back in 1731, also takes into account the benefits of both Western and Asian knife design.
For example, the chef’s knife blade has a broad curve to allow for a Western-style rocking motion, but a straight back that aligns with the Asian chopping style. They’re forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, making them harder and sharper than many other models.
Lasers are then used to angle the edges of the blades for precision sharpness, and the process seems to have succeeded. The chef’s knife, which was our favorite from the Willing set, for one, practically dropped through a head of lettuce, and easily sliced through carrots, onions, herbs and more.
It’s got history, a classic design and high-tech, high-quality craftsmanship that comes with a lifetime warranty (on workmanship and materials under normal conditions). Thinner than other knives we tested, the handles fit perfectly in a woman’s hand, but our male tester wished they were a smudge more substantial.
It glided through onions, potatoes and tomatoes, took the corn off the cob with ease and sliced through the tough rind of a pineapple like it was nothing. The paring and utility knives fit comfortably into our hands and easily sliced everything we tested them on: limes, oranges, strawberries, carrots, zucchini, radishes, you name it.
The serrated bread knife drew right through our baguette loaves, making us dream of a second career as an apprentice in a French boulangerie. We couldn’t suss out any difference in sharpness by touch, performance chopping up onions, carrots and tomatoes or from the paper test, of which both used and new Author knives made mincemeat.
If you have the money to invest, however, we think the classic, elegant set will not only look like a crown jewel on your kitchen counter, but also continue to dazzle for a lifetime. We spent weeks testing these knife sets, comparing each model by the same criteria, including overall performance, build quality, added accessories and warranty, taking detailed notes on how specific knives functioned based on everything from sharpness and materials to heft and hand-feel to how they looked and the usefulness of any included extras.
We ordered two of each set so that after spending several days slicing and dicing our hearts out, we were able to compare the used knive’s sharpness to their just-out-of-the-box twins. As avid home cooks, we already spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, but as our dining room table became overtaken with woodblocks filled with knives to test, we quickly found ourselves continually looking for things to chop.
Chef’s knife: This standard tool is made to take on most of the bigger jobs in the kitchen. Its weight makes it easier to chop uploads of ingredients in one go, say, for a big pot of soup or to roast a bounty of potatoes and vegetables.
We tested chopping through meat, onions, carrots, herbs and more, noting the knife’s design, grip, weight and general feel. We noted the ease of drawing the blade through different food items, and also whether the knife glided through paper or snagged.
So, for this knife, we cored and peeled apples and tomatoes, and minced shallots and garlic to evaluate its performance and feel. Too many items to list, including tomatoes, hard cheese, oranges, carrots and salami, were used to test how easily this knife could live up to its name.
We looked at ease of cutting through difficult foods, as well as how thin we could slice something softer, such as a tomato. Forged knives, for example, are typically stronger than stamped, which are cut from a flat metal sheet.
Full tang, meaning the blade extends through the handle, helps create balance and overall heft. Feel: So much of handling a kitchen knife rests on how it feels in your hand, so we paid special attention to the heaviness of the blades and handles, maneuverability, weight distribution and ease of sliding the knives in and out of their blocks.
While we realize taste is subjective, we noted our general reaction to how nice they looked. Build had a maximum of 35 points: quality (15); knife feel (10); room for knuckle clearance (5); appearance (5).
Handcrafted in Semi, Japan, the durable, beautiful and razor-sharp Damascus stainless steel blades had us oohing and aching at their ability to perfectly slice through everything. The paring knife, for instance, was so sharp that as we used it to core a tomato, we found it was shaving skin off our finger from the slightest touch.
Admittedly, we thought the claim that the block’s built-in ceramic sharpeners would work with each use was a gimmick, but we were quickly impressed that the knives really did seem to get sharper every time we chopped and sliced. As far as performance, the all-stainless steel, full-tang knives handled well and felt balanced, although they did feel overly heavy in our hands.
These knives scored lower on performance than most models: They weren’t as sharp, the hollow metal handles felt too light, causing an imbalance, and they tended to get slippery when wet. Besides the value price, it features lightweight, dishwasher-safe stainless steel blades that will cover your cutting needs.
We must admit, when we unboxed this midnight black set noted by the company for its “menacing design,” we were prepared to be underwhelmed. Our aesthetic biases had us thinking these would prove to be more flash than performance, though we know some will dub the highly stylized look as awesome.
The geometric design of the military-grade G10 handles actually fit really comfortably into our hands and their slight texture made slippage a non-issue. The full-tang titanium nitride-coated German steel blades were razored sharp and excellent at chopping and slicing everything we threw at them.
The curved blade of the chef’s knife was helpful in chopping, but its thinness made it feel a bit light. In fact, the heavy handles, paired with thin blades, seemed to affect the balance of the knives.
And, at a rather hefty price, it includes just five knives (chef’s, paring, utility, serrated and Santos) plus a honing steel. Then again, if your home decor is Kylo Men meets Jacques Pepin, put these on your wish list immediately.
If you know a college student who has made the move from their dorm to their first apartment, this colorful set of kitchen knives would make a fine housewarming gift. They’re BPA-free and come with matching sheaths, so they can be easily stored in a drawer, saving precious counter space.
They didn’t feel especially sharp out of the box, our fingers smashed against the cutting board as we chopped and the blades felt heavy compared to the plastic handles, which threw off the balance of the knives in our hands. Its unique, vertical tempered glass block had one family member wrinkling his nose with distaste, two teenagers dubbing it “sick” (a good thing) and one who kept waffling between “so cool” and “trying too hard.” But whether you like the looks of the glass block, no one can argue that these are great knives.
Nice and sharp out of the box, they’re made using high-carbon German steel, a bolster for support and neoprene handles with full tang, offering fairly even weight distribution. With the set, you get five knives : 8-inch chef’s, 8-inch bread, 6-inch boning, 5-inch utility and 3 1/2-inch paring, plus that controversial holder.
Made of honed, stainless steel blades and plastic curved handles with full tang, the chef’s knife was our favorite, although it felt a bit light in the hand. Overall, the knives were sharp out of the box, look nice in their wood block and come with an affordable price tag when on sale (which seems to be most of the time at most retailers).
With more than 11,000 reviews and a five-star rating, the Mercer Millennia is the undisputed champion of chef’s knives available on Amazon. Reviewers are particularly taken with the handle, which they describe as “comfortable” and “ergonomic,” as well as the incredibly sharp, 12-inch blade.
Two years ago, celebrity chef Sean Brock shared a photo of a truly stunning chef’s knife on his Instagram “entirely handcrafted from reclaimed materials found in the mountains of East Tennessee.” Its stainless steel blade was forged from a “100+ year old 1095 high carbon sawmill blade” while the dark wood handle was carved from “some old growth cocoon.” The knife was custom-made by John Phillips, who sells the knives one by one to his newsletter subscribers. It’s damn near impossible to cop one of these beauties, but if you manage to, it’ll become an instant family heirloom.
Michelin-starred chefs Elise Knack and Anna Hieronymus recently told us Shun is “one of our favorite knife brands.” And with a lifetime guarantee and a blade that stays sharp longer than it has any right to, it’ll be one of yours, too. Risen was one of the earliest entrants into the fast-growing contingent of direct-to-consumer cookware brands, starting out as a Kickstarter launched in 2014.
In 2018, writer Parthia Rosin penned a convincing ode to the Honcho Kobe, or Long Chef’s Knife, a Japanese-made chef’s knife handcrafted in the seaside town of Banjo and available at L.A.-based Japanese home goods store The Good Liver. Rosin writes that she was immediately taken with the wood handle, which is “meticulously worked through a char coaling process that ensures its water resistant and antibacterial” as well as the blade made with two types of steel for added structural integrity.
“It’s so you learn the technique of holding the knife.” It also comes with a finger guard, which is perfect for amateur chefs in first, second, or third grade. Lightweight Japanese-style knives may be the blades du jour, but if you want a knife with some serious heft, one that can take a beating, go for the 11.1 ounce Author.
“I prefer the weight and thickness of the blade of this heavier knife,” says James Beard–nominated pastry chef Shannon Swindle. “It will slice through watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes by the pounds without a hiccup,” says one reviewer.
As New Orleans–based chef Justin Devilries points out, this is also the knife you want to take on the road, saying, “For a home cook who’s very recreational and weekend warrior–is, you don’t want to pull out some crazy-heavy thing that shatters if you drop it.” A kitchen is not complete without a good group of knives to cut your prep and cooking tasks down to size.
However, there are so many types of kitchen knives to choose from that figuring out what blades are going to be essential can be complicated. Often, a home cook may wind up with far too many kitchen knives or, worse, just one that is not suitable to all the work knives need to be able to do.
The types of kitchen knives that are best for you all depends on how and what you typically cook at home, the price range that is most comfortable for you and how much time and effort are you willing to put into maintaining your knives. The best chef's knife will have a nice blade curve that allows for rocking the knife against a cutting surface, a sharp tip and a defined and sturdy blade heel to help provide a little more force when cutting tough food or removing pits.
This helps the blade hold its edge, resist rust and makes the knife easy to renew with professional sharpening. A paring knife is 3 to 4 inches long and is often used in the hand rather than on a cutting board.
The best paring knives are lightweight with a comfortable grip and a non-slip surface on the knife handle. Utility knives are typically 5 to 6 inches long and are used for everyday tasks that don't require the full length of a chef's knife.
Slicing knives measure 8 to 12 inches and are best for large pieces of meat or cakes. This specialty knife is 7 to 10 inches long on average, very flexible and ideal for sweeping movements.
A 7-inch striking knife easily severs bones and joints, splits lobster and chops very thick vegetables. Stainless steel: This iron alloy resists corrosion and is the most common blade material.
Lower grades are softer, which means they can't take as sharp an edge and need to be sharpened more often. Higher grades of stainless steel, especially those alloys including molybdenum, are harder.
Ceramic knives are exceptionally sharp, producing thin, accurate slices. They're also very light and prone to chipping, so they shouldn't be used on harder items like tough vegetables and bones.
They won’t rust, don’t absorb odor and are easy to maintain, retaining their cutting edge much longer than metal knives. They are cut from a single piece of sheet metal, then ground and edged.
Forged knives are less likely to bend over time, and they hold a sharper edge longer. They also have a thick bolster between the blade and the handle that guards your fingers and helps distribute weight.
To create a forged knife, a single piece of molten steel is formed and beaten into shape. Due to the complexity of the construction process, forged blades are more expensive than stamped.
Before purchasing, you must consider the time and effort you're willing to put into cleaning and sharpening your knives. Stainless steel knives resist corrosion, but they may still form spots over time.
Hand wash and dry stainless steel knives immediately after use. DescriptionElectric knife sharpeners are the fastest and most convenient way to keep straight-edged stainless steel knives sharp.
It also takes longer to sharpen your knife than using a manual sharpener. Honing steels can help delay the need to sharpen a straight-edged knife, but they will not completely resharpen a blade. Storing your knives properly is important, both for safety and for maintaining the quality of the blades. A knife block is the best storage option as it will keep your knives organized and separated.
A magnetic knife bar puts your stainless steel blades on display while keeping them at hand. This table provides a quick overview to help you determine which knives are right for you.
A quality knife block set eliminates the effort and guesswork involved in researching and picking each blade one by one. All celebrated cutlery brands offer versions of a block set, from German-made Willing and Author to Japan’s Global and Shun.
What’s more, the wooden, glass, and metal stands are not only a safer place to store our slicers but also a gorgeous statement on the countertop. From blade materials to cost to personal cooking style, there are tons of factors to consider when selecting a block set.
So to help you find the best one for your needs, we’ve done the research and combed through thousands of reviews from real shoppers who have tested out these sets for themselves. No matter if you’re looking for a compact collection for small spaces or a professional-level block filled with beautiful blades, these best -selling options have near-perfect ratings and rave reviews describing why they’re so great.
Then get ready to revel in the ease of chopping, slicing, and dicing in the kitchen with your new collection of blades. The people have spoken: With more than 7,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this Cuisinart collection is the best -rated block set we found.
Shoppers love and respect the brand, which made its name by introducing the world to food processors back in the ’70s, but the high carbon stainless steel set stands on its own merits. Designed with hollow handles and precision-tapered ground blades, the knives are lightweight and easy to hold.
The sturdy, streamlined block contains 15 pieces, including six steak knives, kitchen shears, and a 7-inch Santos knife. Cooks of all stripes rave about this Cuisinart block, with some saying it’s a great step up from entry-level sets.
They’re designed with a full tang and taper-ground edges for extra stability and feature easy-grip Hubbard handles that won’t slip when wet. But don’t let the low price fool you; the knives are made from professional-quality stainless steel and feature a full bolster to protect fingers while slicing and dicing.
The set boasts a wide variety of blades, like a 6-inch boning knife for breaking down poultry, a 7-inch Santos for mincing, and eight micro-serrated table knives for slicing steaks. The AmazonBasics Premium Block Set is so popular that it’s earned an excellent 4.6-star rating from more than 2,300 reviewers who say it’s durable and a great price.
Designed by the first Master Blade smith to specialize in kitchen cutlery, the collection is a true blend of Eastern and Western craftsmanship. Each of the ice-hardened blades is formed from a powerful core of FC61 steel that is then covered in 100 layers of nickel and stainless Damascus.
Additionally, they feature comfortable D-shaped Lakewood handles outfitted with a decorative pin handcrafted in Kramer’s Washington workshop. Reviewers on the manufacturer’s site gush over the set’s beauty and balance, saying it is an heirloom that will last generations.
“The one-of-a-kind Damascus detail on the incredibly sharp blades paired with the unique comfortable handles are like no other.” As one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of cutlery and cookware, Willing is famous for its classic designs and razor-sharp edges.
Part of the brand’s success comes from its proprietary Sigma forge process, in which each blade is precision-forged from a single piece of ice-hardened stainless steel. This block set is part of Willing's Four-Star line, which was designed in collaboration with professional chefs to bring expert-level tools into home kitchens.
The German-made knives also have virtually indestructible handles with just enough texture to guarantee a stable grip. One drawback of many block sets is that the beautiful blades are sheathed inside solid wood.
The sleek stand is pared down to the bare essentials, giving teasing looks at the gorgeous blades inside. Made from high-alloy Swedish steel, the full-tang blades go through a multi-stage heating treatment to ensure stability and durable, keen edges.
While slightly softer than its Japanese counterpart, it holds its edge longer and is easy to sharpen. That makes the Western-style knives ideal for heavy-duty tasks like splitting bone-in chicken breasts or hacking through a squash.
Outfitted with five hand-honed high-carbon steel blades and precisely balanced handles, the knives undergo the brand’s unique sharpening process for an even longer-lasting edge. This Author block set is popular with Amazon shoppers, earning a 4.8-star rating and reviews saying how sharp and well-balanced its knives are.
“We never knew how much difference a quality knife can make, but now I apologize to my wife constantly for not buying these sooner,” a customer wrote. Japanese knives are typically thin and delicate, perfect for precise cuts that preserve and enhance a dish’s flavor.
This handcrafted set includes five blades, notably a 5.5-inch Nair knife designed to chop and slice vegetables, nestled inside a bamboo and stainless steel block. Global’s knives are constructed from a single piece of stainless steel, and the edges are sharpened with a 50/50 symmetrical bevel for extra-thin cuts.
The hollow handles are dimpled for easy gripping and filled with sand to keep the knives balanced yet lightweight. You’ll find tons of happy customers who’ve left reviews on SUR La Table, including one who said, “I really appreciate the clean lines of the knife block and the great quality of the knives.
Whether you’re cutting into seared steak, roasted vegetables, or comforting baked pasta, a sharp table knife is essential. This stainless steel set comes in a beech wood box and features slightly curved blades with serrated edges to cut effortlessly through meat.
For the perfect gift for anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and holidays, opt for Material’s Iconic set. Users love their Material Iconic set for its versatility and high-quality build, saying it’s a “game-changer.” It’s no wonder it’s earned a cult following in just over a year.
No matter if you’re tight on kitchen space or don’t want to clutter your countertop, this streamlined block set is a great get. Additionally, the stainless steel slicers have a nonstick silicone coating for easy cleaning and are designed with weighted handles to keep the blades from touching your work surface.
McFarland also recommends checking out the knife’s Rockwell scale rating, which is a way of measuring the hardness of steel. A higher quality knife that costs more will typically hold an edge better and last longer because it is made from a higher quality steel, adds Photo, while their less expensive counterparts are made from cheaper steel that dulls faster.
From chopping meat to dicing vegetables, a versatile chef’s knife is a must-have but it’s key that you find one that’s comfortable to use for extended periods of time. “They’re great for ‘rocker-style’ chopping and are typically heavier than their Japanese-style counterparts,” says Prescott, alluding to the Santos knife, which we cover below.
Author’s versatile high-carbon steel chef’s knife is a kitchen workhorse that will be indispensable for years to come with a sturdy, eight-inch blade. From the non-slip handle for easy maneuvering to the comfortable weight, this eight-inch chef’s knife is both practical and dependable.
Plus, the stainless steel blade has the convenience of being dishwasher safe for a low-maintenance option that still offers sharp precision. This lightweight Japanese chef’s knife is a favorite across kitchens with a two millimeters thick, eight- inch blade.
Made from steel, the stain-resistant, razor sharp blade features dimples for added ease when slicing through potentially sticky foods. “I have mostly Mac knives, the blade is excellent and sharp and the handle is a nice fit,” says ESO.
With an ebony Lakewood handle and Damascus steel-clad, hand-sharpened blade, this Japanese knife is equally beautiful and durable. Victorinox’s Fibrous Pro Santos knife delivers an agile stainless steel blade at a pleasing price point.
This seven-inch knife nails the essential slicing, dicing, mincing and offers the added ease of being dish-washer safe. “I’ve absolutely fallen in love with knives from Japanese rock star blacksmith Shout Takeda,” he says.
Author’s Grand Prix II eight-inch bread knife is Photo’s top pick because it’s fairly compact, slim and sharp. For a slightly higher price, he prefers the version with a wooden handle for a more comfortable grip.
From the water-resistant composite wood handle to the sophisticated serration, this knife is for more than just cutting bread and will slice through tomatoes, melons and other delicate foods without crushing them. The straight blades typically range from two to four inches and are ideal for more delicate slicing, detaining shrimp, trimming and cutting fruit into different shapes.
“It’s a small knife tailor-made for the finer, more finesse-required jobs in the kitchen that require a more delicate touch like hulling strawberries,” adds Prescott. With options in length and straight or serrated blade, these multi-purpose knives are ideal for intricate cutting and peeling.
At 3.5 inches, Jack Natures’ Rain Series paring knife is an upscale Japanese option. From the deep red wood handle to the Damascus steel hand-sharpened blade, this beautiful knife makes an elegant first impression.
For the price and overall quality, McDowell recommends this knife to both culinary pros and those new in the kitchen who are willing to splurge on an investment tool for assisting with intricate cuts and detaining shrimp. Strong, durable bolster for perfect stability and control Easy to clean and dishwasher safe Ergonomically designed for comfort use Lifetime Warranty.
A steak knife simply doesn’t cut it (pun intended) for a lot of tasks. In this article we’re going to go over some kitchen knife set reviews (the best ones I can find) and more importantly how to pick the right one, so you can separate the wheat from the chaff on your own in the future.
It reduces the risk of rust on the knife, which is good…but if you’re taking proper care of your knives, that isn’t an issue. The trade off in hardness and edge retention is not really worth it in my opinion, shifting this just over the wall into this category.
Not Dishwasher Safe: These knives are a bit brittle at the edges due to how they’re sharpened, so need to be washed by hand. Why you'll love it: These are a series of very high quality knives, and provide most of the essentials.
SIZE: 6 PIECE MATERIAL: STEEL DIMENSIONS: 10 × 4 × 15 INCHES WEIGHT: 8.1 POUNDS These are tough, easy to sharpen, and extraordinarily sharp knives if you take even the bare minimum care of them.
The idea is that it is a metal frame set in a wooden block with a glass viewport. Why you'll love it: These are knives with great blades, held back by terrible handles and a high price.
SIZE: 23 PIECE MATERIAL: GERMAN STEEL DIMENSIONS: 10 × 7 × 10.5 INCHES WEIGHT: 25.6 POUNDS Rounding it out are a carving fork and a pair of very sturdy kitchen shears.
It holds its edge well and is durable in the long term, with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. The hollow handles are great for flair, but beyond looking cool as you spin your knife on a finger to slap into the palm, they serve no practical purpose.
This isn’t some kind of throwing blade that wants to be heavier at the tip, it needs to be properly balanced all over. Price: This set costs about 6 times what our winner does, and isn’t worth it for the glaring issue of the handles, even if the blades are impeccable.
Lakewood is a wood and plastic composite material commonly used for kitchen knives. Unlike wood, it won’t expand or shrink over time, and feels very nice in the hand, being somewhat moisture wicking.
While not as non-slip as other options, it’s also a lot more durable over the long term, being highly resistant to chipping, cracking, fading, or discoloration unlike rubber handles. Variety: While it doesn’t have a ton of knives, it has pretty much everything anyone will ever actually use in the kitchen.
Plus some very great shears that come apart if you need them to (making them easier to clean, and acting as a pair of extra paring knives in a pinch). It has a small footprint and looks absolutely excellent on your kitchen counter.
While these require a bit more care than stainless knives (they must be dried immediately, as high carbon steel rusts incredibly fast), it’s well worth the increase in performance, as they are easy to sharpen, hold an edge well, and are durable for a lifetime (and beyond). While the knives and block are very high quality, as mentioned I expect a certain significant amount of this increased cost comes from the Damascus cladding they added to the knife, and while it’s beautiful, it is simply not worth the price increase on its own.
The blades hold their edge well, are easy to re-sharpen with household available tools, and amazingly sharp, which ensures they are safe to use. At first glance they look fine, with comfortable seeming slots for your index finger to rest and guide the knife, but everything else is simply…wrong, as if they’re made for alien hands.
They are not comfortable and dig into the hand when using them, being variably either too large or too small or oddly shaped to get a proper grip on any of the knives presented here. The only redeeming feature is their moisture wicking grips, aided by those holes.
Even in the display picture this looks grimy, as a glass that sets on a countertop is likely to get very quickly. This adds extra work for you, needing to clean the glass often in addition to keeping the knives pristine, for the added benefit of making it slightly easier to keep track of a mere 6 distinct knives.
It seems to be a bit of a trend that these expensive knife sets have terrible handles and low versatility, only having the most basic and general purpose knives. Why you'll love it: This is a bit of a barebone set, but each of the four knives is of great quality.
SIZE: 4 PIECE MATERIAL: EUROPEAN STEEL DIMENSIONS: 19.5 × 6.8 × 1.8 INCHES WEIGHT: 1.5 POUNDS They’re not the best knives I’ve ever seen in this regard but are quite serviceable as kitchen cutlery, and will last quite a long time.
They’re shaped nicely and comfortably for the human hand and don’t look too bad to stick in a block or unroll from a knife sleeve. These are all great knives, but the lack of variety provided again does not justify the high price tag.
SIZE: 12 PIECE MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL DIMENSIONS: 1.1 × 5.5 × 13.4 INCHES WEIGHT: 1 POUNDS The colors are eye searingly bright and annoying to look at, and I would honestly be embarrassed to have these in my house.
The blades are relatively soft and hold a terrible edge; re-sharpening them is basically a fool’s errand. The serration is incredibly coarse, spaced way too far apart to make proper cuts.
For the most part these are all great, save for the final Cuisinart model above; that is a strong example of what to never look for in a knife set. Unlike many household items, stainless steel is NOT actually the best choice for a kitchen knife.
Stainless steel is harder to sharpen and buff the nicks out of, leading to them deteriorating faster over time. Hand forged knives with even higher quality steel are also possible, but largely beyond the scope of this article; most of those will need to be custom-made, and can be quite expensive (though worth it for a cooking enthusiast).
They are sharp and keep their edge a long time, requiring little re-sharpening as they age. Unfortunately they are expensive and BRITTLE, a poor combination, and should be avoided for the average household knife set.
Any half decent knife will be made of one solid piece of material, riveted to the handle. Inspect your knives ; if there is clear indication that the knife is made of two or more pieces or metal welded or glued together, avoid it like the plague.
Likewise, look for solid rivets in the handle, with a coating of clear resin to make it smooth. This creates a solid bond on single piece knives and leaves the handles smooth and sturdy.
Finally, the handle should be relatively ergonomic, fitting comfortably in the hand and gliding easily in both a chopping and slicing motion. As knives can get extremely expensive at the higher ends (hundreds, even thousands of dollars for hand forged, custom-made models like J.A.
Also keep in mind that not every knife set will be right for a given person; different hand shapes, different purposes like Chinese cleavers and even aesthetic tastes can make an objectively great knife set awkward to wield for someone to whom they aren’t suited. And if you want to be able to perfectly slice and dice a wide range of ingredients, you need some top chefs knives.
However, there are lots of different types of knives to choose from, which can make the selection process rather tricky. The best chef knives come in a wide range of different shapes, styles, and sizes.
If you are not careful, you could chip or dent the edge of your knife with incorrect sharpening. Fortunately, this will not be an issue when you choose the Willing Professional “S” Chef’s Knife 8-Inch.
This model is made of a high carbon formula that boasts 57 Rockwell hardness. The special Fríður blade has been ice hardened to help make it especially durable.
No matter how hard or tough your ingredients are, you can be sure that this knife will slice through them with ease. The blade is paired with a smart black handle that has been ergonomically shaped.
It is designed to fit comfortably in your hand and provide you with a good grip. The Willing Professional “S” Chef’s Knife 8-Inch is fully dishwasher safe to make the cleaning process effortless.
The excellent edge retention helps to make this one of the best knives for chef. If you have small hands, you are likely to find that a regular knife is a bit too heavy and thick.
This can make it rather difficult to get the grip you need when slicing and dicing. With its thinner and lighter design, this may well be the best chefs knife for people who have small hands.
This means that even if your hands are wet, you won’t have to worry about the handle slipping through your fingers. One of the great things about this model is the fact that it is supplied with a lifetime guarantee.
The knife was created using a special heating and cooling process to help make it especially strong and sharp. The edge of the blade has been angled so that it is suitable for all types of kitchen tasks.
This includes slicing, dicing, trimming, chopping, mincing, and peeling. When you do need to sharpen the blade, the process will be especially simple, thanks to the partial bolster.
However, it should be noted that because this knife is made of softer steel, it may need regular sharpening. With its bold and beautiful olive wood handle, this model really stands out from the crowd.
The Messermeister Olive Elite Chef’s Knife (9-inch) is sure to look fantastic in any home or professional kitchen. This makes it ideal for completing kitchen tasks such as peeling, where dexterity is key.
The handle has been gently curved for enhanced comfort at all times. The handle design combined with the thin and light blade helps make this knife especially easy to wield.
The blade of the knife has been created in one piece of hot forced steel and carbon. The blade is attached to the handle with a stainless steel cuff and is sure to stay firmly in place.
The Global G48 G-48-7 inch, 18 cm Santos Hollow Ground Knife is made of a single piece of metal to make it especially strong. The dimpled design helps you to get a good grip even when your hands are slick with oil.
As a result, the Global G48 G-48-7 inch, 18 cm Santos Hollow Ground Knife, will serve as your constant kitchen companion. This blade has been designed to offer excellent edge retention so that it rarely needs to be sharpened.
This is ideal for chopping up herbs or tackling delicate tasks such as boning fish. The Grafton edge prevents the knife from sticking so that you are treated to better traction.
This knife weighs just 7.1 ounces in total, which makes it especially easy to handle. This makes the knife feel especially good in your hand so that it will be comfortable enough for extended use.
This could potentially be an issue due to the razor sharp edge. Therefore, it might be a good idea to purchase a sheath to keep your fingers safe when it’s not in use.
With its beautiful wave design on the Damascus blade, this chef knife is a real work of art. The Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife is sure to satisfy style lovers.
The beautiful blade is accompanied by a gorgeous Hakka wood handle that really makes it stand out from the crowd. This helps to make slicing and peeling vegetables a real pleasure.
This knife is set with a half bolster that helps to make it especially light and flexible. In fact, it weighs in at just 7.3 ounces, making it one of the lightest chef knives in its class.
The blade is 1.8 inches wide and delivers an impressive heft and balance. This is designed to fit comfortably into your hand much more satisfyingly than traditional handles.
In order to get a real feel for how good the handle is, you will need to work on obtaining a professional grip. If the produce is especially hard, there is always the risk that your knife blade will simply get stuck.
Fortunately, this will not be a problem when you choose the Author 4582-7/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife. The blade on this mighty knife features a special Grafton edge.
This is a real bonus if you have a lot of produce to slice and dice. Unlike many other knives of this type, no special skills or knowledge is required to get the best results.
The Author 4582-7/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is designed to make kitchen tasks a breeze. The durable engineered thermoplastic handle is also especially tough while also allowing a good grip.
However, these days most chef’s knives are created with a focus on being lightweight and flexible. The KRAMER by Willing Caroline Essential Collection 8 Chef’s Knife is set with an especially wide blade.
This makes it ideal for slicing larger produce such as thick slabs of meat. The blade maintains its razor sharp edge of a long time, which means that you will rarely need to sharpen it.
There are special grooves in the handle that are designed to keep your fingers safe at all times. It should be noted that the wooden handle that this model is set with may shrink slightly over time.
However, the shrinkage can be prevented by regularly oiling and maintaining the handle. Henkel INTERNATIONAL 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef’s Knife, 8 Inches, is supplied with a full lifetime warranty.
If the blade becomes chipped or split at any time, you can send it away to have it fixed or replaced. This model boasts a stainless steel blade that has been honed to an extremely sharp edge.
This helps to make a wide range of kitchen tasks especially quick and easy. The full tang polymer handle is triple riveted to help make it especially sturdy.
The handle is 4.72 inches long and is designed to fit very comfortably in the hand. The length of the handle has been precisely calculated to make the overall design of the knife beautifully balanced.
Simply give the knife a quick wipe with a damp cloth, and you will be good to go. Of course, you will need to take care to keep your fingers away from the sharp edge.
If you regularly tackle delicate tasks such as boning fish, you are sure to find that this blade is ideal. However, the textured handle can make this knife a little difficult to clean.
If you are not careful, food residue and other types of dirt can get trapped in the dimples in the handle. However, you can solve this problem by soaking the knife in a specially formulated cleaning solution.
Maintains a razor sharp edge for a long time. German knives tend to be heavier and thicker, which also makes them slightly more durable.
Stainless steel blades are known for being especially durable, although they need to be sharpened regularly. The fact that carbon steel blades retain their edge well makes them a popular choice among professional chefs.
The handle can be made of a wide range of different types of materials, such as resin, wood, and plastic. The handle should fit comfortably in your hand and allow you to get a good grip while you are slicing and dicing.
This is generally dictated by the way the knife blade is forged and the materials it is made from. For the best results, it is a good idea to choose a blade that retains its edge well.
The handle comes with a full tang that helps to keep your fingers safe while you are slicing and dicing. It has been specially forged to make it exceptionally well-balanced and easy to handle.
It doesn't matter if you rarely cook or you chop and dice daily, a quality chef's knife is essential in any kitchen. Contrary to what you might be thinking, a sharper knife is safer because it requires less pressure and will slice rather than tear and slide.
Either way, look for a durable laminate handle as wood can hold bacteria and plastic may crack. You can feel confident purchasing any of our highlighted chef's knives.
You can use a chef’s knife for mincing, dicing, chopping, and slicing. You can use a paring knife to mince, chop, peel, and fillet.
There are two basic methods of knife construction: forging and stamping. Forged knives are made from a solid piece of metal that has been heated to an extreme temperature and pounded into shape.
They are usually a little heavier and thicker than stamped knives, and they tend to hold their edge very well. However, we urge potential buyers to not automatically discount this type of blade.
Stainless steel is the most common metal you’ll find in the average kitchen. Carbon steel is the preferred blade material of many chefs, but you’ll pay more for this premium metal.
You’re more likely to use excessive pressure or sawing motions when your knife needs sharpening. Sharpen or hone your chef’s knife as needed to maintain its good condition.
A quality chef’s knife feels good in your hand and has a well-balanced, comfortable handle. Many chef’s knives have ergonomic handles that are specifically designed for ease of use.
There are three common handle materials used for kitchen knives : wood, laminate, and plastic. Wood is a classic knife handle material that feels good in the hand.
Laminate knife handles look like wood but are far easier to care for and more durable, too. However, a plastic knife handle can crack after exposure to high temperatures or UV rays.
If you look at a good chef’s knife, you’ll generally see a strip of metal running through the middle of the handle; that’s the tang. A full tang, which is the most desirable, is thick enough to show on both the top and the bottom of the handle.
Blade: This term refers to the entire knife, save the handle. This adds balance to the knife and also serves as a handy edge for chopping harder items like nuts or carrots.
While buying a complete knife set is undeniably easy, you could end up with knives you don’t need and will never use. That makes them easy for some people to wield, but it also means they are more likely to break during heavy use.
Western chef’s knives, by contrast, tend to be heavier, thicker, and sturdier. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
The blade is forged rather than stamped, for better durability and a comfortable weight, and the knife has a full tang with a triple-riveted handle for security and a classic look. The knife is made in Germany and has a synthetic handle that can stand up to kitchen abuse while providing a good balance when cutting.
The full tang keeps fingers away from the blade and helps promote a proper pinch grip when cutting, for more efficient and safer use every time. The blade is straight with a gently curved tip that encourages a rocking motion, so it’s also great for slicing meats.
The handle is made from the proprietary Fibrous material that is textured to provide a nonslip grip. It's placed so you won’t hit your knuckles on the cutting board, even if your hands are large, and it’s designed to provide a comfortable ergonomic feel for most users.
Since it comes with a sturdy sheath, you can safely store this in a kitchen drawer or toss it into a picnic basket without worrying about finding the blade instead of the handle. With an affordable price point and lack of maintenance needed, this is also a great knife for a vacation cottage or RV, or for taking along to potlucks or parties where you want to slice the food onsite.
This chef’s knife has a 6-inch blade, so it’s easier to use for people with small hands, or for those who simply prefer the shorter length. The handle on this knife is made from Neoprene, so it’s NSF safe for commercial kitchens and easy to keep clean.
It is also unaffected by heat, cold, or food oils, so it won’t crack, get sticky, or degrade over time. It's beautifully designed with an ebony Hakka wood handle, a full tang for balance, and 34 layers of Damascus steel enveloping each side of the blade.
In terms of quality and durability, all Shun knives are made with a proprietary VG-MAX cutting core that lends extra strength and corrosion resistance. Mac Knives have a long-standing reputation for quality Japanese craftsmanship, and this 8-inch knife is beloved by professionals and novices alike.
Its lightweight design (6.5 ounces) and thin 2.5-millimeter blade and bolster make it easy to slice through almost anything. The Hakka wood handle offers a comfortable grip that cooks say is well-balanced and easy to use no matter what you're trying to chop.
It's extremely sharp and holds an edge well (customers recommend Mac Knives sharpeners for when you do need to resharpen the blade). While ceramic blades can shatter or break when dropped, they’re completely resistant to acids, salts, or oils, and they’ll never rust or corrode.
The 7-inch black blade on this knife looks professional and it’s precision ground by the manufacturer for a super-hard and extremely sharp edge. For home maintenance, the Kyocera electric knife sharpener for ceramic blades is recommended.
Since ceramics are lighter than metal and the handle is designed to be ergonomic, this is great for people who fatigue easily. Unlike knives that have an attached handle, this entire knife is made from stainless steel, with no joints, rivets, or corners where food could accumulate.
The 8-inch blade is forged for durability and substantial weight, with a full bolster for a safe, secure grip. The blade has a satin finish rather than a polished one, so it won’t show the inevitable cooking scratches as easily.
The blade is made from stain-resistant carbon steel with a full tang, and the handle is triple-riveted for security and a classic look. Some cooks warn that the top edge of the knife is quite sharp and can cause discomfort (or cut you) depending on your grip.
Final Verdict Author Classic 8-Inch Hollow-Ground Cook's Knife is our top choice because you really can't be the quality and performance. However, if you're looking for an inexpensive option, the Victorinox Fibrous Pro 8-Inch Chef's Knife performed extremely well in our tests.
Donna Carrie is a cookbook author, food writer, and product tester for The Spruce Eats, and she personally tested one of the knives on this list. While she's somewhat partial to Author knives, her knife block is a hodgepodge of brands from crazy expensive ones like Shun to some that are dirt cheap.
However, if you're shopping for a vacation home or a small kitchen that doesn't get used much, there are plenty of budget options that will get the job done.