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.” It was one of the few 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.
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. One of the sharpest knives we've tested, Global's Santos is all stainless steel, so there aren't crevices along the handle that trap food.
Shun's beautiful chef's knife literally glides through ripe tomatoes with its sharp edge. The rounded black Lakewood 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.
Heckles Chef's Knife is one of the top-selling knives on Amazon. It does just as excellent a job at slicing through delicate ribbons of basil as it does plow through a rough-and-tough butternut squash.
Stays sharp between sharpening Reviewer favorite Great across delicate and tough tasks 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. This 8-inch chef's knife is lightweight and super sharp, which made it very easy to cut through all off the veggies in our test without tiring our hand or wrist.
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. 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.
The type of material affects the weight of the knife, the feel of it, as well as the price. Our best words of advice: Look for a knife that feels like an extension of your hand and keep it sharp.
Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Editor & Product Analyst, Kitchen Appliances & Technology Lab Betty Gold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Studies and Nutrition from New York University, and prior to joining Good Housekeeping, she worked with the James Beard Foundation and other leading food media brands like Bon Appétit, Food Network Magazine, and The Martha Stewart Show. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute Senior Testing Editor & Producer Nicole is a recipe developer trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition who specializes in testing and developing kitchen appliances; she currently runs the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. It covers options at every price point, and it also clarifies which knives are essential and which ones you can cook without.
People with large hands may need more knuckle clearance Ultra-thin blade isn't suited to super-hard veggies (e.g. acorn squash) The full-tang construction feels great in the hand and the laminated steel used in the Pro version is miles better for edge retention and general sharpness.
Blade dulls over time; requires frequent honing Not what we'd call a “looker” Different budgets, grip styles and aesthetic tastes, not to mention a dozen other micro-decisions, all determine which knife is best for the task at hand.
This guide aims to identify which kitchen knives are most useful, and hopefully, it helps you divorce from overpriced, unnecessarily bulky knife block sets. Knife emporium ChefsKnivestoGo describes Tojo’s DP series as “the gateway into the world of high-end Japanese cutlery.” Simply put, you will be hard-pressed to find a blade that’s made better than this one for under $100.
Mac makes a number of more affordable blades, but its Pro series is when the brand starts to become superlative. Made with a proprietary very high carbon stainless steel, the blade is thin, ultra-sharp, dimpled and, oddly enough, quite heavy.
It also has dimples to support food release, a sturdy bolster and it’s stain- and rust-resistant (we still wouldn’t put it in the dishwasher). It’s one of very few Japanese knives that successfully implements these kinds of Western design cues.
The trick to buying a truly affordable chef’s knife is basically just finding a product with the least number of negatives. In testing, we compared affordable options from Victorinox ($31), Author ($30), Fritz ($13) and Potluck, a direct-to-consumer brand that sells a chef’s knife as part of a set (it’s $60 for three knives).
But for the price of two movie tickets, there isn’t a knife that performs this well or is as widely available (you can find them in most home goods sections). Also, the handle isn’t as aggressively “ergonomic” as many others in this category, making it a bit easier to switch between knife grips.
The category of Western-style chef’s knife is very, very large, but after testing two dozen of them, Willing’s 8-inch takes the cake. After months of testing, the blade didn’t chip or show signs of dulling in any way.
The Willing knife’s bolster fades into the blade less dramatically than the Author which, when using a pinch grip, was a lot more comfortable. The design is both Japanese (the blade is very light and very thin) and anti-Japanese (its balance isn’t pushed toward the cutting end and the whole thing is one piece; most Japanese-style knives taper into a wooden handle).
This means it has the nice slicing properties you’d expect from a great Japanese knife, but in a much more durable, familiar package. Its stainless steel makeup (exact properties are proprietary) resists staining or corrosion and remains wicked sharp during use.
In testing, we tried comparably-priced MAC knives ($95) and a few other more premium options, but only Tojo’s Good Design Award-winning knife ($68) balanced the features of a typical Japanese knife with lower maintenance, reasonable prices, edge retention and smart design quite like Global’s G-2. A better explanation is available courtesy of Knife Steel Nerds, but this essentially makes the blade far less susceptible to chipping.
That said, the company uses good steel and more accessible bolster and handle designs than most at its price range. With solid materials, classic designs, widespread availability and a very long legacy, the knives from Willing Group’s biggest cutlery line, J.A.
Forged: The process in which a blade smith, or machine, pounds a block of steel into the shape of a knife. Carbon steel knives are notoriously sharp because of their strength, but also hard to sharpen.
Japanese knives use a wooden Wei handle, which emphasize the blade-forward balance. Honing essentially pushes back the cutting edge into shape after being bent out of wack from constant use.
Japanese knives tend to be thinner, sharper and harder to maintain than their German counterparts. Japanese knives can be singular in their uses, and at the cost of having a sharper blade is the greater attention required for maintenance and care.
These two things combined make for an easy purchasing decision: buy cheap. This knife from Fritz, an old name in knife making that’s recently released a line of products aimed at the commercial kitchen, makes for an ideal bread butchering tool.
Knives like these, which are predominantly used for foods with firm exteriors and reasonably soft interiors, need to carve through foods without destroying what lies on the inside (à la tomatoes or oranges), so better steel and engineering is the better long-run choice. We also tried Willing’s ($70) similarly priced option but found the added weight and slightly lower cost of Author’s to better it in most ways.
There are a lot of great slicers out there (also called carving knives), and unless you frequently cook whole birds, roasts or other large cuts of meat, you can get away with using your chef’s knife on the off-chance you do go that route one night. The slicer is a long, narrow blade that’s slightly flexible, meant for penetrating and divvying up those larger pieces of meat and separating them from bone and other tendons.
Our pick, Victorinox’s 12-inch slicer is just that, and it provides a nice, no BS grip for putting some muscle to get through tougher meats. Unless you’re buying your cheese by the wheel, and bless you for that, you really don’t need one (just use a paring knife to break down blocks).
But, if you must have one, you may as well get something your other knives would have a hard time accomplishing, like creating a slice of cheese with some degree of uniformity and elegance. Oyster knives are almost all the same in that most have a bent tip blade for prying the creature open and some stubby handle to apply force.
You could buy pretty much any decent oyster knife under $10 and be happy, but we prefer Ox’s version with the company’s Good Grip handle. To makes some of the most comfortable underwear that you’ll ever own, using super-soft, sustainable and breathable bamboo fabric.
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Options typically come in two types of materials: ceramic, which holds a sharp edge for longer than most other varieties, and stainless steel, which is more durable. This Strong block won our editor's pick for best knife set because it combines craftsmanship and crazy-sharp German steel blades to help you get (or gift) luxury at a reasonable price point.
Stainless steel knives are super hearty, so this next pick for best knife set wins all the points for durability. The stainless steel material stays precise, while a hollow handle makes for light, easy use.
The edges are especially appealing, giving you total precision, no matter if you're dicing onions or slicing delicate sashimi. Your knife set may not be a place you think you can pack in much personality, but one look at these colorful designs from Bergson and you'd know you were wrong.
We're helping you choose from the best steak knives out there for the set that will make your filet slice, well, like butter. Made in the same village in France for over 150 years, they feature a serrated steel blade and PVC handle.
Our couple's pick for best steak knife set delivers on that wow factor, with eight premium 18/10 stainless steel knives stored within a stylish decorative box. Not only does the 18/10 stainless steel body and sharp serrated edges make for a very easy slicing experience, but thanks to their slim handle, they're easily disguised as just part of the rest of your place setting, meaning they won't mess with whatever gorgeous tables cape you've dreamed up for Thanksgiving dinner.
Made by Swiss brand Victorinox, each knife features a Rosewood handle and stainless steel blades that have been ice tempered to ensure they stay as sharp as they are right out of the box for years to come. They're a simple way to add the things you really want to your registry and allow your guests to contribute any amount they desire towards your goals.
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You'll hone your basic knife skills and learn all the proper ways to cut, from a mince and a dice to a julienne and a baronet. Splurge on a fancy date night out by starting a cash fun for guests to contribute to that will score you a high-end steakhouse dinner.
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1 | Chef's Knife Image:Bill Conway One of the most often used tools in the kitchen, a chef's knife can slice meat, chop fruits and vegetables, or finely dice herbs. I like a chef's knife with a 6-inch or 8-inch blade, good balance, and a comfortable handle, since I tend to use them for longer periods of time.
This model comes from the Buck Cutlery line and sees use on a regular basis. Don't overlook some custom knife makers out there turning out some quality blades.
My current favorite came from Chris Smith and Son's Custom Knives in Harrods burg, Kentucky, (you can find them on Facebook). It's razor-sharp and features a lightweight handle and carbon steel blade.
It feels like a feather in hand, but is plenty strong for anything in the kitchen. The second is a lighter weight, Chinese-style cleaver with a thin blade that I often use in place of a chef's knife for finer chopping.
If you are breaking down a game animal into edible portions, this knife will be your friend. The flexible, slightly swept back blade design is perfect for, as the name suggests, boning an animal.
Chances are good there might be a few floating around in your tackle bag or boat right now. This model from Buck Knives sees regular use in the kitchen for boning large cuts, slicing thick steaks into thinner sections for frying, and just general all-around use.
6 | Paring knife Image:Bill Conway Ever spend much time peeling apples from a pie or peeling a large bag of potatoes to feed a deer camp? 7 | Serrated Slicer Image:Bill Conway Of course the serrated slicer comes in handy for thin slices of venison roast or smoked turkey breast, but we also use ours on freshly baked bread or really ripe garden tomatoes.
A kitchen without quality cooking knives is a Manchester City squad without Pep Guardiola. With the proper blade in hand, you’re capable of spatchcocking a chicken, slicing a pristine salmon filet, and transforming a fridge full of vegetables into a perfect Firefox.
The best cooking knives, in other words, make all the difference between a feast, and a culinary flop. Currently, the chef and owner of New York’s Porter House, Monaco also ran the kitchens at such notable eateries as 21, Windows on the World, and Gustavo’s.
That’s called a full tang and adds tensile strength,” says Monaco. Wider blades, for instance, are great for handling vegetables and fruits.
Forged knifes cost more because they’re made from a single piece of steel, and thus, last longer. Stamped knives, meanwhile, aren’t as sturdy and are less expensive, but are good options for the casual cook.
It is an extension of a chef’s hand, with a broad, curved blade meant to rock back and forth for such tasks as mincing, chopping, and dicing, and a sharp tip meant for everything from finer, more delicate work to quartering a chicken. As for handles, find one that feels good to you and just make sure the blade is full tang, for reasons stated earlier.
The slightly longer blade on this chef's knife lets you slice and dice bigger amounts of food in less time. The blade is long enough to make slicing herbs and cutting carrots easy and fast.
Try to pick a blade that’s about six inches long, as that’s the optimal size, per Monaco. This is a general all-purpose kitchen knife that originated in Japan and has a slightly curved blade.
In fact, the knife’s name means “three virtues” and that directly explains what it’s used for: chopping, dicing, and mincing. The serrated edge of a bread knife makes it ideal for cleanly sawing bagels and crispy country loafs, sure.
We like this eight-inch, full-tang bread knife, which make easy work of ciabattas and chunky tomatoes. The paring knife is a small, short-bladed tool, usually three or four inches, and is used for peeling, coring, and dicing.
Because you need to apply way more pressure to cut through something, thereby boosting the chances that the knife will chop your pinkie along with those shallots. Monaco doesn’t mince words about the dangers of subpar knives.
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Knives are the main tools of culinary professionals, and they have to be sharp at all times. It becomes really annoying to work with a blunt knife or one with rough edges.
(4.5 / 5) Best Choice Smith's #3001 10-Inch Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod (4.3 / 5) A nicely sharpened knife is your best tool if you want to create a culinary masterpiece.
And, it is flat honing steel that provides a platform-like surface for to you to sharpen your favorite knife. This honing steel also provides a grinding effect if you apply some pressure, thanks to the groves on the top.
This honing steel also comes with a ring at the end to provide you with the ease of hanging it anywhere in your kitchen. The 10-inch blade and premium, Swiss, textured grip handle makes it slip-resistant and one of the best honing steels made for professionals.
Moreover, it comes with the trust of the Victorinox brand, which is well-known for manufacturing original Swiss army knives. This honing steel is designed in a way that it rolls the knife’s edges back to its original position if it is deformed.
This industrial chrome plated honing steel will give your cutlery a new life, and it becomes sharper as you use it. With proper use, you will just need to sharpen your knives two times a year.
These honing steels are NSF-certified and are designed keeping the daily routine of professional in mind. All the honing steels manufactured by Victorinox are made in Switzerland and come with the brand’s lifetime warranty.
The ribs aren’t that fine, which makes you work a lot on your knife. It weighs just 6.9 ounces which is very light for a honing steel of this size.
And, it has a 100% diamond-coated surface which offers optimum performance and comes with a lifetime warranty. This honing steel has a total length of 15.75 inches, which is long enough to work well even for bigger knives.
Additionally, it offers three surfaces to hone different kinds of knives. Moreover, it has a Polypropylene handle for grip and also has a notch so that you can hang it in your kitchen or at your workplace.
To conclude, it is a professional honing steel that can handle any kind of blade and hence is a bit on the expensive side. It is a versatile honing steel that can sharpen any kind of blade.
This 1200-grit ceramic rod makes sharpening your knife really easy. Moreover, the handle is crafted in a way that it offers a perfect grip for your hands.
It isn’t ideal for old knives which are worn out, because it is made to keep your new cutlery in shape and sharpened. Make sure that you don’t use it on traditional Japanese knives to align them, although you can use it to sharpen them.
It is made of ceramic and hence offers great results with little effort. The grip is pretty nice, and it won’t slip out of your hand.
It requires proper cleaning as it starts looking dirty very quickly. If you want to buy honing steel that stays with you for long, this may be the right choice.
It offers a high-end toughened ceramic body, which is rated 9 Moss. The handle and grip on this one are great, and they also offer a seal between the handle and rod to provide that extra bit of safety and prevent your honing steel from breaking, even if you drop it.
Additionally, the handle is shock absorbent and offer optimum protection. This honing steel is really easy to handle, and 20 – 25 strokes will sharpen your blade like it’s brand new.
The company claims that you can drop it from 3 feet and it still has an 80% chance to survive. The grip is firm and won’t let the product slip out of your hand.
Built with high-quality aluminum alloy, this honing steel is robust and will not break easily. It is 12 inches long with a sturdy handle that offers a great grip.
Moreover, a metal ring is attached at the end, which makes it easy to hang and convenient to use. It is a simple yet ergonomic design that lets you sharpen and shape your knife with ease.
The total length of the honing steel is around 17 inches, which makes it a bit hard to handle. Moreover, it can sharpen your knives with minimal effort and is wonderful at its job.
This is a tool that you can find in professional kitchens, thanks to its simple design and great output. And it takes less effort to sharpen a knife on this honing steel.
This one has a simple design and can sharpen and align almost any kind of knife, including standard and serrated edge knives. It is a 12-inch rod that reduces your work by half, as it can quickly sharpen your knives.
Moreover, the fine grit prevents your expensive knives from getting damaged. The handle on this one is rubber, which offers maximum grip and doesn’t let it slip out of your hand.
It also has a ring at the bottom which helps you hang the rod in your kitchen so that it takes up much less space. Moreover, the hand protector ring is firm and broad, which protects your fingers while you do your daily job.
You can use a synthetic cloth with oil to clean it and in order to use water just wipe it off and place it or hang it somewhere to dry. Ergonomically designed, it fits well in the hand and doesn’t slip.
The grit is really fine, which doesn’t help you realign your knife properly. Since the grit is fine, it might require a lot of work to sharpen after some time.
This honing steel is in the form of an oval-shaped rod, which gives you more surface area to sharpen your knife and reduces your effort. It is a 12-inch-long sharpener, which is durable and sturdy since it is electroplated with diamond.
You can sharpen knives that are made from ceramic, carbide, steel, titanium, and any other metal that exists as diamond is the hardest element. And the best part is that the manufacturer offers a lifetime unconditional warranty on the product.
Additionally, there is a plastic tip at the end to protect your cooking platforms from scratches. And, the protector ring is wide and protects your hand from the knife when you sharpen it.
The finger guard is big, which makes it a bit difficult to handle. It can be hard to find the best honing steel to sharpen your knives.
The key is to identify which is the best product for your specific needs and experience level. Check whether the grit of the honing steel that you want to use is suitable for your knives.
Check if the honing steel also aligns your blade, or just sharpens it. The sharpener shouldn’t slip out of your hand in any case as that could cause accidents.
If you are a professional, you are going to spend a lot of time honing your knife. However, professionals always opt for the weighted version as that reduces time and effort.
For example, ceramics are abrasive but aren’t that easy to maintain since there is always a chance to shatter them. But long honing steels are good for longer blades.
You may prefer a honing steel with a hanging loop since that makes it easy to store and use. Ceramics aren sometimes’t as easy to wash, and there is always a risk of cracking them.
Every honing steel should have a hand protector to save your fingers from getting hurt. The hand protector shouldn’t be too big because that can make honing a tough job.
The surface area of the honing steel also matters a lot. If you opt for a honing steel with a large surface area, make sure that you have the kind of cutlery that needs a wide surface area to hone.
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