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. But if you’re looking to make an investment in your kitchen tools, we can’t think of a better place to start.
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. Also putting Chicago over the top were all the extras: The steak knives performed great while slicing through grilled filet Mignon and the two Santos knives were handy for slicing cheese, mincing garlic and scooping everything off the cutting board.
They’re great for chopping soft or sticky things like meat, veggies, herbs and cheese and for scooping food off your cutting board, thanks to their wide blade.) 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. In fact, it seemed more like a utility knife, and the oversized blade, while very sharp, made it difficult to core a tomato or hull a strawberry.
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.
The fact that the set includes just four knives and comes with a $450 price tag kept it from being our overall winner or runner-up. 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. We also appreciated the fact that the handles are labeled so you can quickly grab the correct knife.
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).
For the purposes of this story, I limited the testing to eight-inch, Western-style, or hybrid Japanese-Western chef’s knives with a list price under $200, though most cost significantly less than that. Loosely, two attributes characterize a Western or hybrid style chef’s knife.
Harder steel holds a sharper edge for a longer period of time but can be more difficult to sharpen once it does get dull. And a very hard, very sharp edge can also be more delicate and brittle than a softer one, making cutting up a heavy squash, say, a little risky to the blade.
(However, a knife maker can mitigate that brittleness by adding another element to the mix: Molybdenum, for instance, is often used to give a very hard steel more flexibility.) A softer steel alloy, like those used in the German tradition, may be less sharp to begin with and get dull a little faster.
But it can be easier to re-sharpen, and better for heavier-duty jobs, like splitting bone-in chicken breasts, without worry that you’re going to damage the blade. “For everyone else, I have no way of knowing if you prefer heavy or light, a deeper throat, a special blade, something bigger.
I used them in the normal course of my daily cooking, just to get to know them, and I also tested them in six important tasks: dicing an onion, slicing basil into chiffon, slicing tomatoes, cubing butternut squash, spreeing an orange and cutting up a whole chicken. Those tasks tell you almost everything you need to know about whether a knife is nimble and sharp, sturdy and powerful, and above all, comfortable and secure-feeling.
The knives ranged from $38 to about $200, and I found that price isn’t necessarily commensurate with quality and performance, though the very best knives are not cheap. A note on keeping your knives sharp: You can buy the best knife there is, but eventually you will need to sharpen it or it will be useless.
Home cooks can bring the knife to a professional or can buy a simple, plastic wheel grinder, which makes sharpening cheap, fast, and foolproof. Hayward says that he likes to relax at night with a glass of wine and a whetstone and painstakingly sharpen his hundreds of knives.
Made in Japan, it has a hard, super-sharp blade and a simple wooden handle that’s extremely comfortable and feels secure in the hand. The blade is beveled to a very thin, very acute angle, which makes it extraordinarily sharp.
It effortlessly bites through tomato skin and cuts a neat onion dice with ease. Both are made of a slightly softer steel than the best Japanese knives, and therefore they feel a little less sharp.
When you chiffon basil with this knife, it feels like the leaves are springing off the blade in perfect ribbons all by themselves. It feels almost alive in your hand, super light, and extremely agile.
It bites through tomatoes with ease and supreme an orange into perfectly clean, neat segments in a few seconds. However, unlike the MAC, which has just enough sturdiness to deal with a chicken and butternut squash, this knife just doesn’t have the oomph for hefty jobs.
It has a scalpel-like delicacy and when I used it to tackle big, tough ingredients, it felt wrong, even a little dangerous, and I worried I would damage the blade. Hayward calls it “a living hell” to keep it sharpened correctly.
It was the second-lightest knife I tested, only slightly heavier than the Mason, but it doesn’t require special knowledge to sharpen. It’s made of just one piece of metal, including the handle, which is hollow and filled with sand, which provides a subtle, shifting balance that you don’t really notice while you’re using it.
The metal handle has dimples to provide the grip, and while some cooks think it gets slippery when used to cut chicken, meat, or anything juicy, I haven’t found that to be the case. It excels at tasks like slicing tomatoes, chiffonading basil, and dicing onion: It’s quite sharp and bites right through.
Although it’s less well-suited to cutting up chicken or butternut squash, lacking the heft of the German models, with some extra care it can certainly get those jobs done. It’s in the hefty, powerful German style, made by a family-owned company in the United States.
Comparable to the Mason, I didn’t find the handle comfortable or secure. It’s a long, thin grip that’s completely smooth, without any contour at all, and though it looks beautiful, it felt slippery and small in my hand.
It’s a very nice knife, a classic, sturdy German blade with a deep belly that makes a rocking chop very comfortable. This is a wonderful knife, a Japanese-German hybrid, with a flat-sided wooden handle and a very sharp, very hard blade with a relatively wide, curved belly.
I loved the drippy, comfortable handle, and the feeling of power that came from this heavy, wide blade. But oddly, it didn’t seem as sharp as the others, as it was a bit of a struggle to make a clean tomato slice.
I wanted to like it because, of all the heavy knives, it was the most comfortable and balanced to hold, but it didn’t perform as well as I hoped. This knife tops many lists as a great value, but I found it to be the worst of the two worlds: light but not very sharp, cumbersome and large.
It was reasonably sharp coming out of the box (though still on the dull side compared to most others on this list) but after a couple of weeks of use, it was a struggle to slice a tomato or an onion. But if you don’t have good cooking knives so you have to waste a lot of time struggling to prepare food.
But if you have a good knife set then you can easily handle your all cooking with fast and easy. Because only a single knife can’t handle different kitchen jobs such as slicing, cutting, and mincing.
But a knife set has different small to large knives for cutting your bread to frozen fish or meat. There are already hundreds of popular kitchen knife brands making knives.
And it is very natural to get confused to find a good cooking knife set among all. But after deep research and analysis, I’ve been able to pick these highly demanding cooking knife sets for commercial and home use.
And especially their European style blade and well performance impressed home cook and professional. These are forged blades and made from high carbon stainless steel.
Even their Precision Edge Technology enhances the blades' sharpness up to 20% only for effortless cutting and slicing. And each blade is completely buffed & polished by Author’s high skilled knife makers.
All knives featured full-tang with triple rivet and the safety bolster added amazing balance and weight. However, this set, especially for restaurants and professional chefs even serious cooking enthusiasts may fall in love with it.
High performance, classic looking, all chefs knives in one package from Strong. Strong achieved a great honor to provide the best quality cutlery and already there are more than thousands of chefs and home cook those who are familiar with this popular knife set.
Because Strong used imported high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel with 56+ Rockwell hardness. And these forged knives are easy to sharpen and rust and tarnish resistance.
Handle & Overview: The award-winning design, and premium materials that will give you a different glamorous feel. That ensures the best comfort and easy maneuver to maintain slicing, dicing, or other work in a busy kitchen.
Even the hand-polished bolster offers a brighter outlook and real weight which is really needed for safe cutting and slicing. And the bolster works as a safety guard, that ensures your fingers will never cut as long as not come nearly the blade.
Pros Hand polished satin finished blade Full tang blade for incredible robustness & quality Made from German steel Premium laminated Lakewood handles imported from Spain Easy to clean and maintenance Comes with a Strong BPA free protective sheath And for its overall features and gorgeous looking, I have listed it in my best cooking knife set collection.
And full-tang features with forged bolster give the knife for easy maneuvering. Overall, based on the design, versatility, and performance I think it is the best knife set under $100 that you can use for your home or restaurants.
Pros Best knife set with the coolest looking Used the German stainless steel Available at a reasonable price Handles made of Hakka wood Durable and easy to handle Sharp and rust-resistant Ergonomic design Beautiful Graphite look, well price range, FDA Certified even safety feature all majority includes this knife set which is come from Cook.
Even Cook engineered “Taper Grind Edge Technology” for maximum sharpness and performance even these blades are easy to sharpen. Some of them have stainless steel end cap for balance and beauty and nice polished finger bolsters for your safety.
Because it will be met with your budget even it’s certified by NSF And it is one of the best top-rated knife sets in the market. And it comes with a nice looking tempered glass storage block to store your knives and it’s extremely durable.
Especially I love this modern storage block because it’s easy to find the right knife through the window. So cut and slice your all favorite foods or vegetables with ease and easy.
Well, balanced, incredible sharp which is absolutely a real workhorse for kitchen purpose. Its full-tang construction extends the durability and finger bolster for balance and strength.
Pros Made from German steel Certified by NSF The forged blade which is rust and corrosion resistant Taper-ground edge for razor-sharp blade Non-slip Neoprene handle Nice looking tempered glass block And this is really a beautiful package that inside of some premium quality knives for cooking.
These are (7.75 chef knife), (8 – 4.25 steak knives), (3.25 parer), (3 peeler), (5 utility), (8 slicer), (7.75 bread), (5 Partake), (7 Santos), 8 stainless sharpening steel and beautiful block. This Chicago Cutlery Fusion block set made of high-carbon stainless steel.
And special thanks to Taper Grind Edge Technology to make them wicked sharp and easy to re-sharpen. Its black color and stainless steel end cap give it a nice look and balance.
But no one likes sharpening because it’s time-consuming, difficult, and needs previous experience. The Clifton knife set each blade is very sharp because they are forged and made from high-carbon stainless steel.
I would say this set will fulfill your most kitchen cutting and slicing jobs which are very important for everyday cooking. The set all knives are full tang and features with triple-rivet for durability and longevity.
The polished bolster provides the best safety and strength so that anyone can do their job with fast and easy. It’s really a great collection in my kitchen knife set reviews, that anyone can use for their home or restaurants.
There are a lot of home chefs and cooking enthusiasts love to use premium quality knives. It is a great decision to invest the money for purchasing a new block set if your knife were getting older.
But first, you should know how to select kitchen knives ?” And definitely, this block set would a great choice for your hard-earned money! International Statement 15-piece knife set includes high-end knives and tools which is very essential for all kitchen.
These great quality professional knives are perfect for chopping herbs and dicing onions even cutting bread! Whereas they are fully stamped blades that’s why these knives are very lightweight than forged and affordable.
Maybe it has no bolster but these blades are full tang that offers durability and longevity. But need proper care and maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion.
Pros Includes Hardwood Block for safe storage Made from high-quality stainless steel Dishwasher safe Triple-rivet handle with stainless steel end cap Because for everyday different cooking needs small or large knives for cutting, from foods to frozen meat.
The Amazon basics home kitchen knife set would a great collection who needs different knives for several daily works. It is really an ideal choice for serious home cooks who am interested in different types of kitchen knives.
And triple-riveted full tang construction makes them very durable and very comfortable to hold. However, these knives are really very beautiful and pine woodblock will catch the attention of any first time user.
Japan is one of the major countries that have a history and popularity of manufacturing high-quality knives and cutlery materials. And you can use this great quality Japanese knife set for your home or restaurants.
These knives are crafted with ordinary Japanese steel, featured from tip to tang. Each of the knives is wicked sharp and requires low maintenance for longevity.
This is an ideal Gourmet white blade with the block that you can purchase for your lovely home kitchen or restaurants. And especially its rounded shape will give you nice comfort and each handle has end cap for balance.
Pros Stain and rust resistance Comes with a storage box Designed with long-lasting sharpness Perfect for mincing, slicing, and dicing Comfortable POM handle with end cap These stainless steel knives ergonomically designed for the best comfort and control for any kind of cutting or slicing.
This stainless steel knife set includes different types of knives. Even extra (6- 4½” steak knives), with (8 kitchen scissors), 8 sharpener with acrylic block stand.
However, for this block set, they used premium stainless steel to prevent tarnish and corrosion. For its beautiful design, comfort, and easy maneuvering you can give this package for a Wedding, Birthday, Graduation, Anniversary, or Holiday gift.
Pros Best stainless steel knife set with storage block Razor-sharp and durable Very inexpensive This design made from the USA Certified by “FDA” Chef’s Knife: It’s usually 8 inches long and it’s a workhorse for every professional and home kitchen.
But especially a good quality boning knife for chicken, meat, beef, and poultry. Also, the paring knife people used for fruits and vegetables to remove the peel.
It is long between 5 and 7 inches and sometimes closed to 8 It is a Japanese version professional knife and can handle all types of small to medium kitchen slicing job. This tiny chef’s knife has a 6 to 8-inches blade with a nice wicked sharp edge.
For smooth cutting, it has very NATO teeth with a nice wooden handle. Because it has a very long blade than others which is between 8 and 12 inches for handling beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and many others.
If you need to slice or cutting big-size meat then a good butcher knife would an ideal tool for those jobs. A storage block would a plastic or wooden even bamboo to keep your knives and tools together.
But forged blade which made from stainless steel they are a little heavy. It ensures the edge will never dull and you should avoid plastic cutting board.
Storage : After completing your cooking and cleaning the knife, you should store them in a block or sheath. Surprisingly with each set, you’ll get a nice looking wooden or plastic storage block to keep your all knives safe.
Because there are a lot of kitchen knife brands, and they provide different knives for home and restaurants. But carbon steel knives could get dull too fast, but it’s very easy to sharpen.
But other hand stainless steel blades edges goes well for a long time. But the stainless steel blade will give you the best performance and low maintenance.
A perfect kitchen knife handle ensures the best comfort and grip. Because some wooden handles are not dishwasher safe warm water can damage them.
But the stainless steel handle is very popular and highly durable and never water can damage it. And stainless steel handle is not an ideal choice, who loves lightweight knives.
It has a good brighter outlook, very lightweight, and ensures a perfect grip and comfort. Even if you use an old poor quality knife, that means you are putting more pressure on your wrist.
So you can use magnetic strips or choose a set of knives that have an acrylic block stand for safe storage. There are a lot of professional chefs they love to soak their knife in water.
Hopefully, if you choose the best dishwasher safe knife set then you’ll never face these washing complications. Also, keep in mind if your knives are dishwasher safe then warm water and detergent will never damage the blade and handle.
I hope the article was well articulated for you to understand each and every aspect of the knife block sets. Also, to help you make the purchasing decision easier, I have incorporated the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sets.
Here my objective was to discuss the construction quality and performance of a knife set. I've invested hundreds of dollars in chef's knives, but I use them every day to slice, dice, cube, mince or, if I'm feeling fancy, chiffon.
A good knife can feel like a dream -- and it can make holiday cooking even more fun than usual -- but a poorly balanced or dull one can be a pain to use, and can even lead to more cut fingers and other accidents. David Priest/CNET Since you're going to be using it a lot, a chef's knife should be a pleasure to use -- properly weighted, but not heavy enough to make using it tiring.
David Priest/CNETGlobal's popular chef's knife is a Japanese-style blade, which means it boasts a scary-sharp edge and a nimble-feeling lightweight body. David Priest/Nettles Japanese-style chef's knife lies at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price, but it rests at the top of best lists online for a reason: it's a fantastic product.
Not only is the Mac super sharp (it slides through tomatoes without any tearing whatsoever), but its blade is thinner than heavier knives like Author's, which makes slicing snappier veggies like carrots feel like cutting a ripe banana with a butter knife. Mac's most popular chef knife is perfectly balanced, so you never feel at risk of losing control of the blade.
I'm fairly fastidious with my knives, but this, along with my growing fondness of the Global chef's knife, have resulted in Mac's slight drop in the ranking. David Priest/CNETHands-down, the biggest surprise of my testing was the performance of Mercer's $16 Culinary Millennia 8-inch chef's knife.
But the handle design is perfect for teaching beginners how to hold and use a chef's knife, guiding your thumb and index finger to the base of the blade. The light weight and cheap design mean you don't get the long life or the full versatility you'd get from a workhorse like the Author, but if you're wanting a starter chef's knife to learn for six months while you save for a bigger investment, the Mercer really is a great cook's knife.
The Author was my original favorite knife until I got my hands on the Mac and Global Japanese-style knives, and it still stands up as a top-of-the-line option. That said, the Author classic is perfectly balanced between the handle and blade, and it has a heel to protect your fingers, which makes it feel all the safer to wield.
One of the best measures of how comfortable a knife feels in your hand is breaking down a chicken -- as it requires many types of cuts across skin, meat, fat and cartilage. It's versatile and comfortable, and its high carbon steel forged blade will keep a sharp edge as well as nearly any other knife -- Mac and Global excluded -- in this price range.
The Willing Gourmet is a stamped blade, rather than a forged one, which means it likely won't hold its edge as long as the Author. It's also lighter, which means your hand won't be guided quite as well through a tomato or similarly delicate food.
All that said, the Willing's cuts were consistently clean, it felt comfortable in my hand, and for $50, I'd be more than happy to add this knife to my kitchen. Our procedures blended five tests -- slicing tomatoes, dicing onions, mincing leafy herbs, chopping carrots and breaking down chickens -- each with a 1-to-10 rating, with more general use and observation.
I wanted to approach the procedures as the average home cook would, focusing on general use and experience. Beyond its measurable performance with various foods, I approached each knife as a package -- experiencing how its weight and balance came together to create an experience that either felt intuitive or awkward.
Overall, we tested a dozen of the most popular chef's knives for home cooks, including Mac, Global, Artisan Revere, Victorinox, Kitchen aid, Cuisinart, Home favor, Freeware, Willing, J.A. Mac, Author and Global were my stand-out favorites for quality and performance, and if you're really serious about adopting a high-quality chef's knife, any of these three will do the trick.
While I gave my assessments above, everyone will have their own slight preferences -- Global feels best to me, but if I ate more meat and denser veggies, I would probably lean toward Author as the more robust blade. And if perfectly minced herbs and delicately sliced fish were more common cuts in my kitchen, Mac might take the crown.
It's well-balanced, and feels closest in profile to Global: it's not heavy and thick-spined like the Author, and so had more trouble with the butternut squash and pineapple; and it's not quite as razor-sharp as the Mac. Artisan Revere offers an excellent product for a price that will be hard to swallow for most customers.
I just can't recommend that home cooks buy a chef's knife that costs $300 more than comparable products, except as a luxury item. David Olkovetsky, founder and CEO of Artisan Revere, told me over email that the reasons for the price tag are manifold: most importantly, the high-quality steel blade is made with more environmentally friendly methods, and the so-called “super steel” will retain its edge better than competitors.
The $50, which seems like a natural winner given its reasonable price tag and similar design to the more expensive Author classic, really disappointed me. It's another workhorse of a knife, but its butt is heavier than it should be, so heavy prep gets tiring, and mincing feels awkward.
Finally,'s knife was the worst of the bunch: It is so poorly balanced, in fact, that I stopped the chicken test midway through for fear of cutting myself. That makes almost every type of prep, from slicing and dicing to mincing and chicken boning, feel awkward at best and dangerous at worst.
It covers options at every price point, and it also clarifies which knives are essential and which ones you can cook without. Tojo's sub-$100 auto offers full-tang VG10 stainless steel tempered and cut to a thin, violently sharp edge that lasts.
Dimples on the blade could be left off; no real help to split vegetables or otherwise Higher carbon content than most knives of this level; can rust if not dried quickly after washing A sharp-enough blade, a comfy handle and its generally smart ergonomic build make it stand out in a sea of really cheap knives.
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.
Ultimately, Victorinox’s ultra-cheap 8-inch chef’s knife won out, though it is liable to blade chipping and isn’t the most comfortable to use. 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.
What makes its kitchen knives great is a combination of simple design choices (the handles are never too aggressive on the ergonomics end), solid materials and a level of mass availability that’s absent from other companies making good knives (you can find Victorinox in loads of brick-and-mortar stores and everywhere online). The German company is easily one of the most consistent makers of high-quality knives, and it does so at pretty much every price point.
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.
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This is especially true for cooks who hold the knife at the bolster with their thumb and index finger resting on the blade. A paring knife, meanwhile, typically has a blade much smaller and lighter than its handle to tackle intricate tasks.
The majority of chef’s knives in stores today are of the German style, with edges featuring a continuous and relatively consistent curvature. A forged knife is made from a single bar of metal and is heat-treated, annealed, and case-hardened to a high level.
A stamped knife comes from a prefabricated metal sheet that is cut with a die in the desired shape and then sharpened. Japanese blades tend to fall toward the lower end of this spectrum, allowing them to make precision cuts with less effort.
A lower HRC value means the metal is softer, so the cutting edge will dull faster than that of a higher hardness value. Basic carbon steel is extremely strong and easy to sharpen to a keen edge.
The exact process and formula for making this steel has been lost to time, despite multiple replication attempts. Most if not all blades that bear the name today are simply high-carbon steels with similar wavy patterns in the metal.
A quality Damascus knife will serve you well, but know that a significant part of that high price tag is for aesthetics. Until we can fabricate the perfect cutlery cermet material, ceramic blades will probably remain a niche item intended for precision work.
Make sure it’s not too slippery even when it gets wet, and that both its width and length are a good match for the size of your hand. The Author Classic Chef’s Knife is forged from high-carbon stainless steel, sharpened to a 14-degree angle, and has a riveted full tang.
Precision forged Full tang, riveted handle Sharp (Pitched to 14 degrees per side) Bolster for finger guard The knife is forged from one single piece of steel, sporting a thick, solid blade.
Its tang runs all the way through the handle and is fastened with three rivets, giving it excellent balance and stability. The plastic grips, while not gorgeous, fit in with the tang and bolster seamlessly, leaving no gaps for dirt or food particles.
Those with tiny hands or delicate wrists may find it heavy (in which case, check out the Cuckoo Santos right below). On the other hand, a lower HRC means the knife is more ductile and less likely to chip or break under concentrated pressure than its harder counterparts.
With an extra narrow edge and reasonable size, weight, and hardness, the Author Classic will excel at pretty much every cutting task in the kitchen. It’s expensive, but glowing reviews from chefs who have been using their Author Classic for decades suggest it’s an investment with good returns.
The knife feels solid, balanced, and weighted for its size of 7 inches, but still agile enough for smaller hands. We loved that the bolster becomes thinner as it runs from the handle to the blade, making a smooth transition instead of an abrupt indentation.
It’s a great design for sanitation, too: The absence of corners means there’s no space for grease or food particles to accumulate. The dimples effectively prevent thin slices of meat or vegetables from sticking to the blade.
If you like to cut in a rocking motion, though, this knife is not a good choice due to its flat belly. The Cuckoo Santos is a pragmatic choice: It excels in both performance and aesthetics, and is offered at a reasonable price.
Coming in a pretty magnetic box, the knife would make a nice housewarming gift. Shun’s 8-inch VG-MAX Classic is a fantastic Japanese take on the common German style chef’s knife.
Included in the metal’s formula, though, is a bit of added tungsten, carbon, and cobalt. The increased hardness of the blade makes it slightly easier to chip than simpler steels.
For chefs who like to grip around the bolster, this Shun will offer a bit less comfort than the German design. When fat, heavy Western knives won’t cut it (*snicker*), turn to Strong’s Shogun Santoku-style knife.
Strong has hardened their Shogun knife to 62 HRC on the Rockwell scale, meaning it should keep that sharp edge well. Though stamped rather than forged, the Victorinox is great for the chef who wants to start exploring the Asian side of cutlery.
Though it looks a bit less refined than wood or other polymers, the give of the neoprene may be what you need if you find yourself with tender pressure points after cutting. Mercer Culinary makes some of the best chef’s knives on the market, and they back them up with an excellent warranty.
The smaller lever arm created by this blade’s cutting action makes the narrow bolster less of an issue. Some chefs find that a shorter blade offers a certain versatility they don’t get out of the more standard long ones.
Though smaller and cheaper than its cousins, the 5” Genesis is still fully forged from German high-carbon stainless steel. Though we didn’t discuss utility knives above, it shouldn’t surprise you that they are versatile, but serve a different function than the larger chef’s knife.
You’ll notice the blade is no wider than the handle, making them far less convenient when chopping on a cutting board. This utility knife is perfect for slicing your sandwiches, fruits, cheeses, and many other small items.
The knife’s sharp serrated edge is more than a match for tomatoes, pineapples, or, of course, bread loafs. This means it tends to create an angle as it goes through a loaf, making one end of the slice thicker than the other.
They hail from Semi City, a place viewed as the heart of Japanese blade making for centuries. Their fusion of high-tech materials with both modern and classical production techniques results in fantastic blades that are famous all over the world.
They source high-quality steel from various places like Germany, Japan, and elsewhere, and then manufacture it all in Ranging, the home of China’s own blade making tradition. Author is a famous German brand, but has expanded to include some Japanese styles in their product line as well.
The company has been owned and operated by the same family for seven generations out of Solingen, Germany’s “City of Blades.” Author uses modern forging technologies and the latest inspection techniques to maintain their renowned level of German engineering.
Their products are made from imported Japanese VG-10 “Super Steel” and crafted over the course of 60 days using German standard operating procedures. Unlike many, Elite only sells online, meaning you won’t be able to go to the store and try the knife on for size.
Victorinox is probably most famous for their Swiss Army Knives, beloved by scouts and handymen the world over. Based out of New York City, Mercer Culinary is famous for their barware and wide line of restaurant-oriented kitchenware.
Their immense cutlery line covers all uses and features inexpensive stamped and high-end forged blades. They also focus on specialty kitchen items using modern materials such as their high-temperature nylon “Hell’s Tools” line.
Heckles maintains several knife brands and produces multiple product lines, tapping both the high-end and budget cutlery markets. Picking the bestkitchenknives can be a little tricky, and we recommend sticking with well established brands for guaranteed quality.
I've invested hundreds of dollars in chef's knives, but I use them every day to slice, dice, cube, mince or, if I'm feeling fancy, chiffon. A good knife can feel like a dream -- and it can make holiday cooking even more fun than usual -- but a poorly balanced or dull one can be a pain to use, and can even lead to more cut fingers and other accidents.
David Priest/CNET Since you're going to be using it a lot, a chef's knife should be a pleasure to use -- properly weighted, but not heavy enough to make using it tiring. David Priest/CNETGlobal's popular chef's knife is a Japanese-style blade, which means it boasts a scary-sharp edge and a nimble-feeling lightweight body.
David Priest/Nettles Japanese-style chef's knife lies at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price, but it rests at the top of best lists online for a reason: it's a fantastic product. Not only is the Mac super sharp (it slides through tomatoes without any tearing whatsoever), but its blade is thinner than heavier knives like Author's, which makes slicing snappier veggies like carrots feel like cutting a ripe banana with a butter knife.
Mac's most popular chef knife is perfectly balanced, so you never feel at risk of losing control of the blade. I'm fairly fastidious with my knives, but this, along with my growing fondness of the Global chef's knife, have resulted in Mac's slight drop in the ranking.
David Priest/CNETHands-down, the biggest surprise of my testing was the performance of Mercer's $16 Culinary Millennia 8-inch chef's knife. But the handle design is perfect for teaching beginners how to hold and use a chef's knife, guiding your thumb and index finger to the base of the blade.
The light weight and cheap design mean you don't get the long life or the full versatility you'd get from a workhorse like the Author, but if you're wanting a starter chef's knife to learn for six months while you save for a bigger investment, the Mercer really is a great cook's knife. The Author was my original favorite knife until I got my hands on the Mac and Global Japanese-style knives, and it still stands up as a top-of-the-line option.
That said, the Author classic is perfectly balanced between the handle and blade, and it has a heel to protect your fingers, which makes it feel all the safer to wield. One of the best measures of how comfortable a knife feels in your hand is breaking down a chicken -- as it requires many types of cuts across skin, meat, fat and cartilage.
It's versatile and comfortable, and its high carbon steel forged blade will keep a sharp edge as well as nearly any other knife -- Mac and Global excluded -- in this price range. The Willing Gourmet is a stamped blade, rather than a forged one, which means it likely won't hold its edge as long as the Author.
It's also lighter, which means your hand won't be guided quite as well through a tomato or similarly delicate food. All that said, the Willing's cuts were consistently clean, it felt comfortable in my hand, and for $50, I'd be more than happy to add this knife to my kitchen.
Our procedures blended five tests -- slicing tomatoes, dicing onions, mincing leafy herbs, chopping carrots and breaking down chickens -- each with a 1-to-10 rating, with more general use and observation. I wanted to approach the procedures as the average home cook would, focusing on general use and experience.
Beyond its measurable performance with various foods, I approached each knife as a package -- experiencing how its weight and balance came together to create an experience that either felt intuitive or awkward. Overall, we tested a dozen of the most popular chef's knives for home cooks, including Mac, Global, Artisan Revere, Victorinox, Kitchen aid, Cuisinart, Home favor, Freeware, Willing, J.A.
Mac, Author and Global were my stand-out favorites for quality and performance, and if you're really serious about adopting a high-quality chef's knife, any of these three will do the trick. While I gave my assessments above, everyone will have their own slight preferences -- Global feels best to me, but if I ate more meat and denser veggies, I would probably lean toward Author as the more robust blade.
And if perfectly minced herbs and delicately sliced fish were more common cuts in my kitchen, Mac might take the crown. It's well-balanced, and feels closest in profile to Global: it's not heavy and thick-spined like the Author, and so had more trouble with the butternut squash and pineapple; and it's not quite as razor-sharp as the Mac.
Artisan Revere offers an excellent product for a price that will be hard to swallow for most customers. I just can't recommend that home cooks buy a chef's knife that costs $300 more than comparable products, except as a luxury item.
David Olkovetsky, founder and CEO of Artisan Revere, told me over email that the reasons for the price tag are manifold: most importantly, the high-quality steel blade is made with more environmentally friendly methods, and the so-called “super steel” will retain its edge better than competitors. The $50, which seems like a natural winner given its reasonable price tag and similar design to the more expensive Author classic, really disappointed me.
It's another workhorse of a knife, but its butt is heavier than it should be, so heavy prep gets tiring, and mincing feels awkward. Finally,'s knife was the worst of the bunch: It is so poorly balanced, in fact, that I stopped the chicken test midway through for fear of cutting myself.
That makes almost every type of prep, from slicing and dicing to mincing and chicken boning, feel awkward at best and dangerous at worst. Another important knife lesson: While it may seem convenient, purchasing a whole set of knives in one of those blocks isn't the best option.
Because knowing how to properly maintain and store knives is just as important as the knife itself, I've also included our favorite sharpeners, honing steels, and accessories. The ultimate multipurpose blade, it can do just about anything that needs to be done, whether you're chopping an onion or carving a roast.
We recommend trying out a few if you can, since, like a wand in Harry Potter, a knife is only as good as how it feels in your hand. First, Santos tend to have shorter, more compact blades (about six to seven inches) that are flatter than that of a traditional Western chef's knife.
For a helpful visual guide to all those blade styles, head on over to our Santos knife review. But if you want specific recommendations, we did identify three winners in our review, all at different price points, all of them capable of effortlessly filleting fish and breaking down chicken.
Daniel's favorite affordable paring knife is the Author Pro. If you want to spend more and own something a bit different, he suggests choosing a Japanese upgrade, like this Tojo DP 3.5-inch paring knife.
While slicing and carving knives aren't a necessity, they're really handy to have around during the holiday season, when you're serving up big roasts for a crowd. Thinner and longer than typical chef's knives, they'll slide right through that family-sized turkey without any mess.
A carving knife has a long, narrow blade that comes to a sharp point; it's especially useful for cutting in and around cartilage and bones. I think we can all agree that meat that's been sawn, with all that glorious juice dripping out onto the cutting board, is the lump of coal of the food world.
Because the handle flattens out and widens toward the base, it tucks pretty well under your fingers, and the angled bolster makes it simple to grasp the blade for better control. By running your knife along the ridges of a honing steel, you'll buff out those microscopic dents that can throw your blade out of alignment.
Now when you see chefs on cooking shows honing their knives, you can at least know why they're doing it (though how they can do it so fast is still beyond me). While the technique may take you a few tries, using a whetstone is by far the best way to get your knife sharpened, and it's more affordable than sending out your knives to a professional.
(We also don't recommend using electric knife sharpeners; they simply remove too much material at one time and degrade your knives faster than necessary.) I personally prefer to hang them on a magnetic knife rack, which saves precious counter space and creates some nice wall decor for the kitchen at the same time.