Its razor-sharp edge, comfortable handle, and agile blade make chopping tasks much easier, which in turn cuts down on meal-prep time. And its excellent edge retention means that, with proper care, the Mac will stay sharp for a long time.
The Tojo knife is thinner and more brittle than our top pick, so its edge is more vulnerable to microscopic chips when you use it on dense vegetables like butternut squash. Compared with the other forged German knives we tested, the Classic Iron’s thinner blade cut more smoothly through butternut squash and carrots.
We liked how easily it maneuvered around curves when cutting away butternut squash skin and citrus rinds. But the Classic Iron’s blade is made of softer steel than that of our top pick, the Mac MTH-80, which means it will dull faster.
It’s a favorite of several food publications and budget-conscious home cooks, and it has an ergonomically shaped plastic handle that appeals to most people. The factory edge isn’t as sharp as that of our other picks, so in our tests it left us with split carrots and unevenly halved butternut squash.
However, most testers preferred the Victorinox for its maneuverability and comfortable feel, compared with the other budget knives we tried. Collapse all Over the course of my two-decade (and counting) culinary career, I’ve cooked in fine-dining restaurants, brewpubs, small cafés, private homes, and test kitchens.
I’ve also covered knives for this site for more than two years, racking up over 120 hours of research and testing. Tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish have crossed my cutting board over the years.
I’ve either owned or used every major brand of chef’s knife, as well as a good number of artisanal blades. The panel included Wire cutter staff members as well as Sam Sift on, food editor at The New York Times.
Brendan McDermott, chef instructor of knife skills at Kendall College in Chicago Murray Carter, Master Smith and 17th-generation Hashimoto Blade smith Howard Yourself, owner of Bowery Kitchen Supplies (now closed) in New York City Wendy Yang, showroom manager at Karin, a Japanese knife shop in New York City Executive chef Daniel Rose and his staff at Le Cocoa in New York City A Japanese auto (top) has a flatter edge, and the classic German knife (bottom) has a more pronounced curve.
Photo: Michael Session This is the most widely recognized style of chef’s knife in the West. Full bolsters add weight to the knife and require a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade.
German knives generally weigh more and have thicker blades than their Japanese counterparts, making them great for tough jobs like breaking lobsters and splitting bone-in chicken breasts. Their blades have an even bevel (meaning both sides are ground to the same angle) and tend to be made of softer steel, so they can lose their edge more quickly.
Guts generally have thinner blades with flatter belly curves than German knives, and they taper to a very sharp tip. You’ll never find a auto with a full bolster that extends to the edge (unlike with German knives).
Because guts are thinner and made of hard carbon steel, their edge takes a much more acute bevel angle, and they tend to stay sharper longer than German knives. For this guide, however, we focused on guts with even bevels, which are easier for home cooks to sharpen and maintain.
Photo: Michael HessionSince 2013, we’ve racked up over 150 hours researching and comparing more than 100 knives. In 2020, we tested the 8-inch chef’s knife from Food52’s Five Two Essential Knives collection, and we retested our new budget pick, the .
We’ve ruled out any small-batch blade craters, since forging a knife by hand is time-consuming, costly, and usually a custom-order affair. You also won’t see Santos knives in this guide; Santos have shorter blades, generally 6 or 7 inches, that limit their ability to slice through large vegetables with one cut.
And because a chef’s knife is an essential piece of kitchen equipment, we wanted to keep our picks accessible for most budgets. A chef’s knife is the main workhorse in your kitchen -cutlery arsenal, tackling 80% to 90% of cutting tasks.
Your knife should remain sharp through moderate use for six to 12 months, as long as you hone it regularly, wash and dry it by hand after each use, and store it so the edge doesn’t get dinged up. You don’t have as much control with a dull edge, which increases both your prep time and your chances of cutting yourself.
Good edge retention relies on a combination of steel composition and hardness, blade thickness, and bevel angle. When a blade is thin and made from a hard steel, the edge can take and hold a tight angle.
We think an 8-inch knife is the perfect length for most people because it’s long enough to halve large vegetables but still manageable for most home cooks. Most mass-produced Western-forged knives are drop-forged, meaning the manufacturer heats a blank of steel to an extremely high temperature and then uses a high-pressure hammer to pound it into the shape of a blade.
The quality of stamped blades varies widely, from the flimsy knives found at grocery stores to our and runner-up pick. Knife makers like Mac and Tojo heat-treat their blades to make them just as strong as forged steel.
Chad Ward argues in An Edge in the Kitchen that a full tang is unnecessary since knife balance is largely a personal preference. We think this design is so common because the full tang has stood as a benchmark of quality among both knife makers and cooks.
Knife makers claim the air pockets keep food from sticking to the blade. Even though our top pick has a Grafton edge, we don’t find dimples to be very effective at keeping food from clinging to a knife.
We couldn’t test all the possible contenders that fit our criteria, so we’ve focused on popular, widely available knives. Since we first published this guide in 2013, we’ve tested 23 knives that all had an 8-inch blade, carried a price tag of $200 or less, lacked a full bolster, and came with recommendations from experts and trusted editorial sources.
Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton explains the difference between full and half bolsters. Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton explains the difference between full and half bolsters.
For the 2017 update of this guide, we invited six friends and colleagues of all culinary stripes to our test kitchen to participate in a chopping panel. We sliced, diced, julienne, peeled, and chiffonier a pile of butternut squash, onions, carrots, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs to gauge the knives versatility with foods of varying textures.
We then sent the top-performing knives to the kitchen at Le Cocoa in New York City (the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant of 2017), where the cooks used them for prep and during service. I tested two knives in my home kitchen, cutting butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, and carrots.
The Mac Mighty MTH-80 is our favorite knife because it’s crazy sharp and will stay that way longer than most other knives. We found it had the best weight and balance; it felt more agile than the German models and more durable than the thin Japanese guts.
The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives, curved just enough for rocking but still straight enough for push-pull choppers. Out of the box, this Mac model sliced straight through paper, which is something our budget pick, the Victorinox Fibrous Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, couldn’t manage.
It also made straight cuts through the thick center of butternut squash, which, again, the Victorinox couldn’t do. The Mac Mighty MTH-80 was one of the few knives in our test group to cut straight through the center of a butternut squash.
Photo: Michael Session our tests, the MTH-80 always made clean cuts through fibrous carrots. The heftier drop-forged German knives fell somewhere in between, causing only a moderate amount of bruising and oxidation to the basil.
The daytime kitchen crew at Le Cocoa used the MTH-80 for prep and during lunch service for a week and praised its outstanding performance on vegetables, herbs, and fish. Scott Horowitz, sous chef at Le Cocoa, said, “ was the favorite of all the cooks.
The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives. Because the Mac’s stamped blade is made of very hard steel (it has a Rockwell hardness of 59 to 61), it will keep its sharp edge longer than softer blades, such as those of the Victorinox Fibrous Pro and Author Classic Iron, which are hardened to 56 and 58 HRC (PDF), respectively.
This means it’s less likely to chip (which the Tojo DP F-808 did after we used it to cut hard butternut squash). The blade geometry is unique in that the edge curve is more articulated than on a classic auto but not quite as extreme as on a German knife.
Even testers with larger hands found that the handle gave plenty of knuckle clearance. Photo: Michael Session 6.6 ounces, the Mac MTH-80 is lighter than a German drop-forged knife but heavier and sturdier-feeling than many guts.
The Mac MTH-80 has dimples on both sides of the blade to reduce the chances of food sticking to the knife. In our tests, the dimples were merely mildly effective, and we noticed the difference only when cutting butternut squash.
Though Amazon links out to this warranty in its product information section, the knife is available only through these specific Amazon vendors: Cooking Depot, Cutlery and More, The House of Rice Store, Trading, Urban Living, Whittle Workhorse, Yokohama Gifts, and Yokohama USA. If the Mac MTH-80 isn’t available, or if you want to add a Japanese auto to your collection, the Tojo DP F-808 is an exceptional knife for the price.
This classic auto has a flatter belly curve than our top pick, a design best for people who use a push-pull cutting style. Testers liked chopping vegetables with the Tojo because of its sharpness, control, and easy handling.
The Tojo DP F-808 is shaped like a classic auto, with a straighter edge, no bolster, and a pointed tip. Like the Mac Mighty MTH-80, the Tojo DP F-808 has more heft than lighter knives, such as the Global G-2 and Topiary Molybdenum.
Tojo’s steel core is harder than the surface material; that hardness helps the blade hold a better edge, but it appears to be more brittle than Mac’s homogeneous construction. We found a tiny, almost microscopic nick in the Tojo knife’s blade after cutting butternut squash.
As it turns out, the company’s website recommends the knife not be used for cutting pumpkin (or frozen foods), because the hard vegetable can chip your blade. But because this Tojo knife’s core has the hardest steel of all our picks, its edge retention is exceptional for the price.
Testers with smaller hands found the Tojo DP F-808’s handle comfortable and didn’t have any issues with their knuckles hitting the cutting board. Senior staff writer Michael Sullivan has been using the Tojo at home since 2017 and said that, as of late 2020, “It continues to hold its razor-sharp edge with minimal sharpening.
Compared with other German knives we tested, the Classic Iron has a thinner blade, a more comfortable handle, and a more manageable belly curve for better leverage and control. In our tests, the Author Classic Iron cut smoothly through butternut squash and onions, although carrots did split slightly.
Compared with the , this Author knife was less agile and sharp when peeling the skin from butternut squash. Many testers liked the Classic Iron’s smooth, rounded handle, which fit nicely into the palm.
Heckles Willing Pro and Author Classic Uber, by comparison, had such aggressively curved blades that they made simple cutting tasks feel awkward. One advantage the Classic Iron has over the Mac MTH-80 is that its softer stainless steel blade is more durable.
If you drop a Author into a sink or wait to clean it after cutting acidic foods, it shouldn’t chip, stain, or corrode. On the other hand, that soft stainless steel also means that the edge of this Author model will dull faster and require more regular sharpening.
Former Wire cutter deputy editor Michael Zhao told us that he loves the Classic Iron, but he noticed the difference between its softer steel and the harder Mac MTH-80. We wouldn’t go so far as to call the Victorinox a “beater knife,” but the polished stainless steel blade and ergonomic plastic handle can withstand more abuse than, say, the Tojo DP auto.
The Victorinox’s gentle curved edge is good for any chopping style, and its wide blade lets you easily scoop and transfer food from the cutting board. The Victorinox’s stamped blade is made from the same steel (an alloy called X50CrMoV15, known for its durability, edge retention, and rust resistance) as most German knives, including the drop-forged Author Classic Iron.
Comparatively, the Fibrous Pro has a slightly thinner blade and feels lighter in the hand than the Classic Iron. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still pretty sharp, and it allowed us to dice onions, julienne carrots, and halve a butternut squash with relative ease and accuracy.
But if you’re replacing an old dull knife or buying your first kitchen blade on a budget, the Victorinox won’t disappoint. Most testers agreed that the Fibrous handle offered the most comfortable and secure grip of all the budget knives we evaluated.
It’s not too bulky for folks with small hands, and our larger-handed testers had enough knuckle clearance from the cutting board. Victorinox covers the 8-inch Fibrous Pro knife with a limited lifetime warranty that excludes normal wear and tear, misuse, or abuse.
Hold the handle with the edge facing downward and look along the spine to make sure the blade is perfectly straight. Video: Michael HessionGerman knife blades are curved and designed for a rocking chopping motion.
Don’t use anything abrasive on the blade, such as a Brillo pad or a scouring sponge, which can make little scratches in the metal. If you don’t want a magnetic strip mounted to your wall, buy a blade guard.
Although steel is a classic choice for honing rods, sometimes the material is softer than your knife, rendering it useless. As you watch a chef whipping a knife down the rod toward their hand at lightning speed, it’s easy to see yourself taking a thumb off.
Video: Michael HessionThe key with both styles of honing is to make sure the edge bevel is flush to the rod. Video: Amado Dialogue way most pros do it is to point the tip of the rod up and pull the knife down toward the handle.
If you’re investing in a quality, expensive knife, like, we still believe that a whetstone used properly will provide the sharpest, smoothest edge. In our tests we found that well-designed ones worked nicely, causing minimal wear to knives while creating a fine edge.
And their convenience encourages people to use them regularly, which makes for safer chopping and a happier kitchen experience. However, make sure to avoid the cheapest knife sharpeners, which will quickly eat away too much of the blade’s metal.
The composition of most German knives (including our also-great and budget picks) is X50CrMoV15, which roughly translates to 80% iron, 0.5% carbon, and 15% a combination of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium. Chromium protects against corrosion and is what makes the knife stainless, while molybdenum and vanadium increase and wear resistance, and refine the grain.
This stainless steel is usually hardened to 56 HRC, softer than Japanese knives but capable of taking a beating well and withstanding up to a certain level of mistreatment. In An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward writes, “I wouldn’t make garbage can lids out of 420J or 440A, but some manufacturers do use them for kitchen knives.” These types of steel are low carbon and highly corrosion-resistant.
It would’ve been one of our top picks, but our testers were split down the middle: People either loved the Global for its lightweight and razor-sharp edge, or hated it because of its dimpled steel handle, which could get slippery in wet hands. Chad Ward praises this Topiary model in An Edge in the Kitchen, but we think the blade is too thin and delicate for hard vegetables.
It lacks the weight and the smooth transition from blade to handle, though, and we found that it simply wasn’t as comfortable to use. The edge was sharp and the knife itself was comfortable to hold, but the 8½-inch blade length was a little too much for home cooks.
The HB-85 offers a good price-to-quality ratio, but our testing panel overwhelmingly chose the Tojo DP F-808 as the better chef’s knife for the price. After cutting through onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots, we concluded that the Made In knife’s deep blade curve and angled bolster (which sets the handle too far back from the blade) made chopping and slicing awkward.
But we saw one big problem with the 8-inch Classic Uber 4583-7/20: Its belly curve was much more articulated than those of other Author chef’s knives. Heckles Willing Pro, we found the Author Classic Uber awkward to use because of the extremely curved belly.
In our tests, the drop-forged blade of the Meridian Elite E/3686-8 was sharp enough, but not as smooth as that of the Mac MTH-80 or the Author Classic Iron. Stamped from American stainless steel scraps, this knife couldn’t make straight cuts in our butternut squash or our carrots.
Photograph: Michael HessionSince 2013, we’ve racked up over 150 hours researching and evaluating greater than 100 knives. We’ve dominated out any small-batch blade craters, since forging a knife by hand is time-consuming, pricey, and often a custom-order affair.
You additionally gained’t see Santos knives on this information; Santos have shorter blades, typically 6 or 7 inches, that restrict their skill to slice by means of giant greens with one minimize. And since a chef’s knife is a necessary piece of kitchen gear, we wished to maintain our picks accessible for many budgets.
A chef’s knife is the primary workhorse in your kitchen -cutlery arsenal, tackling 80% to 90% of chopping duties. So components corresponding to sharpness, edge retention, sturdiness, versatility, and straightforward upkeep are key to the efficiency of any good chef’s knife.
As New York Instances meals editor Sam Sift on informed us throughout testing, “ is the steadiness of utility and the factor that strikes your coronary heart.” Your knife ought to stay sharp by means of average use for six to 12 months, so long as you hone it recurrently, wash and dry it by hand after every use, and retailer it so the sting doesn’t get dinged up.
Good edge retention relies on a combination of steel composition and hardness, blade thickness, and bevel angle. When a blade is thin and made from a hard steel, the edge can take and hold a tight angle.
We think an 8-inch knife is the perfect length for most people because it’s long enough to halve large vegetables but still manageable for most home cooks. Full bolsters make sharpening your knife more difficult, because eventually you’ll need to find a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade and maintain a flat edge.
Most mass-produced Western-forged knives are drop-forged, meaning the manufacturer heats a blank of steel to an extremely high temperature and then uses a high-pressure hammer to pound it into the shape of a blade. Knife makers like Mac and Tojo heat-treat their blades to make them just as strong as forged steel.
Chad Ward argues in An Edge in the Kitchen that a full tang is unnecessary since knife balance is largely a personal preference. We think this design is so common because the full tang has stood as a benchmark of quality among both knife makers and cooks.
This Grafton edge, as it’s called, has long been a common feature on slicing and Santos knives. Knife makers claim the air pockets keep food from sticking to the blade.
Even though our top pick has a Grafton edge, we don’t find dimples to be very effective at keeping food from clinging to a knife. We couldn’t test all the possible contenders that fit our criteria, so we’ve focused on popular, widely available knives.
Since we first published this guide in 2013, we’ve tested 23 knives that all had an 8-inch blade, carried a price tag of $200 or less, lacked a full bolster, and came with recommendations from experts and trusted editorial sources. These forged high-carbon stainless steel knives are very sharp, and they’re heavy enough to tackle tough, fibrous vegetables such as butternut squash better than the competition.
Among all the knives we tested, the Author set’s drippy, ergonomically shaped handles were the most comfortable to hold. For the price, performance, and durability, we think the Author Classic Iron is the best set to meet your home- kitchen needs.
Alternatively, if you prefer to assemble your own custom-made knife set, we recommend buying knives piecemeal. The stamped, high-carbon stainless steel blades remained sharper and held their edge better than any other set we tested under $200.
The Victorinox knives are lightweight and well-balanced, while the Fibrous handles are comfortable to hold and provide a good grip even when wet. Though this set lacks shears, a honing steel, and a storage block, it offers the most basic knives you’ll need in the kitchen for a bargain price.
Though they will require more frequent honing than some Japanese knives we tested, they were far more durable than all the other sets we tried in this price range. Collapse all To gain some insight into which knives would be best for the average home cook, we spoke with chef Brendan McDermott, an instructor at Kendall College in Chicago and the co-owner/blade smith of Ravenswood Hand Forged.
We also consulted with chef Joseph Simon, an instructor at the International Culinary Center (ICC), who tested all of our knife sets in person. And we asked some Wire cutter staffers to try out knife sets in our New York City test kitchen.
Chef Joseph Simon, an instructor at the International Culinary Center, tested all of our knife sets in our New York City test kitchen. Additionally, we examined reviews from Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), Consumer Reports (subscription required), and Cooking For Engineers. Christine Car Classes, who wrote our original knife-set guide, has spent dozens of hours researching and testing knife sets.
Michael Sullivan, who contributed to our 2016 update, researched over 50 knife sets and tested 11 for this guide. If you’re seeking a gift for a wedding or a college graduation, you might consider buying a knife set.
If you already own a set of knives that struggle to maintain a sharp edge or have cracked handles, it’s probably time to upgrade. If you’re not into tracking down the perfect individual knives and just want something that’s sharp and cuts well, a set makes buying easy.
To determine the most essential knives for home cooks, we turned to chef Brendan McDermott, an instructor at Kendall College in Chicago. “They end up getting a big block, and half the knives end up collecting dust.” Any additions, such as the ubiquitous utility knife, are gravy because they are more limiting and not as versatile as most other knives (however, they are unavoidable and almost always included in block sets).
According to America’s Test Kitchen (subscription required), manufacturers often skimp on the knives they include in sets. Most important, perhaps, we looked for knives with sharp blades that could maintain their edge after constant use.
The handle material, shape, and length also played a role in our decision-making. Of course, comfort is a subjective quality, and it’s the reason why experts recommend trying knives in person to see which ones feel best in your hand.
A forged knife, which is pounded from a piece of steel, tends to be heavy and usually designed with a bolster. We tested paring knives by seeing how well they accomplished small hand tasks such as shaping carrots.
Every steel alloy that manufacturers use to make most kitchen knives is “high-carbon,” which is strong and takes an edge well. However, you should look for blade material listed as “high-carbon stainless steel,” or else it will be prone to rusting.
Ceramic blades tend to be notably sharp and will hold an edge for a long time, but they can also crack or shatter if you’re too rough with them. For larger knives, we noted whether they had enough hand clearance to prevent our knuckles from hitting the cutting board.
We tested serrated knives by cutting through wide, crusty country loaves and thinly slicing tomatoes. For sets that included utility knives, we used them to slice apples and cut orange segments.
For sets that came with a knife block, we checked to see whether the knives slid easily into and out of their slots without snagging. And the handsome walnut block gives this set a classic look that will fit the aesthetic of almost any kitchen.
We preferred the length of the Author Classic Iron’s 3½-inch paring knife over the Author Gourmet set’s 4-inch paring knife, as it gave our testers better control over intricate tasks such as peeling apples and mincing shallots. Though we generally don’t like utility knives (their size makes them more limiting and not as versatile as most other knives), we were surprised to find the Classic Iron utility knife to be an ideal size for tasks like segmenting oranges and cutting cheese.
Though the Author Classic Iron chef’s knife is on the heavier side, we like it because it was strong and durable enough to cut through butternut squash in our tests. The block has extra slots for both kitchen and steak knives, which allows you ample room to grow your collection. This smaller block is ideal for people with tiny kitchens or limited counter space.
The block has extra slots for both kitchen and steak knives, which allows you ample room to grow your collection. We’ve previously recommended the Author Classic Iron chef’s knife, and we use it regularly in our test kitchen.
This means Author will replace the knives in the event of a manufacturing fault, not for regular wear and tear or improper use (so, you know, no knife throwing). We’d prefer a couple of extra inches, which would make cutting through a wide country loaf in one smooth stroke easier.
Chef Joseph Simon said he wished this set included a slightly longer steel. At first glance these knives may look and feel cheap, but don’t be deceived by their light weight and chunkier handles: These knives were sharper than the ones in the Mercer Culinary Renaissance 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, which was about $40 more expensive at the time we checked.
This set also includes our pick for the best serrated knife, which at 10¼ inches is the longest of all the bread knives we tested and thus capable of making the easiest cuts through wide country loaves. As with other sets, the Victorinox Fibrous utility knife was nice for smaller tasks such as cutting apples, cheese slices, or orange segments.
The main drawback to this set is the shape of the paring knife, which has a dramatic curve toward the tip of the blade. We found that the curved tip requires you to hold the knife at a slightly awkward upward angle when mincing shallots.
The beautifully crafted Messermeister Royale Elite 10-Piece Knife Block Set is pricey, but the knives are sharp, perfectly balanced, and comfortable to hold. Made from high-quality German steel, the forged Messermeister knives are very sharp, and they tackled every type of chopping task we attempted with precision and ease.
Since these knives are perfectly balanced between the handle and the blade, they had the most comfortable weight among all the sets we tested. The beautifully crafted ergonomic walnut handles provide a firm grip and are a pleasure to hold.
We’re confident that with this deep, rich walnut block knife set, you’ll have exceptional knives that will last for years to come. Messermeister knives are very sharp, and they tackled every type of chopping task we attempted with precision and ease.
The 7-inch Santos is a great addition to this set, and it’ll come in handy if two cooks want to chop and prepare several ingredients at the same time. Chef Joseph Simon, who tested all of our knife sets in person, said, “The knives are extremely well-balanced and comfortable.
However, we’ve read reviews indicating that the Shun knives we tested chip easily if not treated delicately, since they're made from super-hard steel. But this means they won’t hold an edge quite as long as most Japanese-style knives and will require more frequent sharpening.
The Messermeister paring knife is lightweight and the perfect size for small hand tasks such as peeling or mincing shallots. The serrated blade provides excellent precision and cuts paper-thin slices of bread without breaking off too much crust.
Our testers also noted that the kitchen shears fit loosely in their designated slot, but this is only a minor issue. One drawback to the Messermeister Royale Elite set is that the knife slots are positioned close to one another. We did notice that one of the tines on the carving fork was slightly dull, but we’re willing to assume this was a manufacturing flaw and not a consistent issue with this set.
Messermeister sells four styles of knives within the Elite collection: Royale, Meridian, Olive, and San Moritz. Keep in mind that the kitchen shears, knife blocks, and knives included in each set will vary depending on the style of the collection you choose.
Regardless of how much money you spend on a set of knives, practicing good knife maintenance will keep them sharper and help them last longer. In-drawer knife blocks, such as this one, are also great for storing knives and don’t take up space on a counter.
McDermott recommends using cutting boards made from softer materials, such as wood, which won’t dull your blades (at least, not so quickly). The exception to this rule is when you’re working with raw meat; you should always use a plastic board for that task, so you can easily disinfect it in the dishwasher or with a bleach solution.
We used to recommend the Author Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Block, but we found the full bolster made sharpening difficult. Although the Global 10-Piece Knife Block Set is very sharp, it has a lot of filler knives that we thought weren’t especially useful for the home cook.
This set was polarizing for our testers, mostly due to the metal handles, which can become slippery when wet and difficult to hold. The knives in the Shun Kanji 8-Piece Knife Block Set are finely crafted and razor-sharp, but our testers found the handles to be too heavy and long for home use.
Some of our testers own Mercer knives and told us they dull more quickly and require frequent sharpening. The Author Gourmet 2-Piece Prep Set includes a paring knife that we thought was a little long, making hand work such as peeling apples more difficult.
Our testers preferred the shorter paring knife blade in the Author Classic Iron set. The CRT Drifter shares the two basic characteristics of most of the knives we tested: The blade is about 3 inches long, and you can open and close it with one hand.
On paper, the Drifter offers nothing unique, but it excels at all the small elements that make for a successful knife. The most impressive of these is the smoothness of the blade’s pivoting action, which is among the nicest we tested and on a par with that of knives costing four times as much.
If the Drifter isn’t available or if you’re looking for a real workhorse of a knife, we also like the Blue Ridge Knives See Danced. Compared with the Drifter, the Danced has a larger handle, a stronger blade lock, and a lot more metal in the body.
Those features, as well as the unusual and comfortable teardrop-shaped handle, make this model a great knife for tougher work and more aggressive cutting. We think that this added durability and performance are unnecessary for standard everyday use, and that the Drifter, with its adequate strength, lighter weight, and smaller footprint, is the better option for most.
We believe that most people will be more than satisfied with the CRT Drifter, but if you take good care of your knives and want one with premium touches, the Mini Reptilian is a great investment. Its design has an unquestionably age-old feel, but that comes at the expense of more modern touches such as a pocket clip, a one-handed open and close, and a textured handle.
Still, the Buck Knives 55 has a very sturdy body and nice overall construction, which is evident in how the lock snaps open and closed. To us, the biggest drawback is that you need two hands to open and close this blade, but if you’re okay with that, this Buck model is a fine choice.
Collapse all To learn more about pocket knives, we turned to two prominent blade reviewers, conversing with both via email. In that time, he has reviewed “a couple of hundred” knives ranging in price from a few dollars all the way to $800.
I spent 10 of those years in the construction industry, in work that entailed heavy daily knife usage. At its most basic, an everyday carry (EDC) knife is a practical tool that helps you tackle small, routine problems.
It won’t bushwhack a trail, but it will spare you countless trips to the kitchen drawer to get something to break down the recycling or open a package. Blade reviewer Tony Sculimbrene told us that a good EDC knife “should be able to do general utility tasks, like package and box opening, and, if you go outdoors, outdoor/camp tasks like food prep and light whittling/carving.” While these are the foundational reasons to carry a knife, their usefulness is far more universal.
In a three-week span, I’ve used pocket knives to sharpen pencils, retrieve Legos from between floorboards, cut twine, remove an event wristband, open a bag of chicken feed, trim the odd thread hanging from a shirt, and remove ticks and splinters when no tweezers are available. In a three-week span, I’ve used pocket knives to sharpen pencils, retrieve Legos from floorboards, open a bag of chicken feed, and remove splinters.
In one review Sculimbrene refers to a length of 2½ to 3 inches as being his “ size for an EDC knife.” Lightweight: A consideration somewhat similar to blade length, weight is an important factor for anything you carry with you all day.
We focused on knives that wouldn’t significantly weigh down most pockets, but didn’t sacrifice build quality or utility. The edge of the blade has a curve at the tip and then straightens out as it heads back to the handle, similar to what you can find on many chef’s knives.
Clip points, such as on the Buck Knives 55 (middle), can appear threatening on larger models, and other shapes, such as the Wharncliffe, found on the Gerber Razor fish (bottom), simply aren’t as useful. A flipper is a small tab that sticks out the back end of the handle; when you give it a quick flick, the blade pops open and locks.
Frame locks are essentially the same thing, except they’re a thicker piece of metal that engages with the blade. Experts consider frame locks to be the stronger design of the two, but both are plenty durable for everyday use.
As Jackson told us, liner locks “work great for daily utility tasks, but don't try to chop down a tree with them.” For instance, the majority of knives from reputable manufacturers in the $15 to $40 range, where we spent most of our time, are made of either 8Cr13MoV or AUS-8, both of which are considered decent, but not great, steels.
As Benjamin Schwartz writes in a review Jackson’s site, “For me, 8Cr13MoV is the baseline for modern steel, setting the bar for acceptability in every area, but impressing in none other than sharpen ability. A good value for the price: To find an entry-level knife with features that would satisfy an enthusiast, we centered our research on the $15 to $40 range.
Many knife manufacturers crank out loads of new designs on a seasonal basis, so their catalogs are constantly shifting around. Our list focused mostly on reputable manufacturers such as Bench made, CRT, Gerber, Hershey, and Spider.
We also included a few outliers: The Spider Delia 4 and Dragonfly 2 have the two-handed lock back system but are regarded in the knife world as two of the best models available. In addition, we looked at two traditional folders with lock backs; these models, from Buck Knives and from Case, also have a two-handed open, relying on the fingernail nick.
For this review, we did not look at any multi tools like the Swiss Army knife or the Weatherman New Wave (we have a separate guide for those). Photo: Doug MahoneyOnce we had the 28 knives in hand, it didn’t take long for us to narrow things down to about 10 models based on fit and finish alone.
This approach gave us the best feel for the overall combination of ergonomics, pivot design, and handling, something that no lab testing could truly zero in on. These two tasks, one aggressive, the other delicate, gave us a sense of how comfortable the handles were and how easy it was to maneuver each blade for different types of cutting.
During our testing, we kept the knives sharp with the Spider Triangle Sharp maker, a popular tool among knife aficionados. It’s a versatile no-nonsense sharpening system that almost anyone can learn how to use.” Touching up a blade on a whetstone takes skill and practice, but you can find easy-to-use systems like this (or the similar, cheaper Lanky 4 Rod Turn Box) that can bring dull blades back to razor sharpness in minutes.
It is well documented that the better steels found on more expensive knives hold an edge longer than their less-expensive counterparts. As Benjamin Schwartz writes in one review, “I think that, in our spec-obsessed modern age, we forget that poor edge retention in any modern steel is pretty decent: I cut through a lot of cardboard with the 710, more than I could reasonably expect to deal with in a month of standard use, before I noticed any real performance issues.
Through our testing, we found that the major differentiators between the knives were the handle ergonomics, the ease of unlocking, and the smoothness of the blade pivot. In fact, we were surprised at the quality differences between similarly priced models that looked identical on paper.
During testing, I attended a number of family gatherings, where we used the knives for cutting rope for a kid’s swing, shaving off an aggressive splinter on a dock, and opening a few boxes. Of all the knives in our test group, the Drifter offers the best overall proportions: It has a blade long enough for common tasks, a handle that can fit all sizes of hands, and a folded length that doesn’t take up too much space in a pocket.
The fit and finish on the knife is excellent, and the blade opens with a smoothness common to more expensive knives. The G10 fiberglass laminate handle offers a light grittiness, and all the edges are nicely machined and rounded over, which wasn’t the case with many of the other knives we tried.
It far surpasses many of the others in its price range, which commonly have cheap materials, too-tight pivots, or locks that are hard to disengage. In our tests, we also liked that the underside was long enough to accommodate a sawing action if necessary, such as when we were cutting twine from hay bales; it was harder to do the same with shorter blades.
But even with the three-fingered grip, the contoured back end of the handle tucks right into the base of the thumb and remains comfortable. The shape of the grip naturally placed our fingers for good control over the blade, such as when we sharpened pencils or skinned apples.
The back of the blade, at the handle end, has some grooves (called jumping), which gives the thumb a little traction during tougher cuts. Due to the smart shape of the handle, the Drifter fits easily in both large and small hands.
We found that the smoothness of the Drifter’s thumb-stud deployment was better than that of any other knife in the under-$40 price range and on a par with that of knives costing three or four times as much. With a little practice, you can easily pop the blade open by flicking your thumb like you’re flipping a coin.
The Drifter is simple to open and close with one hand thanks to the smooth pivot and easy liner lock. Video: Doug Mahoney found that it was those smaller touches, such as the feel of the handle and the ease of the blade deployment, that made the Drifter such a winner.
For example, the Gerber Mini Swagger, on paper, is the same as the Drifter, but the thumb stud is difficult to use, the lock is way too stiff, and it’s not as comfortable in the hand. In a review of the knife, Dan Jackson writes, “I like it because it’s easy to sharpen, holds an edge reasonably well and has decent corrosion resistance.” The Drifter’s steel is very similar to 8Cr13MoV, a standard mid grade blade steel found on the majority of brand-name knives priced under $40.
After we used it for small daily tasks over the course of two weeks, the Drifter’s blade was still able to make a clean slice through a sheet of newsprint. The Drifter (top) is a small knife, even though its blade is only inch shorter than that of our runner-up, the Danced (bottom).
Photo: Doug Marinate praise that the knife community has heaped on the Drifter is unanimous. Jackson and Sculimbrene include the Drifter on their respective best -of lists and have given the knife fantastic individual reviews.
The unfortunate thing here is that the Drifter’s curve is enough to make sharpening a little more difficult but not enough to really aid in cutting. If the Drifter is not available or if you tend to take on more aggressive tasks with your knife, we recommend the Blue Ridge Knives See Danced.
Jackson writes that AUS-8 “offers a good balance of toughness, edge sharpness and corrosion resistance.” Experts consider AUS-8 as being on a par with, if not a whisker better quality than, 8Cr13MoV steel. Like the Drifter, the Danced gets high marks from knife reviewers, including both of the experts we interviewed.
We believe that the Drifter, due to its smaller size and smoother operation, is the better pick for most people, but in our tests, when we knew we would be working a knife extra hard, like heading into a house project, we preferred having the Danced with us. Sculimbrene also picks up on this general sense of durability in his review, writing, “Go buy this knife.
In spite of the knife’s low cost, the pivot and thumb-stud flipping action have a smoothness similar to that of the Drifter. The drawbacks: The all-metal body can get slippery, and we found the company to be very unresponsive to our queries, which raised some red flags about customer service and warranty support.
Blade reviewer Tony Sculimbrene also raised the point that with Sanrenmu, as with other Chinese manufacturers, “we don’t know who they are.” The body design of the 710 bears a significant resemblance to that of the highly regarded Chris Reeve Serena, which retails for $350 to $500 depending on the features and blade steel.
Anyone in the knife world likely won’t be surprised to see this recommendation, as the Mini Reptilian has a long-standing reputation as one of the premier folding EDC pocket knives. Anyone who owned the Drifter would be unlikely to covet either of these subtle touches, and they’re by no means essential features, but they are nice, and they are the marks of a high-quality knife.
The Axis lock makes no such distinction, and coupled with the Mini Reptilian’s multi-position pocket clip, it results in a knife that remains fully accessible regardless of your hand dominance. With the locking bar pulled back, the blade sits loosely enough for you to snap it open or closed with a slight flick of the wrist.
Most pocket knives, like our other recommendations, have flat sides, but the Mini Reptilian’s are slightly rounded to fit the hand. In fact, if there is a downside, it’s that the handle is too drippy: During our aggressive cardboard-cutting session, the texture along the edges of the knife became uncomfortable.
Photo: Doug Mahoney around $100 usually, the Mini Reptilian can be a little hard to justify, especially when you can get the perfectly good Drifter for as low as $20. If you simply prefer a more traditional-looking knife, even if that comes at the expense of perks like a one-handed open and close, a textured handle, and a pocket clip, we recommend the Buck Knives 55.
The brass portion of the frame is thick and sturdy, and the wood accents, made of American walnut, are attractive. We tested ours for about a month as we were writing this review, and the brass bolsters (the protective metal ends of the handle) took on a nice used patina, further enhancing the age-old feel of the Buck 55’s overall design.
But in this case, the size is a distinct advantage, because without a clip to secure it, the 55 is destined to roam free in a pocket, so it’s nice that this knife doesn’t take up a lot of room, especially when it works its way to the bottom of the pocket and ends up resting across the curve of your leg. The blade size is about as small as we’d want to recommend, but there’s no question that it can cut string, open a package, or free a toy from a blister pack.
Photo: Doug Marinate small handle has a simple arcing design that provides a nice grip and is easy to hold in a variety of ways. The texturing is minimal and consists of a light amount of wood grain and three small brass studs per side, but in our tests the knife held firm in our hands.
The Buck 55 didn’t have the grab of the Drifter’s G10 handle, but it wasn’t as slippery as the Sanrenmu 710’s polished metal. It has a fine tip for detail cutting, a belly up front for slicing, and a flat edge for dicing and chopping.
For the most part, we avoided clip-point blades in our research and testing, because as reviewer Dan Jackson told us, they can appear threatening in a larger knife. The Buck 55 opens and closes with a pronounced (and satisfying) snapping noise as the back lock falls into place.
The Case Mini Copper lock, the other traditional knife we tested, positions the lock at the middle of the handle, so this one-handed operation is easier but still awkward. The Case Mini Copper lock (top) is very similar to the Buck 55, but it’s typically more expensive and the steel isn’t as good.
Photo: Doug Mahoney tested the Buck 55 against the Case Mini Copper lock, another well-regarded traditional knife, and each has its high points. The two knives are very similar, with nearly identical handle lengths (the blade of the Case is about ¼ inch longer).
The Case is a very nice knife, but we preferred the Buck due to the more robust body design and the blade steel. The handles are extremely comfortable, the knives have good blade steel, and they open easily with a thumb hole.
The Spider liner-lock models we tested, the highly regarded Sage 1 and the more moderately priced Persistence, are also very nice. The blade of the Ontario Knife Company's RAT II and RAT I knives are aligned slightly above the handle, and we thought the finger notches on them were too far away from the blade, so we preferred the ergonomics of the CRT Drifter and Blue Ridge See Danced.
On the positive side, the RAT II is the best of the sub-$50 knives with a four-position pocket clip, so if that feature is important to you, this knife is a solid option. CRT’s Pagoda and Squid are typically less expensive than the Drifter, and both models have robust all-metal bodies and frame locks.
The downside is that it’s a flipper, and once we were done with testing, we decided that we preferred the thumb-stud opening for its fast and slow deployment. We liked the carabiner clip on the Hershey Reverb, but in our tests that feature wasn’t enough to offset the difficult open or the awkward liner lock.
The Sizer Gemini was the nicest flipper we looked at, which isn’t surprising, given the $85 price tag at the time of our research. The blade is large, though, and up in that price range, we preferred the touches of the Bench made Mini Reptilian.
Although the Milwaukee Tool Hardliner is a smooth flipper, its robust metal body made it really heavy compared with the rest of our test group. It’s built by a tool company, so that heavy-abuse build quality is not surprising, but we don’t think the added weight is necessary for an EDC knife.
The carabiner/bottle opener of the Weatherman Crater C33 came in handy, but overall the handle wasn’t as comfortable as those of our picks, and the blade pivot was not as nice. The Coast FDX302 feels durable and has a secondary blade lock, but at over 7½ inches it’s a larger knife, and we much preferred the smaller CRT Drifter.
The Mini Swagger and Razor fish were marked by difficult and uncomfortable locks, while the Remix was tough to open. Reviewer Tony Sculimbrene is a big fan of the LA Police Gear BFK S35VN, as he named it his best budget blade of 2017.
First, as Tony Sculimbrene told us, “in general should be avoided” due to the natural swelling and shrinking of the material. Doug Mahoney is a senior staff writer at Wire cutter covering home improvement.
He lives in a very demanding 250-year-old farmhouse and spent four years gutting and rebuilding his previous home. We’ve tested 23 chef’s knives, chopping over 70 pounds of produce since 2013, and recommend the Mac MTH-80 since it’s comfortable to use, reliable, and sharp.
After 40 hours of research, interviews, and testing, we’re convinced the Messermeister Santa Lakewood knives offer the best value by far. Beautiful to look at, comfortable in the hand, and as high-performing as knives six times their price, they’re great tools.
The blade edges on the Messermeister Santa Lakewood knives are smooth and very sharp, capable of cutting tough steaks easily. They feature full-tang constructions, which means a single piece of steel forms the blade, bolsters, and handle.
This design, which adds to the knife’s strength and weight, isn’t commonly seen in other steak knives at this price. If budget is a chief concern (because you need 20 settings for a wedding, for example), Chicago Cutlery’s inexpensive Walnut Tradition knives are a fine option.
They’re not beautiful, but they’re well-made, and, with smooth-edged, boning-knife-like blades, they perform far, far better than the dull serrated steak knives you usually have to settle for at this price. If you’re looking for luxury, Author’s Classic Iron steak knives are elegant and exceptionally well-constructed.
The satin-finished black handles are joined seamlessly to the steel; the blade is both sharp and tough and will perform for years without maintenance; the weight and hand-feel of the knives is, as several testers put it, “perfect.” Our 2015 guide, researched and written by Wire cutter deputy editor Christine Car Classes, produced a wealth of information also incorporated here.
Americans are eating less meat in general, and less beef in particular, so not everyone needs a set of steak knives these days. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats prefers a serrated blade; Rick Fresh of Chicago’s Prime house favors straight-edge, as does America’s Test Kitchen ; Saver recommends straight-edge, traditional serrated, and micro-serrated models; and Amazon customers review all three types positively.
On top of all that, best is a subjective term, especially for a simple tool like a steak knife, for which look and feel are almost as important as performance. Between the extremes are knives of every quality and price. To help narrow the field, I tried to put myself in Wire cutter readers’ shoes.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of models available; because many of them are mass-produced and sold under multiple resellers’ names, I restricted my search to well-known manufacturers’ house brands. Insisting on straight-edge blades also eliminated a huge swath of the inexpensive and mid-priced serrated steak knife options.
In fact, finding good straight-edged knives at low prices proved to be the biggest research challenge. To these, we added last year’s pick (the Victorinox Rosewood Straight Edge Steak Knife Set), alternate (the J.A.
I also made sure that our testers were diverse: we had men and women; large people and small; experienced knife-handlers and folks who don’t give knives much thought at all. I asked everyone for their impressions on simple performance (how well each knife cut the steaks), on feel (how well or poorly the knives fit the hand, and how flimsy or sturdy they seemed), and on looks.
No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction. Their blade-edges are well-formed, smooth, and extremely sharp; they cut even the toughest steaks as well as knives we tested that cost five times as much, which can’t be said for most others in their price range.
Their handles are finished with Lakewood, a durable resin-impregnated natural wood usually only found on more expensive knives. And unlike any other knives we found at the price, they feature full-tang construction: A single piece of steel forms the blade, bolsters, and handle.
(This may be due to the fact that the blades are produced in Germany, long known for its exceptional cutlery, before being sent to China for handle-attachment and finishing.) No other knives came close to matching their combination of performance, price, and quality of construction.
(Our previous pick from Victorinox, for example, costs about a third more per knife, yet features wide gaps between the rosewood handle and the blade.) POM (polyoxymethylene) is a hard, dense, strong plastic; it’s been used on classic riveted-handle kitchen knives (like these made by Author) for half a century.
The knives are not perfect by any metric: the blade-edges are coarse and uneven; at 60 grams/2 ounces, they’re a bit lighter than we’d like; and the fit-and-finish is indifferent. In fact, they appear just to be industrial-grade boning knives with steak knife handles slapped on.
They’re a great choice for outfitting a crowd, taking along on country picnics, or while car camping. Several testers diverged from the pack on steak knife aesthetics, preferring something with cleaner, modern lines instead of the traditional look.
The Opined blades are noticeably less sharp than the Messermeister and Author, but they still cut our tough test-steaks neatly and efficiently. The beautiful handles are made of olive wood, which, in addition to being pretty, is naturally water-resistant (though not virtually waterproof, like the Lakewood on the Messermeisters; the Opines absolutely must be hand-washed).
They also come in a simple cardboard case that won’t last long in your silverware drawer; you’d want to store it somewhere less trafficked like a high shelf. Lastly, if you’re looking for something to brighten your table, Opined makes a version of this knife set that’s fitted with colored hornbeam-wood handles.
You can also buy the knives open stock if you want to build your own set in different colors. Spending a few minutes after dinner hand-washing your steak knives will go a long way toward keeping them performing well for years.
There are multiple types of stainless steel, some more corrosion-resistant than others; all those used on our recommended knives (and all those used by major manufacturers) are high-performing: extremely corrosion-resistant, capable of taking and holding a sharp edge and easy to re-sharpen. In ancient times, Damascus referred to a special type of steel created by Middle Eastern smiths.
Today, Damascus simply refers to a decorative, layered type of common steel, formed by stacking slabs of different alloys, welding them into a solid block, and folding the block over itself repeatedly. And that’s good: real rosewood (a term that refers to several tropical species) is endangered and banned from international trade.
In knife making, the term “rosewood” now refers to any hardwood that’s been dyed a reddish-brown color; beech is commonly used and environmentally sound. It’s not a sign of cheapness or inferiority; most top manufacturers offer POM-handled knives, typically aimed at restaurant chefs and serious home cooks.
(A POM-handled Santos has been my workhorse for nearly two decades, and none of the fancier knives I’ve since purchased has budged it from its throne.) Stamped blades are punched out of flat sheets of steel, with any additional shaping done by grinding metal away.
(America’s Test Kitchen famously put a cheap, stamped Victorinox chef’s knife and an expensive, forged Bob Kramer model under the microscope; the Victorinox exhibited comparable metal quality.) There’s no reason, in short, to insist on forged blades anymore, although you’ll still find them on most high-end knives.
2015's winner, the Victorinox Rosewood Straight Edge Steak Knife Set, continued to impress on performance and looks. Unfortunately, Wire cutter buyers experienced big problems with lack of availability after we recommended them.
The Shun knives are magnificent but border on ostentatious, with their mirror-polished, hammer-finished Damascus blades and decorative rear bolster. The Authors, by contrast, are austere to a fault: The thinking behind their boring recycled-wood-fiber handles is nice, but at an MSRP of $600, surely some equally-green reclaimed walnut burl was in order.
The Radar Utility Steak Knife set is very well-reviewed on Amazon, and at about $40 it’s highly affordable. We looked at it in fall 2017, but found the aluminum handles too thin, short, and coarsely finished being comfortable.
Lawson’s Straight-Edge Steak Knife set, which we also looked at in fall 2017, competes price-wise with our, the Author Iron, and comes in two color options. The Willing Twin Cuisine II (currently unavailable) set also didn’t come with any editorial reviews, but we opted to include it in testing after trying and liking the knives at Williams-Sonoma.
If you happen to be traveling through France, though, and can afford a set, we’ve read nice things about the authentic versions. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
DWM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.
“ The Proctor 4643 easily took a top-quality Mac paring knife made of very hard forged Japanese steel from badly dulled to paper-slicing sharp.” DWM Kitchen Experts plus New York Times Wire cutter, Reliable Knife, Bestrews, On The Sharp Side, Cutlery Advisor and 1 more.
This honing tool keeps edges crisp and aligned. DWM Kitchen Experts plus New York Times Wire cutter, Blade Mag and 2 more.
“ The Ida hone stood out on a couple of fine details, too: Its ergonomic maple wood handle was more comfortable than the synthetic handles on the rest of the competitors, and its hanging ring is amply sized and sturdily made of...” “Ceramic honing rods are a bit more aggressive than steel versions.
We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review. In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Cutlery Advisor, Knife Guides, My Electric Knife Sharpener, The Gear Hunt, New York Times Wire cutter.
We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including The Proctor 4643 easily took a top-quality Mac paring knife made of very hard forged Japanese steel from badly dulled to paper-slicing sharp.
The diamonds set in this sharpener guarantee a crisp edge, and we love the handle's firm rubber grip. It also comes with non-slip cushion base for stability and an ergonomic design for comfortable use as well as easy grip.
Use stage 1 to sharpen blunt or dull blades and restore their original sharpness. He rubber made handle can give you a nice grip during the period of service.
What We Liked: Our budget pick comes equipped with both coarse and fine sharpening slots for blunter blades and finer edges. The diamonds set in this sharpener guarantee a crisp edge, and we love the handle’s firm rubber grip.
What We Liked: This electric sharpener works faster and more efficiently than its manual competitors. It gives knives more “bite,” helping it effortlessly slice through tomatoes, onions and carrots.
Cooking at home has a slew of advantages for your waistline and your wallet. Making your own meals is far cheaper than ponying up for restaurant eats on a regular basis.
Plus, you might shed some pounds if you’re in control of how much oil and fat you cook with. However, you’ll need the right tools to mimic the delicious flavors you’d find in your favorite restaurant dishes.
Quality knives are part of the foundation for a fully functional kitchen, but they can’t execute perfect slices if you don’t take proper care of them. A knife sharpener is a must-have for home cooks, but there’s some background information you’ll want to know before you pick one.
This is great for beginners, but more advanced cooks might prefer the manual control that comes with handheld sharpeners, like the Chef’choice Pronto Pro. Handheld sharpeners are less expensive than electric options, and they’re portable for chefs on the go.
Honing rods keep your blade properly aligned for better balance and precision while you slice and dice. A selection like Ida hone’s Sharpening Rod uses a high-grade ceramic to re-align your knife’s edge.
Kristin Forte/Simple most Media The humble kitchen knife has fascinating, ancient origins. The oldest-known primitive stone tools were called “Moldovan knives and they first appeared in modern-day Ethiopia about 2.5 million years ago.
They were made by cracking rocks against each other to create sharp edges and helped our ancestors carve up horses, wild cattle, ducks and even rhinos. The copper and bronze ages added a tougher edge to kitchen knives, but the advent of iron and steel helped people craft knives that resemble what you’ll find in your kitchen today.
If you’ve invested in pricey knives and see yourself whipping up new creations every day, a high-end electric sharpener like the Chef’choice Prior Electric Sharpener is worth a look. If you just want to keep your knives sharp for a few casual meals per week, a budget-friendly buy, like PriorityChef’s Knife Sharpener, might be more your speed.
Kristin Forte/Simple most Media How much counter space do you have available for your knife sharpener? The Chef’choice Prior Sharpener is a full foot long and weighs a hefty five pounds, while the Chef’choice Proctor is just over nine inches long and only weighs eight ounces.
Electric options, like the Chef’choice Prior, sharpen your knives in a snap, but they’re not road-friendly. The result is the DWM Score which represents the overall true rating of a product based upon a 1-10 scale.
However, some factors that can make cooking a little easier include having all the ingredients in the kitchen and having a recipe book. Blunt knives make you take more time to prepare food in the kitchen.
This is among the leading electric knife sharpener brands in the market today. It has rotating wheels that are made of sapphire which lead to very sharp knife edges.
This way, both sides of the blade receive equal treatment and are therefore evenly sharp. This knife sharpener is suitable for knives made of carbon, stainless steel, and alloys.
It is important to stay calm when you see sparks during the sharpening of the carbon steel knives, it is a normal occurrence. Machines like this is user-friendly, even to armatures because it has automatic blade guides.
The purpose of these blade guides is to ensure that accidents do not happen during the sharpening process. Diamond being the strongest substance ensures that the knives are sharpened to have ends that are burr free.
The last stage, of honing and polishing is manual, is suitable for both straight and serrated knives. Cooking may be a difficult procedure to many, but it is obvious that using a blunt knife may be one of the things you are doing wrong in the kitchen.
Some important things to look out for when buying an electric knife sharpener include the cost, the safety of use, the efficiency and the design. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen then you probably understand the value of high quality best Santos’knife.
The best Santos knife is designed with features that far surpass other brands in performance and durability. As the name suggests, Global G-48 is an all-purpose Santos knife with striking designs and features.
Produced from Spain, this knife is made from high tech Promote 18 steel, which is a blend of molybdenum, chromium, and vanadium. Its blade is hollow and ground, thinner and shaper perfect for slicing, dicing and chopping.
This design is in contrast with other European or Western knives style which has a standard beveled edge. The 7-inch steel blade is fully forged so that it retains its sharpness and also makes the entire knife stronger, sturdy and more durable.
Instead, the handle crafted by hand and molded as one seamless piece of high-end stainless-steel knife that’s quite sturdy and resistant to water corrosion and stains. Having no bolster gives it a combination of both bigger sweet spot and a longer cutting edge.
This feature provides a full edge use, and you can easily sharpen your entire blade. The hollow part is filled with sand which flows whenever the blade moves while cutting to ensure a continuous balance.
For convenience, the molded handle is meant to fit your hand with comfort and dimpled to provide a firm grip. Due to its design and the unique mixture of stainless steel, Global G-48 weighing 0.16 ounces stands out as one of the lightest professional knives of its size.
Even though it can be used to perform general cutting and chopping of different foods, it’s particularly excellent in thin slicing and when accuracy is needed. The Global manufactures recommend using exclusively a whetstone or a ceramic sharpener for it to perform effectively and offer lifetime service.
Generally, Global G-48 7-inch Santos knife is well-designed with high-quality materials and features to offer the most comfortable cutting experience at an affordable price. There are people who use knives to chop vegetables and then there’s me who considers cooking an art.
The Shun Premier Santos is one of the most potent kitchen tools I’ve ever come across that assists you in anything and everything between dicing, chopping, peeling, cutting, and cubing perfectly. With such razor sharp and unparalleled performance, this premium kitchen knife is a state-of-art tool.
The hand-forged knife is made of layered Damascus steel and features an authentic Scheme finish. The shape of the blade is more rounded than straight, very similar to the western knives that provide a rocking action when chopping.
The Shun Premier Santos knife is slowly growing to be one of my favorite kitchen tools. With ergonomic handles and hand-hammered edges, cutting vegetables and slicing meat will be a child’s play.
The blade doesn’t cling onto the sliced food thereby, allowing a more flexible and versatile chopping action. Also, the lightweight, agile and sleek design of the knife allows consistent and accurate cuts for better and faster slicing.
If you are looking for a knife that oozes high performance and class right from its package then this particular piece will blow your socks off. The unique edge on this knife is artistically finished off with an 8-12 degree angle on each side.
The blade is further cooled using nitrogen which enhances its harness, flexibility, and rust resistance. You will be impressed by the ultra-sharp VG-10 Japanese super steel Cutting core which is designed with a 62+ Rockwell hardness.
To further increase its performance, this knife is perfectly balanced and carefully tapered with small rectangular divots (rock hollow). These minimize surface resistance and also comes in handy in enhancing its nonstick properties.
There’s power in a carefully crafted blade that enables you to perfectly slice even the toughest food into neat strips. With this exceptional power in your hands, expect to plate jaw-dropping foods with laser precise slices.
The durability and reliability of the knife are secured by the triple rivet design that attaches the handle firmly onto the blade. This eliminates the need to keep wiping the food off the blade hence time and energy saving.
With it decorative finish, this knife definitely deserves a pot on your kitchen counter or display cabinet. The blade is artistically finished off with a liquid nitrogen tempering which guarantees a long-term performance.
The artistically rounded handle on this high-performance knife is designed tactfully and with exemplary precision. The design allows the handle of this blade to wrap comfortably in your hands which give you full control of the movement of the knife.
The triple riveted design firmly secures the handle of this knife to the blade. Note that the blade is sharp enough to run through fruits, vegetables, and meats without a manual struggle.
High Quality Well balanced Long lasting if well taken care of Comfortable to work with This authentic made in Germany Santos knife with an ice-hardened stamp on its blade is worth an investment to any chef kitchen.
It has a full tang blade that’s very versatile in performing a range of cutting techniques. The blade is fabricated from high carbon stainless steel, laser-cut, ice-hardened and then polished by hand making it stronger enough to perform effectively and stand the test of time.
As a result of the hardness, this sharper blade has excellent edge retention and top-quality resilience. Heckles is designed with an angled bolster which enhances precision, your safety while cutting and a comfortable grip.
This Santos knife frequently outshines other Japanese knives in exclusively three cutting methods; slicing, dicing and mincing garlic. Heckles just like Global G-48 is fully forged to create a continuous transition from the handle to the blade to offer a perfect balancing on your wrist.
Its dynamic handles are synthetic featuring rounded edges and have an ultra-ergonomic style to reduce stress and fatigue with prolonged use. However, the handle features a polymer and unique formula steel bolster which increase its weight distribution.
When using this knife, you want the weight to concentrate at the midsection of the blade to allow gravity to work. The exceptional high-quality steel and polymer handle ensures a sturdy knife and lifetime use.
This 7-inch blade like any other conventional knife has been triple-riveted to the handle to create a flawless geometry, that offers comfort, extra strength, and balance. This unique feature reduces hand and wrist stress, therefore, encouraging smooth, tireless chopping.
Suitable for seamlessly slicing meat, fish, sashimi, vegetables, fruits, and sushi. With 10 degrees edge angle, this knife has a satin finish with its sharpness lasting for a longer time without the need of sharpening.
Razor sharp for easy and effortless use Best for thin precise slicing Handles are comfortable with a firm grip Hollow edge stops food sticking on the blade Dishwasher safe To sum up, Heckles Classic is a versatile full tang, hollow-edge and high-quality stainless-steel knife idle for your kitchen needs.
With high performance and guaranteed durability, you can find this piece worth your dime. The Audio hollow ground Santos is a customary Japanese multipurpose knife that’s designed for domestic use.
The blade comes in a special design that can withstand the securities of harsh restaurant use. It can also be used for domestic kitchen purposes and exclusively designed with a longer edge that is better in comparison to other standard knives.
This is because the knife is made from high carbon stainless steel coated to resist rust and stubborn stain. The sharp blade is ideal for slicing, dicing, chopping as well as mincing of fish, boneless meat and fruits.
The Lakewood handles offer a combination of a comfortable, perfect hand grip. The wooden handle and a lightweight blade allow you to cut through your veggies for an extended period without operational fatigue.
The beautifully designed pattern which is special waved on the blade is both eye-catching and flawless though not real Damascus. The ergonomic shape makes this knife achieve the desired balance between your hand and the thin blade, offering you easy maneuverability.
With its attractive, sleek look, sturdy enough, sharp and firm grip handle this Santos knife is fairly easy to use. This high-performance knife is designed for people who still have a traditional flare yet open to modern technology.
This Japanese style inspired knife satisfactorily performs detailed chopping tasks. This offers a comfortable grip that gives you fill control over the activities and movement of the knife.
The handle is further designed with the triple rivet formula that firmly secures it to the blade. Just because this is a versatile knife doesn’t mean rule out unique features that enhance its performance.
The blade is made of a high carbon German stainless steel metal. The taper ground edge is responsible for its easy honing, stability, durable sharpness and high efficiency when chopping and cutting foods.
The bolster is a unique feature that gives the knife its balance and sturdy built. The blade is razor sharp which enables you to cut through fruits and vegetables with ease.
It is designed with an artistic heft alongside premium materials and an impressive feel. The features of this master knife prove that it is an ideal choice for busy kitchens.
Tall blade height Tapered design for flexibility and hardness Easy to clean This is a knife that is designed with all the impressive features that make food preparation a joy.
Any expert in Japanese dishes knows that a suitable knife in this line of prowess must be able to perform three tasks; slice, dice, and mince. This allows air in between the food slices and the blade which enables it to slide off which is a bonus.
The blade is made using stainless steel which is a superior material that determines the durability of the knife. If Japanese dishes are where your skills are hidden then you definitely need to invest in this knife.
It is designed to perform in line with Japanese dishes where perfection in slicing, dicing, and chopping are core. This high-performance knife is designed using a 1K6 high carbon stainless steel material for superior edge retention.
This is a strong and highly durable material which guarantees the long life of the blade. Besides the powerful blade, the handle on this knife has a sturdy design with a clean polypropylene blend.
Solid construction Impressively sharp Easy to work with Comfortable to hold This knife is designed with a soft yet comfortable handle that facilitates a safe grip.
The ergonomic design allows the handle to sit comfortably in the contours of the palm of your hands. Enjoy the nonslip handle which prevents accidents around the kitchen and also strengthens the control that you have over the knife.
You’d be pleased to know that this knife is designed with a razor sharp, stainless steel blade. Traditionally Santos Knife was used for slicing fish, mincing meat and dicing vegetable.
These hollows form air pockets to prevent food from sticking to the blade. While a sharp blade is a what you should be after, it is important to know that some come slightly blunt hence need sharpening.
Before grabbing a random knife off the shelf for purchase, you need to determine whether it holds an edge. Chef’s knife- Normally 8 inches long, this is the mastermind of the kitchen, It can be used for chopping, slicing and dicing a variety of foods Slicer- This is normally used to cut cooked meat.
It is usually long and thin Utility knife- It is ideal for cutting and slicing fruits and vegetables Paring knife- This is the perfect choice for peeling and coring Forged knives are more expensive and are normally created by melting steel and forming it into the desired shape.
Stamped knives on the other and are cut into a shape which takes less precision and creativity hence the lower price. If your cooking is complex, it is advisable to purchase a set of knives with lots of pieces.
Santos is a preferred choice for people who aren’t versed in rocking because it is lighter and less bulky. Check to see whether the knife is susceptible to corrosion and avoid leaving water on it unnecessarily.
For even better care of your knife, have a small kitchen towel strapped on your apron and wipe off the blade after every use. If honing isn’t your cup of tea then you should consider a low maintenance set.
This doesn’t feel natural so choose one that’s straight or one that arcs slightly upwards. Mastering the art of knives selection might take a while but it doesn’t mean that you are incapable of doing it.
These meet the most important features; durability, strength, comfort, functionality and of course, appeal. Additionally, these knives bear a decorative come functional design on the blade that renders it a nonslip surface.
Wood Handle, Gift Box, 6 Pieces Buy on AmazonLaguiole By FlyingColors 08BC Steak Knife Set, Stainless Steel, Black Handles,8 Pieces Black Buy on AmazonS teak Knife Set, German X50Cr15 Stainless Steel Fine Edge Steak Knives,6-Piece Heavy Steak Knives Buy on AmazonS teak knives, Emo joy Steak knife set, Lakewood Handle Highly Resistant and Durable, German... Buy on Amazon. A. The Wallop Senior Steak knife set is made with durable materials in both the blade and handle areas.
These steak knives from Wallop have sturdy craftsmanship so you can feel confident in your purchase. The blades are made with high-carbon stainless steel and have a fine grinding v-edge for precision cutting.
This set of 4 steak knives from Wallop would make the ideal wedding, housewarming, or anniversary gift. The knives have a balanced design with an ergonomically shaped handle for comfort in your hand.
Sharp blade to work well for many purposes handle is lightweight with a balanced feel comes in a set of 6 This knife set includes the matching sheaths to protect your hands and keep the blades sharp.
Heckles Ever Sharp Pro Steak Knife Set comes with 4 super sharp and versatile knives. They have a durable blade made of strong stainless steel that’s designed to last and stay sharp.
The knives have a very sharp micro serrated blade that can be used to cut beef, chicken, and other meats. This set of steak knives from Lagoon by Flying Colors would make an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
This set of knives from Lagoon by Flying Colors would make the ideal anniversary, house-warming, or wedding gift. The Lagoon by Flying Colors Steak Knife Set includes 8 versatile pieces.
Blades have micro-serrated edges handles are made of ABS plastic and designed to last knives are dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended The knives have plastic handles and are dishwasher safe, although hand washing will help them better maintain their sharpness.
These knives are made with durable materials and designed to hold up to heavy-duty usage in your home or a professional setting. This set of 6 knives from Home geek feature a sleek design with a balanced handle that makes it easier to complete all your cutting tasks in the kitchen.
Handles are made mostly of stainless steel and are heavier than other steak knives shouldn’t be washed in dishwasher This set of 6 steak knives makes a great gift or an investment for yourself if you’re adding quality tools to your kitchen.
These knives can make a great addition to any kitchen and work well as a gift for many occasions. This set of steak knives from Emo joy have durable blades and comfortable handles so you can use them for many cutting tasks.
The knives have micro serrated blades that work well for cutting steak and other types of meat. Heckles International Stainless Steel knife set includes 8 pieces.
Sharp knives of different shapes and sizes are essential tools for cooks. For excellent quality and performance, use the sturdy German-made Author Classic 8-inch Cook's Knife for making light work of chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and more.
Although the assortment of knives on the market is overwhelming, most home cooks only need these four kinds. It's used for chopping, cubing, slicing, and dicing vegetables, meats, and other ingredients, especially in volume.
A pro I spoke with advised against buying specialty knives in a block. Instead, he suggested thinking about what culinary tasks you do and then focusing on high-quality models that address those specific needs.
Ceramic blades are very light, very hard (comparable to diamonds), and hold their sharp edges well. Titanium, in combination with something like ceramic, makes for a durable and extremely lightweight knife.
Japanese knives are more lightweight with thinner but extremely sharp blades. Made from harder steel, their blades tend to stay sharp longer.
The blade's slightly straighter cutting edge is best suited for precise slicing. A stamped knife has a blade that's been cut cookie-cutter style from a sheet of steel before being tempered and hardened.
And as mentioned, Japanese knives are lighter by design but not inferior to their heavier Western counterparts. Balance : You want the blade and handle to be fairly even and not overly heavy in one direction or the other.
I've tested and employed all different types and brands of knives over more than 20 years of cooking. To supplement my research, I interviewed a former prep cook and read a breadth of reviews by experts who have tested these knives. Advertisement Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team.
A sturdy and dependable workhorse, the German-made Author Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife is an ideal and efficient culinary cutting tool. I've used my Author Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife almost daily for nearly two decades to prepare both Chinese and Western dishes.
I've chopped, cut, sliced, and diced countless ingredients (vegetables, fruits, meats, tofu) of different thicknesses and textures with ease. Constructed of high-carbon stainless steel, the knife's blade has a slightly rounded belly for efficiently rocking it back and forth while cutting.
I find the handle very comfortable, even when I'm chopping thick, hard ingredients like melons and carrots for a long time, and balanced in weight with the blade. In my experience, the versatile Author Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife is excellent for working on diverse ingredients.
Made in Spain, Heckles' International Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife has a blade of stainless steel that's honed for sharpness and precise cutting. The cutting blade accommodates many tasks, including chopping, dicing, slicing, and mincing vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish.
Good Housekeeping noted that it performed an “ace job of blitzing parsley into dust, dicing onions, or defining a chicken.” Testers at Food & Wine found that like the Author Classic 8-inch Cook's Knife, Henkel's International Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife slightly bruised basil leaves when slicing them, but successfully cubed butternut squash and cut through a chicken's breastbone to split breasts.
Sharon France, a professional culinary equipment and tester formerly of Good Housekeeping, named it Best Budget Knife for More Serious Cooks.” Advertisement The petite and nimble Victorinox Swiss Army 3.25-Inch Straight Paring Knife is perfect for close work on small, intricate, and/or delicate ingredients.
With its 3.25-inch-long blade, it can handle jobs ranging from peeling or seeding fruit to slicing onions to mincing garlic. In terms of performance, though, the Victorinox Swiss Army 3.25-inch Straight Paring Knife more than pulls its weight.
Commending its control and versatility, Wire cutter reported that this knife excelled in hulling strawberries with one smooth, circular action as well slipping beneath a shrimp shell for efficient peeling and detaining. The Victorinox Swiss Army 3.25-inch Straight Paring Knife is machine washable.
Good Housekeeping ran it through repeated dishwashing cycles and found only one small speck of rust. Even if this paring knife gets a bit worn after going through the dishwasher many times, it's very inexpensive to replace.
The Japanese Shun Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife is versatile and great for jobs ranging from small, precise cutting chores to large, broader chopping tasks. The blade's core is made of Shun's proprietary advanced steel that's hardened by additional carbon, cobalt, chromium, and tungsten.
This core is wrapped with multiple layers of Damascus stainless steel-clad to resist wear and corrosion as well as retain an extremely sharp edge. The D-shaped handle is made of smooth Lakewood, an engineered wood/plastic composite material that's dense, waterproof, and warp-resistant.
I use my utility knife for trimming broccoli, slicing onions, cutting sandwiches, and other “medium-size” jobs. Shun was the first brand recommended by the prep cook I interviewed, and Good Housekeeping also loved this company.
The blade's serrated edge is designed to cut through a tough and/or hard exterior layer (like the bread's crust) and not tear or crush a soft interior. When Wire cutter tested it, the knife performed well overall, easily cutting sandwiches and cinnamon rolls.
But it did shatter the bread crust a little and left teeth marks on roast beef slices. Good Housekeeping noted that although this knife sliced foods without much added force, the blade's deep and wide serrations allowed a little less control, and it was challenging cutting wafer-thin slices and resulted in imperfect edges.
Nonetheless, they said that for people who aren't overly concerned about precision-cutting for some breads and meats, they recommend this knife. Wire cutter named it a “good budget option” and the “Runner-up” to their more expensive pick for best bread knife.
Pros: Good value, excellent serrated cutting edge, limited lifetime warranty Protect the blades and store the knives on a magnetic strip or in a slotted drawer insert, a chef's knife roll, or freestanding block.
When transporting and/or storing individual knives, a knife sheath or blade guard works well. Good Housekeeping noted that, regardless of manufacturer directions, hand washing and drying maintains the sharpness of a knife blade longer than running it through the dishwasher.