Best Chef Knife

We spent over 42 hours researching and testing 15 different kinds of chef knives and found that construction, durability, and handle material were most important. The Victorinox Fibrox Straight Edge Chef’s Knife scored high marks in all areas and is our top pick. This high quality knife measures 8″ long and is 2″ wide at the handle. This provides the user with excellent cutting control and results. The knife is easily re-sharpened without any deterioration of the blade’s original sharpness. You can use this knife for slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing. The ergonomic handle makes the knife easy to handle and hold onto even when your hands are wet.

Chef Knife Review
11 mins to read
27 products considered
15 products reviewed
42 hours reviewing

Top 10 Chef Knifes

PictureChef KnivesSize (inches)
MaterialRockwell Hardness
Victorinox8
Stainless Steel56±2
J.A. HENCKELS8
Carbon56±2
OXO8
Carbon56±2
Mercer8
Japanese Steel56±2
Mercer Genesis6Carbon56±2
ZELITE8
Japanese Steel58±2
Imarku8
4116 Steel56±2
DALSTRONG8
Carbon56±2
Wusthof8
Carbon58±2
DALSTRONG Shogun8
Japanese Steel52±2

1. Victorinox

Best Overall Chef Knife

5/5 Product Rating
This 8” chef’s knife is a full 2” wide at the handle for superior cutting and control. The blade is made of high carbon stainless steel that has been hand finished by skilled craftsman at the Victorinox Company in Switzerland.

Thanks to the special tempering process, this knife can be resharpened again and again with no deterioration of the original sharpness.

This is the perfect knife for all of your dicing, slicing, chopping and mincing needs in the kitchen. With an ergonomic textured handle that is slip resistant, you can chop safely, even when your hands are wet.

The blade is conical ground both crosswise and lengthwise which provides the cook minimal resistance while they’re cutting. It is a great addition to your kitchen equipment and will make cutting and dicing tasks much easier.

2. J.A. HENCKELS

Best Overall Chef Knife – Runner Up

4.7/5 Product Rating
Chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing become simple and efficient with this Chef’s knife from J.A. Henckels International.

The stain-resistant carbon steel blade has been hot drop forged for extra durability and performance. Full tang surrounded by a triple riveted handle adds strength and stability.

Weight and safety abound with this chef knife’s full bolster that will make it one of the best knives in your collection. This is the perfect knife for heavy cutting jobs and you’ll find that you use it for almost all of your chopping needs due to the superior handling you will have.

This excellent chef’s knife comes with a lifetime warranty which shows that the company stands behind their product. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you will appreciate all that this knife has to offer.

3. OXO

Best Budget Chef Knife

4.3/5 Product Rating
The OXO Professional Chef’s Knife could end up being the most used knife in your kitchen. Great for all mincing, chopping, slicing and dicing needs.

The black, ergonomic, non-slip rubber handle ensures a safe and comfortable grip during use. The blades of this OXO knife have been hardened to make them durable and strong and long lasting.

No staining to worry about with these blades either. You’ll have the proper balance during use with the full tang blades. This knife will last years and years with the proper care.

It is dishwasher safe but hand washing and cleaning promptly upon being done with your cutting job is recommended to make the product last longer and stay in excellent shape. This OXO measures 12” x 2” and includes a lifetime warranty.

Chef Knife Comparison


Victorinox
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J.A. Henckels
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OXO
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Mercer
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Mercer
Genesis
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ZELITE
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Imarku
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DALSTRONG
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Wusthof
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DALSTRONG
Shogun
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Size (in) 8 8 8 8 6 8 8 8 8 8
Material Stainless
Steel
Carbon Carbon Japanese
Steel
Carbon Japanese
Steel
4116
Steel
Carbon Carbon Japanese
Steel
Handle TPE Polypropylene Soft
Silicone
Santoprene Santoprene Pakkawood Pakkawood Pakkawood Polypropylene Military
Grade G10
Rockwell
Hardness
56±2 56±2 56±2 56±2 56±2 58±2 56±2 56±2 58±2 52±2
Warranty
(years)
Limited
Lifetime
Limited Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime

 

Chef Knife Buying Guide

Best Chef Knife

Elements of a Great Chef’s Knife

There are several things that you want to look for when you are searching for the right chef’s knife. We have outlined the different aspects that make an excellent knife so you know what to look for when you start shopping.

    Chef Knife1

  • Style – There are three basic types of chef’s knives: modern gyutou-style hybrid, a tough Western style, or a more delicate Japanese-style santoku. Personal preference will play a large part in the type of Chef’s knife you choose. If you have any experience at all using knives, you should already have an idea of the style of knife you prefer to use.
  • Design – From the curve of the blade to the weight to the shape of the handle, all these aspects come together to create a high quality knife that you will love using in your kitchen. All of the design aspects of a knife should be considered to ensure that you pick one that will feel natural and good in your hand.
  • Craftsmanship – The construction of a chef’s knife is critical to how it performs and how it feels in your hand. You want a knife that feels solid and well put together. You don’t want to feel the handle shift or the blade give and you want it to feel good in your hand as you use it. A knife that is well balanced and has a hefty feel to it will be easy to use and will take a lot less effort to get the cutting jobs done.
  • Materials – Harder steel is used in hybrid and Japanese style knives and they retain their edges for a longer time. Softer steel knives need to be sharpened more frequently even though they tend to be easier to use. You also want to look at the material the handles are made of which can be solid wood or composite handles. You want them to feel durable and sturdy in your hand.

A good chef’s knife is an extension of your hand. You want to look for a knife that will be natural in your hand and that allows you to complete the cutting, dicing and chopping tasks you have to do in an effortless and enjoyable way. Cooking is supposed to be enjoyable. One of the best ways to encourage a love of cooking is to make sure that your tools are good quality. Choosing the best chef’s knife will start the ball rolling.

Types of Chef’s Knives

There are three basic styles of chef’s knives on the market. We have outlined all three types below so you can learn about the differences and see which style appeals to you. Which one you want to choose is up to personal preference and most cooks will find that they gravitate towards a specific style for the knives they use.

  • Modern Gyutou Hybrid – Extreme precision in knife construction is commonplace in Japanese knife making. When compared to the Western style knives, Japanese hybrids are usually thicker, shaper and harder to control, especially for newbies to using a chef’s knife.

    With a lot of practice you can learn to wield a Japanese hybrid chef’s knife very impressively, but it will take practice. These knives typically have a flat edge which makes a rocking chopping motion pretty much impossible. The Gyutou knife is designed to perform many Western tasks and is lighter than the traditional hybrid was.

    They have better control and precision and are more maneuverable but less precise than the Santoku. This type of chef’s knife is a great all around knife that is perfect for mincing, precision vegetable prep and light protein prep. They are not the best for chopping through bones or cutting extra large vegetables in half.

  • Classic Western-Style – If you are looking for power and precision, then a Western style chef’s knife with its hefty feel may be what you’re wanting. This style chef’s knife is thicker and has more of a wedge shape; the Western style chef’s knife has been designed for versatility.

    Their sharp tips make them good for precise knife work although it is a bit contradictory since the weight and thickness limits them somewhat in the precision area. They are constructed to be heavy and have a wide bolster that feels solid and strong in your hand. The thick metal and full tang add to the weight so the momentum helps do the work rather than having to use force.

    The heavily curved blade allows for the rocking motion that makes chopping herbs and other items into tiny pieces much easier. The steel used in a Western style knife is softer so they are easier to sharpen and home but you will need to do this more frequently to maintain a sharp edge.

    This style chef’s knife is perfect for the home cook that does a lot of heavy prep and that wants a knife that is good for many different tasks. Since they are heavier and chunkier, if you have small hands, this may not be the knife for you.

  • Chef Knife2

  • Santoku-Style – These multi-tasking knives are precise and offer a lot of control over the cutting process. With this type of knife, the Western style rocking-style cutting motion is not very practical or efficient.

    The straight edge and blocky tip make this style the best for cutting vegetables precisely and for easy butchering of light proteins like chicken and fish. This knife has a slight curve to it which adds to the speed in which you can chop small items like herbs, especially with practice.

    The Santoku chef’s knife is great for the kitchen perfectionist. If you like uniform chopping, this is the knife that will make this much easier to achieve.

Conclusion

Choosing the right chef’s knife is serious business to a cook that spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals and doing prep work. Anyone who has had to work with an inferior knife will agree that having a high quality chef’s knife to handle a multitude of cutting, dicing, and chopping tasks makes food prep much more enjoyable and efficient.

Knowing what to look for when it comes to a chef’s knife is the most important aspect of finding that perfect one for your kitchen. We’ve provided the different factors that need to be considered when looking at different models. This information will make sorting through the different styles of chef’s knives much easier since the descriptions will make a lot more sense to you.

The right information gives you the knowledge to make an informed decision that you will be very pleased with and more importantly, that you will enjoy using on a regular basis in your kitchen.

Resources

  1. Victorinox – https://www.victorinox.com/global/en_US/
  2. J A Henckels – http://www.j-a-henckels.com/en-US/
  3. OXO – https://www.oxo.com/products/