A chef’s knife is potentially the essential kitchen tool in your toolbox, so it creates a whole lot of sense to spend from the very Best Chef Knife you can.
But knives are intimidating to search for: What is full tang? What is the distinction between a Western-style knife along a Japanese-style knife?
Do you desire a thick sword or a lean one? If your knife is light or heavy? And needless to say, how much money should you invest? When highly rated products vary in cost from $5 to over $3,000, it isn’t easy to know where to start.
We waded through all of the crap and put out to obtain the best chef’s knives for home cooks at the lowest prices. We analyzed 14 eight-inch choices from top brands (between $6 and $400 each), and three finished up a cut above the rest.
Keep reading to find the very best chef’s knife of 2020 in every class, such as the best all-around, runner-up, and also an impressive budget selection.
For the particulars of how we analyzed and the best way to look for a kitchen knife, then scroll towards the web page’s bottom.
Top 9 Best Chef Knife Brand You Should Buy 2020
MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife with Dimples
Hayward calls this knife a “terrific all-rounder,” and I concur. Produced in Japan, it’s a tough, super-sharp blade plus an easy wooden handle that is incredibly comfortable and feels safe in hand. It is razor-sharp for a motive -MAC’s founder mimicked the organization’s knives razors.
The blade is beveled to a very thin, severe angle, making it incredibly sharp.
The high carbon stainless steel makes it somewhat hard, but additionally has a dose of molybdenum, which reduces brittleness and leaves the metal more elastic, less likely to the processor. It is mild and feels balanced, using a contour that is natural and simple to control.
It may be chiffonade basil, without bruising the leaves in any way. It snacks through the skin and also cuts a fantastic onion dice easily. It supremes an orange fast and precisely.
The combo of this razor-like blade along with the comfortable, comfortable blade form and manage, for me, what made it the best option all around.
It’s about the mild side although maybe not the lightest of the light: It’s less ideal for cutting up a whole chicken or butternut squash compared to German knives, but it was the very best Japanese knife for all those jobs, with only enough heft to find the task finished. If I could have one blade, then I’d pick this one.
Global G-2 Vintage 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Global’s favorite chef’s knife is a Japanese-style blade, so it boasts a scary-sharp border plus a nimble-feeling lightweight body.
Global’s layout is also exceptional: the blade and handle are made from one bit of high-carbon steel, and the handle is full of sand to burden it.
Global’s 8-inch alternative is well-balanced and fulfills all of your standard mise en place requirements. Slicing, mincing, chopping, and breaking down poultry is simple using the Global.
While the border is not quite as eloquent as Mac’s 8-inch blade from the box, I have grown to prefer it on my old standby, the Wusthof, along with my very first Japanese-style knife, the Mac. Its blade is more robust compared to an easy-to-chip Mac, and it just feels perfect in your hand.
Additionally, if you discover it available for a cold $80, just like I did, then you need to snap this up with a lightweight knife.
Although I have all of six chef knives, this very best chef knives listing and have utilized them to sliced onions, quarter cantaloupes, slice berries, and much more-I haven’t officially “tested” them. Huh?
Yep., I’ve declined to place these knives via a string of, allegedly, quantifiable kitchen stick jobs and utilize their perceived performance for a foundation of evaluation of each blade.
Why? Since I don’t think that it’s true or, in the long-run, genuinely helpful to the consumer. Because, in the long run, the most important thing you are analyzing is precisely how sharp the mill edge is.
And, while it’s more than pleasant to obtain a chef knife using a razor-sharp mill edge-generally, the mill turpitude of your brand new blade, even in case you hone it, will probably only last a couple of years max. Not 25 decades. Not five.
Why create this mill edge’s sharpness as that the end-all standards for whether or not a chef knife works for you? Especially if there is a different blade that you love in each other’s manner except that it will not have been as sharp as out-of-the-box sharp.
Wherever you reside, you can send your favorite chef knife off to some top-notch professional sharpener, and they’ll provide you an edge sharper than many factories. There, the problem was solved.
However, other, more durable attributes can not be easily substituted. Like the texture of the deal. The weight. The dimensions of this blade. The appearance and style of the knife. All these you can not alter. . .so why not be pleased with them?
Do not get me wrong, some sort of testing, such as sharpness, may be helpful. A fast perusal of Reviews of Professional Knife Sharpening Services will reveal I could be a manic tester.
And do not get me wrong again. You want a chef knife that may have an excellent edge and wait.
However, in a review intended to assist you to opt for a life-long kitchen partner (i.e., chef knife), complete servitude in the mill must not be the sole occasion, the excellent standards, for picking one life within another. Notably, razor sharpness may so readily be obtained later on if needed.
J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
All these would be the indestructible German blades which Hayward would take to a desert island. Both are made from slightly thicker steel than the very best Japanese knives, so they feel somewhat less sharp.
They’re thick and robust, not as elegant as the lighter knives. Still, they’re equally excellent at cutting a chicken and cubing butternut squash-far and away from the best at these two activities of all of the knives I analyzed.
If you cook massive cuts of meat frequently, among them is probably the right for you.
And they’re good all-around: There is nothing that they can not do; it is just that I find them simpler to use, and for a few jobs, less than perfect.
For example, if you chiffonade basil using a model, the fragile leaves have ever-so-slightly bruised on the thicker blades’ borders.
The Wusthof is the more comfortable of both -very stable and well-balanced at the hand-along with the wide-bellied blade that makes it a cinch to swell using a rocking movement.
However, these two versions have numerous similarities in design, layout, and functionality, and such a difference in cost is difficult to advocate the Wüsthof within the Henckels. So we will call it a tie.
Zwilling Gourmet 8-inch Chef’s Knife
For $50, J.A. Henckels’ Zwilling Gourmet 8-inch Chef’s knife is a fantastic budget choice. It does not possess the heel of a heavier-duty knife such as the Wusthof or J.A. Henckels Classic, but it is well-balanced and leaves clean cuts tomatoes and herbs, makes fast work of dicing onions, and breaks a chicken down with comparative ease.
The Zwilling Gourmet is a stamped word instead of a forged one, so it will probably not hold its edge as long as it is the Wusthof. It is also lighter, so your hands will not be directed very, too, via a tomato or even fragile food.
All that said, the Zwilling’s cuts were consistently clean, it felt comfortable in my hands, and for $50, I would be happy to bring this knife into my kitchen.
Henckels Professional S Chef Knife, 8-Inch
Zwilling J.A. Henckels is among the biggest knife makers globally and has been in existence since the 1700s. They produce at least 24 distinct traces of knives (in case you include Henckels International), so it is particularly important to be clear what version you are purchasing.
The Henckels Professional S is just one of the top-tier lines and is produced in Solingen, Germany, in which their center factories can be found.
Henckels also has factories in Spain and, like a more recent creation, in Japan too. In Japan, where they produce among their newest products, knives made by Bob Kramer, the American blacksmith, that has set the bar high for kitchen-knife quality.
The Professional S is forged out of 1 hunk of steel. It uses a bolster, a full-tang, and a three-rivet manager. It is as timeless as it gets.
Though the manager has been forced to look and feel just like wood, it is not. Wood handles are no longer the standard (though they’re making a comeback!) And many producers assume clients prefer to have the longevity provided by a synthetic substance.
Misono UX10 Gyutou
If you chiffonade basil using this knife, it seems just like the leaves are peeling off the blade at ideal ribbons by themselves. This knife is a pleasure.
“Like butter” comes to mind over and over again. It seems almost alive on your hand, super light, and incredibly elegant. It snacks through berries effortlessly and then supremes an orange to absolutely clean, neat sections in a couple of seconds.
Unlike the MAC, which has enough sturdiness to take care of a poultry and butternut squash, this knife does not have the oomph for heavy tasks.
It’s a scalpel-like delicacy, and if I used it to handle large, rigid components, it felt wrong, a little dangerous, and that I feared I’d harm the blade.
Additionally, it requires professional pruning: Among the keys to the knife’s amazingness is a simple fact it is honed into an allowable advantage -one negative is 70 degrees, and one can be 30 levels, and that means you’ve got to obtain a left-handed or a right-handed version.
That is ok, but it will have to be sharpened by somebody who knows what they’re doing to remain like that. Hayward calls it “a living hell” to maintain it appropriately pointed.
Should you run it via an at-home wheel sharpener, it will hone the blade into an even “v” that is regular, and you’ll eliminate the knife’s quality. As much as I love this knife, I can not suggest it as an all-purpose blade.
Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Hands-down, the greatest surprise of my testing was that the functionality of Mercer’s $16 Culinary Millennia 8-inch chef’s knife.
It is not as well made as the Zwilling or Wusthof blades – either of which contains a long-lasting full-tang layout (the knife metal travels all of the ways from the tip of this blade into the bottom of the grip in one piece).
However, the handle layout is ideal for teaching beginners how to grip and use a chef’s knife, directing your thumb and index finger into the blade’s bottom.
It is well-balanced and felt like an extension of my arm as I lacked different veggies, meats, and fruits in my evaluations.
The lightweight and affordable design mean you do not get the extended run or the complete flexibility you would receive from a workhorse like the Wusthof.
However, if you want a beginner chef’s knife to find out for six months as you save to get a more considerable investment, then the Mercer is an excellent cook’s knife.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
Sure, the end quality with this Victorinox knife is not quite large as the Mac or the Global but is under $40. It is a complete steal. Plus, it is super sharp. It glided through rough, sweet potatoes with accuracy and delicacy and made fast work of cutting off an onion.
In reality, the blade on this knife has an excellent nonstick finish that appeared to repel blossoms, which adhered to all the additional knife blades we analyzed.
The rubber handle may not seem like much, but it is comfortable to hold and easy to grip. It is not complete tang, meaning that this stainless-steel metal doesn’t extend all of the ways into the bottom of the grip, which is usually believed to signify that a lower-quality, less-sturdy knife.
However, for this affordable instrument, that is not a cause for concern; it produces beautiful knife function. It is wise to have a cheap chef’s knife round -one that is low-maintenance and may require a trip through the dishwasher.
As Test Kitchen Manager Chris Morocco told me, “It is probably the best chef’s knife on the market for the cost. It is one we maintain around the kitchen, and it sharpens well” Sold.
How We Analyzed That The Chef’s Knives
The very first step in assessing a knife would be getting a feel for this instrument.
We spent a few spent time with every one of the very best chefs knives we analyzed, only holding them in our hands, observing the grade of the metallic and sharpened border, the texture of the grip, and the general weight of this knife.
Then we used every knife to chop raw sweet onions and potatoes and mince a heap of herbs. We assessed the knives on these facets.
1. How thick is your knife?
To a certain extent, the chef’s knife’s perfect weight is a question of personal taste. If you tend to use a rocking motion while cutting, a thicker knife with a curved blade can maintain your hands secure in 1 place; should you rather have a cutting movement, a mild thin-bladed knife will probably be much easier to return and forth. As a staff, we preferred a lightweight knife.
2. How thin is your blade? What shape is it?
From the beginning, we were trying to find a thin, sharp blade, making cutting more comfortable and smoother and weighing less complete.
In testing, we found that we favored the flatter tummy attribute of a French or Japanese knife greater than the pronounced curve of a German-style blade; the latter is far much more conducive to rocking and demands a little more force.
Thinner blades have a catch, however: “Chips are likely to occur to some knife after a time, especially to those who are thinner and have less metal supporting the border when you are cutting through rough vegetables such as butternut squash,” Morocco states.
You can fight this by taking care of your knife, and using it sharpened frequently.
3. How can they manage sense? How responsive is your knife?
We needed a knife having a comfortable grip, which we translated as smooth and lightweight instead of long and heavy. If it comes to responsiveness, Morocco, clarifies that you would like a knife that feels “living in your hand.”
It’s possible to establish responsiveness by tapping on the blade against the cutting board or counter top -a responsive knife will vibrate on your hands.
If you chop something, you will feel as if you have control over the outer movement and much more related to the knife.
4. How sharp is it? How efficiently does this slice through rough vegetables?
We sliced through uncooked sweet potatoes to check every knife’s sharpness and smoothness. We did not desire blades that could grab about the veggies-we wanted the tidy, simple slicing that comes in the sharpest chef’s knives.
We tested onions to inspect the knives’ precision when cutting and dicing. Particular knives afforded thinner, even, and more exact pieces compared to others.
5. How can the knife handle fragile herbs?
Along with tackling the heft and durability of something such as potato, we desired a knife that could slice through blossoms without beating them. A fantastic chef’s knife should not muddle or mush a heap of parsley.
6. What is the end quality like?
How fair is your steel? How are the alterations between the handle and the blade? Is your handle made from a high-quality substance? Is your blade easy and even?
Again, knowing the distinction between a German-style knife along a Western one is significant here: German knives have a tendency to get a thick cuff or strengthen, which runs between the knife blade and the grip.
This makes the knife heavier and better suited to rocking motions. We finally liked a smoother transition with no cuff, as it led to a milder knife, which made for a comfortable and straightforward cutting movement.
All of that said, it is quite feasible to narrow down the area, so you can determine a knife which may be most suitable for you. I analyzed 14 knives within the duration of two or three weeks.
I used them in the standard course of my everyday cooking to get to know them, and I also examined them in six significant jobs: dicing an onion, then cutting basil to a chiffonade, slicing tomatoes, cubing butternut squash, supreming an orange, and cutting out a whole chicken.
Those tasks inform you nearly all you will need to know about if the knife is sharp and elegant, sturdy and robust, and, most importantly, comfortable and secure-feeling.
The knives ranged from $38 to approximately $200, and that I discovered that cost is not always commensurate with quality and functionality, though the best knives aren’t affordable.
They ranged from 5.8 oz to 9.95 oz. Also, there were winners and losers on the two ends of the weight reduction.
Just a little on keeping your knives sharp: You can purchase the ideal knife there, but you will have to sharpen it, or it’ll be useless.
Home cooks can deliver the knife to a professional or purchase a simple plastic wheel grinder, making sharpening economical, quick, and foolproof.
Hayward claims he likes to unwind at night with a glass of wine along with a whetstone and sharpen his countless knives.
However, take his advice: “If you would like a lifetime, you would like a wheel grinder,” he explained. “You will have the sharpest knife around the block and still have the time to play with your children.”
Maybe You Like:
To get a super sharp and responsive knife that will endure and sharpen easily, pick the Mac Knife.
For a more affordable alternative that boasts incredible balance, pick the international chef’s knife. And to get a workhorse knife for an unbeatable price, the Victorinox Fibrox Pro is our best choice.
Last update on 2020-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API