The 9 Best Carbon Steel Chef's Knives
This wiki has been updated 3 times since it was first published in August of 2019. A quality chef's knife is the most important tool in your culinary toolbox, whether you're a professional or amateur cook. Rather than modern, stainless alloys, many chefs prefer the light weight, classic appearance, and great edge retention offered by old-school carbon steel blades. Here are some of the best-performing options, from the inexpensive to the high-end. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best carbon steel chef's knife on Amazon.
August 05, 2019:
Carbon steel is not like stainless steel; it will rust and discolor very quickly if it's not properly taken care of. If you're not used to these materials or you're apprehensive about the level of care they need, check out our general rundown of chef's knives, which contains some of the most popular choices on the planet. If you do decide to spring for a high-carbon blade, you will 100% absolutely need to also invest in a good sharpening stone as well as a honing rod, and it will also take a while to learn how to maintain your edge perfectly. But don't fret, as this is a normal part of learning to take care of high-end knives. If you're just starting your journey, I'd strongly suggest getting an Old Hickory. These are basically identical copies of a classic and relatively famous brand called American Forgecraft, one of which I've used extensively in the professional field. They may have some inconsistencies as far as fit and finish go, but it's only about $20, so if you scratch it on the stone or have to take off an extra millimeter or two, it's no big deal.
If you already know what you're doing, and you want a blade you can use for years that will never let you down, look no further than the Misono at the top of the list. The second you take it out of your knife bag it's likely that a professional chef in the room will comment on it. It weighs next to nothing and can literally get sharp enough to shave with (although that I would not recommend testing out). The Suisin is a close second that costs about half as much and makes a great first carbon-steel tool for the budding pro. Knifesmiths like Moritaka and Yoshihiro make truly high-end options whose quality is only matched by their very high cost and beautiful finishes. For a more traditional Western feel, the K Sabatier, Wusthof, and Bob Kramer are worth a look. And while it's a bit more specialized, we've included a great Chinese cleaver that should help you get your stir fry ready in no time.