The 10 Best Chef's Knives

Updated December 29, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Chef's Knives
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Looking for a gift for a working cook you know, or perhaps for someone who loves to spend time in their own kitchen? We consulted with a professional chef and self-proclaimed knife addict to deliver the most revered blades in homes as well as high-end restaurants. Here are the best, rated by durability, sharpness, and overall value, so you can cut through the nonsense and get cooking. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best chef's knife on Amazon.

10. Victorinox Fibrox

The Victorinox Fibrox would make a good addition to most kitchens. It has a neutral balance and a medium weight, and it sports a spartan handle made of high-impact, slip-resistant plastic. It's the perfect way to supply all your line and prep workers with reliable cutlery.
  • meets any budget
  • great starter knife for novice cooks
  • won't get as sharp as top blades
Brand Victorinox
Model 45520
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Global G-2

There's a bit of sand flowing inside the handle of the Global G-2. This helps to offset and dampen extraneous motion, keeping cuts precise and solid. Its stainless base transitions seamlessly to a rivet-free, all-steel body with a hint of culinary postmodernism.
  • chip-resistant alloy with good flex
  • hard to grip when greasy
  • not much room for your knuckles
Brand Global
Model G-2
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Wusthof Classic Icon

A classic German profile and dual bolsters make the Wusthof Classic Icon an all-around workhorse in the back-of-house. It's constructed of a thick, heavy alloy with a low hardness rating, so you know it won't chip no matter what's on the cutting board.
  • easy to get extremely sharp
  • edge won't hold as long as a gyuto's
  • a day's prep might wear your arm out
Brand Wüsthof
Model 4596/20
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Oliva Elite Stealth

The Oliva Elite Stealth is crafted with the same care as the entire Messermeister professional line, but with the hardness and profile of an Eastern-influenced knife. It strikes a satisfying balance between the precision of a Japanese gyuto and the heft of a German piece.
  • handsome authentic woodgrain handle
  • eight and ten-inch lengths available
  • price is well on the high side
Brand Olivia Elite
Model E/6686-9S
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Suisin Inox

The metal bolster and three-rivet construction of the Suisin Inox help to balance it perfectly between your two front fingers during use. A touch of molybdenum in the stain-free alloy protects this one from nicks and chips.
  • also comes in 180mm and 240mm sizes
  • weighs under 6 ounces
  • a lot of work to get razor sharp
Brand Houcho
Model h0si0004
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Wusthof Pro

The Wusthof Pro is a great-quality cutting tool that won't break the bank. While some cheap knives are made of soft and non-resilient steel, this one is surprisingly sharp right out of the box, and it holds its edge quite well. Its grip is very safe, even when it's greasy.
  • costs less than 50 dollars
  • good for a full-time cook
  • some users find the handle too big
Brand Wüsthof
Model 4862-7/20
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Misono Swedish

The Misono Swedish is a truly exceptional tool. It's so well respected among professional chefs that they often notice it the moment a cook or sous pulls it out of their kit. Of course, that may be due to the iconic dragon carved into the flat of the blade, too.
  • over 9 inches long
  • asymmetrical right-handed bevel
  • carbon steel needs careful attention
Brand Misono Swedish
Model NA
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Tojiro DP

The Tojiro DP is a very traditionally styled gyuto. Like countless knives before it, this option relies on ultra-thin metal, a very light weight, and an extremely acute edge angle to separate foods with laser precision while not ripping or tearing them apart.
  • stainless-clad vg-10 alloy
  • evenly ground factory edge
  • crafted in japan of japanese steel
Brand Tojiro
Model F-808
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Mac Mighty Professional

The Mac Mighty Professional is an incredible tool that offers almost unheard-of versatility. Its geometry as well as the metal it's made of are blends of the most effective features of Western and Eastern-style knives. With proper care, this one can easily last a lifetime.
  • weighted bolster for ideal balance
  • granton-style dimples above edge
  • perfectly proportioned full tang
Brand Mac Knife
Model MTH-80
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Misono UX10

It's common to hear the Misono UX10 mentioned during discussion of the finest knives on the market. Its construction is so light and and its balance so impeccable, you can prep entire piles of vegetables with just a few flicks of your wrist.
  • swedish aeb-l razor-blade steel
  • versatile 210 mm length
  • used by michelin chefs worldwide
Brand Misono
Model 712
Weight 12.5 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Making The Cut

If you've ever cut yourself while working in the kitchen, there's a good chance that the knife you were using was too dull. Sure, it did a number on your fingers, but that's only because it wasn't sharp enough to cut your food more easily, so it slipped and got you instead.

A good knife cuts by virtue of its edge, which must be honed to a fine point. Even the sharpest blades are marked marked with microscopic peaks and valleys. Those tiny imperfections catch a piece of food that you want to slice — for example, the tough and smooth skin of a tomato — and tear open that surface as cleanly as possible. After that, the continued friction of the knife's edge and its properties as a wedge finish separating the food.

Conversely, if your knife is too dull, instead of a crisp edge with many peaks and valleys to create friction, you have a rounded surface, smooth like a wire. If you draw that smooth texture across the surface of your food, there's nothing for it to grab on with, so it slips and cuts into the next thing it finds. Unfortunately, that's often your other hand.

It's a simple matter of physics, but it requires that your knives receive a good honing after every couple of uses. That's why a lot of knife block sets come with honing rods to keep your best knives in true. Those physics also mandate that a good chef's knife not be serrated. You'll notice that none of the chef's knives on our list have an overt serration, and if you have one that does, it's a sure sign that you've got something cheap and dangerous in your hands.

A Cut Above The Rest

Any long-time culinary expert will tell you that one of the most important aspects of a knife is how it feels when you’re using it. As such, you might not know for a few months exactly how you feel, deep down in your soul, about your newest tool. If you’re serious about collecting effective knives, then our selections are a great place to start — most chefs will agree that you can never have too many knives. If you want to make sure you get yourself or the cook in your life the right blade on the first try, there are certainly some objective facts to point you towards one option or another.

For starters, there are two main categories of chef’s knives: Eastern and Western, also called Japanese and European. Knives of German and, to an extent, French heritage are made with heavier, thicker, ultimately softer steel than their Asian counterparts. Somewhat counterintuitively, this lower hardness makes these knives more durable, as they’re more likely to flex or give slightly under extreme force, rather than chip.

Japanese knives, as well as some very fine French knives, are known for their extremely thin blades and harder, inflexible steel. This style can get brutally sharp, albeit often with a lot of elbow grease, and the edge usually stays like that for quite some time. The smooth, resistance-free, razor-like cutting ability of some of these is so notable that pros use the word "laser" to describe such a knife — a knife so sharp and thin that it falls straight through food as though it wasn’t even there.

You’ll also want to take notice of whether the metal is a stain-resistant alloy or old-school carbon steel. Carbon steel can get sharper under the right conditions, but it requires very meticulous care to keep it from oxidizing, pitting, or rusting. A lot of high-quality options utilize a carbon steel core for the actual edge, and encase it in protective, stain-free layers.

No matter what, remember to keep your knife clean — there’s no such thing as truly stainless steel.

Blade Of A Bygone Age

One of the most epic depictions of the dawn of man in any art form comes to us in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, when we see the first moment that primitive man took up tools of any kind. We're shown the immediate consequences of that discovery, as well as mankind's development into a space-traveling species.

It's an amazing feat of cinema, and one that immediately comes to mind when looking back over the history of the knife. Researchers in Spain discovered a flint knife deep within a cave that dates back 1.4 million years. It's humbling, to say the least, to think about mankind functioning such a level so many years ago, and it makes one wonder about the knives we'll leave behind for archaeologists to find millions of years in the future.

Since that date, the knife has seen plenty of transformations, evolving from the flint tools of the stone age into bronze and eventually iron. Steel blades grew in popularity for military purposes before they found their way into the kitchen. Throughout the middle ages, most individuals carried some sort of blade on their persons that served for protection as well as food preparation.

As modernity reared its head after the discovery of America, Europe saw an enormous influx of raw materials and wealth, eventually leading to class revolutions. This offered more diverse culinary experiences to citizens on either side of the Atlantic, necessitating the slow and steady development of culinary tools like these chef's knives.



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Last updated on December 29, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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