There is no way you can consider yourself a respectable chef without owning a quality chefs knife. It will be your go to knife for anything related to food preparation. To put it simply you can't live without it. That is why I have put together a concise list that will feature not only the best quality chef knives but also give you an idea about what’s currently available. There are so many knives on the market and it is easy to get overwhelmed. My guide will help you avoid this type of situation.
I am not a fan of writing top 10 lists because many factors are highly subjective when it comes to knives. What I will do is tell you what chef’s knives are considered the best in no particular order and reveal their pros and cons. It will help you get started and once you finish going through this guide, buying a knife will be much easier for you.
The brands that I will be reviewing include Shun, Global, Wusthof, Messermeister, Henckels, Victorinox and MAC. All of these brands come from the two most prolific countries when it comes to quality knives—Germany and Japan. Each knife manufacturer makes a variety of knives that come in different sizes and lengths. This might get confusing but you can feel confident that all of them are of the same high quality. Also, although all of the chef’s knives on this list come highly recommended, don’t think that there aren’t others. Let my list guide you in the right direction and if these knives aren't for you, they will still lead you to other high quality options. By the way, if you need more than one type of knife, knife sets are a great option to consider.
Without further ado, here is my list of the Best Chef Knives on the market.
Henckels produces some of the best quality knives in the world. They have been around for a little over 300 years and rank among the best manufacturers in the world. They make around 10 different types of knives which will intimidate you at first if you don’t know what you are looking for. My favorite is their Pro S line because it is probably their best quality knife and is made in Germany. They produce knives in many European countries but I prefer their German factory because that is where they originally started.
The Henckels Professional 8 inch chef knife is a true classic. It is a sturdy knife with a powerful blade that cuts through almost any type of food effortlessly. The knife is made of high carbon steel which doesn’t stain easily. For the nostalgic knife user who misses the wooden handles of the past, this chef knife will be a godsend. Its handle feels like wood but is actually made of synthetic materials that will make it last for many years.
Although I am a Wusthof fan myself, I got to test out this knife at a friends house and I was thoroughly impressed. It balances well in your hand and doesn’t wear it easily which is a huge plus. As long as you sharpen this knife yearly and hone it on a regular basis, this Henckels chef knife is a fantastic long term investment that you will become the heart of your kitchen.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The Victorinox Fibrox straight edge chefs knife is the most affordable knife on this list. While I do recommend that you purchase a higher quality knife that will last almost a lifetime, this knife will do just fine if your budget is limited. For the chef at home who has a tight budget, this is the ideal knife. A huge plus is that the knife is stamped which means you will not have to worry about honing or sharpening it for quite a while.
This stamped knife is super light and feels good in the palm of your hands. Despite its light weight though, this Victorinox chefs knife is tough enough to survive most kitchens and the handle is ergonomic. You cant beat this knife because of the price point its in and also because it is a 5 star rated product with a lifetime warranty.
If you are a beginner chef, this a great knife to start with and if you realize you really love cooking, you can upgrade to a premium knife in the future.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
Most knife enthusiasts in America know about Shun because it is a hugely popular Japanese knife manufacturer. The hometown of this company is in Seki city. I have actually visited this city in the past and you will be surprised how obsessed the knife makers are with art of making high quality knives. It is this very obsession that led them to create the Shun Classic Chef Knife, their flagship line.
When you first lay eyes on it, the Shun classic 8 inch chef knife looks way to beautiful and delicate to cut through any type of food. However, looks definitely deceive in this case of this chefs knife. It has a thin solid core that produces an edge that is tougher than most knives. I was able to test this knife in a cooking class and you wouldn’t believe how light it is. Most Americans like myself tend to prefer the heavier German brand so this was an eye opening experience. With this knife, I was able to cut through denser foods with less force. I still don’t believe this knife will convince everyone but you should definitely keep an open mind.
Lastly, one selling point that makes some chefs convert to this classic Japanese knife is it Pakkawood handles. the handles are made of resin impregnated hardwood like the traditional Japanese knives and are NSE certified for use in commercial kitchens. I highly recommend you try this beautiful chef knife to see if it is for you.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
As I’ve mentioned before, most westerners prefer classic German knives. If you feel the same, I highly recommend the infamous Wusthof brand. The Wusthof classic chef knife is their most popular knife. Many chefs around the world use it and rate them highly.
If you need to cut through foods with ease, having a well balanced knife is vital. You must have full control of your knife in order to get accurate equally sized pieces of food. This knife is made of forged high carbon steel and is hand honed for razor like sharpness. Another plus is that the knife doesn’t wear out wrist easily. This means that you can cut longer if you are a professional chef who cuts for hours on end.
Despite its high price, I went ahead and purchased this knife. It has become my best friend in the kitchen and I probably wouldn’t trade it in for any other knife unless I was thoroughly impressed by a competitor. Just make sure to keep it honed and always wash it after using it so your investment is not spent in vain.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The Messermeister Meridian Elite Chefs knife is yet another quality knife manufacturer from Germany. These guys are pretty small though. Henckels and Wusthof have much bigger revenue streams than Messermeister but the quality id still just as good. If you value high quality over name brand recognition then this might be the knife for you.
I learned about this knife manufacturer while I was reading “An Edge in the Kitchen” by Chad Ward. Chad mentions Messermeister and writes about how amazingly sharp their knives are. Even more so the the brands that most people know about. After reading about this, I did some thorough research and discovered that many other people agree with this statement. Most users confirm they really are sharper and also have a partial bolster. If you have no idea what a partial bolster is, just know that it makes it much easier to sharpen your knife when you need to.
One more key fact about the Messermeister Meridian Chef knife that will peak your interest is that it is 9 inches. I find this to be the ideal size between the 8 and 10 inch models. The only problem with owning a 9 inch chef knife is that it will be impossible to store in your knife block. The knife is way to wide for that so if you can find another way to store it safely, you will be good to go. Definitely a favorite on our best chef knives list.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
Made with Japanese Top Grade Steel, this is a chef knife to be respected. It has a Demascus dragon pattern that makes the knife tougher, is very difficult to stain and will last you a lot longer which makes it a wise investment. The weight of the knife makes it light enough to feel balanced and the PAKKAWOOD handle is made to endure almost anything you put in its way.
When you purchase a Chefs knife from ZHEN, you get a gorgeously designed box that is elegantly decorated and that you can save for storage after you use it. If you choose to wash it after use (Which you should), you must wash it by hand only with dish soap softly. Lastly, when sharpening your knife to main it, you should use a whetstone.
Before I finish of this guide, I would like to let you know one more thing before you decide which is the best Chef knife for you. As you click on the links and find out the prices of each knife, my best piece of advice is not to panic and to think logically. If you buy a premium knife and maintain it moderately well, it can easily last you 20 to 30 years. Buying a low quality knife will only cost you more money in the long term because you will constantly be replacing it. Think about it this way. By using the technique of dollar cost averaging, you can see how much money you will save by purchasing a premium quality knife. For example, lets say you purchased a Henckels chef knife for $100 and it lasted 20 years before you had to replace it. Over those 20 years, the knife cost you roughly $5 a year to own which is a fantastic value. Always try to have a long term perspective when it comes to buying high quality kitchen knives.
As usual if you have any other questions, either send me a private message or leave a comment below and I will get back to you promptly.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com