The 10 (Real) Best Chef Knives 2019 – Full Comparison
The 10 (Real) Best Chef Knives 2019 – Full Comparison
Here is a small list of the 8 Best Chef Knives you can buy, from the first selection of 34 products.
The Dalstrong Omega Kiritsuke has won my heart because it is not only beautiful, design side, but also an outstanding efficiency, in addition to being forged according to the traditional Japanese method.
Best Chef Knives Comparison Table
|Shun Classic||Wusthof Ikon||Mac Hollow Edge||Victorinox Fibrox||Global G-2|
|Rank||#1 – Editor’s Choice/Best Professional Chef|
|#2 – Best German Chef Knife||#3 Best Japanese Chef Knife||#4 – Best Chef Knife for the Money||#5- Best Ultra Light Chef Knife|
|Steel Type||VG-10, 16 layers SUS410/SUS430||High-carbon stainless||Molybdenum steel||High-carbon stainless||Cromova 18|
|Handle Material||Pakka wood||Wood/Metal||Pakka wood||Plastic||Stainless Steel|
|Price (as configured)||$145.98||$120.99||$119.95||$44.95||$104.25|
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
The best cheap chef’s knives
The first selection of chef’s knife models for less than fifty euros – entry-level models that make the job
Third and latest entry-level model: Okami’s chef’s knife. Its HRC index, which expresses the hardness of the knife, is 56.
A high score for a knife of this range. It is once again versatile and able to do just about anything in your kitchen.
It can cut meat, mince vegetables, herbs, or make more advanced cuts like julienne or mirepoix.
The knife comes in one piece, with an ergonomic and balanced handle that will allow us to cut without much effort, even if the gesture is as important. As a bonus, a small cleaning cloth and a protective case for the blade.
The knife comes in a box design, that’s what I like a lot with this type of product, especially to offer. The packaging, up to the small cleaning cloth, is of quality.
In terms of maintenance, it is dishwasher safe, but the hand wash will always be ideal to preserve the sharpness of the blade.
The blade is 20 centimeters: it’s really the standard size of a chef’s knife of this type. It is made of stainless steel, coupled with carbon. The set is well balanced, the blade is perhaps a bit wide, but the whole is very good, and most importantly, the blade is very light.
The handle is ergonomic and does not slip in the hand, which is very practical, especially when you slice onions a little too “stubborn”.
A small detail that I like a lot in this range: an inspiration that comes straight from the Nordic countries. Each model is symbolized by a legend, like the Balmung model, which was the legendary sword used by Siegfried to kill the dragon Fafnir.
That adds a pretty romantic side to the whole thing, does not it?
- Affordable price
- Ergonomic, balanced and efficient
- Supplied with cleaning cloth and case
- Blade a bit wide
The first model of this selection: Chef Kutt’s knife, which will allow us to make a multitude of good dishes. It has a good cut, very uniform, for cutting bread, vegetables, or even meat.
It is made of stainless steel, and therefore resistant to rust. I find this material well suited to cutlery, since it is durable, and remains clean even for long-term use, provided it is sharpened. On this type of model, one can very largely sharpen the knife once or twice a year.
It has a good balance, and all remains light, just over 600 grams. The handle is made of wood, and most importantly, the knife is handmade.
It is versatile, adapts to all types of cooking, and the blade is very sharp. It allows to slice, cut, cut, slice.
With a blade of about 20 centimeters, it remains particularly light but strong. The blade, in addition to being made of stainless steel, contains carbon and chromium for more resistance.
The handle is made of composite materials, and it resists moisture. It is, therefore, a good entry-level model, whether in terms of cutting or balance.
It is comfortable to use and hold and allows smooth cuts. It is sold with a soap that removes odors in one minute to keep your hands cool.
I love the packaging, the box is pretty, and also a very nice gift for an amateur chef.
- Affordable price
- Resistant and versatile
- Light and balanced
- Inscription of the mark on the blade a little big
A sweet price again, with Imarku’s chef’s knife. Its blade is made of stainless steel and carbon, which increases resistance and strength.
It reaches a rate of almost 0.75% carbon, which is a high average in this category.
It’s a versatile knife, and that’s what we’re looking for. It is suitable for professional use, but also for the novice cook.
It can cut and chop meat, and even bone. The handle is Pakka wood, a material that we often find on the knife handles, from Africa.
Pakka wood, in addition to being aesthetic, is solid, stable, and comfortable.
The blade is very sharp. In addition to carbon, there is almost 18% chromium, which gives a very bright finish that will not tarnish over the years.
The blade, as on the previous model, is about 20 centimeters. I like the chrome finish, and the set is very professional.
In terms of weight and height, he has a good balance. Ergonomics is also an important point: the balance prevents you from having cramps quickly. Not to mention the 100% money back guarantee which can be convenient.
We regret perhaps the fragility of the box, with a few glue points: the protective foam tends to be a little fragile. But it’s a small detail.
I still like the magnetic opening of the package, which can also be a nice gift package. And pay attention to your fingers by opening the package because it cuts really well.
The Imarku logo engraved on the neck adds a touch of chic. I advise you, however, to place this knife in the dishwasher: it would be a pity to scratch it the first time.
The best mid-range chef’s knives
We move to a slightly higher range with two models of chef’s knives less than 100 euros.
The second model, worth almost a hundred euros: the chef’s knife Wüsthof Classic Ikon. It’s really the knife to do everything.
With its very wide and rigid blade, meat and fish are cut as well as small vegetables. It can be used both for energetic and powerful cuts and for careful cuts.
The blade has a curved shape that will allow maintaining a gesture of regular pendulum.
This knife is forged in a single piece of steel, coupled with carbon: it is clear that it is solid and durable and that the materials are of quality. The Wüsthof brand has its own technology with regard to the blade, which is very sharp.
Again, avoid putting it in the dishwasher if you want to keep its sharp side. Moreover, it is guaranteed for life, so take care of it.
It’s really a quality product: it’s made in Germany, in Solingen. We will find it in several sizes, depending on the desired length of the blade.
However, be careful with the sharpness of the blade during sharpening: it is really very fine, even if very effective. The blade steel is composed of almost 50% carbon, and 15% chromium to fight against corrosion, with more molybdenum, to prevent shocks, and vanadium for even more strength.
One thing I regret here: the packaging a little disappointing for a product of this range. There are a protective card and bubble wrap, but no careful packaging and design as on other products of this type.
But of course, it is not the packaging that makes the knife, and the product remains excellent value for money.
- Quality materials
- Wide, thin and rigid blade
- Packaging disappointing given the quality of the knife
Dalstrong Gladiator Series: a knife with formidable efficiency
We start with the chef’s knife Dalstrong, especially the model of the range Gladiator Series. We go upmarket here for a price always reasonable.
The design is pushed, the materials used very well. And the product is guaranteed money back, and guaranteed for life by the manufacturer!
The blade is always made of stainless steel, with carbon, which makes it very sharp. The edge of the blade is polished by hand on each side, at 18 degrees.
It is soaked to resist stains and moisture, and polished and satin-finished by hand. The weight is reasonable. The handle is Pakka wood, but black, which gives a very professional touch to the overall design of the knife.
It is designed with three rivets that will allow a better grip, without the feeling that the knife slips our hands. It is therefore easy to maneuver, even for a novice cook.
The blade is curved enough to cut small grasses and large enough to cut meat and fish: we are always versatile.
It is regrettable that it is scratched easily, which can be a problem with steel. Attention, therefore, when sharpening it, and to clean it.
Some may also have a little trouble with the location of the finger guard, placed just below the edge. Ditto for the flexibility of the blade: it will both cut small food, but according to preferences, we can promote more rigid blades, especially for cutting meat.
- Quality materials
- Satin design
- Good grip
- Finger guard under the edge
Sensitive to scratches
The best high-end chef’s knives
Finally, let’s go to the most expensive knives of this selection, in a range that starts at 100 euros, with three models that will accompany you everywhere in your kitchen.
Dalstrong Omega Kiritsuke: the best upscale
We finish this selection of the best chef’s knives with Dalstrong Omega. Be careful with your fingers because it is very sharp!
Another Japanese knife, which is most in the high end, because it is an ancestral art. The steel blade is vacuum treated to hold even longer, resist staining and corrosion.
It is forged hot, with a pattern that will prevent food from getting caught.
The handle is fiberglass, designed for a balanced and ergonomic support. The knife resists everything: heat, humidity, cold.
At the design level, we are right in the knife is delivered in a display of acacia wood, with its own pattern, and with its PU leather sheath, which, attention, is not real leather. And, of course, it is guaranteed, satisfied or refunded.
The blade is a little less than 22 centimeters, made of Japanese steel, designed according to Japanese techniques. We are really here on a purely traditional product.
It is also engraved, which gives it a certain cachet, cleans easily, and is also cooled with nitrogen for more flexibility. The handle allows being agile in its cut.
The knife comes with, as we have said, sheath and support, but also cleaning cloth, and if necessary, gift wrapping. A small problem that could be noted: the adhesive, coming from the packaging, that was found on the blade.
But apart from this small detail, it is really here on a traditional knife excellent chef, who will become your primary ally in the kitchen, and he must know how to care.
- Japanese steel
- Ergonomic, lightweight and durable
- Supplied with wooden display and PU leather scabbard
- Small pieces of packaging adhesives found on the blade
Global G-2: a knife in harmony with you
A first knife that I present in the high-end: the chef’s knife Global G-2. It has everything you need in a professional and versatile chef knife: a 20-centimeter stainless steel blade with touches of vanadium and molybdenum for hardness, strength and corrosion resistance.
Here, the handle is also made of stainless steel, molded so that we can take it in hand, and with cells so that it does not slip. It is well balanced overall, very sharp, which has the gift of much to please me.
I really like the visual aspect of this all-steel knife. It is guaranteed for life for all that is breakage and manufacturing defects.
We are here in the top of the range: the knife was designed by the designer Komin Yamada, whose work is often inspired by the organic forms of nature. He likes to work on the harmony between the person and the tool: and this knife is an extension of our hand, perfectly balanced.
The knife blades of the Global brand are generally very sharp and efficient. These blades have the distinction of being very wide and straight.
The exact composition of the steel knife is a professional secret, but we feel the strength and rigidity to use. It is especially chrome that will allow the knife to withstand wear and rust for many years.
Note that the particularity of the blade makes this knife a Japanese type knife. It requires a little more dexterity and know-how to not slice your fingers.
The tool is very light. These knives were originally manufactured by Yoshikin, Japan. The blade is sharp on both sides, but with a rather weak angle.
The advantage, too, of having a knife made entirely of steel is maintenance. The handle does not damage more than the blade and is just as easy to clean. But again, beware of the cutting edge: we are really here on a professional knife, and particular.
- Japanese knife
- Easy to clean
- Balanced and very sharp
- Professional knife
Tojiro DP F-809: a terribly beautiful knife
The second model of this range: the Tojiro DP F-809. We are still here on a chef’s knife that has everything to please, from the strength of the blade to the resistance to wear.
It is designed for professional use, with a reinforced, durable coating, and a good comfort of use. The knife goes through at least 5 stages of manufacture that will refine and work the edge of the blade, as a master blacksmith would Japanese for a sword!
It is a very balanced knife for everything related to the cutting of meat, fruits, and vegetables, fish. We are on a versatile model, ergonomic, and sharp as we like them.
It is a Japanese type knife, with a blade of 24 centimeters. It must be maintained, ideally, with a whetstone fine grain, then very fine for polishing, just to not lose the beautiful edge of this blade. Here, cutlery becomes an art, that’s for sure!
The handle is particularly ergonomic. We can simply note that on this type of knife, sharpening done in the factory can sometimes cause small defects or small dents, but hey, it is up to us to change the profile of the knife sharpening, according to our needs.
I like the design of the handle, and especially, the mark engraved on the blade that adds a very chic side and makes us immediately enter the high end.
- Japanese knife
- Nice design
- Ergonomic and balanced
- Small defects of sharpening
The knife is a little the spirit of a kitchen. This is the favorite weapon of cooking. It is not necessary to have tons, better to have a good knife that knows how to slice and that will last for several years.
Yet, it is often an accessory that we tend to forget, or in which we are reluctant to invest. There are still good low-end models, and we must know how to take some criteria into account.
Which brand of a kitchen Knives to choose?
There are various more or less famous brands of cutlery. Each has its own specificities and different assets.
Be careful with the term Sabatier.
Knives K. Sabatier, with the K on the blade (and in the description), are knives made in France (in Thiers). They are 100% forged and it’s of the highest quality.
There are also Lion Sabatier, Sabatier Deglon, Sabatier International, etc. kitchen knives. These are also French brand knives, at least partially manufactured in Asia, of lower quality. Quality varies from one to the other.
Opinel is a French company that only makes knives. She was born in 1890 in Savoy, where she is still based. His knives are guaranteed for life. There is a wide selection of Opinel kitchen knife, all solid and quality.
Victorinox is the Swiss company behind the famous Swiss army knife. If initially, the company was only cutlery, today it has diversified. But she still has a wide range of precise kitchen knives and design.
Pradel is a French company that offers various kitchen utensils, including a range of knives. It offers among others the trilam range, that is to say, an ergonomic handle on which can be fixed alternatively three removable blades.
This is not a brand, but a collection: the Top Chef knife collection, by Chroma Inc. Why such a name? Because they were used in the show Top Chef, simply.
There are many different knives at very affordable prices. These are solid and hygienic blades.
Wusthof is a German brand that has been offering high quality forged knives for over 200 years. It manufactures only knives, but offers a wide choice, according to the needs of each, for a budget mid-range.
The different types of kitchen knives
I think that at this stage of your reading, you understand that there are many knives. I present you a small summary not exhaustive below.
Japanese cooking Knives
We also speak of a santoku, the Japanese term for this kitchen knife. It’s the Chef Knives in Japan, the must-have knife at home. It has cells along the blade to prevent food from sticking.
Professional kitchen Knives
The professional knife is often simply a very high-quality knife. That is to say that it must be able to be used frequently, without being damaged, without losing its edge. The hardness is never less than 58 HRD.
Smart kitchen Knives 2 in 1
A smart 2 in 1 knife combines the blade and cutting board. It could be compared to a chisel or pruner. It is very convenient to cut directly over a bowl, or when you go on a picnic. You only need the 2 in 1 knife.
Kitchen Knives set
A set of kitchen knives offers a lot of different knives. There is always a paring knife, for the rest, everything depends on the set that we choose. That’s why you have to take the time to check each of the included knives. A vegetarian will only have to make a butcher’s leaf and a boner.
High-end kitchen Knives
There are several types of high-end knives for cooking. It’s a set of criteria. The Damascus steel knife is high end. As all models where the silk blade is carefully integrated (but the descriptions are pretty vague about it).
Ceramic kitchen Knives
The ceramic kitchen knife is highly appreciated for its sharpness and hygienic appearance. It is very robust and precise, it is not necessary to sharpen it often. On the other hand, if the wire does not move much, the whole is still fragile: a fall or shock can break the knife.
Stainless steel kitchen Knives
Some knives are 100% stainless steel, ie both the blade and the handle. It is both a question of taste for design and a solution for simple maintenance and a knife that does not move in time.
Kitchen Knives steel or ceramic
Stainless steel is the most used material for kitchen knives. This is a very interesting solution, however, a low-end steel knife will be disappointing. We must, therefore, turn to quality to enjoy it for a long time.
The ceramic knife is also very interesting, but it is also more expensive and it must be handled with care because in case of fall it breaks.
It all depends on your budget and your ability to protect your equipment (children or falls).
How to choose a kitchen Knives?
To choose a kitchen knife, the first question to ask is: what do I want to do with it?
From there, you can find the perfect model for you.
– The handle is one of the elements relatively easy to consider. You have to look at the shape, the length, and the material. It can be made of wood, plastic, and steel.
– The blade is a complex element. It is chosen according to several criteria.
→ blade type: smooth, notched, dimpled
→ length and width: these two elements are often linked to the type of knife chosen (the chef’s knife is wider than the paring knife)
→ the material: steel, ceramic or titanium
→ sharpening and edge, that is to say, the sharpening angle and if a lefty may or may not use
→ the hardness expressed in HRC, if you do not know anything, aim 56-58 HRC for a sturdy knife, with easy and punctual sharpening
→ manufacturing of the blade: forged, cut or Damascus blade
What is a good Knives?
Certainly, the primary function of a knife is to cut. But it is not for nothing that there are good and bad knives.
Everything is a question of balance, and of the blade. A dull blade, poorly honed, may be dangerous, because it will tend to slip.
The ideal, in terms of tools, is to have a cutting blade. It is often said that the knife is a bit of an extension of the cook’s hand.
You will see that once you have the right tool, it becomes a real pleasure. The chefs are also in agreement that it is better to buy a good knife than a whole kit of knives of lower quality.
A knife that is both versatile and cutting edge can achieve up to 90% of the work in the kitchen. No need to invest in gadgets. You know, this multitude of knives that will remain stuck in their base without ever being used for anything.
What is expected of a chef’s knife is that it cuts well. But still it is necessary to know how to use it: it is not for nothing that it is not a lambda knife.
A good cut requires to know the gestures. He must already protect his fingers, folding them slightly at the food, and leaving the blade come to press the food. It’s not the food that moves, it’s the blade.
The arms are held close to the body, the cutting arm being positioned at 90 degrees. To cut well, it is also necessary that the work plan is at the right height so that the back is right.
If your worktop is not high enough, you can easily place two cutting boards under your food. Let’s have a look at the different types of knives and names that can be found on the market.
The Knives to do everything
This is, as the name suggests, a versatile knife. It’s the one that will allow us to do the most things in the kitchen.
Know that the longer the blade of a knife, the more it will cut a wider range of food, even larger. An all-purpose knife will generally have a blade of 165 to 300 millimeters in length, and a heel of about 50 millimeters.
The heel is the width that the blade makes when it meets the handle. The all-purpose knife is not really a type of knife, but rather a standard.
If your budget is tight and you only need to buy one knife, it will be the best choice.
Chef Knives and santoku Knives
The chef’s knife is part of the denomination “all-purpose knife”. It is the chief’s weapon of choice.
Santoku is the same type, but it is often lighter and has cavities that will allow food to not get stuck on the blade.
These two knives do not correspond to the same gestures. With the chef’s knife, a pendulum movement is used, while with a santoku, the food is chopped up by lifting the blade with more fervor.
The other knives: what is important?
As we said, the all-purpose knife is ideal if you want to buy a single knife. Ideally, you should have three knives to have a good base in your kitchen.
An all-purpose knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. For meat lovers, the boner can also be a useful purchase.
The ideal budget for a utility knife generally runs around 100 euros, up to 200 euros for a very good model.
The paring Knives
It is a knife that is smaller and lighter than the chef’s knife. We will use it for cutting small foods, for peeling, for cutting smaller shapes.
For this type of knife, a small budget of 10 euros will be enough if you already have a real chef’s knife.
The serrated Knives
This is the type of knife used to cut bread and remains an indispensable purchase. In general, its price is also quite low, given its use: we find very good for thirty euros.
The handle of the serrated knives is made of plastic or wood; it’s then a matter of style.
Here, the purchase will be reserved for meat lovers, who like to prepare their meat themselves. The blade being narrower, it can easily slip between the bones to the bone.
We find some fifty euros.
Steel knives and ceramic knives
The knives selected in this selection are made of steel, but it is true that we still find ceramic knives.
The main advantage of these knives is that they are lighter, and cheaper while cutting initially as well.
However, you can not sharpen a ceramic knife, which will not be a very durable solution.
They are also particularly fragile blades, which can break at the slightest shock.
It feels like a good deal at first, but it is not a solution that I advise.
Which criteria to take into account?
The comfort of use
It is a synthesis of all the criteria that will allow us to choose a chef’s knife: comfort. The ideal, of course, is to be able to take the knife in hand, but it is not always possible if you make this purchase online.
Nevertheless, most knives offer a guarantee satisfied or refunded.
Some will prefer to work with a light knife, others a heavier knife. It depends on his practice and his level. The more ergonomic the knife is, the better it will hold in your hand, and allow you to chop and chop without effort.
It is also necessary that the knife is adapted to the user that you will make of it. If you cut only vegetables, whether you are a vegetarian, for example, you do not need a 30-centimeter blade.
If, on the contrary, you are a big lover of meat, you can put the price and acquire a blade of exception.
You should know, at the time of your choice, that a knife is usually divided into 7 parts.
At the level of the blade, if we take its sharp side, we can divide it into three: a tip, a central part, and the back of the blade, closer to the handle.
The tip will serve us to mince small vegetables, garlic, or herbs: all cuts that require precision. The slanted blade will especially allow chopping parsley or leeks.
The area closer to the handle, it allows to put more pressure and cut very resistant food. The wide part of the blade can also make it possible to crush, to flatten the products.
The back of the blade, which is not sharp, also has its usefulness, for example breaking small bones. Finally, the part of the blade that is introduced into the handle is called silk. It is she who assembles the handle and the blade.
The quality of the blade
After comfort, it’s the quality of the blade that matters. Today, the professional blades are all made of steel, but not all of them have the same quality or resistance.
This will depend on the amount of carbon and chromium present in the steel alloy. The quality and provenance of the steel used will also play: we can find stainless steel, carbon steel, or even Damascus steel.
Stainless steel is often the least expensive, but it must be well maintained and well-honed to last for the very long term. The carbide, much used on German models, will be stronger and sharper.
Damascus steel, and forged with several layers of metal that will offer real strength and a good edge. The blade must be both sharp and resistant.
Third point: the way the knife was made. There are many techniques, more or less ancestral. A forged knife was hammered hot to obtain a hard and sharp blade.
But today, we find mostly industrial techniques where the blade is cut with a punch. We must then ensure, if we want the best knife, that the blade is designed in the extension of the handle, directly: the knife will be much stronger, and the weight better distributed.
Of course, forged and heavier blades are preferred, but the price is also higher.
There are many types of sleeves. As we have just said, it is better than the blade is designed in line with it.
It can be directly designed in steel, but also in plastic, in wood. Plastics such as plastic will cost less and be lighter.
Wooden handles are often more aesthetic and more comfortable to hold, but more complex to maintain.
The length of the blade depends on the use you make of your knife. In standard models, there are blades that range from 14 to 30 centimeters in length.
For versatile knives, a blade of 20 to 24 centimeters is ideal, especially if you buy only one knife.
This is what will play on the comfort of use. The balance between the weight of the handle and the weight of the blade is an essential element.
A good balance will allow you to cut without much effort. The knife should not be tilted to one side or the other, which will avoid pressure during cutting, and to act faster.
There are knives of any price, and this often comes from the fame of this or that brand. Knives can be found at almost 1000 euros.
But for a budget of a hundred euros, you can bring a chef’s knife of excellent quality. If you want to put less budget, it will compromise, for example, the quality of the handle.
Maintenance and sharpening
This is an important point to remember when buying. A knife of this type is maintained, otherwise, it loses its edge and no longer fulfills its original role.
It is, therefore, necessary to regularly treat the blade, more or less according to the models and their quality. You can sharpen your knife with a rifle, a sharpener, or a whetstone.
To minimize maintenance, also consider using wooden or plastic boards, and not working directly on a metal worktop.
For cleaning, avoid the dishwasher, which tends to produce corrosion effects or scratch knives.
Clean them by hand and wipe them clean after cleaning. You must also remember to put them away, ideally in a block or on a magnetic bar.