How do you choose the best kitchen knife? What properties and features should the kitchen knife have according to your needs? Read our guide and choose informed.
Cooking is not a pleasant experience for everyone, but whether it is among your passions or not, you agree with us when we say that any kitchen must be equipped with at least one quality knife .
This very versatile tool is perhaps the most used in the kitchen . This is also the reason why, when looking for a kitchen knife , people think of strength, comfort and durability.
If you are looking for the most suitable kitchen knife, find out in this article where professional chefs have found the ideal knives, but also how you can buy the best kitchen knife or chef's knife.
Top 3 recommended kitchen knives
Why choose the best kitchen knife?
The best kitchen knife is the one you use the most. From meat to vegetables, soft or hard foods, the knife is the tool we use to bring food to an optimal size or shape to be cooked or eaten.
No wonder, then, that strength, quality of materials, comfort and durability are criteria that any buyer should follow when buying a kitchen knife.
It is subjected to daily endurance tests, used to cut, cut, slice or chop cold or hot food, after which it is washed repeatedly and the cycle is repeated. Only the best knife can cope with such a treatment .
How to choose the best kitchen knife
An informed buyer will be able to make the right decision fairly easily. But, when you are not sure what to expect from such a knife, you can be fooled very easily, or you can buy a product that is of poor quality, or is not versatile enough.
To help you make a good decision, we've put together this shopping guide that has all the information you need when you're looking for a good knife for your kitchen.
By reading this article you will learn how to check the blade, the handle, but also the ergonomics and size of the knife, so that it is truly durable and comfortable for anyone who uses it.
At the end, we invite you to consult our list of knives available on the market at the best quality / price ratio , selected according to the criteria analyzed below.
So, to buy the best kitchen knife, read this article carefully.
What is the chef's knife?
In short, this is a type of knife that has come to be used for much more versatile purposes than what it was originally designed for. This is a tool that allows you to cut, chop, shred, slice and debon most foods with minimal effort.
Although it was designed to cut only meat, its shape has become preferred by chefs for several gastronomic tasks.
It is characterized by a design that is easily recognizable : long, wide and slightly curved blade , with dimensions that can vary, but proportions that remain the same , the blade being narrower towards the tip .
Because it is such a balanced tool, when used correctly, it allows you to cut different foods quickly and safely.
You will find several variants, but the most popular and the ones that are always compared are the German and the Japanese blade (Santoku).
Here are the differences between them, but also the advantages and disadvantages:
German knife kitchen knife
Usually, German-bladed knives have a symmetrical profile , which makes them suitable for both right-handed and left-handed people. The angle of the edge is between 15 o and 20 o .
The steel used to make them is softer and, in most cases, stainless . This requires less maintenance . This type of knife also has a lower risk of chipping. They have a western- style, wooden or wooden-looking handle.
Kitchen knife with Japanese blade
Such a knife is usually lighter and has a thinner blade than the German one. Thus it is very easy to handle and suitable for fine slicing . Also, because it has a thinner blade, it tends to be even sharper .
However, it is not ideal for some kitchen tasks, such as portioning a chicken, as it lacks a harder portion that is perfect for these operations. Also, the edge tends to have a straighter profile , less curved, which makes it not cut so clean sometimes.
Steel is also harder and sharper. This is often carbon steel , which will require more maintenance . The material can also chip more easily .
Many models are equipped with alveoli on the surface of the blade to keep the blade clean when working with sticky food.
The most important part of the kitchen knife is the blade. Therefore, the material from which it is made is very important. Here are your options:
Stainless steel knives are corrosion resistant . These knives are very good options for a conventional user. It is tough, durable and easy to sharpen .
The disadvantage is that it does not have a phenomenal edge , which could be a big impediment for a professional. If you want such a knife though, you can look for Japanese models that are much sharper than the European ones.
The high quality knives are made of carbon steel . This type of steel is harder and more durable, but less durable. With these, you are more likely to face rust and stains, especially if you are not prompt in cleaning and drying them after each use.
The advantage of these knives is that they can be sharpened harder. However, if not used properly, it may chip . Therefore, it is recommended only for professional chefs.
Appearance is another appreciated detail in this material. Over time, he develops a special patina that is very popular in the world of chefs. However, the material is harder to sharpen.
This is a combination of the two materials presented above. They are arranged in the shape of a sandwich . This results in a knife that has a very sharp edge, but is more durable than carbon steel knives and requires less rigorous maintenance .
Although not as popular as steel ones, ceramic knives are increasingly present on the market. They are very sharp, being also lighter than the metal variants.
They keep their sharpness for long periods, but when it is blunt, they are harder to sharpen, requiring a professional. They are even more brittle than the metal variants.
How to make the blade
Such a blade is obtained from a process of heating the metal, shaping with a hammer, and sharpening when the metal is cold. They are considered more resistant because the blade is extended in the handle, the handle covering the elongated part of the blade.
Blade by molding
Use a cooled steel sheet that is cut according to a mold. Only then the blade is subjected to a heat treatment with the role of increasing its resistance. Only then is it sharp, and will go through a grinding process which will give it a more attractive appearance.
The handle of the kitchen knife
It is important both the material from which the handle is made and the comfort it offers you. These aspects are closely related anyway because the comfort of the handle depends largely on the material from which it is made.
Of course, shape and weight also matter. However, the choice is subjective, because we do not all have hands of the same size, so a thicker handle could be uncomfortable for a person with a smaller palm and vice versa.
Here are the materials you will find:
Wooden handles are very aesthetic , but they are not as practical as those made of composite material. Wood is a porous material and if exposed to water and not properly dried, it can peel or crack .
The wood could also store bacteria that would then come in contact with the food. There are alternatives that keep a similar aesthetic, but are more resistant to both wear and bacteria: plastic, silicone (very adherent), other synthetic materials.
Metal handles offer the same practical benefits as plastic or other composite materials. Although they look nice , they can become slippery when used with wet hands.
Especially when working with meat, which is wet, you may find it uncomfortable to use this type of handle. However, models that are equipped with rubber or silicone areas , offer more grip and you could find them suitable for you.
Dimensions and weight
You will have to try several knives until you find the one that has the right weight for you. Although you might think that a lighter knife is desirable because it is easier to handle, in reality, the general belief is that a heavier knife can cut difficult foods more easily because it exerts pressure independently of your strength.
In the end, however, it depends on your own style and weight that you feel more comfortable with when cooking.
In terms of size , you will find knives with longer or shorter blades . A shorter blade gives you more agility , and you will probably feel safer when you cook using it.
On the other hand, this may be impractical when you have to cut foods that have a larger volume , such as a piece of meat or a melon-like fruit. For such tasks, a knife with a longer blade may be more suitable.
In the end, however, it depends a lot on how you work with the knife, because a bigger knife may seem difficult or even dangerous to use when you can't master it well.
The balance goes hand in hand with the weight of the knife . And they play an important role in determining the level of comfort that the knife offers you. If the weight falls more on one side of the knife than on the other, then grinding the food will be more difficult for you.
This is another category in which it is difficult to judge a knife without being able to take it in your hand and test it. If you do not have this option, search and check other users' reviews.
When you have the opportunity to test a knife you are interested in, here's how you should do it:
- Crush the parsley
- Cut an onion
- Slice a zucchini
- Cut carrots into thin slices
- Cut a watermelon
If the knife does not give you headaches in any of these cases, then it is one that you can take full advantage of.
The best kitchen knife can be delivered with the following accessories:
- Blade sharpening tool
- Protective cover
- Storage tool
- Magnetic tape for wall storage
Price and manufacturers
Price plays an important role in your choice. However, most of the time it is justified by quality and durability, especially if behind it is an internationally renowned manufacturer. A great indication of quality is the manufacturer. Here are the most praised: Carl Schmidt, Tescoma, Fiskars, Chroma, Global, Shun, Mercer.
We recommend that you buy the best kitchen knife online . Here you will find many models of kitchen knives at better prices than conventional stores.
You can also find a model that is exactly to your liking, without having to invest time and energy, wasting maybe several days walking through different stores. The product will be delivered directly to your home, and you have a good chance that the shipping will be free. Don't forget to check the opinions of other buyers before making a decision.
Now that you have read this information, you are ready to choose the best kitchen knife.
The best kitchen knife: recommendations
Analyzing the existing offer, taking into account the opinions of buyers and the above tips, we further recommend some models of kitchen knives that offer an excellent quality / price ratio.
1. The knife of the professional cook Maranc 20 cm
The professional chef's knife can be easily used in the daily kitchen, for cutting meat, slicing, grinding and cutting fruits, vegetables and meat.
Precisely, forged high quality 1.4116 stainless steel with hardness 58-63 Rockwell to ensure extraordinary wear resistance, durability, rust, stain resistance and edge retention.
Hand-polished, the shape of the ergonomic handle is designed for superior control and comfort, while the knife blade is smooth for a perfect "grip".
See details and price
2. S-Zwilling Professional chef's knife 20 cm
The special steel used is invented by ZWILLING JA HENCKELS: special formula with optimal carbon and chromium content.
SIGMAFORGE® construction – forged in one piece, perfect geometry, high precision, improved blade stability.
Laser tested by laser control.
Protective support between the blade and the handle.
See details and price
3. Knife WMF Chef Knife Chef's Edition 32 cm
The Chef's Edition collection has been developed for professionals and for all those who want perfection during cutting.
WMF combines the benefits of traditional forging with the advantages of the latest technologies and the innovative finishing of steel in the creation of knives.
The Chef's Knife is a multifunctional knife, the slightly curved blade easily cuts any type of meat, fish or vegetables.
It can also be used effectively for chopping greens, spices or nuts.
See details and price
4. Zwilling TWIN Master 20 cm chef's knife
Zwilling kitchen knife, with 20 cm long blade, made of special stainless steel, corrosion and shock resistance and blue handle.
FRIODUR® blade, hardened by cryogenic process.
Knife blade extended in the handle, for better use.
Handle made of synthetic material.
See details and price
5. Delimano Knife Delimano Chef Maxxstar
Delimano Chef Maxxstar is the perfect multifunctional knife made of high quality stainless steel with a thin layer of titanium nitride, which allows it to stay very sharp and makes the cutting of various foods a breeze.
The very sharp stainless steel blade is durable and is coated with titanium to cut anything.
Up to 40% sharper than traditional double-edged knives.
Non-slip handle for a good grip.
See details and price