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Best Chef's Knives

Updated March 2024
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Best of the Best
Mac Knife Mighty Professional MTH-80 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Mac Knife
Mighty Professional MTH-80 8-Inch Chef's Knife
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Premium Stainless Steel
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Our cooking and baking expert appreciates this knife's Santoku-style blade and quick release of sliced food.


Thin 2.5mm, 8-inch blade has a hollow-ground factory edge and Granton-style indentations for reduced friction and ease of slicing. Molybdenum-vanadium alloy steel for added sharpness and cutting power. Lightweight pakkawood handle features triple riveting for stability.


It's somewhat expensive and takes some experience to sharpen properly.

Best Bang for the Buck
Babish 8" Chef Knife
8" Chef Knife
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Bargain Pick
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Forged from high carbon stainless steel, this affordable knife maintains its sharpness over time.


An all-purpose knife for use on a variety of food preparation tasks. The taper-ground blade is tempered and comes with an ABS handle for comfortable use. Very sharp edge that lasts without the need for constant sharpening. Available at a great price.


A few reports of the tip arriving bent.

Tojiro DP Gyutou
DP Gyutou
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Entry-Level Japanese Workhorse
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This Western-handled Japanese knife offers the versatile gyuto geometry with an appropriate high-hardness alloy.


Triple-layer blade with a core of resistant VG10 cobalt alloy steel and outer layers of chrome steel. Triple-stud, full-tang handle for stability. Stainless steel bolster for hand protection. Double-sided edge for right or left-handed use.


Thin, light blade takes some getting used to if you're only familiar with Western knives. It can also take a little extra effort to sharpen.

J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL ZWILLING Classic 8-inch Professional Chef Knife
ZWILLING Classic 8-inch Professional Chef Knife
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Classic Design
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An outstanding, albeit quirky knife made by one of the leading knife manufacturers in the industry. Great price for the quality.


High carbon German steel. Drop-forged with triple-rivet, full-tang handle. Great balance in the hand. Triple-riveted polypropylene handles are hypoallergenic and boast impressive durability. Solid choice for a mid-range chef's knife.


Some say it loses sharpness quickly. Others say the spine can break your skin when holding the knife.

imarku 7" Chef Knife
7" Chef Knife
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Everyday Use
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A Japanese Santoku knife that has a thick and sharp blade for chopping and dicing with efficiency.


Made with German stainless steel that has been tempered for extra sharpness. The 7-inch blade is 2.5mm thick. Handle is made with a stylish Pakkawood and has an ergonomic design. Works great for all-purpose use.


The blade seems to dull over time, according to a few reviews.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best chef’s knives

It doesn't matter if you rarely cook or you chop and dice daily, a quality chef's knife is essential in any kitchen. Contrary to what you might be thinking, a sharper knife is safer because it requires less pressure and will slice rather than tear and slide. But with all the options available, how do you know that what you are considering is truly a quality knife?

A forged high-carbon stainless steel blade performs the best. It holds a sharp edge extremely well, but it is also the most expensive option. If budget is your primary concern, you might need to consider a stamped carbon steel or stainless steel knife. Either way, look for a durable laminate handle as wood can hold bacteria and plastic may crack.

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A good chef’s knife makes meal preparation easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

Kitchen knives: the basics

While there are many different types of knives, the average home chef needs a minimum of these three: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife.

Chef's knife

This large, all-purpose knife has a straight edge – not a serrated edge – and is typically eight inches long. You can use a chef’s knife for mincing, dicing, chopping, and slicing.

Expert tips
For a little added control, try extending your index finger out onto the back of the blade during use. I find direct contact with the blade’s metal helps me sense and correct any wobble to the right or left, or if the knife hits a bone or sinew in meats.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Paring knife

A paring knife is similar to a chef’s knife, but it is smaller. Most paring knives have a three- or four-inch blade without serrations. You can use a paring knife to mince, chop, peel, and fillet.

Bread knife

These serrated knives generally have a nine- or ten-inch blade, and despite the name, they aren’t just for slicing bread – although they do that beautifully. You can use a bread knife to slice tomatoes and other soft fruits and vegetables, cut cake, and slice meat.

Utility knife

A utility knife isn’t mandatory, but it is a useful addition to your collection if you are an avid cook. In terms of length, utility knives fall somewhere between chef’s knives and paring knives – typically around seven inches. A utility knife is great for those times when your chef’s knife is a bit too big and your paring knife a bit too small.

Forged vs. stamped knife construction

There are two basic methods of knife construction: forging and stamping. Here’s a look at the specifics of each type.

Forged knives

These are made from a solid piece of metal that has been heated to an extreme temperature and pounded into shape. The production process is quite elaborate, and as a result, forged knives are more expensive than stamped knives. They are usually a little heavier and thicker than stamped knives, and they tend to hold their edge very well.

Stamped knives

These are machine-punched out of steel and then sharpened. Although there are some excellent stamped chef’s knives – and they are less expensive than forged knives – most serious cooks prefer a forged chef’s knife. However, we urge potential buyers to not automatically discount this type of blade. If you don’t have need for a chef’s knife that often, a stamped chef’s knife could be all you need.

Choosing your knife’s metal

There are three common metals used to make kitchen knives: stainless steel, carbon steel, and high-carbon stainless steel. Each has its pros and cons.

Stainless steel

The most common metal you’ll find in the average kitchen. It’s also the least expensive.

  • Pros: Doesn’t rust, durable, easy to sharpen, doesn’t stain

  • Cons: Doesn’t hold a sharp edge as well as other metals

Carbon steel

The preferred blade material of many chefs, but you’ll pay more for this premium metal.

  • Pros: Holds a sharp edge, easy to sharpen

  • Cons: Tends to discolor or develop a patina, pricier than stainless steel, rusts

High-carbon stainless steel

It has more carbon in the steel mixture than regular stainless steel, giving it superior strength without the problematic tendency to rust or discolor found in carbon steel. You’ll pay a lot more for this metal, however.

  • Pros: Excellent performance without a tendency to rust or stain, holds a sharp edge very well

  • Cons: More expensive than stainless steel and carbon steel
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Expert TIp
If your blade tends to make a loud chopping bang on the cutting board every time you chop, try planting the upper edge of the knife on the board and rocking it up and down as you move it across your product. It’s a quieter, and safer, technique.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

About the handle

A quality chef’s knife feels good in your hand and has a well-balanced, comfortable handle. Many chef’s knives have ergonomic handles that are specifically designed for ease of use.

There are three common handle materials used for kitchen knives: wood, laminate, and plastic.


This classic knife handle material feels good in the hand. However, wood can hold on to bacteria and is not as durable as other materials.


A composite of wood and plastic, laminate knife handles look like wood but are far easier to care for and more durable, too.


Easy to maintain and lighter than wood, but a plastic knife handle can crack after exposure to high temperatures or UV rays.

Other terms to know

When shopping for a chef’s knife, you may come across some unfamiliar terms. Here’s a brief glossary of important terms to know.

  • Tang: The tang of a knife is the part of the blade that extends into the handle and holds it in place. If you look at a good chef’s knife, you’ll generally see a strip of metal running through the middle of the handle; that’s the tang. A full tang, which is the most desirable, is thick enough to show on both the top and the bottom of the handle. Full-tang knives are very stable and feel balanced in the hand. A partial tang extends only down the top or bottom of the handle.

  • Edge: The edge of a chef’s knife is the sharp side.

  • Spine: The spine of a chef’s knife is the slightly flattened side of the blade that isn’t sharp.

  • Point: The point of a knife blade is its very tip.

  • Blade: This term refers to the entire knife, save the handle.

  • Butt: The butt is the end of the knife’s handle.

  • Rivets: A knife’s rivets are those metal “dots” you see along the knife’s handle. There are usually three, and they secure the tang inside the handle.

  • Heel: The heel is the wide “bumper” at the bottom of the blade right before it attaches to the handle. This adds balance to the knife and also serves as a handy edge for chopping harder items like nuts or carrots.

  • Bolster: The bolster is the thick part of the blade right in front of the handle. It helps keep your fingers from slipping while you use the knife. Not every chef’s knife has a bolster.

Expert Tip
If your countertop is too tall for you to cut efficiently through a harder item, like an acorn squash or a pile of hazelnuts, consider putting on a pair of taller shoes or standing on a book or block to help you get downforce during cutting.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert


  • Quality knives don’t belong in the dishwasher. Wash and dry your knife by hand after every use.
  • A dull blade is a dangerous blade. You’re more likely to use excessive pressure or sawing motions when your knife needs sharpening. Sharpen or hone your chef’s knife as needed to maintain its good condition. 
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When holding a chef’s knife, your index finger and thumb should be on either side of the blade, lightly grasping it toward the blade’s spine. Curl your other three fingers firmly – but no need for excessive pressure – around the handle, right above the bolster. This position gives you the best control over your knife.


Q. How much does a chef’s knife cost?

A. There are inexpensive chef’s knives that cost less than $25, and there are chef’s knives that cost well over $100. For the average home cook, the sweet spot is somewhere between the $30 and $60 mark. For this kind of price tag, you should expect a product with quality construction, good balance, and a comfortable handle.

Q. Is it best to buy a complete knife set or purchase my knives separately?

A. While buying a complete knife set is undeniably easy, you could end up with knives you don’t need and will never use. And the more knives you have, the more storage space you need; for those low on space, this is a definite consideration.

Ultimately, the choice between a knife set and a single chef’s knife is up to you.

Q. What’s the best way to store my chef’s knife?

A. Good knives deserve respect. Don’t toss your chef’s knife into a jumbled drawer or leave it blade-down in a knife block; both of these actions could dull the blade or damage the knife. Keep your knife blade-up in a knife block, attach it to a magnetic knife holder, or keep it in a drawer with a utensil holder that safely separates sharp blades from other kitchen utensils.

Q. I hear a lot about Japanese chef’s knives. Are they better than western knives?

A. While Japanese knives are indeed fine utensils, they are not necessarily better than western knives. Japanese blades are generally very hard and sharp with thin, lightweight blades. That makes them easy for some people to wield, but it also means they are more likely to break during heavy use. Western chef’s knives, by contrast, tend to be heavier, thicker, and sturdier.