🔪 Best Kitchen Knives - Tested and Ranked
Having a well-equipped kitchen is the key to transforming your cooking chores into a fun, exciting experience.
Knives are equally important as cooking pans, skillets, spoons, spatulas, and every other cookware piece; as a matter of fact, a decent set of blades may help you prepare tastier dishes with better textures whereas other accessories mostly serve to make the process simpler.
If you aren’t particularly well-versed in the ABCs of cookware and kitchen knives, you’ve come to the right place.
Today we are going to rank some of the sharpest, toughest, and sturdiest kitchen knives that the current market has to offer, so without any further ado, let’s dive straight into the reviews.
🥇 Best Overall – Zwilling Professional “S” Chef’s Knife 8-Inch
Zwilling’s S Chef’s Knife is an essential piece to any kitchenware. It boasts unparalleled sturdiness and versatility, as well as an array of eclectic, largely unique features that sets it a cut above most boutique kitchen knives.
First of all, the S Chef’s Knife’s construction is comprised of high-carbon stainless steel material that is virtually impervious to scratches, warping and physical damage. The exquisite Friodur blade offers unequaled sharpness and exceptional cutting power, making it suitable for virtually all cutting, mincing, and slicing tasks.
Comfort-wise, this knife features a Polymer-made riveted handle that feels natural when held while also offering a strong, sure grip.
The only drawback of Zwilling’s Professional S Chef’s knife is the fact that it is fairly expensive. Even so, it offers remarkable value for the buck through its outstandingly durable stainless-steel construction, optimal edge retention, and superior cutting performance.
📦 Best Knives Sets
A kitchen knife, no matter how versatile and sharp it is, will always be inferior to a set of kitchen knives. Each knife serves a different purpose – peeling knives are generally best for vegetables; filleting knives are perfect for fish-based dishes; cleavers are ideal for cutting and carving meat.
One knife may be leagues above every other model in the category, but it will fall short in one (or several) aspects of performance. That’s the main reason why having a quality set of kitchen knives should be the first step to equipping your kitchen.
Chicago Cutlery Essentials Stainless Steel Knife Block Set
Even though CCS’s Essentials Knife Block Set is the least expensive model in this category, it’s easily one of the finest sets of kitchen knives out there.
This is a 15-piece knife set bundle that is comprised of a peeling knife, a paring knife, a serrated knife, two Santoku knives, a scalloped bread-knife, six steak knives, and a wooden storage block.
The knives are built of top-quality stainless steel materials and boast exceptional durability and sharpness.
One of the most exclusive features of these knives is the 25-degree taper-grind edge that substantially hastens and simplifies the re-sharpening process. Though cheaper than other knife sets on our list, the Chicago Cutlery Essentials 15-piece set is in league with boutique-level cutlery models.
Cuisinart C77SS-15P Graphix Collection 15-Piece Cutlery Knife Block Set
Next up is Cuisinart’s C77SS-15P, which is a 15-piece knife bundle from the heavily acclaimed Graphix Collection.
This set features a multi-purpose chef knife, a Santoku knife, a serrated utility knife, a paring knife, and a plethora of exceptional-quality stainless steel knives.
What makes this model stand out from other kitchen knife sets is the fact that each knife is outfitted with a textured sure-grip handle, boasting ergonomic qualities, and an impeccable level of durability.
The storage block is colored in elegant black and offers a subtler aesthetic component, which is a huge plus in comparison to our previous pick; however, Cuisinart’s C77SS-15P is a bit more expensive in turn.
Wusthof Gourmet 12-piece Block Set
German-made cutlery is widely renowned for its superior durability, design, and versatility; Wusthof’s Gourmet 12-Piece knife set is an excellent representative of that.
The Gourmet set includes a paring knife, an additional paring knife with a spear-point tip, a utility knife, four steak knives, a bread knife, a cook’s knife, and a block to fit them all.
One of the most exquisite features of this set of knives is the triple-riveted handle made of synthetic polypropylene that is outfitted to each individual component of the set.
In a nutshell, Wusthof’s Gourmet knife set is an ideal pick for chefs and cooks that don’t mind investing a couple of extra dollars for impeccable sharpness and durability.
Farberware Edgekeeper 21-Piece Block Set
The Edgekeeper is, without any shadow of a doubt, the ultimate set of knives for professional chefs. Apart from being the most eclectic set among the four in this category, it’s also packed with a complimentary built-in sharpener while being decently affordable.
This bundle features 21 stainless-steel knives equipped with alloy steel blades, including a chef’s knife, a Santoku knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, boning knives, a cleaver, a paring knife, and a variety of differently sized kitchen knives.
Suffice it to say, the Edgekeeper can easily cater to each of your cooking, slicing, paring, and cutting needs, but the reason why we deem it one of the best kitchen knife sets is the fact that it boasts unrivaled reliability. Namely, each knife in the set features optimal bolster height, a durable spine, a remarkably sharp blade, and a thoroughly riveted tang.
🇯🇵 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives
Japanese knives are essentially successors of some of the sharpest weapons in history – samurai swords.
Sporting a razor-sharp blade and lighter construction, Japanese-made knives are as easy to use as they are proficient in mincing, slicing, cutting, paring, and cutting even the toughest meats.
Professional chefs around the world have at least one Japanese knife in their set, which is often their go-to tool when precision, accuracy, and a detailed touch is required. If you are looking for one, we’re here to offer a couple of suggestions.
Zelite Infinity Damascus Japanese AUS-10 Chef’s Knife
The Zelite Infinity Damascus Chef’s Knife is arguably one of the sharpest chef’s knives available on the market.
It’s built from the sturdiest stainless steel and demands little in terms of maintenance while offering superior reliability and performance.
Furthermore, it was purposefully weighted so as to provide more balance and easier handling.
Another unique feature of the Zelite Infinity knife is the Tsunami-Rose texture, which distinguishes it from most boutique-level Japanese knives.
Shun Cutlery Classic 6.5-inch Nakiri Knife
Layman chefs would mistake Shun’s Nakiri knife for an odd-looking cleaver. Seasoned professionals hold it in high regard as it is both lighter and sharper in comparison to most top-tier kitchen knives.
This remarkable kitchen knife is made of VG-Max steel and is reinforced with sixty-eight layers of robust Damascus steel. Suffice it to say, there are maybe a handful of boutique knives that could even come close to it in the field of sturdiness.
Furthermore, this Nakiri Knife is equipped with a gorgeous Ebony Pakka Wood handle, which offers a firm, comfortable grip.
The only thing that you may not particularly like about it is its price tag; namely, it’s reasonably expensive, although it packs quite a bang for the buck due to its exquisite durability and sharpness.
Tuo Gyuto Chef’s Knife
If you are looking for a quality paring knife, look no further than Tuo’s Gyuto Chef’s Knife. Even though it’s slightly larger than an average paring knife it’s as light and easy to use as any of its smaller counterparts.
This Japanese-style knife strayed just a bit from its traditional construction pattern; it features German quality stainless steel construction followed by heat-treatment refinement and cryogenic tempering for superior durability and rust/corrosion resistance.
Moreover, Tuo’s Gyuto paring knife sports a military-grade G10 handle made of fiberglass and a full tang for superior balance.
The only thing that certain professional chefs may not like about it is the fact that it’s a bit longer than average; even though it’s generally easy to use, it’s not ideal when rapid paring movements are required.
Imarku Kitchen Knife
Given the fact that Japanese knives are generally a bit more expensive than ‘standard’ knives, we wanted to include a more approachable model – Imarku’s 10-inch Kitchen Knife.
This knife is manufactured of high-carbon stainless steel; even though it’s slightly flimsier in comparison to our previous pick, it’s substantially sturdier than most similarly priced Chef’s knives.
Entry-level kitchen knives rarely feature good handles, which is not the case here; this model is equipped with a sure-grip Pakka Wood handle that is remarkably comfortable and light.
Another cool element of Imarku’s knife is the gorgeous gift box that comes as a complementary feature; given that the festive season is close by, this may be an excellent present for people who’re into cooking.
🇺🇸 Best American Made Knives
While Japanese knives excel in sharpness (and aesthetically unique designs), American-made knives are famous for their reliability.
If you are looking for a knife that is sharp and will remain so after years and years of use, you should probably switch over to American cutlery.
We’ve taken a gander at what leaders in the industry had to offer and have cherry-picked the sturdiest, sharpest, and most valuable all-American knives for your convenience.
Cutluxe Chef Knife
The Cutluxe’s Chef’s Knife is a versatile, yet exceptionally simple kitchen knife that offers consistent, reliable performance at all times.
It boasts a full-tang stainless steel construction that offers an excellent balance between stability and sturdiness while the ergonomic handle provides the much-needed comfortable grip.
Speaking of which, the handle of Cutluxe’s Chef’s Knife is made of top-shelf Pakka Wood materials, which offers roughly the same level of durability as the blade itself.
Overall, this is a decently affordable, highly versatile, and remarkably robust kitchen knife that offers reliability above all else.
Cuisinart CGK 277 BBQ Butcher Knife
The second Cuisinart model on our list is the heavily acclaimed CGK-227. Even though it’s a specialty knife, it’s still decently versatile and well-rounded.
It was primarily designed for butchering, but its ultra-sharp blade allows you to easily cut and slice even the toughest meat and vegetables.
In fact, the CGK 277 sports a curved-tip blade, which excels in areas where precision cutting is mandatory.
Construction-wise, this knife is made of exceptionally sturdy stainless steel and sports a plastic handle.
Mercer Culinary M22608 Millennia 8-inch Chef’s Knife
The Millennia is easily one of the sharpest and most reliable budget level kitchen knives that money can buy.
It sports a blade made of high-carbon stainless steel and rocks a Santoprene-made handle. Granted, the handle of this knife may not be as sturdy or as comfortable in comparison to more expensive models, but it offers a tight, sure grip, to say the very least.
This knife is as easy to maintain as it is easy to store; due to its simplistic design, washing it is simple.
We warmly recommend Mercer Culinary’s M22608 Millennia to every chef that’s on a tighter budget.
Dexter Russell S145-10PCP 8-inch Chef’s Knife
The S145 10PCP is an excellent choice for people who are looking for a sturdy lightweight kitchen knife.
This knife is made of exceptional quality stainless steel and it weighs barely 0.45 pounds. Furthermore, it sports a curved blade and a highly convenient ‘Grip & Go’ handle that offers exceptional comfort and a stable grip.
It’s also very rewarding in terms of maintenance as its blade is resistant to corrosion, scratches, and stains. We also loved the fact that its price tag is remarkably approachable.
🇩🇪 Best German Made Knives
While American-made knives are held in high regard by chefs for their reliability, Japanese knives for their ability to execute accurate slices and cuts, German knives are essentially the all-around tools that bring the best of these two worlds together.
German-made knives are recognized for their unparalleled durability, but their utility-oriented functions are exceptional just as well.
Kitchen knives that belong to this category are remarkably easy to use, exceptionally easy to handle, and ultimately some of the sturdiest on the market. Let’s take a peek at some of the best German-made knives that the market has to offer.
Hammer Stahl 10-inch Chef Knife
Hammer Stahl’s Chef Knife is a terrific mid-range option for beginner chefs who are looking for a quality upgrade to their cutlery.
This model features robust forged construction and a high-carbon stainless steel blade, which was refined and tempered for additional durability.
One of the most exquisite features that Stahl’s knife is outfitted with is the quad-tang design; it affords the chef with a substantial boost in balance.
Even though it may not be the lightest kitchen knife out there, it’s certainly one of the sturdiest and most resilient models in the category.
Wusthof 1040100220 Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife
Wusthof 1040100220 is the best German-made kitchen knife if you can afford it. It is substantially lighter than average while boasting superior sturdiness and reliability.
This knife is outfitted with a remarkably designed bolster, full tang, and a convenient finger guard that provides easy handling.
Wusthof’s Cook’s Knife was precision forged and reinforced with the PET technology, boasting unparalleled sharpness and outstanding blade retention, which ultimately ensures prolonged blade usability.
Hanmaster Pro 9-Inch Chef’s Knife
Hanmaster Pro Chef’s Knife is the Jack-of-all-trades among kitchen knives. Its curved handle and spear-point tip allow you to use it for any culinary task imaginable, and to top it all off, it’s remarkably affordable.
This knife was made of German quality stainless steel material, which provides it with impeccable corrosion resistance, scratch resistance, and impeccable robustness.
Furthermore, the Hanmaster Pro features a comfortable grip made of top-shelf sandalwood material. It’s not only sturdy, but it’s also beautiful and remarkably comfortable to use.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Paring Knife
German-made knives are generally known for their sturdiness, but Zwilling J.A. Henckels’ Twin Signature paring knife is astonishingly robust even by these standards.
This particular model features an exquisite ice-hardened blade and a comfort-grip Ergonomic handle made of polymer material, which are just some of the exquisite features it comes supplied with.
Moreover, this knife boasts remarkable edge retention and unrivaled re-sharpening capabilities.
Henckels Twin Paring Knife is an excellent utility tool that aims to help you cut, slice or pierce any meat or vegetable with pinpoint accuracy.
❓ What Are The Top Kitchen Knife Brands?
The global cutlery market is literally flooding with new brands and names almost on a regular basis. Such an increase in supply was called for by a drastic increase in demand, which obviously resulted in thousands upon thousands of models from companies that most people may or may not have ever heard about.
Regardless of whether you’re a professional chef or simply like to prepare tasty meals for your family, relying on trusted, well-respected brands is always smarter than taking chances with underdog knife manufacturers.
In that light, we are going to trade a few words regarding Wusthof, Shun, Victorinox, and Zwilling J.A. Henckels as the industry’s current leaders.
Wusthof Dreizackwerk is one of the oldest German kitchenware manufacturers that have graced the market with premium quality cutlery for more than two centuries.
Based in Solingen, Harald Wusthof has founded the brand back in 1814 with his wife Viola Wusthof. Nowadays this brand is well-known for top-quality mid-priced and boutique kitchen knife models, but they’re the absolute and nearly uncontested victor when it comes to Chef’s knives.
A variety of knife-sharpening accessories are available in their catalog, including a range of honing steels and whetstones.
Wusthof has also broadened its popularity by collaborating with both Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver through the Wusthof Ikon generations of kitchen knives.
Shun Cutlery’s 18 years ‘young’. This brand is basically a subsidiary of KAI Group, which has headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Shun is equally popular in the USA as it is across Asia for its state-of-the-art Japanese-made knives.
While the brand itself is fresh, the original Kai Group is more than a century old. It was founded by Saijiro Endo in Japan in 1908. Shun was welcomed into the Group in 2002, with which they collaborate in terms of both merchandising and manufacturing.
Some of their most famous product series are Classic, Classic Pro, Fuji, Hiro, Kaji, Kanso, Sora, and Shun Blue, all of which house exceptionally well-crafted mid-range and top-tier Japanese knives.
Victorinox is one of the most versatile and eclectic brands in the cutlery business, mainly because their catalog is spread across multiple fields, including Swiss army knives, fragrances, clothing items, watches, and obviously kitchen knives.
This company was founded in 136 by Karl Elsener in Ibach, Switzerland in 1884; despite the fact that it came to be 136 and some odd years ago, the brand is as relevant and present on the scene as it ever was.
Victorinox started out with Swiss army knives (famously with the Model 1890) after they branched out into the world of kitchen cutlery.
You may have a hard time tracking their kitchen knives since they are using a different name for this line of the industry – Victorinox’s kitchen knives are marketed as Forschner knives.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Zwilling J. A. Henckels is arguably the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the world. They’ve been around for roughly 289 years, founded in Solingen (much like Wusthof), Germany.
The brand also has a number of subsidiaries – Staub, Demeyere, Miyabi, and Ballarini are all names under Zwilling J. A. Henckels sell their kitchen knife models
This company offers traditional, convenient, and relatively simplistic Chef’s knives, knife sets, pairing, and peeling knives, but they’re also keeping touch with more modern trends by regularly introducing fresh new features to their updates.
❓ What Metrics Did I Use To Create These Rankings
You can judge the performance of a kitchen knife simply by looking at it – if you know what to look for, that is.
The type of the blade gives us insight regarding the knife’s cutting capability; the design of the handle tells us how easy it is to use it, but there are also subtler elements, such as the construction of the bolster (or the lack thereof), the angle of the edge, and such.
Ultimately, a good knife is sharp and sturdy, but the best kitchen knives need to provide this by default; the best kitchen knives are also versatile, easy to clean, easy to store and to top it all off – long-lasting.
Ease of use
A knife should be an extension of the Chef’s hand. If it’s easy to use, you’ll be able to easily cut, chop and fillet even the most complex pieces of meat, regardless of what type of knife it is by design.
Size plays an important factor here, but not as much as weight. Lighter is not better per se, as heavier knives sometimes feel a bit more natural, allowing your muscle memory and experience to take care of all the precision work almost completely autonomously.
A kitchen knife that is unwieldy and difficult to use is not only a hindrance to the chef, but it also poses a risk of injury. Not having the spatial awareness of how the blade will respond is not directly linked to inexperience – the knife you are using may simply be inappropriate for the current task.
Easy-to-use knives are in fact easy to use in every situation and setting. A good rule of thumb to abide by is that Chef’s knives are superior in this field of performance while all the gaps that remain can be, most of the time, filled in by using utility knives.
Naturally, flimsy items break while durable items offer years of reusability. The case with kitchen knives is not entirely different, but it’s not completely the same either.
The durability of a kitchen knife is measured by its resilience to physical damages, resistance to rust, scratches, corrosion, and warping.
That’s why some of the finest knives are made of stainless steel. While this particular material ensures that your knife will remain free of rust and corrosion, it still may warp under certain circumstances.
The best kitchen knives are refined using a series of technologies and processes, such as nitrogen cryogenic treatment or heat tempering processes.
The ability of a kitchen knife to tackle tasks that are outside of its designated ‘field’ is ascribed to its versatility.
Simple, straightforward knives are meant to do singular tasks, cutting, slicing, or chopping being the most common ones. Knives that can perform all of these seamlessly are considered as well-rounded and versatile.
The versatility of a kitchen knife is typically dictated by its design, in terms of the blade’s angle, tip construction, length, and such. Cleavers are chopping knives; Nakiri knives are ideal for vegetables; fillet knives are perfect for gutting fish.
Chef’s knives have a well-balanced design that may not excel in all of these fields of performance, but they will certainly be of use, allowing you to perform multiple tasks without having to switch over to a different knife type.
The difference between some of the cheapest and most expensive kitchen knives is measured in hundreds of dollars; in some cases, even thousands, and the price is certainly the most definitive factor.
When determining the amount of cash you are willing to part of you should ask yourself a couple of questions; first and foremost, are you looking for a new workhorse, or are you looking to upgrade your cutlery with knives that you don’t have? How often do you prepare meals, and how complex they are?
More expensive knives are generally sturdier, their edge remains sharp for extended periods of time, and they’re often packed with unique, exquisite features.
However, beginner chefs and hobbyists may find that having several budget knives in different categories to be more purposeful and cost-effective than having a single do-it-all kitchen knife; the opposite applies to seasoned veterans.
Popular "Best Knife" Categories
The contest for the best kitchen knives on the market was edgy, to say the least; numerous models came close but ultimately lacked a thing or two that our top picks have. While our top selection has everything a chef could want, you may want to take a look at our runner-ups as well.
Best Steak Knife – Imusa USA Woodlock IMU-73056
Imusa’s Woodlock is packed with a serrated blade made of rust-proof stainless steel, it’s decently sturdy, and it’s arguably one of the cheapest high-quality knives on the market.
This knife is 4.5 inches tall and offers excellent blade control and handling due to the fact that it is light as a feather.
In terms of design, Imusa’s Woodlock knife is as plain and straightforward as can be; even though this makes it very easy to use, it also makes it inferior as far as versatility is of concern.
Best Value for Money Knife – Victorinox Chef’s Knife
If you want to get the most value for your buck, Victorinox’s Chef’s Knife is what you are looking for.
This knife is remarkably light, exceptionally cheap, and surprisingly sturdy. It’s made of corrosion-proof stainless steel and promises much in terms of durability.
Affordability is among the last reasons why it should be interesting to you, as it’s primarily very easy to use and control. It’s also fairly well-rounded in the sense that it can easily tackle most, if not all cooking tasks.
Best Sharpening Stone – Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone
Sharp Pebble’s Whetstone is cheap, gritty, and above all else long-lasting. This is a double-sided whetstone that excels in durability, but also in convenience due to the complementary angle guide feature it comes supplied with.
It is outfitted with a non-slip bamboo base and a silicon-made holder that will keep it firmly in place as you’re sharpening your favorite knives.
In terms of versatility, Sharp Pebble’s whetstone is superior to most of its counterparts. It can be used for any kind of knife and blade, whether it is a butcher’s knife, a pocket knife, or even bigger-bladed tools such as woodcutting axes.
Best Chefs Knife – Mac Mighty Professional Hollow-Edge Chef’s Knife
Our final pick for the day is Mac Mighty’s Professional Hollow-Edge Chef’s knife, which is an 8-inch all-rounder.
This knife packs a 2,5-mm thick serrated blade, a Pakka Wood handle, and an ultra-sharp spear-point tip.
Even though it may be one of the sharpest Chef’s knives on the market, it’s also fairly expensive, which is the main reason why it’s not one of our main picks.
About Kitchen Knife Steel
Kitchen knives are made of different kinds of steel materials. More precisely, different kinds of steel and different treatments are combined, yielding blades of varying durability, thickness, and size.
Stainless steel is the most popular type of steel used for kitchen knives; in a nutshell, the process of implementing ‘stainless’ qualities to a steel material involves the introduction of Chromium (approximately 10%, rarely more). The most widely-used types of stainless steel are VG 10, 420 HC, and 440 C.
A variety of alternative treatments are used, and depending on the additional elements different types of refined materials are generated. Carbon-steel knives offer better blade retention at the expense of the ‘stainless’ quality.
High-carbon stainless-steel is a hybrid of the two, offering the benefits of stainless-steel blades and superior retention of carbon-steel knives.
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