Choose your next knife carefully, and it will save you hundreds of dollars down the line.
When it comes to the most versatile kitchen knives, you wouldn’t settle for something just okay, right? You would look for quality, excellence, and guaranteed performance.
Nothing beats a multipurpose chef knife for its indispensability in the kitchen.
We’ve listed three of our favorite models here—some of the best you can find on the market today.
Choose your bet wisely by reading this buyer’s guide, first.
In a hurry? Check our top picks!
|ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife
|Our premium pick for both experienced and budding chefs.
|Shun DM0706 Classic Chef Knife
|Best for experienced chefs.
|Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef's Knife
|Most popular budget options
Table of Contents
Buyer’s guide to choose a chef knife
German VS Gyuto
Gyuto chef knife
- More suitable for push-and-pull motion of cutting.
- If you want a sharper tip, you can choose this knife.
- It has a flatter belly than the German knife, allowing you to have more control.
- You can easily sharpen the blades, as Gyuto knives don’t have full bolsters that extend to the edge.
- Since high- carbon steel blades are thinner, they have acute bevel angles.
- They stay sharp longer than German knives, given that you maintain them regularly.
German chef knife
- More suitable for rocking motion of cutting.
- These are also heavier, having full bolsters that extend to the edge.
- With an even bevel, they don’t develop chips easily; however, they tend to lose their edge quickly.
- German knives have thicker blades, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks that involve cutting bones or tough cartilages.
Size and Weight
Your choice of size basically depends on your preference. However, the ideal size is 8 inches, both for home cooks and experts. Still, you can choose anywhere from 6 to 14 inches.
Like size, choosing the right weight for a knife can be subjective.
Do you want to cut through tough flesh? You might want to use a heavier knife, as it can fall heavily and cut the meat right away.
Alternatively, you might want a lighter knife if you move fast and use knives for longer periods.
The ideal chef knife weighs a little over 7 ounces.
Balance and Comfort
You can test a knife’s balance by gripping its handle.
Either of the handle and the blade shouldn’t be heavier than the other. If the grip feels awkward, then it’s not worth it.
Maximum comfort is achieved when you feel like your hand and the knife are one.
A knife should also have a knuckle clearance. Nothing can be peskier than your knuckles repeatedly bumping into the wooden board!
Full Tang or Partial Tang
It’s always better to choose a full tang blade, as it provides more balance to the knife. Also, with a full tang, you can put more force through the handle against any tough meat or bones.
Stainless Steel VS High-Carbon Stainless Steel VS Carbon Steel
Stainless steel knives are what you can call “second options”. They are next to the carbon steel knives in almost everything. Their only aces against carbon steel knives are durability and rust resistance.
Carbon steel knives are miles better than stainless steel knives. They’re also sharper than the latter. You should only worry about their high demand for maintenance.
High-Carbon Stainless Steel
Needless to say, these knives have the best of both worlds. They mop the floor when it comes to edge retention, balance, comfort, and, of course, sharpness. Most of these knives are also forged, which guarantees excellent-quality steel blades.
Superstar brands of chef’s knives you will love
1. ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 Inch – Alpha-Royal Series – Our premium pick for chefs
This premium chef knife boasts of excellent function and form in every inch.
It has beautiful intricate details etched on its blade. Its highly thoughtful handle will please seasoned chefs and home cooks.
Every glide through meats, fruit slices, or greens left us with gasps. Breathtaking knife, really.
It’s one of the best kitchen knives for the money that you will not regret buying.
2. Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife – Best for experienced chefs
The Shun chef’s knife is the classic, high-performing knife as you know it. But don’t get it twisted—classic doesn’t equate to plain and predictable.
At 7.13 ounces, this knife is lightweight, minimalist and treat filled with premium features.
It’s easily one of those best chef knives we have confirmed by only trying it once.
With a feature-packed commercial design, this knife will fill the hearts of seasoned chefs with joy.
3. Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef’s Knife – Most Popular Budget Option
This chef’s knife by Imarku Pro Kitchen is revered for its strength and sharpness. It’s no surprise, given that it’s crafted using German engineering techniques.
On top of that, the handle’s rounded shape is gentle for the hands, so it’s ideal for long periods of cutting.
It iss truly designed for busy professionals.
Chef’s Knives 101
How to use them
- First, learn the pinch grip. Once you master it, you can avoid hurting your fingers and have more control.
- Learn two slicing techniques with a chef’s knife: the rocking motion and the push-pull motion.
- With the rocking motion, the blade’s tip never leaves the chopping board. Meanwhile, with the push-pull motion, the whole knife leaves the board with each slice.
- For rocking motion, use German chef’s knives. Since the blades are curved, it complements the movement better, making it seamless and fast.
- For the push-pull motion, use the Japanese chef’s knives. Since the blades are straight-edged, it will be easier to lift the knife during slicing.
How to care for your chef’s knife
- Hand-wash your knife after every use.
- Make sure it dries thoroughly.
- Realign the microscopic teeth using a ceramic honing rod.
- Sharpen your chef’s knife blade using a Japanese whetstone.
- If you’re a seasoned chef, store your knife properly by mounting them to a magnetic strip on the wall. This is also highly sanitary.
- If you’re a home cook and have kids, you can safely store them under your kitchen cabinet or in any of your drawer docks. To be safer, you can childproof your cabinet and drawers as well.
Chef’s Knife VS Santoku Knife
The chef’s knife is better suited for preparing vegetables, as it’s faster using the rocking motion. Well, pretty much, the chef’s knife can do anything.
Therefore, if you have diversified high-power cooking tasks, you can choose the chef’s knife.
Meanwhile, the Santoku knife is best for slicing boneless meats, mincing herbs, or slicing fruits and cheese.
If you work at a small cafe or cook stews at home for your kids, you can opt for the Santoku knife.
Chef’s knife VS Vegetable knife
If you need a versatile knife in the kitchen, you should invest in a good chef’s knife.
The chef’s knife is all-around—it can slice and dice vegetables, cut meat, tear through cartilages, mince herbs, and even fillet fish.
That’s why if you work with a diverse set of cooking tasks, it would be a better investment.
However, if you truly desire an excellent knife for greens, carrots, or potatoes, always choose the vegetable knife.
The vegetable knife’s design is specifically dedicated for peeling, slicing, mincing, or dicing vegetables. You won’t be disappointed with its design.
If you have a plant-based lifestyle or work at a vegan restaurant, the vegetable knife should be a staple in your kitchen counter. Check our complete vegetables knives buyer’s guide.
Why do some chef’s knives have holes in the blade?
- Blades have holes so you can easily push them down with your thumb.
- The holes are for reducing the friction on the blade’s side.
- The holes help prevent the slices from sticking to the blade.
- Some cleavers also have holes, so you can hang them on the meat hook.
Are chef’s knives with dimples worth it?
They will be worth it if you mostly work with moist, sticky, or wet food.
For instance, if you always slice cheese, liver, or any soft meat, you can invest in knifes with dimples. You can also coin carrots or cucumbers better with these blades.
But in general, the dimples or kullens typically have no ground-breaking purpose.