A great knife is the cornerstone on which great food is built. However, if you ask three chefs what makes a great knife, you will likely get at least five answers. The truth is that what makes the perfect knife for you depends on many factors, including your level of comfort with knives, the size of your hands, and the type of food you enjoy cooking.
That said, there’s a reason your basic 6- to 8-inch chef’s knife is ubiquitous: it’s the most versatile knife. The chef’s knife is capable of dicing vegetables, slicing meat, chopping herbs and nuts, and in an emergency it even goes through small bones without any major problems.
There is a bewildering selection of chef’s knives, from dirt cheap to very expensive specialty blades. To help you understand it all, we sliced and diced dozens of knives until a simple truth came out: a poorly made $ 10 blade that you sharpen every day is more useful than a $ 200 Blade that is boring. Every knife needs to be sharpened, some just need it more than others. Much of the price difference in knives is related to the quality of the materials, which is often reflected in how well the blade holds its edge.
We mostly glued with 8-inch blades, the sweet spot for the classic chef’s knife. Testing included the things you would be doing in your own kitchen – peeling, filleting, dicing, chopping, dicing, slicing, and all other standard meat and vegetable prep. Here are our tips.
Updated December 2020: We have added the very popular global G-2 and updated the prices.