Best Chef Knife 2019

Top 5 Best Chef Knife You Can Buy in 2019. Expert Reviews and Buying Guide.
Last Uptade: October 9, 2019

How We Decided

26

Hours Researched

12

Models Considered

5

Models Tested

314

Reviews Analysed

Trending Chef Knife Products

1. Best Overall
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This German-made knife meets all the expectations of any chef. It easily cuts through any food and its ergonomic design allows you to use it comfortably for a long time.

Pros

Forged high carbon stainless steel knife, which doesn't stain or corrode. Exceptionally sharp and easy to wield.

Cons

The knife can't be found instores. You need to order it online.

Messermeister Meridian Elite

Many professional chefs and students prefer Messermeister's knives and for good reasons. They tick all the boxes when it comes effectiveness, durability, and comfort. The 9-inch Meridian Elite Chef's Knife is a shining example of the German company's craftsmanship. It's an excellent pick for both professionals and home users, who need to slice and dice vegetables, meat, and other foods.

Messermeister refuses to manufacture any of its knives by stamping them so you can be sure that the Meridian Elite is hammer forged, which makes it much more durable than cheap regular knives you find in stores. Its high carbon stainless steel blade won't get stains or rust spots anytime soon, so it's definitely worth the rather high investment since you can use it reliably for many years.

The knife's general design may not like anything special, but if you take a closer look at the fine details, you will see that it has "German efficiency" written all over it. For example, unlike many chef's knives, the Meridian Elite has a smooth, rounded spine, which makes pinch grabbing more comfortable. You can cut through a large amount of produce, for a long time, and your fingers won't feel irritated and uncomfortable, due to the spine "cutting into" your finger.

Another neat design is the blade's half bolster, which doesn't extend all the way to the sharp edge. As a result, you can use the entire blade when cutting and slicing, without having the bolster getting in the way of your work. This design choice also makes the knife lighter so you can handle it comfortably, and you will also find it easier to sharpen it since you can use a sharpening rod on its entire length.

While most western chef's knives have an edge of about 20 degrees, the Messermeister went for the Japanese style and gave its blades a 15-degree edge, which allows you to cut much easier through any foods. You will feel this sharp-angled knife cutting and slicing, instead of chopping. What's more, its 9-inch blade is not too long, nor too short, which makes it an adequate choice regardless if you cook at home or in a restaurant's kitchen.

2.
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A durable, well-balanced and comfortable Japanese chef's knife. A bit on the expensive side, but worth the investment.

Pros

Hand-hammered finish gives it a unique look. Dimples in the blade reduce drag and prevent food from sticking.

Cons

The knife is a bit expensive. You need to take special care of it. Sharpening the blade is a bit difficult.

Shun Premier Chef's Knife

People who are serious about cooking can rely on the Shun Premier Chef's Knife to serve them well. Thanks to its ergonomic design, professional chefs will find it an excellent tool for long shifts in the kitchen. You can use this knife for hours, on a daily basis, without tiring out your hand. Also, you can expect this knife to last for many years, due to its advanced construction.

Forged from Japanese super-steel, the Premier Chef's Knife has excellent edge retention, so you can expect its sharpness to last for a long time. The 16 layers of Damascus stainless steel make the blade more flexible and highly durable, and they also prevent corrosion, so you don't have to replace your knife anytime soon. Also, the hand-hammered "Tsuchime" finish gives the blade a unique look, as well as some functional advantages. The dimples you see on the blade reduce drag when you cut through meat or vegetables, so you won't feel too much resistance when pressing on the knife. Furthermore, because there is less surface making contact with the food, the slices will fall right off, instead of sticking to the blade.

Like with most Japanese knives, the Shun Premier Chef's Knife has a 16-degree edge, which makes it significantly sharper than its western cousins, even when you take it out of the box. This acute angle complements the advantages of the hand-hammered finish by allowing you to easily slice through any food with a reasonable degree of precision.

The slight curve of the 8-inch blade facilitates a smooth rocking motion so that you can chop vegetables on a cutting board in a comfortable manner. What's more, the blade is tall enough to give you a proper knuckle clearance so that you can chop through massive amounts of produce like a real professional.

You can chop, slice and dice through vast amounts of food for hours, without feeling your hand getting tired, thanks to the PakkaWood handle. Shun makes its knife handles from real hardwood, which goes through special treatment, for extra durability. You can wash the knife as often as you need and you won't see any swelling or cracks in the handle. Even in the busiest kitchen, the Shun Premier Chef's Knife can undoubtedly stand the test of time.

3.
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A highly reliable and comfortable chef's knife. It's forged from high-quality steel and sharpened through a traditional Japanese method.

Pros

Sharp and durable blade, forged from Japanese super steel. "Hump back" handle makes the knife easy to wield.

Cons

The edge angle is not the sharpest you will see, though there are knives with even wider angles.

Zelite Infinity Chef’s Knife Executive-Plus Series

The Zelite Infinity Executive-Plus Series Chef’s Knife can make any amateur chef look like a professional. This Japanese knife is an excellent addition to any kitchen, due to its robust design and easy handling, but it's also a favorite of professional chefs. The manufacturers have carefully tweaked every little detail, to make a well-balanced, razor-sharp knife, for all user categories. From cutting meat and bone to slicing olives, this knife feels great in any situation.

Forged with Japanese super steel, with multiple high-carbon stainless steel layers, the Executive-Plus is quite durable and can last a long time. Zelite Infinity took special care of the metal when making this knife model, so you can expect the best performance, regardless if you're cooking for yourself at home or for clients in a restaurant. The blade won't get permanent stains or rust spots, and the sharp edge won't bend or wear out anything soon, so you can count on this knife to serve you well for many years.

The blade's 12-15 degree angles fall right in the middle when it comes to sharpness. While there are sharper knives out there, there are also some that aren't as sharp as the Executive-Plus Series. However, Zelite Infinity prefers this middle ground because a sharper angle makes the knife thinner and less durable. With 12-15 angles, the knife feels quite sturdy, and it can make a cleaner and more precise cut than those with wider angles because there is less metal that goes through the food you're cutting.

Thanks to its 8-inch blade, wielding the knife is exceptionally easy and comfortable, especially for home users who don't have too much experience with chef's knives. Furthermore, the 56 mm depth of the blade gives you maximum knuckle clearance, so you can quickly and safely chop fruit, vegetables or anything else on a cutting board.

The knife's "Hump Back" handle is Zelite's exclusive design, and it's meant to fit perfectly in your hand. Also, the blade and the handle are perfectly balanced around the bolster, which lets you handle the knife comfortably, for a long time, without feeling any wrist fatigue. Even if you are a complete beginner, you can get used to this knife and cook like a professional in no time.

4. Best Value
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Made out of quality steel and sharpened through traditional methods, this premium knife is a joy to use by professionals and amateurs alike.

Pros

Highly durable and extremely sharp. The knife is comfortable and easy to handle, and it has a premium design.

Cons

The 10.25" blade may be a bit difficult to wield for inexperienced cooks.

DALSTRONG Shogun Series X Professional Gyuto

The Dalstrong Shogun Series X gives you the most bang for your back when it comes to professional chef's knives. The manufacturer has built this knife to last and to help you cut through anything, from vegetables to meat, with minimum effort. If you are looking for the sweet spot between price and quality, this is the knife you want to choose.

Forged out of a single piece of highly-treated AUS-10V Japanese super steel, the Shogun Series X scores a 62+ Rockwell hardness rating, which ensures that it will remain razor-sharp for a long time. The 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel that sandwich the core enhance the knife's strength and durability and they also protect it against stains, decoloration, and rust so you can pass it down to future generations. Furthermore, because it went through a Nitrogen-based cooling process, the blade is surprisingly strong and flexible, which enables you to cut through any produce effortlessly.

Unlike your run-of-the-mill knives, the Shogun Series X has been forged, not stamped. It takes about 60 days to craft this knife model, and it involves melting a piece of steel at extreme temperatures, molding it and hammering it. Finally, the manufacturers use a traditional Japanese technique to give the blade its superior sharpness.

Besides its impressive construction process, the knife scores the highest marks for its design and handling. Although the 10.25" blade may be a bit too long for regular home users, the knife is exceptionally balanced and easy to control. It has a large-then-average ergonomic handle, which feels quite comfortable when you hold it in your hand. Also, the military-grade G10 material makes the handle highly durable against heat, cold and moisture. With 8-12 degrees per side, the blade is thinner than that of most professional chef's knives, but it's also much sharper, allowing you to cut through any foods without any effort.

The Dalstrong Shogun Series X's design is indeed worthy of its impressive characteristics. Besides the fact that it feels good in your hand and it cuts exceptionally well, the knife also has a premium look. The Tsunami Rose pattern makes the blade unique and attractive and the engraved lion's head logo on both the blade and the butt, as well as the copper and brass mosaic on the handle, make the knife look like it belongs in a Rolls Royce.

5.
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An affordable mid-range chef's knife with excellent characteristics. It's an excellent pick for home users who take their cooking seriously.

Pros

The full metal design makes the knife quite attractive. It's light, extremely sharp and easy to handle.

Cons

The metal handle may become slippery and uncomfortable after prolonged use, despite its dimples.

Global G-2

Global's G-2 Chef's Knife can catch the eye of any home users who want to cook like professional chefs. It's an excellent fit for any kitchen, due to its attractive design, and its characteristics make it significantly better than anything you will find in your local store. It's light and well-balanced, which makes it easy to wield even for people with small hands. The blade is nighter too large nor too small for amateur users, and the best part is that it's quite easy to maintain.

The first observation everyone makes about the G-2 is its sharpness, even when they take it out of the box. Unlike its American or European cousins, which come with beveled 20-degree edges, Global's flagship knife has a 15-degree edge, which makes it exceptionally sharp. You can easily cut through vegetables, meat or dairy products, without having to exert too much force.

The knife is one piece of metal, from tip to butt. You don't get a wooden or plastic handle, but the dimples in the metal give you a good grip. Also, Global has made the handle hollow, for reduced weight, but they've also filled it with sand, to fine-tune its balance. The slightly curved 8-inch blade allows you to chop food on a board with a rocking motion in a comfortable manner. Though there is no tang to speak of, the knife has a rounded notch for your finger, which gives you a reasonable degree of control.

Global forges its knives out of Cromova 18 stainless steel, and the G-2 is no exception. This special alloy includes molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium, that makes the knife hard enough to retain its sharpness, but it also makes it soft enough so that you can sharpen it without too much effort. Also, the chromium content prevents stains and rust, which means that you can rely on the knife for a long time, even if you wash it repeatedly every day.

Chef Knife Shopping Guide

Knives are essential tools in any kitchen, and you can theoretically use any knife to cut your vegetables or meat before adding them to a tasty dish. However, if you fancy yourself a decent cook, then you will agree that a chef's knife is infinitely better. It's much more comfortable, and it gives you better control so you won't spend more time than you have to, chopping and slicing.

You don't need a master's degree in cooking to get a quality knife, but if you take cooking seriously, then you will want to steer away from cheap knives if you don't want to replace them on a regular basis. It may say "chef's knife" on the box, but if you don't do your research, you may end up using an uncomfortable knife, and you may feel your hand getting tired after a few minutes of use, which is a real problem for people who spend a long time in the kitchen. There are various things to look for in a knife, besides the fact that it's sharp and it can be used to cut things.

Although it will set you back some extra dollars, a mid-range product is a perfect choice for home use. If cooking is one of your hobbies, you will want to look at this product range. A short blade, of 8 inches, for example, will be more comfortable if you haven't done too much cooking before and if you have small hands. However, there is nothing wrong if you go for a larger, 10-inch blade. It is encouraged by many professionals, even if it takes a bit to get accustomed to it.

Mid-range knives are usually forged, rather than stamped, and the manufacturers make them from strong, high-quality metals so that you can use them and reuse them for as long as possible. If you have a forged knife, with several finishing layers, made out of high-carbon stainless steel, you can be sure that it won't bend or break anytime soon and you won't see any stains or rust spots during its lifetime. It shouldn't matter too much if the handle is made from wood or plastic, as long as the knife is well-balanced and easy to wield.

Obviously, everybody wants a sharp knife, but since you can't test it when looking at a product page, you can figure out how sharp it is by looking at its edge angle. You can find this value in the product's description. Otherwise, the knife is probably not a good one, to begin with. You may consider a blade razor-sharp if it has an angle of about 15 degrees or less, which is a design choice of Japanese knives, but western products have started to adopt it as well. Anything that comes close to or goes above 20 degrees will feel a bit blunt. They still do an excellent job at cutting, but it takes a bit more effort since there is more metal that has to go through the meat.

If you cook in a professional capacity, a high-tier knife is a sound investment. These knives have an entire story behind them when it comes to manufacturing. The most important aspect is that they will last for a lifetime, even if you use them on a daily basis. They have a lot in common with their mid-range counterparts, but they also went through special treatment which made their blades more durable. Not only do their hand-finished blades look beautiful, but they also do a better job when cutting and chopping. Furthermore, the dimples in the blade will prevent meat or vegetables from sticking, so you can slice and dice much faster.

While all chef's knives serve the same purpose, deciding how much you want to spend on one should depend on how much cooking you intend to do and how fast you want to do it. A mid-range knife will serve you well in your home kitchen if you like to show off your skills from time to time, but if you want to take it to the next level, a high-end knife will make cooking a real joy. Despite their high price tags, you can certainly put all your trust in these cutting-edge products.

What to Look For When Buying Chef Knife

Blade length

Knives come in different sizes, which usually range from 8 to 12 inches. Longer blades are more difficult to handle and are best left to professional chefs, while shorter blades are easy to wield, but they are a bit limited when it comes to how much you can slice and dice at once.

Professional chefs prefer knives with 9 to 12-inch blades, while amateurs are perfectly content with blades as short as 8 inches. However, some chefs highly recommend 10-inch blades to all amateur cooks. They may be challenging at firsts, but it doesn't take long to get accustomed to them.

Choosing your metal

Steel is the main component in any knife, but there are different alloys you need to look at. Stainless steel doesn't rust or get stains, and it's easy to sharpen, but it's also a bit soft so it won't retain its sharpness for too long.

Carbon steel knives keep their sharpness for a reasonable length of time, and sharpening them is not too difficult. On the other hand, they are susceptible to stains and rust, and they are a bit more expensive than stainless steel ones.

High carbon stainless steel is the best material to look for, though it is also the most expensive. The high carbon composition gives the knife a superior strength and the stainless steel won't rust, get stained or discolored.

Comfort and ease of use

A knife's intricate design doesn't mean a thing if you can't wield it comfortably. The length and height of the blade or how it's balanced with the handle around the bolster are the fine details that make all the difference between good and lousy chef's knives.

You want the handle to feel comfortable when you hold the knife in your hand, and you certainly don't want to feel that the blade is too heavy. Also, try pinch-gripping the blade for a while. If your fingers feel fatigued and irritated due to the spine (the blade's blunt edge) "cutting into" your hand, then you might want to look for another knife.

Forged knives vs. samped knives

Regular knives are punched out of steel and then sharpened by machines. It's a fairly cheap process, which is why stamped knives are not too expensive, but you can expect them to last according to how much you pay for them, which is not very long. Most professional chefs prefer forged knives, rather than stamped ones, even if it means a higher price.

Forging a knife involves heating a piece of metal to extreme temperatures and hammering it into shape. Though it's still done by machines, the process is a bit more complicated and expensive than stamping. However, this process enhances the crystalline structure of the metal, which makes the knives significantly more durable. Forged knives retain their sharpness much better.

Full tang all the way

A knife's tang extends the blade into the handle. With lower-end knives, the tang extends about halfway through, instead of going all the way to the butt, which makes the blade more likely to snap off from the handle after prolonged use. The best chef's knives on the market always come with full tangs and three rivets holding them in place, so you should always look for this feature if you want your blade to last a long time.

Sharp edge for precise cuts

It may sound like an unnecessary complication, but paying attention to the angle of a knife's edge (the sharp part) is important. An acute angle makes a knife sharper, but thinner. As a result, the knife will make a clean and prices cut, since there is less metal to get in the way. On the other hand, a thin blade is easier to bend or break than a thick one.

If you want a sharp knife, look for one with a 15-degree edge or less. Usually, Japanese knives have sharp angles, though western knives have started to adopt this style as well. American and European blades are more sturdy with their 20-degree edges, but they require a bit more effort to cut through something, and you may even end up chopping rather than slicing in some cases.

Western or Japanese knife

Knives come in different sizes, which usually range from 8 to 12 inches. Longer blades are more difficult to handle and are best left to professional chefs, while shorter blades are easy to wield, but they are a bit limited when it comes to how much you can slice and dice at once.

Professional chefs prefer knives with 9 to 12-inch blades, while amateurs are perfectly content with blades as short as 8 inches. However, some chefs highly recommend 10-inch blades to all amateur cooks. Even if you struggle with the knife at first, it shouldn't take long until you can get accustomed to it, and you will have some new skills to show off.

How Much Should I Pay for Chef Knife?

Basic Chef Knife

You can find chef's knives for as little as $30 or even less, but don't count on them to serve you for too long. Lower-end knives are usually stamped, made from cheap materials, and they are more likely to break and get stains and rust spots in time. If you don't care too much about cooking, you can just settle for a basic knife.

Mid Range Chef Knife

If you want to pick up cooking as a hobby or dabble with some new recipes, then you will need a better knife then what most people have in their kitchens. The less time you spend chopping those veggies and slicing that meat, the faster you can complete your culinary creation. You don't have to get a premium blade, but you still need a knife that feels good in your hands and cuts quickly and easily. Even if you don't aim for the most expensive models, you can still expect to pay upwards of $100.

High End Chef Knife

If you are an artist in your kitchen or if you work as a professional chef, then you will definitely need a top-of-the-shelf knife. Expect to pay more than $150, and prepare a good spot to store the knife, because you will have to take care of it. A substantial investment can get you a beautifully crafted knife, with an excellent balance and unparalleled sharpness. You can use this sort of knife for hours, on a daily basis, feeling your hands and fingers sore.