One staple you will find in any cooking enthusiast or culinary professional’s kitchen is a chef’s knife. These knives are made up of all-purpose blades that are equipped for a variety of cutting tasks and work with any skill level. With a classic chef’s knife, you can prepare everything from protein to fruits, vegetables, and spices and everything in between.
In addition to being able to handle nearly every kitchen task imaginable, chef’s knives should have a sturdy and comfortably-shaped handle, be light in weight yet balanced and have a razor-sharp edge that rarely requires re-sharpening.
Below are a few of the best chef’s knives that are designed to handle kitchen tasks both big and small. Our picks come in multiple price ranges, depending on your needs, and run the gamut from being handcrafted in Japan, utilizing ancient blade-making traditions, to ergonomic handles and laser-tested blades. Whichever one of these knives you choose, just know that you will be slicing, dicing and chopping your way through any meal effortlessly.
1. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
The Victorinox Chef’s Knife features a tapered stainless steel edge and is weighted and balanced for easy handling. Its ergonomic handle is made from thermoplastic elastomer for a no-slip grip, even when wet, making it easy and safe to handle. Each knife features a 7.9-inch blade that is razor-sharp for optimal chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing, and has a flat spine for extra power to slice through hard to chop items.
Pros: Ergonomic, non-slip handle that reduces hand and wrist fatigue, razor-sharp edge.
Cons: Requires regular sharpening to keep it performing well.
2. Mercer Culinary Chef’s Knife
Made of the highest quality Japanese steel, this chef’s knife allows for quick and easy sharpening for a razor-sharp edge. Its ergonomic handle is made of Santoprene for optimal comfort and polypropylene for durability. With textured finger points, this knife is slip resistant, offers a firm grip for added safety, and features a protective finger guard. Crafted from one piece of high carbon and superior Japanese steel, this blade is non-staining and resists rust, corrosion and discoloration.
Pros: Slip-resistant handle and finger guard for added safety, razor-sharp Japanese-steel blade.
Cons: Not dishwasher safe, wash by hand only.
3. J.A. Henckels Classic Chef’s Knife
This chef’s knife is constructed from high-quality German stainless steel, and at 6 inches, is the ideal multipurpose blade for all of your chopping, mincing and slicing needs. This professional, satin-finished blade cuts with precision and is finely crafted for long lasting sharpness. The triple-rivet handle and balanced weight allows for tireless chopping and prevents slips for safer handling.
Pros: Multipurpose knife, minimal flexibility makes it ideal for harder-to-cut vegetables.
Cons: Not dishwasher safe, must be sharpened regularly.
4. Shun Classic 10” Chef’s Knife
If you’re looking for a top-performing knife that you can use for years to come, then this 8″ knife from Shun is a great option. If you prefer a longer or shorter blade, you can also choose 6″ or 10″ blades. The blade has the distinct textured look of Damascus steel, and the sleek handle is made from PakkaWood. The blade is crafted from 69 layers of steel around the blade, and it has tungsten for a sharper edge, chromium for corrosion resistance, and carbon for durability.
Pros: High-quality Japanese blade with a beautiful Damascus steel finish. Good option for a gift.
5. Wusthof CLASSIC Cook’s Knife, 6-Inch, Black
Wusthof’s blades have a legendary pedigree. The brand is based in Solingen, renowned as the “City of Blades.” This 6″ chef’s knife is from Wusthof’s Classic series, and it’s a good option for home cooks and chefs alike. The blade is precision-forged from a single block of high carbon steel, and the handle has a comfortable grip with a full bolster to protect your hands.
Pros: Reasonably priced blade from 200-year old knife manufacturer, precision-forged from one block of steel.
Cons: Some options are more affordable.
6. DALSTRONG Chef’s Knife
Dalstrong offers high-quality blades at a cost that’s lower than that of other top brands. This 6-inch blade is made from Japanese steel with Damascus layers that give it a beautiful textured look and feeling, in addition to supreme durability. The knife is made from 66 layers of high-carbon stainless steel, and the handle is durable and comfortable.
Pros: Damascus steel exterior and Japanese steel core, comes with a sheath. More affordable than other Damascus steel blades.
Cons: Included sheath could be better.
7. Imarku Pro Kitchen Chef’s Knife
Made of stainless steel that contains 0.6-0.75 carbon, this blade is twice as sturdy as comparable blades. The knife’s ergonomic handle is made of pakkawood –– a material known for its comfort, strength and stability –– which minimizes fatigue and aches that can occur from extended use, making it ideal for continual chopping and cutting. The ultra-sharp blade is engineered to stay sharp even after cutting tough vegetables and meat, and its chrome finish is tarnish and corrosion resistant, meaning it will stay looking glossy and new after countless uses.
Pros: Multipurpose blade, ergonomic pakkawood handle minimizes aches and hand fatigue.
Cons: Not designed for hot flames or frozen food.
8. PAUDIN Pro Kitchen Knife, 8-Inch
If you want a knife with the look of a premium German or Japanese knife, without the cost, then consider this budget pick from Paudin. It has a textured blade resembling Damascus steel and a stylish wood handle. The handle is gently curved for an ergonomic holding position, and the 8-inch blade is a good all-purpose size for a variety of tasks around the kitchen.
Pros: Affordable option, made from German steel, sophisticated look.
Cons: Not genuine Damascus steel.