Has your old faithful knife become so dull that the only thing it’s good for now is to butter your breakfast toast?
Do you want to know what the best kitchen knives currently are without navigating an online forest of shoddy reviews?
Well then, you’ve certainly come to the right place, since our content, like the products we’re reviewing this time, is a cut above the competition!
Cooking is a wonderfully creative and relaxing hobby.
There’s really something cathartic about spending some time in the kitchen, preparing the hand-picked ingredients, mixing them up in precisely calibrated amounts at just the right time in order to fuse them together and create a meal that will satisfy both the desire for nourishment and provide a feast to the senses.
You’ll be hard pressed to get any of that going effectively without a proper knife though.
One of the most versatile and essential tools of any kitchen, a good one will last you a lifetime while a mediocre one might cause nothing but trouble.
In this guide we’ve brought together kitchen knives reviews of what we’ve found to be the best products you can buy today after hours of research both in front of the computer and the cutting board.
We’ve divided into three major sections.
First, we’re taking a look at the premium knives whose excellence and durability are hard to match. After that we’re turning our attention to more affordable alternatives that still have a great balance of quality and accessibility. Finally, once the cold hard facts are out of the way, we’re giving you a few more things to consider before you take the plunge.
Be sure to read over that last bit to make an easier and better informed decision.
Ready to start your culinary journey? Then let’s begin!
|Product||Size (Inches)||Material||Blade Material||Color||Price|
|Shun Premier TDM0706||8||Steel||Stainless Steel||Brown||$$$|
|Global G-2||8||Stainless Steel||Carbon||Silver||$$|
|Shun DM0706 Classic||8||Stainless Steel||Carbon||Black||$$|
|Wusthof 4596/20 Classic Ikon||8||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black||$$|
|Mac MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge||8||Steel||Steel||Silver||$$|
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro||8||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black||$|
|Victorinox 6.8003.25US1||10||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black||$|
|Kyocera Advanced Ceramic||8||Zirconium Oxide||Ceramic||Black||$|
|Wusthof 4582-7/16||6||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black||$|
Top Rated Kitchen Knives to Buy for a Chef
1. Shun Premier TDM0706 8-Inch
Everyone knows that Japan has a long and proud history of blade making, having produced some of the world’s most iconic bladed weapons.
One only needs to hear the word katana to instantly conjure up an image of sublime beauty and deadly sharpness.
The time of cold steel has passed, but some of the age old knowledge is now being used and improved upon to make extraordinary kitchen knives that have almost no equal in the entire world.
A prime example of this fact – the Premier TDM0706 by Shun.
This is a company that prides itself on delivering first class work and superior craftsmanship with every product.
Each premier kitchen knife is hand-crafted and undergoes more than 100 distinct steps in its creation process.
Apart from that only the best materials are used.
The basis for this model is the proprietary VG-MAX “super steel” its core and blade edge are made of.
The steel is extremely durable and will hold an edge far longer than its competitors. As if that weren’t enough, the core is wrapped in 34 layers of Damascus steel which improves shatter resistance as well as making it shatter-proof and providing more support in general.
A finish called tsuchime is placed on its spine to reduce drag and to provide anon-stick surface.
Finally, the blade itself is tempered by clay-baking which further accentuates the knife’s resilience and hardness.
As you might have guessed by now, the Premier TDM0706 is also engineered in a way to effortlessly perform any kind of general cutting task while feeling perfectly in your hand.
The blade has been hand sharpened to a 16 degree angle and is much thinner than standard European ones, causing less fatigue while cutting. You can use it every day on various kinds of meat and vegetables without having to sharpen it for months at a time.
This model also has a slightly curved belly which allows you to finely chop vegetable or fresh herbs without needing a separate kitchen knife.
You’ll be doing all of this in a comfortable and slip-free manner thanks to its contoured walnut PakkaWood composite handle which is both ergonomic and water-resistant.
To ensure the right balance and an elegant finish, there’s an embossed handle and steel cap at its end.
The Premier TDM0706 is hands down the best kitchen knife we’ve come across.
Its superior make and extremely keen edge ensure that you’ll be using it for decades without any reason to switch.
It is a bit pricey for a single piece of kitchen kit, but once you buy it it’s there to stay practically all your life.
So, if you’re in it for the long-haul, your search is over.
2. Global G-2 8-Inch
Even if your blade is still as sharp as a razor after decades of use, the handle often times doesn’t have what it takes to keep up.
An obvious way to remedy that is to have your handle be made of steel as well and merge the two parts together seamlessly.
Most of the time this would lead to questionable results, but when a world-famous company such as Global takes a crack at it, you’re sure to end up with a product that’s a cut above the competition.
The problem with other knives’ handles doesn’t stem so much from the material the handle is made from, but from the fact that the joints which keep those 2 pieces together become damage.
With knives that are entirely cast out of steel this problem is eliminated.
The blade and handle are made of stainless steel but exhibit somewhat different characteristics. The handle is well-balanced and molded in order to fit your hand naturally.
It is filled with sand to make it lighter than solid steel would be, but to provide enough weight to balance the blade with precision It also has dimples that prevent it from slipping.
The blade on the other hand is extremely sharp and is made out of high technology vanadium and molybdenum whose exceptional hardness and resistance allow it to hold a keen edge for long periods of time without the need to be sharpened.
It has somewhat burred concave edges that come in handy for more effectively working with frozen meat and vegetables.
The steel handle does suffer from a few drawbacks though.
It might not fit you that well if you have small delicate hands. The worse offender is the fact that it becomes very slick when the slightest bit of moisture is involved, and this can turn into a real safety hazard if you’re cooking with a lot of oil.
If you can overlook these situational annoyances, you’ll find that the G-2 is in fact one of the best Japanese kitchen knives out there.
Blending excellent performance and a unique style with a price that is almost half of the Premier TDM0706 makes this kitchen knife one of our top picks.
3. Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch
Shun has a wide variety of high quality kitchen knives, making it one of those brands that stand out and build their reputation on the actual performance of their products rather than on a good marketing scheme.
Another in a long line of kitchen knives that proves this point perfectly is the DM0706 Classic, one of those great all-round knives that is still deeply Japanese at its core.
If there’s one thing Shun insist on it is quality make and this model is no different. Its steel core is made out of VG-10 “Super Steel”.
This is then coated in 16 layers of Damascus steel on each side making it 32 layers in total. The Damascus features a high carbon content that makes it hard without becoming brittle. This material also ensures the knife is extremely corrosion-resistant.
A beautiful wood grain-like finish has been applied to the blade making it both look elegant and providing a slip-resistant surface with minimal drag.
As with other Japanese models, this knife has been sharpened at an angle of 16 degrees which makes the keenness last longer.
When it does eventually dull a bit after months and even years of constant use, you can send the knife back to the company’s HQ in Oregon and they’ll sharpen it for free.
Shun are so confident in this model’s make and capabilities that they’ve even thrown in a lifetime guarantee.
Some customers have pointed out a few of this model’s shortcomings however.
Some are more easily dismissed, like the fact that this knife isn’t dishwasher safe or that the handle makes it much more comfortable for right-handed people.
A more serious complaint has to do with V-shaped grooves that tend to form on the edge after a while, making that trip back to the company a necessity earlier than some users have anticipated.
When all is said and done though the DM0706 Classic still manages to cement its place among the top kitchen knives in this guide.
If you use it as intended the DM0706 Classic is bound to provide you with years of good service, so investing that extra bit of cash in a product and brand you know you can trust will only prove to your advantage in the long run.
4. Wusthof 4596/20 Classic Ikon 8-Inch
Ah, but the Japanese aren’t the only people in the world who’ve been making exceptional blades for centuries.
In modern times, the almost proverbial German craftsmanship has made a name for itself in knives making as well as in a host of different areas, giving the Japanese a run for their money.
One of the pioneers of this endeavor and a brand known for its European excellence is Wusthof. Its flagship model, the 4596/20 Classic Ikon is bound to turn a few heads and slice a lot of food before you notice any signs of wear and tear.
It is precision forged out of a single piece of chrome-molybdenum-vanadium steel.
This blend features a high carbon count that makes the knife both hard and highly resistant to adverse conditions such as corrosion.
The edge is skillfully grooved and honed by hand to make it last as long as possible without needing to be sharpened. Speaking of which, the angle it is sharpened at is 14 degrees, so a bit smaller than we’ve seen with Japanese knives, but it’s more of a cultural thing than an actual factor which would make it better or worse.
What does make this model great though is the sleek handle engineered to adjust itself to the contours of your hand and remain there firmly regardless of its current cutting task or whether there is any liquid on it.
It is secured by sets of 3 rivets, minimizing the risk of being separated from the blade. A double bolster can be found on its end, providing balance and ease of handling.
If you’ve always been partial to the western way of doing things and have a special place in you heart for German engineering, then the 4596/20 Classic Ikon is the best kitchen knife for you.
It boasts a clean and attractive design while having superior cutting capabilities at the same time.
What’s not to like?
5. Mac MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge
We’re far from over with our Japanese friends though. With such a long blade crafting tradition, it is no wonder that there are multiple exceptionally successful companies out there whose products satisfy hobbyists and professional chefs alike.
One of these is Mac, a brand that hasn’t attracted much public attention stateside, but whose quality has already made itself known in professional circles.
Now the cat is out of the bag with the MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge. This model offers the standard array of features you’d expect to get with a superior Japanese product – a stainless steel edge capable of handling meat and veg with ease, a comfortably fitting handle that is great to, well, handle, and a balance which allows for pin-point precision.
What is unique about this model are the dimples found on its blade.
These make air pockets form in whatever it is that you are cutting, and that helps minimize the suction effect that cutting generates, allowing you to draw the knife out faster and with less potential of food getting stuck to the blade.
All of the knives we’ve covered so far were forged. This one is stamped, meaning that a giant press has cut out the basic shape of its blade which has then been sharpened and worked on further.
With cheaper models this can mean a decrease in quality and longevity, but given that only superior steel is used when making the MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge, this ceases to be an issue.
All in all, the MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge is a solid piece of kitchen equipment. It might not be the sharpest kitchen knife we’ve encountered, but its durable make and innovative blade design make it a worthwhile investment for any food enthusiast.
More Affordable Alternatives
1. Victorinox 8-Inch Fibrox Pro
This model has generated a lot of buzz with the kitchen-savvy crowd, and rightly so we might add.
The Fibrox pro by Victorinox is a prime example of how modern engineering can produce a kitchen knife that combines a high standard in its craftsmanship with a reasonable price.
It’s no wonder that it has been consistently featured in culinary magazines and rated positively by professionals and consumers alike.
What we liked most about this model was its well—roundedness. Slicing, dicing, mincing, chopping, if it is done to food on a regular basis, the Fibrox Pro excels at it.
Even after longer periods of use on different foods ranging from delicate spices to sturdier stuff like squash, the blade didn’t seem to lose its edge and the handle felt comfortable throughout.
Speaking of which, Victorinox pride themselves in engineering the handles for the whole Fibrox Pro line as they offer great balance and a firm grip we’ve come to expect from much more expensive kitchen knives.
This model is also very durable. It is dishwasher-safe, but we recommend you wash it by hand anyway as the abrasive nature of dishwashers makes the edge lose its sharpness and can cause damage to the blade.
After all is said and done, the 8-Inch Fibrox Pro is definitely one of the best kitchen knives for the money.
It has proven time and again that its make and capabilities surpass the competition and even manage to get close to the most high quality kitchen knives in some respects.
It isn’t a Premier TDM0706, but given how much you are getting for a fraction of the price, it is certainly nothing to sneeze at either.
2. Victorinox 6.8003.25US1 Swiss Classic 10-Inch
All of the knives we’ve been looking at thus far have had 8 inch long blades. Sometimes this isn’t enough, especially in a commercial kitchen where you have to deal with a high volume of food that needs to be sliced, diced chopped and minced in a very short amount of time with consistent results.
Alternately, you might have a large family to cook for, or just like the added heft and power a longer blade provides.
The good folks over at Victorinox agree with this sentiment and have introduced this model as a means to tackle all of your cutting needs.
This is a stamped knife made out of high carbon stainless steel from Germany (even though Victorinox knives are made in Switzerland).
As you know by now, this makes it durable, sharp and resistant to corrosion. On top of that, the edge is polished and ground in two directions to further bolster the edge’s durability and sharpness.
You can clean it in your dishwasher or by hand, and the knife comes with a lifetime guarantee making the already good investment even more worthwhile.
In the end, the 6.8003.25US1 is one of the best kitchen knives when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.
The large blade will make cutting through any food you feel the craving for trivial, and the price will make the decision to get one for yourself rather easy.
3. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 8-Inch
We’re not sure if we’d exactly call it a revolution, but there’s no denying that ceramic kitchen knives have become all the rage as of late.
This model by Kyocera is somewhat of an outlier in the guide since it is the only ceramic knife, but this in no way means that it is somehow less viable. In fact, its properties and the way it handles itself are quite intriguing.
As opposed to the much more common steel variety, ceramic knives are made by firing dry-pressed zircon powder through solid-state sintering. In Kyocera’s case their proprietary Zirconia 206 blend is used.
What all of this means for the consumer is that the blades produced in this way are much harder than garden variety steel, and even manage to outperform tempered high carbon steel in that regard.
Once the blade is made, it is sharpened by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel, resulting in an extremely sharp edge that rarely needs honing.
Another great thing about this knife is the fact that organic matter doesn’t interact with the ceramic.
This is useful in many ways, but the most directly applicable are its ability to cut different foods after one another without leaving any residue or smell. So, if you want to cut a banana after you’ve sliced some garlic, all you need to do is wipe the knife in between and enjoy the fruit.
It will never rust, and since it isn’t susceptible to acidity you can use it to safely handle citruses and other foods rich in acids.
This is all fine and dandy, but one obviously weak point should be apparent by now – any ceramic knife is very hard, and the Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series also has a very thin blade.
This makes it very brittle and prone to snapping, so caution is advised when handling the blade lest you snap it off and ruin the knife.
To sum up, the Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series is one of the best kitchen knives when it comes to innovation and a unique approach. The technology still has a ways to go and we’re excited about its future applications.
If this model is anything to go by, the future of ceramics in the kitchen other than in the form of your tea set is bright indeed.
4. Wusthof 4582-7/16 Classic 6-Inch
We haven’t seen any entries from Wusthof ever since the premium section, but the last entry in our guide will put your mind at ease if they’re one of the top brands you hoped also had a more affordable option.
This one comes in the form of a nice little package, the 4582-7/16 Classic.
Its smaller 6 inch blade makes it great for people with smaller hands and for precision work longer knives might prove too clumsy for.
It is made out of a chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel variety and utilizes the custom PEtec precision edge technology to guarantee a keen edge whether you’re using it for the first or umpteenth time.
They even check it with lasers to ensure the highest quality.
Needless to say, the smaller size doesn’t compromise the quality of the knife’s other aspects, you’re still getting a solidly forged blade, comfortable and slip resistant handle as well as an overall well balanced, ergonomic experience.
What can we say, we really enjoyed the compact nature and versatility that 4582-7/16 brings to the (kitchen) table.
If you need a small, durable and sharp tool, this is one of the best kitchen knives out there.
What You Should Look Out For Before Making a Purchase
If there’s one thing we’ve probably hammered home after making reviews for the best kitchen knives, then it’s the fact that those things are sharp, and that is as it should be.
Then again, although this is the principal characteristic of the best kitchen knives, there are other things to take into account before spending serious moolah on your next piece of kit.
Comfort is king! – If you love to prepare home cooked meals by hand a lot, then you’ll be gripping that kitchen knife a lot as well.
One of the most important features a kitchen knife can have both for ease of use and your overall safety is a comfortable ergonomic handle.
If you can’t grip that thing in a way that offers both precise cutting and the ability to stop cutting at a moment’s notice, you might be risking situations where a slip up can have lasting consequences.
It would be ideal if you could try the handle out before buying, but you can also browse customer reviews of your chosen models and see what other people have to say.
Sharp knives are safe knives – sure, they’re all sharp once you buy them, but you have to ask yourself how long that sharpness can be maintained.
Have you ever tried cutting meat with a dull kitchen knife? It turns more into a saw than anything as you (unsuccessfully) go up and down in hopes of finally cutting that piece off.
Having a sharp edge doesn’t only save time, but it also means you’ll be cutting with light and precise movements you can better control.
Think about which knives have the potential to hold their edge the longest and decide based on that.
Forged vs. pressed – The make of your kitchen knife is important on a molecular level as well. The different manufacturing processes that are employed in making it blade result in knives with different strengths and weaknesses.
When forged, the hardness in the steel that’s being worked on is increased. This means that the blade will be sharp longer due to less wear, but it also makes the knife entirely stiff.
Sometimes you need that flexibility when filleting a fish or chicken breast, so if you enjoy these meats on a regular occasion this type of blade might not be for you.
Forged is also usually more expensive, so if you are on a budget you’ll probably take a pass. Pressed knives on the other hand are much softer, making them keep their edge for shorter amounts of time end requiring more effort to maintain it.
They also don’t have a bolster – the metal part in between the actual handle and the blade. This makes them less secure than forged varieties.
On the other hand, they are a lot cheaper and much more flexible.
Western vs. eastern influences – there’s a more or less clear dichotomy when it comes to the style of contemporary professional kitchen knives.
On one hand there’s the more massive European style exemplified in this review mostly by German knives. These typically have more heft, a broader blade and are sharpened at a somewhat steeper angle.
The reasoning behind the added weight is that these knives fall down on the food being cut with more force, making cutting easier.
The eastern philosophy relies more on thinner, lighter knives that can flow through the food more easily and are more manageable.
Ask yourself what kind of a chef you are in terms of these views and choose a product accordingly.
So, what are the best kitchen knives then?
We know our favorites, and we’re sure you’ve managed to pick something for yourself as well now that you have all of the pertinent information.
Are you a firm supporter of the elegant, hand crafted models of the east, or do you enjoy tried and true western forcefulness more?
Do you enjoy chopping parsley more than filleting a herring?
It doesn’t matter so much with the best of knives does it? After all, they’re only a tool to paint your culinary canvas with.
Getting the right tool will save you the hassle of having to spend more time than needed on preparing your food and not enough time on actually enjoying it.
Whichever kitchen knife you end up making your own, we hope that it will inspire you to try out new recipes and improve upon existing ones as well.
It might also inspire you to choose more healthier foods as well since preparation takes less time.
Who knows, you might be munching on thinly sliced carrot sticks or pieces of celery instead of your favorite brand of chips.