Best Knife Brands

The Best Kitchen Knives for Every Task: Cut Above the Rest

From chopping vegetables to carving meat, having the right knife for the job can make all the difference in the quality and efficiency of your cooking. If you’re looking for the best kitchen knives that can easily handle any task, look no further than our top picks. Our selection includes high-quality knife sets from top-rated brands like Wusthof, Henckels, and Shun, each with unique features and benefits. (Learn more about German vs. Japanese Knives: Similarities, Differences, Pros & Cons)

Out of the number of gratifying purchases one can make, shopping for the best kitchen knives (strangely enough) is on top of the list. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, my top picks will help you take your culinary skills to the next level. Prepare to slice, dice, and chop like a pro with our best kitchen knife brands selection for every task. (Also see Bobby Flay’s Favorite Chefs Knife for Everyday Cooking)

Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, there’s a perfect fit for you among these fantastic kitchen knives. So keep reading to discover the best professional knife set for you!

Top Kitchen Knife Picks: The 15 Highest-Rated Kitchen Knives in The World

Investing in high-quality best kitchen knives sets is essential for any home cook or professional chef. These top picks for the highest-rated kitchen knives in the world offer exceptional sharpness, balance, and durability, making them the perfect choice for any kitchen task. (Learn more about How to Use Your Japanese Steak Knives Like a Pro)

They were designed to make your culinary experience more efficient and enjoyable, allowing you to create stunning meals easily. (Food Network states, “We chopped, sliced and diced to find the top-performing chef’s knives.7 Best Chef’s Knives, Tested by Food Network Kitchen)

Gordon uses knives made by Henckels and Wüsthof. The brands are two top knife manufacturers globally, known for quality products. Wüstoff has been around since 1814, while Henckels has existed since 1895.

Upgrade your kitchen today with top-rated Professional chef knives and take your cooking skills to the next level. I’ve used and recommend both knife block sets, Henckels Zwilling Pro 7-pc Knife Block Set or Classic 15-piece Walnut Knife Block Set, both available on Amazon.

Choosing the Best Cook’s (or Chef’s) Knife

Choosing a good chef’s knife can be overwhelming to determine which knife best fits your cooking style and needs. When selecting a chef’s knife, it’s important to consider the blade’s size, shape, and material. A good chef’s knife should have a comfortable grip and a balanced weight, providing stability and control during use.

High-quality materials like stainless or high-carbon steel ensure sharpness, durability, and longevity. Additionally, it’s important to consider the knife’s maintenance requirements, as some materials require more frequent sharpening and care than others. Ultimately, the best chef’s knife feels comfortable in your hand, meets your needs, and fits your budget. Considering these factors, you can choose the perfect chef’s knife to elevate your cooking experience.

Two leading producers of high-quality cook’s knives are Germany and Japan. It likely still follows either German or Japanese style if it’s made somewhere else. 

Best Overall: Wusthof Classic Ikon 6-inch Chefs Knife

If you’re looking to buy the best overall cook’s chef knife set on the market, look no further than the Wusthof chef knife 6-inch Cook’s Knife- a classic staple in any home. (Check it out All Purpose Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef Knife Review)

The knife itself is made of high-carbon stainless steel. This knife has many great features; its balanced weight makes it suitable for light or heavy-duty cutting. It has a handle explicitly designed for grip and comfort and uses “precision-edge technology” for a 20% sharper blade. 

This is your best bet if you only want to purchase one knife that can do a lot.

Buy Wusthof Classic Ikon 6-inch Cook’s Knife at Amazon.

Most Elegant: Shun Premier 8″ Western Chef’s Knife

For those with cooking experience wanting a professional-quality knife, One of the best Japanese kitchen knives, Shun’s Premier 8″ Western Chef’s Knife, provides durability and aesthetics.

According to their website, this gorgeous chef’s knife has a “core of extremely hard VG-MAX’ super steel’ clad on each side with 34 microthin of stainless steel.” It also features hand-hammered blades, walnut-colored pakkawood handles with dimples to prevent sticking and a 22-degree cutting edge for the perfect slice. Wow. This thing will last forever. (Read more about the Top 10 Best Japanese Knife Brands- Highest Quality)

This chef’s knife is for seasoned (pun intended) home cooks and professionals.

Buy: Shun’s Premier 8″ Western Chef’s Knife at Amazon

Santoku Knife

The Santoku knife is a Japanese-style chef knife that has gained popularity among home cooks and professional chefs worldwide. With its shorter and wider blade than the traditional chef’s knife, the Santoku knife is perfect for precise slicing, dicing, and chopping tasks. Its unique design features a flat cutting edge and a rounded tip, making it a versatile tool for various kitchen tasks. (Check it out Gordon Ramsay Tested HexClad Japanese Knives – Damascus Steel Knives)

The name “Santoku” means “three virtues,” referring to the knife’s ability to excel at three essential kitchen tasks: slicing, dicing, and chopping. With its sharp blade and comfortable grip, the Santoku knife is a must-have tool for any kitchen, allowing for efficient and precise cutting of vegetables, meats, and more. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, the Santoku knife is an excellent addition to your kitchen knife collection. (Read more about Santoku vs. Chef Knife – What Are the Differences)

Best Santoku: Zwilling J.A. Henckels 7″ Hollow Edge Knife

The best quality santoku knife is the ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Professional S Four Star 7″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife. I know that’s a lot to look at but bear with me.  

This knife is Made in Germany; Zwilling knives are forged from a single piece of solid steel, often used to make surgical knives- so you can rely on its sharpness. It has a hygienic antibacterial handle to prevent slipping and a coating that prevents rust. (Also see Are Henckels Knives Good – Henckels Kitchen Knives Review)

Buy: ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Hollow Edge 7″ Santoku Knife at Amazon

Most Popular: Made In Cookware 8″ Full Tang Chef Knife

Made In Knives are a top choice for daily kitchen use due to their strength, durability, and versatility. Nitrogen-treated X50CrMoV15 stainless steel blades provide the necessary durability for frequent use, while being forged from a single stainless steel rod ensures maximum strength. The blades extend fully through the handle, providing balance and control to the user.

These knives are made by a 5th generation bladesmith in Thiers, France, known as the world’s knife capital. One of the most versatile knives in the Made In Knives collection is the 8-inch chef knife, which excels at various tasks such as slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, deboning, and scoring dough.

made in cookware 8 chef knife france full tang with truffle black handle

Buy: Made In Cookware 8″ Chef Knife Full Tang at Amazon 

Chinese Cleaver Knife

The Chinese cleaver knife, a chef’s or vegetable knife, is an essential tool in Chinese cuisine and has become increasingly popular in Western kitchens. With its wide and rectangular blade, the Chinese cleaver is ideal for chopping, slicing, and mincing various vegetables, meats, and herbs. It’s also suitable for crushing ingredients like garlic or ginger, which makes it a versatile tool for different cooking styles. Unlike a traditional meat cleaver, the Chinese cleaver has a thinner blade, allowing precise and delicate cuts.

The cleaver’s handle is wider, providing better leverage and control when cutting tougher ingredients. The Chinese cleaver is an excellent choice for anyone who values versatility and precision in their kitchen tools, and it’s a must-have for anyone who enjoys Chinese cuisine or loves experimenting with new cooking styles.

Best Cleaver: Zwilling Twin Signature 7″ Chinese Cleaver Knife

The best Chinese chef’s knife is the Zwilling Twin Signature 7-inch Chinese Chef’s Knife/Vegetable Cleaver. 

This knife has an incredibly sharp and straight blade. The knife is made through an ice-hardening process, meaning it stays sharper for longer and is incredibly resilient, especially for a lighter knife. Many Chinese chefs’ knives can get extremely expensive, but they have professional quality at a comparatively affordable price.  

Buy Zwilling Twin Signature 7-inch Chinese Chef’s Knife at Amazon. 

Best Value Cleaver: XiaoYao’s 7″ Chinese Cleaver Knife

What better company to purchase a Chinese chef’s knife than straight from the source? XiaoYao’s 7″ Chinese Cleaver is customer-approved; if you choose to go with them, your wallet will thank you.  

XiaoYao’s 7″ Chinese Cleaver Knife is stainless steel with sharp blades that can serve any slicing purpose. It has an ergonomic handle that is comfortable for all different hands and features a hole in the corner to hang this up on your wall.  

The best of all, though? This knife won’t cost you 20 bucks and still has raving customer reviews. They even offer a 100% refund if you aren’t satisfied, but I assure you that you probably won’t have to worry about that. 

Buy: XiaoYao’s 7″ Chinese Cleaver Knife at Amazon

Paring Knife and All Its Uses

With its short blade, the paring knife is ideal for tasks that require precision and control, such as peeling fruits and vegetables, deveining shrimp, and removing seeds from produce. The sharp blade of a paring knife allows for clean and precise cuts, making it perfect for preparing garnishes and intricate cuts for decorative purposes.

Additionally, a paring knife can be used for other tasks, such as slicing cheese, trimming meat, or even opening packages. A high-quality paring knife is a valuable addition to any kitchen, and it can save time and effort in many cooking tasks.

Most Precise: The Global 3″ Straight Paring Knife

The Global 3″ Straight Paring Knife is the best paring knife and value.

This paring knife is forged from a single piece for perfect durability and strength. It has an ergonomic handle designed to prevent slipping and promote grip under any condition, and the handle is explicitly weighted to balance out the weight of the blade. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also marked at a fantastic price point. 

Buy: Global 3″ Straight Paring Knife at Amazon

Most Elegant: Shun 4″ Premier Paring Knife

You want your paring knife to be minor, have sharp blades, and give you control, and the Shun 4″ Premier Paring Knife has it all and some.

This paring knife is small and sharp, giving you the control to make minor cuts or decorative slices. It has a VG-MAX steel core with 34 micro-thin layers of stainless steel on each side, so it’s solid and durable. This line of Shun knives is “inspired by the hand-forged knives of ancient Japan,” so they also provide unparalleled ornate aesthetics. 

Buy: Shun 4″ Premier Paring Knife at Amazon

A Bread Knife is Essential in Every Kitchen

A bread knife is essential in any kitchen because its unique serrated blade allows easy bread slicing without crushing or tearing it. Unlike traditional knives, bread knives have longer and sharper teeth, which can easily penetrate the crust of any loaf of bread. It can also slice through other foods with a tough exterior, such as tomatoes or melons.

Most Precise: Shun Kanso 9″ Bread Knife

The handcrafted Shun Kanso 9″ Bread Knife is the best bread knife for all bakers. 

The blade’s serrations are wide and wavy, designed to reduce the fallout and crumble accompanying bread slicing. This blade is also made from high-carbon stainless vanadium steel, making it for the long haul. The handle is made of “tagayasan,” Japanese for “iron sword wood,” creating the perfect aesthetic contrast between the elegant handle and rustic blade. 

This is the perfect knife for anyone involved in artisan bread or pastry making- professional or hobbyist.

Buy: Shun Kanso 9″ Bread Knife at Amazon

Toughest Bread Knife: The Global Classic 8 ¾” Bread Knife

Number one bread matches the Global Classic 8 ¾” Bread Knife. I mean it. 

This Japanese bread knife is made from Cromava high carbon stainless steel with a textured serrated blade designed to cut through even the toughest artisan bread. It’s lightweight yet balanced, allowing for improved control. With this knife, you’ll get the sharpest slices of bread ever. 

Buy: Global Classic 8 ¾” Bread Knife at Amazon

Use a Slicing Knife to Carve With Ease

When carving meats, a slicing knife is essential in any kitchen. With its long, narrow blade, a slicing knife can easily carve through large cuts of meat with precision and ease, making it ideal for roast beef, turkey, ham, and more. The sharp blade of a slicing knife allows for thin, even slices, improving the dish’s presentation and enhancing its texture and flavor. A slicing knife can also easily slice through other foods, such as vegetables or fruits.

Best Slicer: The Miyabi Kaizen II 9.5″ Slicing Knife

If you’re looking for the best-slicing knife your money can buy, the Miyabi Kaizen II 9.5″ Slicer is your choice. 

This slicing knife is made with FC61 super steel with a Rockwell hardness level of 61, so this knife is durable and robust, guaranteed to last a lifetime. Their knives are made in small-scale factories to ensure hand craftsmanship rather than their machine-produced counterparts, and dark pakkawood handles add elegant contrast. 

Buy: Miyabi Kaizen II 9.5″ Slicer at Amazon

Best Value Slicer: The 12″ Victorinox Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife

If you’re looking for a slicing knife at a great value, the 12″ Victorinox Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife with Granton Edge is for you. 

This gorgeous slicing knife features a blade with a Rockwell hardness of 56 and is made to last with scalloped edges, preventing food from sticking to the blade. It has a non-slip handle, so you’ll maintain your grip even if it’s wet or greasy, and it features a rounded tip rather than the classic sharp tip for an intriguing look. 

Buy: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife at Amazon

Every Classy Cook Needs a Carving Knife

A carving knife is necessary for any home cook or professional chef who wants to create beautiful and delicious meals. With its long, sharp blade, a carving knife is perfect for slicing through large cuts of meat such as turkey, ham, or roast beef with precision and ease. The narrow blade allows for clean, even slices, enhancing the dish’s presentation and texture. A carving knife can be used for other tasks, such as slicing fruits, vegetables, or bread.

Best Carving Set: Wusthof 2-Piece Hollow Edge Carving Set

Are you looking to wow everyone with your carving tools this holiday season? The Wusthof 2-Piece Hollow Edge Carving Set has got you covered- it’s sure to be a fan favorite.

The set comes with two pieces- a 6″ straight meat fork and an 8″ hollow edge sharp carving knife. Both are crafted with the same high carbon durable stainless steel, and handles are made with ‘polyoxymethylene,’ which, according to Wusthof’s website, has a “tighter molecular structure to resist fading and discoloration.” Did I mention they’re gorgeous, too?

 

Buy Wusthof 2-Piece Hollow Edge Carving Set at Amazon.

Best Value Carving Set: J.A. Henckels Forged Elite 2-Piece Set.

The J.A. Henckels International Forged Elite 2-Piece Carving Set gets the job done for a fraction of the price. 

This carving set features an 8″ carving knife and a 7″ carving fork made with high carbon German stainless steel- meant to last a lifetime even at this price point. It has a forged full bolster for added weight and control and has the classic silver/black color contrast to fit your holiday traditions.

 

Buy: Henckels International Forged Elite 2-Piece Carving Set at Amazon.

 

Steak Knives

Steak knives are necessary for any home or restaurant serving steak regularly. With their sharp and serrated blades, steak knives can easily slice through even the thickest cuts of meat with precision and ease, allowing for an enjoyable dining experience. Steak knives can also slice through other meats, poultry, or vegetables. A good set of steak knives is a worthwhile investment that can make a significant difference in the quality of your dining experience.

Sharpest Steak Knives: J.A. Henckels Eversharp 8-pc Steak Knife Set

The best steak knife you can get your hands on is the J.A. Henckels International Eversharp 8-piece Steak Set for our carnivores interested in steak knives for a great value.

This set of 8 steak knives is the perfect addition to any home. Each knife is made from stainless steel and includes sharp micro-serrations, allowing for the cleanest slices every time. Weighted handles add strength and balance to the knife, and their handles are non-slip, ensuring the safety of their users. This set has it all. 

Buy Henckels Eversharp 8-piece Steak Set at Amazon.

Now you know the best chefs, santoku, Chinese cleaver, paring, bread, slicing, carving, and steak knives available on the market. Whether you’re an experienced professional looking for expensive, quality knives or a home cook looking to find quality kitchen knives for value, this exhaustive list has you covered no matter your needs. 

Try XiaoYao’s 7″ Chinese Cleaver Knife for a multipurpose Chinese chef’s knife at a great price point, Shun Kanso’s 9″ Bread Knife for tearing through the hardest of bread crusts, or Wusthof 6″ Cook’s Knife for the classic shopping experience. Bon appetit! No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to be satisfied. 

What brand of Knives do Professional Chefs Use?

Professional Chefs Use MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife with Dimples by MAC. The Wüsthof Classic 8-inch Cook’s Knife and the J.A. Chef’s Knife by Henckels International Classic eight-inch. The best sharpener is the Misono UX10 Gyutou. The best lightweight knife is the Global G-2 Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife.

Are Japanese Knives Better Than German Knives?

German knives score around 57 on the scale, whereas Japanese knives score closer to 60 to 63. While Japanese knives of more rigid steel will hold an edge better, they are also less durable and more prone to chipping and breaking.

Do Chefs Prefer German or Japanese Knives?

There are two kinds of kitchen knives: Japanese knives are perfect for delicate work and fine slicing, while German knives are more workhorses. Knives made in Germany tend to be heavier and thicker.

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by John Siracusa

Author

  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

    John Siracusa john@hellskitchenrecipes.com

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