The 5 Best Kitchen Knives in 2023
The 5 Best Kitchen Knives in 2023
October 12, 2023
Slice, Dice, and Choose Your Culinary Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Chef's Knives
Your culinary adventures begin with a trusty kitchen knife. A chef’s knife, with its long, sharp blade, is your ticket to effortlessly slicing through a steak, expertly chopping a cucumber, mastering the art of onion dicing, or delicately mincing fragrant herbs. With a variety of sizes available, from petite six-inch wonders to impressive 14-inch behemoths, you can find the one that perfectly fits your grip, whether your hands are of grand proportions or more dainty dimensions.
As you embark on your knife-shopping journey, you’ll encounter two main characters in the culinary world. First, there’s the steadfast German knife, robust and unyielding, especially at the bolster where the blade and handle meet. Then, there’s the graceful Japanese knife, lightweight and razor-sharp, sporting slender blades that glide through ingredients with finesse. Each category offers a delightful array of blade and handle materials and intricate constructions, all affecting the feel and longevity of your chosen blade.
Stay sharp as we delve into the finer details of our knife-testing methodology and provide you with expert insights to ensure you make the perfect knife choice, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding home cook.
Best overall Chef's Knife:
Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Kitchen Knife
Picture a knife that’s not just razor-sharp, but a virtuoso in the kitchen. Wüsthof’s 8-inch chef’s knife left our experts in awe. In our rigorous testing, it stood out as one of the select few knives that effortlessly conquered slicing tomatoes, dicing onions, tackling carrots, boning a chicken, and delicately crafting basil ribbons.
This German classic boasts full forging and a full tang, a remarkable feature where the blade’s metal runs through the entire handle. The result? Perfect balance and ergonomic bliss when it rests in your hand, although some may find it slightly weightier.
But the surprises don’t end there. It’s dishwasher safe, a rarity in the world of cutlery, although we do recommend hand-washing to extend its impressive lifespan. While it might lean towards the higher end of the price spectrum, its sharp and robust blade ensures an exceptional cutting experience on nearly all types of food.
Best value Chef's Knife:
J.A. Henckels Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Meet the J.A. Henckels Classic Chef’s Knife, an impressive blend of substance, form, and performance that makes you feel like you’re wielding a high-end chef’s knife without the hefty price tag. This all-purpose marvel excels in tasks like parsley blitzing, onion dicing, and chicken deboning, giving you top-notch results.
Crafted from German stainless steel, this knife showcases its versatility across various culinary challenges. Its ability to master different tasks is like none other, although we do want to point out that the hard plastic handle may not be as cozy as some other choices on our list. The full bolster design, on the other hand, offers added safety, making it a suitable choice even for less experienced cooks.
Best Multi-purpose Chef's Knife:
Misen 8-Inch Professional Kitchen Knife
Experience the exceptional with Misen’s chef’s knife, a creation of Japanese AUS-8 high-carbon stainless steel, boasting unrivaled toughness, durability, and a level of sharpness that’s simply off the charts. This knife flaunts a razor-sharp blade, honed to a 15-degree angle, in contrast to the 25-degree edge seen on most Western-style knives. Its unique design incorporates an angled semi-bolster, encouraging the perfect pinch grip as you wield it.
The Misen is not just sharp but also impeccably balanced, robust, and surprisingly comfortable. The slightly narrower blade proved to be a boon for slicing tasks. What’s more, its aesthetics do not follow its cost; knives of this caliber usually carry a price tag double the size!
One point to keep in mind: It does tip the scales on the heavier side compared to most other chef’s knives in our evaluation.
Best Japanese Kitchen Knife:
Shun Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Elevating itself as our ultimate Japanese knife choice, Shun’s 8-inch masterpiece stands out. What’s remarkable is that it promises longevity without emptying your wallet. Admittedly, it’s more delicate, and like its Japanese counterparts, it’s susceptible to chipping compared to some Western knives. Yet, its feather-light yet robust blade effortlessly conquers everything, from tender vegetables to hearty meats. We rely on this knife for extended periods without the need for frequent sharpening, while also appreciating its exceptional grip and well-balanced weight.
For those with smaller hands, the brand’s 6-inch variant is the perfect companion, gliding through ripe tomatoes with razor-sharp precision. Shun’s Premiere model, another crowd-pleaser, boasts a broader handle that nestles comfortably in your hand, accompanied by a strong dimpled blade that slices through food effortlessly, all without compromising on its durability.
Best Budget Kitchen Knife:
Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Pro Chef's Knife
Victorinox’s knife may be on the bulkier side, but don’t let that fool you. This kitchen gem is surprisingly lightweight and, above all, safety-conscious. Its plastic handle fits snugly in your grip, effectively keeping your fingers at a safe distance from the blade. While the blade is wider than most of its counterparts, it does trade some nimbleness for a well-balanced and sturdy performance. And, let’s not forget the appealing price point.
We relish the sense of durability this knife exudes. It instills confidence that it won’t be easily ruined, and were pleased with its sharpness. Complemented by a high-carbon stainless steel blade that, as the brand claims, ‘rarely requires sharpening,’ it’s a practical and secure choice for your kitchen adventures.
A cast iron skillet is an affordable kitchen workhorse that lasts, and many cooks have owned their cast iron skillets for years. James Beard Award-winning Southern cookbook author and chef Virginia Willis inherited her grandmother’s skillet, which she estimates is 100 years old. “When I moved from New York and drove the car down, I put the jewelry, the irreplaceable art, and the cast iron skillet in my car.” Click below to find the best cast iron skillets!