A Review of the Six Best Chef Knives

The past couple of days we have been discussing the best hunting and fishing knives. Another big category of knives are culinary knives and so far I haven’t written one thing about them. A few things about kitchen knives: the three most popular edges for a culinary knife are straight edge, serrated edge, and Granton edge. When looking into buying kitchen knives, you should be looking for the edge, the handle, the bolster, the heel, the blade tip, the spine, and the tang. In this article, I will list the best kitchen knives on the market and why they are such a good option for you and your kitchen. We’ll be going over the advantages and disadvantages of each knife that I’m reviewing. Let’s get started.

 

The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

The Wusthof brand is known for the high quality German steel that they use in all of their knives. Out of the Wusthof knives, the Classic Chef’s knife is the most popular.  This is an 8-inch blade made out of high-carbon stainless steel. The steel used in this knife makes this an extremely durable option for your kitchen. The edge of this blade is laser cut, ensuring a very sharp edge. However, you do have to make sure that you care for it exactly like instructed: only manual washing. If you stick this knife in the dishwasher, the edge will be dull before you know it. Also, by placing it in the dishwasher, the steel will get very scratched up. This knife has a full tang, which means that it is a very balanced knife, allowing you to cut evenly. Something that many chef’s knives covet that the Wusthof Classic chef knife has conquered is not putting too much weight on your wrist, meaning you won’t tire out and you can cut for as long as you desire. This is a more expensive option though, which does turn many people away from it.

Advantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • The full tang of the blade keeps this knife very well balanced, ensuring you with evenly cut ingredients.
  • The knife doesn’t put an excessive amount of weight on your wrist, helping you cut for hours on end.
  • This is the Wusthof brand’s most popular knife.
  • The blade is very durable.
  • The laser cut edge is crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Wusthof Classic Chef Knife:

  • Must clean this knife manually or else the blade will dull extremely quickly.
  • Must clean this knife manually or else the steel will get pretty scratched up.
  • This is a very expensive option for your kitchen knives.

 

The Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

This is a great chef knife for a much cheaper price than the Wusthof Classic, plus this knife comes with a lifetime warranty. Just like the Wusthof Classic, this is also an 8-inch blade. The blade on this knife is 2 inches in width, which makes it easy to use and maneuver. This knife has a stamped blade, meaning you will not have to sharpen it for a good amount of time. This knife is a light knife, which worries some people, but it should not worry you, this is a heavy duty knife, ready to take on your kitchen’s challenges. The Victorinox 40520 sports an ergonomic handle that fits fantastically in your hand. For such a great knife, the price is truly surprising, making this an ideal option for chefs who are just testing the waters of the culinary world.

Advantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • This is a much cheaper option than other Chef Knives on the market.
  • This knife comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The blade is stamped, giving you a break from sharpening for a while.
  • The 8-inch blade is easy to use.
  • The knife is very light, yet still tough enough to take on a heavy duty task.
  • The handle fits great in your hand.

Disadvantages of the Victorinox 40520 Chef Knife:

  • Because it is a cheaper option, you do give up some of the premium benefits of having the more expensive option.
  • The knife doesn’t work to takeoff weight from your wrist, so you won’t be able to cut forever.

 

The Shun Classic Chef Knife:

This knife has been rated as the best Japanese Chef knife by many different bloggers and chefs. Like the previous two reviewed knives, this blade is also 8 inches long. However, this blade is made out of hard VG-10 Japanese steel. Because of this hard steel, this knife can easily cut through meat and poultry. Something surprising about this knife is how light it is, but do not let that turn you away from this knife, it can easily cut through thick things and it uses less force to do so. The knife comes extremely sharp and stays extremely sharp for long periods of time, helping you cut super thin slices. The handle of this knife is made out of Pakkawood handles, which is one of the major selling points of this specific knife. The Pakkawood is made out of resin soaked hardwood, like a traditional Japanese knife, but this is also NSE certified. This knife, along with other Chef Knives, is prone to breaking if it is used for the wrong task, such as breaking through bones.

Advantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Aesthetically pleasing with its Pakkawood handles.
  • The hard VG-10 Japanese steel makes this a very durable blade.
  • This is a very light option, yet still can stand up to heavy duty tasks.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and stays crazy sharp.

Disadvantages of the Shun Classic Chef Knife:

  • Is prone to breaking when used incorrectly.
  • It is a light option and some chefs feel more secure with a heftier choice.

 

The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch Chef Knife:

The brand Henckels has some of the highest quality culinary knives on the market today. This brand has been around for over 300 years, so you know that you can trust them with their products. The Henckels Professional S 8-Inch chef knife is no exception. You can purchase this knife with either an 8-inch blade or a 10-inch blade. They make this knife from one single piece of high carbon steel. This steel does not stain easily and can cut through almost any food with minimal effort. The blade stays sharp for very long periods of time. You would think that the handle is made out of wood, because it does look and feel like wood, however, it is not. The wood look makes the handle look like a classic, but because it is not actually wood, the handle lasts much longer. This knife feels solid in your hand and also balances very well, ensuring you have the best grip and can control the knife easily.

Advantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • The steel is very durable.
  • The edge is crazy sharp and lasts.
  • With this knife, you can cut through almost any food with very minimal effort.
  • The knife is aesthetically pleasing.
  • The handle looks like wood, but isn’t, giving you a much longer lasting knife.
  • Henckels is a very reliable brand, so you can trust the knives that they design.

Disadvantages of the Henckels Professional S 8-inch Chef Knife:

  • This is one of the costlier options on the market today.

 

The Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

While Messermeister is not as well-known of a brand as Henckels or Wusthof, their products are just as quality, maybe even better in a couple situations. This blade is 9 inches, which is larger than the previously mentioned ones, which all measured up at 8 inches. Many chefs consider this the perfect compromise between the classic 8 inches and 10 inches, because sometimes 10 feels too big, but sometimes you do want more than the typical 8 inches. Finding a 9-inch chef knife is not a common thing. However, because it is 9 inches, many people find it tricky to store. This knife is known for being crazy amounts of sharp, plus it has a partial bolster, which means that when this knife does need sharpening, it will be much easier to sharpen. This is definitely on the pricier end of the spectrum when searching for your perfect chef knife, but many people would agree that it is definitely worth the cost.

Advantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This blade is a unique 9 inches long.
  • This knife is known for being crazy sharp.
  • This knife sports a partial bolster, making it easier to sharpen when needed.
  • Messermeister knives are high quality knives.

Disadvantages of the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife:

  • This is not a name brand product, which some people want.
  • The 9-inch blade has proven tricky to store, because of the unique length.
  • This is definitely one of the costlier options for your chef knives that is on the market today.

 

The Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

Something interesting about the Mac brand is that professional chefs seem to know all about them, but if you ask a household chef the best knife brands, Mac would most likely not be on the list. Mac makes great quality knives, that incorporates the Japanese hard and thin blade, but with the Western shaped blade. They truly give the best of both worlds. The Mac Professional Hollow Edge knife is no exception to their brand. This knife is much lighter than many similar knives and we owe it all to the Pakkawood handle. Pakkawood is resin soaked hardwood to make it durable. The handle shape is also unique—it follows the traditional German style, but tapers slowly like the Japanese chef knife handles.  Something else that is unique about this handle is the bolster is actually welded onto the knife, which is how the handle can be thicker and have more weight, but have the blade also be the wanted thinness. The blade is made out of molybdenum steel, which keeps its sharp edge and is very easy to sharpen when needed. The blade on this knife measures in at 8 inches long, the perfect length for almost any task in the kitchen. The blade sports a hollow edge, which is also known as dimples. Those dimples may seem like they were added solely for look, but that is not the case. These dimples keep the edge cleaner by preventing food from sticking to it. This is a costlier knife to buy, but well worth the investment. For a high end Japanese chef’s knife, this is one of the best values that you can find on the market today.

Advantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • The bolster is actually welded onto the knife, allowing you a thick handle, yet a super thin blade.
  • The edge stays sharp for long periods of time.
  • This is a very easy knife to sharpen.
  • The hollow edge, or dimples, prevent food from sticking to the knife while chopping.
  • The handle is hefty, but tapers slowly, giving you the best of the German and Japanese style.
  • This is a lighter knife because of the Pakkawood handle.
  • The Mac brand produces very high quality knives.
  • This is a very unique knife overall, combining the best of both worlds on the handle characteristics and the blades characteristics.

Disadvantages of the Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife:

  • This knife is a costlier knife—but well worth the price tag.
  • This is not a common name brand knife, which some people do want in their knives.

 

There are so many different Chef’s knives being sold today, but of course, no two are the same. Some have better balance, some are lighter, some are heftier, some are a little bit longer, and some are completely unique in all the right ways. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to any kind of knife, but when your culinary career revolves around the quality of knife that you own, this choice seems a little more daunting than most knife purchases. I have compiled a list of the six best chef knives that you can purchase that I’m hoping helps you out. Happy shopping and happy chopping.

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