As the saying goes, knives are a chef’s best buddy. Knives are the primary ingredients in a chef’s handbook. Chef knife, being an all-rounder, is the first choice among the knives. It is important to invest in premium quality steel blade such as corrosion and edge resistant high-carbon stainless steel. Once sharpened, its sharpness tends to last for a considerable time.
This guide lists everything that you need to know about a chef’s knife, from what to look for to the top 5 picks from amazon and the additional accessories that you can get along the way.
Understanding it in depth
A chef’s knife is a straight-edged, wide-bladed multipurpose knife. It has a solid curvature. Whether you are new to cooking or a skilled chef, a chef’s knife is a cooking must-have. You can use one to dice, slice, chop, mash vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish.
Things to Look for When Buying a Chef’s Knife
Depending on its quality, a chef’s knife comes with varying features. Keeping the specificities aside, there are some basic requirements that a good knife must meet. Below listed are some of these key things you must consider before getting a chef’s knife.
The two main styles that dominate the knife market are Japanese and German. Despite being susceptible to chipping, Japanese blades are sharper and harder. German blades, on the other hand, are more durable, easy to sharp, yet softer and dull.
Knives can either be forged or stamped. Forged knives use extreme heat to mold the steel into the required shape. This creates stronger blades of high quality, which in turn cost more than stamped knives.
Stamped knives, on the other hand, are made by punching steel using a machine. These are easier to maintain and cheaper but usually don’t fall under premium quality knives.
Your chef’s knife should be convenient to hold. It should easily fit into the palm of your hand while leaving extra space. Handle comfort mainly depends on the material used – plastic, wood, or steel.
Some knives have an ergonomic handle, which provides a better grip. Whereas those with simple handles can be held in various ways, as per your needs.
In general, Japanese knives are more lightweight in comparison to German knives. which makes them suitable to make precise cuts, whereas heavy German knives are ideal for carving and mincing.
Generally, the blades of a chef’s knife measure between 6 to 14 inches. Your needs and cooking style would determine the ideal size for your blade. Most people prefer a sturdy 8-inch-long blade, which is neither too short nor too large.
If you love to cook or love to eat, investing in a good chef’s knife is worth the cost. While premium quality chef’s knives can cost up to 200$, we have skimmed through the lot to find some good affordable knives.
What use is a knife if it is not sharp? One indicator of a good chef’s knife is how sharp it is and how often do you need to sharpen it. A sharp knife with greater edge-resistance is not only convenient to use but saves you the trouble to sharpen it again and again.
Another differentiable is the blade material used in the knife. Stainless steel blades are the most common among the lot. They are durable, easy to sharpen, and strong while being cost-effective.
Carbon steel blades offer more sturdiness and strength but are not as durable. The best of these two is found in high carbon stainless steel blades, which are both strong, sturdy, and durable.
Top Five Chef Knives
The best way to figure your perfect kitchen knife is to chop some vegetables or fruits using it. But to save you all the extra work, we have handpicked the best of all. You can order them via Amazon, all by the click of a mouse.
1. Mac Mighty Professional Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife
This chef’s knife is the perfect fit for daily cutting and chopping. It has a thin blade, which only measures 2.55 mm.
It comes with additional dimples to smoothly work through sticky foods like apples, summer squash, and potatoes. At just 6.5 ounces, it is a light-weighted Japanese knife with a pakka wooden handle.
- Professional knife
- Well balanced
- Worth the price
2. Shun Classic Chef’s Knife
Handmade in Japan, the Shun chef’s knife gives a two-in-one benefit. It makes cooking fun with its elegant look and ease of use. Its blade uses Damascus type layering and has a total of 69 layers of steel. The multiple layers add to its strength and make it ultra-durable. Even then, it is a light-weight knife at just 7.2 ounces. It comes in three different sizes, 6, 8, and 10 inches.
- Easy to control
- Ergonomic handle
- Superior quality
- Super stylish
- Fit for right-hand use only
3. Wüsthof Classic Ikon Chef’s Knife
Ever wondered which brand’s knife the legendary Gordon Ramsay uses? Look no further than Wusthof. The Classic Ikon features a synthetic-made sleek black handle and a double bolster.
It is made using the best steel variant out there – the super-strong high carbon stainless steel. It tilts towards the heavier side of chef’s knives, weighing 9 ounces.
- Comfortable to hold
- Well balanced
- Resists discoloring
- Comparatively expensive
4. J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife
This German-style knife is among the few affordable premium quality knives. It is made by forging stainless steel and comes with a thin traditional triple-rivet handle. It has an ergonomic grip and is comfortable to work with.
The knife is on the heavier end, weighing about 10.4 ounces. Even though it is dishwasher friendly, we advise you to handwash it for better safety.
- Well balances
- Dishwasher safe
5. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
Swiss-made Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro chef’s knife is among the best knife in the affordable range. It has an almost non-stick finish and can hold an edge well. Having a stainless-steel blade, it is a good choice for amateur cooks and beginners.
It is comfortable to hold with its TPE handle. It weighs around 8.8 ounces and is suitable for cutting meat and other hard foodstuffs.
- Ergonomic handle
- Elegant looking
- Needs frequent sharpening
- Sharpener — Regardless of the knife you pick, at some point or another, you’d need to sharpen it. Investing in a good kitchen sharpener is a smart move in this case.
- Holder — Proper storage is key to maintaining your kitchen knife. If your knife doesn’t come with a sheath, you can look into several storage tools to protect your blade from dulling.
- Magnetic Knife Rack — Another optimum storage option is to keep them in a magnetic knife rack. It saves you from the struggle to look for your knives and is compact.
There is little chance that an all-purpose chef’s knife could ever disappoint you. For optimum performance, you must keep in mind certain factors like sharpness, construction-style, blade material, handle quality, and weight. The winner from our side is the famous Wüsthof Classic Ikon Chef’s Knife. It might be the perfect fit for your budget and hands. But if you are a beginner and looking for more budget-friendly choices, you can pick just any from the above-mentioned list.