The Best Chef’s Knives for the Kitchen
Find the right tool for slicing and dicing your way through meal prep with our roundup of top-favorite picks.
From slicing and chopping to mincing and dicing to hacking and smashing, a good chef’s knife can practically do it all in the kitchen. Its versatility makes this multipurpose knife an irreplaceable kitchen tool for cooks of all experience levels. If you’re currently cooking without a proper chef’s knife or you’ve been making do with one that is dull or damaged, it’s time for something new.
There are two styles of chef’s knife: European and Japanese. The European style knives have a blade sharpened to a beveled edge and a curved blade for smoother rocking movements while chopping and are generally heavier and sturdier than Japanese knives, which are thinner and sharper and often honed to a straight razor thinness on the blade. Japanese knives tend to also be flatter, which allows for controlled movement but requires more controlled knife skills than a European blade. Whichever style you prefer, there are many options available to meet your needs.
Ahead, see our list of top favorites!
Our Top Picks
BEST OVERALL: Zwilling J.A. Henckels ZWILLING Chef’s Knife
Fabricated in Spain, this European-style knife is precise and durable and can last for years or even decades. With its large-sized 8-inch blade surface, this knife can be used for everything from chopping potatoes and slicing salmon to mincing shallots and dicing apples. The knife has an ergonomic handle, which gives it balance and makes it comfortable to work with, and the blade is forged from German stainless steel. A simple, effective, and durable chef’s knife that cuts wonderfully both in the hands of beginners and professionals, this Henckels knife is a great choice for home cooks looking for a professional-quality knife.
BEST VALUE: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
Inexpensive, simple, and effective, this kitchen knife is a great option for those who want to start cooking more at home but are not yet ready to spend a lot of money for a professional chef’s knife. The blade is made of stainless steel and is just a little under 8 inches in length. Crafted in Switzerland, this knife is wider and thicker than your usual Japanese knife, which is great for beginners and cooks who need more stability when cutting and chopping. As for the handle, it’s made from thermoplastic elastomer and has an ergonomic design.
UPGRADE PICK: Messermeister Meridian Elite Stealth Chef’s Knife
This durable, high-quality 10-inch knife is great for heavy-duty chopping and cutting. Sharp, effective and comfortable, the Messermeister Meridian Elite Stealth is constructed from German high-carbon stainless steel alloy, which resists stains and corrosion. While the blade is sharp, tough, and able to retain its edge for a long time, the ergonomic handle is industrial-strength polyoxymethylene (POM—a strong form of thermoplastic.
HONORABLE MENTION: Global Santoku G-48 Hollow Ground Knife
The Global Santoku G-48 is, like most Japanese chef’s knives, very light light, with a thin, super-sharp cutting edge. The blade is ground to a razor edge, with straight sides, instead of the European beveled edge. This allows the blade edge to be thinner and more dynamic as it slices through delicate or soft fruits and vegetables. At the same time, this knife is strong and precise enough to be used not only for slicing, but for chopping, mincing, and dicing as well.