The Best Kitchen Knife Brands of 2021
Wouldn’t you like a kitchen knife that can cut through beef shanks as effortlessly as it cuts through an apple? Explore the best kitchen knife brands available this year.
If you have ever cut something with a dull knife, you are likely to value the experience of cutting with a high-quality, sharp knife. Many knives can help you perform the most rudimentary cutting tasks, but few get the job done quickly and easily. An exceptionally sharp knife is safer than a moderately sharp one, as it gives the user more control over what they are cutting. Sharpness can even affect the outcome of your food once it’s cut, making fruits and vegetables a little slower to discolor. However, it is important to remember that even the best of knives may get dull over time and will require sharpening to restore efficacy.
When it comes to preparing meals, being able to quickly chop food can undoubtedly speed up the process of getting the food cooked and in front of your family or guests as soon as possible. Whether you are a home cook or a renowned chef, it is a good idea to have the best, sharpest knives on the market at your disposal. Here are the best kitchen knife brands in 2021.
Known for: The world’s best-known food processor and likely the world’s most renowned kitchen products.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12-Piece Color Knife Set with Blade Guards (available on Amazon) is a knife set that includes a variety of high-quality stainless steel kitchen knives with ceramic coating in various colors—plus each knife includes a matching blade guard.
When it comes to the kitchen, Cuisinart is a brand that specializes in seemingly all facets of cooking. Their mission is to “Savor the Good Life.” They aim to do this with their home appliances, cookware, bakeware, cutlery, grill sets, gadgets, and other innovative products they introduce. Founded in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, Cuisinart introduced the world to the food processor, which quickly slices, chops, shreds, grinds, or purees food, making vegetable preparation (and even making dough) a cinch. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and its management was taken over by Conair in 1989, and they’ve operated it since that time.
Celebrity chefs Julia Child and James Beard introduced the world to the Cuisinart food processor. From there, its brand has become synonymous with preparing great food, fulfilling the dream of its founder, who designed the product to help cooks make food into a “cuisine” and an “art”; thus the creation of a portmanteau of the name “Cuisinart.” Since its humble beginnings of a few kitchen products, Cuisinart has evolved into a worldwide brand that prides itself on product development and innovation. Its commitment to producing top-of-the-line culinary products has earned the favor of chefs and consumers alike. The company has also earned many awards, including the Good Design Award, the Gold Hermes Award, and the Gold Summit International Award.
One of the best things about kitchen knives made by Cuisinart is that this brand can provide a high-quality product at an affordable price point. This accessibility makes this brand’s products a staple in kitchens and restaurants worldwide.
Known for: Delivering high-quality cutlery and kitchen tools to the food services industry for over 30 years.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Mercer Culinary M23510 Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef’s Knife (available on Amazon) is an ergonomically designed German knife with long-lasting sharpness that resists rust and corrosion while providing an easy and consistent cutting experience during each use.
Mercer Culinary has been passionate about providing top-quality kitchen tools and cutlery to the food service industry since 1968. The company prides itself on creating innovative solutions to make life in the kitchen easier for culinary professionals. Mercer’s lineup of products includes top-notch turners, pie servers, peelers, pizza cutters, cutlery, plates, protective wear, and more. The company’s expert craftsmanship doesn’t just lend itself to the kitchen. Headquartered in Ronkonkoma, New York, Mercer also produces a wide range of barware products essential for bartenders to mix drinks. These products include shakers, strainers, stirring tools, measuring tools, and the like.
Mercer’s knife collection is extensive, having many categories to choose from, including MX3, Genesis, Zum, Renaissance, Millenia, and more. Its culinary products supply over 90 percent of culinary academies in North America. It also works closely with experts in the culinary field to produce products that cater to their needs. This means customers can rest assured that their knives are professional grade.
Known for: Beginning in 1731, J.A. Henckels is one of the oldest knife companies in the world.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef Knife (available from Zwilling J.A. Henckels), is a Spanish-made knife made with high-grade German stainless steel that offers precision and comfortable handling with long-lasting sharpness. It’s effective at dicing apples and slicing meat.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels aims to set the standard for high-quality knives. The company provides various knives, including chef’s knives, paring knives, steak knives, Japanese knives, cleavers, and more. One of the best chef knife makers in history, Zwilling J.A. Henckels was founded by Peter Henckels in 1731.
Headquartered in Solingen, Germany, this kitchenware manufacturer has provided quality, innovative products for the kitchen and the hairdressing industry (not as strange a combination as it may seem, as scissors are similar in design to knives). The company provides top-quality shaving products and shears in addition to numerous kitchen products. Although most products are manufactured in Germany, manufacturing plants are also located in France, Italy, Japan, and Belgium. Each manufacturing location churns out the same quality products with the same quality and precision that Zwilling J.A. Henckels has come to be known for over the past few centuries.
Known for: For more than 200 years this family-owned company has expertly crafted quality knives in Solingen, Germany.
Price: $$ to $$$$
Editors’ Choice: The WÜSTHOF Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife (available from Williams-Sonoma). The Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) provides superior edge retention keeping this knife sharp as an all-purpose wonder in the kitchen, essential for slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing.
Wüsthof is another German knife company that is headquartered in Solingen, Germany. It was founded in 1814 by Johann Abraham Wüsthof, and through many struggles, including two major world wars that threatened to wipe it out, it has remained in business. Not only has it remained in business, but it has also remained a family-owned business that is still run by the Wüsthof family today in its seventh generation. It began as a shears company, but once Johann Wüsthof’s son, Eduard, took over the company, he began to sell various types of knives. Now it’s become one of the world’s most progressive manufacturers run by cousins Viola Wüsthof and Harald Wüsthof.
This company has remained resilient and innovative despite many outside factors that threatened to tear it apart over the years. And this same versatility can be seen in its high-quality products. Its lineup of products caters to food professionals and cooking enthusiasts the world over. The company makes paring knives, chef’s knives, bread knives, Asian knives, and many other knives, storage products, and accessories.
Known for: This hand-crafted Japanese knife company is steeped in Samurai sword-making tradition.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife (available from Global Cutlery USA) is a lightweight vanadium stainless steel chef’s knife that is comfortable to grip and perfectly balanced.
Global Cutlery’s knives are Japanese knives that are suited for numerous kitchen tasks. The company was established in 1985, creating knives for cooking by using the old Samurai sword-making techniques. Each knife is handcrafted in Japan. A superior blend of molybdenum and vanadium is used to forge these durable knives.
Used by professional chefs and home chefs alike, Global Cutlery’s aerodynamic knife designs are razor-sharp, which reduces hand fatigue for users. As a result, you can spend a tremendous amount of time cutting before getting tired. Plus there’s no worry about a dull blade. Global Cutlery’s knives retain their sharp edge longer than many knives on the market due to their ingenious design: A straight edge is used instead of the standard beveled edge. However, keep in mind that even the best knives may dull over time and will require sharpening to restore cutting capacity.
Known for: This newcomer to the knife industry has a mission to produce lovable knives.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Chef Knife – PAUDIN N1 8-inch Kitchen Knife (available on Amazon) is a professional knife that is easy to hold, has a beautiful design, and can cut bread, vegetables, and meat.
Paudin makes kitchen knives for a variety of purposes. The company makes paring knives, boning knives, chef’s knives, steak knives, cleavers, and more. Paudin prides itself on making knives that are elegant, ergonomic, and economical. It has supplied home cooks and professional chefs with its products in more than five countries including the United States.
Established in 2017, Paudin’s small team has pushed its products to be number one on Amazon, competing with some of the best, most competitive brands on the market. However, this new kid on the chopping block is not backing down, staying true to its principles of exceptional sharpness, durability, and great design.
Known for: A Japanese knife named after the owner’s girlfriend that emphasizes craftsmanship, aesthetics, and detail.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Imarku Chef’s Knife (available at Imarku) is an essential knife for any home cook or professional cook who is serious about cutting foods quickly and comfortably.
Imarku is a relatively new member of the worldwide knife family, but it is a strong competitor. Having been in business for 13 years, it has quickly made a name for itself in the culinary world. The company specializes in chef’s knives, steak knives, and knife sets. Mark Liu, the owner of Imarku, set out with a mission of democratizing a cost-effective chef knife that is just as high quality as contenders on the market. He stands by his belief that everyone deserves a better cooking tool.
The key qualities that Imarku incorporates in its brand are “craftsmanship, aesthetics, and detail.” It offers a wide variety of chef knives, steak knives, and knife sets with superior ergonomic design. Imarku also offers other kitchen tools such as cookware and cutting boards.
Known for: This member of the Corelle brands family is dedicated to bringing innovative products to food-loving people everywhere.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set (available on Amazon) is a set of knives that includes a paring knife, a utility knife, a bread knife, steak knives, and more, all designed to remain sharp and steady while in use.
Chicago Cutlery is the cutlery line of Corelle products, which include Pyrex, Corningware, Visions, Snapware, OLFA, and Instant Pot. Based in Rosemont, Illinois, this kitchenware supplier has been operating under one umbrella since 1991. However, it has existed since 1915 when Corning introduced its line of heat-resistant glass bakeware. The company is steeped in a tradition of innovation and strives to bring some of the most groundbreaking kitchen products to consumers.
Chicago Cutlery has a diverse lineup of kitchen knives and utensils. Its knife sets are ideal for just about any kitchen task and have the perfect grip to make slicing, chopping, and cutting almost effortless. As is the case with all of Corelle’s products, this line is devoted to making better products and “improving experiences of food-loving people everywhere.”
9. Mac Knife
Known for: A Japanese knife company that promotes itself as the producer of the “world’s sharpest knives.”
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Mac Knife Professional Series 8” Chef’s Knife with Dimples (available from Mac Knife) is a very sharp Japanese knife that glides through food, especially sticky foods.
Mac Knife has brought top-notch quality and craftsmanship to consumers worldwide straight from the knife makers in Seki City, Japan. These master craftsmen have been well known for their sword-making skills since antiquity. Today, they have shifted their craft to include making the quintessential knife for home cooks and chefs. Since 1964, Mac Knife has sold over 25 million knives to professional cooks and cooking enthusiasts worldwide. The company claims that customers love their knives so much they wouldn’t dream of going back to their old knife brands.
These Japanese knives are perfect for many kitchen tasks including cutting sticky items like potatoes, apples, and squash. Overall, the durability of these knives lives up to the claims.
10. Home Hero
Known for: A company that makes knives for people who are serious about cooking.
Price: $ to $$
Editors’ Choice: The Home Hero Kitchen Chef Knife (available at Home Hero) is a stainless steel knife that has a protective finger guard that makes it easy to handle and easy to cut whatever you like in the kitchen.
This may be an inexpensive knife, but it delivers the same high quality as other knives on the market. Home Hero makes cutlery, kitchen cooking sets, kitchen tools, and storage items. The company creates high-quality, innovative, elegant kitchen products and accessories. Its knives are coated with Teflon and are rust-resistant, and the knives’ nonstick coating keeps foods from sticking to them.
Home Hero offers its customers high-end, stainless steel knives that are ergonomic and reasonably priced. Its knives and other kitchen products boast high quality without the high price.
Known for: The knives that got their start in the infomercial world.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 8-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set – Cutlery Set with 420J Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives (available on Amazon) are Japanese-style knives that give you the confidence you need in the kitchen for chopping, dicing, and slicing.
Ginsu knives are manufactured by Scott Fetzer Company, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. It became a top-rated kitchen knife brand primarily between 1978 and 1984 due to its strong push to sell knives through infomercials. One of its popular commercials showed a chef cutting through a tin can as easily as cutting through a tomato with the knife remaining sharp. These infomercials helped sell nearly three million sets of Ginsu knives during this time frame. Initially located in Freemont, Ohio, this brand now operates from Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. For nearly 40 years, it has delivered knives with blades that are sure to last. It is a well-recognized brand that is still a hit with culinary professionals and food enthusiasts worldwide.
Ginsu makes a variety of knives designed to cut just about anything in the kitchen. Its selections include utility knives, chef’s knives, Santoku knives, paring knives, and more. In addition, its knives are razor sharp and relatively low maintenance. With Ginsu knives, you can prepare simple meals or complex ones with the confidence that they will perform as they should. Today, these knives remain one of the most well-known cutlery brands. However, the main drawback with the newer model knives is that they seem to have a lower quality than previous models that made the brand famous, so keep an eye out for premature rusting and discoloring.
Known for: This Japanese manufacturer operates in a variety of industries, including cutlery.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 5-1/2-inch Santoku Knife (available on Amazon) is a sharp knife perfect for professional cooks and beginners who need to slice, dice, and mince fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats.
Kyocera is a familiar name because it manufactures many products such as telecommunications, medical equipment, office document–imaging equipment, solar power– generating systems, and cutting tools. Based in Japan, this company began in 1959 under its founder Kazuo Inamori. It specializes in providing ceramic products, one of which is its ceramic knives. Kyocera specializes in ceramic products because ceramic is 50 percent harder than stainless steel and has almost the same hardness as diamonds on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Its ceramic knives are unrelentingly sharp, retaining their superior cutting capacity for much longer than traditional kitchen knives.
The ceramic knives made by Kyocera are lightweight and are supposed to last much longer than steel blades. Made in Japan, these knives are made with a Kyocera-proprietary zirconia material. As a result, the razor-sharp blade won’t bruise or discolor foods it slices, and it is rustproof. Because these knives don’t transfer the metal to your foods, using them to cut and slice your food keeps the food’s flavor pure and free of the metallic taste that most steel knives leave behind. Kyocera knives have many advantages, but watch out for chipping when cutting especially hard items.