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Best Kitchen and Chef Knives

The Knife Buzz team is passionate about reviewing quality kitchen and chef knives. Our reviews include top Japanese and German chef knives and promising new brands. We also review popular kitchen knife styles including Nakiri, Kiritsuke, Santoku, Bunka, Cleavers, Paring and Ulu Knives.

Our Top Kitchen Knife Picks

Good knives share similar traits including build quality, a full tang blade, and a powerful edge. A Chef’s Knife is a staple in every aspiring chef’s kitchen while the versatile Paring Knife is excellent for fine cutting. Also covered in this buyers guide is the Santoku Knife, Boning Knife, Meat Cleaver, Bread Knife and Steak Knife.

Chef Gordon Ramsay is best known for his hit cooking shows. As a world-class chef, he is meticulous when it comes to choosing his cooking knives. In this article, we cover Gordon Ramsay’s top four knives as well as his basic knife skill tips every aspiring chef can learn from.

Bunka vs Santoku - How Do These Japanese Blades Differ?

Japanese Santoku knives are designed for dicing, slicing, and mincing. Bunka knives are ideal for precision cutting such as scoring vegetables, and julienne and brunoise cuts. Learn more in our buyers guide.

What Is the Difference Between Japanese and German Knives?

There are huge differences between German and Japanese knives that you need to need to know. These differences include the cutting edge, the weight, the angle of the bevel, and the weight of the blade.

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How to Pick the Best Chef Knife

Damascus or Plain Blade Chef Knife?

When it comes to the knife material, one of the most important components obviously is the knife blade. The type of metal will impact the look and performance heavily.

Damascus Steel refers to the forging process of layering steel which results in a pattern well visible to the naked eye. There is just something about the unique wavy patterns that make you feel like you are holding a work of art in your hand. Damascus steel blades also provide greater strength and cutting power without the risk of chipping or breaking the blade.

Carbon or Stainless Steel Chef Knife?

Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant alloy of iron and chromium. This steel sometimes includes nickel and other metals as well. Stainless steel knives with lower amounts of carbon are highly resistant to corrosion but Damascus Steel blades hold a sharper edge.

In contrast, high carbon stainless steel is often used by some of the top knife brands. High carbon “designer” steel offers better edge retention, sharpness, and resharpening ability than “normal” stainless steel. However, you must make sure you take proper care of your knives and dry them thoroughly to prevent any discoloring or rust.

Best Size and Weight for a Chef Knife

There isn’t one size of chef knife that will suit everyone’s needs. But most home chefs hit the sweet spot with an 8″ knife. This size provides a good balance between weight, cutting edge length and practical cutting. Anything bigger and you may struggle to cut efficiently in your home kitchen.

In terms of weight, finding the right knife for you is more of a personal preference and how extensively you will use your knife. For shorter cooking preparations, a light knife may be more suitable to get the job done. If you are working at your cutting board for an extended period, a heavier knife will be the better tool for you.

READ MORE in the Chef Knife buyers guide.

Latest Damascus Knife Articles

best damascus knife for the money

Best Damascus Kitchen and Chef Knives

There are many kinds of kitchen knives on the market today that claim to improve your cooking experience. Damascus Kitchen Knives are an increasingly popular choice. So what is a Damascus Knife? And how much easier can it make your time cooking? This buyers guide covers the benefits of Damascus kitchen and chef knives, what to look for when buying one, and the best Damascus knives on the market.

best damascus steel knives for

Best Damascus Knives & Swords for Chefs, Hunters & Collectors

Damascus kitchen knives, hunting knives and decorative swords are beautiful, sturdy, and resistant to many kinds of damage and wear. This buyers guide discusses the best quality Damascus blades on the market. It also provides advice on how Damascus steel is created, forging your own blades, and storing, sharpening and cleaning tips.

damascus kitchen knives set

Best Damascus Kitchen Knife Sets

Damascus steel knives are a great addition to any kitchen. They are beautiful, strong, durable, and sharp. But it can be time-consuming and expensive to search for one perfect Damascus knife at a time. Buying a complete knife set can be more cost effective and provides you with a consistent design across each blade.

carbon knives vs damascus steel

Damascus Steel vs Carbon Steel: Which Blade is Better?

Damascus steel and Carbon Steel are two of the most common materials used to forge knife blades. They are strong, durable, and have sharp edges that are easy to cut with. Damascus steel has beautiful patterns while Carbon steel knives are plain, but affordable. If you want a unique design, choose a Damascus. Or for a more practical blade choose Carbon Steel.

Best Knives for Cutting Meat for Beginners and Pros

Whenever I cook meat at home, it’s automatically a special occasion. Nothing can match the tastiness of steak and potatoes or pork chops and apple sauce.

In this article, I review some of my favorite meat knives including Victorinox and Wusthof, plus up and comers such as Dalstrong and Update International. I also cover popular cleaver knives such as the Japanese Sato and Slicing vs. Carving Knives. This buyer’s guide also provides tips on how a knife’s shape affects its performance.

How a Knife’s Shape Affects its Performance

When picking out a proper knife for your kitchen, it’s important to understand exactly how the different physical features will alter its performance. The edge and blade shape, as well as the thickness of the knife, all contribute to a particular tool’s niche.

Knife Blade Thickness: The thicker the blade, the stronger it is. You should see a thicker blade on a carving knife than a slicing knife. However, stronger is not necessarily better.

Thin Knife Blades allow for more flexibility and more precise cuts and are generally better all-purpose knives. It’s easier to slice with thin blades, which is why slicing knives characteristically have long, narrow, blades.

Knife Cutting Edge: The knife’s edge is correlates with the thickness of the blade. In general, thinner edges, or knives with more pointed, skinny tips, are used for more precise cutting but lack the strength and control of knives with less curved, thicker edges.

Knife Blade Shape: The most distinguishing characteristic of a knife is the overall blade shape. For example, carving knives and cleavers are usually straight edged to produce the cleanest, straight cut possible when cutting through meat.

All-purpose and slicing knives have more curve to produce a more precise cut.

READ MORE in the Best Beginner Knives for Cutting Meat buyers guide.

Latest Meat and Fish Knife Articles

best butcher knife

Best Butcher's Knife on The Market

A butcher knife features a wide blade with a slight curve to cut through large pieces of meat. When selecting a butcher knife, focus on the blade and the handle. The blade is usually curved, but some models may also have a straight blade. Either type will be effective for cutting meat, but curved is better for boning, while straight is better for cutting and getting between bones. A curved blade also takes some getting used to and requires a different technique.

best fish knife

Paring vs. Fish Filleting Knives

While compact Paring Knives have better flexibility for peeling and cutting fruits and vegetables, Filleting Knives are best for slicing. A Fillet Knife is typically used to debone fish and to make fish fillets. One key feature of the Filleting Knife blade is its maneuverability. This fish knife is typically 6-11 inches long and can be expertly handled while cutting the meat. The fillet knife also has a pointed tip and can be used to create beautiful, precise salads and platters.

best steak knife

Best Steak Knives Reviewed

You almost never hear about the humble steak knife. When it comes to knives in the kitchen, a Chef’s Knife is number one. However, once the meal is on the dinner table, a good quality steak knife makes the meat easy to cut and a joy to eat. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a nice steak, or you want to use this versatile blade to cut some crusty bread, there is a steak knife that is right for you.

Best Meat and Vegetable Cleavers Reviewed

If you’re like me, you like to minimize your time in the kitchen as much as possible so that you can spend more time with those you love. I find that one of the best ways to do this is investing in high-quality tools, like a reliable vegetable and meat cleaver knife.

These knives are crafted ultra-sharp and hefty to cut through meat with ease. By doing the proper research beforehand, I’ve been able to maintain the same trusty knife set year after year. As you’ll find, some cleavers are specially designed to cut through vegetables as well, making them much more versatile than you may expect.

Features to Consider When Buying a Cleaver Knife

Meat Cleavers with a Rigged Sawtooth Top Blade: If you want a cleaver for heavy-duty meat cuts, you will need a rigged sawtooth blade. This blade is designed to cut through bones.

Intended Use for the Cleaver Knife: Some cleavers can only cut through lighter cuts of meat. A lighter cleaver is a good solution when you don’t need the bulk of a heavy meat cleaver.

Dishwasher Safe Knives: Though using the dishwasher is never recommended, it is a handy feature to have anyway. Cutting meat makes your kitchen susceptible to cross-contamination, so cleaning your knives thoroughly is important.

Use a Cleaver Sheath for Easy Storage: Cleavers are made to be bulky for extra power, but that also makes them difficult to store. A cleaver sheath can therefore be a handy tool. Where a sheath is included in the purchase this can be the deciding factor between two knives.

Cleaver Handle Grip: Sometimes, you won’t know if your knife is right for you until you hold it. Don’t feel bad about a knife that has a grip that doesn’t feel right. The best cleaver is one that has a comfortable grip and feels balanced while chopping.

READ MORE in the Best Vegetable and Meat Cleaver Knives buyers guide.

Latest Meat and Vegetable Cleaver Articles

what is the difference between cleaver and

Nakiri vs Cleaver: The Verdict for Chefs and Home Cooks

In this article, we compare the Cleaver and Nakiri Knives. Both knives are excellent cutting tools that perform different tasks. But which of them should you buy? Which offers more value? The Cleaver requires a professional touch and is best for cutting larger and thicker vegetables and meat. The Nakiri is easier to use, better for cutting small vegetables, and is often better value. If you have the budget for both, you won't regret it.

can you use a cleaver as a chef knife

Cleaver vs Chef Knife: Battle of the Chopping Knives

In this article, we pit the Meat Cleaver against the Chef Knife to help you understand all there’s to know about these kitchen tools. One is heavy-duty, the other is for lighter work. While the Cleaver Knife helps you cut the tough foods, the Chef Knife offers great precision and delivers neat cuts. Both kitchen tools are a great addition to any kitchen. If you have to choose only one, pick the knife that better serves your needs.

what is a butcher knife good for

Butcher Knife vs Meat Cleaver: How to Tell the Difference?

Many people mix up Meat Cleavers with traditional Butcher Knives. So, how do you tell the difference? The butcher knife has a curved tip and a wide blade, making it ideal for slicing and trimming raw meat. The Butcher Knife is designed to be bulky and heavy, and it doesn’t need a lot of precision to cut through thick meat or to dress animal carcasses. But if you need more precision cutting, the meat cleaver is the better tool.

What Knife is Best for Cutting Vegetables?

As a cooking enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to improve my process. I’ve learned that one of the best things I can do is invest in high-quality cookware designed to help me prep more efficiently.

One of my recent purchases is the bold Nakiri knife. The Nakiri is not your typical vegetable knife though. This traditional Japanese blade is fully straight edged, allowing you to seamlessly cut through foods without the need for a horizontal pull or push. Clearly, these blades are worth having around. So, in this buyers guide I have covered some of my favorite Nakiri knives on the market today.

Is the Nakiri Knife the Best Vegetable Chopper?

Nakiri knives are great for cutting down your food prep time with their sturdy, reliable design. With their heavyweight construction, these blades can easily chop down on the thickest leafy greens with ease.

Though you won’t be able to saw with these blades, they are still worth having as a part of your collection. These choppers are great for professional chefs or anyone with a large family who prepares meals in bulk. All in all, any of the reviewed Nakiri knives would make perfect blades for your kitchen.

What Is the Nakiri Knife Used For?

Nakiris Are Great for Chopping Vegetables – The Nakiri blades is designed to chop greens and vegetables. Most blades also have built-in bevels to reduce unnecessary friction while chopping.

Nakiri Knives Help Conserve Energy – Nakiri blades are famous for their functionality. The straight-edged blades can cut down to the cutting board without excess force being exerted.

Soft Chopping Tasks – Nakiri knives are great for chopping any fruit or vegetables with ease. And food with a soft or fleshy exterior can easily be chopped making this a perfect an all-purpose kitchen tool.

Thin Slicing Tasks – Nakiri knives are known for making thin, even slices. You can cut the thinnest ribbons of vegetables, making them ideal for making vegetable-focused dishes like stir-fry.

READ MORE in the Nakiri Knife: Is it the Best Vegetable Chopper? buyers guide.

Latest Fruit and Vegetable Knife Articles

how do I choose a paring knife

Best Paring Knife for Your Kitchen

Many chefs consider the Paring Knife to be the second most important knife in a kitchen, next to the Chef Knife. With a length of two to four inches, Paring Knives are perfect for tasks that require precision, control, and delicacy. You would have a very hard time coring fruits, removing seeds, and peeling small grapes with a Chef Knife. With a Paring Knife, you can prepare soft fruit and vegetables without damaging them. For additional cutting control, I am a big fan of serrated paring knives.

which knife should be used to cut an onion

What Knife Is Best for Cutting Onions?

One of the best ways to get a cleanly diced or chopped onion is to use a Chef’s knife. This knife is usually eight to ten inches long, with a blade that slightly curves into a sharp pointed tip. The sloping blade with a sharp edge delivers a perfect rocking motion cutting that gives you effortlessly chopped and diced onions. Alternatively, the versatile Japanese Santoku knife is an excellent choice. This versatile knife is easy to hold, and just like the chef’s knife, you will use it to slice all your vegetables.

best ulu knife

Best Alaskan Ulu Knife Reviewed

An Ulu Knife can be a great help in the kitchen, particularly for people with limited hand mobility. This blade is great for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing meat, fish, vegetables and herbs.There are many different models of commercial Ulu Knives on the market, each offering a varying degrees of durability, efficiency, and beauty. The Mezzaluna Knife is an Italian version of the Alaskan Ulu. The Mezzaluna features two short handles, as opposed to the ulu’s one perpendicular handle. The mezzaluna is often used to chop a large number of herbs. This requires a cutting bowl or cutting board with a depression to prevent the herbs from scattering all over the kitchen.

best vegetable chopper for salads

Best Vegetable Choppers for Salads

Everybody knows that vegetables are an important part of our everyday diet. However, it can be tricky to find the time to prepare nutritious meals when you are time poor. As a solution, I have personally found great success using a vegetable chopper in addition to my beloved chef and paring knives. These handy devices come in manual and electronic options a. As a bonus, they often come with built-in storage containers so you can pre-cut veggies the night before.

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wusthof vs victorinox chef knives

Wusthof vs Victorinox: Which Knife Brand Is Better for Slicing And Chopping?

Wusthof and Victorinox are respected brands that offer elegant, razor-sharp, and durable knives. However, they vary in sharpness, slicing, and chopping performance.

What is a Nakiri knife good for

Nakiri vs Bunka: Which Japanese Knife Is Better for Cutting Vegetables?

Nakiri and Bunka knives are general-purpose chef’s tools. The Nakiri is perfect for cutting vegetables while the Bunka is ideal for cutting fish, vegetables, meat, and herbs.

Shun Santoku Knife

Best Santoku Knife for Every Budget

Santoku knives are an essential tool in any chef or foodie’s kitchen. This style can chop, dice, slice, and mince. Top brands include Shun Cutlery, Zwilling J. A. Henckels, Mercer Culinary, and Mad Shark.

Best Chef Knife Under 100

Best Chef Knives Under $100 For Budding Chefs and Home Cooks

A good-quality chef knife is an investment. This guide features quality knives and buyer tips to get you started with a good quality chef knife under $100

How to Hold a Knife Like a Chef

How do you hold a knife? The answer could depend on the type of knife you have. In general, you should have a relaxed but firm grip while your other hand should stay clear of the blade to avoid accidents.

Use a Knife Claw Grip When Using Your Knife

When learning to hold a knife, you should pay attention to both of your hands. The hand holding the knife is your cutting hand. This hand should grip the handle of the knife, placing the thumb on the top of the blade. Your other fingers should wrap around the knife’s bolster. Your index finger should rest on the blade opposite your thumb. You will focus your grip on the thumb and forefinger.

Your other hand is the guiding hand. Make a claw with this hand and curl your fingers inwards. Rest your fingertips on the food and position the thumb low. Your wrist should rest on the cutting board. When you cut, rest the knife against your knuckles instead of your fingers, and walk your fingers back on the food item following each cut.

Hand Positions When Slicing, Chopping and Mincing

There are three different hand positions when using your knife to slice, chop or mince:

  • Knife Slicing – Use the claw grip above for your guiding hand
  • Knife Chopping – Use the claw grip above for your guiding hand
  • Knife Mincing – Place the food in the center of the cutting board in a heap. Place the fingertips of your guiding hand flat on the top of the blade’s tip

Knife Handling Safety Tips

When using a chef knife:

  • Always slice away from the knife to avoid cutting yourself
  • Make oddly shaped food items more stable by slicing a thin piece off the bottom
  • Never using your palm as a stabilizing surface

READ MORE on Handle Hammer Grips, Blade Pinch Grips, and other knife handling tips.

What Is Pakkawood? Does It Make a Great Knife Handle?

Pakkawood is a wood and resin composite that is used in many high-end knives due to its long lasting qualities.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pakkawood

Pakkawood knife handles offer a lot of advantages. This material is durable, strong, and long-lasting. Pakkawood handles are a great choice for knives that will see a lot of daily use such as those in a high-end kitchen.

However, Pakkawood isn’t perfect. While this material is usually water and heat resistant it is definitely not dishwasher safe. Pakkawood uses wood veneer which degrades when exposed to long soaks in water. Like many high-grade knives, you are better off washing your Pakkawood knives and utensils by hand.

Pakkawood Knife Handle Composition

  • Made with hardwood veneers impregnated with phenolic thermoset resins
  • Dyes are sometimes added
  • Solid and dense composition because of extreme heat and pressure during manufacture

Pakkawood Knife Handle Appearance

  • A natural wood-like look
  • A glossy finish
  • Looks similar to hardwood

Pakkawood Handle Properties

  • Durable and strong
  • Dense and quite water-resistant
  • Able to hold up against heavy use

READ MORE on Pakkawood uses and knife handle care.

What is the Best Brand of Ceramic Knives?

When I’m cooking, I want everything done as efficiently as possible. Not only does this help me improve the quality of my dishes, but it also gives me more time with the people I love. I’ve found that one of the best ways to achieve this is by investing in quality kitchenware.

I’ve recently taken up Ceramic Knives and my prep time has been cut in half. This inspired me to write a buyer’s guide on the best Ceramic Knives on the market.

Ceramic Knife Benefits

Superior Sharpness – Ceramic Blades are up to 10X sharper than metal blades. They also hold their cutting edge longer, requiring less regular maintenance or sharpening

Lightweight Feel – Ceramic Knives are often lighter than traditional metal knives. This makes them a lot easier to maneuver for beginner cooks

Precise Chopping – Ceramic Blades are often super thin, making them perfect for precise, consistent slicing and chopping

Rust-Resistant – Unlike metal knife blades, Ceramic Blades are almost always rust-resistant so they will likely last longer

Acid Resistant – Ceramic Knives are resistant to acidic foods, so they won’t absorb food odors as much as other blades

Cost-Effective Knives – Ceramic Knives have less metal content than traditional steel blades and they are often cheaper. Despite their modest price point, these knives do not sacrifice any cutting or chopping power

Downsides of Ceramic Kitchen Knives

While there are many benefits, Ceramic Knives are more brittle than steel knives. You will need to be careful not to drop the blades on hard surfaces. Also, Ceramic Knives will eventually need sharpening. You will need to buy a specialized sharpener to keep them in action as a standard knife sharpener cannot be used.

READ MORE in the Best Ceramic Knives buyers guide.

Are Ceramic Knives Better Than Stainless Steel Knives?

Both Ceramic and Steel knives have a place in the kitchen. Ceramics are ideal for slicing meat, fruit and vegetables while steel is best for demanding cutting tasks.

Ceramic Blades are Tougher Than Steel Knives

You might think ceramics have something to do with clay, but ceramic knives are made from oxidized Zirconia. This agent is dry-pressed and fired into a fine powder before being forged into a sharp ceramic knife. What is not well known is that ceramic knives are tougher than average steel blades.  

When fully forged a ceramic blade has a toughness rate of 8.5. This is similiar to the core strength of a diamond with rating of 10. In contrast, an average steel blade comes in at a lower with a rate range of 4 to 6, depending on the steel type.

Ceramic Knife Benefits

  • Ceramic knives are light to hold in the hand
  • Ceramic blades are nonreactive with acidic food
  • The blades are sharp for easy cutting
  • The blades do not need sharpening and are easy to clean

READ MORE in the Ceramic Knives vs Steel Knives buyers guide.

Best Kitchen, German & Japanese Chef Knives