Chefs Knife 8 inch By Oxford Chef - Best Quality Damascus- Japanese- VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel-Razor Sharp, Stain & Corrosion Resistant, Awesome Edge Retention
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- ✅ Geometrically Perfect and Scary Sharp: The angles of this blade represent the pinnacle of design and the accumulation of millennia of chef knife making evolution. Finished to a mirror polish of within an astounding 8-12 degree angle per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method, this blade is viciously sharp. The tapered curvilinear blade of this knife is ideal for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.
- ✅ Performance, Comfort, & Beauty: Military grade ergonomic G-10 handle is immune to cold, heat, and moisture. This bolster allows easy access to sharpen the entire blade down to the blade heel. Optimal knuckle clearance gives room for use without knuckle interference. Rounded handle and tapered pinch-grip bolster encourage natural handling with perfect balance. Rosetta rivet adds a cherry on top to this magnificent culinary tool.
|Package Dimensions||14.72 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches (37.4 x 7.9 x 3 cm)|
|Item Weight||8 ounces (226.8 grams)|
|Blade Length||8 Inches (20.3 cm)|
|Item Weight||0.5 Pounds (0.23 kg)|
Chefs Knife 8 inch By Oxford Chef - Best Quality Damascus- Japanese- VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel-Razor Sharp, Stain & Corrosion Resistant, Awesome Edge Retention
Similar ProductsDamascus chef knives, Japanese sushi products
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We’ve added answers to some frequently asked questions to this guide.
We’ve added answers to some frequently asked questions to this guide.
Our picks remain the same (only our budget pick is relatively new, as of December 2020), and we continue to long-term test them at home.
February 26, 2021
A great chef’s knife can revolutionize your daily meal prep. If your knife is comfortable to use and razor sharp, you can chop ingredients faster and with more control (and therefore more safely). Even for those who find cooking to be a chore, a quality chef’s knife might make the task feel easier. After putting in over 150 hours of research—and chopping more than 70 pounds of produce with 23 knives—we recommend the Mac Mighty MTH-80. It’s been our pick since 2013, and over the years it has proved to be dependable, sharp, comfortable to use, and a crowd favorite in our tests.
Selecting a chef’s knife has a lot to do with personal preference, but we’re confident that the Mac Mighty MTH-80 is one of the most widely appealing knives out there. Its razor-sharp edge, comfortable handle, and agile blade make chopping tasks much easier, which in turn cuts down on meal-prep time. And its excellent edge retention means that, with proper care, the Mac will stay sharp for a long time.
If you want to spend less than $100—or you’d just like to add a Japanese gyuto knife to your collection—the Tojiro DP F-808 is an excellent choice. Thanks to its extremely sharp edge, super-hard steel, quality construction, and affordable price, this model is one of the best values in Japanese-made knives. The flat belly curve makes the Tojiro ideal if you use a push-pull cutting motion, and it’s excellent for fine cuts and paper-thin slices of vegetables and meat. The Tojiro knife is thinner and more brittle than our top pick, so its edge is more vulnerable to microscopic chips when you use it on dense vegetables like butternut squash. Although we think the Tojiro DP F-808 is a great knife, it needs a little more TLC than the Mac MTH-80.
If you’re accustomed to the feel of a heavier German knife, the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife is sharp and sturdy, and it fits our criteria for a good knife. Compared with the other forged German knives we tested, the Classic Ikon’s thinner blade cut more smoothly through butternut squash and carrots. We liked how easily it maneuvered around curves when cutting away butternut squash skin and citrus rinds. But the Classic Ikon’s blade is made of softer steel than that of our top pick, the Mac MTH-80, which means it will dull faster. And like all the German knives we tested, this Wüsthof is heavier than our top pick, weighing 9 ounces (2½ ounces more than the Mac Mighty).
The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the best knife you can buy for under $50. It’s a favorite of several food publications and budget-conscious home cooks, and it has an ergonomically shaped plastic handle that appeals to most people. The factory edge isn’t as sharp as that of our other picks, so in our tests it left us with split carrots and unevenly halved butternut squash. However, most testers preferred the Victorinox for its maneuverability and comfortable feel, compared with the other budget knives we tried.
Why you should trust us
Over the course of my two-decade (and counting) culinary career, I’ve cooked in fine-dining restaurants, brewpubs, small cafés, private homes, and test kitchens. I’ve also covered knives for this site since 2015, racking up over 120 hours of research and testing. Tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish have crossed my cutting board over the years. I’ve either owned or used every major brand of chef’s knife, as well as a good number of artisanal blades.
In 2017, we gathered a testing panel of seasoned cooking pros and curious home cooks in our test kitchen to chop, slice, dice, julienne, chiffonade, and mince with the 15 knives we collected. The panel included Wirecutter staff members as well as Sam Sifton, food editor at The New York Times.
To get the opinions of some professional chefs, we sent the top-performing chef’s knives from our in-house test kitchen to the kitchen at Le Coucou (recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 award for Best New Restaurant) in New York City. The chefs and line cooks there used the knives during prep and service for a week.
Over the years, I’ve also interviewed:
- Brendan McDermott, chef instructor of knife skills at Kendall College in Chicago
- Murray Carter, Master Smith and 17th-generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith
- Howard Nourieli, owner of Bowery Kitchen Supplies (now closed) in New York City
- Wendy Yang, showroom manager at Korin, a Japanese knife shop in New York City
- Executive chef Daniel Rose and his staff at Le Coucou in New York City
Who should get this
Whether you cook seven nights a week or hardly at all, every kitchen should have a chef’s knife. Of all the pieces in a cutlery set, the chef’s knife is the most versatile and gets the most use.
Most people already have knives in their kitchen. But if you have an old knife set or a hodge-podge of hand-me-downs that aren’t cutting it anymore, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Likewise, if your once-nice knife has been used and abused and never sharpened—or sharpened improperly—it’s time for a new one. Dull kitchen knives aren’t just a bummer to use—they’re also more dangerous than a razor-sharp edge. A sharp knife is more precise, and there’s less of a chance of the blade slipping off your food and into your finger.
Of all the pieces in a cutlery set, the chef’s knife is the most versatile and gets the most use.
Maybe you’re on a budget and outfitting your first kitchen. Since an 8-inch chef’s knife can tackle 90% of cutting jobs, you can sidestep the sticker shock of buying an entire knife set by getting one good chef’s knife, which you can use until you generate more funds to build out your cutlery collection.
Most chef’s knives you’ll find come in two styles: German, and a double-edged Japanese take on German knives (which are called gyuto). What works for you comes down to a combination of personal preference, cutting style, and comfort.
- This is the most widely recognized style of chef’s knife in the West. The belly of the blade has a pronounced curve that tapers to a sharp tip, which is best if you prefer to cut using a rocking motion (meaning the knife never leaves the cutting board, and you use the belly curve to slice through food). Wüsthof and Zwilling J.A. Henckels are the most popular German knife producers.
- Most of these knives have a bolster—a thick metal cuff—between the blade and handle. Unlike Japanese knives, some German knives have full bolsters that extend all the way to the blade edge. Full bolsters add weight to the knife and require a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade.
- German knives generally weigh more and have thicker blades than their Japanese counterparts, making them great for tough jobs like breaking lobsters and splitting bone-in chicken breasts.
- Their blades have an even bevel (meaning both sides are ground to the same angle) and tend to be made of softer steel, so they can lose their edge more quickly. But the softer steel makes German knives more resistant to chipping.
- Gyutos generally have thinner blades with flatter belly curves than German knives, and they taper to a very sharp tip. The flat belly provides the most control if you cut using a push-pull motion (meaning the blade leaves the board after each cut, and you push the knife forward and down, or pull it back and down, to slice through food).
- You’ll never find a gyuto with a full bolster that extends to the edge (unlike with German knives). The lack of extra steel allows you to sharpen the knife yourself, because you can evenly grind the edge all the way to the heel on a home sharpener or whetstone.
- Because gyutos are thinner and made of hard carbon steel, their edge takes a much more acute bevel angle, and they tend to stay sharper longer than German knives. This design makes gyutos great for paper-thin slices and precise cuts. But high-carbon steel can develop rust easier than stainless steel, so Japanese gyutos require more care than German knives. It’s important to wash and dry the knife thoroughly after use (especially after cutting acidic fruits and vegetables).
- Many Japanese knives have single or uneven bevels. This means one side of the bevel is ground to a more acute angle than the other. For this guide, however, we focused on gyutos with even bevels, which are easier for home cooks to sharpen and maintain.
How we picked
Since 2013, we’ve racked up over 150 hours researching and comparing more than 100 knives. For each update, we look at new releases, up-and-coming brands, and more knives from the producers of our picks. In 2020, we tested the 8-inch chef’s knife from Food52’s Five Two Essential Knives collection, and we retested our new budget pick, the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.
Determining the “ideal” knife for any one person is both objective and subjective.
We’ve ruled out any small-batch blade crafters, since forging a knife by hand is time consuming, costly, and usually a custom-order affair. You also won’t see santoku knives in this guide; santokus have shorter blades, generally 6 or 7 inches, that limit their ability to slice through large vegetables with one cut. And because a chef’s knife is an essential piece of kitchen equipment, we wanted to keep our picks accessible for most budgets. So knives with price tags above $200 didn’t make the cut.
Determining the “ideal” knife for any one person is both objective and subjective. A chef’s knife is the main workhorse in your kitchen-cutlery arsenal, tackling 80% to 90% of cutting tasks. It’s an extension of your hand that can slice and dice most vegetables, chop a mound of herbs, and handle simple meat cuts like cubing beef or slicing chicken into strips. So factors such as sharpness, edge retention, durability, versatility, and easy maintenance are key to the performance of any good chef’s knife. But things like comfort, weight, balance, and price are mostly a personal preference. As New York Times food editor Sam Sifton told us during testing, “[A good knife] is the balance of utility and the thing that moves your heart.”
What to look for in a chef’s knife
Sharpness: A brand-new knife comes with what’s called a “factory edge,” which is usually very sharp. The edge should be keen enough to slice through paper straight out of the box. Your knife should remain sharp through moderate use for six to 12 months, as long as you hone it regularly, wash and dry it by hand after each use, and store it so the edge doesn’t get dinged up. (For more on knife care, see our discussion of care and maintenance.) You don’t have as much control with a dull edge, which increases both your prep time and your chances of cutting yourself.
Edge retention, steel hardness, and durability: A crazy-sharp factory edge isn’t worth much if it dulls quickly. Good edge retention relies on a combination of steel composition and hardness, blade thickness, and bevel angle. When a blade is thin and made from a hard steel, the edge can take and hold a tight angle.
Length: Chef’s knife blades range from 6 to 14 inches long. We think an 8-inch knife is the perfect length for most people because it’s long enough to halve large vegetables but still manageable for most home cooks. Brendan McDermott, chef instructor of knife skills at Kendall College, said, “I tend to always tell people to go bigger rather than smaller, but I think an 8-inch chef’s knife is a happy medium and perfect for almost anybody.”
Bolster: Bolsters are metal cuffs that can help balance knives with a heavy blade—such as the Wüsthof Classic Ikon—where you want more weight in the handle. A full bolster extends to the heel of the blade, while a half-bolster doesn’t. For lighter knives such as gyutos, a bolster isn’t necessary. For this guide, we chose to exclude full-bolster knives from our tests. Full bolsters make sharpening your knife more difficult, because eventually you’ll need to find a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade and maintain a flat edge.
Forged or stamped blade: Blades are either forged or stamped, and both methods can produce high- or low-quality knives.
Most mass-produced Western-forged knives are drop-forged, meaning the manufacturer heats a blank of steel to an extremely high temperature and then uses a high-pressure hammer to pound it into the shape of a blade. Stamped blades, as the name suggests, are punched out of sheet metal before further refinement and sharpening. The quality of stamped blades varies widely, from the flimsy knives found at grocery stores to our top pick and runner-up pick. Knife makers like Mac and Tojiro heat-treat their blades to make them just as strong as forged steel.
Balance: Knife balance means different things to different people. The blade, handle, and sometimes a bolster all contribute to a knife’s weight distribution. Some people want a blade-heavy knife, while others think the blade and the handle should be the same weight. A half-bolster or bolsterless knife will be more blade-heavy, whereas a full bolster throws more weight to the handle. Balance boils down to personal preference. If you’re not sure what kind of balance you prefer, go to a kitchen store and handle as many knives as possible to see what feels right.
Comfort: The best knives have handles that fit comfortably, which can vary depending on the size and shape of your hand and the way you grip the knife. Try to get your hands on as many knives as possible to find a good fit. If you can, cut some vegetables to look for knuckle clearance—nothing is quite as annoying as banging your knuckles on the board while chopping. Just like balance, comfort is a personal thing.
What’s a tang, and is it important? The tang is the piece of metal inside the handle. Many big knife makers claim that a full tang extending through the whole handle helps balance the knife. Brendan McDermott told us he agreed: “Having the full tang really helps balance the blade so the handle and the blade can remain at an even balance.”
Chad Ward argues in An Edge in the Kitchen that a full tang is unnecessary since knife balance is largely a personal preference. That said, most of the chef’s knives we tested had full tangs with riveted handles. We think this design is so common because the full tang has stood as a benchmark of quality among both knife makers and cooks.
What about dimpled blades? Some chef’s knives have oval dimples carved just above the edge. This granton edge, as it’s called, has long been a common feature on slicing and santoku knives. Knife makers claim the air pockets keep food from sticking to the blade. Even though our top pick has a granton edge, we don’t find dimples to be very effective at keeping food from clinging to a knife. But they certainly don’t hurt, either.
We couldn’t test all of the possible contenders that fit our criteria, so we’ve focused on popular, widely available knives. Since we first published this guide in 2013, we’ve tested 23 knives that all had an 8-inch blade, carried a price tag of $200 or less, lacked a full bolster, and came with recommendations from experts and trusted editorial sources.
How we tested
We tested chef’s knives on a bounty of produce. Photo: Michael Hession
Senior editor Marguerite Preston (foreground) and New York Times food editor Sam Sifton tested chef’s knives in our test kitchen. Photo: Michael Hession
Our staffers compared knives side by side. Photo: Michael Hession
Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton explains the difference between full and half bolsters. Photo: Michael Hession
For the 2017 update of this guide, we invited six friends and colleagues of all culinary stripes to our test kitchen to participate in a chopping panel. We sliced, diced, julienned, peeled, and chiffonaded a pile of butternut squash, onions, carrots, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs to gauge the knives’ versatility with foods of varying textures. We looked for sharpness, precision, maneuverability, and comfort.
We then sent the top-performing knives to the kitchen at Le Coucou in New York City (the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant of 2017), where the cooks used them for prep and during service. Since chefs and cooks are very passionate about their knives, we wanted their unbridled opinions of our favorites.
In 2020, we had to pare down our testing. I tested two knives in my home kitchen, cutting butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, and carrots. I also used them for daily meal prep to see if I found them sharp and comfortable to use day in and day out.
Our pick: Mac Mighty MTH-80
The Mac Mighty MTH-80 is our favorite knife because it’s crazy sharp and will stay that way longer than most other knives. It was the standout favorite for all our testers, regardless of their cutting style or the size of their hands. We found it had the best weight and balance; it felt more agile than the German models and more durable than the thin Japanese gyutos. The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives, curved just enough for rocking but still straight enough for push-pull choppers. It’s the only knife we tested that I can safely recommend to most people without reservations.
Out of the box, this Mac model sliced straight through paper, which is something our budget pick, the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, couldn’t manage. It also made straight cuts through the thick center of butternut squash, which, again, the Victorinox couldn’t do.
In our tests, the MTH-80 always made clean cuts through fibrous carrots. The cut edges of basil stayed mostly green with very little oxidation, meaning the Mac’s razor-sharp edge broke very few of the herb’s cells. To be honest, all the Japanese knives did a superb job on our basil test, because they’re sharper and thinner, whereas the six budget knives we tested ($20 to $40 models) turned the basil black within five minutes. The heftier drop-forged German knives fell somewhere in between, causing only a moderate amount of bruising and oxidation to the basil.
The daytime kitchen crew at Le Coucou used the MTH-80 for prep and during lunch service for a week and praised its outstanding performance on vegetables, herbs, and fish. Scott Markowitz, sous chef at Le Coucou, said, “[The Mac] was the favorite of all the cooks. We used it on shallots, herbs, and even slicing fluke for crudo. It was the best overall for basic mise en place.”
The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives.
Because the Mac’s stamped blade is made of very hard steel (it has a Rockwell hardness of 59 to 61), it will keep its sharp edge longer than softer blades, such as those of the Victorinox Fibrox Pro and Wüsthof Classic Ikon, which are hardened to 56 and 58 HRC (PDF), respectively. Adam Brach, sauté cook at Le Coucou, said, “I’m pretty sure [out of all the cooks] I do the most knife work in the morning as far as chopping shallots and onions and stuff. [The Mac MTH-80] held the best edge.”
Mac’s proprietary steel isn’t as brittle as the super-hard Japanese VG-10 steel that manufacturers use for most gyuto knives. This means it’s less likely to chip (which the Tojiro DP F-808 did after we used it to cut hard butternut squash). And because the MTH-80’s blade is slightly thinner than a German knife blade (measuring 0.0976 inch at the thickest part of the spine), maintaining its keen edge will be easier as you sharpen it throughout the years. In comparison, the Wüsthof Classic Ikon measures 0.1187 inch.
The Mac’s dimpled blade. Photo: Michael Murtaugh
The Mac Mighty MTH-80 was one of the few knives in our test group to cut straight through the center of a butternut squash. Photo: Michael Hession
Across our 15 testers, everyone agreed that the Mac model was comfortable to hold and use. Most testers, including Sam Sifton, named the MTH-80 as their top choice of all the contenders. The blade geometry is unique in that the edge curve is more articulated than on a classic gyuto but not quite as extreme as on a German knife. It offers the best of both worlds. As one tester put it, “I really like this knife—Japanese design and German heft.”
Even testers with larger hands found that the handle gave plenty of knuckle clearance. By comparison, the Tojiro didn’t offer enough knuckle clearance for larger hands. Although the MTH-80’s handle is slightly short, most testers found it comfortable to grip.
At 6.6 ounces, the Mac MTH-80 is lighter than a German drop-forged knife but heavier and sturdier-feeling than many gyutos. That is partly due to the thickness of its spine: This Mac knife’s 0.0976-inch spine is relatively thicker than those of other gyutos we tested, and that gives this knife some heft. In our tests, the MTH-80 didn’t feel as delicate when cutting through tough vegetables like butternut squash, but it still had the smooth slicing feel of a thin blade. By comparison, at their thickest parts, the Togiharu Molybdenum comes in at 0.0754 inch, the Tojiro DP F-808 at 0.0817 inch, and the Global G-2 at 0.0754 inch.
The Mac MTH-80 has dimples on both sides of the blade to reduce the chances of food sticking to the knife. We don’t think this feature is its biggest selling point. In our tests, the dimples were merely mildly effective, and we noticed the difference only when cutting butternut squash. Slices of squash stuck to the blades of every knife we tested, but removing them from the Mac’s blade was much easier.
Even though the Mac Mighty MTH-80 tends to be on the pricier end of the knives we tested, we think its combination of performance and superior build will give you many years of happy use—much more than a budget knife. In that respect, $145 or so is a bargain.
Cooking For Engineers rated the Mac MTH-80 as the top pick, after an exhaustive test of chef’s knives. In An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward writes that the MTH-80 is “a treat to use.” Ward adds: “They are extremely popular among chefs and line cooks because they are comfortable, reasonably priced, high-quality knives that come with an aggressive edge and hold it for a very long time.”
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We understand that the price of the Mac MTH-80 may be off-putting for some people. But because it’s made of quality materials, we think it could last a lifetime, with proper maintenance. Check out the section on how to keep your knife like a pro for tips on extending the life of the most important tool in your kitchen.
We found some reviews on Amazon complaining about the blade staining. I spoke with a Mac customer service representative, who explained that the knife’s high carbon content meant that sometimes—especially when you don’t rinse and dry the knife after cutting corrosive acidic foods, like citrus or tomatoes—you might see a rust spot. If you want a more stain-resistant knife, get a Wüsthof. But by paying a little attention to care, you will keep your Mac knife clean and spot-free.
It has also come to our attention that Mac’s 25-year warranty is voided if you purchase the knife through unauthorized third-party vendors. Though Amazon links out to this warranty in its product information section, the knife is available only through these specific Amazon vendors: Cooking Depot, Cutlery and More, The House of Rice Store, MVTRADING, Urban Living, Whittle Workhorse, Yokohama Gifts, and YokohamaUSA. Mac is also starting up its own Amazon storefront, called Mac Knife, and it’s slowly adding inventory. But as of late 2020, the MTH-80 isn’t available through Mac’s Amazon storefront. We endeavor to always link to authorized vendors, but Amazon sometimes redirects to unauthorized vendors in times of low stock. Be sure to check what vendor you’re buying from before purchasing. You can find more information on that warranty on Mac’s site.
Long-term test notes
We’ve had a Mac MTH-80 in regular rotation in our test kitchen since 2015, and it’s still our favorite knife. Former deputy editor Michael Zhao, who uses both the Mac and the Wüsthof Classic Ikon regularly at home, said that the Mac is noticeably harder. He sharpens it “once a year or so,” whereas the Ikon needs sharpening every six months. His only complaint is that “the handle is a bit small in my hand, and I don’t have very large hands.” But as we’ve noted elsewhere in this guide, the feel of a knife in your hand has a lot to do with personal preference.
Runner-up: Tojiro DP F-808
If the Mac MTH-80 isn’t available, or if you want to add a Japanese gyuto to your collection, the Tojiro DP F-808 is an exceptional knife for the price. This classic gyuto has a flatter belly curve than our top pick, a design best for people who use a push-pull cutting style. In our tests, the thin, razor-sharp edge cut through vegetables with the precision of a scalpel. Thin strips of basil stayed green with little bruising or oxidation. Testers liked chopping vegetables with the Tojiro because of its sharpness, control, and easy handling. One colleague fell in love with the Tojiro DP F-808 and bought it immediately after the test. But it didn’t surpass the Mac Mighty MTH-80 for several reasons.
The Tojiro DP F-808 is shaped like a classic gyuto, with a straighter edge, no bolster, and a pointed tip. Its lack of a curve in the belly makes cutting with a rocking motion awkward, so if that’s what you’re used to, we suggest learning the push-pull cutting style. We like this Tojiro model for slicing leeks, green onions, and herbs into fine julienne, but it’s also great for handling most fruit and vegetable prep, and slicing boneless meat filets.
The thin, razor-sharp edge cut through vegetables with the precision of a scalpel.
Like the Mac Mighty MTH-80, the Tojiro DP F-808 has more heft than lighter knives, such as the Global G-2 and Togiharu Molybdenum. The crew at Le Coucou noted that the Tojiro was heavier than they preferred (though it’s only two-tenths of an ounce heavier than the Mac), but they rated its edge retention on a par with that of the more expensive Mac. Tojiro’s steel core is harder than the surface material; that hardness helps the blade hold a better edge, but it appears to be more brittle than Mac’s homogeneous construction. We found a tiny, almost microscopic nick in the Tojiro knife’s blade after cutting butternut squash. As it turns out, the company’s website recommends the knife not be used for cutting pumpkin (or frozen foods), because the hard vegetable can chip your blade. But because this Tojiro knife’s core has the hardest steel of all our picks, its edge retention is exceptional for the price. We still believe this model is one of the best values in kitchen cutlery.
Testers with smaller hands found the Tojiro DP F-808’s handle comfortable and didn’t have any issues with their knuckles hitting the cutting board. But knuckle clearance was scarce for testers with larger hands.
In An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward cites Tojiro DP knives as “the bargain of the century.” He writes, “The quality of the handle fit can be variable, and the handles themselves are blocky, but the performance of these knives is outstanding, especially for the price.”
This Tojiro gyuto has been a popular knife in our test kitchen since 2015. We especially like its smooth slicing action and blade-heavy balance. Several Wirecutter staff members also have the Tojiro and love it. Senior staff writer Michael Sullivan has been using the Tojiro at home since 2017 and said that, as of late 2020, “It continues to hold its razor-sharp edge with minimal sharpening. It’s my go-to knife for chopping vegetables and delicate herbs with precision. It’s well balanced and easy to maneuver.”
Tojiro doesn’t offer a warranty on its knives sold outside of Japan. Instead, it’s on individual authorized retailers to offer a warranty on Tojiro products. We reached out to most of Tojiro’s authorized retailers (ArtsiHome, Cutlery and More, DistrictSale, EZbrands, and Top Quality Merch), and as of this writing, only Cutlery and More affirmed that it honors a lifetime warranty on Tojiro knives. We’ll update this guide when we get information from the other sellers.
A classic German knife: Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife
We think the Mac Mighty MTH-80 is a better knife, but if you like the heft and the more substantial feel of a drop-forged German knife, we recommend the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife. Its factory edge is sharp, but not as keen as those of our top pick and runner-up pick. Compared with other German knives we tested, the Classic Ikon has a thinner blade, a more comfortable handle, and a more manageable belly curve for better leverage and control.
In our tests, the Wüsthof Classic Ikon cut smoothly through butternut squash and onions, although carrots did split slightly. Like the other drop-forged German knives we tested, it caused moderate bruising to cut basil. Compared with the Mac Mighty MTH-80, this Wüsthof knife was less agile and sharp when peeling the skin from butternut squash.
The Classic Ikon’s blade is thicker than the MTH-80’s, measuring 0.1187 inch at the spine. But it isn’t as thick as that of the Messermeister Meridian Elité (0.1461 inch) or the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Zwilling Pro (0.1298 inch). That thinner blade makes the Classic Ikon a tad lighter than other German knives, and it means that over the long run, it will be able to take a sharper edge than the thicker knives.
Many testers liked the Classic Ikon’s smooth, rounded handle, which fit nicely into the palm. It was much more comfortable than the Messermeister Meridian Elité’s handle, with its hard angles. The Classic Ikon’s gently curved blade also offered more control; the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Zwilling Pro and Wüsthof Classic Uber, by comparison, had such aggressively curved blades that they made simple cutting tasks feel awkward.
One advantage the Classic Ikon has over the Mac MTH-80 is that its softer stainless steel blade is more durable. If you drop a Wüsthof into a sink or wait to clean it after cutting acidic foods, it shouldn’t chip, stain, or corrode. (But that kind of treatment will destroy the blade’s edge, so don’t do that to your knife.) On the other hand, that soft stainless steel also means that the edge of this Wüsthof model will dull faster and require more regular sharpening.
Former Wirecutter deputy editor Michael Zhao told us that he loves the Classic Ikon, but he noticed the difference between its softer steel and the harder Mac MTH-80. While using the Ikon at home almost every day, he had to sharpen it every six months or so; the Mac, meanwhile, can go at least a year between sharpenings. Wirecutter senior editor Jen Hunter also loves the Ikon and said she’s used it for about 10 years. She likes the comfortable handle and appreciates the weight compared with lighter knives, which “often feel like they’re going to fly out of my hand.”
The Wüsthof Classic Ikon comes with a lifetime limited warranty (PDF) that covers manufacturing defects and damage occurring under “normal use and conditions.” Damage from accidents, misuse, and abuse are not covered.
We also recommend Wüsthof’s Classic Ikon in our guide to knife sets. The seven-piece Classic Ikon set is a great option if you know you like German knives and have the cash to drop on a whole set.
Budget pick: Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the best you can buy for under $50. It’s good for folks who don’t want to spend a lot, and especially good for beginner cooks because it’s durable. We wouldn’t go so far as to call the Victorinox a “beater knife,” but the polished stainless steel blade and ergonomic plastic handle can withstand more abuse than, say, the Tojiro DP gyuto. The Victorinox’s gentle curved edge is good for any chopping style, and its wide blade lets you easily scoop and transfer food from the cutting board. It’s the least sharp of all our picks, but the factory edge is still pretty keen—especially if you’re used to cutting with old dull knives.
The Victorinox’s stamped blade is made from the same steel (an alloy called X50CrMoV15, known for its durability, edge retention, and rust resistance) as most German knives, including the drop-forged Wüsthof Classic Ikon. Comparatively, the Fibrox Pro has a slightly thinner blade and feels lighter in the hand than the Classic Ikon. That said, they’re both well-balanced tools.
If you’re looking for the sharpest knife out of the box, the Victorinox isn’t it. It’s our only pick that couldn’t cut paper when brand new. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still pretty sharp, and it allowed us to dice onions, julienne carrots, and halve a butternut squash with relative ease and accuracy. It’s not as keen as the Mac or the Tojiro, and you’ll need to hone it regularly as well as maybe invest in a home knife sharpener. But if you’re replacing an old dull knife or buying your first kitchen blade on a budget, the Victorinox won’t disappoint.
Most testers agreed that the Fibrox handle offered the most comfortable and secure grip of all the budget knives we evaluated. It’s not too bulky for folks with small hands, and our larger-handed testers had enough knuckle clearance from the cutting board.
Victorinox covers the 8-inch Fibrox Pro knife with a limited lifetime warranty that excludes normal wear and tear, misuse, or abuse.
How to examine a knife
When you are buying a knife, it’s good to spot-check the spine and edge for defects. Hold the handle with the edge facing downward and look along the spine to make sure the blade is perfectly straight.
Next, turn the knife over and examine the edge. If you see any light reflecting back at you, that indicates a roll spot in the factory edge. You can grind it out with sharpening, but you shouldn’t have to sharpen a brand-new knife. Don’t be shy about asking for many versions of the same knife to decide on the particular one you want to take home. At Korin, a knife store in New York City, the staff members usually bring out two or three of the same knife so you can examine them and choose the one you like.
How to use a chef’s knife
A pinch grip is the most secure way to hold your chef’s knife. We strongly urge you to train yourself to use the pinch grip. You’ll have more control over your knife and, as a result, cut yourself less. You’ll also develop faster knife skills, and that’s awesome.
German knife blades are curved and designed for a rocking chopping motion. In this motion (shown above), the tip of the knife mostly keeps contact with the cutting board, and you raise and lower the heel while your guiding hand pushes food underneath the blade.
Because Japanese knives have straighter edges, with these knives it’s better to use a push-pull motion, lifting the whole knife off the board for each cut (demonstrated above). If you decide to make the jump from German to Japanese knives, this motion will take some getting used to.
How to keep your knife like a pro
It’s easy to care for a knife—it just takes attention and two extra minutes. Simply hand-wash and dry it thoroughly after each use. Never put any sharp blade in the dishwasher because it’s not good for the edge to bump up against other things, such as glassware and ceramic—materials that are harder than the steel. Don’t use anything abrasive on the blade, such as a Brillo pad or a scouring sponge, which can make little scratches in the metal.
Never throw unprotected knives into a drawer, where they will dull quickly. Wall-mounted magnetic strips—such as the Benchcrafted Mag-Blok we recommend in our guide to small-kitchen gear—are better and safer. If you don’t want a magnetic strip mounted to your wall, buy a blade guard. That way you can store your knife in a drawer and keep the edge protected.
Use your knife only on a wood, plastic, or rubber cutting board. Do not, by any means, let your edge hit glass, granite, marble, or ceramics—not even a quick slice on a dinner plate. Master Smith Murray Carter explained, “Anything that has any degree of hardness that approaches metal, especially ceramic that’s 10 times harder than metal … as soon as it makes contact with the edge, it dulls it.”
Honing and sharpening
Keep a sharp cutting edge longer with a honing rod. Using this tool doesn’t actually sharpen the blade—its sole purpose is to realign the microscopic teeth on the edge that bend and get knocked out of alignment during the course of use. Although steel is a classic choice for honing rods, sometimes the material is softer than your knife, rendering it useless. A ceramic rod is better because it’s harder than the hardest steel but has a smooth grit, so it won’t chew up the edge of your knife while it realigns the edge. Hone your knife before each use, and you’ll be golden.
As you watch a chef whipping a knife down the rod toward their hand at lightning speed, it’s easy to see yourself taking a thumb off. But the task is not as difficult as it looks. You have two ways to effectively hone a knife.
The key with both styles of honing is to make sure the edge bevel is flush to the rod. If you’re starting out, it’s safer to place the tip of the honing rod on a cutting board, with the rod perpendicular to the board. Start with your knife toward the rod’s handle and then pull down from heel to tip. Repeat on the other side of your knife and continue for four or five reps.
The way most pros do it is to point the tip of the rod up and pull the knife down toward the handle.
Eventually your knife will need sharpening. Depending on your use, that could mean every six months to a year. You’ll know it’s time when you have to work to get through skins of tomatoes or cucumbers. If you want to send your knives out for sharpening, it’s important that you look for a professional who knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately, that’s really hard to find. We suggest asking a local chef where they would send their own personal knives (not the cheap kitchen prep knives). Generally, chefs sharpen their own knives, but they usually know of a reputable knife person.
If you learn how to sharpen your own knives, you will have tools that are truly yours. Murray Carter told us he highly recommended it. He said, “It’s a mentality perspective. Who in Western society ever thinks about sharpening their own knives?” Carter continued, “Once they have a new sharpening skill, it empowers them to have mastery over the cutlery they own.”
We like these Japanese stones and have used them for years. For online tutorials, check out these videos from Murray Carter and Korin that show you how to use whetstones. After some education and a lot of practice, you’ll be able to sharpen any old knife to a pro-style edge.
If you learn how to sharpen your own knives, you will have tools that are truly yours.
The Best Chef's Knife
After researching popular models and consulting the author of an excellent new book on kitchen cutlery, we tested 14 highly-rated chef's knives by chopping, slicing, and dicing a variety of foods over the course of two weeks. In the end, we loved six knives: A razor-keen all-rounder that can handle any job, two classic workhorses that are excellent for tough tasks, a scalpel-sharp tool for those demanding surgical precision, a wonderful featherweight kitchen knife, and a best-value pick.
Our top picks:
Read on to learn what makes a great chef's knife, and our detailed reviews of each knife.
In Search of the Best Chef’s Knife
A knife is probably the only kitchen tool you must use every single time you prepare food. Even a stove can be optional—you can do without it to make a salad, say, or tartare, but a good chef's knife is indispensable. Humans' reliance on knives goes way, way back—some scientists say that what really made us human was the moment when, about two and a half million years ago, some pre-human ancestors used a crude stone blade to cut up a carcass. The ability to cut up meat, share it, store it, and carry it, allowed us to consume more calories and to relate to each other differently. Our brains got bigger, our jaws got smaller, our tools got more sophisticated and our cooperation improved—the whole progression of human history sparked by the knife. And all of it leading to you, standing in Williams Sonoma, debating between a Wüsthof and a Global.
Related: The Best Knife Sharpeners
There is no such thing as the best chef's knife—finding the knife that works best for you involves considering many variables, like the size of your hands, the style of your cooking, and what feels natural and comfortable to you. For the purposes of this story, I limited the testing to eight-inch, Western-style, or hybrid Japanese-Western chef's knives with a list price under $200, though most cost significantly less than that.
Loosely, two attributes characterize a Western or hybrid style chef's knife. First, the belly of the blade is more or less curved, so that you can use the rocking chopping motion—in which the tip of the knife doesn't leave the cutting board—that's common in Western kitchens. And second, the blade edge is beveled on both sides, creating a cutting edge shaped like a "v," rather than beveled on only one side, as is traditional for some Japanese knives.
A Word on Steel
The much-simplified big picture is that if you are looking for an all-purpose 8-inch chef's knife—one that's in a reasonable price range and carried by most retailers—you have a choice between heavy-duty, German-style models (like Wüsthof), which are usually made with slightly softer steel alloys ("alloy" just means a mix of different metals), or lighter Japanese-style models (like Shun), which are usually made with harder steel alloys. Neither is necessarily better than the other. They are just different, especially in terms of the way they feel and move in your hand.
Harder steel holds a sharper edge for a longer period of time but can be more difficult to sharpen once it does get dull. And a very hard, very sharp edge can also be more delicate and brittle than a softer one, making cutting up a heavy squash, say, a little risky to the blade. (However, a knifemaker can mitigate that brittleness by adding another element to the mix: Molybdenum, for instance, is often used to give a very hard steel more flexibility.) A softer steel alloy, like those used in the German tradition, might be less sharp to begin with and get dull a little faster. But it can be easier to re-sharpen, and better for heavier-duty jobs, like splitting bone-in chicken breasts, without worry that you're going to damage the blade. Speaking very generally, harder steel is sharper and more delicate, while softer steel is tougher. If you're shopping for a knife, you can ask where it falls on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. Low to mid-50s is on the softer end, mid-50s to low 60s is hard.
"If you are going to the Antarctic tomorrow, and you can only bring one knife, get a German eight-inch chef's knife," says Tim Hayward, chef, and author of the newly released book, Knife: The Culture, Craft, and Cult of the Cook's Knife. "For everyone else, I have no way of knowing if you prefer heavy or light, a deeper throat, a special blade, something bigger. It's intensely personal. A little emotional. A little experiential."
Hayward's advice? Bring a bag of overripe tomatoes with you to the knife store. "If they won't let you test the knives, walk right out," he says. "You won't really know which knife you like best until you use it to slice an overripe tomato."
All that being said, it's quite possible to narrow down the field first, to help you identify a knife that might be best for you. I tested 14 knives over the course of two weeks. I used them in the normal course of my daily cooking, just to get to know them, and I also tested them in six important tasks: dicing an onion, slicing basil into chiffonade, slicing tomatoes, cubing butternut squash, supreming an orange, and cutting up a whole chicken. (Though I used kitchen shears to cut through the chicken ribs to separate the breast from the back, as no chef's knife is really meant to cut through bone, only through joints and cartilage.) Those tasks tell you almost everything you need to know about whether a knife is nimble and sharp, sturdy and powerful, and above all, comfortable and secure-feeling.
The knives ranged from $38 to about $200, and I found that price isn't necessarily commensurate with quality and performance, though the very best knives are not cheap. They ranged in weight from 5.8 ounces to 9.95 ounces, and there were winners and losers on both ends of the weight spectrum.
A note on keeping your knives sharp: You can buy the best knife there is, but eventually you will need to sharpen it or it will be useless. (Honing a knife on a ceramic rod is not the same as sharpening; honing will smooth and maintain the blade between sharpenings.) Home cooks can bring the knife to a professional or can buy a simple, plastic wheel grinder, which makes sharpening cheap, fast, and foolproof. (Like this one, which works for most chef's knives, though it is recommended for MAC.) Hayward says that he likes to relax at night with a glass of wine and a whetstone and painstakingly sharpen his hundreds of knives. But, take his advice: "If you want a life, you want a wheel grinder," he said. "You'll have the sharpest knife on the block and still have time to play with your kids."
The Best Chef’s Knives
Best Overall: MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef's Knife with Dimples, $144 (originally $175) at amazon.com
Hayward calls this knife a "terrific all-rounder," and I agree. Made in Japan, it has a hard, super-sharp blade and a simple wooden handle that's extremely comfortable and feels secure in the hand. It's razor-sharp for a reason—MAC's founder modeled the company's knives on razors. The blade is beveled to a very thin, very acute angle, which makes it extraordinarily sharp. The high carbon stainless steel makes it quite hard, but also has a dose of molybdenum, which lessens brittleness and makes the metal more flexible, less likely to chip. It's light and feels balanced, with a shape that's natural and easy to control. It can chiffonade basil cleanly, without bruising the leaves at all. It effortlessly bites through tomato skin and dices an onion with ease. It supremes an orange quickly and precisely. The combination of the razor-like blade and the familiar, comfortable blade shape and handle were, for me, what made it the very best choice overall. It is on the light side, but not the lightest of the light: It is less well suited to cutting up a whole chicken or butternut squash than the German knives, but it was the best Japanese knife for those tasks, with just enough heft to get the job done. If I could only have one knife, I would definitely choose this one. (Weight: 6.8 ounces.)>
Best Tough Workhorses:
Wüsthof Classic 8-inch Cook's Knife, $140 at amazon.com
J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife, $65 (originally $109) at amazon.com and zwilling.com
These are the indestructible German blades that Hayward would take to a desert island. Both are made of slightly softer steel than the best Japanese knives, and therefore they feel a little less sharp. They are heavy and powerful, less nimble than the lighter knives, but they are both excellent at cutting up a chicken (including cutting through the chicken breastbone to spit the breasts, which I was afraid to do with some of the sharper blades) and cubing butternut squash—far and away the best at those two tasks of all the knives I tested. If you cook big cuts of meat often, one of these is probably the best for you. And they are good all-around: There's nothing they can't do; it's just that I find them less easy to work with, and for some tasks, less than ideal. For instance, when you chiffonade basil with either model, the delicate leaves get ever-so-slightly bruised on the edges from the thicker blades. I find the Wusthof is the more comfortable of the two—very secure and well-balanced in the hand—and the wide-bellied blade makes it a breeze to chop with a rocking motion. But these two models have so many similarities in style, design, and performance, and such a difference in price, that it's hard to recommend the Wüsthof over the Henckels. So we'll call it a tie. (Weight: Wüsthof - 9.28 ounces, Henckels - 8.22 ounces.)
Best if You Live Near a Good Sharpener: Misono UX10 Gyutou (available at amazon.com)
When you chiffonade basil with this knife, it feels like the leaves are springing off the blade in perfect ribbons all by themselves. This knife is a joy. "Like butter," comes to mind over and over again. It feels almost alive in your hand, super light, and extremely agile. It bites through tomatoes with ease and supremes an orange into perfectly clean, neat segments in a few seconds. However, unlike the MAC, which has just enough sturdiness to deal with a chicken and butternut squash, this knife just doesn't have the oomph for hefty jobs. It has a scalpel-like delicacy and when I used it to tackle big, tough ingredients, it felt wrong, even a little dangerous, and I worried I would damage the blade. It also requires professional sharpening: One of the secrets to this knife's amazingness is the fact that it is honed to an asymmetrical edge—one side is 70 degrees and one is 30 degrees, so you have to buy a left-handed or a right-handed model. That's fine, but it will need to be sharpened by someone who knows what they are doing in order to stay that way. Hayward calls it "a living hell" to keep it sharpened correctly. (But he also thinks it's the best knife on this list if you have access to a pro sharpener.) If you run it through an at-home wheel sharpener, it will hone the blade to an even "v," which is standard, and you will lose the knife's distinct quality. So as much as I adore this knife, I can't recommend it as an all-purpose blade. (Weight: 5.82 ounces.)
Best Lightweight: Global G-2 Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife, $125 at amazon.com
This was my first knife—I saved for it for months when I was in my early 20s, so I have a soft spot for it. (As with all the knives, I tested with a brand new version to keep all the variables consistent.) If you're most comfortable with a very lightweight knife and want one that's easy to care for, this is the knife for you. It was the second-lightest knife I tested, only slightly heavier than the Misono, but it doesn't require special knowledge to sharpen. It's made of just one piece of metal, including the handle, which is hollow and filled with sand, which provides a subtle, shifting balance that you don't really notice while you're using it. The metal handle has dimples to provide the grip, and while some cooks think it gets slippery when used to cut chicken, meat, or anything juicy, I haven't found that to be the case. To me, it feels just right: Grippy, easy to control, and very nimble. It excels at tasks like slicing tomatoes, chiffonading basil, and dicing onion: It's quite sharp and bites right through. Although it's less well-suited to cutting up chicken or butternut squash, lacking the heft of the German models, with some extra care it can certainly get those jobs done. (Weight: 5.89 ounces.)
Best Value: Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife, $48 at amazon.com
This is a terrific knife for the price. It's in the hefty, powerful German style, made by a family-owned company in the United States. It ably handles just about anything you throw its way, though it's a bit clunky in the hand and less-than-razor-sharp on delicate ingredients like basil, on which it leaves subtle bruises. It was one of the best of all the knives at cutting up chicken—giving Wüsthof a run for its money—but was also surprisingly adept at slicing tomatoes, supreming oranges, and dicing onion. It has a simple, comfortable wooden handle without bells and whistles. (Weight: 8.32 ounces.)
Wusthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook's Knife (available at amazon.com)
I like this knife very much, in all the same ways I like the Classic Wüsthof, but the main difference between the two is the Ikon's contoured handle, which I find a little awkward. It's also $20 more expensive. So though this knife is very handsome, I'd opt for the Classic for both price and comfort reasons. However, every hand is different, so if you have a chance to try it out, see if you find it more comfortable than the Classic—if you do, it would be worth the extra $20. (Weight: 9.7 ounces.)
Shun Sora 8-inch Chef's Knife (available at amazon.com)
This is a scalpel-sharp knife with a very thin, nimble, extremely hard blade (about 61 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale) with a long, tapered tip. Like the other light, sharp Japanese knives, it did a fantastic job on everything but the chicken and the butternut squash, which, to be fair, it's not really designed for. It's also a fantastic value. I just couldn't get over how the light, plastic handle felt—it's not that it was uncomfortable, it's more that it made my grip feel less confident. Again, especially when it comes to handles, your mileage may vary, so this knife might be worth a try. (Weight: 6.6 ounces.)
Miyabi Kaizen (available at surlatable.com)
Another extremely sharp, hard blade, and one that I really liked. It had an effortless, precise way with onions, basil, and oranges. I often found myself reaching for it when I wasn't working—it rivaled (but didn't surpass) the MAC and Misono for razor sharpness and spring. Although the blade's performance was almost (but not quite!) comparable to the Misono, I didn't find the handle comfortable or secure. It's a long, thin grip that's completely smooth, without any contour at all, and though it looks beautiful, it felt slippery and small in my hand. (Weight: 7.02 ounces.)
Zwilling Pro 8-inch Traditional Chef's Knife (available at surlatable.com)
Like the Wüsthof Ikon to the Wüsthof Classic, this is the more highly designed, costly sibling of the J.A. Henckels International. It's a very nice knife, a classic, sturdy German blade with a deep belly that makes a rocking chop very comfortable. In terms of ease and performance, I found it comparable to the J.A. Henckels International, which is made by the same company but is quite a bit less expensive. If you are in the market for a heavy German knife, it may make sense to try them both. (Weight: 8.92 ounces)
Miyabi Evolution 8-Inch (available at zwilling.com)
This is a really good knife, a Japanese-German hybrid, with a flat-sided wooden handle and a very sharp, very hard blade with a relatively wide, curved belly. It simply didn't surpass other comparable knives in testing, particularly in quickly and easily dicing an onion and slicing tomatoes. It didn't feel quite as sharp and precise as MAC and others. (Weight: 8 ounces.)
Bob Kramer Essential Collection 8-Inch Chef's Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (available at amazon.com)
Bob Kramer is one of the most important knife-makers in the United States—his handmade knives cost thousands and thousands of dollars and have long waitlists. Kramer licensed Zwilling J.A. Henckels to make knives for him in Japan—though it is a German company—and thus this line was born, a Bob Kramer knife that's accessible for almost anyone. I loved the grippy, comfortable handle, and the feeling of power that came from this heavy, wide blade. But oddly, it didn't seem as sharp as the others, as it was a bit of a struggle to make a clean tomato slice. Dicing an onion, it felt balky and a little dull, almost hard to control. I wanted to like it because, of all the heavy knives, it was the most comfortable and balanced to hold, but it didn't perform as well as I hoped. (Weight: 9.2 ounces.)
Victorinox 8-Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife (available at amazon.com)
This knife tops many lists as a great value, but I found it to be the worst of the two worlds: light but not very sharp, cumbersome, and large. It was reasonably sharp coming out of the box (though still on the dull side compared to most others on this list) but after a couple of weeks of use, it was a struggle to slice a tomato or an onion. You shouldn't need to sharpen a knife every two weeks. I also didn't love the feel of the textured plastic grip. (Weight: 6.46 ounces.)
Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef's Knife, 8-Inch (available at walmart.com)
This was the heaviest knife I tested. It felt clunky and unwieldy, and worse, was dull right out of the box. It didn't perform well on any test. (Weight: 9.95 ounces.)
We publish buyer's guides to essential pieces of kitchen gear based on real-world testing. Missed an installment? Find them all here.
Best Chef Knife Under 100 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide 2021
Chef knives are popular among homeowners because they can be used to slice herbs, dice vegetables, and cut meat. Many types of knives can do a great job at hand. For example, you can find a knife for particular cuts such as chicken, brisket, or prime rib but many do multiple jobs. Choosing the best chef knife can be a game-changer because it can be used to cut large portions of roasts and meat efficiently. That is why we are going to look at the best chef knife under 100 including a quick buying guide.
Top 10 Best Chef Knife Under 100 Reviews and Features
1. Victorinox Swiss Army 47645 12 Inch
Victorinox Swiss Army 47645 12 Inch Slicing Knife is a Swiss favorite that can tackle different kitchen tasks with comfort, fun, and top quality. This versatile kitchen essential is ideal for carving and slicing meats. It features a Granton Blade that is crafted with a round tip which creates air pockets that improve meat separation and minimize friction. The high carbon stainless steel blade offers thinner and smaller slices which are more uniform. With a long, narrow shape as well as a razor-sharp edge, this kitchen knife can slice through meats via a single, smooth motion. Victorinox Swiss Army 47645 12 Inch Slicing Knife has an ergonomic Fibrox Pro handle which offers a non-slip grip when it is wet. Also, this chef knife is balanced and weighted for easy handling.
- Dishwasher safe
- The chef knife is reasonably priced
- Has a comfortable and ergonomic design
- Has a durable stainless steel blade
- Features a thin and sharp blade
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and material
- Has a plastic handle
- Requires frequent sharpening
- No extra cases or accessories cases when you purchase it
2. DALSTRONG Slicing and Carving Knife
DALSTRONG AUS 8 Slicing and Carving Knife offers exceptional performance, stunning design, state of the art technology, and premium quality materials. This powerful slicer which is masterfully elegant, razor-sharp, and perfectly balanced is the ultimate weapon for large roasts, moist salmon, and briskets. Besides, it has a velvety rich black Spanish pakkawood handle that offers heaven like grip with great durability. DALSTRONG AUS 8 Slicing and Carving Knife has a tapered blade design for flexibility and durability. The Phantom Series 12” Slicer and Carving Knife is honed by craftsmen to 13° and 15° as well as nitrogen-cooled so as to achieve flexibility, hardness, and corrosion resistance.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty against defects
- Has a padded sheath for storing
- The blade cleans easily and offers a low maintenance
- The blade is of top quality and is durable and sharp
- The grip is cold/ heat/ moisture resistant and is optimized for control and comfort
- Features full tang for incredible quality and robustness
- May be prone to breaking or chipping if dropped or handled improperly
3. DALSTRONG Slicing Carving Knife
DALSTRONG Slicing Carving Knife German HC Steel is designed for the day to day demands of a commercial kitchen. The Gladiator Series extra-long 12” slicer is a versatile knife that can be used for carving roasts, vegetables, and large fruits. It has a razor-sharp slicer, imported high-carbon German steel which has a hand-polished edge at 14 to 16 degrees, and full tang. DALSTRONG Slicing Carving Knife comes with luxury imported black pakkawood handle which is triple-riveted with a grip that ensures maneuverability and comfort. The good thing about this slicing knife is that it is perfectly weighted to handle both heavy-duty and thicker cuts.
- Features Granton blade
- Extra sharp cutting edge
- Comes with a tall blade height
- Has a strong and durable handle
- Comes with a sheath for protection/ storage
4. DALSTRONG Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar Knife
DALSTRONG Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar Knife has a military-grade G-10 handle that is non-slip. This cimitar knife is expertly crafted which makes it easy for trimming fat or large meat cutting such as pork, beef, poultry, or fish. It has many factors that make it one of the sharpest butcher knives ever. Featuring a hand-sharpened Japanese AUS-10V super steel blade, the DALSTRONG Butcher’s Breaking Cimitar Knife is a full tang blade that has a non-slip military grade G-10 handle. Additionally, it has a matching sheath that has a pin as well as a string locking mechanism. This butcher’s knife comes with a lifetime limited warranty and a satisfaction guarantee.
- Razor-sharp blade
- Has a sheath included
- The knife is resistant to chips and cracks
- It is durable and rust-resistant
- Reduced adhesion between blade and meat
- Comes with ambidextrous handle
- Ideal for multiple butchering tasks like slicing, trimming, filleting, skinning, and trimming
- Does not come with a safety bolster
- May feel unwieldy and large
5. DALSTRONG Shogun Series Damascus AUS-10V
DALSTRONG Shogun Series Damascus AUS-10V 6” Boning Knife comes with excellent craftsmanship as well as quality materials which makes an all-purpose kitchen knife. This chef knife is designed with efficiency, safety, and style in mind. The good thing is that this shogun knife has moisture, cold, and heat. It has a full tang which offers superb robustness as well as triple riveted for more resilience. DALSTRONG Shogun Series Damascus AUS-10V comes with ultra-premium G-10 handle is impervious to moisture, cold, and heat. Also, it has a military-grade with life-long durability.
- Strong chef knife
- Has a luxurious design
- Comes with multiple purposes
- Consumes a little counter space
- It is a top-quality knife from Dalstrong’s Shogun Series
- Ergonomic and bolstered handle for safety and comfort
- Great weight distribution for ease of use and improved handling
- It is a bit pricey
- Requires high maintenance
6. Oxford Chef’s Knife-8 Inch VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel
Are you looking for a top-quality chef knife under 100? Well look no further than Oxford Chef’s Knife-8 Inch VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel. This chef knife has an authentic Japanese VG-10 “Super-Steel” cutting core that ensures maximum edge retention and flexibility without chipping or dulling. The blade is finished to an angle of 8 to 12 degrees using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method, which makes it viciously sharp. This makes the VG10 stainless steel chef knife have a tapered curvilinear blade which is great for slicing meat and chopping vegetables. Oxford Chef’s Knife-8 Inch VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel has a full tang for ultimate durability.
- Beautiful design
- Awesome edge retention
- Features 8” blade offers for ample cutting volume
- Has a full tang which offers ultimate durability
- Comes with military-grade ergonomic G-10 handle which makes it immune to heat, moisture, and cold
- Complaints that it chips with time
7. DALSTRONG Fillet Knife Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel
DALSTRONG Fillet Knife Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel combines outstanding craftsmanship, awe-inspiring design, cutting-edge breakthrough technology, and the best materials. The Shogun Series 6” is well-engineered for skinning, filleting, de-boning, trimming, de-scaling, and butterflying poultry and fish. It features an exceptional 8 to 12 degrees of cutting angle which allows you to be closer to the cut and waste less meat with each cut. DALSTRONG Fillet Knife Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel comes with ultra-premium G-10 handle which is resistant to moisture, heat, and cold. Another feature we like is the hand-polished ergonomic handle which is engineered for superior comfort, agility, and control.
- It is made to be rust-free
- Has a well-balanced knife
- Comfortable for long term use
- Comes with a razor-sharp blade
- Resistant to moisture, cold, and heat
- Made from military-grade materials which are robust to control any abuse level
- Can be difficult to use by beginners
8. DALSTRONG 12” Extra Large Crixus Gladiator Series Chef’s Knife
Another product to feature on this list of best chef knife under 100 is DALSTRONG 12” Extra Large Crixus Gladiator Series Chef’s Knife. As the name suggests, this chef’s knife belongs to the Gladiator series and is a must-have for all chefs, pitmasters, and BBQ enthusiasts who love meat. This chef’s knife is carefully tapered for enhanced flexibility, hardness, and minimal slicing resistance. It has an incredible razor-sharp as well as high carbon German steel that has a hand-polished edge between 14 and 16 degrees. If you are looking for a chef’s knife that can cut beef, poultry, pork, wild game, veggies, and fruits, then you should choose DALSTRONG 12” Extra Large Crixus Gladiator Series Chef’s Knife.
- Durable and strong
- It is very affordable
- The chef knife is versatile
- Features full tang construction
- Made from top-quality German steel
- Comfortable and durable pakkawood handle
- Suitable for different meat types, fruits, and vegetables
- It is a bit heavy
- A bit tricky for beginners to control the blade
9. Japanese Chef Knife 8 inch Gyuto
Mikarto Knife Ware Japanese Chef Knife 8 inch Gyuto is revolutionizing kitchenware which comprises of a high retention sharp blade, and triple-riveted military-grade handle. It is built with stainless steel as well as professional level artistry. Also, this full tang chef knife is rust-resistant and corrosion-resistant. The Rockwell hardness of 62+ and high carbon metal makes this Japanese Chef Knife highly durable and resilient. Mikarto Knife Ware Japanese Chef Knife 8 inch Gyuto is a balanced, weighted knife which makes meal and food preparation easier and enjoyable. The good thing about these Japanese Chef Knives is that they require minimal maintenance which means that you will not use your sharpening or honing stone.
- Razor-sharp edge retention
- Has a beautiful hammered finish blade
- Strong and durable offering long-lasting performance
- Great value if you are looking for stainless steel high carbon knife
- Comes with a sleek black handle that is ergonomic and comfortable to handle
- Complaints that it is too thick and heavy
10. PAUDIN Carving Knife Ultra Sharp Japanese VG10 Steel Kitchen Knife
PAUDIN Carving Knife Ultra Sharp Japanese VG10 Steel Kitchen Knife is designed to allow you to cut anything with great precision. Once sharpened to the finest point, you can use it to cut meats, potatoes, and vegetables. This top-notch quality PAUDIN Carving Knife is constructed from Japanese AU10 Damascus steel which is durable, wear-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and offers 60+ Rockwell hardness. It has an ergonomic handle that offers a comfortable grip and offers superior flexibility. PAUDIN Carving Knife Ultra Sharp Japanese VG10 Steel Kitchen Knife is an 8-inch slicing knife that is well crafted and designed for home and executive chefs.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- The stainless steel blade lasts for a long time
- High-quality carving knife made from Japanese AU10 Damascus steel
- Has a good black Micarta handle that offers a comfortable and secure grip
- The exquisite appearance makes it a decorative feature for your kitchen
- The blade may chip over time
You want to buy the best affordable chef knife but do not want to waste money on junk knives. What you ought to know is that there are many great options available on the market today which can make it difficult to choose the right one. So, the question on everybody’s lips is what should you consider before investing in a chef knife? The best affordable chef knife has the right features which enable you to cut through foods like root vegetables, bread leaves, and tough meat. However, not all chef knives are made of the same quality, which means that they might not offer the same quality. In this section of the article, we are going to look at factors to take into consideration before buying the best chef knife under 100.
The first factor you need to consider is your budget. What you need to know is whether you have the money to buy a professional chef knife or you want to get the most out of your dollars by buying an affordable chef knife. The problem with buying a cheaper chef knife is that they can easily break and are likely to stain. Besides, you are likely to spend more money sharpening a cheaper knife compared to a high-quality chef knife.
You do not want to invest in a kitchen knife which does not serve you for a long time. Therefore, you should look at if the chef knife is made of chromium and carbon in addition to steel which makes it stain and rust resistance. Additionally, vanadium and molybdenum increase the hardness of the chef knife. Typically, chef knives fall between 55 and 65 Rockwell hardness. If they go higher, it means that they are harder and will remain sharper for longer.
Another important factor to consider is the sharpness of the chef knife. Every new chef knife comes with great sharpness but cannot remain sharp for long term use. This is why you should pay attention to knives that are long-lasting and maintain the quality of their sharpness after being used severally. The best affordable chef knife is not just meant for cutting but also for slicing, dicing, and chopping food.
When you search online, you will find that most blogs recommend a blade length of 6 inches for chef knives. The blade length is an important factor to consider because it can affect the cutting performance. However, you need to look carefully into a few things such as your hand size, the level of your experience using a knife, the type of food you are cutting, and preference about the chef knife.
The weight is an important factor to consider because it determines how much you will use for a long time. The good thing about using a heavier chef knife is that it can cut through harder foods easily. However, the extra weight of a kitchen knife means that it will tire your arms faster. On the other hand, a lightweight chef knife is easier to use for an extended time. The weight of a chef knife is determined by the materials which makes it as well as the overall length.
Most Western chef knives come with a 20-degree blade angle which easily cuts kitchen foods. However, you can find Japanese chef knives which are sharpened between the angles of 15 and 17 degrees. Kitchen knives that have a smaller angle are quite sharp but are less durable compared to knives with an angle of between 20 and 30 degrees. You must choose a metal type based on the chef knife’s angle that maximizes the cutting power and maximum longevity.
The kitchen knife comes with a bolster that starts at the beginning of the handle. This is the original thickness of the steel which is used to make the kitchen knife. The benefit of a bolster is that it works as a handguard on a sword, which stops the hand from sliding onto the blade while using it to cut food.
The tang refers to the bottom part of the blade which extends into the chef knife handle. Just like a bolster, the tang is designed to maintain your hand so that it does not slide off the handle. Also, a tang helps to balance your kitchen knife. It is possible to find chef knives with tangs that stretch the entire handle. While it is true that full tangs can be stronger, half tangs are lighter and easier to use.
Best Chef Knife Under 100 FAQs:
Q: Which chef’s knife should you get?
Ans: If you are looking for the best chef knife under 100 you can get Victorinox Swiss Army is your best pick. It comes with an extra-long 12-inch blade which makes cutting via larger meats easier. This chef’s knife has a size that offers the right balance between maneuverability and efficient cutting. Also, the Victorinox Swiss Army offers more versatility and is easy to handle.
Q: Do chef knife have a warranty?
Ans: The answer to this question depends on the brand you choose. Most chef knives come with a one or two year warranty. If you are shopping from a reliable seller on Amazon, you can have the peace of mind that you can return it anytime it malfunctions during its warranty period.
Q: Do you need to use a different chef knife if you are left-handed?
Ans: Many chef knives can be used by both right and left-handed cooks. However, you can find some ergonomically designed chef knives which are less efficient or comfortable for left-handed users. The good thing is that you can find a traditional left-handed knife and right-handed knife.
Q: Tell me the difference between German and Japanese chef knives?
Ans: Japanese style knives come with thinner blades which are made from carbon steel. These hand refined blades are easier to sharpen because they have harder blades. On the other hand, German chief knives are machined, heavier, and thicker than Japanese chef knives.
Q: How do you take good care of a chef knife?
Ans: When a kitchen knife is taken good care of, it will last for a long time. You must wash your hands and dry the chef knife after you use it. Even if the brands are dishwasher safe, you should wash it by hand. This is because the kitchen knife may chip or break in the dishwasher. How frequent you should sharpen your chef knife depends on the metal which it is constructed from.
All of the kitchen knives available on our list of best chef knife under 100 are made from top quality materials and have a precise construction. Kitchen knives can be quite expensive, which is why you must choose one that falls within your budget and is comfortable and durable. Choosing between a regular knife and a good quality knife can make a huge difference if you want to cut through good quality slabs of meat. Hopefully, the above top 10 best chef knife under 100 and buying guide will help you choose the best kitchen knife.
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Filed Under: Gadgets and ToolsTagged With: 12 inch chef knife, chef knife case hard, global knife chef knife, most expensive chef knife, victorinox chef knife reviewSours: https://www.kitchenrank.com/best-chef-knife-under-100-reviews-and-buyers-guide/
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