The chef’s knife is among one of the most useful tools in the kitchen, whether you’re a professional or a home chef. Here’s a look at 5 great options in the market right now.
Perhaps one of the most essentials tools in the kitchen for any chef, no matter the cuisine or approach, is the chef’s knife. Sure, there are knives for specific purposes, but the chef’s knife is a highly versatile tool that allows for a wide variety of functions, from slicing and dicing to carving and chopping.
Of course, while we would recommend some models in this article, users would do well to remember that chef’s knives are always a matter of preference, depending on individual styles, whether you’re a professional at the helm of a sophisticated kitchen or a home chef cooking for your family. There are two most popular varieties of chef’s knives in the market – the German or western kind and the Japanese kind. The German knives are usually heavier and thicker, and are curved on the belly to allow the rocking chopping motion where the knife tip doesn’t leave the chopping board. They are also made with softer steel which loses sharpness a little quicker but also allows for easy and frequent sharpening. Japanese knives, on the other hand, are light and thin, and made from harder steel that holds sharpness for a longer time. However, they are more prone to damage.
So, here’s a look at five of the best chef’s knives available in the market.
1. MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Made in Japan, with a 25-year warranty, this is one of the best options for both professional kitchens and homes. The super-sharp blade is made with sub-zero tempered steel and the handle is made of resin Pakkawood with added bolster for weight and balance, making it seem like a German knife despite its origins. The dimples allow you to cut through sticky foods without any issues and the blade’s shape makes it very easy to control at all times. The only drawback is the size of the handle, which can be a bit difficult to grip for those with larger hands.
2. Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Global’s knives are made of their own proprietary stainless steel which they call CROMOVA 18. The name is indicative of the chromium, molybdenum and vanadium used in the alloy. One of the features that stands out about the G-2 is its acute cutting edge instead of the bevelled edge used by many. It’s light and easy to hold, especially with the dimpled handle that is hollow and filled with sand for perfect balance. It’s made out of one piece of metal and doesn’t have any grooves in which food can accumulate. Just be mindful when cutting through heavy-duty items such as meat.
3. Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Shun is headquartered in Seki, the blade capital of Japan. The blade on this knife is made of Shun’s VG-MAX steel and covered with Damascus steel. It’s sharp, light and durability is also great. It’s light but good to hold and the resin lamination on the handle makes it moisture resistant. One of the best things about the Shun is that it can be ordered customised for left-hand use.
4. Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
This German knife is made of softer steel than Japanese knives but is heavy. Although not as sharp as some Japanese examples, the heft is handy when cutting meat or through chicken bones when carving. And yet, unlike many other heavier knives, this one doesn’t bruise food items that need a gentle touch. The wide belly allows for a great rocking motion during chopping, and is always secure and well balanced, in terms of control. Good news for larger handed users, as this one fits even the largest paws perfectly.
5. Miyabi Kaizen II Chef’s Knife
The first thing anyone would notice about this knife is how good it looks, from the patterns on the blade to the Pakkawood handle. The blade pattern isn’t just about cosmetics though, it is created by 48 layers of steel wrapped around the core. So confident is the manufacturer about the construction and engineering, that there’s a lifetime warranty on it. The blade is both sharp and hard and the only complaint that we’ve heard of is that the grip can be a little slippery.
Now that you know about these great options, there are certain care tips that you should remember.
- Many of these knives come with a dishwasher-safe rating, but it’s always advisable to wash your knives by hand.
- Some knives require regular sharpening, others need much less frequent servicing. But whenever you get it done, make sure it’s with good quality sharpening tools or through professional sharpeners.
- Make sure the cutting or chopping surface is pliable, such as wood or plastic and not hard, as that can damage your knife.