If you need a multi-purpose and reliable cutting instrument, it makes sense to have a chef's knife in your kitchen. From cutting meat to portioning produce, this is one of the go-to tools for any cutting task. Also, its broad blade can be used to smash a clove of garlic or a stalk of lemongrass to release its juices. Whether you're chopping, slicing, mincing, or dicing, a chef's knife can do it all with precision.
We know that finding the right chef's knife might take a little time. That is why we've scoured the internet to find the best chef's knives we could find, so you don't have to. Below is a buying guide that shows you how to choose the right chef's knife. We also have some knife handling tips and cutting tricks further below.
Basically, this type of knife is called a chef's knife because it is the primary cutting tool that a chef uses. Like its Japanese counterparts, the Gyuto and Santoku knives, it is used to chop, slice, mince, or dice almost any ingredients in the kitchen.
A Western-style chef's knife, whether German or French, has a curved blade and a deep heel with a sharp tip that usually measures eight inches. Although some designs can range from six to fourteen inches in length, there are little nuances in terms of blade curvature.
A Gyuto is a Japanese version of a French Chef's knife that has only one side that is sharpened. The sharpened side will depend on the user preference if they are left-handed or right-handed. It is an all-around knife that typically ranges from seven to eleven inches in length.
A Santoku knife resembles a sheep's foot design with limited rocking travel when cutting. It is shorter and lighter, with both sides sharpened, and can be used for delicate and precise slices. The length is around five to eight inches, with some designs incorporating scalloped Granton edges to allow air between the blade and the ingredient being cut.
Before investing in a new chef's knife, you need to know several specifications and features first. The weight, blade material, and handle should all work to your advantage as the user. Here are some factors to consider before purchasing your new knife.
Since most modern cutleries are made of engineered alloy, you can be assured that the quality of the knives is top-notch. Whether it's about ease of ownership, maintenance, performance, or low cost, choosing the best material should depend on a user's preference.
Adding carbon to steel creates a stronger steel alloy that's easier to sharpen. A carbon steel knife holds its edge longer and can be forged thinner, making it sharper and steeper. Unfortunately, carbon steel is brittle and will not flex like other types of materials. Also, it is prone to rust and corrosion if not properly maintained.
Naturally, a patina develops, which serves as the outer coating of carbon steel knives, creating a rustic appeal and prevents the transfer of metallic taste to some foods. It does a great performance when cutting, but it is not advisable to use it on hard foods, such as shells or bones. For maintenance, it is a good practice to dry the knife thoroughly after use and apply mineral oil to its surface periodically.
The term "Damascus" refers to the complicated and labor-intensive forging process of layering two types of steel by heat and force. This is repeatedly done to create a single alloy that will be used to forge the knife. The soft-but-tough steel is the outer material, and the hard-but-brittle steel is used for the edge and core material, a process prevalently done by Japanese manufacturers.
You can easily spot a Damascus knife because of its wavy patterns along the blade's surface. Regrettably, there is no single maintenance method for Damascus-style knives since they are made of various materials. One can only rely on the maker's advice on how to prolong the life of this type of knife.
If you hate the complexities of maintaining a chef's knife, choose a stainless steel knife for yourself. It is a common notion among cooks that stainless steel doesn't rust, but this is false.
Stainless steel will still rust over time, but it will be less likely to do so than other alloys that have carbon content. Sadly, this material will not hold its edge for long and must be resharpened constantly.
Better-quality stainless steel knives are laced with molybdenum so they can hold their edge longer. Also, these knives are lightweight and mass-produced by stamping. Many chefs and cooks prefer the lightness of the material because it lessens strain on the wrist, especially if they work in busy kitchens.
Do you want to experience the best material when it comes to sharpness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance with no resharpening issues? Get a high-carbon stainless steel knife. This is what big-time knife manufacturers are using for their products. It may be a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Many professional chefs prefer this knife because the only maintenance it requires is to hand wash it, dry it, and store it properly. Most of the time, the maintenance task is focused on preserving the handle. When it comes to standard kitchen knives, high-carbon stainless steel is the best way to go.
Ceramic is an ultra-hard material that is very lightweight and can hold its edge the longest. Unfortunately, you must be extra careful when handling it, since it can easily break once dropped. It is non-reactive to any food and will not affect the taste of any ingredient. However, since it's brittle, you should never use a ceramic knife on frozen or hard food.
If ever it needs resharpening, it must be sent to a professional or a specialist. Other than that, the only maintenance needed for this knife is to wash and store it properly. Just make sure that the edge is well-protected and not bent when stashed.
Chefs and cooks have divided opinions when opting for a stamped or a forged knife. Maybe you should have the last say. But before you decide, let's take a closer look at both.
These knives are literally stamped from a single sheet of metal and heat-treated to make them sturdy and durable. They are lighter and easier to wield in the kitchen, especially for beginners. However, edge retention is one of the major flaws of this knife, and it needs to be resharpened constantly for better results.
Over the years, manufacturers have improved their processes to come up with stamped knives that are comparable to forged knives. Many chefs are already sold to the idea of a lighter and comfortable knife that produces the same output without putting a lot of strain on the user.
Creating a forged knife is tedious and time-consuming, which is why it is usually expensive. It is made from a single or several bars of steel that are heated and pounded into shape.
The steel alteration process drives right into its molecular level, making it tougher. They are usually heavier and more solid with a full tang, which means that the blade is extended all the way to the handle.
The materials commonly used are premium carbon steel, Damascus steel, or various special types of steel with specific characteristics. It is thicker and heavier than stamped knives, with a large bolster between the heel and handle for better grip and good balance. A skilled knifemaker can create an excellent knife that could last a lifetime.
Generally, there are three types of knife handles available in the market - wood, plastic, and stainless steel. Plastic handles tend to be smoother with a rubberized material to prevent slippage. They are devoid of grooves, except for the rivets, and don't trap grime and dirt. However, you must be careful not to get them near an open flame, or they will start to melt and deform upon contact.
Wooden handles are naturally comfortable to grip and are one of the most versatile materials to use. However, wet wood is a huge bacteria magnet and is prone to molds. Wood handles also require natural oils for maintenance to make them tougher and long-lasting.
Stainless steel handles are the best option if you are given a choice. It looks classy, and it essentially doesn't require maintenance. The only downside - it is heavy. It may put a huge strain on the wrist and could be slippery if the hands are wet. Fortunately, manufacturers add some rubberized bumps or ridges for a better grip.
One of the most relevant factors to consider when looking for a knife is its edge. They usually come ground in different ways: hollow-grind, single-grind, convex edge, or double-grind. Each type of edge affects the performance of the knife and how long the sharpness will last.
Hollow grinds have fantastic slicing ability and are easier to sharpen, but the edge cannot withstand chopping and is fragile as compared to other grinds. If you usually do chopping tasks in the kitchen, a convex edge is a perfect edge, yet it is difficult to maintain and sharpen.
A chisel grind or single grind has excellent strength and is easy to sharpen. It is great for cutting, but it must be handled at an angle. On the other hand, a double grind edge offers the best cutting edge that can penetrate anything and won't easily break. However, it may be difficult to sharpen at home and might need to be sharpened by an expert.
Chef's knives come in various finishes such as mirror, satin, polished, stonewash, or bead blast. If you're wary of corrosion, a smoother surface can resist rusting and corrosion better. Curved blades allow precise cutting, which is best for mincing or julienne cutting, like in paring knives.
Granton-edged blades are perfect for slicing and dicing vegetables or meat. A true Santoku knife should have this feature to prevent pieces of food from sticking to the blade. The series of scallops or dimples on the blade's surface creates an air pocket which helps to reduce friction or drag when slicing.
From the budget-friendly choice to premium knives, here is the list of our recommended chef's knives for you to choose from. Carefully inspect the specifications on each item so you'll have the best options in mind.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Blade Material||High-Grade Stainless Steel|
|Blade Material||CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel|
|Handle Material||Stainless Steel|
|Features||Scalloped Blade, Dimpled Handle|
|Blade Material||AUS-10V steel 67-layer SUS410 Damascus Cladding|
|Handle Material||G-10 Garolite|
|Features||Tsunami Rose Pattern, PerfectFit Saya|
|Blade Material||Damascus Steel 67 Layers AUS 8|
|Handle Material||Micarta Handle|
|Features||Wooden Saya and Leather Sheath|
|Blade Material||Stainless Steel|
|Features||Flair Handle, No Rivets|
|Blade Material||Stainless Steel|
|Features||Triple Rivets, Budget-Friendly|
|Blade Material||Stainless Steel|
|Handle Material||Thermoplastic Elastomers|
|Features||Patented Fibrox Pro Handle, Extra-wide Blade|
|Blade Material||Molybdenum-Vanadium Stainless Steel|
|Handle Material||Magnolia Wood, Resin Ferrule|
|Features||Migaki Finish, Warikomi Construction|
|Blade Material||Vanadium, Chromium, Molybdenum, and Carbon|
|Features||Triple Rivet, Full Bolster|
|Blade Material||Molybdenum-Vanadium Stainless Steel|
|Handle Material||Black Micarta|
|Features||Triple Rivet, Patented Square Dimples|
Professional Stainless Steel Chef's Knife
Shogun Series Chef's Knife
Chef’s Knife Flair Handle
Stainless Steel Chef’s Knife
Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife
Classic Wide Cook's Knife
Your Daily Workhorse in the Kitchen
The Perfectly Balanced Knife for Every User
The Best Premium Knife at a Price
A Reliable Mid-Range Knife for Budding Chefs
A Knife Designed and Made for Filipino Chefs
Provide An Extra Knife for Your Kitchen Helpers
The Extra-Wide Knife That Can Handle Any Task
An Authentic Japanese-Made Santoku for Professionals
A Knife Built to Last a Lifetime
A Uniquely Designed Gyuto for Sticky Ingredients
|Price Starts at||₱399.75||₱5,240||₱13,653||₱2,999||₱525||₱120||₱2,799||₱4,000||₱7,116||₱9,200|
|Length||8 Inches||7.5 Inches||9.5 Inches||8 Inches||8 Inches||8 Inches||8 Inches||6.7 Inches||8 Inches||8.26 Inches|
|Blade Material||High-Grade Stainless Steel||CROMOVA 18 Stainless Steel||AUS-10V steel 67-layer SUS410 Damascus Cladding||Damascus Steel 67 Layers AUS 8||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Molybdenum-Vanadium Stainless Steel||Vanadium, Chromium, Molybdenum, and Carbon||Molybdenum-Vanadium Stainless Steel|
|Handle Material||Synthetic||Stainless Steel||G-10 Garolite||Micarta Handle||Synthetic||Polypropylene||Thermoplastic Elastomers||Magnolia Wood, Resin Ferrule||Polyoxymethylene||Black Micarta|
|Edge||Hollow Grind||Double Grind||Double Grind||Convex Edge||Double Grind||Double Grind||Double Grind||Double Grind||Double Grind||Double Grind|
|Features||Non-slip Handle||Scalloped Blade, Dimpled Handle||Tsunami Rose Pattern, PerfectFit Saya||Wooden Saya and Leather Sheath||Flair Handle, No Rivets||Triple Rivets, Budget-Friendly||Patented Fibrox Pro Handle, Extra-wide Blade||Migaki Finish, Warikomi Construction||Triple Rivet, Full Bolster||Triple Rivet, Patented Square Dimples|
From slicing veggies and herbs to portioning a steak or dicing garlic, a chef's knife is indispensable. Learn some basic skills in less than two and a half minutes with Howdini's video on tips and tricks on how to use a chef's knife.
Modernize your kitchen life by upscaling your cooktop or installing a better hood range. Check out some of the best appliances and kitchen essentials on the links provided below.
Finding the right chef's knife is easy, especially if you know what you're looking for. You shouldn't skimp on spending for a good-quality chef's knife. You must consider it as a good investment that will be of service to you for years and years to come.
Author. C. Lacson
Editor: R. Umlas
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