How to Choose a Chef’s Knife

There’s no single best chef’s knife that will suit everyone. Choosing a chef’s knife is a very personal thing, and a knife that feels good to you might not feel right for someone else. Here are some tips on finding the right chef’s knife for you.

Things to consider when choosing a chef’s knife

Your budget

A budget chef’s knife could cost around £10, while a really high-quality one could cost over £100.

Size

Chef’s knives come in a range of sizes, from 3.5-inch pairing knives to 10-inch knives for high-volume veg prep.

If you’re looking for a versatile all-rounder, a knife of around 7-8 inches is your best bet. This is what most home cooks use, and it should be fine for most tasks in professional kitchens.

Bear in mind that you will need a large chopping board if you opt for a larger knife.

Testing knives

If possible, you should try different knives out for yourself before buying one. Many online retailers will let you return the knife if it doesn’t feel right, which is an alternative to buying one in a shop.

When testing out a knife, keep an open mind and try to judge the knife by how it feels rather than by its price or how it looks.

If you’re able to test a knife out in the kitchen, try using it to do a few common tasks like mincing herbs, dicing onions, and cutting carrots into strips.

How to know if you’ve found a good knife

A good knife should feel like an extension of your hand. You should feel completely in control of it, and it should be comfortable and easy for you to work with.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • Balance: When you grip it by the handle, the knife shouldn’t feel like it’s tipping forwards toward the blade or backwards toward the handle.
  • Weight: Some people prefer heavy knives as they seem to fall through foods, while others prefer a light knife that they can move about more easily..
  • Size: If you want a versatile blade, you should probably choose an 8-inch knife. If you need something more nimble, consider a 6-inch knife. 10-inch knives are good for chopping large quantities of food quickly.

Top chef’s knife recommendations

Here are some high-quality chef’s knives we recommend.

Kuhn Rikon Colori Non-Stick Chef’s Knife

Size: 28.5 cm (11.22 inches)

Price: £ (see prices on Amazon)

This knife is made by Swiss cookware company Kuhn Rikon, and features an extremely sharp Japanese stainless steel blade. The blade is coated with anti-stick silicone, which prevents food from sticking to it.

The Kuhn Rikon Colori knife comes with a safety sheath and is backed up by a 2-year guarantee.

Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set

Size: 3.5 inch (9 cm), 6 inch (16 cm), 8 inch (20 cm)

Price: £££ (see prices on Amazon)

This set of three dishwasher-safe knives should have you covered for most tasks in the kitchen. It includes an 8-inch cook’s knife, a 6-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch pointed paring knife. Each blade uses high-carbon stainless steel and is hand-honed for maximum sharpness.

Wusthof are a German company that have been making knives since 1814 and have a reputation for quality. These knives are very durable and sharp, and certainly live up to that reputation.

Sabatier Maison 5-Piece Knife Set

Price: £ (see prices on Amazon)

These stainless steel knives from French cutlery company Sabatier are surprisingly light and incredibly sharp. They have a classic design and are etched with the Sabatier Griffin logo.

Despite the fact that this 5-piece knife set is very affordable, these knives are very durable and should last you a long time. They’re also easy to clean as food doesn’t stick to them.

This 5-piece set is backed by a 15-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Victorinox 19cm Chefs Knife

Size: 19 cm (7.5 inches)

Price: £ (see prices on Amazon)

This chef’s knife from Swiss army knife manufacturer Victorinox has a 19cm dishwasher-safe blade. This knife is fairly light and easy to control.

The Victorinox 19cm Chefs Knife is one of the cheapest professional-quality knives available in the UK. It isn’t the sharpest in the world, but it’s easily sharp enough for most kitchen tasks, and is a bit less intimidating than razor-sharp blades.

ZELITE INFINITY 8” Chef’s Knife

Price: ££ (see prices on Amazon)

Size: 8 inches (20 cm)

This 8” knife is made by Zelite and uses Thyssen Krupp high-carbon stainless steel. It’s rust and stain resistant, and features a rounded handle and tapered bolster for optimum control and comfort. It’s a razor-sharp, professional chef’s knife, so you will need to take care with it.

This knife comes in an attractive white box, making it ideal as a present or wedding gift. It comes with a 15-year warranty when you buy directly from Zelite.