As a Chef, your knife is the one tool you use the most, it is the first item you pick up when you venture into a kitchen and learn to cook and it is the last item you clean, dry and put away after a long dinner service.
Over time, your knife becomes an extension of your arm, fitting perfectly in your hand and working in harmony with you to ensure even the simplest of ingredients shine in your dish.
The right knife can remain your loyal companion well into your career and so deciding which Chefs knife to invest in can take some careful consideration. With so many options to choose from, with varying brands, sizes, and styles alongside conflicting opinions from Chefs around the world, how do you know which one to choose?
How to choose the right Chef Knife
Get hands on
You need the chance to feel the knife in your hand. A knife is not an ideal item to purchase on the internet, unless you have already had the opportunity to handle them in person. In some cases, they are packaged in a way that enables you to hold them and return them if they are not quite right but trying the knife in a store or at a show would always be the ideal solution.
While holding each knife, ask yourself:
- How does it feel, is it comfortable?
- Is the handle ok, not to small or too bulky?
- How is the weight? Not too heavy, not too light.
- Does it feel nicely balanced?
Try as many knives as possible of varying sizes, shapes, brands and materials to get a good feel for how each is different and which you prefer.
Size isn’t everything
The length of the blade you choose really boils down to what you are most comfortable with, closely followed by the type of cooking you are doing.
If you are often handling large ingredients, then a larger blade is going to come in pretty handy but for many a large knife can feel a little cumbersome.
Consider blade width over length as a deciding factor, wider blades allow you to scoop ingredients effortlessly and chop with precision along your knuckles without the added length on the blade.
On the edge
You need to consider how well the knife is going to hold its edge (stay sharp). Providing you are not cutting on a glass or metal board this really falls down to the material the blade is made from. The best choice will always be high performance steel, cheaper brands will be made from a lower quality steel so the price point should be a good indicator for you to know what you are getting. The only way to know for sure that you are getting a great quality knife is to stick with a well known high performance brand like any of those in our top 5 round up of best Chefs knives.
Top 5 Chef Knives
- Zwilling Pro santoku knife
- Kai Shun Classic 8”
- F. Dick 1905 Fully Forged 8”
- Messermeister Meridian Elite 9”
- Global Santoku (G-48) 7”