Best chef’s knives 2022: Professional quality for your kitchen


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knife’s a knife, right? Say that to a chef, and you’ll get daggers.

There’s a knife for pretty much every kind of kitchen task – from paring to carving, filleting to boning – and any chef worth his crisp whites will have the collection. But it’s the chef’s knife – originally crafted for slicing and disjointing large cuts of beef – that’s arguably the most useful.

Otherwise known as a cook’s knife, it has a long, broad blade with a straight edge and a finely-pointed tip. The curve of the blade enables it to be rocked back and forth on a chopping board, making it perfect for slicing and dicing ingredients, while the wide heel means it can withstand more pressure for heavy-duty chopping, too.

If you’re a fan of scary movies, you’ll know it’s also the weapon of choice for many a masked stalker, as well as being that reliable all-rounder for professionals.

Wesley Smalley, chef-owner at Seasonality restaurant and food shop in Maidenhead, says: “A good chef’s knife should be one with a little bit of weight to give a bit of balance when chopping. It should also have an ease and comfort in your hand when holding – I prefer a wooden handle as it feels more natural.

Otherwise, my secret is the Victorinox Serrated Curved Blade Pastry Knife, which I think is the ultimate all-rounder: it’s a well-balanced, inexpensive knife that will last forever. From chopping to slicing, it’s truly versatile with fruit, veggies and thick breads, as well as meat and fish. Don’t tell anyone…”

Here, we’ve rounded-up the best chef’s knives available to the home cook, from budget buys to designer splurges – all of them offering versatility and quality.

Chop, chop – the knives will be out for this little lot.

See our edit below

Global Forged GF-32 Chef’s Knife 16cm Blade

Global

When it comes to knives, Global is the go-to generally, particularly for those who know their way around the kitchen. Made in Japan – where else? – this is one of their best: a classic chef’s knife beautifully forged from 16cm of spectacular stainless steel and featuring a 15-degree cutting edge. It’s designed in the shape of a gyuto – a Japanese-style knife – with a flat part of the blade towards the heel for chopping and a curved part of the blade near the front for slicing. From veggies to meat – this is one knife to rule them all.

Wusthof Crafter Chef’s Knife

Wusthof

Wusthof Crafter Chef’s Knife 20cm

Gordon Ramsay is a fan of Wusthof, the famous German knife-maker, and their signature Chef’s Knife is a sound investment: this, like every other from the cult favourite, is crafted from a single piece of stainless steel that goes through a meticulous process to make it stronger and more robust, before being honed twice by hand and once by laser for a perfect finish. It’s heavy, durable and sharp, while the smoked wood handle is fastened with brass rivets for a stylish accent, making this as lovely in the hand as it is powerful.

Zwilling Pro 20cm Chef’s Knife

Zwilling

Founded in 1731, German brand Zwilling is one of the oldest knife manufacturers in the world, and their expertise shows. The Pro is a classic 20cm chef’s knife with an ice-hardened blade for unbeatable durability and corrosion resistance. Spectacularly crafted from a single piece of steel, it features an ergonomic handle with three rivets for firm grip and excellent control, and offers absolute precision for professional chopping. Better still, the seamless design – from blade to handle – means it looks sleek and beautiful to boot.

Victorinox Grand Maître Chef’s Knife 20cm

Victorinox

Best known for creating Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox also do a fine line in kitchen knives, and their Victorinox Grand Maître Chef’s Knife at 20cm is an excellent buy for a beginner, enabling slicing and dicing with minimum effort. Don’t be fooled by its utilitarian aesthetics: its forged steel blade transitions seamlessly into a specially-sculpted ergonomic handle to create a knife that’s as balanced as it is beautiful. Entry level excellence.

Lakeland Hammered Steel Chef’s Knife 20cm Blade

Lakeland

Featuring a fierce hammered blade forged from German steel – which prevents food from sticking as well as looking slick – the Hammered Steel Chef’s Knife offers superior bang for your buck. It’s a lovely 20cm in length, and comes with a natural carbonized ash wood handle characterized by a unique color and grain, meaning it’s almost too good to store in a drawer. Meat, veg or herbs, the wide, tapered blade cuts through everything wonderfully like butter, combining performance and comfort.

Arcos Nordika Chef’s Knife 21cm

Arcos

Sturdy and smooth with an ultra-sharp tip, the Arcos Nordika Chef’s Knife – made in Spain, no less – delivers a smooth and precise cut, crafted from stainless steel that goes right through to the handle (a design that’s called ‘full-tang ‘, FYI). Better still, the silken edge is sharpened by specially-selected stones at a 15-degree angle, making for a powerful blade that maintains its sharpness for longer. Heavy in the hand, this 21cm beauty means business.

Also available at Amazon

Senzo 33 Layer Santoku Knife 165mm

senzo

The Santoku Knife by Senzo is the Asian equivalent of a chef’s knife – albeit with a more turned-down edge – and is seriously lightweight in the hand. It’s made from 33 layers of Damascus steel with a VG10 core – the best stainless-steel money can buy, beloved by chefs for its hardness and sharpness – making it equally matched to chopping meat as it is mincing veg. But the best bit? Wedged between the steel bolster and wooden handle is a heat-resistant polymer that accommodates temperature changes that would damage inferior knives.

Jamie Oliver Santoku Knife 16.5cm

tefal

A new collaboration between familiar household chef Jamie Oliver and trusty cookware brand Tefal, this santoku knife – the Japanese equivalent of a chef’s knife with a more turned-down tip – is made from 16.5cm of quality German stainless steel that’s ice-hardened for superior durability and robustness. The acacia wooden block handle doesn’t just add a stylish flourish, but makes for a secure grip for comfort and control, too. Add it to your armor.

TOG Santoku Multipurpose Knife 17cm

TOG

While it’s certainly not a snip of a price, you get what you pay for with the Santoku Multipurpose Knife from TOG, the Japanese brand coveted by Michelin-starred chefs. Translating to ‘three virtues’ in Japanese, relating to its proficiency with meat, seafood and vegetables, this knife features 17cm of stainless steel forged in Seki, Japan – home of the Samurai sword. What give it stand-out are the distinctive stripes, which come courtesy of layers of antimicrobial copper, combining a hard central core for sharpness with softer steel for strength. The handle is every bit as beautiful as the blade: it’s made with sustainable kebony maple laser-etched with a 600-year-old Japanese pattern.

Robert Welch Signature Cook’s Knife 14cm

Robert Welch

Better known for cutlery, Cotswold-makers Robert Welch have crafted a cracker in their Signature Cook’s Knife, especially at such a steal. The 14cm curved blade makes it truly all-purpose – whether simply chop, chop, chopping, or rocking and cutting – and is forged from super-strong German steel with a Japanese-style 15-degree edge for razor-sharpness. Everything is finished with an ergonomic handle for excellent comfort and balance.

John Lewis & Partners Professional Chef’s Knife 20cm

JLP

Part of their essential range of everyday basics – all elevated to professional standards – this chef’s knife from John Lewis is everything you need for just over £30. Its design is kept super-simple with a plain black micarta handle, while a 20cm stainless-steel blade makes slicing fruit and veg a doddle.

ProCook Professional X50 Micarta Chefs Knife

ProCook

Forged from high-perfomance German steel, this 20cm Chef’s knife from ProCook is the perfect addition to your knife block or cutlery drawer. The triple rivet micarta handle feels comfortable in the hand and rear and front bolsters means there’s an excellent level of balance and control, whether you’re chopping spuds or getting your steak ready for the skillet. It comes with a 25 year guarantee for total peace of mind.

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