The 11 Best Chef’s Knives of 2023

Easy to hold and lightweight, our top pick chef’s knife, the Global 8-Inch Chef Knife has a stainless steel handle that’s molded and perforated for better grip.

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One of the Best Chef's Knives, the Global 8-inch Japanese Chef's Knife, on a blue patterned background

Better Homes and Garden / Alli Waataja

Possibly the most multipurpose tool in your kitchen, a chef’s knife is the most versatile kitchen knife. When cooking, a chef’s knife can be used for mincing, dicing, and slicing, or making precise small cuts and larger chops. Crafted with a longer blade, the size of a chef’s knife can range from several inches all the way up to 12 inches long. The 8-inch size is most typical for a chef’s knife and is what many home cooks find most comfortable.

“The best thing about a good chef's knife is that it will serve as the only knife you’ll need.” shares Pete Servold, a classically trained French chef and founder of Pete’s Real Food. 

Choosing the best chef’s knife is a personal decision. To find the best chef’s knives, we considered the styles, prices, functionality, materials, dimensions, and more to research the best chef’s knives on the market.

Our top pick for the best chef’s knife is the Global 8-Inch Chef Knife featuring a dimpled stainless steel handle that’s both easy to hold and crafted to prevent slips. Razor-sharp, the knife comes with a lifetime warranty that provides peace of mind for your investment.

Best Overall

Global 8-Inch Chef's Knife

4.3
Global 8-Inch Classic Japanese Chef’s Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The lightweight knife is comfortable, easy to hold, and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Keep in Mind: A dimpled steel handle is made for ease of use, but some home cooks may prefer a handle made of a different material.

Lightweight, this versatile stainless steel chef’s knife is a razor-sharp addition to any kitchen. We like that this option is not overly heavy, so it’s manageable for any home chef to hold. Because this knife is on the lighter side, if you know you like the heft of a heavier knife, this might not be the best chef’s knife for you.

Crafted with a high-carbon stainless steel blade, it’s strong enough to cut through meat but delicate and sharp enough to make precise cuts. The tip of the knife is a super sharp straight edge, which is helpful for starting those precise cuts. Unlike others made with wooden handles, this knife is created from one solid piece of stainless steel. 

A stand-out feature of this top chef knife is the stainless steel handle. A dimple pattern dotted around the ergonomically shaped handle adds texture to make the knife easier to grip. The handle is also smaller than many other knives on the market, which is a benefit for smaller-handed chefs. To achieve the right balance and heft, the unique handle is weighted with sand. 

Since the knife is made completely of stainless steel, it technically is machine washable, but the brand recommends hand washing only to protect the sharpness of the blade. While this knife is definitely an investment, it does come with a lifetime warranty against defects and breakage. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel | Blade Size: 8 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but  not recommended

Best Budget

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

4.8
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chefs Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: An affordable workhorse, this knife is reliable and can cut through any and all food materials. 

Keep in Mind: It has a utilitarian look, so won’t be winning any beauty awards.

A budget-friendly knife, this pick is a culinary workhorse that enables you to stock in your kitchen at an affordable price. The blade is made of stainless steel and is super sharp. Useful for chopping, mincing, or any other function, the shape of the blade is long and sloping, so it excels at the “rocking” style of cutting. 

While this utilitarian-style knife won’t stand out as your most stylish knife, the inexpensive price tag and effectiveness could outweigh the look. Other chef’s knives have very heavy or decorative handles, but this one does not. The handle’s grip is coated in polyamide, which is a durable, heat-resistant plastic.

A utilitarian option, the plastic makes it comfortable, simple to grip, non-slip, and something that works for most hand sizes. If the hard plastic handle really irks you, you may be better off picking another best chef’s knife from this list, but it’ll likely cost you more. The knife is completely dishwasher safe although, for best results and a long-lasting sharp edge, it’s recommended that this knife be hand-washed and dried immediately.

Price at time of publish: $54

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel blade, fibrox handle | Blade Size: 7.9 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but not recommended

Best Splurge

Mac Knife MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife

4.9
Mac Knife Professional Series 8-Inch Chef's Knife with Dimples

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The Japanese-style knife’s dimpled blade allows it to effortlessly cut through sticky food.

Keep in Mind: The handle is made of wood, so this knife should only be washed by hand, never in the dishwasher.

Japanese-style knife blades are typically thinner than European-style blades, allowing for super precise cuts. If you’re looking to splurge and add an amazing, but pricey, knife to your collection, the Mac 8-inch knife is a perfect choice. Made with a hollow edge and a dimpled steel blade, the super-sharp knife will easily cut through any ingredient. 

The weight of the knife combined with the sharp, precise blade is strong enough to cut veggies with very little effort on your part. Dimples on the blade prevent wet foods like potatoes and squash from sticking, helping you avoid a potentially dangerous situation of trying to peel away stuck-on food from the knife.

The handle is made from hard pakka wood and each knife is crafted in Japan, where local Japanese craftspeople shape, assemble, sharpen, and polish the knives. A work of art and utility, the knife should be hand-washed and dried after every use. Never put this splurge-worthy knife in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $155

Product Details: Material: Alloy steel blade and wood handle | Blade Size: 8 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Ceramic

Kyocera Revolution Ceramic 8-Inch Professional Chef’s Knife

Kyocera Revolution Ceramic 8-Inch Professional Chef’s Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Made of ceramic, the knife is poreless, so won’t transfer odors or tastes if you move from ingredient to ingredient without washing the knife.

Keep in Mind: Ceramic knives are not meant to cut frozen meat, spices, or anything that can't be sliced.

At first glance, the look of a ceramic knife may be hard to discern from a metal knife, but there are some important differences: Ceramic knives tend to be more expensive, lightweight, and extremely hard. Since ceramic is much less porous, it won’t transfer odors or taste or cause certain produce (like lettuce) to brown when cut. On the flip side, anything that can’t be sliced, like frozen meat or spices, should not be cut with a ceramic knife.

If you’re curious to try a ceramic knife, this is a great option. While pricey, it’s not over-the-top expensive. The plastic handle is easy to grip, mid-sized, and will be comfortable for any sized hand. The knife is very lightweight, so while it may feel flimsy, it’s definitely a sharp tool and makes quick work of most kitchen ingredients.

If or when the knife loses its sharpness, you’ll need some assistance–it requires a specialized diamond wheel tool to sharpen so you’ll need to seek out a sharpener that can handle ceramic knives. While the plastic handle makes this a dishwasher-safe item, it’s recommended that the knife be hand-washed and dried to maintain the sharp edge and prevent any damage or chipping on the blade.

Price at time of publish: $80

Product Details: Material: Ceramic | Blade Size: 8 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but not recommended

Best Carbon Steel

Kiritsuke Chef's Knife Oxford Chef 8"

4.4
Kiritsuke Chef's Knife Oxford Chef 8"

 Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This knife comes with a lifetime guarantee and free sharpening for life. 

Keep in Mind: Perfect for anyone with larger hands, this choice may feel too big for people with smaller hands.

High-carbon steel is steel with high levels of carbon in it, as the name implies. That means carbon steel knives are usually harder and sharper, can maintain the edge for a long time, and are easier to sharpen than their counterparts. Extremely sharp, this knife is made out of 66 layers of high-carbon stainless steel that have been forged to create this high-quality chopping tool.

The tip is just as sharp as the body of the blade, so it can easily cut through various ingredients including a tomato or potato with no problem. This best chef’s knife choice is on the heavier side, so those who prefer a lighter knife or have very small hands may find the weight a hindrance, but it’s a good selection for those with bigger hands.

Do note that carbon steel is more susceptible to rusting and chipping, especially if banged against a hard surface at an odd angle. Take care of this knife and never wash it in the dishwasher. Always hand-wash and fully dry before storing away.

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details: Material: High-carbon stainless steel | Blade Size: 8 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Stainless Steel

Material 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Material 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Material Kitchen

Why You Should Get It: Attractive and affordable, you can choose between three different colorways on the handle.

Keep in Mind: A rounded handle is unexpected and some people may find it harder to grip.

Material is a small company focused on form, function, and affordable products. This chef’s knife is no exception. Made with layers of Japanese stainless steel sandwiching high-carbon steel, this knife is strong, sharp, durable, and corrosion-resistant. An affordable option, buyers should know there is pretty prominent Material branding on the shaft of the knife including a large “M” and brand logo.

Upon purchase, the knife arrives in beautiful packaging, making it ready for gift-giving. Unlike other chef’s knives, you can choose between three different colored handles, including a limited edition color. The knife arrives super sharp and ready to get down to work. Firm but grippy, the handle is a long, rounded shape that is made of a stain-resistant polyamide composite.

The rounded-off shaft is different from other knives. Some chef’s may like the uniform feel while others may find the smooth, edgeless design a bit harder to grasp. While cutting doesn’t seem to be an issue, the unusual handle shape may throw off some chefs and is something to consider prior to buying. The brand recommends that this knife be washed by hand only and never cleaned in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $75

Product Details: Material: Japanese stainless steel | Blade Size: 8 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Tool Steel

Misono Carbon Steel Gyuto Knife

Misono Carbon Steel Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Lightweight and thin, this knife is appropriate for cutting all kitchen ingredients. 

Keep in Mind: If not cared for properly, the blade can rust and discolor.

A knife made of tool steel means the knife is crafted from carbon alloy steel. Essentially, it’s steel with a carbon content of up to 2 percent. Carbon is frequently added to steel knives to make the blade wear-resistant and ensure the knife stays sharper longer.

This best chef’s knife from Misono is a Japanese-style knife, so the blade is extremely sharp and suitable for cutting a host of ingredients whether hard vegetables or sinewy meat. It’s also crafted with a very thin blade, especially at the tip, and a wooden handle. The thin blade makes it the perfect knife for precise cuts when preparing sushi-grade fish or other foods that need delicate knife work.

While the sharpness is a huge benefit of this knife, it does require a bit more care and upkeep than other knives. Carbon knives are not stain-resistant, meaning they will rust and discolor. If and when the knife is used to cut acidic ingredients, you must wash and dry the blade off after use, otherwise, it will rust. Additionally, this knife should never be washed in the dishwasher and should never be left wet since rusting and discoloration will happen rather quickly.

If you’re aware of the care required to maintain this knife, you’ll be rewarded with a super sharp kitchen tool that’s effective for precise cuts.

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details: Material: Carbon steel and wooden handle | Blade Size: 8.2 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Set

Wusthof Classic Six Piece Acacia Knife Block Set

Wusthof Classic Six Piece Acacia Knife Block Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The set includes an attractive acacia wood knife block. 

Keep in Mind: The set comes with five tools but has 15 slots in the knife block.

For the cost of one super high-end knife, this set comes with five kitchen tools, all made of high-carbon stainless steel. Along with the attractive acacia wood knife block, the set includes a 3.5-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife, kitchen shears, and a 9-inch honing steel to keep your tools sharp.

All three knives have synthetic handles that provide a comfortable, non-slip grip so your hand remains in the right position. Besides the three knives, we love that this set includes a metal honing steel, so it’s easy to keep the knives sharp. Kitchen shears are another kitchen workhorse that are useful for preparing poultry or cutting pizza.

The scissors are easy to separate into two pieces, which makes handwashing quick and effective. While the set comes with five tools, the wooden knife block has 15 slots, so there’s plenty of space for steak knives or other chef knives you already own.

Price at time of publish: $475

Product Details: Material: High carbon steel blades and synthetic handles | Blade Size: 3.5, 5, and 8-inch knives | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Small

Victorinox 3.25-Inch Paring Knife

Victorinox Paring Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Sharp and easy to use, this knife is conveniently dishwasher safe. 

Keep in Mind: The small size means this knife can’t cut through bones or especially tough veggies.

An inexpensive addition to any kitchen, a paring knife is useful for many reasons. Whether you’re looking to hull strawberries or make some fine delicate cuts, this stainless steel and plastic knife is up to the job. This knife only measures 3.25 inches, so it won’t be an appropriate knife for cutting through tough meat, bones, or bigger vegetables like butternut squash. 

Paring knives are useful for any in-hand work, like cutting fruit, cleaning shrimp, or anything similar. Larger chef’s knives are just too big and won’t be helpful for such delicate work. While these knives are dishwasher safe, you can hand wash them to extend their life and help maintain their sharpness.

Always make sure your paring knife is very sharp. Using a dull blade is not only less effective, but it’s much less safe, which imposes a bigger risk when you’re doing in-hand work. Given the low price tag, if you find it hard to sharpen the smaller knife, they are inexpensive to replace.

Price at time of publish: $14

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Blade Size: 3.25 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best for Kids

Opinel Le Petit Chef's Knife for Kids

Opinel Le Petite Chef Knife Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Kids learn best through hands-on activity, so having them engaged with an appropriately sized knife is a useful kitchen teaching tool.

Keep in Mind: Not a toy, this is a sharp kitchen knife that can be used by kids or adults.

Foster independence in the kitchen with this petite chef’s knife that’s sturdy and suitable for kids, but sharp enough for adults to use. The 4-inch blade is on the small side, but is extremely sharp and made of durable alloy steel.

While the tip of the blade is rounded to prevent accidental punctures, the edge of the blade is sharp enough to cut through all ingredients. It’s crafted with a wooden handle that’s well-sized for the knife. Below the handle is a built-in safety ring circle that can be used to curl fingers into and instill the proper hand grip for a knife. 

Along with the knife, this set comes with a finger guard. This plastic tool fits over the non-cutting hand and keeps fingers safe while teaching proper technique and positioning while chopping, slicing, or helping out with meal prep.

Opinel is a knifemaking company that’s been in business since 1890. It’s safe to say they are experts in the field and have created a useful tool that’s well-sized and a terrific assistant to instill safe knife skills and confidence in the kitchen. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Product Details: Material: Alloy steel and wood | Blade Size: 4 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Large

Victorinox 10-inch Chef’s Knife

Victorinox 10-inch Chef’s Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: If you have bigger hands, or just prefer a heavier knife, a 10-inch knife may be your preferred pick.

Keep in Mind: The wood handle means this is not dishwasher safe.

A 10-inch chef’s knife is recommended for anyone with bigger hands as the bigger knife may feel better and more “right-sized” compared to more common 8-inch knives. The larger size is also useful for cutting larger food items. Whether you’re chopping a butternut squash in half, spatchcocking a chicken, or slicing a whole cucumber lengthwise, this 10-inch knife can handle the work.

This knife is made with a stainless steel blade crafted in a long, sloped curving shape that’s ideal for back-and-forth style cutting. Unlike some other knives on our list, the best chef’s knife has a flat spine that is helpful if you need to apply a little more pressure on harder-to-cut ingredients.

The handle is made of rosewood and is crafted with a molded shape that’s supposed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue and help with a secure grip. Because the handle is made of wood, this knife should not be washed in the dishwasher. Instead, hand wash and dry the knife after every use. To extend the lifespan of the wood handle, periodically applying a wood conditioner is recommended.

Price at time of publish: $91

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel blade and rosewood handle | Blade Size: 10 inches | Dishwasher Safe: No

The Bottom Line

The best chef’s knife is a personal choice. To be a good fit, the knife will need to feel right in your hands, be balanced, and fit within your budget. It’s hard to go wrong with the Global 8-Inch Chef Knife since it’s a mid-priced knife with a comfortable feel. If you prefer something with a wooden handle, the Mac Knife 8-Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife is a splurge-worthy tool that will last for years to come.

What to Know About Chef Knives Before Shopping

Material

There's a wide range of metal and non-metallic materials that are used to produce the best chef’s knives. Buying a knife in a steel material that can be easily sharpened at home is helpful for maintaining the quality of your knife. Some knives need to be sent away to the manufacturer to be properly sharpened, which may be too inconvenient for your lifestyle. 

Blade Size

This is really a personal choice and maybe even a practical one if you’re short on storage space. While most chef’s knives come in 8-inch sizes, blade size does vary. Choose something that fits well in your hand and doesn’t feel either too big and heavy or too small and light. Bigger hands will most likely feel better with bigger knives.

Dishwasher Safe

Even if your knife is billed as dishwasher safe, it’s recommended that you only hand wash your knife. The reason is twofold: A sharp knife in a dishwasher can be a safety hazard and the dishwasher can weaken the handle connection, causing the handle to separate from the knife. Any wooden-handled knife should only be hand-washed and never placed in the dishwasher.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you hold a chef's knife?

There are two popular ways to hold a chef’s knife. The first is known as the “handle grip” where you wrap all five fingers around the handle and your fingers have no contact with the blade. This is a safe and reliable hold.

Another hold is a “pinch grip” where only your pinky, ring, and middle finger get wrapped around the handle. The thumb and pointer finger are positioned to pinch the blade between the fingers. While awkward at first, the pinch grip can be helpful if working on really precise cuts. No matter the grip, always work to protect your valuable fingertips and keep your fingers out of harm's way.

What should you use a chef's knife for?

A chef’s knife can be used for nearly everything in the kitchen. “A good chef's knife should cover all your kitchen needs”, says Servold. “It can be used to break down chicken or fish, cut vegetables, or slice steak.”

What are the benefits of a chef knife?

“A sharp chef's knife will make chopping vegetables much easier and safer. A good chef's knife produces consistent size cuts, allowing food to cook evenly and look beautiful,” says Servold.

While it may seem counterintuitive, a sharp chef’s knife is much safer than a dull blade which is more likely to slip, move, or cause injury.

How should you care for a chef’s knife?

No matter what type of chef’s knife you decide on, the key to keeping your knife in tip-top form is maintaining its quality. Clean and dry your knife after every use and follow any particular instructions from the brand.

Some knives may come with sheaths, but if not, store the knife safely and not in an open drawer where little hands can access the chef’s knife. Most knives can be sharpened, either at home or professionally, and always follow the brand guidelines for how to best sharpen your chef’s knife. 

Who We Are

Maya Polton is an experienced freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens who has written for a wide variety of publications. In looking at the best chef’s knives, she searched for products and brands that offer a variety of styles and sizes, affordable prices, and long-lasting materials. She also spoke with Pete Servold, a classically trained French chef and founder of Pete’s Real Food for advice.

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