The best chefs knives are an investment. The serious home cook should consider purchasing the best knife they can afford. A chef’s knife should be multi-purpose and able to handle a variety of different tasks.
What should you consider before buying?
- Material – If on a budget, look for stainless steel, but a higher budget could consider carbon steel, which stays sharper than stainless steel. You can also purchase ceramic blades, which need less frequent sharpening, although they tend to chip more easily.
- Sharpness – Is the blade sharp enough to cut through different foods? Does it maintain its sharpness or need frequent sharpening?
- Balance – The knife should be comfortable for your hand, be evenly weighted, and maintain stability when pressing down on food items.
The Top 5 Chef Knives
Zelite Infinity Chef’s 8″ knife
This knife has scored very high ratings on Amazon. Users find it a very versatile knife that is extremely sharp and well designed. The quality of the materials and the balance are given high praise. Buyers of the knife recommend it for anyone who is looking to invest in one high-quality knife for home cooking or professionals alike. At just under £120 for one knife, it is certainly pricey, but you get what you pay for. Some people consider it the best professional chef knife in the world. If you want to raise your cooking game then it could be time to invest in a quality knife like this one. However, the price makes it expensive for many home cooks.
Ross Henery Professional Chef’s Knife Set
At under £70, this set is a great, sturdy option for professionals or home use. It offers excellent value as a start kit or as a replacement for somebody who has lower quality knives. It comes with a 2 year manufacturer grantee and is presented in a heavy duty zip up case to keep the knives safe. Some people have commented that the knives rust easily if left it water. Comments on the balance are also mixed for some of the knives so it would be better to try them for yourself first, if possible. For this price point you can’t go wrong with these knives – just be sure to dry them thoroughly after use.
Victorinox 19cm Chef’s Knife
This could be a good budget knife for anyone moving into their first home or keen to improve their cooking skills. At not much more than £20, it’s clearly not going to be the highest performer, but for anyone looking for a chef’s knife for home use it’s a good starting point. The sharpness and the balance is praised by reviewers. While it’s unlikely to match the Zelite Infinity in performance, the Victorinox comes in at less than one-fifth of the Zelite’s price, making it much more in line with many budgets.
Kuhn Rikon Chef’s Knife
Clearly, it’s not possible to offer the best professional chefs knives at a sub-£20 price point, but this knife is a great choice for home use. Like the Victorinex, this could be a good budget option for anyone needing a versatile knife for home use. The Kuhn Rikon has a silicon coating to prevent food sticking, and is liked for its sharpness and good weight. However, the handle is not so popular because of its plastic feel. Consider this one if you can only afford one knife and are on a limited budget. There are different colour options if you like to colour coordinate your kitchen.
Richardson Sheffield Cucina Santoku
Sheffield is historically known for its steel production, and the tradition continues in this ultra-low budget knife. At just £6.50 it is unlikely to last forever or stand up to the demands of professional use, but for very limited budgets will do the job well. The knife is liked for being value for money but does not seem to be versatile enough to handle a number of different requirements. It appears to be best for chopping vegetables and fruit. But if you do a lot of cooking and need a knife that can cope with different tasks, you would do better to spend more on a more versatile knife.
Budget will be a big influence on the knife you buy, although you can find some good-value knives at the lower end of the market. However, for serious cooks and those who value quality, it is worth buying the best knife you can afford. This will justify its price by its longevity and superior performance. Cheaper knives will most likely need to be replaced more frequently. A more expensive knife may require an initial higher outlay, but will be a pleasure to use and retain its sharp edge for much longer.