The best chef knives

Tojiro chef’s knife Western knife F-807

Our rating of the best kitchen knives opens with a classic European “chef” with an 18-cm blade in Japanese reading: in its manufacture, “internal Japanese” VG-10 steel was used, which was developed specifically for the manufacture of kitchen knives. Its characteristic features are the ability to be hardened to high hardness due to a decent carbon content and at the same time maintain viscosity so as not to break or crumble. The alloy is heavily alloyed with chromium, which gives it excellent corrosion resistance. However, in this regard, the manufacturer made the knife even better by using lamination technology — the central plate of high-carbon steel is inside a “sandwich” formed by sheets of softer stainless steel. As a result, the knife is indifferent to water, and keeps sharpening for a very long time — and it is literally razor-sharpened from the factory, which allows it to be used in the most delicate work.

Sharpening is a classic two-sided, allowing you to use the knife equally comfortably with both hands. Of course, no one will argue that one-sided sharpening “under your own hand” is better for filleting and slicing tomatoes, but the chef is a station wagon to be a wagon for everyone.

The handle of the knife has two plates of stabilized wood, fixed on three rivets. They tolerate all kinds of “chemistry” for washing well, they do not collect excess pollution due to the smooth surface. In most hands this handle fits well and is easy to control even when wet.

But let’s get to something and find fault with it, finally. First of all, perhaps, to the price: yes, the knife, which even the chef of a good restaurant does not disdain, cannot now be classified as cheap — although it is far from the most expensive in the line of Tojiro “chefs”. And, of course, sooner or later you will have to sharpen it — and this will require appropriate skill, crawling with an ordinary cheap “fish” with a blade is a way to spoil the knife blade rather than refuel it.

Main advantages:

  • High hardness with good flexibility and edge chipping resistance
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Comfortable grip
Minuses:
  • The complexity of sharpening (after all, HRC 61)
  • High price
Models in the line:
  • Tojiro chef’s knife Western knife F-807
    — 18 cm
  • Tojiro santoku knife Western F-331
    — universal, 17 cm
  • and etc.

9.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

An excellent and truly versatile knife — from the moment of purchase it cuts and cuts the same way, without sharpening.

Samura chef’s knife Damascus

A beautifully served dish is a beautiful knife. Well, no one will argue with the beauty of Damascus — although the “Damascus” in the name is conditional here, which is immediately evident from the pattern of the blade: instead of the bizarre weaves that good Damascus is famous for, there is clearly a “sandwich” in which, according to the manufacturer , 67 layers: in general, a classic technology for Japan. Well, let’s leave the terminology to those who like to argue about absolute truths and talk about the knife itself.

Structurally, this is a typical European school chef’s knife with a 20 cm long blade, sharpened to a razor-sharp state and perfectly holding its symmetrical sharpening. The center plate in the package is VG-10 alloy, like the cheaper Tojiro, so the knife has no problems with hardness and sharpening resistance either. The handle is fiberglass.

We rated the kitchen knife lower for a simple reason: increasing the price due to “layering” does not really improve practical properties, and the Tojiro’s mirror-smooth surface is easier and faster to clean. If you really want a Damascus knife, then, perhaps, let Damascus be real, and not just in the name.

Main advantages:

  • Workmanship
  • Excellent sharpening resistance
  • Comfortable handle
Minuses:
  • Complication of production technology without much gain in practicality
Models in the line:
  • Samura chef’s knife Damascus
    — 20 cm
  • Samura knife santoku Damascus
    — universal; 17.5 cm
  • Samura slicing knife Damascus
    — 20 cm
  • and etc.

9.6
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Beautiful, comfortable, secure. Although it is a little expensive — but the knife is fully versatile, at least to put meat on a barbecue, at least to cut tomatoes to the same barbecue.

VICTORINOX chef’s knife Fibrox

Of course, first of all, the Swiss brand is associated with Swiss folding knives, but they also have a considerable range of knives for the kitchen — both in the “amateur” series (model indices start with 5), and in the “professional” (“seven”). A 25-cm “chef” with a handle made of Fibrox branded elastomer is relatively inexpensive, but it will not disappoint in the kitchen — it is ergonomic, light enough for its dimensions and, of course, is not afraid of moisture: after all, “inox” in the company name obliges this.

Due to the use of monolithic rolled products instead of laminate or Damascus, the chef’s knife fell in price, but they did not save on the steel itself: Krupp molybdenum-vanadium steel X50CrMoV15 was used. There is not so much carbon in its composition by knife standards (0.5%), but on the other hand, without any special tricks, it provides the elasticity and viscosity of the blade, if it is possible to harden it to a sufficiently high hardness — in the region of 56 HRC. The indicator is not a record, but in the kitchen it is quite sufficient. As for corrosion resistance, let’s just say: this steel (as well as its direct counterparts) is also used in medicine, where the requirements for corrosion resistance are much higher than those in the kitchen.

But sharpening knives from this steel is difficult just due to viscosity — it sharpens physically easily, but the burr that gathers on the cutting edge prevents it from being “ideal” — to such razor sharpness as knives made of steels like VG-10 , such a blade cannot be withdrawn.

Main advantages:

  • High corrosion resistance
  • Good sharpening durability
  • Ergonomics
Minuses:
  • Some laborious sharpening (although if you are not a perfectionist and are not going to cut micron-thick fillets, you will not notice this)

9.4
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

The knife is comfortable and cuts well. Washes without problems — not a hint of rust for the whole time.

FISKARS Chef Knife Functional Form

Yes, this brand is all the more not associated with kitchen knives — but not with axes alone! And in its relatively compact «chef» Fiskars demonstrates its typical Scandinavian approach — simple, high quality and at an affordable price. The knife is light and comfortable in the hand — yes, the proprietary Softgrip coating involuntarily refers to Finnish axes. The blade is made of inexpensive stainless steel and hardened to a hardness in the region of 51-53 HRC — yes, it will have to be touched up with musat more often, but in general, by the standards of budget knives, this is normal. Well, you can wash this chef’s knife even by hand, even in the car without any problems.

Main advantages:

  • Comfortable handle
  • Good factory sharpening
  • Corrosion resistance
Minuses:
  • Traditionally beloved by Scandinavians, stainless steel will also traditionally require regular editing.
Models in the line:
  • FISKARS Chef Knife Functional Form
    — 16.9 cm
  • FISKARS Chef Knife Functional Form
    — 20 cm

9.1
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

A solid and comfortable kitchen knife, a typical «working Scandinavian» without any bells and whistles.

The best bread knives

Tefal bread knife Ice force

The name of the Ice Force series was given by the technology of their hardening: the heated part is cooled to a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius. As a result, when using the same material (Tefal does not give the exact grade of stainless steel used) as on the more “simple” series of knives from the same company, it is possible to increase the hardness of the cutting edge and sharpening resistance. Even if we are talking about a knife for bread.

In the hand, the kitchen knife sits well, the plastic grips fit well to the molded base. And let’s not forget that the company gives a ten-year warranty for breakage on all knives of this series — a nice “bonus”.

Main advantages:

  • Workmanship
  • Smart serrated blade geometry
  • 10 year warranty
Minuses:
  • Is that the price for not the most demanding kitchen knife design

9.6
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Made beautifully, without obvious flaws, it cuts both fresh and standing bread equally well.

Nadoba bread knife Rut

The name of the company may seem Japanese, but in fact it is quite Slavic, because the company Kucharské náciní Nádoba, sro is located in the Czech Republic. The knife, made of forged stainless steel, received a 20-centimeter blade, and the handle is rubberized for a secure grip. More precisely, it feels “obsilicone” — which basically spoils the overall good impression of a kitchen knife, the handle coating likes to collect dirt and is more difficult to clean compared to, say, plastic. At the same time, putting a knife in the dishwasher is a little scary — there is a suspicion that with a mechanized wash, the handle coating may begin to peel off over time. With a manual wash, at least this is not a problem.

Main advantages:

  • Ergonomics
  • Affordable price
  • Good cut quality at the factory
Minuses:
  • Not the most practical handle

9.0
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

I took it in a set, the knives are cheaper than the «Japanese», but better than the «Chinese» in quality, in my opinion. True, it would be better to make the handles all the same plastic.

The best kitchen hatchets

VICTORINOX Fibrox kitchen hatchet

The imposing “Swissman” knows how and loves to chop — a thick butt, a lenticular sharpening just have it, unlike more “delicate” kitchen hatchets, with which, it happens, you can cut fillets (yes, cooks also like to demonstrate “inappropriate” use — not only for carpenters to shave with an ax!). Unless the mass of 220 g is small — you will need a stronger swing if you get a strong bone.

The handle is made of plastic — the same Fibrox as on the kitchen knives of the same series. She has a very comfortable shape for a confident grip, you can quickly adapt to the hatchet. The blade material is X50CrMoV15 steel (again, the same as on the knives of this line), hardened to 55-56 HRC. So we have a really convenient, durable and unpretentious hatchet in front of us — and therefore, in this section of the ranking of the best kitchen knives, the Swiss confidently take first place.

Main advantages:

  • Ergonomics
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Good and durable factory sharpening
Minuses:
  • It would be worth making the hatchet heavier … at least from a male point of view

9.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

I recently bought it to replace the old one — and Victorinox definitely justifies its price, you can carve carcasses without straining, it cuts bones easily.

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Samura hatchet Bamboo

A complete monolith: both the blade and the handle here are made from one piece of AUS-8 steel. Yes, this steel is not one of the “show-offs”, but it shows itself well just in such applications (hatchets, machetes, kukri-like knives with a bias in chopping blows), providing the edge with resistance to chipping under impact loads, and allows you to get a decent edge hardness — and at the same time it is corrected and sharpened without problems.

A wide blade with a forty-degree sharpening is well suited for its direct duties — it quickly cuts the carcass of a rabbit or bird, does not “stumble” on the bone when cooking steaks, and even more so it will easily blow off the head of a fish. The handle, which imitates the shape of a bamboo stalk (hence the name), is controlled by the hand quite well — but personally, the author would still prefer stabilized wood or plastic to bare metal, so the rating score is not as high as it could be.

It is worth considering one nuance, again caused by the choice of material: although in general AUS-8 has good resistance to corrosion, prolonged contact with water is contraindicated for it, point «ulcers» will begin to occur over time in such conditions. Therefore, some care is still required.

Main advantages:

  • Good sharpening blade
  • Ease of editing and sharpening
  • Sufficient mass (347 g) for cutting bones — however, it is provided mainly by the handle, and not the butt
Minuses:
  • Execution of the handle for an amateur

9.6
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Chops pork ribs without any problems, easier work like butchering a chicken is all the more not annoying.

Samura hatchet kitchen Harakiri

Although the name “Hara-kiri” for the hatchet looks funny, it turned out to be very interesting — more traditional than Bamboo, a handle with plastic overlays (white or black to choose from), a slot from the edge for hanging on a hook is also not forgotten. This hatchet is lighter than its counterpart — both due to the lightweight handle (primarily), and due to the rounding and bevel of the blade. Therefore, although Bamboo cuts bones and is somewhat more confident, Harakiri may be more convenient for you to work with.

The blade material for both axes is the same — AUS-8. Accordingly, in this regard, Harakiri shares both pros and cons with Bamboo. Sharpening is subjectively more adapted to cutting — so the hatchet can be used in the style of Serge Markovich’s «camping» videos and as a hardcore replacement for the «chef».

Main advantages:

  • Good workmanship
  • Ease of editing and sharpening
Minuses:
  • Sensitivity to prolonged exposure to water

9.1
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

I won’t say that I use it often, but I won’t call the purchase useless — especially after a successful hunt it comes in handy.

The best fillet knives

Tojiro Japanese knife F-1056

This is no longer a “European”, but a typical “Japanese” in spirit — more precisely, a classic Japanese yanagiba knife, a local version of fillet knives designed for fine cutting of fish and seafood. A characteristic feature of these knives is one-sided sharpening, so the knife is designed exclusively for the right hand. And, despite the national flavor and specialization primarily in fish, knives of this type show themselves perfectly when working with meat, even in Russian, even in European … yes, even in Australian cuisine, in fact.

The blade of the knife is of moderate width, 21 cm long. The material is molybdenum-vanadium steel, well hardened and brought to zero. A knife in “right out of the box” condition is capable of cutting the thinnest fillets in skillful hands. The handle is of the canonical Japanese form, made of wood. Therefore (again, purely in Japanese), the knife will require certain care rituals: do not wash it in the dishwasher, and do not forget to wipe it dry after washing.

Main advantages:

  • Excellent sharpening, allowing you to cut thin fillets without problems
  • Sharpening durability
Minuses:
  • Some maintenance requirements

9.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

An excellent fillet knife, which is worth at least just trying it out in order to understand what a fillet knife should be.

VICTORINOX fillet knife Swiss classic

With its purely unpretentious appearance, a kitchen knife may even seem expensive. However, this flexible and perfectly sharpened “fillet” with double-sided sharpening at 20 degrees will not disappoint in business, and unlike the more expensive “Japanese”, it is also absolutely unpretentious: the plastic handle is not afraid of washing in the car, and the blade is made of steel X50CrMoV15 , which Victorinox loves to use so much, keeps sharpening well and is indifferent to water — even fresh, even salty.

Therefore, in this section of the ranking of the best kitchen knives, the Swiss company receives a decent score: behind the plainness of the knife lies a real European quality, which, alas, is now increasingly rare.

Main advantages:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Quality factory sharpening
  • Comfortable and non-slip handle
Minuses:
  • Well, except for the external simplicity
Models in the line:
  • VICTORINOX fillet knife Swiss classic
    — 20 cm
  • VICTORINOX vegetable knife Swiss classic
    — 10 cm
  • VICTORINOX vegetable knife Swiss classic
    — 8 cm
  • and etc.

9.6
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

A working knife, as it should be in the «non-professional» segment — without unnecessary prettiness, but doing its job.

Kanetsugu thin slicer Special offer

Kanetsugu’s Special Offer line of knives is budgetary, the price order in it is noticeably lower than that of the «professional» PRO-S and PRO-V. First of all, the choice of steel made the knife cheaper, of course — an inexpensive AUS-8 was used here. However, the blade is brought together and sharpened perfectly, besides, the knife itself is made in the European spirit — with double-sided sharpening, so you can use it with either hand. In a head-to-head comparison, of course, he will lose to Tojiro — but appreciate the difference in prices for these two knives! And by the way, they will require the same care, so for an average kitchen, such a purchase may turn out to be even more interesting if you are not a fan of ultra-thin cutting.

The ergonomics of the knife is good and again habitually European, the handle of almost square section is assembled from two riveted overlays. The material of the overlays is a pleasant rosewood with a slight roughness.

Main advantages:

  • Quality of information and sharpening
  • Double-sided sharpening for any hand
Minuses:
  • Certain care requirements
  • A certain feeling of overpaying for the brand — after all, we have before us a simple fillet from AUS-8
Models in the line:
  • Kanetsugu thin slicer Special offer

    — 21 cm

  • Kanetsugu utility knife Special offer
    — 15 cm
  • Kanetsugu utility knife Special offer

    — 12 cm

  • and etc.

9.5
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Compared to the older series, it’s even almost a state employee, but still well done, from my non-professional point of view at least.

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