Top 5 Best Chef Knives – Buyer’s guide & reviews

There’s a reason we call the best kitchen knives “chef knives.” A good chef is a multitasker, so a good chef knife is designed to handle multiple jobs. Think of all the slicing and chopping involved in a beef stir-fry or a chicken noodle soup.

The best chef knife can’t be defined by a single set of features. It’s all about hand-feel: The knife should comfortably tackle a variety of tasks, functioning as an extension of your forearm.

1. MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-Inch Chef Knife 

It is the brand’s “most popular knife for everyday use”. It’s maneuverable enough to chop mint leaves, slice carrots, and peel butternut squash, offering clean cuts without requiring a perfect form. It’s a Japanese-style knife, which means it’s going to be smaller in general than a European-style knife.

At 7.1 ounces, the MAC is right in the middle of our contenders in terms of weight, but the blade is only 1.88 inches across — which means you never feel like you’re wielding a cleaver. In fact, the MAC’s satisfying heft was a running theme, with one tester describing the knife as “thin and light, but balanced.”

Pros

  • Comfortable and maneuverable

  • Balanced weight

  • Dimpled blade

Cons

  • Hand wash is recommended Not dishwasher safe

  • Expensive

2. Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

 

This is an excellent option for people who want to start cooking regularly but aren’t yet ready to invest a lot of money, offering solid performance for around $40. If you’re looking for low cost but respectable quality, the Victorinox is a good place to start.

The Victorinox is a European-style knife, meaning the blade is both wider and slightly thicker than the Japanese-style MAC and Shun. It only weighs 6.6 ounces (lighter than both the MAC and Shun), but the blade measures 2 inches across at its widest point. 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly

  • Blade made out of stainless steel material with dishwasher safe

  • European – style knife

Cons

  • Plastic handle

3. Shun Classic 8″ Chef Knife

The Shun Classic 8 made a vivid impression when we started chopping. The Shun, like the Mac, is a lightweight Japanese knife with a half bolster. It is beautiful — like a functional art piece — with great balance and good quality steel.” At 7.3 ounces, with a blade that’s 1.8 inches wide, it had heft and balance similar to the MAC.

The Shun got an overwhelmingly favorable response from experienced chefs for its grip and balanced weight. The Shun Classic line features beautiful Damascus-clad blades and D-shaped ebony PakkaWood handles.

Pros

  • Functional, beautiful design

  • Unique D-shaped handle

Cons

  • Not for beginners

  • Requires a high level of maintenance

4. Wusthof Classic 8″ Chef Knife

The Classic 8-inch Cook’s Knife from Wusthof is an excellent addition to a kitchen knives set for a culinary student, home cooking enthusiast or serious cooking hobbyist. Professional cooks also prize this Wusthof Classic Chef Knife as a high-quality workhorse knife well worth the investment. These knives are forged with precision manufacturing and the highest quality materials. This cook’s knife (or chef’s knife) is one of the most commonly needed kitchen tools for both function and size, and it’s a great value as an all-purpose chef knife despite its higher price than budget knives of similar function and size.

Pros

  • For most flexible use

  • Excellent heft and balance

  • Curved belly makes it easier to chop

  • Perfect size

Cons

  • Not for beginners

5. Global G-2 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Global brand of knives, handmade in Japan, is popular among home users and chefs. The G-2 8-inch chef’s knife, their best-selling product, shares some of the design characteristics of other Japanese knives. It is very lightweight with a thin blade and it keeps a very sharp edge. However, it rather than a separate piece of a softer material for a handle, such as wood or plastic, the knife is all of one piece with a metal handle. The actual length is 20-cm or 7.87 inches.

The blade is made of molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium in a combo called Cromova 18. It is sharpened on both sides, like Western knives, but to an extremely acute 15-degree angle rather than a beveled edge (the average European edge is ground to 20-22 degrees). 

Pros

  • Lightweight, precisely balanced 8-inch or 20cm chef’s knife

  • Blade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel

  • Edge retains razor sharpness exceptionally well

  • Stainless-steel handle molded for Comfort, dimpled for safe grip

  • Lifetime warranty against defects and breakage

Cons

  • The single stamp design makes the knife extremely fragile

  • The handle is smaller than most chef knives