Buying the Basics: 5 Terrific Chef's Knives

Essential Kitchen Tools

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As we've said time and time again, a chef's knife is a very personal thing. There is no one-size-fits-all. It's all about how that particular knife feel feels in your hand, whether the size, weight, and comfort is specifically suited to you.

That said, when exploring your options, these five knives are a terrific starting point. Ranging in price from $25 (budget) to $296 (total splurge), these knives are the most frequently recommended by both Kitchn editors and readers.

1. Victorinox 40520 Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife, $24.98 from Amazon

Editor Review: "These Victorinox knives are great deals -- inexpensive, sharp, and long-lasting. We've mentioned these knives before; they are the choice of many chefs. This 8-inch knife is just the right size for my hands, but they also come in a larger 10-inch size." - Faith, Executive Editor of The Kitchn

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2. Wüsthof Classic Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife, $69.95 - $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma

Editor Review: "I love the nearly-straight knife edge with its slight rounded tip. The blade itself feels long enough that I can accomplish whatever slicing task I have before me, but not so long that I worry about accidentally stabbing the person across from me while dicing onions. The flat part of the blade is wide enough for me to easily scoop sliced vegetables off the cutting board and into a prep bowl. The handle fits snugly in my palm. - Emma, Associate Editor of The Kitchn

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3. Global 8" Chef's Knife, $115 from Sur La Table

Reader Review: "I received a Global chef's knife as a present a year or two ago, and I am still madly and desperately in love with it. If they weren't almost prohibitively expensive, I'd probably own the whole set, including the steak knives. I use my Global all the time - it is so beautifully balanced, and very nice to look at too. Prior to the Global I had used miscellaneous Henckels, which are also quite nice but I think I've become a Global user for life." - NDK

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4. Messermeister Meridian Elite 10-Inch Kullenschliff Chefs Knife, $142.73 from Amazon

Reader Review: "My 10" Messermeister Chef's knife [is my favorite tool]. It's the perfect knife for my hand, the fit, weight and balance are perfect and I just love it. So much so, I have two: one for the country and one for the city." - John and Jenny

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5. Chef's Knife by Coltellerie Berti, $296 from Didriks

Editor Review: "For a few days, I diced, chopped and minced all matter of fauna and flora with this excessively expensive and astoundingly beautiful knife. Its weight will melt a melon into two halves. It also happens to be handmade in Italy by a family-owned company who know what they're doing with blades. Surely, it's for when you hit the lottery, but should that happen to you, lucky friend, here's a fun little splurge." - Faith, Executive Editor of The Kitchn

Readers, what chef's knife do you use?

Related Kitchn posts about knives:

How To Learn Basic Knife Skills: The Video
Choose the Best Knife for Your Cooking: Advice from Chef Samin Nosrat
Help Us Find a Really Good Cheap Knife
What Is the Best Chef's Knife?
How Do I Find a High Quality, Affordable Chef's Knife?