The Very Best Knives and Cutlery Tools You Can Buy in 2022

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Hands grating parmesan cheese with a microplane zester over a heaping plate of spaghetti with red sauce. Black tile background
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

Ask any professional chef to name the single most important tool in any kitchen and they’ll almost always call out the humble chef’s knife. With a good chef’s knife, you can mince garlic, chop herbs, break down a whole chicken, slice an onion into little moons, and more. What’s a good chef’s knife, though? We’ll tell you! Actually, we’ll tell you about the best chef’s knife. And we’ll tell you our picks for a bread knife, a paring knife, and more.

These super-sharp superstars come from our recently launched guide to the very best kitchen tools and cookware for 2022: It’s called Kitchn Essentials, and you can browse the whole thing here. If you’re stocking up, here are our top picks when it comes to knives and all the important knife-related gear.

1 / 12
Best Chef's Knife
Williams Sonoma

Effortless slicing and dicing paired with sleek good looks put this chef's knife a cut above the rest. Senior Food Editor Megan O. Steintrager can't say enough good things about it: "Of all of my knives, this is the one I reach for the most. It's balanced; feels substantial without being too heavy; and cuts vegetables, fruit, meat, and more beautifully."

2 / 12
Best Bread Knife

This knife passes all of our tests, cutting through even the crustiest of loaves with little pressure and easily slicing tomatoes and other soft-skinned fruits, too. If you prefer an offset bread knife, this one from Mercer Culinary is our top pick. Both have a grippy, comfortable handle and affordable price tag.

3 / 12
Best Paring Knife

A paring knife that offers comfort, sharpness, and dexterity and costs less than $10 seems almost too good to be true. That's why, in a field full of sharp finds, we think this is the very best paring knife you can buy. It's not fancy, but it feels like it was made for your hand and works incredibly well.

4 / 12
Best Wooden Cutting Board

The problem with most wooden cutting boards is that they can be difficult to clean. If only you could put them in the dishwasher. Well, that's just part of what makes this composite board so great. Not only is it dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, but it also has a groove for juices and rubber feet for stability. In other words, it checks all the boxes.

5 / 12
Best Plastic Cutting Board
was $35.00

Many Kitchn editors have multiples of these colorful cutting boards, which are dishwasher-safe, made from recycled materials, and attractive enough to leave out on your counter. "They bring me so much joy whenever I go to cut something, which is all the time basically," says Copy Chief, Lauren Kodiak. They even won a top spot in our Best List testing.

6 / 12
Best Small Plastic Cutting Board
Bed Bath & Beyond

This small, plastic cutting board with non-slip edges is perfect for tiny tasks. Contributor Patty Catalano uses it for mincing garlic, slicing citrus for drinks, and seasoning a single chicken breast. Pro tip: Keep one on your bar cart.

7 / 12
Best Shears

These affordable shears can tackle tough and delicate jobs alike, including spatchcocking chicken, breaking up canned, whole tomatoes, and cutting open tough plastic clamshell containers. They also come apart easily for cleaning and are dishwasher-safe.

8 / 12
Best Peeler

If we've said it once, we've said it a million times: This shockingly inexpensive and highly effective peeler is the only one you need. Contributor Grace Elkus is a Kuhn Rikon stan for life: "It's better than any more expensive peeler I've ever used, and it comes in a bunch of fun colors, too!" (The one above is a deep purple, it's just hard to tell here!)

9 / 12
Best Box Grater

Grating butter, shredding cheese, slicing zucchini, and zesting limes — this box grater can easily handle whatever you throw at it. And it has a non-slip base and a grippy handle, too, which makes it super comfortable to use. Yes, even if you have a million pounds of cheese to work through.

10 / 12
Best Zester

There's a reason Microplane has become synonymous with zesters (like Kleenex and tissues!): It has the smartest design and sharp teeth that work though lemon peels and wedges of cheese. "While you're getting one for yourself, grab an extra one for gifting. "It's an excellent gift for somebody who's just getting into cooking and someone who wants to up their game, too." says Megan. The handle also comes in lots of fun colors and patterns.

11 / 12
Best Mandoline

Senior Recipe Editor Amelia Rampe says this Japanese Benriner mandoline is the only one she'll ever own — and the rest of us totally agree. We prefer it to bulkier, more expensive French mandolines for its ability to slice, julienne, and shred even the hardest vegetables, while easily fitting in any kitchen drawer for storage. Note: Be sure to use the included guard or invest in a protective glove. This blade is sharp!

12 / 12
Best Knife Sharpener

If you have good knives and use them often, it's worth investing in this electric knife sharpener, which reliably adds a sharp edge to any knife (including your serrated knife). It's completely foolproof, with three slots for gradually building up an edge and guides that hold your knife at the correct angle. You seriously can't mess this up.

How many of these Essentials do you have? Tell us in the comments below.