Kitchn Love Letters

This Splurgy Chef’s Knife Is So Comfortable, I Feel Like I Could Meal Prep for Hours

published Jan 20, 2023
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sliced pineapple on a cutting board
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

I love gorgeous cookware, high-tech kitchen gear, and exciting product launches, but one of my favorite parts about being an editor at Kitchn is that I get to review a lot of cool knives. From massive cleavers to no-nonsense knife sets, there’s just something about shiny, sharp blades that gets me — and plenty of other knife nerds out there — fired up. However, testing that many knives (along with regular cooking at home) means that comfort is a huge factor that I look for when deciding if I like a blade or not. You could have the coolest-looking, most razor-sharp knife in the game, but if it’s a pain to use or feels awkward in the hand, it’s not much use in the kitchen. That’s why I was so psyched when Männkitchen, makers of my new favorite pepper cannon, reached out and asked if I wanted to test their MK9 Chef Knife

First of all, this knife is a beast — its unique, large shape might look a little daunting, but you can rest assured knowing that this is one of the most comfortable knives I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Männkitchen’s site explains that the tighter grain of the steel gives the blade “surgical sharpness, exceptional edge retention, and improved corrosion resistance,” and from my experience with the knife, I’d have to agree. I’ll admit, though, that I was a little skeptical at first, but the 9-inch blade doesn’t feel bulky or unmanageable, even though it maxes out at a hefty 2.5 inches wide. In fact, the blade is actually designed to curve downward at both ends (giving you a more natural wrist position, according to the site), and the big face means my knuckles never touch the cutting board when slicing and dicing. 

Credit: Ian Burke

Personally, this is the knife I reach for when I’m meal prepping these days, since it’s just the right size for working with a lot of volume. The wide blade helps with scooping up ingredients, and while it doesn’t quite double as a bench scraper like my cleaver, I actually find I like it a lot better, since it’s easier to see what I’m doing, and the handle is much more comfortable to hold. Plus, at 9 inches, the blade is longer than any other knives in my arsenal, which is great for cutting lots of stalks of celery or bunches of greens at once.

And, I’m not the only one who’s happy they snagged this piece. It has a perfect five-star rating on its site, with plenty of happy customers lauding its versatility, durability, and ergonomic design. “I’ve been using the MK9 Chef Knife as my daily driver knife for five months now,” one reviewer writes. “I can confidently say that the knife has, so far, been exactly as promised … I haven’t even sharpened it (other than honing on a steel) since it arrived, and the row of sutures on my right index finger will attest that it remains razor sharp.” 

While it’s not exactly cheap, if you’re looking to upgrade your current go-to knife with one that’s uber-comfortable, built-to-last, and wicked sharp, you really can’t go wrong with picking up the MK9 Chef Knife from Männkitchen