Any experienced chef would choose a chef’s knife if they were stuck on a desert island with only one culinary gear to bring. Other kitchen blades, such as serrated knives and butcher knives, have more specialised uses, but a competent chef’s knife can do everything from slicing and dicing to more difficult jobs like carving a chicken and cutting a pineapple.
KOI ARTISAN has launched more than 17 knives to find the best kitchen knives on the market. We tested with home cooks in mind and evaluated how well each knife cut and retained an edge after slicing and chopping through onions, whole chickens, cooked steak, carrots, and cheddar cheese. We sliced tomatoes, minced garlic, basil into fine ribbons, and sliced parsley. The most impressive knives were super sharp and made paper thin slices of tomato with no effort at all.
We looked for blades that rocked back and forth effortlessly and required minimal pressure to cut through meat, as well as the comfort of the handle and grip and the overall experience using the knife. While larger knives felt sturdier, they can weary hands when chopping hard items like carrots, so we made note of how each handle felt and the weight of the knife. Larger handled, lighter knives give more control, while the smaller handles knives allowed us to slice quickly and thinly.
How to choose the best kitchen knife for you
There are two primary categories of chef’s knives to choose from: German knives and Japanese knives. Although they aren’t as divergent as one may believe (and many knives incorporate elements of both designs! ), there are a few important differences worth noting:
German knives are heavy and robust, especially where the blade meets the handle (the bolster), and may be used for everything from mincing garlic to cutting through chicken bones. They feature thicker, curved blades that make rocking easier, and they’re made of softer steel, so you’ll have to sharpen them more frequently.
Western-style Japanese knives are lighter and sharper than German knives, with a thinner blade and straighter edge, making them perfect for precise jobs like slicing cucumbers or tuna. They can also last longer between sharpening because they’re made of tougher steel, but they’re more prone to chipping and splitting.
BEST OVERALL 8-INCH CHEF’S KNIVES:
Right out of the box, an excellent chef’s knife should be razor sharp. Try slicing through a sheet of paper to see how sharp it is. A razor-sharp knife will cut cleanly and quickly. (Of course, chop some food if you have the opportunity.) Take note of the blade’s line as well. During chopping and mincing, a modest curvature from the tip to the heel can help the knife bounce back and forth smoothly.
A good handle is one that makes you feel safe and secure. It shouldn’t be difficult to hang on to, and it shouldn’t be slick when wet. On the underside, there should be adequate clearance so that you don’t bash your knuckles while chopping (the height of the blade affects this). To make gripping easier, some knives include moulds or indentations on the handles. For some people, these are effective. For others they force an unnatural grip and make the knife hard to hold at awkward angles, such as when butterflying a chicken breast or carving a melon.
The bolster on the Pampered Chef makes it very easy and comfortable to grasp. It basically instructs you on how to hold the knife correctly (by pinching the bottom of the blade.) This knife is a true extension of your hand because the handle lies in the center of your palm. This fully forged, high-carbon German steel knife effortlessly cut through practically any chore. It also comes with a protective plastic covering, making it extra safe to store.
Santoku 7 & 5-Inch Chef’s Knives:
A santoku knife, often called a santoku bocho or a bunka bocho, is a Japanese knife. As in slicing, mincing, and dicing, the term translates to “three virtues” or “tri-purposes.” To some extent, it can be compared to a smaller, lighter version of a Western-made chef’s knife.
Because of their specific tell-tale characteristics, you can recognize a santoku knife from recognize others. The distinctive sheepsfoot blade curving downward down the spine without developing a tip at the end is the most visible. Furthermore, because of its flat and smooth edge, each cut on the chopping block has little to no swaying motion.
The multi-functional santoku knife, like the flexible chef’s knife, can handle a wide range of ingredients, from red meat to green vegetables. Hard objects, such as bones, and the use of raw force, on the other hand, are bad for the blade and can cause major damage.
A santoku knife is better for detailed jobs than a general-purpose chef’s knife, which should suffice nine times out of ten. It excels at high-precision and extra-thin cuts, for example, where other knives might struggle to achieve the same results.
A santoku knife, like other Asian knives, has a razor-sharp edge that adds more bite to each cut. It has minimal issue carving and slicing delicate things with high accuracy, measuring 10 to 15 degrees. It’ll come in handy for cutting and scooping delicate fish pieces such as salami or sashimi.
However, maintaining the edge in excellent condition necessitates a significant amount of effort. A santoku knife, with the exception of specialist whetstones, will not hold up well against commercial-grade knife sharpeners, let alone electric ones. And, as part of the rigorous upkeep, you should never use a dishwasher to clean it; instead, you should always wash it by hand.
The Global Santoku is one of the sharpest knives we’ve tried, and it’s made entirely of stainless steel, so there are no crevices along the handle to trap food. Vegetables won’t stick to the blade since it features hollow slots along the edge. This Japanese knife excelled at all jobs, but we were particularly impressed by its ability to pierce chicken bones.
Kitchen Utility Knives:
Utility knives combine the functions of slicing and paring knives. They have scalloped edges and slightly longer blades than normal paring knives. A sharp utility knife is an excellent instrument for slicing fruits and vegetables, as well as for meal preparation.
The utility knife is frequently chastised for failing to fulfil a specified function or perhaps being redundant. The very nimble paring knife is the ideal choice for precision and delicate chores. With its full-size blade and length, the chef’s knife can handle most of the other typical chores. So, what is the purpose of a utility knife?
The utility knife is often the knife of choice for waiters who must execute activities such as slicing roasts on-the-go around the restaurant floor, hunters who field-dress their game in the field, or outdoor culinary services that do not necessitate the use of a full-size blade. When portability is desired, the utility knife is an excellent substitute for the bulky chef’s knife.
Because of its typically thinner blade, the utility knife can be sharpened to a razor’s edge. The thinner steel of the blade allows for steeper bevels, which results in a sharper edge. A narrow blade decreases drag and promotes more precision as you cut, while a sharp edge slices more freely into the food. The utility knife is ideal for slicing vegetables and meats because of this.
Another benefit of the utility knife is that it can perform two functions. Living in a city frequently means having a small kitchen. A single 7-inch utility knife may be sufficient for those who do not cook frequently and believe that a minimalistic kitchen is all they require. The utility knife is certainly a space saver when compared to the chef’s knife. It allows you to easily handle the small-volume cutting of veggies and meats that a simple meal necessitates. The blade is also narrow and short enough to serve as a fruit paring knife.
From peeling vegetables and chopping fruits to deveining shrimp and slicing cheese, this incredibly flexible style of knife can be utilized for a variety of meal prep activities. Paring knives normally have blades that range from 2 14” to 4 12” in length, and they come in a variety of forms.
One of the most essential kitchen utensils is a paring knife. There are a few different types, but they’re all just a knife with a smaller blade—between 2 and 5 inches long, with the majority being around 3.5 inches. You’ve probably seen chefs using them on TV, and if you have a reasonably equipped kitchen, you most likely have one as well. This tutorial can assist you if you’re asking “what is a paring knife used for?” or “when to choose a paring knife over other kitchen knives or utensils.” A paring knife’s advantage is its compact size, which provides you greater control while making small, delicate cuts than a large chef’s knife. It’s also lighter and easier to grasp, so you can use it with only one hand and skip the cutting board.
Peeling the skin and other undesired pieces off of fruits and vegetables is the most typical application of a paring knife. Oranges, peaches, tomatoes, and onions come to mind. Other thick-skinned fruits and vegetables with hard flesh, such as cucumbers and potatoes, benefit more from a peeler, though if you don’t have one, a paring knife would suffice.
Wrap three or four fingers of your dominant hand around the handle of a paring knife with the blade facing you to peel. To avoid chopping off more meat than skin, flip the fruit or vegetable with your other hand at a small angle to the knife. Use your thumb to keep the fruit or vegetable steady while cutting. It’s feasible to remove the entire peel in one go if you cut in rings as you turn!
Slicing thin slices of large cooked foods like poultry, ham, and roasts is done with carving knives. Their smaller form distinguishes them, and their size enables them to carve more precise and thinner slices.
Carving knives are typically large, measuring between 20cm and 38cm in length. They usually have a sharp tip, but some manufacturers create rounder tips as well. The edge of most carving knives is smooth and non-serrated. Rounded carving knives are best for cutting around the bone, whereas pointed carving knives are preferable for cutting roast beef and ham bits. A fluted blade on some carving knives prevents meat from sticking.
A carving knife’s sharp tip is great for cutting along the board. As a result, it may be more versatile than rounded blades in some applications. The carving knife will be able to chop tasty portions of chicken, turkey, lamb, cattle, or pork in this manner. Carving knives of good quality can be used to cut cold meats and fish, as well as to prepare meat for stir-fry recipes. Some carving knives sold online include a fork that may be used to keep the meat from sliding off the cutting board.
Individual carving knives can indeed be chosen for yourself, as a gift for a cook, or as a housewarming present. In that situation, a carving knife set with a matching fork is a good option. When shopping for a carving knife, seek for one with a long blade, at least 20 cm long. You’ll have more room to slice back and forth with less sawing motion this way.
A Nakiri resembles a cleaver in appearance, with a double bevel and razor-sharp tapering edges. The Nakiri knife is great for chopping and pushing cutting because to its flat design profile and squared-off tips. Here are some recommendations and reviews to aid you in your search for the best Nakiri knife for your kitchen.
A Granton edge is common on the greatest Nakiri knives. Air pockets form between the indentations and the slice because this type of edge is hollow. This is necessary to keep fruits and vegetables from adhering to the blade. The Nakiri knife also has a full tang design, which means that from the grip to the tip, just one piece of steel is employed. The polymer triple-riveted handle prevents bacteria from collecting between the handle and the steel, preventing moisture accumulation. For soups, salads, and stir-fries, the best Nakiri knives can cut uniformly proportioned pieces. A Nakiri knife produces more precise slices and requires less cleanup than a food processor.
The Nakiri is as thin as a chef’s knife thanks to its hollow ground blade. It’s made of carbon steel and works well for cutting vegetables, especially when dexterity is required. In most cases, just having a flat edge will provide you with the functionality of an up-and-down motion without the horizontal pushing and pulling that you may desire. The Nakiri knife’s flatter edge makes it simple to get the uniform thinness you want when cutting even the most difficult fruits and vegetables.
A Nakiri knife is also capable of precision and speed while slicing, chopping, and mincing fruits and vegetables. This comes in handy when you need the thinnest cuts or perfectly cut slices and cubes. The blade angle of a Nakiri knife makes it sharper than other knives. Nakiri knives are made of carbon steel, and the blade’s wider width makes it more powerful while cutting tougher foods like turnips.
Long, thin, flexible blades with a sharp tip are used in boning knives to make piercing meat easier and safer. To extract raw flesh off the bone, the blade is designed to cut through ligaments and connective tissue.
Boning knives must be razor-sharp, and the tougher the blade is, the longer it will keep its edge. Dull blades can pull meat from the bone instead of slicing it, affecting both the cooking and presentation of the dish. Dull knives are risky because they need more force to cut through flesh, making it easy to lose control. The type of boning knife you use will be determined by the task at hand and the type of flesh you’ll be working with. When selecting a boning knife, keep the following factors in mind.
Design of blade:
Curved: A fillet or boning knife’s curve is ideal for removing fish skin in one swipe and creating long, clean strokes through the meat. The angle of the curve enables for more effective maneuvering around tight places, making some delicate tasks, such as filleting a bird, easier.
Straight: This makes removing huge portions of meat, such as beef, much easier. Many traditional Japanese fillet knives are straight, which is unusual. The straight blade is supposed to make finer slicing and shaping easier. These knives are suited for high-speed cuts in the hands of a professional.
Flexible: Intricate jobs benefit from the knife’s ability to mix and flex since it allows it to cut around lighter edges and challenging forms.
Stiff: Tougher, thicker flesh will force a weaker knife to bend and deviate from its intended path. To cut through and section off wide slices, use stiff blades.
Thin: Some narrow blades are more flexible than others. Thinner blades are sometimes required for cutting around narrower angles. Thinner blades also cut through the tissue more easily, causing less damage to more delicate meat.
Broad: For portioning hefty cuts of meat, you’ll need wide, robust knives.
The size of the cut will be determined by the type of meat used.
Handles: Handles should be comfortable to hold. Some duties, however, necessitate a firm grip while applying power to the meat, while others will be handled more like a scalpel to produce precise incisions.
Tang: The thin bit of metal that passes through the handle of a knife is referred to as this. It is made of the same metal as the blade and is continuous. The metal runs all the way to the end of the handle, which is then built around it. This handle is more secure than partial tang handles, which have metals that stop halfway up. Some knives, including the handle, are manufactured entirely of one continuous piece of metal. These are really durable.
Material: Wooden handles are attractive, but they can warp if left in water. Metal handles are durable, but they might be cold and insecure for some individuals. Polypropylene is a good all-around material. This synthetic hard plastic may mimic the look of wood without the hassles of upkeep.
Bread may be sliced with any knife, technically. However, some traits in your knife are required to make bread cutting faster and more efficient. Because there are so many options on the market, finding the finest bread knife for you might be a bit of a challenge. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a new bread knife.
To make slicing through the crust easy, the best bread knife must be sharp. Sharp knives also help to keep the bread from shedding excessively. If you try slicing bread with a dull knife, you will quickly become annoyed. It’s also aggravating since your bread “sinks” as you saw through it.
A decent bread knife should be long enough to allow for effortless sawing. Choose something that is longer than 7 inches. A bread knife with an 8-inch blade length is ideal.
Serrated bread knives were designed exclusively for bread, and this is a personal preference. The edge facilitates cutting through the bread easier, resulting in neater slices. Serrated blades also help to keep the airiness of the bread. It won’t cause the bread to compress, so you’ll always get airy bread slices. In comparison to straight edges, serrated edges do not easily dull.
Bread knives are ideal for delicate cakes, pastries, and biscotti, as well as slicing tomatoes and soft fruits, trimming a pineapple or melons, cutting cheese, slicing salami, shredding lettuce and cabbage, and carving roast meats and poultry. A very resourceful performer!
Bread knives feature a serrated edge that looks like a saw, with sharp points and hollows called gullets in between. This jagged edge makes it easier to cut through products like bread that have a hard outside but a soft inner, or tomatoes that have a slippery exterior. The pointed teeth pierce the surface, while the gullets reduce friction between the knife and the food and prevent tearing.
You’ve undoubtedly gone off course when cutting different ingredients with separate blades unless you have a rock-steady hand. The serrated edge on a bread knife reduces the danger of it going off.
It’s likely that you’ve observed that not all bread knives are created equal. Some people have more incisors than others. Some have sharper teeth than others. Bread knives have several types of serrations depending on the brand. Some knives have sharp teeth with deep hollows between them, while others have rounder teeth and a gentler profile.