2016 Chef Knife Reviews:
In reviewing the best Chef Knives of 2016, there are several factors which go into choosing the perfect knife for your culinary needs. We will cover everything from various sizes of chef knife’s to styles or types of chef knives, so that you can choose the perfect knife for your cooking needs.
When choosing the best chef knife, you will want to get the best quality knife you can afford, if you pay more money now, you will find a knife that will last you years and stay sharp longer. Of course there are ornate blades that can cost a small fortune, that do not necessarily translate into performing better, but on average the higher priced chef knives are better quality and will last longer.
Before we go further, the most common way that chef knifes are categorized is by size, there are many different sizes of knives and it can be confusing on which size is best for your needs.
Chef Knife Sizes
There are four primary sizes of chef knives, and it can be confusing on determining which size of knife you should purchase. The most common sizes of chef knife’s are 8,9,10 and 12 inch knives. For most cooks you will want to select either an 8 or 9 inch chef knife, as they are most versatile and easy to handle.
The 8 inch chef knife is the most versatile knife for performing a wide range of culinary duties, from chopping to chopping up a whole chicken. Most cooks would recommend an 8 inch chef knife for most everyday chopping up vegetables or cutting up meat or poultry. The benefit is that it’s easy to handle, isn’t heavy and really choosing a larger knife doesn’t offer any particular advantage. Of course there are various 1/2 inch lengths and there is not too much difference between an 8 inch vs a 8 1/2 or 9 inch chef knife. Though you should stay away from the 10 inch or 12 inch chef knife, unless you have particular needs for a larger knife.
Overall, if you are purchasing your first chef knife or just looking for an all around knife an 8 inch chef knife is recommended. Such as the following chef knife’s.
For the home cook or chef a 9 inch chef knife can make a lot of sense, it is slightly larger than an 8 inch chef knife, yet still easy to control. Especially Japanese style chef knives you will find that they will weight the same or even less than say a comparable 8 inch steal blade chef knife. Of course if you are cutting up large pieces of meat or whole chicken or turkey regularly, you may want to instead choose a 10 inch or 12 inch chef knife. But for most home cooks that want a slightly larger blade, but still want to easily handle and control their chef knife, the 9 inch varieties are great options.
- Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef’s Knife
- ZHEN Japanese VG-10 Damascus Dragon Gyuto Chef Knife
- Tojiro DP Damascus 9.5-inch Chef’s Knife
The 10 inch chef knife is best for larger jobs, such as carving turkey or deboning chickens. It is a larger and heaver knife, making it difficult to handle for most home cooks and beginner chefs. However, purchasing a 10 or 12 inch chef knife for larger jobs as a secondary knife can be quite beneficial. Here are the best 10 inch chef knives available.
- Global G-16 Chef’s Knife
- Shun DM0707 Classic 10-Inch Chef’s Knife
- Wusthof Classic 10-inch Cook’s Knife
If you are tackling large jobs that require a lot of carving and deboning or want a knife that can slice a watermelon in a single slice, then a 12 inch chef knife is perfect for your needs. Due to the size, it is not good for paring or chopping up vegetables and thus is really a secondary knife that you will want to use to carve slabs of meat, carving up hams, turkey or deboning poultry. These are the best 12 inch chef’s knives currently on the market that are a great value and will last you decades if cared for properly, literally once you purchase one of these 12 inch chef’s knives it will be the last knife you purchase.
- Global GF-35 Chef Knife
- ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer Forged Steel Gyutou Chef Meat Cutting Knife
- Mac Chef Knife
- Masahiro 14914 MVH Professional Chef Knife
Our 2016 Top 8 Inch Chef Knife Comparison:
The J.A. Henckles 8 inch chef knife is a very affordable, quality knife for the entry level cook or someone looking for a general purpose knife. It isn’t the best quality knife, but it is made up of quality German stainless steal, has a stainless steal riveted handle and is dishwasher safe.
The Global G-2 is a quality professional 8 inch chef knife, if you are looking for a quality knife that will last you years and stay sharp longer than a cheap chef knife, then you will want to spend the extra money and get the G-2. It is made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel, comes with a lifetime warranty and has a solid stainless steel handle, which won’t crack or break. If you are looking for a knife that will do everything from chop vegetables to easily cut through ribs or large pieces of meat, then you have found your knife.
The wusthoff classic chef knife is a perfect quality knife for your everyday cooking needs, from the Forged high-carbon stainless steel blade, and quality handle, the knife feels well balanced and is a great middle of the road chef knife. If you are looking for a polymer handle, and a well constructed blade, then you will want to choose the wusthoff classic chef’s knife over the G-2. Still we prefer the G-2 since it is better constructed, however not everyone wants a metal handled chef knife.
Hopefully you have found this article informative and are better prepared on choosing your next chef’s knife. While there are plenty of options and price point’s for choosing a knife, generally the more expensive knives are a better long term value. Sure you can purchase a $20-50 chef knife and it will perform ok for a little while, however you will find yourself constantly sharpening it and over time you will regret you purchase. So in our experience it’s better to pay slightly more money and get a chef knife that will last you years, since you will be likely using it more than any knife or item in your kitchen.