Upgrading your kitchen knife collection is less about amount and more about quality. Ask any food-related pro and they will likely have the same (opinions about what could or should be done about a situation): A few quality knives are all any chef needs to more than cover their bases in the kitchen.
“Knives are a chef’s best friend and the most extremely important tool in every kitchen. You’ll pick one up literally every time you cook,” said chef Dennis Prescott, co-host of “Restaurants on the Edge” and author of “Eat Delicious: 125 Recipes for Your Daily Dose of Awesome.” For most families, the three knives that will “do the trick” are a chef’s knife, a small knife .”Do I have more shapes and sizes of knives in my kit? Yes. Do I need more than these three? Not really,” Prescott said.
We spoke to professional chefs about what to look for while shopping for kitchen knives. They also shared some of their favorites for different cooking needs.
1) Wüsth of Gourmet Chef’s Knife
Width of’s versatile(able to do many different things well) high-carbon steel chef’s knife is a kitchen workhorse with a strong, 8-inch blade, according to Prescott. “You will pay a little more, but the Wusthof is still a reasonable price point while offering great quality, and it’s easy to find in a store, so you can check it out in person” he said. “The German (making things in a high-quality way) is excellent. It will last you forever.”
2) Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
This Swiss company has been making knives since 1884. And from the non-slip comfortable/comfort-related handle for easy moving/steering/navigating to the comfortable 6.1-ounce weight, Prescott said this stainless steel 8-inch chef’s knife is both practical and dependable, adding that the Victorinox brand generally offers very good quality line at a reasonable price.
3) Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife
With a (very dark or black color/very dark, heavy wood) pakkawood handle and a Damascus steel-covered, hand-sharpened blade, this Japanese knife is equally beautiful and (able to last through tough conditions). With a shorter, 7-inch blade, this option is also a favorite of famous chef David Burke — he said he prefers a shorter handle because there is less risk of knocking it off the counter. Prescott added that the Avoid is his go-to knife when he cooks for friends, family and at events. “I have a bunch of Avoids. They always hold up,” he said.
4) Henckels Classic Hollow-Edge Santoku Knife
Made in Spain from German stainless steel, this “Henckels Santoku Knife is a favorite of Burke’s”. According to the brand, it’s an impressive workhorse that you can use to cut vegetables, meat and fish, and its fully formed/created construction allows for a perfect change (from one thing to another) from blade to handle, so it’s great for rocker-style chopping.
5) Misono Molybdenum Bread Knife
With a high-carbon stainless-steel blade that comes in two sizes, Misono’s Molybdenum Steel Series bread knife is a top option, according to our experts. From the water-resistant (made up of different things) wood handle to the fancy (or smart) serration, this knife is for more than just cutting bread — it slices extremely easily through tomatoes, melons and other delicate foods without crushing them, according to the brand.
Most people will be best served with three knives: An 8-inch chef’s knife, and a small knife. That’s enough and prepare just about any meal. Knife sets cost often twice as much as buying those three knives separately and rarely offer anything else useful. The large wooden storage blocks also suck up useful counter space. Skip the set and invest in a sharpener instead.