10 Best Chef's Knives of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

The best chef’s knives are like the best pants: It’s not one-size-fits all. Where a single knife will feel comfortable in the hand for one person, that same blade might feel awkward in someone else’s grip. And therein lies the predicament: The only way to tell which one is going to work best for you is by trying it.

We’ve done our best to test a variety of chef’s knives—from Japanese-style to German-style knives to ones of varying types of metal—to give you a general idea of what might suit your preferences. Professional chefs (Jeremy Allen White included) treat their blades like they’re an extension of themselves, mainly because they are, and rarely do they let others get their grubby hands on them. Sure, you’re probably just trying to get dinner on the table for yourself and you’re likely not bending over backwards to win a Michelin star in the comfort of your own home, but the right chef’s knife will surely make you feel like a five-star cook.

The Best Chef’s Knives, at a Glance

Dinner won’t prep itself. Grab our top-pick chef’s knives right here and get food on the table ASAP.

  • The Best Chef’s Knife, Overall: Mac Mighty Hollow Edge, $139
  • The Best Budget Chef’s Knife: Mercer Culinary Genesis, $46
  • The Best Splurge Chef’s Knife: Steelport, $400
  • The Best German-Style Knife: Wusthof Classic, $170
  • The Best Budget German-Style Knife: Henckels Classic, $48
  • The Best Japanese-Style Chef’s Knife: Akira-Saku Blue #2 Funayuki Gyutou, $145
  • The Best Budget Japanese Chef’s Knife: Misono Molybdenum Gyutou, $104
  • The Best Lightweight Chef’s Knife: Hast, $99
  • The Best Customizable Chef Knife: Artisan Revere, $445
  • The Best Heavy-Duty Chef’s Knife: Zwilling Pro Le Blanc, $160

The Best Chef’s Knife, Overall: Mac Mighty Hollow Edge

Mac Mighty

Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife

The Bear is generally considered one of the most accurate depictions of a restaurant kitchen to ever be featured on television, so we were chuffed to see a brief cameo by the Mac Mighty chef’s knife in one episode. The made-in-Japan blade features a more Western-style design, which makes it a great choice for those who are more comfortable with a full-tang knife, and a blade that is equally balanced throughout. Its super-thin blade is quite possibly one of the sharpest we’ve ever tested straight out of the box, and since the weight is so equally distributed, we’ve yet to find issue cutting through even the most stubborn and tough foods. Those dimples that run across the blade are reminiscent of a santoku knife (which is basically Japan’s take on the western-style knife) and it’s helpful for keeping wet foods—like onions—from sticking to the blade whilst you’re chopping. Be warned that the slightly higher carbon makeup in the steel makes this prone to rusting if you let it stay wet for too long, but it’s not going to be the worst thing if you take a beat between getting it wet and drying it.

The Best Budget Chef’s Knife: Mercer Culinary Genesis

Mercer Culinary

Genesis 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

For a North American producer specializing in German-style knives, Mercer Culinary gets full marks for making a damn good knife. You’ll find the Genesis in many culinary schools around the country because of its sturdy design, sharp blade, and solid construction. The handle is made of Santoprene which is a combination of rubber and plastic which makes for a very comfortable grip. And the price? Well, it’s hard to argue with a solid knife under $50 in any circumstances. This knife ranges from solid starter knife to go-to kitchen prepper and is actually a bit lighter than the other German knives in this list. Basically, it’s a solid knife for anyone looking for a quality product without the exuberant price tag.

The Best Splurge-y Chef’s Knife: Steelport


8-inch Chef’s Knife

Steelport is a new-to-the-scene knife brand from Eytan Zias, who has been operating one of the most prominent knife retailers—Portland, Oregon’s The Knife House—since 2007. The bladesmith, knife sharpener, and former chef is giving well-established knife brands a run for their money. The American-made chef’s knife is one of the sharpest we’ve ever tested, due to its high-carbon steel composition, and also because (according to the brand) the knife’s heat treatment makes the blade extra durable. In the past few years of testing this knife, we’ve yet to find any reason to not call this one of the best knives in the business. From details like the so-called sheepsfoot tip that helps with slicing and precision cuts to that beautiful locally-sourced maple wood handle, the Steelport knife is the kind of blade you gift to a chef who just graduated from Le Cordon Bleu.

The Best German-Style Knife: Wusthof Classic


Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Wusthof is known for making high-quality Western-style German knives that are so solidly built that they can be passed down to your grandkids. They are sturdy and heavy, heavier even than other German knives, but they are a true workhorse kitchen tool that won’t quit. The high-quality stainless steel blade cut through basically everything including an empty seltzer can we had tried out just for fun. The handle is easy to grip and hold for ease of use and safety. The blade is very forgiving so apply as much extra pressure as needed. This has been in our tester’s toolkit since her culinary school days and with some honing and regular sharpening, it’s what she considers to be one of her best investments.

The Best Budget German-Style Knife: Henckels Classic


Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Is your knife made from a proprietary and specially formulated steel, perfected over the past 280 years? If you own this blade from Henckles it is. Friodur, which stands for freeze hardened stainless steel, makes for a blade that is a harder metal that holds its edge longer. It also means that the brand’s knives are sharper and will stay sharper without chipping and staining. The bolster is well balanced and the three-rivet handle feels solid and safe with a full-length tang. There is a reason that this brand is one of the most popular brands used in professional kitchens—its ergonomic polymer handle is secured affixed to the blade, making for an enduring workhorse in any kitchen. Just sharpen at 15 degrees per side and this knife will last a lifetime.

The Best Japanese-Style Chef’s Knife: Akira-Saku Blue #2 Funayuki Gyutou


Blue #2 Funayuki Gyutou

If you see someone using a Japanese-style chef’s knife, you better watch out—they’re probably a pro in the kitchen and you can learn a thing or two from checking out their knife skills. Chubo is a knife retailer based out of New York City, and its Akira Saku collection of knives are all hand-forged by Japan-based blacksmith Shoji Yoshida. The razor-thin blade is sharper-than-sharp, easily slicing through raw chicken, cooked steak, and every type of produce you can imagine. Being a partial-tang knife, the gyutou (just another name for a Japanese chef’s knife) is very lightweight, making hours of prep work feel like, well, light work. Beware of the carbon steel, because this knife is very quick to rust. Give it a few swipes with a towel in between knife work to reduce the time that there’s moisture on the blade.

The Best Budget Japanese Chef’s Knife: Misono Molybdenum Gyutou

This super light, agile knife scored top marks in every test. It was incredibly sharp fresh out of the box and stayed sharp after a day full of prep work. The Misono brand is known for their quality blades and this is no exception. The slightly lower price point is due to a less pricey steel used for the blade, which while still hard, is a more cost effective option. The bolster is slightly less angled which made this knife a bit easier to use over a longer period of time. The asymmetrical bevel is still more difficult to sharpen, but since that is an umbrella issue for lefties just make sure to find a knife dealer or sharpener who knows what they’re doing.

The Best Heavy-Duty Chef’s Knife: Zwilling Pro Le Blanc


Pro Le Blanc 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

This Pro Le Blanc from Zwilling looks as good as it works. The blade, made with Friodur steel, is ice forged to be more durable and stay sharper for longer. The rounded edge on front of the blade is perfect for the rocking cutting motion and the back is straighter which makes it ideal for thin slicing veggies like a Japanese-style blade. In fact, the blade is a bit wider than some of the other knives with extra room for smashing garlic and maneuvering. The handle was comfy to hold and short enough that it didn’t get in the way, but our favorite part was the curved bolster which made pinch gripping the knife feel extra easy.

The Best Lightweight Chef’s Knife: Hast

Hours upon hours of prep work will mean you don’t want to wield a heavy knife, which will lead to wrist strain and a very tired hand. Hast, which won a Red Dot Award in 2021 for its knife designs, makes one of the agile blades around. The single piece of steel is more than just a nice design feature—it also makes it more sanitary so that food bits don’t get caught in any crevices where the steel meets the handle. Despite its dainty looks, the knife is seriously sharp with a blade that slices like a lightsaber. The bolster, or where the end of the blade comes to meet the handle, is designed to encourage users to engage in a pinch grip, which is the most effective way to wield a knife for ergonomic use. For a premium, i.e. a $20 upcharge, you can grab the knife in glossy steel or titanium black.

The Best-Looking Chef Knife: Artisan Revere

Artisan Revere

Chef’s Knife

When it comes to kitchen knives, looks should be the last thing that matters. But when it comes to Artisan Revere, looks are half of the fun of using these crazy-sharp, effective knives. Part of what makes this brand’s knives so good is its Elmax steel blade, which is sharp like carbon steel, durable like stainless steel, and just a damn pleasure to work with. When you hold the knife, it sort of feels like it was made just for you, and it’s a testament to the balance and design of the overall construction. You can also choose from four colors for the handles, which again, does nothing to help the knife’s performance, but will surely convince you to pick it up and make dinner tonight (sorry, GrubHub).

What To Look For in a Chef’s Knife

Tang: Tang is more than just that neon-colored powdered stuff you turn into “orange drink.” When talking about knives, tang refers to the part of the knife’s blade that extends into the handle. Some knives will have partial tang, which means that the metal does not fully extend into the handle, whereas some knives will have full tang, which means that the metal extends the entire length of the knife. Partial-tang knives are generally cheaper because there’s less metal involved, but a lot of the time, it means the knife isn’t as well-balanced and feels weightier towards the tip. Full-tang knives are pricier but are much more comfortable to use because the complete metal construction offers more balance in the hand.

Steel: Most home cooks will use a stainless steel knife because they’re easy to maintain and extra sharp. If you’re using a stainless steel knife, you don’t have to worry about it rusting if it stays wet for too long. On the other hand, carbon steel knives will start to corrode if they’re damp for even a short amount of time. Carbon steel knives are a lot sharper than stainless steel, and they retain their sharpness a lot longer. Still, it’s a little more difficult to sharpen carbon steel versus stainless steel, and if you’re not comfortable doing so by yourself, we recommend going to a professional to get that done. Also, there’s a difference between sharpening a knife and honing a knife. “Honing” refers to the process of pushing a knife’s edge back into shape; “sharpening” refers to the act of shaving down the metal on a knife’s edge to make it sharp. Most of the time your knife just needs a few good strikes on a honing rod to get it back to tip-top shape.

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