Kitchen knives are essential utensils for anyone who is into cooking, whether that person is a professional chef, or just a Mom or Dad preparing the evening meal. Kitchen knives come in all forms and sizes, and there are an array of specific uses that individual knives are made for.
In this article, we will review some of the best kitchen knife options on the market to help you choose the right one.
Our buyer’s guides and FAQs, will also give you some advice and information on the types of kitchen knives available and their purpose, so that your choice is an informed one.
Best Kitchen Knife Reviews
Best Sushi Knife: Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife
A sushi knife is made primarily to cut the ingredients to make sushi. This is the main tool of a sushi chef, and it is very important that the knife is extremely thin and sharp. Sushi knives are made with a single-beveled edge to make sure that only one side cuts through the ingredient and the flat side will prevent the food from sticking to the knife.
If you are looking for the best sushi knife, you need to consider the quality of the blade. It has to be sharp, thin, and long enough to slice through ingredients. It will be difficult to use a regular knife as it is too thick for sushi and usually not long enough. Regular knives are also not as sharp as a sushi knife, so it might damage the fish when you use it.
Look for a blade that is resistant to rust. If you are going for one made from carbon, make sure that you check the knife from time to time to ensure that there isn’t any rust buildup. It may contaminate the food you’re preparing which may cause health problems.
A comfortable handle is also required because if you are not comfortable in using the knife, accidents can happen. The weight is also a very important factor, and most chefs use lightweight sushi knives.
As for the price, don't choose the most expensive option on the get-go. Buy a knife suitable for your needs and budget and also if the knife has all the features that you need.
We have searched the market for the best sushi knife, and compared several. Our pick is that the Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife is the best overall. If you want to read our full review of this amazing sushi knife, you can read our full review here.
We also have a bunch of mini reviews of all the Sushi knives we considered but didn't quite make No 1 here.
Best Fillet Knife: Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Narrow Fillet Knife
A fillet knife is a kitchen knife that is used for removing meat from bone. One of that major qualities of a filleting knife is that it should offer great control. It should be flexible too. While it can be used for a variety of food items, fillet knives are most popular when it comes to filleting fish. This knife’s design allows it to move smoothly and easily under the skin and along the backbone.
A good fillet knife must come with certain qualities that not only make it highly effective to use but also make it long-lasting. For starters, a good fillet knife is made using only premium quality materials to ensure you get the best results.
The first thing to consider is the blade of the knife. It should be made only from the best kind of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a highly durable material and also lasts a long time while also being corrosion-resistant.
The handle of a fillet knife is also important to consider. It should be the right size, and fit in your hand nicely. Make sure the handle is made from plastic or rubber. These are the best to work with and ensure a firm grip which helps avoid any accidents.
There are also two types of fillet knives: manual and electric. Both have their own set of pros and cons. However, we would recommend using a manual fillet knife because it offers full control over the fish and is also more affordable. Plus, you can also use it outdoors since you don’t have to worry about a power source.
Bearing in mind these factors in mind, we found that the Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife is the best option. It features everything and more mentioned above.
This knife has a fantastic design and is made using only the best of the best materials and comes with a choice of blade sizes
If you'd like to check out the other fillet knives we considered in our comparison review you can find them here.
Best Steak Knife: Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife 4-Piece Set
A good steak knife has some important factors that you need to consider. For starters, you have to pay close attention to the blade. Make sure that the blade is made only from premium materials. This will ensure that the knife is durable, long-lasting, and robust. Furthermore, you should also keep a close eye on the length of the blade. You would think that a larger blade would be ideal, but a smaller and shorter size is actually more helpful.
The type of blade is also something to keep in mind. As stated earlier, the two main types, serrated and straight edge, are both great in their ways. Neither one is better than the other. We believe it all boils down to the quality of the blade. A high-quality blade will ensure that the knife will cut through the meat quite easily.
When it comes to the handle, it should be something that you are truly comfortable with. We all have our own preferences when it comes to the type of handle on our steak knife. While stainless steel handles are durable, they lack that appeal that a wooden handle has. With a wooden handle, you must make sure that it is made from premium wood, such as Pakkawood.
Keeping all this in mind, we found that the Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife 4-Piece Set is one of the best options in the market. To begin with, the knives are made with a high-quality German stainless steel, which is not only ultra-sharp but also very durable and long-lasting.
Furthermore, the knife’s handle is crafted using high-quality and beautiful Pakkawood. This does not only make the knife look good but also makes it quite nice to hold and use.
The Messermeister Avanta Fine Edge Steak Knife 4-Piece Set is an excellent knife set. With proper use and care, you can rely on this knife set to be part of your dinner table setting for years to come.
If you'd like to read more about the other steak knives we considered check out our full steak knife reviews article.
Best Paring Knife: Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5 Inch Paring Knife
Paring knives are a type of knife that has a short blade. These are designed for slicing small fruits and vegetables and peeling off their outer layer. While you can use a regular kitchen knife for this, a paring knife can actually make the job not only a lot easier but also faster.
Then again, adding a paring knife to your arsenal is not always easy because the market offers hundreds of options. If you don’t want to waste your money on something that’s sub-par, it is up to you to find the best paring knife that suits your needs and preferences.
You have to be very meticulous with the type of steel that was used to make the blade. The blade makes up half the knife, so it should have all the properties that you want and need from a good paring knife.
Choosing a type of blade will depend on your current budget and the features that you want. There are blades with good edge retention but low stain and rust resistance. There are also blades with good stain resistance, but the edge retention is very low.
For the length of the blade, it should only be about three to five inches. If the blade is longer than that, then it won’t be a paring knife anymore. You should also make sure that the blade is extremely sharp. Check the handle material as it comes in different types. All these types have advantages and disadvantage, so check them out before you buy.
We understand how difficult it is to search online to find what you need exactly, and for that reason, we decided to do the hard work for you. After trying out several options, we found that among the best choices when it comes to paring knives is the Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel Paring Knife . If you want to knife more about this paring knife, check out our detailed review here.
If you'd like to check out mini-reviews of other good paring knives, you can check out our article here.
Best Boning Knife: SMTENG 5.5-Inch Boning Knife
Most people don’t really care about boning knives. This is probably because they think that only skilled butchers and professional chefs need it. If you are a home cook or the type of person who loves experimenting in the kitchen, getting a boning knife is one of the best things you can do to level up your skills.
The tastiest parts of any meat are those near the bone. If you want to get those parts, then you’d want to scrape them off as close to the bone as possible. The problem is that using a regular knife won’t be enough, and even if you manage to do it, you would have wasted a lot of time doing so. This is where boning knives come in.
Boning knives are made precisely for the purpose of removing the meat from the bone. Finding the best boning knife starts with the type of steel used in making the blade. It should be sturdy and flexible enough to remove the meat from the bone easily. Know that boning knives are too small to cut through bone, and it is only meant to separate the meat from it.
Different types of steel have different characteristics. There are some with amazing edge-retention and stain-resistance, and others are very easy to sharpen. The choice would depend on the type of features you want from your knife.
The length of the blade should be around five to six inches; anything bigger would make it difficult for you to separate the meat from the bone. As for the sharpness, it should be as sharp as it can be for more efficient deboning. You should also check the handle material and the edge angle.
We searched the web and found that SMTENG 5.5-Inch Boning Knife is one of the best choices for boning knives out there. If you want to know more about this boning knife, you can check our detailed review right here.
For more mini-reviews of boning knives, check out our other post.
Best Chef's Knife: HomeHero 8” Chef Knife
Every professional chef requires a high-quality chef knife in their arsenal. They can make do without any other types of knife, but they always need a chef knife.
Chef knives are extremely versatile; they can be used for any type of slicing task. Whether you want to chop a huge chunk of meat, or you want to peel the skin off of small fruits and vegetables, chef knives can do everything.
Finding the best chef’s knife can be a big challenge for anyone. Even professional chefs have a hard time searching for the chef knife that would fit their preference.
A chef knife can be as short as six inches or as long as 12 inches. Professional chefs use 12-inch chef knives because they usually deal with larger chunks of foods when cooking.
For home cooks, the blade of the knife should be around seven to eight inches. If you buy something that is too long, you will have a hard time maneuvering the knife. With a longer chef knife, it would be hard to peel smaller fruits and vegetables.
The handle should also be very comfortable to use because you will be using the knife for a long time. If your hand aches or feels numb after a few minutes of use, it means that the knife does not fit your hand perfectly. You also need to make sure that the handle is not too lightweight, as you will have to put in too much pressure on the knife when slicing if it is too light.
The blade and handle material will depend on your preference, as well. The handle can be made from wood, or it can be made from plastic. You just have to check the comfort that it provides.
We already searched the market to find the best chef’s knife, and we determined that the HomeHero 8” Chef Knife is the best one. If you want to learn more about this knife, you can check the review here. We've also discussed other top quality knifes in this post.
Type of Knife
There are plenty of different kitchen knives available for specific purposes. They are named either after their function like paring, boning, carving, and filleting knives, or after the food they are used for such as bread and steak knives.
While buying a knife, you should be clear about what function you need it for and what kind of foods are you going to be preparing with the knife. If you wish to slice or chop average-sized vegetables and fruits, you can opt for a small paring knife. Alternatively, if you want to carve meat, you need the long and sharp blade of a carving knife. To cook Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi, a traditional Yanagiba or Santoku knife would do the best job.
Blade sizes of knives vary from very small to something which wouldn’t look out of place in a sword fight. More specifically, the majority of kitchen knives will tend to have a blade length of 4-8 inches. However, the length can go as low as 3 inches and to as long as 12 inches. This makes it important to know where your cutting needs fall within that spectrum.
At one end we have, 3 to 4-inch knives which are great for cutting small items such as ginger or for chopping chilies. For the everyday cutting of medium-sized vegetables and fruits, a 4 to 5-inch knife does the best job. However, for carving large joints of meat, you might want to opt for an 8 to 9-inch blade or longer.
Blade material is an important choice as it determines the quality, durability, and sharpness of a knife. Most knife blades are made of stainless steel with one edge sharpened using precision machinery. Steels of various kinds go into the production of blades with stainless steels the most common found in kitchen knives used at home.
A superior grade high-carbon stainless steel is found in the more expensive knives which are designed to last, and the knives made from this material are the sort you’d expect to find being used by professional chefs.
There are also ceramic blades available which are made from a material called zirconia, and these tend to be dark in color. The attributes of these blades are that they have extremely hard edges which stay sharper for longer than standard steel blades, but they are more brittle, so more likely to break.
The handle size depends on two major factors – the size of the blade and the size of your hands. The handle size is selected by manufacturers such that it complements the size of the knife’s blade. A long blade with a short handle wouldn’t be an optimum combination as it will be difficult to use.
Thus, if you decide to go for a particular blade size, you consequently limit your handle size to a certain range. However, there are a few options available in handle sizes of a given blade length. This can be chosen according to your experience, size of your hands, and most importantly, comfort.
Each knife blade has a single or double sharp side. A single sharp side is found in traditional sushi knives which need excellent slicing capabilities whereas double sharp sides are generally found in Western knives. The number of sharp sides determines how long the edge will remain sharp.
If both sides are sharp, the knife will require a lower force to cut but will get worn quicker than when the blade has only one sharp side. The quality of the material also determines how long an edge can stay sharp. As a rule of thumb, high-carbon stainless steel blades remain sharp for a longer time than traditional stainless steel or ceramic blades.
What are the different types of kitchen knives?
Kitchen knives are available to fulfill various needs while cooking different kinds of food. The most common kitchen knives found in professional kitchens are paring, carving, boning, utility, filleting, steak, Santoku, bread, and chef’s knives. Their names hint strongly towards the function they perform, although most knives can be used for several purposes.
What are kitchen knife blades made of?
Kitchen knives can have blades either made from steel or from ceramics. Most knives have steel blades, and they fall into one of two categories – carbon steel or stainless steel. The quality of steel blades depends on its hardness, edge thickness, and the production process used. Ceramic blades are extremely hard and sharp, but they are more fragile than steel blades.
How to choose a kitchen knife
From the plethora of kitchen knives available, the kind of knife you need depends on your purpose. You can choose a kitchen knife for paring, boning, carving, filleting, for example, as well as many other functions. The difference between these knives is the shape of the blades, which are derived from the ‘form follows function’ principle.
Ultimately the first choice to make is the knife’s function, then the size, then suitability for yourself in terms of the handle size and shape. This gets you to the point where the knife is right for you, and thereafter the selection should be made based on the quality of the knife, and finally on your budget, bearing in mind that the very highest grade knives cost more.
How often should kitchen knives be sharpened?
The answer to this question depends on usage. Naturally, higher usage would require more frequent sharpening and vice versa. If you tend to use your knife once a day, it is advised to run it through a manual sharpener once every 1-2 months. On the other hand, if your knife has been lying around unused for months, refresh it using a fine-grit sharpening stone before use.
How to properly hold a kitchen knife
There are a few different grips to properly hold a kitchen knife. They all involve using your dominant hand to be used as the guiding hand and the non-dominant hand as the supporting hand. Gently place the top of the handle on the palm of your dominant hand and curl it such that your thumb rests on the inner side of the handle. This serves as a strong foundation for a cutting grip.
To conclude this detailed review of the best kitchen knives, we have chosen what we feel is the top one, and in this case, it is the Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife. It has been produced using special manufacturing processes which include tens of steps in order to make the quality of this knife as high as it is.
With 28 degrees of sharpness, this knife should cut through anything you bring to your kitchen table although its specialty will be in cutting and slicing fruits and vegetables.