Among the kitchen tools you should have no second thoughts about spending your money on are knives.
A chef’s knife is one every cook, regardless of skill level, will benefit from having.
In that case, you probably have asked yourself, “What length chef knife should I get?”
It might sound like a fairly easy thing to figure out, but only a true cook knows how a knife’s size can affect their cooking style.
To make things easier for you, here’s what you need to know when deciding on the size of your chef’s knife.
- How Do You Measure a Chef’s Knife?
- What Length Chef Knife Should I Get?
- The Shape and Functionality of a Chef’s Knife
- Should I Pick a Six-Inch Chef’s Knife?
- Should I Pick an Eight-Inch Chef’s Knife?
- Determining the Right Size Chef’s Knife
How Do You Measure a Chef’s Knife?
Before you can decide on the size, you have to understand how knives are measured first.
For a chef’s knife, you will want to focus on the length of the blade.
The measurement covers the length starting from the heel to the tip of the blade, not including the handle.
For example, a six-inch chef’s knife means that the length of the blade is six inches.
What Length Chef Knife Should I Get?
In most cases, you will find cooks prioritizing comfort when they look for a chef’s knife.
This is because a chef’s knife won’t be very useful if you are not comfortable working with it.
The same is true if it gets uncomfortable as you cut, chop, and slice with it for extended periods.
So, what would be a good size for a chef’s knife for yourself?
To know exactly what size you need, use these two simple and quick methods:
Method #1: Based on Height
The larger the blade size on your chef’s knife means an even larger handle.
Using your own height as a guide is an easy way to know what size of chef’s knife would work the best for you.
In most cases, if your height is below 5’5’’, you would be quite comfortable using a six-inch chef’s knife.
If your height ranges between 5’6’’ and 6’1’’, you will likely be comfortable using the eight-inch chef’s knife.
For people over 6’1’’, we suggest trying out either the 10-inch or the 12-inch chef’s knife, depending on your build and frame.
Method #2: Based on Forearm Length
Your height is a good way to determine which size chef’s knife would work the best for you.
The problem is, it does not take into account the person’s build.
So, if you are looking for a slightly more accurate method to know which size chef’s knife would work the best for you, try the different sizes IRL.
Take the knife and place its tip at the crook of your elbow while laying the blade flat against your forearm.
What you should be looking for is the blade’s heel coming to your wrist.
Alternatively, you can measure the length of your forearm with the help of a ruler to guide you when looking for a chef’s knife.
The Shape and Functionality of a Chef’s Knife
Chef’s knives tend to be bigger than most of the knives that you use in the kitchen.
There is a broad blade on a chef’s knife, which varies in length depending on which one you pick.
All of them taper to a sharp point.
It is this design that makes this knife much easier to rock back and forth for an efficient and quick way to mince and chop.
What’s more, this functionality makes the chef’s knife one of the most used and important knives in any kitchen.
As such, it is so crucial that you pick one that perfectly fits in your palm and you are comfortable using.
You’ll also find a chef’s knife in almost every kitchen, mainly because of how versatile it is.
The knife is designed not just to handle a single task in the kitchen; instead, you can use it for various tasks, including dicing, chopping, and mincing.
A chef’s knife is ideal for cutting almost any vegetable too.
You can use it to cut them in whichever way you like without needing multiple knives.
The knife can also handle most meats and other common jobs around a kitchen.
Should I Pick a Six-Inch Chef’s Knife?
A six-inch chef’s knife is the shortest kind out there, which means it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s briefly discuss them below.
Why Go for One
A six-inch blade tends to be on the smaller side for a chef’s knife, but that does not mean it cannot benefit you in the kitchen.
With its small blade, you will have more control over it, especially when handling delicate and detailed tasks.
This size of chef’s knife is perfect for carving vegetables or fruits.
A six-inch blade offers more control over the knife, but it also has its own limitations.
A standard chef’s knife is known for its moveability and rocking motion.
However, it is extremely difficult to get that rocking motion with a six-inch blade, which could be frustrating after a certain point.
Should I Pick an Eight-Inch Chef’s Knife?
You will notice that the standard size most brands sell is the eight-inch chef’s knife.
This is primarily because this size knife isn’t too large for most people but large enough to handle various jobs expected from a chef’s knife.
Many brands typically produce an eight-inch chef’s knife as the standard.
However, there will be variations within this size based on your needs, such as how slim it is, its durability, and so on.
In most cases, you will be comfortable using the eight-inch chef’s knife for common kitchen tasks, like cutting vegetables or meat.
Determining the Right Size Chef’s Knife
The chef’s knife is one of the most important tools in your kitchen.
As such, it only makes sense to question yourself what length chef knife should I get.
While different sizes are available, you’re better off sticking to the standard eight-inch chef’s knife.
It is comfortable in most hands and provides the perfect rocking motion.
If you are not too sure about this, it will be ideal to try out various sizes of chef’s knives in a store to determine which works the best for you.