Best Chef's Knife

Chef knife with green handle next to a cutting board with wraps

Best Chef’s Knife

  1. Shogun Series X 10.5” Chef’s Knife
  2. Shogun Series 7” Chef’s Knife
  3. Quantum 1 Series 8.5” Kiritsuke Chef Knife
  4. Frost Fire Series 8” Chef’s Knife
  5. Omega Series 8.5” Kiritsuke Chef’s Knife Collector’s Set
  6. Gladiator Series 8” Chef’s Knife
  7. Shogun Series 7.5” Serrated Chef’s Knife
  8. Shadow Black Series 8” Chef’s Knife
  9. Shogun Series 8” Tanto Chef’s Knife
  10. Crusader Series 8” Chef’s Knife
  11. Gladiator Series 7” Barong Chef’s Knife
  12. Phantom Series 9.5” Kiritsuke Chef’s Knife
  13. Shogun Series X 8” AUS-10V Chef’s Knife

Serrated chef knife on a circular cutting board next to sliced tomatoes

Shogun Series 7.5" Serrated Chef Knife

Content Table

  1. What To Look For In A Chef’s Knife
  2. Best Chef’s Knife Overall
  3. Best Japanese Style Chef’s Knife
  4. Best Chef’s Knife By Budget
  5. Best Chef’s Knife By Series
  6. Best Chef’s Knife: Editor’s Choice
  7. Michelin Star Chef’s Knife Choice
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

                  Whether you are an aspiring professional chef, a beginner just learning to cook, a seasoned culinary expert, or an experienced home cook, the chef’s knife is the most versatile and useful knife in your knife set. It is the one you will grab most often, the one you use for chopping, slicing, dicing and everything in between, and it’s the one you may even want to have two of. 

                  I realized just how valuable a good chef’s knife was soon after I began to cook and got my first knife set. The chef’s knife was the one almost always in use. As a beginner, it’s the one I felt most comfortable using, but even as I’ve become a more experienced cook, because of its versatility, the chef’s knife has become the favorite of all my kitchen tools. 

                  After spending too much time slicing and dicing with my first cheap, and seemingly always dull knife, I can tell you from experience, having a high quality chef’s knife is something you won’t fully appreciate until you have experienced the difference. Compared to a more specialized bread knife, boning knife or paring knife, the chef knife is more of an all-purpose knife. It’s quite possibly the most indispensable knife in your knife block.

                  Of course, not all chef’s knives are created equally, but luckily it’s also easy to find a good knife no matter your budget. You want to feel good about the money you’re spending however, so knowing what to look for in a knife is important. And if you’re willing to invest in a good knife, the chef’s knife is the place to start. So how do you find the best chef knife for you? 

                  1. What To Look For In A Chef’s Knife

                  Shadow Black Series 8" Chef Knife - NSF Certified

                  You’ve probably noticed that there’s a pretty big range in the cost of different knives. What makes one knife so much more expensive than another? Basically, it’s the materials used in the blade and handle and how the knife is crafted. The best chef knife for you is one that is high quality as well as sized appropriately. You also want one that has an ergonomic handle and is comfortable while you’re chopping, slicing and dicing. 

                  If you’re a fan of the chef knife, you might’ve heard a thing or two about the Wusthof Classic, Mercer Culinary, the Shun classic or even the Henckels pro. And while those are all valid options, we pride ourselves in thinking outside the box. That’s why we came up with this resourceful guide of forward-thinking, power slicing products to help you pick the best chef knife for your collection. That's why you can't go wrong with a Dalstrong chef's knife. 

                  The Steel In the Blade:

                  The blade of a knife is typically either made of stainless steel, carbon steel or high carbon steel. Stainless steel is an alloy (a mixture of metals), so the quality of stainless steel can vary, but generally speaking, the higher the chromium content, the higher the quality of the steel.

                  While there are plenty of great stainless steel knives, the very highest quality knives are typically made of high carbon steel. High carbon steel is, as the name suggests, higher in carbon which gives it the ability to get super strong and hard under heat in the crafting process. The harder the steel, the sharper the knife can be sharpened. So high carbon steel results in a knife blade that is very hard and sharp, durable and will maintain its sharp blade edge longer. 

                  A note on sharpening your steel; a lot of people go the professionally sharpened route but you can read about maintaining your blades at home here.

                  Rockwell Scale Rating:

                  Any good knife maker will offer the Rockwell Scale Rating in the description of their knives. The Rockwell Scale is a scale of the steel’s hardness, and generally you want to make sure the knife has a rating of 56 or above. This means the knife blade will maintain its sharp edge longer. If a knife description doesn’t mention its Rockwell Scale rating, it probably isn’t a knife worth buying. 

                  The Length Of The Knife:

                  Chef’s knives usually range between 6 and 14 inches, and the length best for you depends on your personal preference. A 7 or 8inch chefs knife is probably the most common and a good choice for most people. A good rule of thumb however, is to get a chef knife with a blade about the length of the inside of your forearm. More experienced chefs may prefer a longer blade. 

                  2. Best Chef’s Knife Overall

                  Shogun Series X  8” Chef’s Knife  : $129

                  Shogun Series X 8" Chef Knife

                  This top-of-the-line beautiful chef’s knife comes from Dalstrong’s Shogun Series. This medium length knife is well-balanced and makes perfect, clean cuts as you’re almost effortlessly slicing and chopping. It has a AUS-10V Japanese super steel core; a 67-Layered Damascus knife sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method. With a Rockwell 62+, it has incredible edge retention. This is a true cook’s knife. 

                  Pros:

                  • The best Damascus steel chef knife for home cooks and professional use
                  • Beautifully forged knife
                  • Liquid nitrogen cooling of the blade increases the steel’s crystalline structure which results in robust strength and hardness
                  • Very versatile
                  • Extremely durable blade for sharp edge retention
                  • Ergonomic handle with unique copper mosaic

                  Cons:

                  • On the higher end of the price range, it may not be in everyone’s budget.

                  3. Best Japanese Style Chef’s Knife

                  Quantum 1 Series 8.5” Kiritsuke Chef Knife  : $120

                  Quantum 1 Series 8.5" Kiritsuke Chef Knife

                  Of all the Japanese chef knives, this one from Dalstrong’s Quantum Series, stands above the rest. This knife has a high-performance, precision forged blade made of a single piece of high carbon American steel, and has an impressive Rockwell Scale hardness of 63+. A traditional Japanese knife is one that everyone should have in their kitchen. Learn more about Japanese style knives here

                  Pros:

                  • Tall, thin blade height gives better knuckle clearance
                  • Unique blade pattern 
                  • Added chromium for stain resistance
                  • Fiber-resin military grade carbon fibre hybrid handle is nearly impervious to heat, cold and moisture

                  Cons:

                  • Japanese knives are known for their super sharp, light, thin blades, but some people may prefer a heavier knife to a Japanese knife.

                  4. Best Chef’s Knife By Budget

                  Gladiator Series 8” Chef Knife  : $60

                  Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8" Chef Knife with Army Green Handle

                  Even at $60, this is a great quality classic chef knife. The blade is precision forged from a single piece of imported premium quality, high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel and has a Rockwell hardness of 56+. Its design is simple, yet it’s a classically beautiful knife that ensures your slicing and chopping are easy tasks.

                  Pros:

                  • Affordable price for a high quality knife
                  • Its wide blade allows for scooping food to transfer from cutting board to your pot or pan.
                  • Ergonomic handle shape for maximum comfort, grip and maneuverability
                  • Great chef’s knife for beginners
                  • The 8inch chefs knife is popular among professional chefs and home cooks alike
                  • It comes in 5 handle colors--green, red, white, blue and black

                  Cons:

                  • Some people just prefer a fancier knife.

                  5. Best Chef’s Knife By Series

                  Shadow Black Series 8” Chef Knife  : $60

                  Shadow Black Series 8" Chef Knife - NSF Certified

                  The entire Shadow Black Series is unique in many ways.. Its beautiful blade is a precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single piece of high carbon steel with a black, non-reflective titanium-nitride coating which adds corrosion resistance, toughens the blade, and enhances the non-stick properties. It has a 58+ Rockwell scale rating. The Shadow Black Series edge is painstakingly honed by expert craftsmen to 16-18°, ensuring clean, precise cuts and excellent blade edge retention.

                  The unique design of this kitchen knife is as stylish and sophisticated as you’ll find anywhere. 

                  Pros:

                  • High quality knife at an affordable price
                  • Unique style
                  • Ergonomic handle shape gives maximum comfort, grip and maneuverability

                  Cons:

                  • With a design inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter, it may not be everyone’s style for slicing and dicing. 

                  Phantom Series 8” Chef Knife $80

                  Phantom Series 8" Chef Knife

                  This knife is a favorite among professional chefs. This classic chef knife features Japanese AUS-8 steel beautifully engraved with the Dalstrong name down the spine as well as the Japanese kanji for ‘phantom’ or ‘ghost’. With high levels of chromium added, this knife has a Rockwell hardness of 58. And to top it off, this knife has a premium quality laminated pakkawood handle imported from Spain with a carefully crafted brass and copper ‘phantom spirit’ mosaic. This is a gorgeous knife, hands down. And one that we should all have in our knife blocks.

                  Pros:

                  • Very high quality knife at a mid-range price
                  • Ice-tempered blade ensures excellent resilience and superior edge retention
                  • Cleans easily for low maintenance

                  Cons:

                  • It’s quite possible there isn’t one. 

                  Gladiator 7.5” Serrated Chef Knife $60

                  Gladiator Series 7.5" Serrated Chef Knife

                  This serrated chef knife is a precision forged, ultra sharp, wear resistant, single-piece of high carbon German steel at 56+ Rockwell. Many professional chefs like to have both a serrated and a non-serrated chef’s knife. (Serrations aren’t just for bread knives and steak knives!)

                  Engineered to perfection with Dalstrong's unique & ultra-sharp 'Micro - Classic Hybrid Serrations', this thoughtfully designed chef knife allows you to slice without friction or tearing, maintaining the integrity of your ingredients. The hybrid serrations allow you to skillfully handle both the tough skinned vegetables, rinds, cured meats, other delicate ingredients such as tomatoes and small fruits as well as slicing cooked meats such as flank, sirloin and tri-tip steaks.

                  And don’t let sharpening your serrated knife be an intimidating deterrent. Learn how to sharpen your serrated knife here

                  Pros:

                  • Great knife at an affordable price
                  • Having both classic and micro serrations gives you the great versatility that many other serrated knives don’t have.
                  • Tall blade height gives knuckle clearance to assist with food preparation and chopping activity.
                  • Perfectly weighted to handle both thicker, heavy duty cuts and more delicate detail work. The hand polished bolster adds counter weight and offers finger protection, while the triple rivets in the handle ensure the highest level of strength and robustness.

                  Cons:

                  • Some people prefer a non-serrated chef’s knife.

                  Shogun Series 7” Chef Knife $120

                  Shogun Series 7" Chef Knife

                  This is a truly impressive chef knife, able to effortlessly slice through anything on your cutting board with precision and control.

                  With AUS-10V Japanese super steel core and 67-Layered Damascus sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method, it has incredible edge retention at 62+ Rockwell. Precise cryogenic tempering increases the steel’s crystalline structure, enhancing, strength, flexibility and hardness. A little shorter than the average chef’s knife, it’s also more nimble and maneuverable than it’s larger peers. 

                  Pros:

                  • Scalpel like sharpness at a staggering 8-12°degree angle per side.
                  • Tapered blade for minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties
                  • Ergonomic handle for superior hand control, agility and comfort

                  Cons:

                  • At a higher price point, this knife may not be in everyone’s budget.

                  Crusader Series 8” Chef Knife $60

                  Crusader Series 8" Chef Knife - NSF Certified

                  These stunningly designed, all-steel knives offer a minimalist aesthetic with unobtrusive beauty. Made from one piece of ThyssenKrupp German high-chromium stainless steel, this knife is one seamless work of art. At 58+ Rockwell, the blade edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side, maintaining the perfect balance between ultra-thin slicing and maximum resilience. 

                  Pros:

                  • Great knife at an affordable price
                  • The single seamless piece of steel from the handle to the blade makes for an easy to clean, hygienically superior knife.
                  • Comes with a hand crafted Acacia wood magnetic sheath
                  • Crafted with an intense heat-treatment followed by a deep-freeze nitrogen cooling process that enhances hardness and flexibility

                  Cons:

                  • Some people may prefer a solid or wooden handle.

                  The Frost Fire Series 8" Chef Knife $80

                  The Frost Fire Series 8" Chef Knife

                  Not only does this knife have all the qualities you want in a chef’s knife, its craftsmanship and style are refreshingly unique. It boasts a blade of 7-layer high-chromium, high carbon steel with added cobalt and expert heat-treatment and a sandblasted finish for a "frosted" look that enhances its non-stick properties. It’s Rockwell scale hardness rating is 60-61. A gorgeous cook’s knife.

                  Pros:

                  • Mid-range price for a great knife
                  • Lightweight for easy chopping, slicing and dicing
                  • Cool honeycomb finish on its ergonomic handle

                  Cons:

                  • Some people prefer the aesthetic of a more classic chef knife. 

                  Omega Series 8.5” Kiritsuke Chef Knife--Collector’s Set $160

                  Omega Series 8.5" Kiritsuke-Chef Knife - Collectors Set

                  This knife is as striking and impressive as it looks. Featuring ultra-premium American forged BD1N-VX hyper steel the blade's composition and added vacuum heat-treatment to 63 Rockwell provide astonishing performance. Gorgeously laminated and hot-forged, the unique ‘LiquidMetal’ pattern on the blade minimizes drag and stuck on food while maximizing your slicing efficiency, allowing you to glide through prep. It also comes with a beautiful Acacia wood stand, so you can display it in your kitchen so that it is always ready for use.

                  Pros:

                  • A truly beautiful, high end, high quality knife
                  • Impressive and unique blade
                  • Military grade G10, ergonomic handle for life-long durability

                  Cons:

                  • This higher end price point is an investment, but does not fit everyone’s budget.

                  6. Best Chef’s Knife: Editor’s Choice

                  The Frost Fire Series 8" Chef Knife $80

                  Chef knife with white handle on white marble next to small cups of sauces and diced meat

                  This knife is just cool. Period. Not only does it have all the qualities you want in a chef’s knife, its craftsmanship and style are refreshingly unique. It boasts a blade of 7-layer high-chromium, high carbon steel with added cobalt and expert heat-treatment and a sandblasted finish for a "frosted" look that enhances its non-stick properties. It’s Rockwell scale hardness rating is 60-61. A gorgeous cook’s knife.

                  Pros:

                  • Mid-range price for a great knife
                  • Lightweight for easy chopping, slicing and dicing
                  • Cool honeycomb finish on its ergonomic handle

                  Cons:

                  • It’s quite possible there isn’t one.

                  7. Michelin Star Chef’s Knife Choice

                  Michelin Star Chefs all have their preferred chef’s knife. One of Dalstrong’s culinary partners is Three-Star Michelin Chef, Dominique Crenn. As one of the most accomplished and celebrated female chefs in the world, her work and success speaks for itself. Her favorite series of knives is the Crusader Series

                  Learn more about where Dalstrong Knives are manufactured here! 

                  Crusader Series 8” Chef Knife  : $60

                  Chef knife with stainless stell handle next to some uncooked meat

                  These stunningly designed, all-steel knives offer a minimalist aesthetic with unobtrusive beauty. It’s no wonder they are Dominique Crenn’s choice in the kitchen. Made from one piece of ThyssenKrupp German high-chromium stainless steel, this knife is one seamless work of art. At 58+ Rockwell, the blade edge is painstakingly hand sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side, maintaining the perfect balance between ultra-thin slicing and maximum resilience. Truly a unique approach to German knives. 

                  Pros:

                  • Great knife at an affordable price
                  • The single seamless piece of steel from the handle to the blade makes for an easy to clean, hygienically superior knife.
                  • Comes with a hand crafted Acacia wood magnetic sheath
                  • Crafted with an intense heat-treatment followed by a deep-freeze nitrogen cooling process that enhances hardness and flexibility

                  Cons:

                  • Some people may prefer a solid or wooden handle.

                  8. Frequently Asked Questions

                  In addition to the chef’s knife, what kind of knives should every home cook have in their kitchen? 

                  If you’re not ready to buy an entire knife set, but want to add the essentials to your kitchen, make sure you have a paring knife, a serrated knife (such as a bread knife), a boning knife, and a honing steel. These are the most important and will get you by for quite a while. Once you start expanding your knife collection, however, you may want to delve into the world of Japanese knives. Or, if you eat a lot of meat, you may want to invest in a good carving knife.  

                  What is the best way to sharpen your chef’s knife?

                  If you’re investing in a good chef’s knife, you want to make sure you’re maintaining it properly in order to give it the longest blade edge retention possible as well as the longest lifespan for the knife itself. Buying a knife sharpener is well worth your money. Maintaining a super sharp edge on your knife also prevents you from unnecessarily tearing and damaging the food you are so painstakingly preparing. 

                  Is a santoku knife a chef’s knife?

                  Though not technically a chef’s knife, the santoku knife the Japanese version of a chef’s knife. The Santoku kitchen knife is very similar in appearance, shape and usefulness to the chef’s knife. The difference is that the blade on a chef’s knife has a pointed tip and the blade on the santoku knife has a curve that runs from the spine to the edge. The santoku knife is also a bit lighter than a traditional western knife. There is also a slight difference in the shape of their blade which makes for a different chopping technique. 

                  What is a damascus chef knife? 

                  A damascus chef’s knife typically has a wavy pattern on its blade and is made from damascus steel, which was traditionally used to make swords but is not used to make high end knives. Dalstrong’s Shogun Series X is a damascus knife. 

                  What is the difference between a chef knife and a utility knife?

                  Though they are very similar, a utility knife is typically a bit shorter than a chef knife and usually used for more precise cutting jobs. 

                  More Great Product Recommendations

                  You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs. 

                  Dalstrong Expert Knife Finder

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                  Written by Meredith Sims

                  Devoted follower of the farm-to-table scene, Meredith is most well-known for her ability to whip up a gourmet meal in the tiniest of spaces, including her camper van.