You need good kitchen knives to make cooking easier and more enjoyable. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need from your kitchen knives, and show you some of the best kitchen knives available.
1. The Importance of Good Kitchen Knives
Every home cook who starts to take their art seriously goes through something of an awakening. It’s usually at the point where they’ve already mastered some important kitchen skills, and usually soon after they’ve already mastered some classic recipes.
It’s at that point after they’ve broken through that initial awkward period between “good” and “great.” It’s when they realize that their raw skills can only get them so far. It’s when they realize that they need better tools. There are numerous brands that offer amazing tools such as the Wusthof Classic, Global Knives, Shun Classic, Zwilling Pro, and especially Dalstrong. They also become more aware of the different knife styles such as Japanesestyle knives, german knives, western chefs knives, and a lote more.
Indeed, every great chef can cook a good meal using even the flimsiest of kitchen tools. But before you get to that level of mastery, you need to understand how cooking tools work, and why the tools in your kitchen are built the way they are.
Everyone needs good kitchen knives. Just like other important tools such as knife sharpeners and cutting boards, good kitchen knives will aid you in your culinary journey by showing you the qualities that make for good cooking. Why you need a knife that won’t tear through your meat, why it’s important to have a flexible blade when fileting fish.
Good kitchen knives push you toward greatness. Not only that, but cooking will be easier and more fun.
2. Must-Have Good Kitchen Knives in Your Kitchen
Now that we’re on the same page regarding the need to own good kitchen knives, let’s talk about the different types of kitchen knives available: what they are for, how they work, and why you need them. For each of these types of knives, we’ll also include a few recommendations of great knives you can buy.
Chefs knives are incredibly important tools for any cook, whether they’re working at a professional level and have to make quick work of a tremendous amount of food, or they’re simply home cooks with a passion for cooking.
What makes chef’s knives so good? It’s basically the fact that they’re extremely versatile and easy to use. A classic 8inch chefs knife has the precise shape and size that makes it a perfect middle-ground for multiple types of kitchen tasks, whether it’s chopping meat or slicing and dicing vegetables.
And if you’re looking for a classic chef’s knife that can be your go-to kitchen workhorse, this beautiful 8” olive wood handle from Dalstrong’s Gladiator series is a fantastic choice. Not only is it a powerful performer that will take care of just about any task you can throw its way, it’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing knives you’ll ever see (not to mention an extremely comfortable knife to hold in your hand).
- Whether you’re a home cook trying to take the next step in your culinary journey, or a seasoned chef working at a professional kitchen, this knife will be an invaluable addition to your kitchen.
- Extremely comfortable knife, featuring a perfectly engineered balance.
- The blade is precision forged from a single piece of premium quality high-carbon German steel, featuring great wear and stain resistance.
- Features an ergonomic handle made of durable, attractive olive wood; designed for comfort and durability.
- Some home cooks might prefer the feel of the Garolite G10 handles instead of wood ones.
- Eight inches is considered the ideal size for a multi-function chef’s knife, but if you’re looking for something a little bigger, check out the next option in our list.
Another fantastic chef’s knife recommendation, particularly for those of you who prefer larger blades. Not only does it have the versatility and ease of use of a standard chef’s knife, but its extra length makes it uniquely suited for slicing large cuts of meats as well. This is a powerful and attractive 10-inch chef’s knife from Dalstrong’s acclaimed Centurion series, and it serves as an absolute kitchen powerhouse.
- The blade is made of high-carbon Swedish steel, rated at 58+ Rockwell hardness and hand-sharpened to 12-14 degrees.
- With its unique dimensions, you’ll be able to easily chop, slice, or dice your food as well as cut thick slabs of meat and slice through tough fruits like squash.
- Stain resistant and super easy to clean.
- Comes with an ultra-durable G10 handle, with a copper ring adornment.
- Its size is a considerable advantage, especially when slicing larger cuts of meat. However, 10 inches can be a little unwieldy and hard to handle for some home cooks.
- While considerably more affordable than other premium quality chef’s knives, this 10 inch tool is certainly a little more expensive than some home cooks might want to spend. It all depends on your own budget and what you’re looking for.
Paring knives are perfect for cutting, chopping, and slicing fruit and vegetables. They are designed for small, precise cuts, with a particular emphasis on maneuverability. Paring knives are short and slim, with a pointed tip. There are several types of paring knives: spear point, bird’s beak, sheep’s foot, and serrated.
This is a fantastic example of the bird’s beak paring knife. At 2.75”, it’s the perfect size for tasks such as fluting mushrooms, preparing small fruits and vegetables, peeling potatoes, and even creating decorative garnishes. This is because its design is perfect for precision and comfort, with its geometry inspired by the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.
- The blade is precision-forged, ultra-sharp high-carbon 7CR17MOV-X steel, with a 58 Rockwell hardness score.
- Extremely comfortable handle, made of military-grade G10 garolite.
- It has added chromium which enhances its stain resistance.
- Midnight-black titanium nitride coating, paired with the knife’s unique geometry, makes for one of the most interesting-looking knives you’ll ever buy.
- Because of its unique shape, the handle might take a bit of getting used to when cutting at first.
- Not everyone likes the unique look of the Shadow Black series.
This is another great paring knife, though a little larger. At 3.5”, this tool is still a fantastic paring knife that can be used for coring, mincing, and peeling fruits and vegetables. You can also use it to slice shallots, garlic, herbs, and more. And believe it or not, it also comes in handy for baking, as you can use it to cut patterns and designs onto your dough. A great little tool that will come in handy often.
- A powerful blade, precision forged from a single piece of high carbon German ThyssenKrupp steel.
- Easy to hold and comfortable to use thanks to its perfectly engineered balance and bolster, which offers counterweight and finger protection.
- An elegant, understated look that is sure to go well with the rest of your kitchen décor.
- Its size makes it a great paring knife that can be used for precision cuts and beyond.
- This 3.5” paring knife might be a bit heavier than you’re used to.
- Most paring knives are a little smaller than this one.
Think of the utility knife as the point between the chef’s knife and the paring knife. Not only when it comes to size, but also design and usage. As the name implies, they can be used for pretty much anything. They’re versatile blade knives that can aid in a wide variety of culinary tasks, such as slicing, trimming, sectioning, coring, peeling, and the like.
This unique utility knife is an example of Dalstrong’s penchant for innovation, as well as their ability to create a beautiful knife. This incredible utility knife is a pitmaster’s best friend, with a number of design elements geared to make this a great tool for barbecuing. Its pointed tip is perfect for coring out tomatoes, and it has a built-in bottle opener for convenience. The tool you need by your side as you’re working the grill.
- This knife features a beautiful and durable celestial resin handle with reinforced and stabilized wood as well as a stainless steel bolster.
- The blade is ultra sharp and wear resistant, hand sharpened to 8-12 degrees per side.
- Extremely easy to clean and look after.
- Comes with a Valhalla-embossed leather sheath to keep your knife protected.
- This knife’s unique shape might pose a bit of a challenge when it comes to hand-washing, just make sure to exercise caution.
- The knife’s unique beauty might be a bit much for those who prefer their kitchen tools to be a bit more understated.
Speaking of unique knives, this awesome utility knife is perfect for the sandwich enthusiast in your friends or family. With its scalloped serrations, wide blade and rounded tip, this tool will come in handy in every step of sandwich prep: whether you’re slicing tomatoes, cutting through bread, or applying a spread, this is a new best friend for the hamburger connoisseur.
- Easy to hold and designed for anyone who enjoys making sandwiches and hamburgers.
- Top notch construction, crafted from a single piece of high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German X50CrMoV15 steel.
- Perfectly weighted and able to handle heavy-duty cuts as well as more delicate detail work.
- Features an ergonomic and ambidextrous G10 garolite handle.
- The serrations on this knife make sharpening it somewhat of a challenge.
- If you’re not much of a sandwich or charcuterie buff, this utility knife might not be the best choice for you.
Santoku knives are similar to chef’s knives, both in how they’re built and how they’re used. They feature long blades with a drop point, which allows for more intricate cutting work. They have sharp, straight edges, which also make them great for cutting fish. And they also have divots along the blade, which help reduce stuck and drag on food.
This is a perfect example of a Santoku knife, exhibiting all the qualities that make it the go-to knife of choice for many home cooks and professionals alike. It serves almost as the midway point between a chef’s knife and a cleaver. With its straight edge and wider blade, you’ll be able to make push cuts and easily transfer food, and its slightly curved blade makes for an easy and comfortable rocking motion.
- The blade is made of Japanese AUS-8 steel, engraved with the Dalstrong logo and the Japanese kanji for “ghost”.
- Painstakingly hand-sharpened with Dalstrong's Diamond Detailing (D3) method, bringing the blade to a razor-sharp 13-15 degrees.
- The steel has high levels of chromium for added stain resistance.
- Features a traditional Japanese D-shaped handle made of black pakkawood.
- For a Japanese style knife, this Santoku is a little heavier than usual.
- Some cooks prefer the G10 garolite handles over the pakkawood as a matter of personal preference.
As the name implies, carving knives excel at carving. They’re great for serving poultry, beef, lamb, or pork. They’re most commonly used on BBQ brisket. If you’ve ever made a large brisket and found yourself frustrated by how a regular chef knife performs when you try to slice it, this is the knife type for you. They are long and slim, often tapering to a sharp point.
Talk about power and elegance. A beautiful 10-inch bull nose butcher knife that will take care of all your carving and slicing needs. This absolute stunner of a kitchen knife is expertly crafted to slice through flesh, trim fat from meats, and break through cartilage with ease. Whether you’re portioning a large piece of game or simply cutting through the BBQ brisket, this knife is the perfect choice for anyone who needs a powerful tool to slice meat with.
- The blade is made of a super-steel core with extra high carbon levels, making for a tool with incredible edge retention.
- Hand-sharpened with Dalstrong's Diamond Detailing (D3) method.
- Absolutely stunning blade, featuring the Dalstrong Tsunami Rose blade pattern.
- Features a gorgeous and extremely comfortable G10 garolite handle, which is a non-porous fiberglass-like material that is highly impervious to heat and moisture.
- At 10 inches, this carving knife is very large. Ask yourself if you need something this big.
- This is a premium, top-of-the-line kitchen tool; while it is still considerably more affordable than other knives on the market, it’s still toward the upper end of the price range in this list.
Sometimes you need more than a slicer to get the perfect cut. Thankfully, this amazing 9” carving knife comes with its own fork, allowing you to get the perfect angle on those slices you’re carving for your guests. As part of Dalstrong’s minimalist Crusader series, these all-steel knives have a less-is-more approach to their visual presentation without sacrificing any of their elegance or their performance.
- The blades are made of ultra-sharp, wear-resistant, high carbon ThyssenKrupp German stainless steel. And since the entire knife is one piece, so is the handle!
- The knife is beautifully hand polished to a satin finish.
- Minimalist, unobtrusive elegance in their looks.
- Extremely hygienic and easy to clean, as they’re a single piece of steel with seamless transitions. That means there’s virtually no place for debris to hide.
- Because the knives in the Crusader series are hollow, this knife is a little lighter to the touch than some folks might be expecting.
- Not everyone is a fan of the minimalist beauty of the Crusader series.
Boning knives have a slim blade with a razor-sharp edge. Most often, they taper upwards to a pointed tip. They also tend to be somewhat short, most of them being around six inches. Because they are used for tasks such as cutting meat bones and trimming cartilage, they need to be somewhat rigid. This helps them cut around the bone without tearing or otherwise damaging the surrounding flesh.
Sharpness and forward motion are some of the thoughts that come to mind when looking at a knife in Dalstrong’s Quantum 1 series, and those qualities are especially suited to boning knives.
- Precision forged from a single piece of high carbon American BD1N-VX steel at an incredible 63 Rockwell hardness.
- An absolutely stunning-looking knife, with the Quantum 1 series Nova Prime blade pattern that looks great and works to reduce drag.
- Features added chromium for stain resistance.
- Ergonomic handle made of military-grade G10 and carbon fiber.
- The unique look of the knives in the Quantum 1 series isn’t for everybody.
- This boning knife is a little thicker than most.
Cleavers feature one of the most recognizable knife shapes around, since they feature a wide blade and usually have a hole in the upper corner. They are broad and heavy because they are meant to be used for heavy duty work, such as chopping and portioning large pieces of meat. Their heft is one of their advantages, as well as their rectangular shape.
If you’re looking for the benefits of a cleaver while also having some of the features of a chef’s knife, this is a fantastic choice for you.
- The blade is precision forged with premium Japanese AUS-8 steel.
- It has a beautiful hand polished satin finish.
- Extremely sharp, hand-finished to a mirror polish at 13-15 degrees.
- The power of a cleaver and the versatility of a chef’s knife – best of both worlds.
- At 8”, this is closer in size to a chef’s knife than a cleaver knife.
- This is a great knife that combines elements of the traditional cleaver and the chef’s knife; however, if you’re looking for a more classic cleaver, check out the next option below.
This absolute powerhouse from the Dalstrong Gladiator series is an incredible tool for slicing all kinds of meats, and thanks to its powerful size and heft you’ll be able to do it with ease. But it’s also much more versatile than you think, and you can employ its shape to dice, mince, and chop fruits and vegetables.
- Made of high carbon, high chromium 7CR17MOV steel at 56 Rockwell hardness.
- Sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side.
- Comes with a beautiful, ambidextrous black G10 garolite handle.
- Its dimensions are impressive: 4.3” deep, 9” long.
- This knife blade is extra wide, which is perfect for transporting food but might take some getting used to at first.
- This knife has a lot of heft and power, and its weight might catch you off guard at first.
Bread knives are long and serrated, with sharp saw-like blades. They’re designed to easily cut through many different types of breads. Their serrations make it easy to bite into the crust and then cut downward without damaging the bread. This type of knife is awesome for sawing through baguettes, bagels, sourdough bread, etc.
I love the Shadow Black series. Not only because the knives are some of the most awesome-looking tools in my kitchen, but also because they’re some of the best-constructed and highest quality knives on the market. This incredible 9 inch bread knife is a great example of that; cut through any loaf, no matter how crusty, with absolute ease. And look like you’re in a sci-fi film while doing it!
- Slice through bread, cakes, melons, squashes, and just about anything you need that’s large and tough to bite into.
- The blade is made of high carbon 7CR17MOV steel.
- Its black, non-reflective titanium nitride coating and unique design make it one of the most visually interesting knives you’ll find anywhere.
- The ergonomic handle fits snugly into your palm and makes working with this knife an absolute joy.
- The titanium nitride coating and the serrations might make sharpening a bit of a challenge.
- The unique look of the Shadow Black series may not appeal to everybody, especially if you want all your kitchen tools to match.
Visually, Nakiri knives look like smaller versions of the cleaver due to their broad rectangular shape. They are Japanese style vegetable knives, which makes them invaluable tools for anyone who regularly prepares vegetables. They make quick work of large vegetables such as cabbage or lettuce, and they can also be used to quickly chop carrots, celery, and anything else you might need.
The Frost Fire series is known for its combination of stylish design and expert performance. This 6.5” Nakiri is a great example of that; not only does it look amazing thanks to the honeycomb pattern on the handle and the “frosted” finish on the blade, it’s also a great kitchen performer and a fantastic tool to cut vegetables with.
- The blade is made of 7-layer high-carbon 10CR15MOV steel with added cobalt and an expert heat treatment.
- Extremely sharp, at 16-18 degrees per side.
- The handle is white resin in an aluminum mesh for extra durability and style.
- Absolutely beautiful knife, featuring an icy cold “frosted” look thanks to its sandblast finish.
- This 6.5” Nakiri is a decidedly lightweight knife, while some home cooks might prefer heft.
- The honeycomb handle pattern and the frosted look of the blade might not be to everyone’s taste.
Filleting knives (also known as fillet knife or filet knife) are long, slim knives with a flexible blade. They’re meant for cutting fish into filets, so they feature pointed tips that allow them to pierce through skin and simply slide down the fish. A good filleting knife will allow you to remove the bones without damaging the meat at all, resulting in a perfect fish filet. They are similar to boning knives, but thinner and more flexible.
The perfect knife for the fish enthusiast. If you’re looking to create perfect fish fillets, this powerful 6 inch fillet knife from the Delta Wolf series is exactly what you’re looking for. With its narrow tip, you’ll be able to cut perfectly through your favorite fish or poultry, with minimal resistance as you glive the knife through bones and skin. Perfect for filleting, trimming, deboning, descaling, and more.
- Extremely thin filleting knife, which makes it a perfect tool to create flawless fish fillets.
- Features a lovely camouflage G10 handle, which looks fantastic and feels great to hold.
- The blade is made of ultra-sharp, wear-resistant, high-carbon 9CR18MOV steel at 60 Rockwell hardness.
- Beautiful black non-reflective titanium nitride coating, making this one of the most interesting-looking knives around.
- This knife is ultra thin, which is what you need for a fillet knife. However, it might be surprising if you’ve never used one before.
- Not everyone is a fan of the camouflage look of the handle.
3. Frequently Asked Questions
What knives do chefs prefer?
Most professional chefs use a wide variety of knives to aid in their various cooking tasks. By far the most commonly used kitchen knife is the chef’s knife due to its versatility, particularly the 8inch chefs knife. As far as brands, Dalstrong has built a name for itself as one of the most reliable and original knifemakers around, creating a wide range of unique, high-quality, stylish kitchen knives at prices that are a fraction of what other premium knife-makers charge.
What are the 3 most important knives in a kitchen?
The 3 most important knives for everyone from a professional chef to a home cooking enthusiast are: chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated knife. These three knives should be enough to tackle a great majority of culinary challenges. Along with cutting boards and knife sharpeners, these are essential tools every cook should have available in their arsenal.
Written by Jorge Farah
Born on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions.