Essential Tools: The Chef Knife & 4 Great Options
- by Mike Wargo
There are certain tools that every man should have around. And I’m not talking about in your toolbox, though you should have some good stuff in there too. I’m talking about certain tools that you end up using daily. Tools that are important to have around.
To quote the late, great Anthony Bourdain, “I wish sometimes I could go through the kitchens of amateur cooks everywhere just throwing knives out from their drawers…here’s all you will ever need in the knife department: ONE good chefs knife, as large as is comfortable for your hand.” Whether you’re chopping, slicing, or mincing, a good chefs knife is an essential food prep tool.
Now, it’s understandable to see the price tag on a single chef’s knife and think to yourself “I can get a set of eight different knives for that price! Why would I spend so much on a single knife?” Well it’s a simple principle. You can buy a bunch of cheap, poorly made knives that won’t last or one expensive knife that you can use for years.
Putting this list together took a lot of hours of research. It seems everybody and their grandmother has an opinion on who makes the best knives.
My criterion was pretty simple. I only looked at 8-inch knives with stainless steel blades. Amazon played a huge part in the selection process. Nothing on this list has less than a 4 ½ star average rating. I also tried to look at as many different price points as I could.
Here is what I’ve found.
PAUDIN Pro Kitchen Knife - $25
The cheapest knife on this list is also one of the best looking ones. The handle is styled with a sort of rosewood pattern and is non-slip. It’s a high carbon stainless steel knife and is what the manufacturer calls “ultra sharp.” It’s also got a 4.8/5 average review rating. I’d say that’s near universal. And for the price point, it’s definitely tough to beat.
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife – $44.95
Cook’s Illustrated winner for “the best and a bargain” knife, this knife is no frills. The handle is textured, making it easier to grip. What’s more, it’s made by the Swiss, a country known for producing some of the most high quality and precise tools in the world. If their watches are any indicator of their knives, this one will last a long while.
Global G-2 Chef’s Knife - $99.95
A favorite of chef Bourdain, this knife is sleek as f!@#. It’s incredibly lightweight and the blade retains sharpness incredibly well. The handle is dimpled for safe grip and the shape of the handle lets you use it for hours with comfort. Plus the knife has a straight edge blade, rather than a beveled edge, which makes it impossibly sharp.
Mac Knife Professional Hollow Edge - $144.95
A knife referred to by one Amazon reviewer as “a lightsaber for you kitchen,” the Mac is an incredible knife. The lightest knife on this list, coming in at 6.5 oz., Mac has been claiming to have the “world’s sharpest knives.” And just watching online review videos and the impossibly thin slices people are achieving with this knife, it’s hard to argue.
What knife do you guys swear by? Let us know in the comments!