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When it comes to cooking tools, chef knives are almost ubiquitous. Step into any kitchen, and regardless if it is in a restaurant or a standard household, you will surely see a chef knife sitting on a counter, waiting to be used on the first ingredient.
A good chef knife is a multitasker, a jack-of-all-trades designed to handle any kitchen task that involves cutting produce and meat. You can use a chef knife to turn a tomato into cubes, cut through thick chunks of pork meat, or slice chicken into thin, elaborate pieces without ruining its overall aspect.
A good chef knife feels almost like a natural extension of your forearm, providing your kitchen efforts with the grace, stability, and precision that high-quality food requires. Since there are so many options out there, we have compiled a small list that will help you choose one (or more) knives. Here are the best chef knives regardless of experience.
Henckels Professional S Chef Knife, 8-Inch
Henckels is one of the largest and oldest cutlery producers in the world, with their tradition and activity in knifemaking dating as far back as the 1700s. Unsurprisingly, the company is as prolific as it is old, handling and producing over 11 different lines of knives. According to Chef Knives Expert, their best and most appreciated out of all is their chef knife product line, with the Henckels Profesional S being their finest model as of yet.
The professional S is forged from a single hunk of steel, with a thick, sturdy bolster, a full-tang and a handle composed out of three rivets. Some people might be surprised by the fact that the handle is not made out of wood (although it sure does look like it).
In reality, the producers decided to avoid the structural and compositional drawbacks of wood and use synthetic materials in order to ensure quality and longevity. The blade features a stripped-down bolster which allows users to easily pinch and sharpen it.
The model comes in three different sizes – 6-inch, 8 and 10, although if you want a multipurpose knife, you should opt for the bigger variants and avoid the 6-inch version. Overall, the Henckels Professional S is a classic looking knife that is capable of handling any kitchen task.
Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef Knife, 9-inch
While Messermeister is not as resounding a name as Henckels and Wusthof, this company is still one of the best producers of chef knives in the world. The 9-inch Meridian Elite model, which is produced in Germany, the home country of the company, is surely a looker, with its elegant curvatures and ergonomic design ensuring the best possible balance and cutting motions.
As advanced as this model might be, it actually has a very balanced learning curve which makes it perfect both for beginners and professional chefs. It comes with an extremely polished edge right out of the box which, according to the many positive online reviews, will stay sharp longer than other models.
However, public opinion is evenly split when it comes to its 9-inch blade. While it is a perfect compromise between the 8-inch and 10-inch variants because it offers a lot of versatility in terms of cutting options, some people might believe it is too much for their needs. Furthermore, the blade is too big to fit in a standard knife rack, forcing you to buy a separate one. But if you are willing to get over this caveat, the Messermeister is a sturdy chef knife that will last you for years.
Global Santoku (G-48), 7-Inch
While Global is not as old an well-established like a company such as Henckels, this does not take away from the fact that they revolutionized the kitchen-knife industry during the 1980’s with their line of high-quality chef knives. Their knives, including the model featured in this entry, are modeled after traditional Japanese cutlery items, a fact which becomes immediately apparent as soon as you test it.
The Global Santoku is very light, featuring an extremely thin (by chef knife standards), a razor-sharp blade made out of the highest quality steel. In other words, this knife will make you feel like a world-class Japanese chef. This is even more surprising considering the fact that it is not a Japanese model per se, rather a hybrid that took the best out of the two knife-making schools (Western and Japanese), and combined them into a multi-purpose, highly efficient cutting instrument.
Mac MTH-80 Professional Series Chef Knife With Dimples, 8-inch
Seeing how not many people know about this brand, you might consider Mac instruments as being the underdogs of the knife world. Of course, professional chefs will surely know about them (that is their job, after all), but ask any average home gourmet, and they will most likely raise their shoulders.
Similar to the Global Santoku, this particular model is a hybrid that takes the best elements and design principles of Western and Japanese knives and combines them into one. While it is not as handsome as the Global, it is sharper and more efficient in some respects. What the Mac lacks in style and grace excels in speed and practicality.
If you want to take your cooking activities to the next level, a good chef knife is absolutely essential because it will help you perform a lot of kitchen tasks in a timely fashion. If you are looking for a good model and can’t decide, make sure to read the ones presented in this article, and you will surely find one that is to your liking.