When it comes to kitchen tools, the best chef’s knives are those that become the most essential and personal tool in the kitchen. For home cooks and chefs alike, it’s the utensil that’s reached for and relied on the most, from slicing fruits to prepping grand meals. The price tag of a good quality knife can be intimidating, but quality is key for precision and functionality.
A seriously sharp, 8-inch chef’s knife seems to be the most popular amongst our recommendations, but beauty and personality must not be overlooked. For chef Auzerais Bellamany of the Blondery, she prefers the 8-inch knife by Material in pink for a pop of color. And Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Cakes, swears by her Japanese Santiago knife, which dotes a red sandalwood handle and beautifully textured blade.
Below, some of our favorite chefs and restaurateurs share their go-to, do-it-all chef’s knives. The biggest takeaway for the best chef’s knives? Invest in one well-made, durable knife that feels good in your hand and slices with precision. For a tried-and-true knife, a favorite of both chef Marie-Aude Rose and chef Zoe Adjonyoh, try Global’s 8-inch chef’s knife.
1. Auzerais Bellamy, Founder of Blondery
“I love the 8-inch knife by Material! I have the pink color which is more of a vanity thing but it’s made with 3 layers of Japanese steel and it’s super simple to care for. Since I am mostly using it for cutting herbs, veggies, and fruit, I appreciate that it’s not too heavy and intimidating.”
2. Chef Sohail Zandi, Brushland Eating House
“I’m not big on switching knives for every task and much prefer a well-made, do-it-all tool. This seriously sharp blade can handle anything, but is lightweight and easy to work with—a marathon knife, in my opinion.”
3. Chef Clare de Boer, King
“I love a Santoku. The shape is comfortable to hold and useful for all purposes—it beats a German or French chef’s knife for almost all tasks. I’m not picky about the brand as long as it is sharp.”
“The Shun higo no-kami knife is my favorite knife. It is foldable, elegant, and extremely useful. It’s very lightweight and with Shun’s high quality steel you can count on longevity.”
5. Ignacio Mattos, chef/owner of Estela and Altro Paradiso
“I think Suisin knives have excellent weight distribution, are easy to sharpen, and aren’t too expensive or precious. A great upgrade for most home cooks!”
6. Chef Zoe Adjonyoh
“My everyday kitchen knife is a classic 8-inch Global chef’s knife. It’s super versatile, durable, and a great weight and fit for my hands. Global is such a safe brand for kitchen knives, for the experienced foodie, home cook, and the professional chef. I tend to travel also with my chef bag which includes Wüsthof classic 2-piece Santoku knife set, White and Misen prep knives for more intricate or specific cuts.”
“When I rediscovered my Moritaka, it was still sharp, shiny with oil to keep it from rusting. I found it in the bottom of a drawer of retired knives. I used it for many years as a line cook, a tool imbued with memory. Back in my hand it feels more familiar than any other. It’s a rugged knife, very precise, utterly unfussy and wickedly sharp. I’m going to use it to re-open my restaurants.”
8. Chef Marie-Aude Rose, La Mercerie
“I enjoy working with Global knives because of the unity between the blade and the handle. From the butcher knife, which is my favorite, to the carving knife.”
9. Chef Jay Wolman, Lalou
“This knife is nothing fancy, but I find myself reaching for it more than any of my other knives. It’s great for home and for work. I like the weight of it and how it wears as it gets more and more use.”
10. Claire Ptak, Pastry chef and owner of Violet Cakes
“My favourite knife is this Japanese Santiago knife. It’s ‘beautility’ as they put it on the website is essentially why I use it for many things in my kitchen. Beauty and utility are something I strive for in all I do. I love the way it looks in my kitchen, the way it feels in my hand, and the precision it brings to slicing fruits and vegetables for my cooking and baking. It has a steel core for durability but sharpens beautifully with 63 layers of nickel. What does that mean? Who knows! But it works!”
For more knives that sit beautifully in your kitchen and perform with precision, the writer recommends: