Our Top German Chef’s Knife
Wüsthof’s Classic Ikon 20cm Cook’s Knife totally charmed us with its stunning design, awe-inspiring power and a sharpness that chops vegetables and meat so easily you barely feel the resistance. It’s easily our top Western/German knife and it has a durability that will see it outlive its owner with ease if it’s properly looked after. It may be on the higher scale of price but it’s worth every penny. Read down for more information.>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Top Japanese Chef’s Knife
In comparison, the Tojiro 19cm Chef’s Knife is thinner, lighter and harder – completely its tasks easily and without complaint. It’ll need sharpening less often but it’s slightly more fragile.>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Out of all the chef’s knives we’ve looked at, we can thoroughly recommended the Wüsthof for those who love dependability and a heavyweight but balanced Western knife and the Tojiro for those who rate thin slices and a Japanese touch. Both are professional knives that any domestic cook would be thrilled to use in the kitchen.
What is a Chef’s Knife?
A chef’s knife is one of the most important tools in any kitchen and, despite it’s many shapes and styles, is pretty easy to define. Usually hovering around the 20cm length mark, chef’s knives range from 15cm to 36cm and are fairly general-purpose knives. A good chef’s knife can chop meat and vegetables, disjoint meat, slice and dice. Of all your cookery knives, this is the one that will see the most use.
Why Do You Need One?
While you can have an enormous knife selection and have a different one for every food type, the chef’s knife is really one of only two types of knives you actually really need. It’s powerful, versatile and you’ll find yourself using it again and again from slicing onions to dicing meat. The right chef’s knife can do almost anything you need a knife for and because you’ll be using it so much, it’s important to land yourself with an excellent one or suffer years of frustration.
Combined with a smaller utility knife or a paring knife for more delicate cutting, the chef’s knife really will manage the vast majority of your kitchen knife needs. Without a good chef’s knife you’ll be constantly irritated by having knives too small, too large or blunting too easily. Considering cooking is one of humanity’s oldest arts, hundreds upon hundreds of years’ worth of knowledge and technology is channelled into modern chef’s knives and once you see how important they are, it’s not too challenging to find a fantastic one. Well…not too challenging if you let us do all the research for you!
Types of Chef’s Knife
Chef’s knives can generally be divided into two types – Western and Japanese. Both can be exceptionally high quality and various manufacturers of both have been around for hundreds of years and are the highest in their field. Of the best Japanese chef’s knives and the best Western chef’s knives, there is no winner – both styles can be top. Whether you go Western or Japanese is down to personal preference and personal needs as they have different plus and minus points.
It should also be noted that chef’s knives are also called cook’s knives and the terms are used interchangeably.
Western Chef’s Knives
Typically either German, French, British or Swiss, western knives share a few common traits that marks them out as this particular style. Western style knives (or commonly known as German knives due to the main originator of this style) are typically made with thicker steel, a less acute blade angle with a bevelled edge, of a heavier weight and typically have a full tang. While many websites will tell you knives are either German or Japanese – many knives aren’t actually from those countries but adhere to their common styles.
A large proportion of actual German knives come from the town of Solingen in northwestern Germany. The town has been home to sword and knife manufacturers for around two thousand years but it wasn’t until the medieval times that the reputation was really cemented and the smiths traded all over Europe. Solingen is still a centre of knife manufacturing in Germany and is actually an irresistibly charming place.
French knives have their own impressive history, as do British and Swiss knives. Nevertheless, these ‘Western knives’ are usually lumped into the same category as German knives because they undoubtedly share characteristics such as shape, thickness and aesthetics.
Japanese Chef’s Knives
Japan has a global reputation for not only knife and sword making but also hundreds of Japanese-invented styles in the knife sector. Thousands of years of blade-making experience have gone into the traditional styles but modern technology is combined with such expertise to keep them at the top of the field.
Typically, Japanese kitchen knives will have an acute blade that continues up to the top. The blades are often not bevelled and as a result, can stay incredibly sharp and are easier to sharpen as the angle remains the same. Some more traditional knives even have a flat edge and a cutting edge to create flawless sashimi slices. Japanese knives are also often harder than Western knives – treated to a Rockwell hardness of 58-62 while the Western knives are more often in the 55-58 range. We’ll look at the Rockwell scale later but for now, the higher the number, the harder the steel.
Japanese knives also have a lighter feel to them, a rather obvious and attractive flair of aesthetic design and often do not have full tangs (where the steel of the blade spans the length of the handle. They can frequently be seen with pleasant rounded handles, which can be a big pull for some people. Their acute points and lighter weights make them exceptionally good for finer cutting work.
Best German Cook’s Knife
Wüsthof’s Classic Ikon 20cm Cook’s Knife
>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Wüsthof have been making superior knives for over two hundred years and are, impressively, still own by the Wüsthof family. Established in 1814, the company is based in Solingen, Germany, where German knife making has centred for generations.
As one of the most obvious leaders in the industry, it’s not surprising that Wüsthof has charmed us into the top stop here. Classic Ikon is a range crafted with all of Wüsthof expertise but with a much more fluid and beautiful shape to both blade and handle. They’ve really gone out of their way to create a chef’s knife that is as beautiful as it is usable.
This chef’s knife has it all – a really tangible weight to it that remains perfectly balanced, an ergonomic and attractive handle that keeps your hand comfortable even through extended work and a blade thinness and sharpness that will deal with everything you throw at it. But let’s really get down to the specifics…
The precision-forged steel (X50CrMoV15) is a single piece from tip to tang and this inherently creates an exceptionally strong knife. The steel is then tempered to a Rockwell rating of 58 – not as high as many Japanese knives but a score of 58 means it’s incredibly strong and also durable – where Japanese knives of 62 are far more delicate and breakable. Since you’re spending a reasonable amount of money on this, you want it to last forever and a rating of 58 is just what you need.
The ergonomic handle is synthetic but don’t turn your nose up at that, it will actually make for a much longer-lasting knife that stays looking beautiful. The material is fade-resistant and is thrice riveted which gives you ultimate stability and that classic look blended with the modernity of the curve.
It has a half bolster, which is something a lot of people forget to look at, but makes a lot of sense of a knife with a hardness rating of 58. The lower the hardness rating, the faster the blade will dull and so this knife will need sharpening perhaps more often than a similar Japanese counterpart with a higher rating. While it makes up for it in durability, you’ll need to sharpen it effectively (and when you do, you’ll be rewarded with extreme sharpness every time). The half bolster makes sharpening the entire blade not only possible, but also easy. This allows the knife to be kept in perfect condition throughout its life and the curve of the bolster keeps your hands and knuckles safe regardless.
Designed for vegetables and boneless meats, this knife is solid, precise and puts you in complete control. It has the weight to power through root vegetables and the blade fineness and sharpness to be accurate with more delicate work. The price? Look after it well and sharpen it with care and you’ll never have to buy another chef’s knife.
If you’re interested – Jamie Oliver is supposedly a big fan of this particular knife.>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Runner Up German Knife
Wüsthof Classic Cook’s Knife 20cm
The Wüsthof 4582 Classic Cook’s Knife is near identical to our favourite and still a fantastic knife. The reason it’s a runner up and not a winner is two-fold. Firstly, the classic handle looks great and feels great but the Classic Ikon Cook’s knife has a handle that’s just bliss to use over a long period of time. The curved edges really have the edge over this classic style.
The second reason is the full length bolster – it keeps your fingers super safe and gives the knife the finishing touch to the classic style but the intuitive half bolster on the Classic Ikon makes sharpening so much easier. These aren’t big differences and the prices aren’t that much different but the Classic Ikon just seems to work on so many levels. If you like the iconic traditional style of this knife though, you won’t be disappointed at all and it will do everything you want it to and more.
Best Gyuto Knife
Tojiro 18cm Chef’s Knife
>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
A gyuto is a Japanese chef’s knife and the winner here is actually part of Tojiro’s ‘Western Style’ range and as a result looks very similar to the Wüsthof Classic Cook’s Knife albeit with Japanese script on the blade.
Tojiro have used an intriguing bit of inventiveness in this knife from their DP 3 layer range. Instead of choosing a hardness vs. softness compromise like almost all other brands, they’ve layered different alloy mixes in a sandwich to create a centre with a Rockwell rating of 60 (very hard) and an outer layer that is slightly softer to increase durability. Neat? We thought so.
The blade angle is more acute than the Wüsthof and it can produce very fine slices without any effort at all. The lighter weight of this knife and general ease of handling may convert you from German knives to Japanese as it’s very pleasant to have a lighter weight knife to wield. It does lack the feeling of brute power though that comes with the Wüsthof.
The bolster design allows you to sharpen the entire length of the blade and while it may not look as elegant as the Wüsthof Classic Ikon Cook’s Knife, it is certainly a straightforward knife. The handle is very similar to the Wüsthof Classic Cook’s knife and the three rivets are perfectly flush, thus avoiding the problem of grime getting trapped in miniscule gaps.
At 2cm shorter than our favourite Western/German knife, Wusthof’s Classic Ikon Cook’s knife, this is still an incredibly versatile blade and will serve you well for almost any sort of cooking. The company offers a lifetime guarantee, which goes to show how much they believe in the knife, and if you look after it – not always an easy task – then it probably would outlive you. Do bear in mind that knives do not all need the same type of sharpener and the same level of care. With a greater Rockwell rating than the Wüsthof, this blade is still slightly more fragile even with its impressive 3-layer design.>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Runner Up Gyuto Knife
Mac Knives. Professional Series 8″ Mighty Chefs Knife
>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Mac knives have a borderline cult following given that their advertising is small and their website is terrible. Their knives however, are fantastic. Lightweight, western-styled but a Japanese brand, they combine a lot of the best things in both genres of knife to give you a great partner in the kitchen.
The blade isn’t as sturdy as the Wüsthof but that’s to be expected in a thinner knife and the Rockwell rating is similar. Mac don’t publicise their alloy type but it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s much the same as other Japanese knives. Mac pride themselves on being ‘the sharpest’ knives in the world which is a pretty improvable statement but not necessarily totally unlikely. This knife is super sharp and will stay super sharp for a long time.
It’s a runner up in the gyuto field because the Tojiro feels sturdier and a more well rounded kitchen companion. If I wanted to take a Japanese chef’s knife to a desert island, I’d take the Tojiro as I think it’d pretty much last me forever. This Mac though definitely wouldn’t disappoint and is more aesthetically pleasing than the Tojiro.
Getting the Most Out of Your Chef’s Knife
Whether you spend £20 or £100 on your chef’s knife, you want it to remain in the best possible condition for as long as physically possible. Most of the knives in the expert range are designed to last a lifetime and thus it’s crucial to look after them from day one – who wants a rust spot on their beautiful, powerful knife?
Looking after your knife isn’t difficult, it’s just the opposite of procrastination. When you’ve finished using the knife, immediately wash it in freshwater and mild washing liquid, always use the soft side of the sponge never the abrasive side, dry it carefully and then put it into its block or magnetic strip.
Washing a high quality knife in the dishwasher will make it sad, regardless of whether the manufacturer states it’s dishwasher safe of not. Even Wüsthof, who do say their knives are dishwasher safe, advise that you hand wash and dry. Dishwashers are violent places and encourage people to leave dirty things in there until it’s full. Knives can get rust spots alarmingly fast even if they have particularly good corrosion resistant properties. Hand wash, hand dry.
High quality knives also do not belong in drawers where they are unsecured and can dull during contact with other utensils. Knife blocks (designed for that exact knife), fabric knife rolls and magnetic strips are ideal for keeping your beloved knife safe and happy.
Sharpening techniques depend on the knife and it’s very important to get the correct one. Whether it’s a whetstone, sharpening steel or a wheel sharpener, it must be of a decent quality and be suited to your type of knife and angle of your blade. Wüsthof detail sharpening techniques here in a particularly useful way.
Lastly, only use your chef’s/cook’s knife for its intended purpose. These knifes are fantastic for chopping vegetables and boneless meat but bones will blunt them. They are still the most versatile knives on the market – just stay away from bones, even fish bones and don’t use the knife to cut through frozen food.
The Rockwell Hardness Scale
The Rockwell Scale is the standard scale by which knife (and general metal) is measured regarding hardness. Essentially, the metal is measure by the amount of indentation it receives from a blow from a heavy object. It’s like an elephant stamping on all your knives and seeing which one survived best. The Rockwell Scale applies to metal in general and the Rockwell ‘C’ scale is the one rating knives. Thus, it’s often presented as HRC[#].
Kitchen knives usually fall within the 55-63 range, although the knives we’ll be looking at (i.e. ones actually worth buying) are within the 58-62 range. The lower the number the softer the steel, the softer the steel the faster it dulls (although it’s easier to sharpen) but the softer the steel the more durable it is. In the opposite direction, harder steel keeps its sharpness for longer but is much more prone to snapping, chipping and general breakage. As with most things that require your wallet, it’s a compromise.
Western knives are known for being softer (and more durable) than Japanese knives. With hardness ratings of around 58/59, they dull slightly faster but with proper sharpening will return to their original sharpness with relative ease. These knives should last a lifetime. With knives of a 60+ rating, they stay lethally sharp and require less sharpening but one careless toss in a sink full of washing up and you may find the tip missing.
Another compromise is blade fineness; the harder the steel, the finer the blade can be which is why Japanese knives are often finer than the heavyweight, solid western knives. For slicing sashimi to perfection – the Japanese knives are obviously a first choice but for preparing root vegetables for a Sunday night roast and you might be looking at a powerful German chopper…seeing a trend here?
The Problem of Blunting
We live in an age of fast fashion and Apple’s one-thing-breaks-replace-the-whole attitude. We’ve all heard parents and grandparents mutter that in their day things were built to last and you know what? The knife industry is still one where that can be achieved. Probably because the best knife manufacturers are actually older than our grandparents.
Knives blunt. That’s what they do. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad knife and it doesn’t mean it will never be as good as it once was. Not even close. When you buy a chef’s knife you need to find out what type of sharpener it requires and how to sharpen it properly. Knives differ, especially Japanese knives and to keep your knife working for you (and not slipping deep into your thumb) you need to look after its blade.
Don’t think of sharpening your knife as a chore, think of it as a natural part of the cooking process. Some knives will need sharpening much more than others and, because they dull gradually, remember to check the blade when you’re struggling to cut something cleanly because it will probably need a quick sharpen. It doesn’t take long with the right tool and will save you time over sawing through a chunk of pork.
Remember, chef’s knives are designed for all vegetables and boneless meat. If you try to cut through bone, even thinner fish bones, you will be prematurely blunting your knife. Sticking your beautiful, sharp chef’s knife into the cutlery drawer isn’t in its best interests either and its blade will be much happier in a fabric roll, a knife block designed for that knife or a magnetic kitchen strip.
What Kind of Chef Are You?
This is probably one of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself first when looking at buying a chef’s knife – what kind of chef are you? Most people who cook on a daily basis will want and need a great knife that will cause them no fuss, work brilliantly, look nice and feel comfortable.
Professionals will need a knife that is built to last through endless heavy work – one that they don’t need to wrap in cotton wool and will do everything it’s designed to without stalling.
Students (except trainee chefs) probably won’t need the world’s best Wüsthof because they’re cooking up noodles and microwaving baked potatoes (I’m both generalising and probably insulting a lot of students here but you catch my drift). Even the students who love to cook will want a cheaper knife lest their housemates not be versed in knife use and care and start cutting up chicken bones for the dog with it.
So you need to ask yourself a few questions – how much do you cook? Do you cook lots of vegetables and meat? Are you willing to look after an exceptional quality chef’s knife? Do you need power, comfort and stability or do you want a snazzy design, super sharp thin blade and the ability to slice fish so that you can see through it?
A Question of Price
When you start looking at knife sets, especially the knife sets that have great and lasting reputations, the price can quickly put you off. This is the case for individual knives too – it’s easy to blanche at spending £70 on a single knife! While it may be tempting to look at a, say £15 knife, it’s really a false economy and I’ll tell you why.
A chef’s knife isn’t something you should have to replace. Ever. It’s a knife that your children can take to university with them even if they’re not even born yet. It’s a knife that you’ll remember buying and, when you work out how many years ago that was, it’d be decades. And it’ll still work beautifully.
There are plenty of cheap and low quality chef’s knives out there but many won’t have the craftsmanship, the quality or the longevity of a really good, solid knife. What’s the point in buying a new £15 chef’s knife every one or two years when you could spend £70 and never have to buy another? And it’s not just about economics – a high quality knife will cut better, stay sharper, be able to be sharpened to an excellent level repeatedly and require much less force when in use and thus minimise injury. Blunt knives slip, sharp knives work.
Your chef’s knife is an investment and that’s important to remember when considering price. Saying that, unless you’re a professional (and even then), anything over the £150 is possibly excessive and a similar quality can be had for less. Really though, it depends on what kind of chef you are.
Best Budget Chef’s Knife
Understandably, you may not want to shell out £80 on a single knife. Sure these knives are beautiful and at the top of their game but maybe you don’t need or want the best of the best. The best budget option is as follows:
Victorinox – Chefs Knife Extra Broad 20cm
>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Victorinox have been producing knives since 1884 and thanks to a long-standing contract with the Swiss Army and the invention of the iconic Swiss Army Knife, they have been a household name for almost as long. While this knife doesn’t put itself up there with Wüsthof, Tojiro, Global, Sabatier etc., it’s still a really great knife for the domestic chef.
For starters, this knife is sharp, powerful and nicely weighted – which can be difficult to find in a budget knife. It’s a stamped knife rather than a forged knife (like Wüsthof) and so the solidity and strength isn’t as good and there’s no bolster but for the price, it’s still surprisingly effective. It cuts nicely through vegetables, even root vegetables although not as effortlessly as the Wüsthof Classic Ikon or the Tojiro. Still, you definitely won’t struggle to use it or be frustrated.
As a domestic cook who just wants a chef’s knife that will work and be very durable – this is a great purchase. It’s main downside in the handle. While incredibly durable and slip resistant (big bonuses), its synthetic feel is nowhere near as nice as the Wusthof’s synthetic texture and gives the knife a slightly cheap look and feel. But that’s really all it is, a look and feel – it doesn’t affect the performance.
Victorinox expect this knife to last a lifetime and I don’t disagree with them. It may not be as stunning to use as its more expensive peers but it’s pleasant and does its job well. Just because it’s considerably cheaper though, don’t assume you can dishwash it; take care of it and it will perform better than a Wüsthof that’s abused. Saying that, if you drop it, it’ll survive better than most of its higher quality counterparts.>>> Click Here to see Pricing and Reviews on Amazon <<<
Understanding Composition (Construction and Materials)
The majority of high quality kitchen knives are actually, by and large, made from the same materials. Different metals have different strengths and properties such as rust resistance. When you see the phrase ‘stainless chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel’ you might get the feeling you’re looking at something more at home in the ingredients list of a shampoo bottle but actually – it’s a fairly straightforward composition.
Wüsthof knives are now made from X50CrMoV15. I know right? What even is that, the patent code or something? It actually lays out the composition of the alloy used to create the knife – Carbon (X although it’s unclear why), Chromium (Cr), Molybdenum (Mo) and Vanadium (V). The numbers refer to the quantities involved. While this is Wusthof’s particular mix – you’ll see similar codes to describe most expert knife compositions and it’s not hugely important to understand what they confer.
Vanadium is added in very small quantities to steel to increase the strength. Chromium, while fairly brittle, is very hard and corrosion-resistant; thus it’s added for these properties and to prevent discoloration of the knife – in fact, stainless steel is, by definition, steel with a minimum of 10.5% chromium added. Molybdenum is added again for its corrosion-resistance and hardness.
So while knife makers tend to use different mixtures of these, the materials are generally always present. Japanese manufacturers may use higher quantities of certain materials to create harder metal sacrifice durability while German makers may use less for a softer edge that dulls faster but will outlive the chef.
Key Tips to Remember
- Think about what kind of chef you are and the quality of knife you need
- Think about how much you want to spend and whether the knife will need replacing (thus having to spend twice)
- Do you want to slice sashimi like a pro or do you want a knife that will halve a swede in one go for the rest of your life?
- Only sharpen your knife with a tool that is suited to the knife – A bevelled edge needs a different sharpener to an acute edge
- Accept that you will need to look after your knife – hand wash, hand dry.
The knives above are kick-ass but they’re by no means the only great knives out there or the only brands that you can depend on.
Global G2 Cook’s Knife
Global is one of the leading Japanese knife brands for both domestic and professional purposes and the Global G2 Cook’s Knife 20cm completely shuns the traditional style and goes instead for a sleek and modern look. The entire tool is made from a single piece of alloy and has the acute angled blade that Global is well known for. It stays sharp, dices and cuts easily but if you drop it, you could well find yourself buying a new knife.
Victorinox Cook’s Knife 8.5”
This is another Victorinox and a great knife for the price. Again the handle gives a cheaper impression but the nylon does give a good grip, which can definitely be reassuring. The Victorinox Cook’s Knife 8.5” has the power to cut vegetables and meat effectively and will last a long time. For the professional, its quality probably isn’t good enough to satisfy on a heavy-use long-term basis but for the casual domestic cook it’s a good one.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S 8″
The Henckels, Professional S, 20 cm/8 inch Chef’s Knife is a really great knife and is definitely worth considering if you like Wüsthof but don’t want to pay quite that much. Henckels have a solid reputation for long lasting, sharp knives and this one is a traditional design with typically powerful, thick German steel. This company have been going since the 1700s and really are experts in their field. This blade will endure whatever you throw at it and should last you for decades. While it may not have the sheer beauty of the Wüsthof Classic Ikon Cook’s Knife, it’s really not all that far behind.
Jamie Oliver Cook’s Knife
The Jamie Oliver Cook’s Knife is actually pretty good considering celebrity-endorsed products are usually quite dubious. This knife really does have some cutting power and a very comfortable handle. It doesn’t have the same ease of use as the Tojiro, Wüsthof or the Global comparative knives but if you’re looking for a decent chef’s knife that looks nice and won’t turn its nose up chopping a swede, you’ll do just fine with this. It states it’s suitable for dishwashers but really, don’t.
Kai Shun Chef’s Knife
Kai Shun make some very visually impressive knives and while this Shun Chef’s Knife at 20cm isn’t the most intriguing of their designs, its Damascus style blade is still quite beautiful. The handle is comfortable although not as much as the Wüsthof Classic or the Tojiro for long use and the steel is hardened to Rockwell 61 – super sharp, don’t drop it. If you’re looking for a great quality knife that looks swish, this is a good option. Kai Shun really do produce eye-catching knives.
I O Shen 3074 DNR
While the handle of the I O Shen 21cm Chef’s Knife may look like it was designed in Glastonbury, this knife is actually a powerful tool in any kitchen, even a pro’s. The fantastic thing about this knife is that is has the hardness and sharpness of a Japanese blade but the durability and weight of a western blade thanks to an softer outer layer of steel and a heavier, balanced handle. They’ve combined everything good and doodled all over the handle – it’s up to you whether you like the design but from a use point of view, this is close to competing directly with our two top chef’s knife picks.
ProCook Professional X50
In the interests of finding very budget chef’s knives that behaved as they were ought to, we found the ProCook Professional X50 Chef’s Knife to be pleasingly effective. While it doesn’t have the totally awe-inspiring power and ease of cutting as Wusthof’s Classic Ikon or Classic, it won’t hamper the casual home cook. The handle is okay, not as comfortable or as heavy as it could be but for the price it’s not bad. With quite a low hardness rating, it certainly should last a reasonable amount of time if well looked after but you’ll need to watch out for the blade dulling and be prepared to sharpen it often.
Feinzer Ceramic Chef’s Knife
Ceramic knives have a lot of things going for them but durability really isn’t one of them and to be honest, it’s better to invest in a good solid knife that will last a lifetime than get frustrated and have a poor cutting experience with a knife that chips as soon as you look at it. Saying that, the Feinzer Chef’s Universal Knife is super sharp and very pleasant to use…as long as you don’t bang it against something, drop it or shove it in a drawer. It’s very sharp, looks pretty mean and has an ergonomic handle that isn’t bad but won’t give you comfort if you’re using it all day. If you want to try a ceramic knife, this one has a good price tag though.
Robert Welch Signature 20ck Cook’s Knife
After all these Japanese, German and Swiss knives let’s have a look at an English version. The Robert Welch Signature 20cm Cook’s Knife is sleek with a strong, fluid design. It’ll definitely look good in the kitchen and it’s very comfortable to hold. It’s really aimed at the keen domestic chef and it may not have the obvious power of a Wüsthof, it’s still a very capable knife. This is a great middle-ground option for those who don’t need expert quality and the heft y price tag but also want something dependable, durable and with a beautiful design.
As with most things, you get what you pay for with kitchen knives. A Wüsthof will always give you power and a feeling of pure quality. A Japanese knife like I O Shen, Tojiro or Mac will give you razor sharp slices and a dash of oriental style in your kitchen and a budget knife will give you a good experience but lacking the wow factor.
No matter which style you go for, you need a chef’s knife in your kitchen, even if you don’t cook all that much. Using a smaller knife is not only irritating and technically challenging, but it literally won’t do the job very well. The power, sharpness and size of a chef’s knife is crucial – the most crucial knife in the kitchen.
When you choose your knife, check out the brand’s website to get expert sharpening and care information. High class brands like Wüsthof, Global and Tojiro will have detailed the processes very well with easy to follow instructions and that’s why those expensive but worthwhile companies are also our favourites – they’re tools are designed to be a once-buy item and they strive to help you get the most out of them.