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The Best Chef’s Knives to Invest In

The Best Chef’s Knives to Invest In

If you’re serious about a home cooked meal, one of the best investments you can make is in a chef’s great knife. It’s the tool most of us use the most, so why not spend a little more money on it? It’ll improve prep times, keep you safer, and stay with you a lot longer than if you kept replacing it with versions from discount superstores. Here are the best chef’s knives worth the investment.

Zelite Infinity Chef Knife

We found one of the best ways to convince yourself to spend more money on a knife is to first experiment with a purchase that doesn’t break the bank. The Zelite Infinity Chef Knife is a great way to do that. Buying it doesn’t mean you won’t make rent this month and it should show you just how big the difference is between what you bought on sale at Target and what professionals use. It’s also a good-looking knife thanks to the Damascus steel blade, so even if it doesn’t do much to convince you to invest in pricier knives, you should still appreciate the conversation piece it provides. But it’ll also probably convince you of a knife’s value. $130

Wüsthof Two Piece Chef Set

For those of you who need to be convinced but want a little more for your money, Wüsthof makes a two piece chef set. You’ll get a six inch chef’s knife and a three and a half in paring knife, two of the most common and versatile knives you’ll need in your kitchen. Both have hollow edge depressions to keep food from sticking to the knife, both are made of a high carbon steel to keep them from corroding, and Wüsthof is known for its blade retention, even on more affordable knives like these. Hopefully, like the Zelite above, this set convinces you there’s a huge difference between the cheap crap at Walmart and what’s in a restaurant’s kitchen. $140

Global G-2338-3 Piece Starter Knife Set

To bring the initial investment picks full circle, let’s take a look at Global’s starter set. You get three different sized knives to tackle any cutting job you’ll have in the kitchen and it comes from a company whose name accurately captures their reputation. Global is known all over the world for the ridiculously high quality of their products, so they’re a great company to get started with. For this set in particular, we like the move of making the whole knife out of a single piece of steel. We’ve had knives where the handles unexpectedly came loose or off completely, which can really put a damper on your meal preparation. It’s good to know that can’t happen with these knives. $180

Korin Special Inox Black Handle Gyutou

Now we’re getting into the professional level stuff. This offering from Korin is a Japanese knife designed with Western consumers in mind. It’s able to easily slice any meat, fish, or vegetables you need it to, and is built to be balanced, making it comfortable to use. That’s especially important if you’re going to use this knife the way it’s meant to be used, which is to prepare every ingredient of the meal you’re constructing. And this all comes with the thin, sharp, durable blade the Japanese are known for. $209

Miyabi Birchwood SG2 Chef’s Knife

In our opinion, this is probably the most visually striking knife on the list. The blade has a pseudo-psychedelic wave pattern through its steel and the handle is a light, almost tiger-striped birch. But we’re not saying to buy it just for the visuals. It’s sharp and stays sharp, has the thin Japanese profile you’d want in a highly functional blade, and isn’t heavy or bulky. Put it all together and you’ll have a kitchen tool you’ll use constantly and feel bad about putting it back in your knife block. $240

Shun Knives Dual Core 7-in. Santoku

If it’s possible, this knife almost feels over-designed. Almost. This Santoku from Shun Knives is an Asian-inspired general purpose knife made of dual layered premium quality Damascus steel with microlayering that wear at different rates, etched lamination to prevent sticking, an ebony Pakkawood handle, and a traditional Japanes saya (though, full disclosure, it’s made in China, unlike the knife, which is made in Japan). There’s high quality construction all over this knife and, if you buy it, you’ll probably end up ignoring every other knife in your kitchen, except for maybe your bread knife. $375

Stainless Damascus 8″ Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels

This is another Damascus steel knife, though you’ll notice this one comes at a slightly different price than the one we listed earlier. That’s because it’s one of Bob Kramer’s licensed designs. Bob Kramer, as you may not but probably do know, is one of the biggest names in knife design and forging. Most of his personally made knives are auctioned off, but he’ll often design blades for other companies. This one, made by Zwilling J.A. Henckels, is one of those designs, and since it’s manufactured in Japan, what you’re getting in this knife is a great American smith designing something for a German company to be made in Japan. That’s a lot of great craftsmanship going into a single knife. $400

Chef Knife from Chelsea Miller Knives

Chelsea Miller is enjoying some time in the spotlight. She’s a knife-maker based in Brooklyn who repurposes leftover material from her family’s farm in Vermont. Every knife or tool she makes comes from old horseshoe rasps or similar items from the farm, and the maple handles are harvested from trees on the property. They’re beautiful, individually crafted knives that’ll last forever if you care for them properly. There’s also a crazy waiting list for these things, so place your order sooner rather than later. $800

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