Updated in: August 2018

We asked dozens of chefs and cutlery experts what their opinion on the best chef knife is; your absolute best options should be precise and resilient. Of course, balance is important, too – the best knives in the world should be comfortable and feel like an extension of your arm. Our top contenders are Japanese, German, and Swiss chef knives made out of ceramic, Damascus steel, and other stainless materials.

The prices range between $30 and $150 depending on the materials, construction, balance, and overall quality.

10. Alpha Inspirations Ceramic Chef’s Knife

best ceramic chef knife
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Ceramic Chef’s Knife – Best & Sharpest 8-inch Black Professional...
  • Alpha Inspirations 8 inch ceramic chef's knife stays sharp for years WITHOUT sharpening; Ceramic does not dull over time...
  • Ceramic is the 2nd hardest material in the world, second only to diamond; This gives our blades a sharpness, versatility...
  • Stylish and modern black ceramic blade looks great in any kitchen and is easy to clean due to the non-porous property of...

Ceramic is one of the strongest materials in the world and makes for a tough yet precise blade, which makes ceramic chef’s knives some of the most popular. This Alpha Inspirations chef knife has a thicker spine which adds to the durability of this knife.

According to Alpha Inspirations, ceramic blades stay pointed and true with very little maintenance since ceramic does not dull over time like steel does. In fact, it’s the second toughest material in the world after diamond. In addition, the non-porous nature of ceramic makes this knife safe to use and very easy to clean. Of course, it also comes with rust-free guarantee.

The Alpha Inspirations ceramic chef knife also comes with a no-slip rubberized handle which makes it even more comfortable to hold and use.

Pros

  • Easy to grip and handle thanks to the nubs at the balance point
  • Modern and elegant design

Cons

  • Being a ceramic knife, its blade is so tough it requires a diamond sharpening tool

This chef’s knife is so easy to use, March 17, 2018

This chef’s knife is so easy to use. Cutting tomatoes is effortless, onions as well. Clean up is a breeze. Sheath fits perfect if the blade is inserted and while sliding blade in, apply slight upward pressure to let back of blade to ride on upper part of sheath.

I would recommend this knife to anyone that loves to prepare and cook meals.

User review

9. Imarku Pro Kitchen 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

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Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef's Knife High Carbon Stainless Steel...
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade-It is manufactured from high-quality stainless steel that maintains its functionality...
  • Multi-functional knife-The gyutou knife is classified and designed to be multipurpose knife for professional...
  • Ergonomic pakka handle- To make it more professional and minimize any fatigue, finger numbness or aches after holding it...

This eight-inch beauty from Imarku is definitely a strong contender for the best chef knife. Its Japanese blade is made of stainless steel with a 0.6 – 0.75 carbon rating, which means it’s twice as tough as American blades of the same type. It also has 16-18% chrome which gives the blade a sleek, glossy finish and makes it easier to clean.

In addition, its curved edge and ergonomic Pakka handle make it quite comfortable without compromising the strength, stability, and maneuverability. The manufacturer states the material and design of the handle minimize fatigue, numbness in fingers, or aches after heavy use. If you’re looking for one of the best Japanese chef knives, the Imarku chef knife is a great choice.

Pros

  • Perfectly balanced chef knife
  • Elegant and well polished wooden handle that is easy to grip and comfortable to use
  • Comes in an elegant gift box

Cons

  • Can have issues with taking an edge again after going dull

Excellent knife at a reasonable price – holds edge a long time, May 3, 2018

Got this for my wife this past x-mass and she, and to a lesser degree I, uses it daily and 4 months along now and it remains very sharp with only occasionally honing with a steel rod. I would definitely buy this again and we’re waiting for a deal on other sizes to add to our collection.

There are a lot of high end knives out there that we have tried. I would not claim this is the best there is, but it is also far form the most expensive. For us, this was a great professional quality knife at a good price. Very happy with the purchase and would not hesitate to recommend the knife.

User review

Recommended read: If you are interested in some well-rated budget-friendly chef knives that feel professional, you might also be interested in our collection of the best chef knives under $50!

8. Chef Knife by Kutt

most affordable chef knife
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Kutt Chef Knife, 8-inch professional Kitchen Knife, German High Carbon...
  • CUT LIKE A MASTERCHEF. All Rounder KUTT Chef Knife - The professional chef knife can easily handle your daily kitchen...
  • HIGH CARBON GERMAN STAINLESS STEEL. Precisely forged by extraordinary quality stainless steel 7Cr17MOV at 58-63 Rockwell...
  • ERGONOMIC PAKKA WOOD HANDLE. A Chef's Knife Engineered to Perfection: Ultra-premium Pakka Wood handle has the best grip...

Perhaps the strongest feature of this chef knife is its incredible versatility. It has an ultra-sharp blade made of high carbon German steel and Vanadium, which increases the overall strength and lifespan of this very affordable chef knife. It is capable of slicing anything from carrots, potatoes, meat, or onions to leafy greens.

In addition, this chef knife also comes with a finger guard, a gift box, and an odor removing soap that eliminates stubborn odors like garlic or fish in under a minute. If you are looking for an affordable multi-purpose knife, this is the best chef knife to buy in 2018.

Pros

  • High-quality and long-lasting chef knife
  • Comes in an elegant gift box
  • Also comes with an odor-removing soap

Cons

  • The handle is too lightweight according to professional chefs, but most users are very happy with it

The first cut is the deepest… July 2, 2018

This is a high-quality chef’s knife. It arrives very sharp, but in a nice box that would be suitable for a housewarming or other gift. I’ve used it to cut and chop all kinds of food, including fruits & vegetables, cheeses, meats, etc. and it has remained sharp. I would expect that I’ll eventually need to sharpen this knife, but haven’t had to yet (with about 2 months of use).

And the handle seems strong with the metal apparently running all the way to the handle. This should keep the handle from cracking or breaking off like some cheaper knives.

User review

7. Japanese 8 inch Chef Knife

best chef knife for inexperienced users
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Japanese 8 inch Chef Knife and Sharpener Set for Meat, Vegetables,...
  • UNLIKE OTHER BRANDS' KNIVES THAT CHIP, CRUMBLE, AND LOSE THEIR EDGE, Cool Knife is made of high quality material...
  • USE ONE KNIFE TO CONQUER THE KITCHEN - MULTIFUNCTIONAL: This knife by Cool Knife has a perfect design tailored to...
  • SLICE IN COMPLETE COMFORT - ERGONOMIC DESIGN: With Cool Knife's Japanese VG10 8 inch Knife, you can expect ease with...

With a strong steel blade that boasts a 0.6% – 0.75% carbon makeup and a 2.35 mm thickness, the Allezola Professional Chef’s Knife is one of the best chef knives under $20.

It measures 7.5 inches instead of the traditional 8, which makes it more maneuverable by inexperienced users. This also makes it one of the best chef knives for cutting meat off bones.

In addition, it also comes with a lifetime no-question-asked guarantee and return policy. Many customers praised it as the best chef knife they used thanks to its ultra-sharp blade.

Pros

  • Cuts so effortlessly it seems to do the whole job by itself
  • Very sharp and well balanced

Cons

  • The handle can come apart after repeated use

Slicing and dicing, July 18, 2017

“Great balance. Sharp as Steven Colbert’s wit”

User review

6. Victorinox 8-Inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

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Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP
  • 8-inch multipurpose chef's knife designed for chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade provides maximum sharpness and edge retention.Handle material : Thermoplastic...
  • Cook's illustrated winner the best and a bargain 8" chef's knife item number 47520 (Consumer packaging number),...

Described by its manufacturer as an “all rounder,” the Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife it up to any task from chopping onions to sawing through steak. Its stainless steel Swiss blade is very lightweight, eliminating hand and wrist fatigue from long-term use, and its curving slope and flat spine will allow you to easily wield the blade at a variety of angles.

You don’t have to worry about maintenance, either; the Fibrox Pro is easy to wipe, rinse, sharpen, and polish. You can even throw it in the dishwasher with no damage to the blade, which makes it the best chef knife for those who hate doing the dishes.

According to our research, Victorinox is one of the best knife brands currently on the market and that hteir chef knife does not disappoint when it comes to usability, durability, and performance.

Pros

  • Comes with a plastic sheath to protect the blade while not it use
  • Ultra sharp blade right out of the box
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • The plastic handle feels cheap
  • Too lightweight for a pro chef knife

My favorite knife! July 7, 2018

I use this knife almost exclusively. I’ve had it for over a year and I love that it is large, but it is thinner than other Chef’s knifes I’ve used. This means I can cut through tough vegetables like uncooked squash and sweet potatoes with less effort.

I also don’t feel the need to sharpen it before cutting something else right afterwards. I do sharpen it before and after each use, so I don’t know how long it keeps it’s edge without maintenance. No rusting so far.

User review

To learn more about the knives any amateur or professional cook should own, read our extensive buying guide below!

5. Wusthof Classic Chef Knife

Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife (4582/20-7) - Personalized Rotary...
  • Engraving by Authorized Wusthof Retailer - Image Shown does not show actual "Texture". Engraving will be bright, shiny...
  • 3 Locations on Knife may be Engraved. Traditional Rotary Engraving - Not Black Laser Print, that will wear off. - You...
  • Knife is Made In Germany, Fully Forged, Ergonomic Handle

This Wusthof chef knife is made in Germany out of fully forged steel. It has an 8-inch blade with full tang and a bolster that protects fingers during rapid cutting and mincing movements. The handle is ergonomic and will save you a lot of energy in the long run.

The manufacturer also notes the blade of this chef knife has been ground extra thin for extra sharpness. However, this makes the blade much more sensitive to damage from bone or concrete counters.

However, one of the best things about this Wusthof chef knife is the fact that it can be engraved with your own message, which makes it great as a gift! The manufacturer uses traditional rotary engraving process to customize the knife however you like, which makes it an ideal gift.

Pros

  • Can hold an edge better than all others on this list so far
  • Extremely well balanced

Cons

German quality steel! July 6, 2018

Amazing all purpose chef’s knife! I bought 3 as Christmas gifts and everyone enjoys! Quality craftsmanship and razor sharp. Holds edge nicely and haven’t had to sharpen since I purchased 7 months ago.

User review

4. Mercer Tool Corp. Genesis 6″ Short Bolster Forged Chef’s Knife

Mercer Culinary Genesis Short Bolster Forged Chef's Knife, 6 Inch
  • Ergonomic Santoprene handle offers superior comfort and a non-slip grip, even with wet hands. Will not break down from...
  • Bolster strengthens the knife, adds durability, and provides excellent balance for better handling when cutting food....
  • High-carbon, no-stain German cutlery steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. Precision forged construction...

This short bolstered chef’s knife has three main features that are guaranteed to make it a long-lasting acquisition: it has an ergonomic Santoprene handle, which makes it easy to maneuver and offers increased stability; it is made of high-carbon, German steel, which prevents discoloration, rust, or corrosion.

In addition, the taper-ground edge of this Mercer chef knife allows maximized efficiency during chopping.

Pros

  • Perfectly balanced chef knife
  • Good grip on the handle

Cons

  • The edge will eventually chip away if not properly stored

Handle material provides excellent grip, July 5, 2018

Sharp. Feels very well-made and balanced in the hand. Handle material provides excellent grip.

User review

3. Zelite Infinity Chef Knife Comfort-Pro Series

best chef knife for the money
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Zelite Infinity Chef Knife - Comfort-Pro Series - High Carbon...
  • BEST IN CLASS >>> Razor Sharp, Visually Stunning, Minimal Slicing Resistance, Satisfying Heft, Premier Chefs Knife, an...
  • QUALITY GERMAN STEEL >>> ThyssenKrupp High Carbon Stainless Steel - Top Lasting Performance, Rust, Corrosion and Stain...
  • EXTREME COMFORT >>> Full Tang, Ergonomic, Forged Rounded Black Handle, Rare Tapered Bolster which is Ideal for the...

If you’re serious about your kitchen knives, you’ll want to splurge a little on the Zelite Infinity Chef Knife. It’s made of X50 Cr MoV 15 German steel, an ultra-sharp and high-hardness material that can slice even through the toughest of meats.

In addition, it’s been ground to 15-18° on each side to ensure the perfect balance between precision and edge resilience. The eight-inch blade is a full tang, and the tapered handle has been designed for both comfort and control.

If we consider its design and attention to detail, it’s a serious contender to the best chef knife title. However, it only got the third best chef knife title according to our research.

Pros

  • High-quality design that makes it easy to handle and clean
  • Comes in an elegant box
  • Very sharp right out of the box

Cons

  • It can chop vegetables and meat, but it’s not meant for finer, thinner items like parsley or other leafy greens

Incredible attention to detail, June 28, 2018

I received my knife a very short time after I ordered it. Once I had removed it from the absolutely stunning box I was anxious to hurry to the fridge & see what I could cut up! I tried lots of veggies & meat too. It sounds a little crazy but I didn’t want to stop! This knife if a real pleasure to use. The weight is perfect because it has the heft of quality and the balance it needs to be comfortable.

The handle is very nice in hands that are painful with arthritis. I have always really appreciated quality in items but this is the finest knife I’ve had the pleasure of owning. I plan for this knife to be the first in my collection and I believe that this item is a very good value in addition to all of its other attributes!

User review

Interested in more affordable chef knives that will speed up prep time? Check out the best chef knives under $100 you can buy this year!

2. DALSTRONG Chef Knife

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DALSTRONG Chef's Knife - Shogun Series X Gyuto - Japanese AUS-10V -...
  • Chef's Knife Perfection: A Dalstrong culinary revolution combining outstanding and award-winning craftsmanship,...
  • Unrivaled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp scalpel like edge is hand finished to a mirror polish at 8-12° per side using...
  • Dalstrong Power: This chef knife features an ultra sharp AUS-10V Vacuum Heat Treated Japanese super steel cutting core...

This Dalstrong chef knife has been recommended by chefs all around the world, which definitely makes it worthy for the top 3 in this list spot in this list. Its stark robustness contrasts beautifully with its high-end agility and hand polished, ergonomic handle.

This Dalstrong chef’s knife comes with a 55mm blade and a stunningly sharp edge, which allows for a surgical-like precision and an enhanced performance in your kitchen. It’s made of Japanese super steel folded in 67 layers and is the best chef knife available for online purchase in 2018.

Pros

  • The hammered finish makes it easy to release chopped slices instead of them sticking to the blade
  • Holds an edge like no other
  • Made of highly resistant, rust-free steel

Cons

  • If not properly taken care of, the blade can chip away

This chef best friend!!!, June 27, 2017

“I’d been a chef for 12 years… I desided was time to pamper myself with new knives (again). And I’m loving this product. Great design and quality. I want the collection.”

User review

1. ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife Alpha-Royal Series

best japanese chef knife & best overall
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ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Best Quality...
  • SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR CHEFS KNIVES >>> Impress Guests with your Visually Stunning, Extreme Performance Best...
  • PREMIUM JAPANESE STEEL - RAZOR SHARP BLADES >>> Imported Japanese AUS-10 Super Steel with 67-layer High Carbon...
  • STUNNING TRIPLE RIVETED, ROUNDED HANDLE >>> This is what Differentiates Zelite Knives from the Competition - Our...

This cutting-edge product is a true mark of craftsmanship. With its 8-inch blade and its premium Japanese 67-layer steel, you are bound to get an unrivaled performance from it, allowing you to prepare your meals with the utmost precision and efficiency. It’s the absolute best chef knife on the market at the moment, so you can’t really go wrong with picking it.

Pros

  • Perfectly balanced full tang knife
  • Designed with great attention to details
  • The company offers great customer service

Cons

  • The handle is just a bit heavier than needed for the classic pinch grip

Feel like a ninja, July 7, 2018

So sharp, I cut holes in the fabric of space with every swoosh of my knife. But seriously, this is knife is bang on. Looks good, perfectly balanced and most importantly..it is sharper than a samurai sword. Say your prayers vegetables.

User review

Conclusion

These were our top 10 recommendations for the best chef knives this year. The absolute best chef knife you could purchase this year is the Zelite Alpha-Royal chef knife as it’s perfectly balanced and is made from a high-quality steel, but the Dalstrong chef knife is a close second.

However, runner-ups like the Zelite Comfort-Pro chef knife or the Mercer one are also good choices for home use.

Have you tried any of them? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below.

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