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Compare the best kitchen knives
Invest in the best cutlery for your chopping, slicing and dicing needs.
High-quality knives are some of the most important tools in any home kitchen. But if your tools aren’t up to the task, preparing even a simple meal can be time consuming and dangerous. There are many different types of kitchen knives to choose from, with prices ranging anywhere from $10 up to over $300.
Top kitchen knives
|Handle material||Blade length (in)||Weight (g)||Origin||Purchase|
|Victorinox Fibrox||$29.75||Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)||7.9||212.62||Switzerland|
|Mac Knife Chef Series HB-55||$55.00||Wood||5.34||65.2||Japan|
|Messermeister Park Plaza Carbon||$50.00||Thermoplastic|
|Mac Knife Japanese Series CL-65||$170.00||Wood||6.44||328.85||Japan|
|Shun Classic DM0706||$149.95||D-shaped ebony PakkaWood||8||202.13||Japan|
What are the different types of kitchen knives?
There are many different types of kitchen knives, each designed to perform specific tasks.
- Chef’s knife. Also called a cook’s knife, this is the main knife to have in your kitchen. It’s a versatile tool and is used to chop, slice and dice all kinds of food. It usually has a blade length of around eight inches, and the blade’s curve allows for a smooth rocking motion when chopping.
- Paring knife. This small knife is used for delicate tasks like peeling and cutting small vegetables and fruit or trimming fat from meat. Maximum blade length is usually around four inches.
- Utility knife. Similar to a chef’s knife, it’s designed to perform a wide range of everyday tasks, like chopping an apple. However, it’s usually more compact than a chef’s knife.
- Boning knife. With sharp blades of between four to six inches in length, boning knives are used to cut through bones, ligaments and tendons when preparing meat, poultry and fish.
- Filleting knife. If you cook a lot of fish or work with raw meat often, the thin and sharp blade of a filleting knife is useful for removing skin and small bones and performing other fine tasks.
- Carving knife. With a long, thin blade leading to a sharp tip, carving knives are designed to cut thin slices of meat. Blades generally range from 10 to 15 inches long.
- Bread knife. A long blade with a serrated edge helps this knife cut through bread without squashing it.
- Santoku knife. A Japanese-style knife that’s an alternative to a chef’s knife. It features a blunt tip and dimples on the blade to help prevent food sticking to the knife.
These are the most popular choices, but there are plenty of other options you may like to consider depending on the type of cooking you do. For example, you may want a cleaver for chopping meat and poultry bones or a palette knife for preparing pastry.
How to compare kitchen knives
Cook’s knives start at around $10 and go right up to over $300. But cost isn’t the only factor you should consider.
Before buying a kitchen knife, take into account the blade and handle material, how comfortable the knife is to hold and how easy it is to clean. Consider the following features:
- Blade material and length. The material used in the blade affects the knife’s price, performance and durability. Stainless steel and carbon steel are the two most popular choices:
- Stainless steel. Cheaper and resists stains but requires regular sharpening.
- Carbon steel. Hard and sharpens easily, but is also quite expensive, has no stain resistance and requires special maintenance to prevent rust.
- High-carbon stainless steel. Designed to offer all the benefits of stainless steel but with extra durability.
- Ceramic blades. Very hard and sharp but can chip or crack.
- Damascus steel. Looks beautiful but can be expensive.
- Tang. The tang refers to the metal part of the blade that extends into the handle. A full tang is when the blade runs through the entire handle, and this design offers better balance and control. Knives with a partial tang are also available, with the tang either extending along the top of the handle or as a thin strip of metal which is enclosed in the handle.
- Handle. Knife handle materials include stainless steel, plastic, wood and composites. They all have their pros and cons — for example, wood can warp over time but stainless steel can be slippery when wet — and in terms of which one feels the most comfortable to hold, it’s all down to personal preference.
- Forging or stamping. Forged knives are created by taking a piece of molten steel and then cutting and beating it into the right shape. They’re heavier, more durable and stay sharper than stamped knives, which are made by machine and punched out of a sheet of steel. Stamped knives are a more affordable option and can still offer performance that is more than adequate for most home cooks.
- Warranty. Check the length of the manufacturer’s warranty and what it covers. Some knives come with a lifetime warranty, but make sure you check exactly what that covers so there are no surprises.
Pros and cons
Comparing kitchen knives requires a little time and effort, so to help make it easier, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of five popular cook’s knives in the table below:
|The good||The bad|
|Shun Classic DM0706|
|Messermeister Park Plaza Carbon|
Consider your budget and what you use your kitchen knives for when choosing a new knife or knife set. Compare a few different options before buying to help you get the most bang for your buck.
How did we choose these products?
To choose our list of the best kitchen knives, we conducted our own online research and considered features like the price point, type of knife, quality and material.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to buy an entire knife set?
It depends. If your entire knife drawer is in need of an overhaul, buying a set that features a chef’s knife, paring knife, utility knife, bread knife and more could be a good idea. On the other hand, if you only need one or two replacement knives, it might not be worth it to spring for the full set, unless you’d like an upgrade.
What is the most versatile kitchen knife?
The chef’s knife is typically considered the most versatile, since it can chop, slice and dice almost any fruit, vegetable or meat.
What are the three most common kitchen knives?
The chef’s knife, paring knife and bread knife are the three most common in the average home kitchen.
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