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How To Choose The Best Chef's Knife & 6 Of Our Recommendations

4 Nov 2020, 6:07 PM

How to choose the best chef's knife & 6 of our recommendations

Knives are often some of the most prized items in a chef’s arsenal, and rightly so: a beautifully crafted, well-looked-after chef’s knife is a deeply functional and beautiful piece of equipment and a necessity for any functioning restaurant kitchen. However, the sheer variety of knives on the market – not to mention the vast price range – can be bewildering. For this reason, we have compiled a guide to choosing the best chef’s knife for your kitchen.

We have listed some of our personal favourites, but feel free to use the recommendations below as a starting point to browse the wide selection of knives on our site.

Here are six of our recommendations for superb restaurant kitchen knives that make chopping, slicing and carving elegantly easy.

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When choosing a quality chef’s knife, generally the choice of material will be between German and Japanese steel. Japanese knives, such as this one, tend to be designed for precision - so they taper inside the handle to reduce weight, and have thinner and harder blades. This knife lacks rivets on the handle, resulting in a streamlined design with its weight perfectly balanced: an important factor to consider in choosing a well-used knife. The lack of crevices also means food cannot get trapped, which makes ensuring perfect hygiene easy.

Wusthof is a German make dating back over 200 years and still ubiquitous in kitchen supply stores, and for good reason: chefs everywhere still recommend them. The classic German full-tang and triple-riveted design means the blade stays sturdy and reliable. This knife is forged (made of heated, hammered and reheated steel) rather than stamped (cut out from a roll of metal) – a traditional knifemaking process which guarantees high quality and durability in produce knives.

The Mercer chef knife is typically inexpensive, while remaining quite competitive with the more established (and pricier!) makes. The high-carbon, stainless German steel used in its construction is exceptionally strong and resistant to rust, and the Santoprene handle provides good grip for slippery hands. Furthermore, like its more expensive counterparts, Mercer knives are fully forged and not stamped.

Zwiling is a renowned name in knifemaking along the lines of Wusthof or Global. The ice-hardened blade of the Zwiling Professional series makes for a corrosion-resistant, beautifully constructed knife; moreover, the lack of transition between the bolster and the blade makes for an extremely ergonomic design. The axiom is that a knife should feel like an extension of your hand; chefs swear by Zwiling knives for precisely this reason.

Gustav Emil Ern knives are known for their immense comfort in the hand and perfect balance, and this chef’s knife is no exception. The brand is proud of their history, originating from Solingen on the border between Germany and Holland – known as ‘the City of Blades’! Like many high-quality knives, their edges are taper-ground; look for this as a sign of a well-crafted blade.

Rounding out the list is another Japanese Global knife. This one, however, looks a little different to the previous Global entry on the list. The balanced construction of this knife is evident just by looking at it. It too has the weighted, hollow handle of all Global knives but its edge is much more clearly designed for rocking cuts: a feature more typical for German-made knives.

All these chefs’ knives, and many more, are available on The Restaurant Store. Visit us for competitive prices on restaurant kitchen knives and all the professional kitchen equipment you need.

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