From slicing and dicing to carving and boning, every cook needs a decent knife. In fact, a reliable blade that retains a sharp edge and feels ergonomically sound is one of the most important kitchen tools you’ll ever invest in.
Always choose a knife that has some heft to it, and don’t forget to check that the blade does not bend easily. Most importantly, opt for quality over quantity (forget those too-good-to-be-true knife set deals that come with an ab cruncher). What you ideally want in your kitchen is a carefully curated set of knives that cover the vast majority of tasks when it comes to cooking. There may be an initially high financial outlay, but if you invest in good quality knives, they’ll reward you in the long run.
Finding the best knife or knives for your kitchen can throw up a minefield of options. There are myriad types of knives, some more versatile than others. For specialist tasks such as boning meat or filleting fish, only a specialised knife will do.
Then you have the country of origin to factor in. Many countries around the world produce knives, usually with particular traits, such as aesthetic, materials used, and sharpness. Japanese knives, in particular, are regarded as some of the best, with Germany also being a notable country to have on your radar.
It’s definitely worth doing some deeper research into kitchen knives, especially if you know the task you need fulfilling. We’re here to help start you off by picking out some of the more revered brands from around the world.
So, whether you’re a culinary dunce or practically a professional chef, check out these super fine knife brands from around the world.
Most guys shun the kitchen, but with a Shun knife (pronounced “shoon”), the chore of preparing meals becomes pretty enjoyable. In Japanese, “Shun” refers to the exact time of year when a certain food is at the peak of perfection.
As such, Shun knives are as close to perfection as a blade can get. Taking cues from legendary Japanese sword makers, each knife is made with expert precision in the famed culinary district of Seki City.
Here, skilled craftsmen forge knives that act as functional pieces of art, with edges so sharp you could shave your face with them.
If you haven’t heard of Wüsthof, you’ve been living under a rock. As one of the most well-known knife makers on the planet, the German company has over two centuries of blade-wielding prowess under its belt. A brand favoured by top chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay – so you’re in good company – Wüsthof knives bare the recognisable trident logo that proves its products are fit for a ruler like you.
With a history dating all the way back to 1731, Zwilling J.A. Henckels has cemented itself as a legend in the knife world. Founded in Solingen, Germany, each piece enjoys contoured handles, proprietary Friodur ice-hardened steel and Sigmaforge construction for sharp, strong and flexible (the right kind) blades.
While Henckels also dabbles in premium cookware, flatware and glassware, it’s knife lineup is what has us doing backflips. We particularly enjoy the meat cleavers, but every knife in the range is top quality and boasts an enduring lifespan (in fact, these knives will probably outlive us).
Edge Of Belgravia
Edge of Belgravia is relatively new on the knife block (pun most definitely intended) but is quickly slashing its way to the top with inspiring blades worthy of being mounted in a museum. Established in London in 2010, and officially launched to the UK market two years later, Edge of Belgravia is popular thanks to the use of contemporary design, high-tech materials and super sharp stainless steel.
As the creator of the original Swiss army knife, Victorinox has been keeping military men, scouts and home cooks ready for anything since 1884.
From basic bread knives to more elaborate chef varieties, one of its best-sellers is the slicing, dicing, and mincing powerhouse that is a ‘Santoku’ blade. More affordable than other entries on this list, Victorinox is perfect for the home cook setting up his cutlery drawer.
Combining traditional Japanese Samurai sword-making techniques with 21st-century technology, Torijo produces multi-layered blades from its Niigata City factory in Japan, an area famed for its smooth sake and superior knife forging (what could go wrong when you put booze and knives together?).
The company produces all sorts of kitchen tools and accessories, but we’re currently obsessed with its latest range of Flash kitchen knives.
Miyabi may be owned by German company Zwilling, but everything that goes into their production – including the factory in which they’re made – is completely Japanese. They’re manufactured in Seki, the epicentre of Japanese knife making, and so embody the traditional, angled design. And of course, they’re unbelievably sharp.
Each series within the Miyabi brand has its own unique design, predominantly in regards to the handle, but the blades within each series offering varying levels of strength and sharpness.
Mercer Culinary is an American brand of all things kitchenware, but is best known for its knives. Trusted by chefs around the world – along with the vast majority of cooking academies in North America – Mercer utilises some of the very finest materials around to forge its knives, with a range of steel used depending on the range – German steel and VG 10 super stainless steel both feature prominently – and the handles are some of the most ergonomic around.
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Kitchen Knives FAQ
You only need three knives in the kitchen – a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. A chef’s knife, also called a cook’s knife, is a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, from chopping to mincing. An 8-inch chef’s knife is the most popular among home cooks. It is versatile and just the right size for your hand. Longer knives can be intimidating, while shorter ones may fall short when cutting large food items. Japanese knives are harder and hold an edge better, but this makes them more prone to chipping and breaking. German knives are softer and more durable, but they will not maintain an edge for as long as the harder steel.
What knives should every kitchen have?
What is the best size for a chef’s knife?
What is the difference between Japanese and German knives?
You only need three knives in the kitchen – a chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. A chef’s knife, also called a cook’s knife, is a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, from chopping to mincing.
An 8-inch chef’s knife is the most popular among home cooks. It is versatile and just the right size for your hand. Longer knives can be intimidating, while shorter ones may fall short when cutting large food items.
Japanese knives are harder and hold an edge better, but this makes them more prone to chipping and breaking. German knives are softer and more durable, but they will not maintain an edge for as long as the harder steel.