What to look for in a chef’s knife? We find the best kitchen knives in UK 2021
There is arguably no better tool in a chef’s arsenal than a great kitchen knife. They are the best around, whether you are a beginner or a gourmet cook
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What to look for in a chef’s knife
At the top of the list of knives to own is the chef’s knife, the all-rounder, which, once you’ve learned how to use it properly, can turn to any task.
Chef’s knives are also one of the largest in the drawer, usually around eight inches long; some may be smaller, others larger.
Wielding a large chef’s knife doesn’t automatically make you a better cookon the contrary, working with a knife that is too big can be potentially dangerous.
Be sure to be careful with your knife
Always use a knife that you feel is safe and secure.
Weight and balance should be taken into account when choosing a knife, which is too heavy and difficult to use safely. Choose the one which suits you best ; otherwise, it may seem annoying.
The blade will vary in style and may be more rounded on some than others, made of various metals, adding qualities such as hardened blades, sharp edges and anti-corrosion.
Full tang knives are where the blade continues to the end of the handle, which can be heavier. A two-piece blade and handle knife will undoubtedly be lighter, with any imbalance usually compensated for by additional weight in the handle.
How to take care of your knife
Caring for your knife means sharpening it regularly to keep a clean, sharp edge and, where possible, keep knives away from the dishwasher. Instead, hand wash and dry immediately after use and immediately store in a knife block or drawer.
Global Ukon chef’s knife
Award-winning knife brand Global has won over chefs and cooks for years with their stylish knives from Yoshikin, Japan.
They compare their skill to making samurai swords, and these knives are indeed sharp.
The finely sharpened blade made with their own stainless steel Cromova 18 is ground on both sides and at a sharp angle that glides perfectly through meat, fish, vegetables and even the most ripe tomatoes.
The knife is light and carefully weighted, which makes it easy to use.
These are knives you would never put near a dishwasher; it will ruin them; a quick hand wash with soap and hot water will suffice as the seamless knife has nowhere to harbor germs.
If the knife seems expensive, you are purchasing one of the sharpest, finest crafted commercial chef’s knives that should last a lifetime.
Stellar Sabatier Santoku Knife
The Stellar Sabatier Santoku might be the cheapest in our test, but don’t let that put you off because it is a great entry-level knife.
Santoku is borrowed from Japanese to represent the three virtues or uses of the knife to cut, chop and dice.
Although it has a different shape with a flatter curve coming from the top of the blade, it has a similar use and purpose to a European chef’s knife.
To use the Santoku, you need to handle the knife differently from a regular chef’s knife by moving it back and forth rather than a rocking motion.
However, chefs love these knives for their precision, especially when slicing, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s light, with a sturdy handle, and is also, surprisingly at this price, a full tang knife.
Chef’s knife Colori® Titanium
Kuhn Rikon’s Swiss made Colori knife is called a chef’s knife, but it is shorter than the standard 20cm / 8 inch knife and is also so light that we wondered if it could perform like its bigger rivals. .
The light weight makes it an easy to use knife, and its USP of having a titanium coated non-stick blade is an attribute; food falls off easily when chopping and slicing which can be a bit boring for others at times.
The small size of the Colori does not compromise its strength, made from Japanese stainless steel; it is not surprising that this knife received design awards.
A small price, a small knife but a big deal with this one.
Sabatier at Judge Chef’s Knife
Sabatier’s hardened steel chef’s knife at Judge is guaranteed for 25 years; that’s how convinced they are of its quality.
They have good reason to feel reassured; this knife is lovely and gives off a nice classic look with its full tang blade and ergonomic riveted handle.
We found the knife to be slightly heavy on the back, but it was easy to adjust in use, and that slight imbalance didn’t detract from its effectiveness for chopping, slicing, or dicing.
Exceptionally, they say the knife is dishwasher safe which is not standard knife practice, but there is a backup of this warranty if you need it.
At this price, there is a lot to like about this classic knife.
Chef’s knife Nihon X50
We admit that we really like the look of this knife.
It’s the only one we’ve tested with a wooden handle, and we found it extremely comfortable to hold; it is also the one that should most definitely stay away from the dishwasher.
The knife is made from stainless steel and carbon but so light in weight and great for anyone for whom a heavier knife might be a problem.
The lightness doesn’t hamper performance here as the weight of the blade is balanced by a stainless steel attachment on the end of the handle.
The razor sharp blade effortlessly cut through everything we tried.
The Nihon is a great knife for learning how to chop, slice and dice if the heaviest knives are too scary, without spending too much money.
Lakeland Select-Grip steel Japanese chef’s knife
This professional grade knife from Lakeland is strong and sturdy, made from Japanese steel and also has the thickest blade we’ve tried, which for some may be slightly too heavy, but others may prefer that.
We were very impressed with the handle of the Lakeland Select-Grip Knife, which is soft and comfortable.
Plus, the handle is non-slip and the knowledge that it is secure brings added confidence, a bonus for those learning to handle professional grade knives.
The handle also has a steel balancing cap to properly weigh the knife, which makes precision cutting easier, and there is additionally a safety sheath to protect both the knife and the fingers during storage. .
The Lakeland is a nice, sturdy knife at a reasonable price, although its weight may not be suitable for everyone.
Elite Ice X50 chef’s knife
The Elite Ice from Procook is a sturdy looking knife with a unique and beautiful handle made from Micarta – layers of linen, canvas, burlap, sometimes even paper or leather saturated with phenolic resin.
The robustness of the knife comes from German stainless steel with 0.5% carbon for good edge retention and a promise of corrosion resistance.
But it was their science fiction-like cryogenics that intrigued us. The metal is subjected to a staggering temperature of -70 ° C for three hours, altering the metal structure and giving the knife an exceptional sharpness.
We found the knife to be terribly sharp with excellent balance; it glides through smoothly and efficiently.
This is an exceptional knife for the price, although the weight can be a bit heavy for some.
Zwilling chef’s knife 20cm
The Zwilling knife is extraordinarily beautiful and beautifully crafted.
The blade is forged from a single piece of steel and ice hardened using a process called Friodur® which gives the knife exceptional strength and sharpness, which we found enjoyable to use.
The generously curved 8-inch blade makes slicing, dicing and chopping easy, and the generous, securely riveted handle is both comfortable and safe to hold.
Also, even though it is made of such good quality steel, it is not too heavy, so it will fit most hands.
ZWILLING® Pro is an investment piece which, if maintained properly and never ventured near a dishwasher, should last for many years and could make the lifetime warranty with which the knife is redundant.