Who would have thought that ‘ye old kitchen knife’ would be so important and have so many different styles and purposes?! This guide will give you a kitchen knives review of most of the kitchen knives available. It will also open your eyes to another world of culinary delights once you learn what each knife can do and how to use it, clean it and store it. And, oh yes, they have to be looked after very, very carefully.
Our Top 3 Picks
Before you rush out and buy one of each kind of knife, read this guide and see exactly which ones you will need in your home – maybe none of your family like sushi, so that means, no sushi knife for you, but maybe you need 6 steak knives as everyone loves steak. However, when considering which the best kitchen knives to buy are, you also have to consider your budget and how much you are prepared to spend. You can get hugely expensive knife sets with every conceivable knife being part of it – but think first: will you really use every one? Are you actually going to be boning your meat or do you buy meat already off the bone from the shop?
Also bear in mind the kind of food you eat at home. Most people need a bread knife, and maybe a cheese knife and a steak knife. So choose according to the kind of food you eat every day so you do not find yourself without a chopping knife when making a salad – for example. If you eat a lot of roast meat, then the carving knife would be very useful. Similarly, if you are a vegetarian, you will have no need for a carving knife.
Types of Kitchen Knives
When looking for the best kitchen knife, you will find that there are steak knives, butcher knives, cheese knives, boning knives, carving knives, ceramic knives, bread knives, sushi knives, chopping knives and cooking knives. My goodness, imagine how confused our old cavemen and woman would have been with such a choice – who knew there were so many knives for so many different kinds of cutting?! Surely a knife is a knife is a knife……….? Let’s have a look.
Over the years, so many new items have been developed that nowadays we cannot manage without them. The kitchen knife can certainly be classed as one of them. To assist you to prepare the foods your family loves, there are ten different kitchen knives we are going to talk about her, and we will help you make the best choice in choosing a knife or knives with our informative kitchen knife review.
- Steak Knife
A steak knife has to be chosen well so that it fits in with the décor and style of the household. The housewife will choose a steak knife that complements her existing set of cutlery and silverware. The sharp edge of this knife can be serrated, smooth or micro-serrated. The knife needs to be hard and durable to enable it to be used for years of cutting meat on a china plate as opposed to a chopping board. Edges wear down very quickly with wear and tear, and the edge that would last the longest is the serrated edge. The micro-serrated knife will be worn down very fast and the smooth edge will need lots of sharpening over the years. So, it is probably better to spend a bit more and get a suitable, serrated steak knife, which is at the top of the range of available steak knives. The larger the serrations, the better it is to cut with. And another important point is that the knife must be comfortable to hold.
- Butcher Knife
The most important thing about a butcher knife is the blade. Ideally it should be made of high carbon stainless steel which will never rust or lose its color. During manufacture of these knives, a special heat treatment is used to achieve maximum toughness and durability, while decreasing the hardness which makes the knife less brittle. And it can be sharpened time and time again. If you are a culinary queen, you will love this knife as it can be used for chopping, dicing, slicing and trimming. Butcher knives come in every size and any shape. A woman would pick one with a smaller handle than a man who naturally has big hands so can grip a bigger handle more comfortably. Choose a handle that gives you a firm grip for maximum ease of use. It’s worth spending money on this kind of knife as you will probably use it every day.
- Cheese Knife
A lot of people do not really bother with having a knife just for cutting cheese, as any knife will probably do the trick. However, there are an assortment of cheese knives for different kinds of cheese. The softer the cheese, the sharper your knife needs to be – it also needs to have a serrated edge with a number of holes along the blade to prevent the knife from getting stuck in the cheese.
- Boning Knife
These knives are typically used when preparing fish, poultry or meat. They range in size from a blade length of 5 to 6, 5 inches. Some even go up to 9, 5 inches. The best size for you depends on how often you bone your food before cooking. To ensure that you can get the bones out of the food with the minimum of fuss and mess, these knives are made to be very thin.
- Carving Knife
These are the knives that the baddies in all scary movies normally pick up in the kitchen once they have broken into the house……..and they are l o n g knives! Ahem, right back to the review: these knives normally range in length from 8 to 15 inches and are used for any type of food – mainly meat. The knife blade itself is very thin which enables it to carve thin pieces of meat.
- Ceramic Knife
Obviously made from ceramic, the material makes the knife hard and tough. It can be used for slicing through fruit and vegies and it never becomes stained from the sugar in these foods. They cut lovely thin and neat slices. Their cutting edge remains sharp for much longer than a stainless steel knife. However, the down side is that if you drop it, it will break.
- Bread Knife
Perfectly designed to slice bread, these knives have a serrated edge which allows you to saw through the bread. It can also be used for slicing many other foods. Most of these knives are made to ensure that your knuckles do not bash against the counter tops when cutting slices of bread.
- Sushi Knife
If your family are sushi fans, then this is the knife for you. Sushi need to be certain sizes and this knife offers you perfect precision. There are two kinds of sushi knives: the first one has a one-sided honed edge and the other has a double edge. Also, the angle of the blade differs from 50:50 and 70:30. Other sizes are also available going up to 90:10 and 60:40 proportions.
- Chopping Knife
This is the most popular knife in any kitchen, and can also be called the chef’s knife. It was first used to cut large pieces of meat, but nowadays fulfils many more functions such as slicing, mincing and most importantly chopping. You can choose which material you would prefer the knife to be made from – carbon steel, ceramic or stainless steel. The edges are also all different – you get a hollow-ground edge, a convex edge, a double-grind edge, and a single-grind edge.
- Santoku Knife
This is known as the Japanese version of the Chef’s knife, or the all-purpose knife. With the wide blade, it is very useful to lift your freshly chopped onions off the cutting board and pour them into the pan. It also cuts perfect thin slices of meat and is excellent for when you want to chop garlic into fine pieces.
There are a large choice of brands when considering buying the best kitchen knives. There are numerous styles and models from which to choose and they all have their own advantages and characteristics.
The Imperial Collection is a very popular brand of kitchen knives, and you will find it used in kitchens all over the world. It always picks up good reviews in any kitchen knife review article. Made with the best quality stainless steel and blades that never need sharpening, these knives allow you to cut through any food with ease.
When you look at the Wusthof Classic range, you see pure quality. The knives are made in Germany and they are of the highest quality stainless steel. They also come with a lifetime guarantee. This set includes pull apart kitchen shears, a honing steel and a storage block. This Wusthof Range is heavy enough to cut through a tough butter nut with ease.
Another very popular brand is the One and Only Rainbow Blades from AE Titanium. These knives are made to attract attention, and they stand out beautifully from your other cutlery, so you always know where they are. Made with stainless steel, they are also coated in Titanium. Or you may prefer the Chicago Cutlery brand which has been around since 1930. They produce top quality knife products. Every knife in this stable has the name Chicago Cutlery proudly displayed on it.
Factors to Consider when Buying Kitchen Knives
- Edge: This is the part of the blade that actually does the cutting. It should be honed every time before you use it. The midway section of the knife is the area that takes care of the cutting and slicing. Make sure you hand-wash and dry the knife immediately after each use;
- Handle: It is important to choose a knife with a good grip. It must fit firmly in your hand and should not be able to slip around;
- Bolster: Most knives have a thick piece of steel around their middle section which prevents any slip-ups or accidents from happening;
- Heel: This is the part of the knife closest to the handle. This is where the knife is controlled from – heavy pressure or light pressure depending on what food you are cutting;
- Blade Tip: This is the sharpest point (literally!) of the knife, so be careful with it. It is very helpful when cutting small pieces of food and food that is fragile and easily crumbled.
- Spine: This is like the backbone of the knife, the top of the blade – opposite to the edge. When needed, extra pressure can be applied here for cutting tough pieces of food;
- The Tang: This is where the blade meets the handle. It gives the knife its balance.
Best Kitchen Knives Reviews in 2017
Imperial Collection 6 Piece Knife Set Including Knife Block – Extremely Sharp Stainless Steel NonStick Coating Kitchen Knives With A Great Grip (Red/Black)
Consisting of 5 knives – 3½” Paring Knife, 5″ Utility knife and 8″ Bread, Carving and Chef Knives, this set has a very sharp Knife Block design. Any knife can fit anywhere in the block as there is a piece of steel grating across the top. This means no changing the knives around into their correct places. The size of the block is just right, and it can fit in with compact kitchens. These five knives can be used for most functions when cutting up food. They look very smart with their red and black coloring. The blades themselves are very chic and have a non-stick, pitted coating – and they are extremely sharp. Most people have only good things to say about this set – and for the price they are an absolute win.
SiliSlick® Titanium Coated Stainless Steel 5pc Kitchen Set of Rainbow Knives
This set comes in an affordable and useful box which fits in with the “go green” slogans all over the world, and it keeps the product at a reasonable price. They have a lifetime guarantee and their sharpness lasts forever. Do not let them air-dry as they could rust. The customer service is brilliant. These knives are referred to as the “professional” knives – people feel really important using them as they look and feels so smart and sharp.
Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set (Acacia)
This set has every knife you could ever need – a 3.5” Paring Knife, a 5” Serrated Utility Knife, a 6” Kiritsuke Prep Knife – or Chopping Knife, an 8” Bread Knife, Chef’s Knife, Come-Apart Kitchen Shears, and a 6-slot Slim Design Wood Knife Block. The set is compact and does not dominate your kitchen. The knives are beautifully made, and each one does a specific job. No excess knives which you would never use. They balance well; they are sharp, and the finish is flawless. However, the block itself has some minor disadvantages, but nothing you cannot live with.
Kitchen Knife Set of 3 by QHP Includes 8 Inch Carving Knife
This is a wonderful 3-piece unique knife collection. The 8” carving knife, the 7” Santoku knife, and the 5” utility knife are all you will ever need. They cut meat, and they peel fruit. The box looks classy and has an integrated sharpener. Rave reviews from each and every customer – super sharp, perfect for chopping, slicing, and mincing. Cuts through gem squash like butter. The set also comes with a cutting table which every customer loved. The wooden box the knives come in is great as it can fit in your kitchen draw. Lots of people have used this set as a wedding gift and have received great compliments.
Cuisinart 17-Piece Artiste Collection Cutlery Knife Block Set, Stainless Steel
This lovely knife set consists of a 8″ Chef Knife for mincing and slicing, another useful knife also for mincing and slicing vegetables, a 5.5″ Santoku Knife which is used for dicing, a 5.5″ Serrated Utility Knife specially for cutting bread and vegies and a 3.5″ Paring Knife which has lots of uses.
People love the Cuisinart quality as it is a name they can trust. They also like the sleek and modern look, and the fact that they can be washed in the dish-washer with no worries of handles breaking or coming apart. Being stainless steel, these knives match most of the modern kitchen appliances which people are very pleased about.
Knife Set with Wooden Block 13 Piece – Chef Knife, Bread Knife, Carving Knife, Utility Knife, Paring Knife, Steak Knife, and Scissors
This block set is a number one best seller, and this is reflected in all the comments. It is recommended that they are washed with a bacterial soap, and then dried straight away. This is a perfect knife set for the reasonable price.
Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel 6 Piece Knives Set (5 Knives plus and Acrylic Stand)
Customers love the modern look of the set of knives. Utopia has a good name in the kitchen knife market, and lots of people recommend this product and encourage others to buy it. The main advantage is that the knives are solid, and in one piece, which means again, there are no worries about the handles getting loose or breaking off. The only complaint is that the stainless steel could be of better quality.
Chicago Cutlery 1119644 Fusion Forged 18-Piece Knife Block Set, Stainless Steel
Most reviews rave about this set, although some complain about the steak knives not being high enough and breaking. On the other end of the scale, they have been called “pitiful” and “awful.” Lots of comments on washing and then drying them straight away to prevent rust. A couple of complaints about people cutting themselves because the knives are too sharp, but at least they do what they are supposed to do, and that is cut through everything with ease and finesse.
Cuisinart Advantage 12-Piece Knife Set, Bright (6 knives and six knife covers)
Most reviews are good – people love the colors and love the fact that they come in their plastic sheaths. The disadvantage is that they are a bit cheap. However, the good points outweigh the bad in that many say it is the best kitchen purchase they have ever made. They glide through butternut, chop veggies perfectly every time and carve the best thinnest slices of meat. And they brighten up the kitchen!
Kitchen Knives FAQ
Q: What are the most popular knives to have first?
A: That’s easy – it is the Chopping knife because it is so versatile and can be used on almost any food. But it also depends on your personal choice.
Q: How does one get rid of stains on Ceramic Knives?
A: Most stains will pass away when you wash the knife with a sponge and warm soapy water. If that does not do the trick, then use denture cleaner by soaking them overnight.
Q: How will I know which knife is best suited for me?
A: Again, this is a personal choice. This will be the knife that you use most often for most of your chopping and slicing work. It also depends on your budget.
Q: Can damaged knives be re-sharpened?
A: First of all, never force your knives to cut something they cannot cope with. You will damage them, and no warranty will cover that. It will also make the blade more susceptible to breaking. Regular sharpening improves the quality of your stainless steel knives.
Q: What is the main difference between different sets of knives?
A: Most knives do tend to look the same, but the price is determined by how it is made. Things like the balance and the weight are important, including what type of steel was used.
Q: Is it better to buy individual knives or a set of knives?
A: Again, a personal preference. But when you buy different knives you can buy exactly what you want. Whereas when you get a set, there can sometimes be a knife in there that you might never use. It also depends on how much you want to spend. A set of 5 or more knives will probably be more cost effective that 5 or 8 own knives.
Q: Can these kitchen knife sets be put in the dishwasher?
A: It is not a good idea to wash them in the dish water. The extremely high temperatures of the water can sometimes damage the handles, and any air drying will more than likely rust the knives at some point, depending on the quality of the set you bought.
Now you have all the facts and figures at your finger-tips, you can make an informed decision on the best kitchen knives you would prefer to buy. Everybody will have their own favorite knife which can probably be used for most food cutting. However, for boning or cutting bread you will need that specific knife. If you had to think about it, you would probably come up with about 10 knives that you would ideally like in your kitchen – but that would cost you an arm and a leg and it is just not very practical. Basically, there are 5 knives that you absolutely have to have: once you have these 5, you can then pick or choose another one or two to add to your collection
- Chef knife
- Paring knife
- Honing steel
- Boning knife
Once you have picked out your knives, you need to look after them and clean them properly. It is not recommended to put any knives in the dish washer. Rather wash them with warm soapy water, rinse and then dry straight away. Most households have all their kitchen knives shoved together in one section of their kitchen drawer. This is very bad for the knife blades as they can end up damaged with no shine any more.
Another important point when you have read the best kitchen knives review is that you need to keep your knives in tip top condition and sharpen them regularly. Knife experts recommend that you sharpen them before each use. It is interesting to note that knife blades get the most damage from actually using them on a plate or marble counter. The best thing to do is to always use a chopping board as that protects them from becoming seriously damaged.
As far as the best kitchen knife goes, that is totally up to you and whichever knife you use the most and feel most comfortable with.