Worldwide icon-chevron-right 15 knives chefs are obsessed with
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15 knives chefs are obsessed with

Upgrade your kitchen gear with these chef-approved blades.

By Morgan Olsen
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One of the lesser-known cornerstones of adulthood is ridding your kitchen of dull, lifeless knives that can barely pierce a tomato. Of course, you'll want to replace them with blades fit for a pro. But where to start? To help you get slicing and dicing faster, we consulted real-life chefs to find out what knives they use at home. They recommended a boatload of beautiful everyday blades that work for all kinds of kitchen tasks—from slicing meat and dicing veggies to crushing garlic and filleting fish. Plus, you might find something you never knew you needed, like a cleaver (it's not as scary as it sounds, we promise). Take a closer look at the knives chefs can't live without when they're cooking at home.

Craving more insider insight from the world's best chefs? You're in the right place. Talk to the Chef! is a weekly food series that will tap into the minds of culinary leaders around the globe. The conversation changes just as often, and we'll chat with chefs about everything from podcasts and kitchen equipment to travel and trends.

Knives chefs love

Wüsthof knife
Wüsthof knife
Image: Courtesy Wüsthof

Wüsthof Classic 8” chef's knife

“We’ve had it for years. My wife likes it, too, and it’s a solid knife to teach my 8-year-old son knife skills. It’s an all-purpose knife that we use practically for everything.” —David Bazirgan, executive chef of Bambara in Cambridge

Ikea knife
Ikea knife
Image: Courtesy Ikea

Ikea Vardagen vegetable knife

“I absolutely love this knife as it's so cheap, really comfortable and versatile, super sharp and easy to keep it that way. And as it's Ikea, you really can get it everywhere.” —Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, chef of Casamia, Paco Tapas, Decimo and Pi Shop in the UK

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Zwilling knife
Zwilling knife
Image: Courtesy Zwilling

Zwilling Pro 6” chef’s knife

“It’s reasonably priced, and its medium size makes it very versatile. Both the size and the handle give better control for anyone using at home, no experience in handling knives required!” —Marwa Alkhalaf, chef-director of Nutshell in London

Takamura Octagon series

“Takamura’s high-end knives are truly out of this world. The sharpness of the Octagon and Suminagashi ranges will blow your mind. And the damascus finish is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Takamura also produces a range of everyday knives at more affordable prices.” —Agustin Ferrando Balbi, chef-founder of Andō in Hong Kong

 

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MAC Knife
MAC Knife
Image: Courtesy MAC Knife

MAC Professional Series 8.5” chef’s knife

“It works, I can sharpen it fast, and unlike my more expensive knives, I am not attached to it if someone in the house throws it into the dishwasher without thinking.” —Erick Williams, chef-owner of Virtue in Chicago

Tamahagane knife
Tamahagane knife
Image: Courtesy Tamahagane

Tamahagane 35 Layers Utility 150mm

“I’ve had my home knife for 15 years now, but it did start with me in the professional kitchen as back then I would never be at home to cook as we worked crazy long hours. It is a brand from the Japanese knife company in London and it’s a super knife that has kept its edge for all of this time and was great value.” —Nick Alvis, chef and co-founder of Nick & Scott restaurant group and folly by Nick & Scott at Time Out Market in Dubai

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Bob Kramer knife
Bob Kramer knife
Image: Courtesy Bob Kramer

Kramer Knives cleaver

“If you are in America, order a custom cleaver from Bob Kramer, he is the king of knives. Make it nice and heavy so it gets through raw meat and bone but sharp enough to cut wafer thin vegetables. The side also has an important use: It will pound garlic, crack eggs, pound cumin seeds and lift everything off the board like a scoop. That reminds me, you always need a board! Buy the best you can afford and look after it.” —Bin Li, chef of Murger Han restaurants in London

Simple steel knife

“I have bought knives from Masamoto Tsukiji Market nearly every time I visit Tokyo. The one I use most often is a simple steel knife that can carry most prep works apart from bone cutting. It’s lightweight, thin blade and sharpens easily.” —Erchen Chang, owner of Bao in London

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Korin knife
Korin knife
Image: Courtesy Korin

Masamoto VG Gyuto 240mm

“This was the first knife I got as a professional cook after reading about it in Cook’s Illustrated. It’s taken quite a beating over the years, but it’s still a solid and comfortable knife. I take care of it, and it takes care of me. The nostalgia is gratifying, and it still does a really good job 12 years later.” —Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer, chefs and co-owners of Boia De in Miami

Victorinox 3.25” serrated paring knife
Victorinox 3.25” serrated paring knife
Image: Courtesy Victorinox

Victorinox 3.25” serrated paring knife

“I cannot live without my serrated paring knife! It stays sharp for so long and is very versatile.” Emily Yuen, executive chef of Bessou and Bessou at Time Out Market in New York City

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Roland Lannier paring knife

“It's small, super handy and really, super sharp. It just fits snugly in the palm of my hand. I take it with me nearly everywhere.” —Antonin Bonnet, head chef of Quinsou in Paris

Hitohira knife
Hitohira knife
Image: Courtesy Hitohira

Hitohira TP Petty 150mm

“I purchased [this knife] with versatility in mind. I needed a knife that can be easily used for an at-home dinner service as well as for deboning poultry, filleting small fish and slicing tomatoes. The blade doesn’t oxidize as it is made with stainless steel, it is well-balanced in weight and the handle is ambidextrous and beautifully constructed with red wine-tinted wood composite called pakka. I rely on this knife for everyday use.” —Chanthy Yen, founder of Touk and chef of Parliament Pub & Parlour in Montreal

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Shun knife
Shun knife
Image: Courtesy Shun

Shun Classic 8” chef’s knife

“It’s easy to use and to sharpen. At home, it feels like it’s my personal knife, and [my wife] Danielle can abuse it all she wants. I still have my good ones at the restaurant.” —Thai Dang, chef-owner of HaiSous and Thai Dang at Time Out Market in Chicago

Anything from Clement Knives

“I’m a fan of what Clement Knives are doing. They’re unique blades crafted from recycled metal and plastic so they help the climate-conscience as well as performing in the kitchen. They’re made in small batches. It’s first-come first-served and they sell out fast.” James Cochran, chef-owner of 12:51 by Chef James Cochran in London

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Nenox SD Yo-Deba 165mm
Nenox SD Yo-Deba 165mm
Image: Courtesy Korin

Nenox SD Yo-Deba 165mm

“I’m a fan of Nenox knives at work and home. [My] favorite at home is probably their Yo-Deba 165mm, as it’ll handle almost anything that could pop up.” —Nina Compton, chef-owner of Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans

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