Every story you read about chef’s knives says that they should be like an extension of your hand. Frankly, that sounds a little bit too much like Wolverine (or Edward Forty-hands) to me. Still, the 8-inch chef’s knife is the go-to blade for most home cooks, so it’s worth it to have a dependable one. Because while you may not have occasion to cut through aluminum cans, you will enjoy slicing through a tomato without pulverizing it into red goo.
Here are three options—good, better, and best—that will serve you well in the kitchen.
Good: Victorinox Straight Edge Chef Knife
The guys that make the knives with tweezers and miniature magnifying glasses also know a thing or two about cutlery for the kitchen. The Victorinox chef knife has a high carbon stainless steel blade that holds a sharp edge. It is also dishwasher safe.
Better: Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
With its trident logo and three rivets, the Wusthof is probably the most recognizable knife ever created. Odds are, your engaged friends probably have this one on their wedding registry. It’s a work horse that is capable of fine slicing of herbs and vegetables and also heavy-duty hacking through a roast chicken.
Best: Shun Premier Chef Knife
While not quite as exquisite as the Hattori Hanzo sword from Kill Bill, the Shun chef knife is a pleasure to look at and incredibly light and sharp, making it ideal for fine chopping and dicing. (It is less well suited to cutting through thick meats.) As your knife skills develop, you’ll be glad you have this knife in the arsenal.