If you are going to be doing any kind of cutting in a kitchen, it is definitely worthwhile to invest in a quality chef’s knife. Experts say you don’t necessarily need to buy a lot of knives — a single quality chef’s knife can handle most cutting tasks. It’s generally agreed that the best knives are forged — a process where a single piece of metal is hammered into shape.
So which knives are top rated? If you go by sheer number of recommendations, Wüsthof knives come out on top. These are the overwhelming popular choice of both chefs and enthusiasts. Wüsthof knives are forged from high-carbon stainless steel and are said to be very well balanced. Wüsthof has three lines of knives: Classic, Grand Prix and Culinar. They all feature the same blades, but have different handles (most reviewers prefer Classic and Grand Prix handles).
Also highly rated are Japanese knives, like Global (pictured here) which are prized for their sophistication and elegant construction.
Global knives are made of a single piece of metal — a technique that other knife makers have begun to emulate. These knives have thinner blades which makes them sharper initially. Many knife enthusiasts are passionate about Global knives, but some people find them a difficult use at first.
Another type of Japanese knife that has become very popular recently is the Santoku knife. These are shorter and thinner than traditional chef knives. Recent reviews in the Wall Street Journal and Cook’s Illustrated said Kershaw Shun Santoku was the best santoku-style knife.