Best Chef Knife Set in 2023, Reviewed and More
Let me tell you a secret that only chefs know. In the heart of every kitchen, there is a silent hero that waits. Beyond the aromatic sizzle of pan-seared perfection is a seemingly simple and functional tool, that lays a true culinary wonder. The Chef's knife is not just another kitchen utensil, it is the indispensable tool that unlocks your inner chef.
The significance of a high-quality chef knife set cannot be understated. Imagine trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle without all the right pieces. Just imagine, without that one jigsaw piece, your picture will never be complete. Similarly, a high-quality chef's knife has a very specific purpose, and together, you create delicious culinary masterpieces with the precision and ease that you've always wanted.
At iMarku, our chef's knives are more than just culinary tools. They are a symbol of your passion, your love, and your creativity in cooking. A chef knife is a reminder that you are in control of not just the kitchen but your own culinary dreams. Tired of dull chef's knives duller than your butter knife? Imagine a blade that cuts through a thick tomato without even making a sound.
Understanding Chef Knives
Defined by its broad blade, sharp edge that tapes to a certain point. Typically around 6-10 inches in length. The chef's knife is made from the finest steel, with a thick wooden or metal handle; it is sharpened to perfection, an essential tool in any chef's arsenal. As a general rule to chef knives, the longer the blade, the more efficient, and more control you have.
Chef Knife Safety Measures
- 1) Never, ever, ever use a dull knife. Keep your knife sharp, and you'll reduce your chance of injuries.
- 2) Do not cut on any uneven surface especially if it's slippery. Use a board.
- 3) Clean after use. Never leave your blade wet or dirty, this causes rust or corrosion.
- 4) Read the label. Some knives are not dishwasher safe.
- 5) Keep your blade(s) in a place where it will not get scratched by other utensils ideally in a knife block.
- 6) Use appropriately. Don't use your chef's knife to open cans, pry lids, and especially "cut" bones.
3 Factors to Consider First when Choosing the Best Chef Knife Set
1) Material & Constrution
There many kinds of blade construction, from "high-carbon" to stainless, these are all good but the one you ideally want is forged blades. You get the best of both worlds, balance and strength.
2) Ergonomics (length & handle)
Ergonomic is simple. The taller you are the longer the blade you want to be. If you are shorter, 5'8 below, choose an 8'' or 6'' blade. The more ergonomic (comfortable) you hold a blade. The less fatigue you'll experience.
3) Culinary Specialization
While a chef's knife is an all-rounder. There will be instances when you want a specialized knife. You have French chef knives or German chef knives that are heavier and thicker, often with a wider bolster and a more pronounced curve that makes it easier to cut and chop through tough, thick ingredients in a rocking motion. Whilst you may want a blade with more precision. Then, you want a Japanese blade.
Here are some just of the many specialized Japanese knives available:
- Nakiri knife: a short blade with a square tip and flat edge. Fantastic for chopping vegetables.
- Gyuto knife: this is the Japanese version of a (western) Chef's knife. Made with much harder steel, fantastic for cutting through thick meat.
- Deba knife: this long and thick blade is what Japanese chefs and cooks often use for filleting fish and chicken.
- Yanagiba knife: this thin and long blade was originally designed for preparing sushi but today, it is used for cutting large and thick pieces of meat.
- Petty knife: this utility blade is essentially a smaller version of the Gyuto, perfect for paring, peeling, cutting, decorating, and so on.
5 Best Chef Knife Sets
1. Zwilling Pro 7pc Knife Block Set
Priced at $369.95. This 7pc knife block set is known in the market to be one of the most user-friendly knife sets available. Not only are you getting a 7pc knife set that was forged with high-carbon stainless steel with a full tang and a handle that's triple-riveted, giving you stability.
- Fully forged construction
- Friodur blade (blade stays sharp for a long time)
- Feels "cheap"
- Only 4 knives
- Limited Versatility
- "My parent has Zwilling. My partner's parents had Zwilling. Now, as a gift, I have Zwillin too, and I am loving my knife set. Knives are just the perfect fit for me"
- "Light and sturdy, surprisingly easy to use."
- "I looked at over 7 other knife brands, but Zwiling had the best handle narrows. They're perfect for my grip. Great weight, cuts through anything like butter."
2. Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7pc Block Knife Set
If there's one thing that makes Wüsthof stand out, it's an expert combination of exquisite designs. The Wüsthof classic ikon offers you a truly valuable knife set, fully forged with full range and high carbon with features that were thoughtfully created to give you exceptional performance and of course, delicious results.
From a pairing knife, utility, serrated, hollowed edge santoku, a bread knife, and your own chef's knife that can all be had for just $985.
- Versatility knife set
- Fully forged with full tang
- High-carbon, stain-resistant, stainless steel
- Lifetime warranty
- Some knives tend to dull after only 6 months
- Some pieces especially the utility knife tend to rust
- Not dishwasher safe
- "I love these knives. I've owned much less expensive knives over the years, but let me tell you. When we switched to Wusthof, only then, did we realize just how much extra work we've been suffering through with our other knives."
- "The sharpness of these knives is no joke. I've pricked my fingers just picking up these knives. I love them!"
- "Never in my life, would I have thought I would ever spend this much on knives but no regrets! They're so sharp and light makes everything easy."
3. Misen Essentials (3-piece) Knife Set
The Misen Essentials, at just $170 with over 2,500+ reviews is a very popular knife set. Though seemingly simple, the Misen essentials give you maximum versatility, while minimizing counter space.
You get an 8'' chef's knife, a 5.5'' utility knife, and a serrated 8'' knife. Made from the best alloy steel, producing the finest and sharpest stainless steel with high carbon you can have for this price. A quality that's hard to match.
- Premium AUS-10 steel (balanced stability, durability, and sharpness)
- Stainless steel with a high carbon (stays sharp longer)
- Unmatched value
- "Support service " is virtually non-existent
- Slow delivery (some orders took over 2+ months)
- "Stainless" steel has a tendency to rust
- "My first ever professional knives as an adult. Shopping for knives is overwhelming for me, I wanted something cheap not cheap that it'll break in a day but last me for a year and so far. Still using Misen, had to sharpen them, not the most fun experience but great knives overall."
- "Very good quality knives especially if you consider the price. Some knives are outrageously expensive that just hype, this is legit!"
- "Tried slicing a pineapple with this, so easy - incredibly sharp. I love them but be careful!"
4. Imarku Chef Knife (2-piece) Set
Imarku deliveries on true value. Made from the finest German stainless steel, fully forged to perfection with full tang.
You can an ergonomic 8'' chef's knife and a 3.5'' pair knife made from stainless steel with high-carbon, product less stress on your hands when using, making it perfect for cutting and slicing your way through the thickest and software of fruits, vegetables, poultry, and meats.
- High-quality Versatile Knives
- Sharp (easily cuts through though vegetables and meats)
- Ergonomic (comfortable) pakkawood handle
- Easy to use, tough construction
- Easy payment solutions
- Could be sharper
- Not dishwasher-safe
- "Exceptionally well-made and beautiful to look at. The handle on these knives is fantastic. I've been using them for over 6 months, no issues."
- "Light and very easy to hold. Perfect for my battered hands, been using them daily and nightly, but haven't yet sharpened them. Feels great to use!"
- "Surprisingly a lot better than I was expecting. Great pair of knives for the price. A definite recommend."
5. Imarku The Essential (5-piece) Knife Set
Meticulously forged to perfection, the Imarku the essential 5pc knife set, was designed to deliver you exceptional high-quality all without costing a fortune.
Imagine, 5 of the best blades available, forged with the finest German stainless steel, all to produce a knife set that ensures you unrivaled quality with durability that makes any chef proud. At just 159.99, that's a rarity you can't afford to miss.
- Maximum versatility (boning knife, pair knife, bread knife, Santoku knife, and chef's knife)
- Fully forged with the finest German stainless steel available and full tang
- Stays sharp even after long use
- Not dishwasher-safe (Here is the dishwasher-safe knife sets collection)
- Can rust if not cleaned & dried upright immediately after use
- "I can't believe it took us this long to upgrade our knives. We've been using our college knives for years but when we finally bought our first Imarku. The difference is literally night and day. The sharpness is incredible. The way they designed this is perfect for my small hand, making preparing ingredients incredibly easy and light."
- "This is my 3rd Imarku purchase. I've had Nikiri knives, boning, and paring before but this set is incredible. Adamantly, some are a bit "heavy" for my wife but overall, we love this knife set by Imarku. Still stays after all this time."
- "OMG! The knives are so light. I thought at first, it would be a problem but nope. They're so sharp. I never knew that was possible, light knives but super sharp. Been using these for months, still sharp. What an incredible set for the price. Best purchase ever!"
How to Sharpen and Maintain Chef Knives
Always remember this rule, a sharp knife is a safe and efficient blade. It may sound unbelievable that having a sharp knife reduces your chances of getting injured. Now, when it comes to sharpening your chef's knife. There are three popular sharpening methods:
- 1) Whetstones: or "water stones" are essentially small rectangular pieces of sharpening stones. These stones are available in a number of ways that all determine how aggressive you want the sharpening process to be. The complete steps for using a whetstone are as follows:
- soak your whetstone for over 15 minutes.
- set the angle, most place it at 20 degrees, with one hand holding the handle and 1-3 holding the flat end near the tip for control.
- doing a slashing motion horizontally, you wanna push the heel of the blade first and exit out with the tip.
- keep slashing for 10-15 strokes for each side.
- flip the blade, and do it all over around.
- finally, flip the whetstone with the finer side. Repeat the process but with 50% fewer strokes.
- now, simply test the sharpness by gently slicing through a piece of white paper. Notice the ease?
- 2) Honing Steels: honing steels are the most commonly used sharpening tool by cooks, chefs, and especially celebrity chefs because it looks and sounds cool. The best way to use honing steel is as follows:
- hold your honing steel vertically with your non-dominant hand.
- set your knife at a 15-20 degree angle or at an angle of 11:30
- start at the heel of your knife, finish right at the tip
- starting at the top of the honing steel, with moderate pressure, bring it down, as if you're slicing a part of the steel off.
- be sure to alternate sides, making sure to get that even consistent angle on both sides.
- do it 5-6 times. And yes, you can go higher. It's very much like brushing your teeth, the more, the merrier.
- 3) Electric Sharpeners: without question the easiest to use. All you have to know, from left to right, you have the coarse grind, the fine grind, and the finishing sharpen. Each type has two angles, one for left, and one for right. This has you operate an electric knife sharpener:
- go through the coarse grind, alternating between angles, and repeat 2-3 times.
- now, go through the fine grind, alternating between angles, and repeat 2-3 times.
- finally, go through the finishing grind, again alternating between angles, and repeat 3-4 times.
- Note: there is a downside to electric sharpeners (not all), tear away way too much metal from your blade making it blunt rather than sharp so use them appropriately. Research thoroughly.
- To know when it's time to sharpen your knife. Simply do a paper test. If your knife struggles to cut through the paper, time to sharpen it.
The process is as simple as washing your knives with mild soap. Don't use dishwashers, most dishwashers have harsh chemicals that can damage the integrity of your knives. Dry your knives immediately after washing them and store them in a safe place, on a magnetic knife strip or knife block. Don't forget to apply mineral oil.
1) Blade Size Matters
The size of the blade has to be one you are comfortable holding. The more comfortable you are, the less fatigue you'll get over time. Blade measurements; 6 inches for those who are less than 5'4 feet (162 cm). 8 inches for those under 5'8 feet. 10+ inches for those over 6 feet.
2) Maintaining Your Knife's Integrity
From keeping rust at bay, to simply drying your knife immediately after using a mild soap is what will help prolong your knife's lifeline possibly even to the point of you passing it down to future generations.
3) Sharp Knife = Safety
Though strange as it may sound, having a sharp knife actually prevents you from injuring yourself. Keep your blade sharp, and it'll keep you alert.
There are 3 ways. A more slow and therapeutic way is with a whetstone. Honing steel is the most satisfying, and electric sharpeners are the fastest but with a downside that it takes away a bit too much steel making the blade more dull-ish than sharp.
5) A Chef's Knife: Your Culinary Partner for Your Life
Without question, a chef's knife is simply not just an investment but your most important tool in your culinary arsenal with its versatility, making it easy for you to chop, slice, and dice yourself to culinary history.
You have reached the end of this article, but this is not the end of your culinary journey. Only the start. Your journey to culinary mastery will be full of adventure. You will experience different styles, personality, and artistry. A symphony of creativity, functionality, aesthetics, and personal preferences.
Each step stands as a testament to your artistry. With the right knives at your side; you are embracing a culinary experience that too few have gone through, imagine having the power to elevate your inspire your creativity, elevate your dishes, and most of all, transform your whole kitchen experience into one harmonious dance of aroma and techniques.
Remember, a chef knife set isn't just a tool - it is your partner throughout your culinary journey, the key that will unlock your source of inspiration, allowing you to savor every bit of moment in this exotic world of culinary delights. You don't need to spend your whole fortune to get yourself good-quality chef knives. At iMarku, we offer only the best professional chef knives set, all are durable, beautiful, sharp, and preferences.