Our pick for the best chef's knife option, this Japanese-made 8-inch chef's knife features a hard, thin, razor-sharp blade and a simple wooden handle that's super comfortable to hold. If you can only have one knife for kitchen prep, this is it.
For your daily cutting, chopping, and general kitchen tasks, you'll need a super sharp paring knife. This 3.5-inch forged paring knife from Mercer Culinary has an ergonomic handle and nonslip grip for foolproof food prep.
This 8-inch-long bread knife from ORBLUE features an ultra sharp serrated edge that can cut through even the toughest loaf of bread. Its sleek, one-piece design makes this knife incredibly lightweight and versatile for everyday use.
This 12-inch carving knife from Victorinox is long and narrow in shape, with a razor-sharp Granton blade edge designed for maximum cutting performance. For slicing through meats, cakes, or sandwiches, you'll want this carving knife.
This 15-piece knife set from J.A. Henckels International is high-quality, versatile, and durable enough for everyday use. Fabricated from high-quality stainless steel, this kitchen knife set and matching wood block will last you a lifetime.
J.A. Henckels International
Whether you're just beginning to cook or consider yourself a full-blown gourmand, the most essential foundation of any chef's tool set is a high-quality and versatile kitchen knife. Because kitchen knives can vary significantly in material, price, and overall aesthetic, we thought it might make your search just a bit easier if we help narrow down the playing field. If you had to choose only a few kitchen knives for all of your meal prep, you'll need one of each of the following categories: A chef's knife, a paring knife, a long serrated bread knife, and a carving knife. You might also consider buying an all-inclusive knife-block set for everyday use, which we also included in our review.
For each of these categories, we chose the most durable, versatile, and top-rated kitchen knives and reviewed them in greater depth below. From slicing fresh veggies to mincing garlic to breaking down poultry, we've rounded up the absolute best kitchen knives for any culinary task.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
1. MAC Knives Chef Series 8-Inch Chef's Knife — $94.93
Best Chef's Knife
Why You Need This Knife: With its razor-sharp durable blade, comfortable handle, and versatile 8-inch size, a chef's knife is a workhorse in the kitchen.
Other Uses: A chef's knife is tough enough to handle other kitchen tasks — from dicing veggies and mincing onions to slicing through meats, cakes, and breads.
Made in Japan, this 8-inch chef’s knife from MAC has a hard, razor-sharp blade and a simple wooden handle that’s comfortable to hold. Many experts and reviewers agree that if you can only have one all-around knife for all your kitchen-prep needs, this is it.
This knife’s blade is made from steel alloy, or a mix of different metals and materials, including carbon and molybdenum. Carbon makes the blade hard and powerful, and molybdenum lessens the blade’s brittleness, making the metal more malleable and less likely to chip. This clever construction makes this blade super durable, even after regular daily use over time.
One of the most commonly praised attributes of this knife is its razor-sharp blade. This makes a lot of sense, considering MAC’s founder actually modeled the company’s knives on razor blades, tapering the blade to a very thin and narrow angle, which ultimately makes it super sharp.
Another feature to note is this knife’s overall user-friendly nature. From the added dimples on the blade, which help the knife to glide through sticky foods like apples or potatoes, to the lightweight pakka wood handle, which is super comfortable yet sturdy to hold, this knife just feels great in your hand. It’s worth noting that this knife isn't dishwasher-safe (it requires hand-washing).
Overall, the user-friendly design and durability of this Japanese-made chef's knife made it our pick for the best chef's knife.
2. Mercer Culinary Genesis 3.5-Inch Paring Knife — $19.89
Best Paring Knife
Why You Need This Knife: With its sharp and durable stainless steel blade and smaller size, a paring knife is great for small jobs like hulling and slicing berries or peeling fruits and roots like apples, potatoes, and ginger.
Other Uses: A paring knife can also be used for other small food prep jobs, like trimming and removing meat or fish from the bone.
For smaller jobs in the kitchen that require a super sharp blade and more maneuverability, you'll need a paring knife, and we recommend this top-rated option from Mercer Culinary. This 3.5-inch paring knife's sturdy construction and sharp precision-forged German stainless steel blade is designed to resist rust, corrosion, and discoloration. The ergonomic Santoprene handle offers superior comfort and a nonslip grip, even with wet hands. This handle won't deteriorate over time from exposure to kitchen oils or liquids, and it's able to withstand both hot and cold temperatures.
Made of high-carbon stainless steel, this German-made knife has a taper-ground edge on the blade that allows for stability and increased efficiency during chopping and mincing tasks. This knife should be hand-washed, used on a proper cutting surface, and not used to cut tough foods like frozen produce, brittle root vegetables, or nuts. This knife is ideal for precise slicing and dicing of most produce, and it's especially effective when used for more advanced styles of cutting, like to julienne carrots or chiffonade fresh herbs.
Many reviewers claim that they use this paring knife more often than their chef's knife due to its comfortable grip and easily maneuverable small size. Whether you're thin-slicing tomatoes or mincing garlic and onions, you'll want this paring knife in your regular kitchen knife set rotation.
The brand recommends hand-washing this paring knife, as intense heat or harsh detergents may cause the handle to deteriorate over time.
3. ORBLUE Stainless Steel 8-Inch Bread Knife — $12.87
Best Bread Knife
Why You Need This Knife: For thick loaves of bread, cakes, or sandwiches, you'll need a long and sturdy blade that both grips and quickly cuts without tearing.
Other Uses: This multipurpose bread knife can also be used to cut through larger whole fruits like fresh pineapple or watermelon.
This 8-inch long bread knife from ORBLUE features an ultra sharp serrated edge that can cut through even the toughest loaf of crusty bread or stacked sandwich. The stainless steel knife blade is also super thin at just over 2 millimeters thick, which creates less friction and a more uniform slice every time.
This bread knife's sleek one-piece stainless steel design makes it incredibly lightweight and versatile for everyday use. The entire knife — including the easy-to-grip handle — is crafted from one continuous piece of stainless steel, making this knife not only lightweight, but also incredibly easy to clean, because there are no divots or grooves where food can get stuck.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this knife is also super comfortable to use. Reviewers particularly love how light and easy-to-maneuver this knife feels in their hands, even when slicing through large loaves of bread or tough-skinned foods. This multipurpose knife is ideal for everyday kitchen tasks like slicing cake, crusty bread, bagels, pastries, and larger fruits and vegetables.
The brand recommends hand-washing this knife to prevent rusting or discoloration from high heat or harsh dishwasher detergents.
4. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 12-Inch Carving Knife — $60.78
Best Carving Knife
Why You Need This Knife: For slicing through meats like roast turkey, prime rib, or a rotisserie chicken, you'll need a long and sturdy carving knife.
Other Uses: This knife can also be used to carve through cake, bread, and sandwiches.
This 12-inch carving knife from Swiss brand Victorinox is long and narrow in shape, with a razor sharp stainless steel Granton blade edge designed for maximum cutting performance. For slicing through meats, cakes, or sandwiches, you'll want this top-rated carving knife.
The special Granton blade actually works by creating pockets of air during slicing, which helps prevent foods from sticking to the blade and also creates less friction, allowing for an easier slicing motion and higher efficiency. The long, 12-inch blade allows for a smooth slicing motion, even when creating smaller and thinner slices from larger cuts of meat. This knife also features a round tip to help with meat separation and efficient serving during carving.
From slicing pork belly to beef brisket to carving Thanksgiving turkey, reviewers unanimously praise this knife's super sharp edge, sturdy handfeel, and overall versatility for any kitchen carving task.
While Victorinox Fibrox Pro knives are technically dishwasher-safe, the brand recommends washing all knives by hand to prevent any premature dulling or rusting. For best results, hand-wash your knives with a soapy cloth and then dry immediately.
5. J.A. Henckels Int'l 15-Piece Knife Block Set — $94.28
Best Knife Set
Why You Need This Knife Set: This top-rated 15-piece knife includes essential everyday kitchen knives for both food prep and dining, plus the matching wood block makes storage super compact.
Fabricated from high-quality steel, this 15-piece knife set from J.A. Henckels International is a solid, tried-and-true choice for both amateur cooks and professional chefs. Whether you’re starting to build your kitchen-tool arsenal or gifting a newlywed couple that loves to cook, you can’t go wrong with this classic knife set.
This all-inclusive 15-piece set comes with a 3-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 6-inch prep knife, a 7-inch Santoku knife, an 8-inch chef's knife, an 8-inch bread knife, six 4.5-inch steak knives, a sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a hardwood block to keep all your knives organized in one convenient place.
Reviewers especially like the 8-inch chef's knife included in this set. With its durable stainless steel blade and ergonomic, traditional triple-rivet handle that offers both balance and comfort, this chef’s knife offers a solid value for its super budget-friendly price point. Hefty and powerful, this knife is many reviewers’ go-to for heavier prep tasks like breaking down meat or cubing butternut squash.
The included knives in this top-rated set are well-reviewed and perfect for prep tasks — from peeling potatoes with the paring knife to slicing cakes and breads with the 8-inch bread knife. These knives feature a single-piece, precision-stamped blade construction for durability, and users rave about how comfortable and well-balanced these knives feel in their hands.
The brand recommends hand-washing each individual knife in this set to prevent premature rusting, warping, or discoloration.
Now that you have the best kitchen knife ever, let's get cooking. Chop chop!