Our pick for the best overall 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.
Reviewers praise this budget-friendly 8-inch forged knife's sturdy construction and super sharp, precision-forged German stainless steel blade, which is designed to resist rust, corrosion, and discoloration.
From the distinctive hammered finish to the sleek wood handle, this 8-inch artisanal chef's knife from Japanese brand Miyabi makes a stunning once-in-a-lifetime purchase or gift. Splurge-worthy? We'd say so.
Super lightweight, precisely balanced, and featuring a blade crafted from high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel, this 8-inch Global G-2 Chef's Knife gets our vote as the best lightweight option for home cooks.
Forged from a single piece of high-carbon steel, German-made Wüsthof knives are a perfect tool for both amateur cooks and professional chefs. This seven-piece knife set is high-quality, versatile, and durable enough for everyday use.
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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 chef's knife. Because chef's 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 one kitchen knife for all of your meal prep, consider each of these durable, versatile, and top-rated 8-inch stainless steel chef's knives as solid candidates for the job.
From slicing fresh veggies to mincing garlic to breaking down poultry, we've rounded up the absolute best chef's knives for any culinary task.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
1. MAC Professional Hollow Edge 8-Inch Chef's Knife — Check Price
Pros: Razor-sharp and durable blade, comfortable handle
Con: Not dishwasher-friendly
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.
Though our only major gripe is that it’s not dishwasher-safe and requires hand-washing, this Japanese-made chef's knife gets our vote for best overall kitchen knife.
2. Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife — Check Price
Best Budget Buy
Pros: Durable stainless steel blade resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration over time
Con: Slightly heavier than other models
Reviewers praise this 8-inch forged knife's sturdy construction and super sharp precision-forged German stainless steel blade, which is designed to resist rust, corrosion, and discoloration. Several reviewers note that they fully "expect a lifetime of use" from this worthwhile culinary investment.
Made of high-carbon stainless steel, this American-made knife has a taper-ground edge on the blade that allows for stability and increased efficiency during chopping, and it also an ergonomically designed wood handle that adds comfort to the grip.
Simply put, this is a solid everyday chef’s knife at a reasonable price point. Though some reviewers note that this knife feels a bit heavier in-hand than other models (it weighs just over 8 ounces), its chunkier shape is perfect for chopping tougher veggies and cutting up chicken and other meat. Some users even said that this knife slices through onions as seamlessly as it does a tomato.
With many reviews comparing its quality to knives two or three times its price, this kitchen knife from Mercer easily gets our vote for best budget buy.
3. Miyabi Fusion 8-Inch Chef's Knife — Check Price
Pros: Artisan-made, super sharp blade, lightweight and comfortable handle
Con: Thin blade can chip if not handled properly
Handcrafted by artisans in Seki City, Japan, Miyaki Artisan knives are made using a unique blend of traditional methods and modern techniques to make a one-of-a-kind tool. From the distinctive Damascus design on the blade to the sleek thermoplastic handle, this 8-inch chef's knife makes a stunning once-in-a-lifetime purchase or gift.
The blade on this chef’s knife is not only thin and razor-sharp, but it’s also totally unique. Miyabi knives are honed using a complex three-step Japanese production process called Honbazuke (which translates to “true cutting edge” in English). The blade is first coarsely ground using a vertically rotating sharpening stone, followed by a fine honing using a horizontally rotating sharpening stone. The knife’s edge is then polished using a leather stropping block to make it scalpel-sharp. The blade is then finished with a gorgeous layered floral Damascus design, adding even more artistic flair.
Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this knife is also super comfortable to use. Reviewers particularly love how light and maneuverable this knife feels in their hands, even for consumers with a shorter stature or smaller hands. The handle of this knife is designed to be slightly thicker at the end to prevent slipping, and it fits comfortably in your hands, making more precise slicing and dicing much easier.
Because this knife’s edge is extremely thin, users should handle this knife with care to prevent premature dulling or cutting. 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.
4. Global G-2 8-Inch Chef's Knife — Check Price
Best Lightweight Option
Pros: Lightweight, well-balanced, continuous design is easy to clean
Con: The thinner, minimalistic handle might not be a preference for everyone
This 8-inch Global Chef's Knife is a solid culinary investment for home cooks of any skill level because it's lightweight, precisely balanced, and features a sharp and durable blade crafted from high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel.
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.
The handle is the standout feature of this knife and the feature most commonly called out by reviewers — both positively and negatively based on personal preference. Crafted from sturdy stainless steel that's molded for comfort and then dimpled for a more secure grip, most consumers rave about how snugly this knife fits in their hands. A subtle finger notch where the blade meets the handle also improves safety and overall stability. However, for cooks accustomed to heavier, sturdier knives, this knife's handle can feel slippery or flimsy.
Unilaterally, reviewers note how well-balanced the knife feels in their hands. This is due to the knife’s unique hollow-handle design, which is actually filled with sand that shifts as the knife is maneuvered to adapt the balance to the position of your hand.
This knife is ideal for cutting large veggies and meat, although it’s also precise and lightweight enough to chop herbs or dice onions. Its lightweight construction makes this knife comfortable enough to take on major chopping jobs without fatiguing the user’s hand, making this a super useful tool for chefs and seasoned home cooks alike.
5. Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Slim Kitchen Knife Block Set — Check Price
Best Knife Set
Pros: Durable, versatile knife set for all culinary tasks, space-saving wood block
Con: The included kitchen shears are flimsy
Precision-forged in Germany from a single piece of high-carbon steel, Wüsthof knives are 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 seven-piece set comes with a 3.5-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 6-inch prep knife, an 8-inch bread knife, kitchen shears, and a 6-slot wood knife block to keep all your knives organized in one convenient place. This particular wood block model has a small profile, and it's narrower than other designs, making it a favorite among reviewers with limited counter space.
Though some reviewers call out the kitchen shears for being slightly flimsy, the other included knives are all highly 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 traditional triple-riveted handle made of a highly durable synthetic plastic material that resists fading, rusting, and discoloration. Users rave about how comfortable and well-balanced these knives feel in their hands. The high-carbon steel blade is super sharp, and, as many reviewers note, “cuts through everything like butter.”
More of Our Top Picks:
Didn't find the kitchen knife of your dreams just yet? Don't sweat! These next three options didn't quite make the cut for our top five picks, but they're still durable, reliable, and highly-rated kitchen knives totally worth checking out.
6. Zwilling J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife — Check Price
Pros: Budget-friendly, dishwasher-safe
Whether you’re chopping potatoes, dicing apples, or mincing garlic, this 8-inch chef’s knife from J.A. Henckels International is a total workhorse that'll be up to the task. One of the most attractive features of this knife is that it's dishwasher-safe for quick cleanup.
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.
Though it might not be the best choice for more delicate culinary tasks that require finer cuts, this is a solid knife great for cooks who work with big cuts of meat often.
7. Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife — Check Price
Pros: Sharp and durable blade, comfortable handle
Con: Heavier weight limits versatility
Wüsthof knives are a versatile and high-quality tool for both amateur cooks and professional chefs. This classic 8-inch chef's knife has an ergonomic handle and a slightly heavier 8-inch blade that's ideal for chopping hearty root veggies or breaking down cuts of meat during meal prep.
Like other Wüsthof products, this German-made chef’s knife is precision-forged from a single piece of high-carbon steel for ultimate sharpness, comfort, and durability. Many reviewers compare this knife to the J.A. Henckels one mentioned above in quality, durability, and overall performance. Though slightly pricier than the J.A. Henckels option, this Wüsthof knife is more comfortable to hold and slightly more nimble and versatile thanks to its wider-bellied blade.
Secure, well-balanced in the hand, and made to last, you can’t go wrong with this chef’s knife from Wüsthof.
8. Cangshan 6-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set — Check Price
Pros: Lightweight, balanced design, modern and minimalist aesthetic
Con: Thinner handle and profile might not be a preference for everyone
This six-piece knife set from Cangshan is a more modern and minimalistic take on a classic knife set. Featured as one of Oprah's Favorite Things this past season, we think this knife set makes a stunning gift for newlyweds or budding chefs.
Included in this six-piece knife set is an 8-inch chef's knife, a 7-inch Santoku, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, and a sleek acacia wood block for seamless storage.
These unique knives are made of all-metal German forged steel cut as one continuous piece, creating fluidity between handle and blade. Similar to other knives that have this continuous design, the user experience largely hinges upon personal preference and hand size. The hollow-handle design ensures that these striking knives are balanced and ergonomically perfect.
Now that you've got the best kitchen knife ever, let's get cooking. Chop chop!