Chef’s Knives Rated
Chances are you’ve used a knife that does not seem to do what it was made to do: cut. When you start cutting, knife tucked into the food or twist in your hand to your cuts straight. Sometimes, not even cutting knife – it crushed the food instead. Obviously, the solution is to sharpen the knife, but what if the knife is just not any good? Buy an expensive knife should ensure good performance, right? I tested eleven different chef’s knives with prices ranging from under $30 to over $200.
I recommend looking at the device & Gear: Knife parts article section to get an idea of what to look for in general when choosing a knife. We will also use the terms set out in the article to identify the knife.
If you don’t want to read the whole article then jump down to the Conclusions.
What brands were tested?
Each of the chef’s knives tested was selected for a reason.
I started with Henckels and Wüsthof – the two most popular “high-end” chef’s knives available in the United States. These are the manufacturers that have been pushed as quality cutlery at most home kitchen supply stores. (The knives tested were the Henckels Pro-S and the Wusthof Classic. Both companies produce lower quality, budget lines that are inferior to their high-end knives. Heckels manufacturers, under the premium branding of Zwilling J.A. Henckels, the Pro-S, Four Star, Five Star, and Twin collections. Wüsthof-Trident makes the Classic, Grand Prix series, Culinar, and Le Cordon Bleu lines as their premium knives.)
Then I was the chef’s knife R.H. Forshner / Victorinox as a relatively low-cost item. This knife Cook’s Illustrated Editor’s Choice to test their knives (in fact, it is from the same family – I could not find out exactly what the knife was tested by Cook’s Illustrated without a some models).
Global chef knife has been included because they are the Japanese kitchen knives are the most popular available to consumers in the US average. For years they have made a big impression with stainless steel handles and their imposing presence in stores like Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, and most recently, Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Kershaw Shun is a production line in Japan that actually jumped on stage. Described by Cook’s Illustrated “Cadillac” chef’s knife and personally endorsed by Alton Brown, I had to include it in this roundup. The Shun is also a personal favorite of mine (shown in the Equipment & Gear: Kitchen Knives article).
then I have one more well-known brands – Cutco. Cutco is not sold in stores, but instead in the US market through a direct marketing approach based introduction (similar to the old party system). The statement Cutco that they are high-end kitchen knife best selling manufacturer in the United States.
The other knife I cover is not famous, but to be respected as well as: MAC, Tojiro, and Nenox. I tried to contact several other knife manufacturers (including Kyocera ceramic kitchen knives for them) but received no reply (and I’ve reached my limit on my knife ready to purchased for this test).
All knives were tested out-of-the-box because I assume that most readers will not hand sharpening their knives. (Also, when a knife has been sharpened, it will be difficult to compare the performance of the knife because the additional elements of skills and equipment of grinding.)
I started with the desire to measure the physical size of the knife: the thickness of the backbone in the consolidation and in the nose and on the cutting edge bevel angle. Unfortunately, I was unable to measure the angle of the bevel with any degree of accuracy (most knife edge and bevel taper to the fact that over a very short distance perhaps a millimeter). I used calipers to measure the thickness of the spine at two points on each knife and determined that the thickness of the spine does not affect the performance cutting (it may play a role in other factors to be considered consider when choosing a knife, such as weight). The knives are balanced.
The rest of the tests were focused on subjective performance cutting. I spent a month thinking about how I would set up a mechanism to carry out objective measurements, but can not come up with a feasible test that does not seem contrived and too abstract to compared to how a knife will actually be used in the kitchen. Thus, I decided to make subjective test is “correct” as possible, implement a similar cut over and over again with the knife. First of all the knives have been subjected to cutting its own inspection and about put together. Then close knives rank order repeats of (often alternating cuts) test cut until I can determine if one attention superior to others or they were pretty much by the operation. Before each test cut, a knife was steeled to reorganize their edges.
Test 1: Carrots test
Description: unpeeled carrots cut in two different ways. The first method begins by positioning parallel to the counter carrots and drove the heel of the knife into the carrots in a ° (from horizontal) angle 30. The blade is driven in (like a wedge ) of about 2 mm, enough for the knife to stay in place. The knife was then pulled from the heel to tip along the groove there. The motion has been completed with no pressure decreased consciousness. The results were checked – a sharp knife will be able to cut through carrots clean, light-colored knife can cut through most of the way but ended with carrots take off, while a knife is very stupid dull just slide in the groove. The second test method involves cutting thin (1 mm or less) from the horizontal slice carrots. The cutting is done by starting (about an inch from the point) of the knife on the surface of carrots and knife pushed forward and down (often only a few inches across) to cut through. The effort required to cut through as well as the cleanliness of the cuts to be compared to rank the knife.
Test 2: Potato Test
Description: A potato was first halved along its major axis (the long side). Half potato was then put down on the cutting board with its cut surface down to keep from rolling potato or move during the test. sliced potatoes have been cut by starting on the surface of the potato and push the knife forward. This technique has been used to perform most of the rankings based on the effort required to cut through, clean cut, and the cut is a straight way. In case it is difficult to determine if a knife had been issued on the other with similar performance, a backward stroke is used as: stroke starting with the heel of the knife and the knife to be pulled back without any additional reduction efforts.
Check 3: Tomatoes
Description: This is a very common proof (although I’m not sure why – I’ve only seen very dull knife is bad with tomatoes). Because, according to my experience, all tomato knife reasonably well, I focused on the feeling of a knife when cutting. Specifically, I look for any slip while cutting, and how easily that knife sliding through tomatoes. None of the tomatoes were crushed, were mangled, or lose too much water during testing. Tomato is first cut in half through the symmetry axis (through the body to the tip) and sets out to prevent rolling. The heel of the knife has been placed on the skin and the knife was pulled back to allow the weight of the knife blade slides past to help tomato.
Experiment 4: Scallions
Description: blue fresh green onions thinly sliced into circles using a mincing motion (hold the anchor points on the cutting board and pushing down the heel of the blade) and a truncated motion (how put points on the board and scallions located between the knife and the knife slide forward about an inch). Both actions are repeated for several seconds as scallions are fed under the knife with his left hand. Both feel of the knife and the cleanliness of chopped green onion (cut clean or shows signs of crushing, bruising, or tearing) have been taken into account in this test.
The Knives (in alphabetic order)
Cutco 9-1/4″ French Chef
Weight: 8.30 oz. (236 g)
Spine thickness: 12/128 in. (2.4 mm) @ bolster; 5/128 in. (1.0 mm) @ tip
Henckels 31021-200 Pro-S 8-in. Chef’s Knife
Weight: 9.30 oz. (264 g)
Spine thickness: 8/128 in. (1.6 mm) @ bolster; 5/128 in. (1.0 mm) @ tip
MAC MTH-80 MAC Mighty Chef 8″ with dimples
Weight: 6.45 oz. (183 g)
Spine thickness: 12/128 in. (2.4 mm) @ bolster; 8/128 in. (1.6 mm ) @ tip
Nenox S1 210mm Gyuto
Most common price: Amazon
Weight: 6.30 oz. (178 g)
Spine thickness: Not yet measured
RH Forschner Victorinox 40521 Fibrox 10-in. Chef’s Knife
Weight: 7.85 oz. (223 g)
Spine thickness: 12/128 in. (2.4 mm) @ bolster; 5/128 in. (1.0 mm) @ tip
Tojiro DP F-808 21cm Gyoto Chef’s Knife (60 Rockwell)
Most common price: Not available on Amazon (various shops in Japantown, San Francisco, CA)
Weight: 6.30 oz. (179 g)
Spine thickness: 8/128 in. (1.6 mm) @ bolster; 6/128 in. (1.2 mm) @ tip
Tojiro Powdered High Speed F520 21cm Gyoto Pro Chef’s Knife (62 Rockwell)
Most common price: Not available on amazon
Weight: 6.65 oz. (189 g)
Spine thickness: 8/128 in. (1.6 mm) @ bolster; 5/128 in. (1.0 mm) @ tip
Knife Performance Rankings
I was on a knife ranked number beginning with “1” as the best performing knife. Knives have the same ratings in activities tight that I could not distinguish between the knives. Please note that these numbers are only rated and not a relative level (eg, the difference between 1 & 2 rating may be smaller than the difference in performance between 5 and 6). Knives of similar rankings are listed in alphabetical order.
In addition to relative value, a rating is assigned to each knife: U – is accepted; S – ons; E – Excellent; O – outstanding.
unacceptable knife does not cut as expected. Either cut is not clean (requiring excessive force or stroke) or bruised or crushed blade components to a level unacceptable. utility knife to cut their action as expected. Nothing special about the knife is – it is simply done as you’d expect a knife to perform average. Many forces are necessary when using a utility knife over a great year or excellent. sharp knife cut easily. The knife is properly balanced and sharp enough to feel as if users simply guide the knife and the knife cut is implemented. sharp knife done simply exceeds all expectations. The ability of the knife cut is noticeably better than a sharp knife.
The rankings do not have in other factors such as cost, handle shape and weight. They simply portray the performance tool.
|O||1||Global G-2||Felt effortless as the knife slid through the carrots.|
|2||MAC 8.0″ with dimples||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|MAC 8.5″||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|E||3||Tojiro DP||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|Tojiro PHS||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|4||Nenox S1||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|5||Shun Classic||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|6||Forschner||Cleanly cut through carrots.|
|S||7||Wusthof Classic||Most cuts were clean.|
|8||Henckels Pro-S||Some tearing occurred when cutting through the carrot.|
|U||9||Cutco||First carrot test did not cut through. Second carrot test yielded several pieces where the carrot was broken or torn off after cutting about 60% through.|
|2||MAC 8.0″ with dimples||Forward stroke is same as MAC 8.5″, but reverse stroke cut noticably deeper and easier.|
|E||4||Nenox S1||Hard a smoother feel while cutting that other knives, but required more force than Tojiro DP.|
|6||Forschner||Slight sticky feeling as it sliced through the potato.|
|U||9||Cutco||Hard to make straight slices (cut line curves outward at bottom of stroke – a trait of a dull knife).|
|E||1||Global G-2||Glides through tomato|
|MAC 8.0″ with dimples||Glides through tomato|
|2||MAC 8.5″||Glides through tomato|
|Nenox S1||Glides through tomato|
|Shun Classic||Glides through tomato|
|Tojiro DP||Glides through tomato|
|Tojiro PHS||Glides through tomato|
|3||Forschner||Glides through tomato|
|5||Cutco||The cutting edge grips the tomato skin easily and as the knife is drawn through the tomato, it feels like a micro-serrated knife.|
|6||Henckels Pro-S||Blade slipped slightly before catching and cutting through the tomato.|
|O||1||MAC 8.0″ with dimples||Extremely clean cuts.|
|MAC 8.5″||Extremely clean cuts.|
|2||Global G-2||Extremely clean cuts.|
|E||3||Shun Classic||Cuts scallions cleanly.|
|Tojiro DP||Cuts scallions cleanly.|
|Tojiro PHS||Cuts scallions cleanly.|
|4||Nenox S1||Cuts scallions cleanly.|
|S||5||Forschner||Very slight tearing.|
|6||Henckels Pro-S||Slight tearing during rapid chopping.|
|Wusthof Classic||Slight tearing during rapid chopping.|
|U||7||Cutco||Completely fails test. Scallions were crushed and torn.|
Check pure performance, G-2 Global is the best of the bunch. However, the MAC put something very, very close (with 8-in. With dimples [MTH-80] coming out just a bit better than the 8.5-in. No dimples [MBK -85]). In fact, all three are special performances knife.
However, the purchase of a knife should not rely solely on its cutting performance. Other important factors to consider is to personal chefs. design can handle the most important factor when buying a knife. If treatment does not feel comfortable, then chances are you will not be comfortable using the knife. A hand that feels comfortable in a suitcase can upset when gripped a different way. Unfortunately, this means I can not tell you the knife handle is best for you. I recommend going to a store where you can actually hold the knife. One such Sur La Table stores, where you can practice a cutting board cutting movements, is your best bet to choose the right knife.
Another factor to consider is how to move the knife feel your particular cut. If the knife provides a lot of shock to your hands as you chop or slice, you might want to find a slightly different design. For example, two MAC knives have a slightly different feel though, visually, they seem to have identical curvature. The general balance of the knife should feel comfortable with your particular style as well. Choose a knife that is comfortable for you will help ensure that you will not wear yourself out when you have to do a lot of cutting.
I found that the global G-2, although very light and a great actor, just does not fit my hands as well as comfortable as some of the other knife. The handling relatively thin and shallow taper for blade knife made slightly awkward for me. I want to have a grasp the hand I’m choked up on the handle a little to allow the thumb and forefinger of me to rest on the opposite sides of the blade just before pillow lips. The global design of the knife just does not seem to me that way and keep sticking the knife from trying to twist out from under me. For that reason, my personal preference is MAC-80 MAC Mighty Chef MTH 8 “with dimples.
The stylish and finished look of a knife is very important for many people. For example, G-2 Global has a very different look at many people will find praise the interior design of their kitchen. The fit and finish of Nenox S1 is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I found that the handle feels great in my hands and also beauty. In addition, there is some work Nenox detailed than mass-produced knives – for example, the spin of the knife has been rounded and smoothed carefully. (However, the environment is enhanced by a sharp angle Nenox cause it is a little more difficult to use.)
One last element that I would mention is that the care of a knife. Although, many self-proclaimed knives dishwasher safe, none of the knives really should be washed in a dishwasher, except for two – FORSCHNER fibrox and Cutco French Chef will easily survive many cycles in a dishwasher. You need to make sure that the blade will not bounce around or touching other objects in the dishwasher. Cutco knife’s handle can change color after several washes in the machine. I suggest to all knives are hand wash them and dry them immediately with a clean cloth.
Cooking Engineer For:
Best Value (Price for Performance):
RH Forschner Victorinox 40521 Fibrox 10-in. Chef’s Knife ($45)
Please note that this knife does not fit in a standard knife block because the blade height is 2-1/8 inches (5.4 cm) and most knife block have slots for 2 inch (5.1 cm) knives.
Best Value for Almost Outstanding Performance:
Tojiro Gyoto Chef’s Knife not available on amazon.
When purchased from Amazon.com, this Tojiro knife becomes an amazing bargain. When purchased from other vendors at higher cost, you might as well get a Global or MAC.
You can consult similar products below!
The last notes of interest
Most salespeople working at the counter of the store cutlery your local will tell you that a fake knife is a sign of a strong powerful knife and any knife is forged high-stamped with a knife. This may be true in the past, but this certainly is not a universal truth. Two MAC knives tested in this article are stamped knives with bolsters are welded on, ground, and polished. MAC Knife claims that the use of steel stamping them a degree of control incubation, the bevels, and a thickness of the tongue. I do not know if all that’s true, but I know that two chef’s knife we’ve tested to perform all forged knives. Ah, but, you argue, the MAC knives tied or beaten by the global bit G-2? The Global G-2 as well as a stamped knife.
Also, as a sanity check, I have had many people come over and try MAC 8-in. with dimples along with a number of other knives presented in this article. Each single test agree that MAC is the best knives they have ever used.
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