A chef knife needs to be light enough so it does not tire you easily, sharp, and requires less maintenance. It should perform various tasks easily may it be cubing meat, chopping carrots or slicing onions. Best of all, the knife needs to be durable so that it can give you service for a long time.
So, how do you know which is the best chef knife?
The knife with a well-balanced blade and handle
When choosing the knife, check the grip. The knife should have a comfortable grip and it should feel good when you hold it in your hand. The blade and the handle of the best chef knife should be well balanced to provide an excellent grip. It should have a good balance such that it does not put a lot of weight either on the handle or on the blade. The knife should not place a lot of weight on your wrist so you do not tire quickly.
To check the grip, try the knife by placing your finger on the handle in the grip groove and hold it horizontally with the edge down. Most people find the 8-inch chef knife more comfortable since it has the best ratio of mass to the cutting surface and it can perform most of the kitchen tasks such as cutting vegetables and meat.
However, if it feels a bit long for you or if your kitchen is small, you can opt for the 7-inch one. It does not mean that the bigger the knife the better it will be, it all depends on how comfortable you are while using it and the intended task.
It does not require frequent maintenance
The best chef knife does not require frequent sharpening and maintenance. It should remain sharp for long. Knives that require frequent sharpening end up losing their shape, which affects their effectiveness.
Made from durable material
A chef knife should be made from a material that can withstand a lot of use without being damaged. Choose a heavier knife with thicker blades and that can endure the work, rather than a knife with thin blades that are brittle and can chip easily if they come across a hard surface like that of a bone.
Most chefs prefer knives made of high-quality stainless steel since it is easy to care and can remain sharp for long. While most chefs opt for heavier knives on the notion that they ‘feel’ right, make sure you choose a knife that you can use for a long duration without being tired. You may opt for a lighter knife that can perform as well as the heavier ones, provided you keep the blade sharp to compensate for the lack of weight.
Choose the right handle
The handle of the knife should be comfortable, provide a sturdy hold, and not cause bruises on the palms. You can opt for a handle made of fiber, wood or steel depending on what you prefer and the ‘feel’ of the knife that you prefer. Just make sure that the knife has full tang so that it can have a good balance.