Choosing the right chef knife for your needs
A chef knife, also called a cook's knife, is a versatile kitchen knife that can be used to complete many different food preparation tasks. Valued by both home cooks and professional chefs, this all-purpose knife can help you to prepare ingredients quickly and precisely to the exact shape and size you need for your meal. When it comes to choosing the right chef knife for you, you'll need to consider your skill level and type of food you'll be preparing as well as size, material, construction and personal preference.
Guide to kitchen knives
Kitchen knives come in many different shapes and sizes to suit different foods, skill levels and cooking techniques. Check out some of these other common kitchen knives you will find:
Utility knife. A utility knife is more slender than a chef knife. It can be used to do everything a chef knife can plus precise work with smaller food items.
Filleting knife. This knife has a long, skinny and flexible blade for removing fish bones without damaging the delicate flesh.
Boning knife. A boning knife is slim, tapered and designed to cut around meat bones and cartilage neatly.
Bread knife. A bread knife blade is serrated so that it can easily slice through breads and soft cakes.
Paring knife. A paring knife blade is short and sharp for working with small foods. They make excellent peelers for fruit and vegetables and can be used wherever intricate food preparation is needed.
Butcher knife. Also known as a cleaver, a butcher knife is flat and rectangular for cleanly chopping through bones and thick raw meat.
Stamped vs. Forged - what's the difference?
Stamped and forged knives refer to the way the knife was made and there are unique benefits to each type:
Stamped knives - A stamped knife has been made using a sheet of metal that has been cut into the shape of a blade using a stamp machine and added to a handle before being hardened and polished to perfection. Stamped knives are lightweight, comfortable to hold and generally more affordable.
Forged knives - A forged knife has been made using one piece of metal that has been hammered into shape, honed and sharpened. Forged knives provide superior strength, durability and balance.
Factors to consider when buying a chef knife
These factors will help you to choose a knife that suits your cooking style and needs:
Weight - A heavy knife will cut through food more easily while a lightweight knife may be more comfortable to hold and manoeuvre.
Balance - The right knife should feel perfectly balanced in your hand from the handle to tip of the blade.
Size - While large knives can cut big pieces of food more efficiently, a smaller sized knife can help you to be more precise and agile during food prep.
Construction - You can find forged knives and stamped knives made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, carbon steel, Damascus steel, titanium and ceramic.
Durability - A knife made out of high carbon stainless steel will provide incredible durability, excellent edge retention and be easy to use.
The handle - A knife handle should feel comfortable and secure to hold.
The edge - The knife edge needs to be sharp from the start to ensure it can perform effectively and safely.
Japanese-style chef knife - Why are they so popular?
Japanese knives are generally more lightweight, balanced and thinner than traditional European kitchen knives which makes them ideal for easily manoeuvring around food items and creating thin slices. Some of the most popular Asian knives include the santoku knife, the sashimi knife and the nakiri knife.
We have a stunning range of Japanese chef knives to discover, including the Yaxell Gou Chef's Knife 20cm, the Global GS-98 Cook's Knife 18cm and the Furi Pro Chef's Knife 23cm for chopping veggies, slicing meat, mincing garlic and much more!
European-style chef knives
European blades are thicker and made with a softer steel than Japanese blades which makes them easier to use and maintain. They are very versatile and can be used to complete almost any kitchen task you need. The Wusthof Classic Ikon Cook's Knife 16cm and 20cm are great options for everyday use.
Honing and sharpening your knives
A kknife sharpener is the best way to keep the blade of your chef knives sharp and safe. While the Global Cook's Knife and Sharpener Set comes with its own 2-stage ceramic water sharpener, you can also choose from our individual water sharpeners, whetstones, electric sharpeners and sharpening steels.
Storing your chef knives
The correct knife storage will not only preserve the sharpness of your knife blades, it will keep your kitchen clean and minimise the risk of accidental cuts and injuries. A knife block is the best option for safely storing any type of knife. Check out our range of knife sets, such as the Yaxell Zen 6pc Magnetic Block Set with chef knife, bread knife, santoku knife, utility knife, paring knife and included magnetic knife block.
Brands we know and trust
We have the best chef knives by leading brands at prices that are lower than RRP! Shop Kitchen Warehouse and discover favourites including Global, Wusthof, Shun , Furi, Victorinox, Yaxell, Scanpan and Mundial.
Buying online with Kitchen Warehouse
From chef knives, choppers and mandoline slicers to the latest in kitchenware and cookware, we have everything you need to make food preparation a breeze! Discover special offers when you browse our extensive categories, add your favourites to a wishlist or checkout now with free delivery over $100 Australia-wide. If you know someone who loves to cook, surprise them with a gift card that's perfect for any special occasion.
What is the chef knife used for?
With a wide and durable blade, a chef's knife is a must-have knife for both home cooks and professional chefs. It can be used to complete many different kitchen tasks, including:
Dicing fruit and vegetables
Cutting raw meat, poultry and fish
Mincing and slicing herbs and garlic
Disjointing some cuts of meat
What is the difference between a chef knife and a paring knife?
A chef's knife is a multi-purpose knife used to perform a wide range of food preparation tasks, from slicing and mincing to cutting and dicing. It has a large blade measuring between 15-30cm that is slightly curved for rocking. The broad and heavy blade also makes it ideal for chopping through cartilage instead of a cleaver.
A paring knife is much smaller with a blade that measures between 6-10cm and is designed specifically for working with small foods. It's commonly used to peel, dice and slice fruit and vegetables and for other intricate food prep tasks that require more precision.