Cozymeal Knife Guide: What to Buy for 2023
Kitchen knives are absolutely a chef’s best friend, but without a proper knife guide, it can be difficult to know if you have the right knives for your needs.
Because quality knives are an investment, you’ll want to make the most informed choices you can when purchasing. A knife guide can come in handy for just such a purpose.
Which materials hold up to repeated use without dulling quickly? What shapes are best for the different tasks you’ll encounter when cooking up your best specialties and learning new techniques? The helpful knife guide that follows describes the best knife selections for each function. There’s even a bonus best cutting boards section to get you started putting your knife guide purchases to good use!
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Zwilling Pro Slim 7" Chef's Knife
When it comes to the best chef’s knives for cooks with smaller hands, every knife guide worth its salt should include the Zwilling Pro Slim 7" Chef's Knife. With a flexible, chip-resistant blade forged from ice-hardened steel, it’s a true workhorse to have in your kitchen for general use.
Zwilling Twin Signature 8" Chef Knife
The Zwilling Twin Signature 8" Chef Knife is another great option to cover all your culinary bases. The ice-hardened blade is sharper and more resistant than your average chef's knife, making it a great starter option for those building their collection.
Henckels Classic Precision 8" Chef's Knife
One of the best chef’s knife under $100 with a world-renowned name, the Henckels Classic Precision 8" Chef's Knife is a star in this year’s knife guide for its superior quality. This Spanish-made piece has a durable blade made of stainless steel for precision cutting, slicing and chopping every time.
Zwilling Pro Chef's Knife
With the Zwilling Pro Chef's Knife, you get a unique blade shape and an ergonomically designed handle to keep your hands comfortable while working. This is a must-add to your own knife guide and a must-have for any kitchen task, large or small.
Zwilling Gourmet 7" Chinese Chef's Knife
Next in our knife guide is the Zwilling Gourmet 7" Chinese Chef's Knife, which gives you a broad, flat blade that resembles a cleaver. It’s designed with the comfort of a traditional chef’s knife in mind. Including one in your cutlery collection means heavy-duty cutting power with the added convenience of a bench scraper. This is one of the best kitchen knives for heavy-duty prep work.
Henckels Classic 4" Paring Knife
Try the Henckels Classic 4" Paring Knife for all your paring, peeling and decorative slicing needs. The triple-rivet handle ensures superior craftsmanship and comfort while creating fine slices, elegantly shaped garnishes and more.
Miyabi Artisan 3.5" Paring Knife
With the Miyabi Artisan 3.5" Paring Knife, you get the premium quality of one of the best paring knives in a compact piece that should be included in every knife guide. With a gorgeous hammered Tsuchime finish and a heritage based in samurai sword craftsmanship, this razor-sharp knife is the perfect tool for handling your paring needs.
Kikuichi Molybdenum Paring Knife
A stand-out in this year’s knife guide, the Kikuichi Molybdenum Paring Knife enhances a stainless-steel blade with a less-common metal and turns it into a high-caliber paring knife. The smaller profile and shorter blade length give you greater control, while the thinner blade ensures confidence for fine cutting.
Zwilling TWIN Signature 8" Bread Knife
No knife guide would be complete without a bread knife. The Zwilling TWIN Signature 8" Bread Knife provides a blade that’s lighter than the others without compromising strength or sharpness. And the ergonomic handle ensures comfort no matter how many loaves you slice through.
Zwilling Poultry Shears
When you add a pair of Zwilling Poultry Shears to your list, you’re able to cut through all layers of poultry cleanly and easily, with safety and precision. As a bonus, you can also snip greens, herbs and spices, doubling your value. Shears may not be the most typical item in a knife guide, but this set earns a solid place on our list.
Zwilling Four Star 6" Meat Cleaver
We’ve included the Zwilling Four Star 6" Meat Cleaver in our cutlery buying guide for its versatility, added safety and comfort thanks to a uniform bolster-to-blade transition point. The linear edge is perfect for chopping and pull-cutting through soft and moderate-textured ingredients without chipping the metal.
Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7 Pc Knife Block Set
The Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7 Pc Knife Block Set combines the ultimate in high-performance functionality with heirloom-quality luxury. The stainless steel blades are forged with SG2 micro-carbide powder steel and are further protected by 100 extra layers of steel. The handles are of Karelian Birch (the only wood ever used in a Fabergé egg).
Zwilling Zwilling Pro 6-Pc Knife Block Set
You’ll get five heavy-duty pieces of cutlery with the Zwilling Pro 6-Pc Knife Block Set, including a sharpening steel and kitchen shears. The block is made of bamboo, which is sustainable and attractive on any countertop.
Henckels Solution 15-Pc Knife Block Set
One of the best knife sets listed here in our knife guide is the Henckels Solution 15-Pc Knife Block Set. You’ll have everything from a chef’s knife to kitchen shears in a handsome block, all crafted with world-class Henckels quality.
Zwilling Pro Cutting Board 5 Pc Set
Add the compact Zwilling Pro Cutting Board 5 Pc Set to your personal kitchen knife buying guide. It’s one of the best cutting board-cutlery combinations available, with paring and utility knives, shears, a sharpener and a bamboo cutting board. It’s everything you need to get your kitchen adventures underway.
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Piece Cutlery Set
The Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Piece Cutlery Set promises that your cutlery will stay sharp for a lifetime thanks to Calphalon's useful SharpIN technology: Built-in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen your knives every time you remove them from or place them into the knife block.
Types of Knife Construction
As the name states, carbon steel is composed of both steel and carbon, which makes it virtually indestructible. Many professional chefs favor carbon steel knives because they hold a sharp edge longer than other metals.
Carbon steel requires careful maintenance, as it tends to corrode and rust relatively easily. To add a carbon steel knife to your wish-list knife guide, try a multipurpose piece like the Miyabi Evolution 8" Chef's Knife. Its uniquely shaped blade can be used for both Japanese and Western cutting methods.
Unlike carbon steel, stainless steel also includes at least 10.5% chromium in its composition, making it resistant to corrosion and giving it that trademark stainless-steel sheen.
With the Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Paring Knife, you get low-maintenance stainless steel that attaches a Western-style handle to a Japanese blade. It’s one of the most popular options among the recommended knife guides of professional chefs.
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Knives made of high carbon stainless steel provide the staying power of carbon steel while protecting them from corrosion like stainless steel.
We’ve included the Zwilling Pro 4" Paring Knife in our knife guide because it’s a power player of a high carbon stainless steel paring knife. An excellent tool for comfortably executing various cutting methods, the blade will retain its sharpness without danger of corrosion.
Parts of a Kitchen Knife
The blade is often thought of as the sharpened side of a knife. But a blade is actually the entire section of the knife extending beyond the handle and bolster. It includes the spine, heel, edge, point and tip of the knife.
The sharp side of the blade is called the edge. It can be smooth or serrated, with teeth of varying sizes and sharpness depending on the purpose of the kitchen knife.
The top portion of the blade is called the spine. This surface is blunted and thicker than the edge. The shape and form of the spine are intended for safely applying pressure when cutting; think of it as a way to ensure precision and force.
The tip of the knife is the point at the end of the blade. It’s ideal for starting clean drag cuts. Careful use of your kitchen knives includes preventing the tip from snapping off, as it is generally the thinnest part of the blade.
The bolster is the blunt portion of the blade directly opposite the tip, extending immediately beyond the handle. It connects the handle to the blade and provides room for your hand to rest higher up along the handle. This is useful when precision cuts are needed.
The handle of a kitchen knife sits behind the blade, connected to the blade by the bolster by rivets. Handles for kitchen knives can be made from several materials, including aluminum, wood and acrylic. A comfortable handle factors highly when purchasing kitchen knives.
The tang of a kitchen knife is the portion of the blade behind the bolster that rests within the handle. In full tang knives, the tang extends the entire length of the handle. Full tang knives are sturdier and more durable than partial tang knives.
Bonus: Best Cutting Boards
Zwilling 19x15" Cutting Board
When you’re ready to put down the kitchen knife buying guide and put your new kitchen knives to use, the Zwilling 19x15" Cutting Board will give you a steady surface for slicing any ingredients that come your way.
Cuisinart Cutting Board With Colander
A handy two-in-one kitchen gadget, the Cuisinart Cutting Board With Colander combines the utility of a cutting board with the handiness of a strainer positioned at the end. Simply cut your ingredients and slide them into the strainer for no-mess separation.
There are endless options when it comes to selecting your knives, which makes using a knife guide to clarify your options helpful in identifying the knives you truly need. The good news: If you’re missing a piece that you need when a future project arises, you can always add more to your collection and expand your own cutlery collection with new choices.
The more inclusive your kitchen knife set is, the more culinary magic you’ll be equipped to create!
For even more ways to elevate your kitchen, check out more chef-recommended cutlery in the Cozymeal Shop.