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Kitchen knives review

We review kitchen knives from well-known brands such as Anolon, Cuisinart and Scanpan.
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Chef's knives

We tested 15 kitchen knives (non-serrated) ranging in size from 18cm to 21cm and priced from $10 to $290.

Our testing reveals which knives have the best:

  • Cutting performance
  • Initial sharpness
  • Sharpness following a blunting test

On this page, you'll find:

A decent kitchen knife is a must in your kitchen. Choosing one comes down to personal preference – with different sizes, weights and handle types, it’s best to try them out first. While cooks’ knives get most jobs done, others are designed for specific jobs, like paring, carving and filleting. If you want these, it may be worth investing in a set.

For our test, one set of the knives was assessed by our home economist for cutting performance and a second set was sent to an external laboratory where they were tested for initial sharpness and then blunted with 50 strokes of an aluminum rod before sharpness was re-assessed. Because it's a matter of personal preference, we haven’t included an ease of use score in this test. A good place to start is our What to Buy list: these knives are the best for cutting performance and have high initial sharpness.

Brands and models tested

  • Anolon Advanced Chef’s Knife 20cm
  • Cuisinart 20cm Cooks Knife 47920
  • Global g-2 20cm Cooks Knife
  • Mundial Classic Cook’s Knife 20cm
  • Sayaka 20cm Cook’s Knife
  • Scanpan Classic Cook’s Knife 18111
  • Scanpan Spectrum 18cm Cook’s Knife
  • Shun Classic Chef’s Knife 20cm
  • Swibo WENGER Chef’s Knife 21cm/2 51 21
  • Tamahagane 21cm Chef’s Knife
  • Tojiro Flash Chef’s Knife 21cm
  • Tramontina Polaris 8” Cook’s Knife (TRAS0107)
  • Victorinox Chef’s Knife 20cm/5.2063.20
  • Wusthof Classic 20cm Cooks Knife
  • Zwilling Four Star Chef’s Knife 20cm

How we test

Cutting performance Our home economist, Fiona Mair, put one set of the knives through their paces, slicing and dicing various foods:
  • She sliced carrots to assess the knives’ ability to slice hard food evenly without slipping and without resistance.
  • She sliced cucumber to check how each knife could perform delicate work: slicing as thinly as possible without slipping or resistance that would result in uneven slices. 
  • She used the knives to chop parsley rapidly to see if they could chop finely without bruising, crushing or mashing. 
  • She cut and cubed steak to see how well the knives cut through fat and sinew without much effort and without slipping.

Technical performance A second set of the knives was sent to an external specialist laboratory to assess the knives for:

  • Initial sharpness immediately after purchase
  • Sharpness after blunting test This involved each knife being subjected to 50 slicing strokes into an aluminium rod using a purpose-built mechanical burnishing machine, which is known to blunt the cutting edge.

For more information on Kitchen utensils, see our Kitchen section.

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