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Knives are probably one of the most important tools in the Kitchen. However, most people have never even used a knife that isnt from a dollar store. Having personally gone from something that I got from Ikea to a Japanese/German knife was a huge leap in terms of performance and build quality. The problem is that they generally do not do a lot of marketing. Your average home maker will have no idea who they are. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some of the Best Kitchen Knife Brands around.
Best Kitchen Knife Brands List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Kitchen Knife Brands. Their knives are generally very good. However, be aware that some brand carry cheaper knives. Generally the more you pay, the better the quality.
Wusthof (Best Well Rounded German Knife)
Wusthof is one of the oldest German Manufacaturer of kitchen knife. Their Classic Series is the most well known and most popular knife. However, I recommend the Ikon brand if you can afford the extra cost. The handle is better and it does not have a full bolster. I would personally avoid the gourmet line as not all of those knives uses a full bolster.
Shun Knives (Most Well Known Japanese Knife Brand)
Shun is a Japanese Knife manufacturer. Their fame really took off after Alton Brown endorsed their knives on his show. Today, they have different grades of knives based on your budget. But I recommend getting their classic model if you can. It has a VG core that combines stainless steel and a harder carbon steel. Plus it has a beautiful damascus look to it.
Tojiro DP (Best Budget Japanese Knife Brand)
Tojiro makes quality knives at an affordable price. They main line of knife uses a VG cladding much like those you get from Shun. While they dont have the same flare as the one in Shun, they perform just as well. I recommend that you try out their Gyuto if you just want a Starter Japanese Knife.
Zwilling Henckels (Great All Around German Knife)
Zwilling Henckels is also a german manufacturer of knives. However, the company also own a multitudes of other brands such as Miyabi and Staub. Their Pro Line is their bread and butter and its great if you are just starting out. Just be aware, that their international line are geared toward the budget orientated. Its not usually as well built as their main line. Some of those international are even made in China.
Mac Pro (Best Professional Chef Knife)
Mac Pro is a line of Japanese knives that has no relation with Apple. Their gyuto is one of the most used knives in the Kitchen world. It is praised for its thin spine and comfortable handle. If you want a workhorse chef knife for vegetables, that I highly recommend you consider one.
Victorinox Fibrox (Best Budget Kitchen Knife)
Victorinox is most known for their swiss army knife. However, their chef knife is a favorite among butcher and chefs. It is commonly used as a beater knife due to its edge retention and affordability. If you want a knife you can abuse, the victorinox is a way to go. I also highly recommend their Bread Knife and their Paring Knife. Both are great value and can outperform the larger brands.
Global (Best All Metal Japanese Knife)
Global knives are known for their all metal design. The handle is iconic because of the dimple like texture. To achieve the perfect balance, they place sand inside them. In their line, I personally like their Vegetable Cutter. I find it enjoyable to use and it glides through food easily.
Japanese vs German Knife
In the cutlery scene, these two manufacturer dominate the Kitchen Knife market. While they all perform well, there are key difference between a Japanese and German Knife.
For example, Japanese knife tends to be a lot thinner. Instead of wedging, it slices through food a lot easier. However, they also have the pitfall of being fragile. With German knives, the beefiness can withstand some of the more vigorous cutting. This is aided by the fact that German knife tends to be softer and have a slightly more wide angle profile. Japanese knives will have a steep angle and a hardness that cause them to be more chip prone.
Another thing that is notably difference is the profile of the knife. On German knives, the edge portion of the blade will have a belly. This forces cook to do a rocking motion when chopping. With Japanese knives, the profile is more flat. You are encouraged to do more tap chopping. Although modern variation will have a bit more belly so that you can still rock chop.
Are Expensive Knife Worth It?
Yes and No. One folly that a lot of people have is that they believe expensive knife are sharper. That is not true at all. You can get a cheap dollar store knife just as sharp as a expensive knife. The difference is how long they hold the edge and finish of the knife. If you ever you can feel just how poorly made it is. There is no weight to it and will most likely fall apart after a few use.
The metal used in the Cheap Knives are also cheap. They are thin to save cost and will most likely snap under regular usage. With that being said, there are still some very well built affordable knives out there. One of the most notable one is the one made by Victorinox. In terms of performance, it can beat out some of the higher end Japanese and German knife. The only issue that I have with it, is how cheap it feel. I get a sense of satisfaction when I am not using something flimsy when cutting food. A expensive knife is worth it to me, but its not true for all case.
Best Kitchen Knife Brands Thoughts
There really are quite a few knife manufacturer around. However, these brands are knives that I personally own. In my experience, you cannot beat the quality and performance that you get. The price range can vary quite a bit, so I recommend you shop a bit. If you are budget orientated, then you cannot go wrong with either Victorinox or Torjio Dp. However, one of my personal best is the one by Wusthof. The Ikon is simply a Joy to use. Just be prepared to pay extra for it.
Is your knife dull? Dont throw it out, sharpen it. Check out our article on the Best Kitchen Knife Sharpener.