Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide

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Say hello to the ONLY Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide you need! Having a good assortment of knives 🔪 is essential for any kitchen. When you think about it, a knife is the single most important tool in a chef’s arsenal since it’s an extension of their hands. It allows you to prepare dishes with precision and ultimately helps you bring your culinary vision to life!

The quality of your knife will determine how efficient and effective you are in the kitchen. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to mince garlic 🧄, chop herbs or filet meat, and the process taking way longer than it should due to your knife being trash 🗑️.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook 👩‍🍳 looking to step up your knife game or a new chef looking to invest in some proper knives, you’ve come to the right place. My Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide is here to equip you with the right knowledge when it comes to knife selection and take the guesswork out of the research process.

Why Trust the Modern Nonna

Growing up in rural Bulgaria 🇧🇬 we didn’t have access to the latest and greatest cookware, which included our knives. I grew up with my grandma using the same pairing knife for pretty much everything she made. Therefore, you can bet that my kitchen knife reviews are extremely genuine and honest. Most importantly, this Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide is bias-free since none of this is sponsored!

Kitchen Knives Buyer's Guide

The Review Process

I couldn’t decide which knives to buy, so I took a stab at it 😁 (you thought this post wasn’t going to have puns 😏). All jokes aside, the overthinker in me could nevahhh. Therefore, you can trust I did some serious research before I began investing in my knife set. I watched videos, read articles and sifted through reviews to determine which brands and styles were best suited for everyday use. I then expanded my set to include some task-specific knives, which I included in this Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide for those of you who want to be LEGIT legit.

Types of Knives

Just like a painter wouldn’t use the same brush for each stroke 🖌️, different knives cater to different culinary tasks. Most chefs use various knives throughout a recipe so that each slice and chop is executed with ease and precision.

I’ve therefore broken this Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide into 6 essential categories. First, you have your trusty chopping knife, which is perfect for cutting meat or dicing veggies 🥕. Next up, the chef’s knife is our polymath. That’s because it’s truly good at EVERYTHING – from mincing garlic to carving a turkey. Pairing knives excel at handling more delicate tasks like peeling and trimming. However, if you ask my beloved grandma, she’ll tell you it’s the only knife that matters. A bread knife 🍞 is….well, pretty self-explanatory. Nevertheless, the serrated edge is also great for cutting through bulky fruit like pineapple or slicing crumbly cakes. A tomato knife is a smaller and daintier serrated knife. It’s meant to slice through a tomato’s tender skin without turning it into mush. Finally, a fish knife is meant for filleting 🐠 like a PRO!

Chopping Knife

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If Beauty and the Beast had a baby, this would be it in knife form. Not only is this knife absolutely stunning 😍 but it’s a beast in the kitchen. The Miyabi Kaizen II Nakiri is hands down my go-to knife. It’s surprisingly light and well-balanced, and you can feel the precision that went into handcrafting this piece of art.

This nakiri knife is the ultimate chopping and prep knife, featuring a 6.5-inch double 🧊 ice-hardened blade with an FC61 super steel core. This Japanese nakiri has a slight arc, making it compatible with Western styles of cutting and chopping. Its 48-layer flower Damascus design not only looks nice but also contributes to its strength. This results in an incredibly sharp edge that glides through fruits, vegetables, and herbs like butter 🧈. If you want to invest in a premium piece of equipment that will last for generations, this knife is it!

Kitchen Knives Buyer's Guide

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On the other hand, the Shun Sora 6″ Nakiri Knife offers a budget-friendly alternative without compromising on quality 😌. This handcrafted baddie features a Japanese stainless steel blade with high-performance VG10 steel on the cutting edge. Meanwhile, corrosion-resistant Japanese 420J steel graces the upper portion of the blade. The blade’s hollow-ground indentations create air pockets that reduce friction for smoother cuts. What’s more, the textured PP/TPE polymer handle offers a comfortable and slip-resistant grip 🫳. While not as carefully constructed as the Miyabi Kaizen II, the Shun Sora Nakiri Knife still provides reliable performance at an affordable price point.

Chef’s Knife

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This Miyabi Kaizen II Chef’s Knife is the Taylor Swift of knives – iconic and popular despite the hefty ticket price 🤷‍♀️. Handcrafted in Seki, Japan, known for its knife-making tradition, this knife features an FC61 super steel core surrounded by 48 layers of Damascus steel. Not sure what that means? It simply means this baby is more durable than most marriages and has the edge retention of a diamond 💎. Not actually, but you know what I mean – this thing is lethal! A hand-honed Honbazuke blade showing off that authentically thin Japanese blade profile and a sleek D-shaped Pakkawood black handle are just some aspects of why this knife stands out among the best!

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The Wusthof Classic Ikon Chef’s Knife is a reliable choice for those looking for quality without breaking the bank 💰. Crafted from a single block of high-carbon stainless steel, this 8-inch all-purpose knife features a sharp blade with great edge retention (20% sharper and twice the edge retention than previous models), making it suitable for various kitchen tasks. The double bolster ergonomic sleek black handle design really brings that high-quality German 🇩🇪 engineering to life. Overall, this chef’s knife is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an absolute workhorse in the kitchen that will give you primo performance!

Pairing Knife

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Does size matter? This Miyabi Kaizen II Paring Knife would argue it doesn’t 😜! Coming in strong at 3.5 inches, this Japanese masterpiece features that same revolutionary FC61 steel, which results in a blade that is not only razor-sharp but also exceptionally durable. Protected by 48-layers of Damascus steel and featuring the iconic flower pattern darkened through acid dipping, this knife is giving main character vibes 💅! Much like the rest of the Miyabi lineage, this paring knife undergoes a meticulous hand-honing process using the traditional Honbazuke method, allowing you to peel, chop and dice with minimal effort. Whether you’re a professional chef or a passionate home cook, this Miyabi Kaizen II Paring Knife is absolutely worth the splurge!

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Small but mighty, this Misen Precision Paring Knife will rock your world 😏! Misen (pronounced Mee-Zen) is one of my favorite knife brands due to its quality and affordability. Fun fact: the name Misen comes from “mise en place” which is a culinary term meaning “to put in place”. Chefs practice “mise” every day when they set up their workstations, and I practice the same at home when I cook.

Now, back to the knife 🔪! As another 3.5-inch contender, this knife is a beast in a petite frame, made to handle precision cuts with ease. Constructed from premium AICHI Japanese AUS-10 steel, this paring knife combines sharpness, durability, and premium craftsmanship. However, what really makes this knife stand out among its competitors is its unmatched value without compromising on quality. Whether you’re peeling a potato 🥔 (the OG way – IYKYK) or slicing a ripe peach, this knife delivers consistent performance with every cut.

Bread Knife

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As a die-hard bread lover, bread knives are hugely important in my household. That’s why this Miyabi Kaizen II Bread Knife is the best thing since sliced bread 🥖! Its construction mimics the rest of the Kaizen II set, meaning the core is made of revolutionary FC61 steel, resulting in a razor-sharp blade and unwavering durability. Yes, this knife is an investment, but you could argue it’s a lifetime investment. Your kids’ kids will be slicing bread with this bad boy, wondering how on earth this knife stood the test of time ⏳. Well, it’s probably the 48 layers of Damascus steel coupled with the double ice-hardened FRIODUR blade ensuring exceptional corrosion resistance and edge retention. Needless to say, if there were a bread knife pageant, this 9.5-inch 💣 🐚 would be the one to beat.

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Coming in hot 🔥, this Piklohas Bread Knife combines unmatched quality with an unbeatable price tag. Crafted from high-quality German 🇩🇪 stainless steel, this knife is designed to be the last bread knife you ever use. The satin-finished, precision-stamped blade ensures effortless slicing and precise cuts each and every time. Slightly longer than our splurge option, this 10-inch bread knife features an ergonomic triple-rivet handle for optimal balance and comfort. This knife also offers Piklohas exclusive serrated resharpenable design. Just another testament to this knife’s willingness to become a lifelong companion 🤝. With premium quality, exceptional performance, unmatched price point and LIFETIME warranty, this bread knife is a risk-free investment.

Tomato Knife

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I know what you’re thinking: a tomato knife? For real? Who needs a tomato knife? Now, while I recognize that not everyone NEEDS a tomato knife, it’s an extremely versatile piece of equipment. Essentially, it’s a compact serrated knife that’s perfect for slicing any fruit or vegetable with delicate skin or soft flesh.

With that being said, this WÜSTHOF 5″ Tomato Knife is designed to cut through vegetables, fruit or even cheese effortlessly. Made in Solingen, Germany 🇩🇪, renowned as the ‘City of Blades‘, WÜSTHOF knives are known for their quality and durability. This particular knife features a laser-stamped blade with a finely serrated edge, giving you the smoothest cuts 😮‍💨 without crushing or tearing delicate ingredients. The forked tip comes in handy for easy plating and serving, while the sleek handle provides a comfortable grip. Believe me, this WÜSTHOF Tomato Knife will give you exceptional performance backed by a brand that’s been in the game for 200+ years!

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Looking for a tomato knife with a more conservative price tag? This OXO Good Grips 5-inch Utility Knife is the perfect pick. This knife is so light and versatile that it will become your go-to tool in the kitchen, whether you’re slicing delicate fruits 🍑 or crusty loaves of bread. I think what sets this knife apart is its ergonomic design. The soft rubber handle provides a secure grip, while the non-slip feature ensures stability even when your hands are wet 💦. Plus, this knife is dishwasher-safe! Overall, the OXO Good Grips Utility Knife is versatile, comfortable to use, and easy to maintain. Most importantly, the price is right!

Fish Knife

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If you’re a seafood lover like me, you’re going to appreciate this particular section. If you haven’t previously contemplated investing in a fish knife, this is definitely the time to consider. For those who regularly enjoy fish 🐟, a filleting knife will make a world of difference. It allows you to buy fresh fish and prepare it at home according to your preferences.

This Shun 6-inch Premier Boning and Fillet Knife is the creme de la creme 🤌 when it comes to fish knives. Another Shun banger that prides itself on three main pillars: being sharper, harder, and lighter (things I wish for myself tbh). Featuring a narrow curved blade with a hammered 🔨 TSUCHIME finish, this knife is ideal for getting close to the bone, removing skin and gliding through meat with ease. Made with Shun’s VG-MAX cutting core and 68 layers of Damascus cladding, it’s not only easy on the eyes but corrosion- and wear-resistant. Lightweight, agile and durable, this bad boy is an overachiever in the best way possible and definitely worth the investment!

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I know what you’re thinking – the fact that this 7-inch HOSHANHO Damascus Fillet Knife is priced at less than half the cost of the premium option is a bit sus 🧐. But, trust me, this knife belongs in a museum.

HOSHANHO is no rookie in the knife game. With over 20 years of expertise, they are all about quality craftsmanship, aesthetics and service. Fortunately, this knife embodies all of that and more! Made from 67 layers of cryogenically-hardened VG-10 Damascus steel, this boning knife is the epitome of sharpness and durability. Sporting a beautiful waved pattern design and olive wood ergonomic handle, this knife not only has swag but it’s also incredibly well designed. The flexible, pointed tip allows this knife to effortlessly deal with smaller bones 🦴, making it ideal for de-boning, filleting, and butterflying. All in all, this HOSHANHO Damascus Fillet Knife will prove tougher than your last breakup, giving you premium quality without the premium price tag 🏷️!

How To Tutorials

Last but not least, if you’re looking for some tutorials on How to Dice Onions or other veggies, please look at some of our recommendations below. We hope you loved this Kitchen Knives Buyer’s Guide and look forward to hearing from you!

Cutting Edge Recipes

Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Sneji,
    I am a much older nonna probably like yours. Italian parents but born in the UK. I just found your website and it has lovely recipes one or two I have tried. Whilst I have absorbed lots of different cuisines over the years my passion for cooking is still very much alive. But sadly I am not at all familiar with cup measurements and have to do some research with every recipe. Any chance you could include metric measurements? It took me a while to let go of imperial measurements and learn metric but I think cups are now beyond me.
    But lovely website. Wishing you every success.

    1. Hi Maria, welcome and thank you for your kind comment! Many of the recipes include metrics, including all of the baking recipes. Under the ingredient list, please click on “metric” and then the measures in the recipe card will switch over from “US customary” measures. Happy cooking!