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We found some reviews on Amazon complaining about the blade staining. While using the Ikon at home almost every day, he had to sharpen it every six months or so; the Mac, meanwhile, can go at least a year between sharpenings. This product that I received was … Wall-mounted magnetic strips—such as the Benchcrafted Mag-Blok we recommend in our guide to small-kitchen gear—are better and safer. Or read on for more information about the Mac Santoku 6.5″ Chefs Knife. If you want a more stain-resistant knife, get a Wüsthof. Quenching hardens the steel, and tempering relieves some of that hardness to make it more durable. As New York Times food editor Sam Sifton told us during testing, “[A good knife] is the balance of utility and the thing that moves your heart.”. Even though our top pick has a granton edge, we don’t find dimples to be very effective at keeping food from clinging to a knife. In our tests, the Wüsthof Classic Ikon cut smoothly through butternut squash and onions, although carrots did split slightly. Decent high-carbon steel knives should register anywhere between 55 HRC and 64 HRC. Although we think the Tojiro DP F-808 is a great knife, it needs a little more TLC than the Mac MTH-80. Shun amazon.com. We suggest asking a local chef where they would send their own personal knives (not the cheap kitchen prep knives). Many testers liked the Classic Ikon’s smooth, rounded handle, which fit nicely into the palm. The straight handle in line with the spine of the blade is the European influence, while the thin blade is a Japanese hallmark. Most chef’s knives you’ll find come in two styles: German, and a double-edged Japanese take on German knives (which are called gyuto). The blade, handle, and sometimes a bolster all contribute to a knife’s weight distribution. This is why many gyutos are laminated with softer stainless steel to protect against shock and staining. They had been reliable and had been some of the best knives I’ve owned. Gyutos generally have thinner blades with flatter belly curves than German knives, and they taper to a very sharp tip. At Korin, a knife store in New York City, the staff members usually bring out two or three of the same knife so you can examine them and choose the one you like. It practically guides you to hold the knife exactly how you should. The best Schmidt Brothers Knife review and the Best Calphalon Knives reviews may interest you too. Use your knife only on a wood, plastic, or rubber cutting board. Before we halved our first onion, we consulted Chad Ward’s book An Edge in the Kitchen, along with reputable editorial sources such as Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), Good Housekeeping, and Cooking For Engineers. See More Reviews. This extremely sharp Japanese knife is one of the best deals we’ve found in cutlery. We think this design is so common because the full tang has stood as a benchmark of quality among both knife makers and cooks. But we can’t recommend this Five Two knife because it’s made from a low-grade steel (420J2) with a Rockwell hardness of 52 HRC—which is pretty soft for a kitchen knife. It's a perfect meld of Western and Japanese design. Mercer’s Millennia M22608 was not very sharp; the stamped blade split carrots and was uncomfortable to use. Sharpness: A brand-new knife comes with what’s called a “factory edge,” which is usually very sharp. And often they review only the products that provide the most kickbacks when you buy. The result is an extraordinary blade with a HRC is approximately 59-61 degree Rockwell hardness. Brendan McDermott, chef instructor of knife skills, phone interview, February 27, 2015, Murray Carter, 17th-generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith, phone interview, March 27, 2015, Wendy Yang, showroom manager at Korin Japanese Trading, email interview, April 27, 2015, Howard Nourieli, owner of Bowery Kitchen Supplies, email interview, March 18, 2015, Chad Ward, An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives, June 10, 2008, Daniel Rose, executive chef, Le Coucou, New York City, in-person interview, August 8, 2017, Scott Markowitz, sous chef, Le Coucou, New York City, in-person interview, August 8, 2017, Adam Brach, cook, Le Coucou, New York City, in-person interview, August 8, 2017, Shinji Nagasuga, cook, Le Coucou, New York City, in-person interview, August 8, 2017, Chef’s Knives (subscription required), Cook’s Illustrated, Betty Gold, 12 Best Chef’s Knives, According to Cooking Experts, Good Housekeeping, July 24, 2017. It’s good for folks who don’t want to spend a lot, and especially good for beginner cooks because it’s durable. We wouldn’t go so far as to call the Victorinox a “beater knife,” but the polished stainless steel blade and ergonomic plastic handle can withstand more abuse than, say, the Tojiro DP gyuto. Tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish have crossed my cutting board over the years. A new chef's knife from Misen promises high-grade steel, a santoku-style blade angle, and free sharpening for life, all for $65. Knife makers claim the air pockets keep food from sticking to the blade. Required fields are marked *, Is this a review? It’s also well-built, yet very lightweight. The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives, curved just enough for rocking but still straight enough for push-pull choppers. If the Mac MTH-80 isn’t available, or if you want to add a Japanese gyuto to your collection, the Tojiro DP F-808 is an exceptional knife for the price. Some chef’s knives have oval dimples carved just above the edge. Your email address will not be published. Back to Nakiri knives… Slices of squash stuck to the blades of every knife we tested, but removing them from the Mac’s blade was much easier. German knives generally weigh more and have thicker blades than their Japanese counterparts, making them great for tough jobs like breaking lobsters and splitting bone-in chicken breasts. The lack of extra steel allows you to sharpen the knife yourself, because you can evenly grind the edge all the way to the heel on a home sharpener or whetstone. When you are buying a knife, it’s good to spot-check the spine and edge for defects. Adam Brach, sauté cook at Le Coucou, said, “I’m pretty sure [out of all the cooks] I do the most knife work in the morning as far as chopping shallots and onions and stuff. Shop for MAC Chef Knives at Cutlery and More. We think the Mac Mighty MTH-80 is a better knife, but if you like the heft and the more substantial feel of a drop-forged German knife, we recommend the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife. This is one fantastic Japanese knife and comes close to the more expensive Shun Classic 10-inch knife. Instead, it’s on individual authorized retailers to offer a warranty on Tojiro products. It can be used for a wide range of tasks including cutting, mincing, and chopping without losing its edge. With its super-sharp edge, sleek tapered shape, and comfortable handle, this knife will make your everyday dicing and slicing tasks smoother and quicker. The blade itself is made from Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium steel, which is also used for hard tools because of its strength. The key with both styles of honing is to make sure the edge bevel is flush to the rod. Our reviews and buyers guides are always either based on reviews we’ve done ourselves, or aggregated from trusted sources. It’s not as keen as the Mac or the Tojiro, and you’ll need to hone it regularly as well as maybe invest in a home knife sharpener. Because gyutos are thinner and made of hard carbon steel, their edge takes a much more acute bevel angle, and they tend to stay sharper longer than German knives. Wirecutter editor Jen Hunter also loves the Ikon and said she’s used it for about 10 years. In our tests, the thin, razor-sharp edge cut through vegetables with the precision of a scalpel. A chef’s knife is the main workhorse in your kitchen-cutlery arsenal, tackling 80% to 90% of cutting tasks. For the full ranking, see below. Overall this knife can be used for many tasks and will last a long time. The heftier drop-forged German knives fell somewhere in between, causing only a moderate amount of bruising and oxidation to the basil. But high-carbon steel can develop rust easier than stainless steel, so Japanese gyutos require more care than German knives. Its factory edge is sharp, but not as keen as those of our top pick and runner-up pick. The Wüsthof Classic Ikon comes with a lifetime limited warranty (PDF) that covers manufacturing defects and damage occurring under “normal use and conditions.” Damage from accidents, misuse, and abuse are not covered. Finally, make sure you have one of the Best Knife Sharpeners or Best Electric Knife Sharpeners on the market 2020. As it turns out, the company’s website recommends the knife not be used for cutting pumpkin (or frozen foods), because the hard vegetable can chip your blade. We are always transparent about where our information comes from so that you don’t have to waste time and money buying the wrong thing. If you don’t want a magnetic strip mounted to your wall, buy a blade guard. Even though the Mac MBK-85 is an objectively good knife, our testers were pretty lukewarm about it. After cutting through onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots, we concluded that the Made In knife’s deep blade curve and angled bolster (which sets the handle too far back from the blade) made chopping and slicing awkward. It’s our only pick that couldn’t cut paper when brand new. Never throw unprotected knives into a drawer, where they will dull quickly. Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their knives, but Mac only offers 25 years. A pinch grip is the most secure way to hold your chef’s knife. Zwilling J. He said, “It’s a mentality perspective. This week: Should I use an electric sharpener on my expensive chef’s knife? A full bolster extends to the heel of the blade, while a half-bolster doesn’t. When a blade is thin and made from a hard steel, the edge can take and hold a tight angle. Although at this writing it has a lot of favorable Amazon reviews, like all the knives in our testing sample, the negative reviews complain of the blade chipping. In our tests we found that well-designed ones worked nicely, causing minimal wear to knives while creating a fine edge. One advantage the Classic Ikon has over the Mac MTH-80 is that its softer stainless steel blade is more durable. It’s easy to care for a knife—it just takes attention and two extra minutes. I'm an average size male and with moderately large hands and the weight and balance on the knife suit me well. Messermeister’s Meridian Elité came recommended in Chad Ward’s An Edge in the Kitchen. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that Wusthof Classic Chef Knife is a more popular chef's knife, based on its 800+ reviews. Our previous budget pick from Wüsthof was discontinued, so we have a new one: the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. That’s still a very long time to use the same knife. Whether you cook seven nights a week or hardly at all, every kitchen should have a chef’s knife. It’s my go-to knife for chopping vegetables and delicate herbs with precision. The edge was sharp and the knife itself was comfortable to hold, but the 8½-inch blade length was a little too much for home cooks. Its blade is softer than that of our top pick, so you’ll need to sharpen it more frequently. She likes the comfortable handle and appreciates the weight compared with lighter knives, which “often feel like they’re going to fly out of my hand.”. Like the Mac MBK-85, the Mac HB-85 garnered lukewarm reviews from our testing panel. Their blades have an even bevel (meaning both sides are ground to the same angle) and tend to be made of softer steel, so they can lose their edge more quickly. It’s the least sharp of all our picks, but the factory edge is still pretty keen—especially if you’re used to cutting with old dull knives. If your knife is comfortable to use and razor sharp, you can chop ingredients faster and with more control (and therefore more safely). What’s a tang, and is it important? But by paying a little attention to care, you will keep your Mac knife clean and spot-free. Most testers agreed that this model was a little too heavy for their liking. Steel at the lower end of the scale is softer and more durable. One colleague fell in love with the Tojiro DP F-808 and bought it immediately after the test. I’ve either owned or used every major brand of chef’s knife, as well as a good number of artisanal blades. Read Reviews Mac Superior 5.1 in. If you can, cut some vegetables to look for knuckle clearance—nothing is quite as annoying as banging your knuckles on the board while chopping. Although the MTH-80’s handle is slightly short, most testers found it comfortable to grip. It’s surprisingly versatile and will assist you in the kitchen with all sorts of jobs, from finely chopping herbs and nuts and preparing meat and hard vegetables like squash or red cabbage, through to cutting vegetables and baked … The Mac TH-80 is similar to our top pick in both blade design and size. That thinner blade makes the Classic Ikon a tad lighter than other German knives, and it means that over the long run, it will be able to take a sharper edge than the thicker knives. We’ve ruled out any small-batch blade crafters, since forging a knife by hand is time consuming, costly, and usually a custom-order affair. The bolster : The bolster is the metal cuff that sits between the blade and the handle; bolsters generally keep your finger from slipping while chopping, and they can … The Mercer MX3 M16110 gyuto performed about as well as our runner-up pick from Tojiro, but it was considerably more expensive at the time of our tests. It creates hard blades that take and hold an edge very well but are also pretty brittle. This classic German knife is best if you prefer a heftier model for heavy-duty tasks. The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives. However, at this writing, the TH-80 costs less than our top pick. If you want to spend less than $100—or you’d just like to add a Japanese gyuto knife to your collection—the Tojiro DP F-808 is an excellent choice. I’ve also covered knives for this site for more than two years, racking up over 120 hours of research and testing. And it’s attractive. There is also a warranty and easy refunds or exchanges in the event of … Because the blade is only 2.5mm thick, it has very little resistance and boasts quick, clean cuts. It offers the best of both worlds. But it isn’t as thick as that of the Messermeister Meridian Elité (0.1461 inch) or the Zwilling J.A. If you’re going to be cutting lots of sticky things on your cutting board, the Mac chef knife is one of the best tools for the job. We gave the Global G-2 gyuto an honorable dismissal. Japanese steel generally has higher carbon content and, in addition to the ingredients in German steel, contains tungsten and cobalt, which improve hardness. Mercer Culinary Millennia Santoku Knife. The design of the Mac knife is a mixture of German and Japanese styles. And like all the German knives we tested, this Wüsthof is heavier than our top pick, weighing 9 ounces (2½ ounces more than the Mac Mighty). What about dimpled blades? Yes. By comparison, at their thickest parts, the Togiharu Molybdenum comes in at 0.0754 inch, the Tojiro DP F-808 at 0.0817 inch, and the Global G-2 at 0.0754 inch. [The Mac MTH-80] held the best edge.”. Try to get your hands on as many knives as possible to find a good fit. Its razor-sharp edge, comfortable handle, and agile blade make chopping tasks much easier, which in turn cuts down on meal-prep time. Over the course of my two-decade (and counting) culinary career, I’ve cooked in fine-dining restaurants, brewpubs, small cafés, private homes, and test kitchens. Comfort: The best knives have handles that fit comfortably, which can vary depending on the size and shape of your hand and the way you grip the knife. It’s by far the best knife you can buy for under $50. Keep a sharp cutting edge longer with a honing rod. The chefs and line cooks there used the knives during prep and service for a week. Cooking For Engineers rated the Mac MTH-80 as the top pick, after an exhaustive test of chef’s knives. But they certainly don’t hurt, either. His only complaint is that “the handle is a bit small in my hand, and I don’t have very large hands.” But as we’ve noted elsewhere in this guide, the feel of a knife in your hand has a lot to do with personal preference. Compared with the Mac Mighty MTH-80, this Wüsthof knife was less agile and sharp when peeling the skin from butternut squash. Hone your knife before each use, and you’ll be golden. It’s also lightweight, yet very strong. Henckels Zwilling Pro 38401-203 drop-forged knife was just awkward. We couldn’t test all of the possible contenders that fit our criteria, so we’ve focused on popular, widely available knives. If you’re accustomed to the feel of a heavier German knife, the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife is sharp and sturdy, and it fits our criteria for a good knife. Pour one out for one of the sharpest affordable knives we’ve ever tested. But it has a slightly less durable blade, and the handle doesn’t provide as much knuckle clearance. In An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward writes, “I wouldn’t make garbage can lids out of 420J or 440A, but some manufacturers do use them for kitchen knives.” These types of steel are low carbon and highly corrosion-resistant. Stamped blades, as the name suggests, are punched out of sheet metal before further refinement and sharpening. It’s a favorite of several food publications and budget-conscious home cooks, and it has an ergonomically shaped plastic handle that appeals to most people. Don’t use anything abrasive on the blade, such as a Brillo pad or a scouring sponge, which can make little scratches in the metal. The tang is the piece of metal inside the handle. A half-bolster or bolsterless knife will be more blade-heavy, whereas a full bolster throws more weight to the handle. In our analysis of 42 expert reviews, the Mac Knife Mac Knife Professional Hollow Edge Chef Knife, 8-Inch placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. Even testers with larger hands found that the handle gave plenty of knuckle clearance. The Mac Knife Chef Series Hollow edge is an extremely sharp and durable Japanese knife. Henckels Zwilling Pro (0.1298 inch). The Mac chef knife is designed to last for many years, just like the Wusthof Ikon 8-inch. Victorinox covers the 8-inch Fibrox Pro knife with a limited lifetime warranty that excludes normal wear and tear, misuse, or abuse. Unfortunately, that’s really hard to find. Read on to learn what makes a great chef’s knife, and our detailed reviews of each knife. You also won’t see santoku knives in this guide; santokus have shorter blades, generally 6 or 7 inches, that limit their ability to slice through large vegetables with one cut. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the best you can buy for under $50. To get the opinions of some professional chefs, we sent the top-performing chef’s knives from our in-house test kitchen to the kitchen at Le Coucou (recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 award for Best New Restaurant) in New York City. We reached out to most of Tojiro’s authorized retailers (ArtsiHome, Cutlery and More, DistrictSale, EZbrands, and Top Quality Merch), and as of this writing, only Cutlery and More affirmed that it honors a lifetime warranty on Tojiro knives. Next, turn the knife over and examine the edge. My previous Chef’s knife lasted almost 10 years. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you decide to make the jump from German to Japanese knives, this motion will take some getting used to. You will see knives made from American steel, and though some of it is fine for knives, a couple of formulas don’t perform as well. In this motion (shown above), the tip of the knife mostly keeps contact with the cutting board, and you raise and lower the heel while your guiding hand pushes food underneath the blade. In 2017, we gathered a testing panel of seasoned cooking pros and curious home cooks in our test kitchen to chop, slice, dice, julienne, chiffonade, and mince with the 15 knives we collected. Zwilling Professional S Chef’s Knife 8-Inch. The Victorinox’s stamped blade is made from the same steel (an alloy called X50CrMoV15, known for its durability, edge retention, and rust resistance) as most German knives, including the drop-forged Wüsthof Classic Ikon. We found it had the best weight and balance; it felt more agile than the German models and more durable than the thin Japanese gyutos. Your knife should remain sharp through moderate use for six to 12 months, as long as you hone it regularly, wash and dry it by hand after each use, and store it so the edge doesn’t get dinged up. They stay pretty but don’t hold much of an edge. We have exclusive MAC Knife Sets and also stock the extremely popular MAC Professional Chef's Knife, model MTH-80, with free 2-day shipping. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife, A classic German knife: Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife, Budget pick: Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, Zwilling J.A. A chef’s knife (also sometimes called a cook’s knife) is a firm, large bladed, all-purpose kitchen knife. This granton edge, as it’s called, has long been a common feature on slicing and santoku knives. If you learn how to sharpen your own knives, you will have tools that are truly yours. That way you can store your knife in a drawer and keep the edge protected. After putting in over 150 hours of research—and chopping more than 70 pounds of produce with 23 knives—we recommend the Mac Mighty MTH-80. Start with your knife toward the rod’s handle and then pull down from heel to tip. Full bolsters add weight to the knife and require a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade. Compared with the other forged German knives we tested, the Classic Ikon’s thinner blade cut more smoothly through butternut squash and carrots. Many big knife makers claim that a full tang extending through the whole handle helps balance the knife. (But that kind of treatment will destroy the blade’s edge, so don’t do that to your knife.) Your email address will not be published. Dull kitchen knives aren’t just a bummer to use—they’re also more dangerous than a razor-sharp edge. It lacks the weight and the smooth transition from blade to handle, though, and we found that it simply wasn’t as comfortable to use. Messermeister 2 Piece Avanta Pakkawood Kullenschliff Carving Set, Executive chef Daniel Rose and his staff at Le Coucou in New York City, This is the most widely recognized style of chef’s knife in the West. Chromium protects against corrosion and is what makes the knife stainless, while molybdenum and vanadium increase machinability and wear resistance, and refine the grain. We found a tiny, almost microscopic nick in the Tojiro knife’s blade after cutting butternut squash. You’ll know it’s time when you have to work to get through skins of tomatoes or cucumbers. Check out the section on how to keep your knife like a pro for tips on extending the life of the most important tool in your kitchen. After some education and a lot of practice, you’ll be able to sharpen any old knife to a pro-style edge. Most testers agreed that the Fibrox handle offered the most comfortable and secure grip of all the budget knives we evaluated. Since we first published this guide in 2013, we’ve tested 23 knives that all had an 8-inch blade, carried a price tag of $200 or less, lacked a full bolster, and came with recommendations from experts and trusted editorial sources. In a previous version of this guide, we warned against knife sharpeners, but after doing research on sharpening and trying many such devices ourselves, we’ve found that not all knife sharpeners are created equal. Purchase the knife. members as well as Sam Sifton, food editor at the new York Times to after. You should consider the long stick handle kept jabbing into my wrist, and there’s less a... Sharp cutting edge longer with a dull edge, comfortable handle, and website in version... Costs less than our top pick, the Classic Ikon’s blade is and! Balance the knife quicker and sharper for most budgets and buyers guides are always either based on reviews we ll..., which fit nicely into the palm be sharpened and boasts quick, clean cuts through the thick of. 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