10 Best Knife Brands
Table of Contents
Searching For The Best Knife Brands
Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the world of home cooking or label yourself a seasoned pro, one of the first things we learn in the kitchen is the importance of a good, sharp knife.
From ease of chopping to the overall appearance of your meal, a quality knife is an important detail.
Shopping for a knife can actually be kind of overwhelming, given the number of different brands, styles, sizes, and types of knives on the market. Fortunately, my list of the 10 best knife brands is here to guide the way.
First, I’ll cover some of the top brands on the market, and then I’ll delve into some important things to consider when shopping, as well as some common questions about knives and how to find the best ones.
The 10 Best Knife Brands
Created in 1814 by Johann Abraham Wüsthof, the Wüsthof brand is still family owned today.
With that in mind, the company prides itself on tradition. And while it first started out as a producer of scissors, the knives are still made in the factories of Solingen, Germany, blending traditional artisanship and high-tech innovations.
With a focus on developing premium products, Wüsthof includes 40 intensive steps in the knife production process. The material is a blend of chrome, vanadium, molybdenum, and stainless steel that is extra durable and sharp, ideal for every use.
With a broad range of kitchen knives and accessories, Wüsthof knives retail for $35-$1,500.
- Wide collection of knives and kitchen essentials, such as knife storage and sharpening tools
- Forged in Solingen, Germany
- 40 steps in the knife production process
- Free shipping on orders over $89
#2: Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Founded in June 1731 by Peter Henckels, Zwilling J.A. Henckels is one of the oldest and most well-known knife manufacturers in the world. Peter’s son, Johann Abraham Henckels, later renamed the brand under his leadership.
The brand focuses on premium quality and careful craftsmanship, which is exactly what it is known for today. The knives are crafted in Solingen, Germany, alongside a variety of cookware and cutlery.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives retail for $50-$500.
- Variety of knives, cookware, and cutlery available
- Made from high quality, durable steel
- Manufacturing process is thoroughly monitored and involves advanced tech
- Crafted in Solingen, Germany
With the belief that affordability shouldn’t sacrifice quality, Misen was launched in 2015 by Omar Rada. The products take months to develop, ensuring that every detail is 100% perfect. Plus, the brand operates in a direct-to-consumer format to save on extra costs.
The knives are crafted from Japanese AUS-10 high-carbon stainless steel, which is more balanced, sharp, thin, and durable than other options on the market. That being said, the company offers a variety of kitchen tools and equipment with a focus on quality and affordability.
Reasonably priced, Misen kitchen knives retail for $45-$200, depending on whether you opt for a single knife or a set.
- Variety of affordably priced kitchen tools and essentials
- Crafted from Japanese AUS-10 high-carbon stainless steel
- Lifetime guarantee
- 60-day trial period
#4: Global Knives
With “functional design steeped in tradition” at its core, Global was founded by Komin Yamada in 1985. The knives are crafted by hand in Niigata, Japan, following the highest standards and adhering to strict design rules or traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
Today, it is one of the most successful kitchen knife brands in the world. It is most well known for its innovative textured handle and balanced blade for a comfortable hold, and unique style that is unmatched by competitors.
Global knives range in price from $44-$400 depending on the shape and style.
- Collection of knives crafted from high quality, durable materials with functionality in mind
- Crafted by hand
- Made in Japan
- Textured handle and balanced blade for comfortable hold
Shun was launched in 2002 by Kai Corporation, dedicated to creating quality cutlery. The brand focuses on developing thinner and sharper knives, ideal for making more precise cuts.
The designs are inspired by traditional Japanese blades of “unparalleled quality and beauty.”
Today, the knives are still handcrafted in Seki City facilities, with each knife taking 100 steps to make. The attention to detail and focus on careful design shines bright with this brand, and it continues to release innovative designs that wow the world.
Shun’s collection consists of kitchenware and cutlery crafted from durable, high-quality materials. The prices range from $113-$375 depending on the style.
- Range of durable cutlery, kitchenware, and knives
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Made from premium materials
- Each knife takes 100 steps to make
More of a unique option on my list, Victorinox is most well known for its classic Swiss army knives. The company was founded in 1884 by Karl Elsener, who had created multifunctional knives for soldiers in need of a number of tools at one time.
Today, the brand also carries kitchen and professional knives, watches, travel gear, and even fragrances. All of the products are manufactured in Switzerland from high-quality, durable materials, to ensure the same quality the brand has always been committed to.
Depending on the size and use, Victorinox pocket knives retail for $25-$520.
- Wide range of knife products, including multifunctional pocket knives and household knives
- Focus on functionality, quality, and innovation
- Made in Switzerland from durable materials
- Free shipping and returns
#7: Mercer Culinary
Mercer Culinary products are specifically designed for the food service industry, providing top-tier quality that makes every job easier and more enjoyable.
The brand is best known for its eye for detail, ensuring that every part of the knife is durable, sharp, and efficient.
Mercer Culinary offers a broad range of knives, kitchen tools, storage solutions, and more. But, it is most well known for its knives, which come in a variety of different sizes, styles, types, and shapes, all gathered into aesthetically pleasing collections.
On Amazon, Mercer Culinary knives retail for $15-$215, depending on whether shoppers opt for a single knife or a set.
- Variety of kitchen essentials and tools as well as every knife needed in the kitchen
- Crafted from high-carbon German steel
- Sharp and balanced designs
- Lifetime warranty
#8: Kramer Knives
The story of Kramer began with Bob Kramer himself, who had spent 10 years working in the food industry and saw a vital need for carefully designed, high-quality, durable knives. With that, he founded Kramer, on a mission to create the best kitchen knives.
Today, the brand operates in the US and is highly rated among professional chefs and at-home users. The knives are crafted from 52100 steel, which ensures the sharpness and durability that Kramer had always been looking for.
With innovative styles up for auction every 1-2 days and classic styles sold at fixed prices, Kramer knives retail for between $250-$24,000.
- Variety high quality of kitchen knives
- Crafted from sharp and durable 52100 steel
- Made in the US
- Lifetime warranty
On a mission to “deliver not only sharpness, but the feeling that a knife fits comfortably in your hands as you use it, becoming your partner,” Tojiro was founded in 1955, the same year its first stainless steel knife was released.
At the time, stainless steel knives were said to be less sharp and durable in comparison to carbon steel knives. But, the brand is now most well known for its quality blades, though it also sells other utensils, kitchen accessories, and more.
Tojiro also blends ancient Japanese techniques with innovative materials and practices of today to handcraft smooth, thin, and ultra-sharp blades that perform seamlessly in the kitchen.
Tojiro knives can be purchased on Amazon for around $100-$130.
- Variety of knives, kitchen utensils, and accessories
- Blends Japanese techniques with modern innovations
- Handcrafted from stainless steel
- Made in Japan
#10: MAC Knife
Created in 1954 by Tatsuo Kobayashi, MAC knives feature incredibly sharp edges, comfortable handles, and phenomenal balance–three key design features for the best knife.
The products are carefully crafted in Japan using traditional methods and materials–because if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
That being said, MAC knives blend Western and Japanese knives to create a blade that is stronger, more durable, and sharper, ideal for cutting, slicing, and chopping. The brand also carries kitchen accessories such as honing rods.
MAC knives are priced between $45-$300.
- Blend of Western and Japanese style knives
- Made from high-carbon steel
- Handcrafted in Japan
- One of the most popular knife brands in the world
How to Shop for the Best Knife
Now that I’ve covered the best knife brands, it only makes sense to consider some key details to keep in mind. When it comes to shopping, the best knife is the one that suits your personal needs best–that’s why there are so many on the market.
Below, I’ll point out some things to keep in mind when shopping around, as well as the different reasons you may be looking for a knife and how knives perform differently.
No matter what you’re shopping for, the brand itself is one of the first things to consider. Of course, it should carry the specific type and style of knife you’re looking for. But it should also have a story and mission in line with your personal ethos.
Fortunately, the options in my list of the best knife brands are some of the best in the biz, having honed their craft for years with a focus on producing the highest quality and standard of knives, no matter what type they offer.
Materials and Durability
The best knife brands offer an abundance of different materials, with blades made from steel, ceramic, and titanium with handles crafted from wood, metal, bone, mother of pearl, or resin. The material you choose is a personal choice, based on aesthetics, style, or material preference.
The most durable options are often made from ceramic or stainless steel because they are strong and resistant to corrosion, and also stay sharp for longer and can have a thinner blade.
That being said, a good quality knife should remain sharp for 6-12 months.
Type and Purpose
There are a few main types needed in the kitchen, but this really depends on how often you cook and what kinds of food you make. The two knives everybody needs are as follows:
- A chef’s knife, which is a medium sized knife that can cut, slice, and chop almost everything
- A paring knife, which is a bit smaller and can be used for slicing, peeling, and cutting smaller foods
That being said, there are a number of other different knives that you may want to consider, especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Plus, the best knife brands carry an abundance of different types and styles, so you’ve got plenty to choose from.
High or Low Maintenance
Overall, a high-quality knife shouldn’t be too much maintenance. The best knives need sharpening every 6-12 months, though there are a few ways to make your knife last longer. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Wash and dry after every use (avoid the dishwasher)
- Only use it for cutting food
- Apply mineral oil
- Only cut on a hard surface, such as a cutting board to avoid damaging the blade
- Sharpen when necessary
Like most kitchenware, the best knife brands carry knives that don’t actually need that much upkeep. That being said, they should be kept clean and used properly. With the proper care, your knife could last a lifetime.
As mentioned on my list of the best knife brands above, a knife can last forever. With that in mind, it’s worth it to invest in a high-quality, carefully designed knife.
Avoid inexpensive options with flimsy handles and poor-quality materials because you’ll just end up spending more in the long run.
That being said, knives don’t always have to be very expensive to be good quality. Just pay attention to reviews, the brand’s following, and the materials used to make the knife.
What Are The 5 Types of Knives?
While there are plenty of knives on the market, there are 5 main types that belong in every kitchen.
Whether you’re chopping or peeling, here are the options that belong in your knife block to make any meal:
- Chef’s knife: most commonly used knife in the kitchen, feature longer blades that are ideal for cutting larger items quickly
- Paring knife: smaller knife with a wide base and pointed tip that is ultra thin and sharp for cutting smaller foods and creating details in a dish
- Carving knife: thicker blade with a tapered, sharp tip that is ideal for cutting through meat and also chopping veggies and herbs
- Boning Knife: lightweight knives with a straight edge that tapers at the tip, ideal for cutting meats and fish
- Bread knife: longer knife that features a serrated edge that cuts seamlessly through the harder outer shell of breads or cake without squishing the soft inner and maintaining the integrity of the food
What Are The 4 Rules To Knife Handling?
Safety is always the first thing to consider, no matter what kind of knife you’re wielding. To keep you and others in the kitchen safe, I’ve compiled the four rules for knife handling:
- Secure your chopping board by placing a wet towel or rubber mat beneath it
- Do not wave a knife in the air–always keep it close to the counter
- Keep knives clean, dry, and sharpened
- Cut on a flat surface and take your time
What Is The Best Way To Sharpen Knives?
If you’re checking out my list of the best knife brands, chances are you’re also curious about how to keep them in tip-top shape.
Knives are pretty easy to maintain, but sharpening is key to ensure that you have an easy time in the kitchen and can present beautiful and delicious food.
While there are many different sharpening tools on the market, the best way to sharpen knives at home is with a classic knife sharpener. These can be purchased at most hardware and kitchenware stores, though a steel honing rod or ceramic whetstone are also great options.
What Is The Difference Between Japanese and Western Knives?
If you’re just entering the world of cooking, you’ve likely heard of Japanese knives and Western knives before. But, what is the difference between these two types of knives?
Essentially, Japanese knives tend to be a bit thinner and are often handcrafted from harder stainless steel. That being said, Western knives are known to be more durable since they are thicker and less brittle.
Because they are thicker and therefore more weighted, Western knives are commonly used for chopping and dicing through harder foods.
Thinner and sharper, though also more lightweight, Japanese knives are best for precision cuts like slicing, fine mincing, trimming, and cutting softer foods.
Overall, Japanese and Western companies are both known for being some of the best knife brands, which is why I covered both in my list. Plus, they each have their own pros and cons, so it’s all down to what you’re looking for.
All things considered, there’s a lot of thought that goes into choosing the right kitchen tools.
Not only should you consider the brand and whether or not it offers what you’re looking for, but also your preferences, personal needs, and what you’ll be cooking.
I hope that this list of the best knife brands has given you a little food for thought, as well as some inspo for replacing and refining your knife collection. And whether you cook a little or a lot, you’ll be able to whip up some delicious meals with high-quality tools.
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