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Best Chef’s Knife of 2024

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Overall, we tested a dozen of the most popular chef’s knives for home cooks, from Mac, Global, Artisan Revere, Victorinox, KitchenAid, Ninja, Cuisinart, Homefavor, Farberware, Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, Aura, Korin, Wüsthof, Material Kitchen, Misen and Mercer. Of these knives, there were a few clear leaders, but most were solidly designed and just one stood out as bad.

The Mac, Wüsthof, Made In and Global knives were standout favorites for quality and performance. If you’re serious about adopting a high-quality chef’s knife, any of these three will work. Mercer, Zwilling and — to a lesser degree — Victorinox offered solid performance and well-balanced products for beginners looking for a bargain buy (Victorinox’s chef knife gets a lot of love online for its value and construction, but it’s pricier than the Mercer and not quite as well balanced).

A J.A. Henckels' chef's knife on a wooden cutting board.

J.A. Henckels’ Classic Chef’s Knife looks similar to the Wusthof Classic, but its slight differences in balance and design make it a much less enjoyable knife to use regularly.

David Priest/CNET

Cuisinart’s, Material’s and Homefavor’s knives were sturdier than the cheaper competitors, but they didn’t stand out in any single category. The J.A. Henckels classic, which seems like a natural winner given its reasonable price tag and similar design to the more expensive Wüsthof classic, really disappointed me. It’s another workhorse of a knife, but its butt is heavier than it should be, so heavy prep gets tiring and mincing feels awkward.

Farberware’s knife was the worst of the bunch: It’s so poorly balanced that we ended the chicken test midway for safety. The handle is light, which leaves the center of balance for the knife an inch or two down the blade. That makes almost every type of prep, from slicing and dicing to mincing and chicken boning, feel awkward at best and dangerous at worst. In short, don’t buy this knife and if you’re looking for a budget blade.

a circle of chef's knives surrounding a sliced tomato

Just a few of the chef’s knives we tested. 

David Priest/CNET

A chef’s knife can be your best friend in the kitchen, especially if you find the right fit. Take your time, figure out exactly what you need from your chef’s knife and make an investment in quality. You could keep buying those generic $10 knives from the store every time your knife gets dull, but if you’re serious about upping your kitchen game, a high-quality chef’s knife is one of the best investments you can make.





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