How to choose a chef knife

How to choose a chef knife? A complete chef knife buying guide in 2019

You are a chef and you are going to buy a knife but don’t know how to choose a chef knife. Right? Hey don’t worry in this guide of 3-5 mints I will explain how to select a multipurpose chef knife to perform all kitchen tasks for example cutting meat, chopping vegetables, mincing and disjointing large cuts.

I have specially compiled this guide for new chefs who don’t know about how to choose a chef knife which can really help them in the kitchen.

If you already know about the important factors to consider while buying a chef knife you should still go through the article. This guide may increase your knowledge.

Which is the best knife?

Obviously it is true that the best knife will be the one which is expensive and higher quality of steel. But wait. The question is should you buy the one with high steel?  No, because the other factor is how you feel when you hold it in your hands while working? It is said that “for a chef finding a good knife is like finding a good life partner”. So it is personal choice and being a new chef you should try as many until you find the one which makes you feel good.

How to choose a chef knife


How to choose a chef knife? Important Factors

Some important factors you should consider before buying a chef knife are following.


  1. Weight

The first and most important factor is the weight of the knife. Here one thing is obvious that you have to use it frequently, so a knife with a lighter weight can help you the most. Although some people like the knives with relatively higher weight but it can make you feel tired because of continuous use.


What is the ideal weight for chef knife?

A knife with a weight of 6 -7 ounces (1 ounces = 28.35 grams) is ideal for normal use.


  1. Size

There are many different sized knives out there to choose but you should take the final decision according to the tasks you mostly do. A small size knife may help you to hold strong and work faster especially when you are going to cut onions, tomatoes or potatoes etc.

On the other hand a smaller knife cannot help you much when you deal with the items having large volume like watermelon.  So you need a knife with a larger blade to make it easy and fast.


What is the ideal size of chef knives?

An ideal chef’s knife has a size of 20 cm in length and 3.8 cm in width. In inches it is 7.87 x 1.5. Some chefs like more lengthy knives 15-36 cm because of the ease of use. You can choose the one which suits you the best.


  1. Blade

Famous Blade Types

There are 2 types of blade shapes which are popular now. The first is French style and the second is German.  The French style blade has an edge that has straighter until the end and curves up to the tip. German style is more deeply and continuously curve whole along the edge. Note that both are styles are efficient to perform task. Choose the style which suits you more.

How to choose a chef knife

Other Blades

Some other blade styles used widely are Chinese and Japanese styles. The traditional Santuku Knife is Japanese which is smaller, lighter, and sharper.  The Japanese Gyuto(means beef knife) is another Japanese version of French chef knifes.  Chinese knives on the other hand are completely different and look like cleaver in shape.

Read about the best Japanese chef knife under 100$


Blade Material

Now after reading all this you might have a question in your mind that what material is best for blade? Well usually the blade of knife is made up of carbon steel, stainless steel, a laminate of both, titanium or ceramic. The steel blades are the best choice for you since they are strong.


  1. Handle

Handle of the knife is another importent factor you must care about because it is the part through you will hold the knife in your hands. The handles of the chef knives are made up of different materials like wood, plastic, steel and composite.

How to choose a Chef Knife

Wood Handle

The one I recommend for you is the knife made up of wood handle because they are easy to grip.  Wood with a brown paint naturally looks good as well.  On the other hand wooden handles are difficult to care about because they can are painted and may damage when liquids touch them.

Plastic Handles

Plastic handles have pros and cons as well. Plastic handles are easy to use and cared about but on the other hand they are slippery in hands and not strong enough to last for long time. Due to their light weight you can feel off-balance as well.

Steel Handle

The steel handles are most durable and strong but they are slippery in hands. Especially at the time when your hand sweats it is difficult to keep balance of hand. Some knives have started to design ridges and bumps to make the grip harder.


  1. Heel

Heel is the starting thick part of the blade which is used to cut things with more force. The heel should not be abruptly stopping the rocking motion nor should it be so curved that the blade wants to slid backward.


  1. Edge

The edge is downside part of knife through which you cut the objects. The more thinly and sharpen the edge the more functionality your knife will give. The edge can be made sharpened over the time with other tools. A 15 to 20 degrees edge is good enough to give the best output.


  1. Other Factors



The back end of the handle is known as butt.


The top of your blade where usually people put their index finger along the blade when they chop.


The thick band of steel between the handle and heel of the knife. Some knives have no bolster but other have.


It is the steel that passed between the handle to extend the blade to butt. Some knives have full tang other don’t. a full tang makes the blade strong.



If you are searching for a good chef knife you must consider some important factors before you buy it. The size and weight matter the most. An ideal weight of 6 -7 ounces is considered as ideal knife weight while the size should be 20 cm in length and 3.8 cm in width. Other factors like handle, heel, and edge should be considered. Although there are number of German, French and Japaneses knives which offers you the best quality but you should find the one which makes you feel good when you hold it in your hand.

I Hope this guide have answered all your questions related to how to choose a chef knife? If you still have any questions to ask you can comment below. I will appreciate your feedback.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *