Kitchen knives buying guide: How to find the best knife for you

We'll help you compare the best kitchen knives for all your chopping, slicing and dicing needs.

High-quality knives are some of the most important tools in any home kitchen. But if your tools aren't up to the task, preparing even the simplest of meals can become a time-consuming hassle.

There are many different types of kitchen knives to choose from with prices ranging anywhere from $10 up to over $300. This guide will help you compare kitchen knives and find the best knife for your kitchen.

Compare some of the best kitchen knives

Data obtained November 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Handle material Blade length (inches) Weight (g) Origin Purchase today
Cuisinart 47920
Cuisinart 47920
Cuisinart’s 47920 is an affordable, all-purpose knife for everyday use.
Scanpan Classic 18111
Scanpan Classic 18111
Scanpan’s Classic 18111 is designed with optimal blade weight and a hairline finish for enhanced corrosion resistance.
Scanpan Spectrum
Scanpan Spectrum
Scanpan’s Spectrum is an affordable bright green blade that is made with a non-stick coating and a soft touch handle.
Victorinox Fibrox
Victorinox Fibrox
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)
Victorinox’ Fibrox is an extra wide and sharp carving knife that is ideal for carving meats.
Global g-2
Global g-2
Global’s stainless steel knife is designed for those who prefer high-quality kitchenware.
Mac Knife Chef Series HB‌-55
Mac Knife Chef Series HB‌-55
Mac Knife's Chef Series HB‌-55 is a pointed-tip knife ideal for peeling and cutting small fruits and veggies.
Messermeister Park Plaza Carbon
Messermeister Park Plaza Carbon
Thermoplastic polyoxymethylene
Messermeister’s Park Plaza Carbon is a handcrafted artisan knife made for knife enthusiasts with a unique brass triple rivet stamped design.
Mac Knife Japanese Series CL‌-65
Mac Knife Japanese Series CL‌-65
Mac Knife's Japanese Series CL‌-65 is a traditional deba cleaver originating from Japan, suited for slicing large fish.
Tramontina Forged Traditional Slicer
Tramontina Forged Traditional Slicer
Tramontina’s Forged Traditional Slicer is an affordable, professional-grade knife with a nylon handle to provide a firm, comfortable grip.
Shun Classic DM0706
Shun Classic DM0706
D-shaped ebony PakkaWood
Shun’s Classic DM0706 is an all purpose knife with a thin blade edge and wide handles for safe use.

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Why should I consider getting new kitchen knives?

If the knives you own are blunt, rusty, stained or just unsafe to use, they can add a lot of time and stress to the cooking process. By investing in one or more high-quality kitchen knives you can make food preparation quicker, easier and safer. There is a wide range of knives specially designed to perform specific tasks in the kitchen, including models made to effectively cut through meat, fish, bread and even bone.

Once you've experienced using a sharp and well-balanced chef's knife from a reputable manufacturer, you'll wonder why you persevered with your old and cheap kitchen utensils for so long.

When should I stick with my old knives?

You might be surprised at just how long decent-quality kitchen knives will last if they're looked after properly. If you're having trouble chopping and slicing with the knives currently in your kitchen drawer, consider whether a little bit of TLC and maintenance could improve their performance.

When was the last time you sharpened your go-to knife? Using a honing steel, pull-through sharpener or stone sharpener could make a huge difference to how well your knife cuts through the toughest of vegetables, prolonging its lifespan and allowing you to put off purchasing something new until it's absolutely essential.

What types of kitchen knives are available?

There are many different types of kitchen knives to choose from, each of which is designed to perform specific tasks:

These are the most popular choices, but there are plenty of other options you may like to consider depending on the type of cooking you do. For example, you may want a cleaver for chopping meat and poultry bones or a palette knife for preparing pastry.

How to compare kitchen knives

Cook's knives start at around $10 and go right up to over $300. You may prefer the performance and feel of a high-quality knife and be willing to pay a premium for improved cutting ability, or you might find that a budget knife does everything you need. But cost isn't the only factor you should consider.

Before buying a kitchen knife you'll need to take into account the blade and handle material, how comfortable the knife is to hold and how easy it is to clean. Consider the following features:

Which kitchen knife is the best for me?

The best kitchen knife for you depends on how you plan to use it and how much money you're willing to spend. With this in mind, think about what you need your knife to do before you start shopping around.

Comparing kitchen knives requires a little time and effort, so to help make it easier, we've outlined the pros and cons of five popular cook's knives in the table below:

The good The bad
Cuisinart 47920
  • Comfortable to use
  • Reasonably priced
  • Heavier than some other options
Global g-2
  • Plenty of positive reviews
  • Lightweight and well balanced
  • Handle may be too small for people with large hands
  • Some users report issues with chipping
Scanpan Spectrum
  • Cheap
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Paint can scratch off
  • Can go blunt quickly, according to reviews
Shun Classic DM0706
  • Quality carbon steel
  • Comfortable and balanced
  • Expensive
  • Some users report chipping issues
Messermeister Park Plaza Carbon
  • German quality
  • Stays sharp
  • Special care is required to prevent rust

Choosing a kitchen knife set

kitchen knife set

If you're thinking of buying a new kitchen knife, you may be tossing up whether you should just buy a standalone knife or invest in a whole new knife set. Once again, the answer to this dilemma really depends on your personal needs. For example, if your entire knife drawer is in need of an overhaul, buying a set that features a chef's knife, paring knife, utility knife, bread knife and more could be a good idea. You'll be able to add plenty of useful tools to your arsenal and hopefully find good value for money.

However, there's also the risk of paying for knives that you don't need and will never use, so make sure that you actually require every item in the set before handing over your hard-earned cash. There's also the fact that you may not get the chance to physically hold each knife in the set and test its balance – something that is an important part of the knife-buying process.

One final warning: If the price of a cheap knife set seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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