Anthony Bourdain’s favorite chef knife
As I said in my Ultimate Guide to Chef’s Knives, whenever I recommend a product, I always like to start with what I use.
In my case, the chef’s knife I own (I have 2 of them) is the Global 7″ Stainless Steel Chef’s Knife (click to check current prices on Amazon). It’s also the knife the late, great, Anthony Bourdain had at home as well, with Bourdain calling it a “great option for both beginners and experts”.
I bought my knives about 18 years ago and they are still just as great today as when I got them.
I do sharpen them every few months and use a steel on them regularly and they have been perfect for me. They are a single piece of steel, so no handle to come loose. They also don’t have any wood on them which can fade and wear over time.
But that knife is a little pricey, so I felt it was important to have 3 different tiers of chef knives that I know are outstanding so we can fit any price range and budget.
Good, Better, and Best Chef’s Knives
In looking at all the chef knives on Amazon between 8″-10″ that have at least 100 reviews, eliminating anything under 4 stars and then also eliminating any 4-star knives where more than 1% of the reviews were 1 star, I think some clear winners emerge:
- GOOD (under $50) – Zelite Infinity 8″ High Carbon Stainless Steel Chef Knife (click to check current prices on Amazon)
- BETTER (just over $100) – Zelite Infinity 8″ Japanese Super Steel Chef Knife (click to check current prices on Amazon)
- BEST (under $200) – Wusthof Classic Ikon 9″ Chef Knife (click to check current prices on Amazon)
I can say without hesitation, that any of these knives would make a great addition to your kitchen, so check them out and see if you don’t find the perfect one for you. All have free Prime shipping too.
Do note that while the Zelite Japanese knife says “Damascus pattern”, it is not a true Damascus steel knife.
Best True Damascus Steel Chef’s Knife
If you just can’t live without a Damascus steel chef’s knife, the one to get in that case would be the Sakai Takayuki Hammered Damascus 33 Layer 9.5″ Chef Knife (click to check current prices on Amazon).
Like everything I recommend, it has truly outstanding reviews (only 4 and 5 stars). It also has free Prime shipping and is actually a great price for this outstanding knife (right in between the Better and Best price points).
Best Sharpener and Steel
For those that just want an easy way to sharpen the knife consistently and easily every time, without worrying about angles, definitely the thing to get is the Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener (click to check current prices on Amazon).
Free Prime shipping, near perfect reviews (almost 4,000 of them) and the ability to not only sharpen your chef knife but also scissors, other knives, tools, and even lawn mower blades make this thing almost indispensable.
But if you’re like me, you might prefer the simplicity of a simple sharpening stone.
The clear winner here is the Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone (click to check current prices on Amazon). It’s about half the price of the Work Sharp, has 2 sides (fine and rough), also has free Prime shipping and well over 2000 flawless reviews.
Now that you have a sharpener, you’ll want a sharpening steel too!
The good news is that sharpening steels are cheap.
I do personally recommend skipping ones that are ceramic as they can break easily. Just get a basic stainless steel one with a handle that can sit easily in a kitchen utensil holder on your counter so you can grab as needed.
Free Prime shipping, well over 500 near-perfect reviews and under 20 bucks tells you this is a GREAT choice.
That should get you set up for all your chef knife needs. Now go cook something great!