Best Chef Knives for Beginners Buying Guide 2020

This is part of a series of articles where we help you choose the best chef knife for you. Below you’ll find all the information you need to select the best chef knives for beginners, and also make sure to check out the best chef’s knife on a budget and best professional chef’s knife.

Top 5 Beginner Chef Knives on Amazon in 2020

Our selection of top 5 best chef knives for beginners you could find on Amazon.

Wusthof Classic 7 Inch Santoku

best chef knives for beginners wusthof santoku

The Wusthof 7 inch chef knife is skillfully handcrafted through the Japanese styles of blade. It is manufactured through a combination of both high end german engineering and a Japanese designs.

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The chef knife is ideal for a wide range of cutting applications, including chopping, slicing and dicing. Because of the hollow edge food will not stick easily on the blade which is a great addition to beginner chefs.

The blade is forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel. This material makes the blade strong and tough enough for all types of cutting actions.

The Wusthof knife is made with a tough polypropylene handle for comfort, balance and resistance to water. The handle is triple -riveted for tightness and durability.

Pros of the Wusthof Classic 7 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Perfect for chopping, slicing and dicing
  • Crafted using Japanese design
  • Blade made from German stainless steel for strength and durability
  • Seamless transition between the handle and blade.
  • Handle made from polypropylene for easy maintenance
  • Designed with alternating hollows to prevent food from clinging on the blade.

Cons of the Wusthof Classic 7 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Harder to use in cooking tasks that require you to have a pointier tip.
  • Does not come with a sheath

Messermeister Meridian 9 Inch Chef’s Knife

best chef knives for beginners Messermeister

The Messermeister 9 Inch chef knife is crafted from an alloy of German 1.4116 high carbon stainless steel. This makes the blade resistant rust and corrosion. More also, it enables the blade to hold its edge retention.

The chef knife is hot-drop hammered to produce a string blade. During the manufacturing process, thee blade is heat treated and cooled to achieve a Rockwell of 57-58. This ensures that it is strong enough for all cutting actions.

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The knife is designed with a bolster less heel that makes cutting, sharpening and honing easier. The design also enables you to use the knife from heel to tip.

Pros of the Messermeister Meridian 9 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Designed with an alloy blade for toughness and durability
  • Hot –drop hammered to produce a strong blade
  • Made with bolster less heel to enhance cutting, sharpening and edge retention
  • Triple riveted handle for tightness and durability
  • Comes with limited lifetime warranty
  • Dishwasher safe though hand wash is recommended

Cons of the Messermeister Meridian 9 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Blade might chip of during intense cutting actions
  • Edge retention is not perfect

Zwilling Henckels 8 Inch Beginner Chef Knife

best chef knives for beginners zwilling pro 8 inch

The Zwillin Henckels 8 Inch chef’s knife is crafted from high quality blade material being made from German steel. The material makes the chef knife very strong and long lasting. It is therefore able to bear both soft and intense uses.

The chef knife is made with fully forged design hand in hand with seamless transition between the handle and blade. This ensures that food and water particles cannot penetrate into the handle.

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The Henckels 8 inch chef knife features a satin professionally I finished blade that enhances precise cutting. The blade is finely horned to enhance sharpness retention.

If you want to learn more, take a look at the complete Zwilling Pro chef knife Review.

Pros o the Henckels 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • Forged from high end German stainless steel that is very durable
  • Triple riveted handle for balance and comfort
  • Ideal for general purposes including dicing and slicing
  • Seamless transition from the blade to the handle makes it waterproof
  • Fully forged design enhances durability
  • Full tang blade to ensure it stays intact
  • Cutting edge is finely honed for super sharpness
  • Dishwasher safe though hand wash is recommended

Cons of the Henckels 8 Inch Chef Knife

Cutting edge might chip if dropped.
Blade might rust if subjected to moist conditions

Wusthof Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife

best chef knives for beginners wusthof classic

The blade is forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel. This material makes the blade strong and tough enough for all types of cutting actions.

The knife features a blade that is resistant to rust and germs. Furthermore, the blade does not brown food nor transfer metallic tastes to food. This ensures that your food is hygienic.

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The blade is very sharp, with a cutting edge that is about 10 time’s sharper than a steel blade. This ensures its durability. The blade is lightweight and well balanced hence comfortable and easy to use.

The Wusthof Classic chef’s knife is made with a full tang and triple riveting to ensure that the handle and blade are very sturdy. This makes the knife ideal for both light and heavy cutting tasks.

Pros of the Wusthof Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife

  • Perfect for chopping, slicing and dicing
  • Blade made from German stainless steel for strength and durability
  • Seamless transition between the handle and blade
  • Well balanced for comfort and ease of use
  • Does not absorb food elements, making it easy to clean
  • The cutting edge is sharp and preserves its sharpness for a long time

Cons of the Wusthof Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife

  • Blade might rust after some time if not dried well
  • Not dishwasher safe

HENKELS International 8 Inch Chef Knife

best chef knives for beginners henckels international

The HENKELS chef’s knife is skillfully forged from a special material of high carbon stainless material that makes it extremely durable. The material enhances the strength and edge retention of the knife.

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The knife is made with a curved bolster. The bolster enhances cutting versatility and boosts precision, comfort and safety.

The knife is made with a traditional POM handle that is metal triple-riveted to ensure that it is firm. The rivets also hold the blade to ensure that it is intact.

This product is assembled in Spain.

Pros of the Henckels International 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • Blade provides you with precise cutting versatility
  • The cutting edge does not lose its sharpness easily
  • Seamless transition between the blade and handle
  • Satin finished handle for precise cutting
  • Triple riveting enhances the durability of the handle
  • Manufactured through a new technology of blade making
  • Full tang ensures that the blade is intact
  • Comes with limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
  • Dish washer safe though hand washing is recommended

Cons of the Henckels International 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • The knives may start rusting after a while
  • No sheaths to protect the blades

Guide to Best Chef Knives for Beginners

The chef knife is the workhorse in the kitchen. There is no doubting the versatility of this knife it’s the mincer, the carver, dicer and chopper , basically most cutting you’ll need to do around the kitchen. Today, there are many types and styles of chef knives on the market. So, It becomes difficult to determine which of the many knives meets your needs well. This especially becomes a daunting task if you are beginner chef or just looking for a knife to use in your kitchen. We feel your pain and will help you choose the best chef knives for beginners.

If you are beginner chef and not sure which chef knife to buy do not fret because in this guide we got you covered. We will provide you with everything you need to about before buying the best chef knives for beginners. Before we get into all that, let’s first discuss the core uses of a beginner chef knife.

What Do You Use a Chef Knife For?

Chef knives were originally made for removing meat from animal carcasses without cutting through the bone. Today, chef knives have grown into multifunctional kitchen knives that are used by all kinds of chefs. Due to the size and shape of the blade, chef knives can be used for nearly any cutting activity including trimming fat off steaks, carving turkey, dicing and mincing vegetables and meat among other many tasks.

How to Choose the Best Chef Knives for Beginners

The funny thing is that there is no such a thing like the best chef knife. Every brand and type of a knife has its own features and specialty. The only essential aspect here is your preference. The comfort and feel in your hand in every slice is one of the most important features that will make your knife special. However, there are some general factors to take into account when choosing the right chef knife for beginners.

Blade Material

The discussion about the best chef knife for beginners cannot be complete without comparing blade materials. The two most common blade materials on the best chef knives for beginners are stainless steel and high carbon steel. Ceramic knives are also increasingly becoming popular but they cannot be at par in terms of performance with these two.

  1. Stainless Steel Blades: Blades made from stainless steel are usually tougher to acids than those made from high carbon steel. This is because stainless steel blades do not accumulate stains and rust. Even though they are tougher, stainless steel blades are softer in a sense that they do not chip easily on high impact. This makes them ideal for high volume and heavy duty cutting. The only short coming of stainless steel blades is that they cannot retain their sharpness for as long as high carbon steel blades. Alsp, stainless steel blades are not as sharp as the blades made from high carbon steel.
  2. High Carbon Steel Blades: These are incredibly sharp, making them a perfect option for precision cutting. Due to their razor-like sharpness, they require little effort and force to cut through meat. In addition to their sharpness, high carbon steel blades are highly durable and very hard, allowing them to retain their edge for long without the need for sharpening often. This hardness however makes their edge brittle and chip easily upon impact. Another shortcoming of high carbon steel blades is that they are susceptible to stains and rust. You need to keep the blade dry for it not to accumulate rust.
  3. Ceramic Blades: They are made of very hard materials, making them highly durable and retain their edge for an extended period of time. Since these knives are non-metal, they do not corrode or rust easily. The hardness of these knives is what makes them limited. They are so brittle that the edge will chip and break at the slightest impact.

Length of the Blade

The length of the blade is another important aspect to consider when buying a beginner chef knife. This is because the longer the blade, the heavier it gets. Naturally, a knife should be heavier on the blade than on the handle. However, good chef knives have a way of balancing weight in between the handle and the blade. This balancing makes the knife easy to control. Usually, this is done by making the knife full tang, or by extending the metal of the blade up to the full length of the blade.

The usual length of chef knives is 12, 10 and 8 inches. For the best chef knives for beginners, it is highly recommendable that they are 8 or maximum 10-inch chef knives. The 12-inch chef knives are ideal for professional chefs and experienced home cooks.

Sharpness

A dull knife is not safe to use. The best chef knife should be incredibly sharp and retain its sharp edge for long before you need to sharpen it again. One of the main indicators of a quality knife is how sharp it is and how often it needs a tune up. The sharpness of a knife does not just determine how smoothly it cuts via foods, but also determines how safe it is to use.

While you may think that the sharper a knife is, the higher the risk, the opposite is actually true. It’s true you can do some real damage if you cut yourself with an incredibly sharp knife, but you are more likely to cut yourself if you are struggling to cut through something with a dull blade. This is because there is a higher risk of losing the control of the knife.So the best chef knives for beginners should be sharp.

Bolster

Another aspect of a good chef knife is the bolster. The bolster is the part of the knife between the blade and the handle. It provides two elements to the knife. First, it acts as a barrier that stops your gripping hand from sliding on the blade. Secondly, it helps you to correctly balance the knife.

Although most of the best chef knives have a bolster it is not a guarantee of quality. For instance, nearly all German style knives have some type of bolster while Japanese style knives do not feature any bolster. This does not make the Japanese chef knives inferior, far from it, many of the best chef knives on the market today are manufactured in Japan. Thus, when finding the best chef knives for beginners, do not let the presence or absence of a bolster influence your choice. It is just a matter of personal preference.

Handle Comfort

When choosing your best chef knives for beginners make sure that the handle is comfortable in your hand. Go for a handle with the best ergonomic design as well as non-slip features for a better grip. Note that handles can be made from a wide range of materials; include metals, composite plastic and wood. For aesthetics, wood is the best options as it always looks good. For maintenance and durability composite plastic is the best choice as it does not rot or induce mildew when exposed to the moisture for a long time.

Edge or Bevel

The edge or bevel is the slopping sides of the blade that enables it to cut through substances. There are two major types of bevels: double bevel or German knives and the single bevel or the Japanese knives (in most cases). German style knives are known as double beveled because both side slope to the end and form a sharp edge. Japanese style knives, on the other hand, are referred to as single-beveled because only one side of the blade is sloped to form the sharp edge.

German beginner chef knives have a double bevel design in which both sides slope to around 20 degrees angle towards the edge. This makes them durable enough to retain the sharpness for long despite heavy duty cutting tasks. Making it a great angle on the best chef knives for beginners. But as sharp as double beveled knives are, they cannot cut as precise as the single beveled knives.

Japanese chef knives have a single bevel design in which one side of the knife is sharpened at a 15 degrees angle or even less. This makes the knife incredibly sharp and highly accurate. This explains why Japanese chef knives are ideal for meticulous cuttings such as sushi and fillet. The only shortcoming of these knives is that they are weaker when compared to the western style knives. They are also susceptible to damage. Single beveled chef knives are also more difficult to sharpen.

Construction

There are basically two types in which chef knives are made: Stamped and Forged.

  • Stamped Knives: They are made using a machine, punched out of a piece of steel. The cutting edge is sharpened after the blade made and the knife has the same thickness allover. Though these knives are not usually considered high quality knives, there are lots of stamped chef knives that can do well. The only shortcoming of stamped chef knives is that they need to be sharpened regularly and might need to be replaced sooner.
  • Forged Knives: They are created by passing extreme heat over a piece of steel and then molding it into the desired sharp. Forged knives are considered to be of a high quality and come at a higher price than the stamped knives. The forging process forms a strong that is less prone to bending over time.

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