Best chef's knives: 6 top knives for home chefs

Pick up the best chef's knives for your kitchen with our reviews of top knives from Robert Welch, Stellar, Our Place, and Allday

ProCook chef's knife
(Image credit: ProCook)

The best chef's knives will be the workhorse of your kitchen, keeping meal prep safe and speedy. Ask any chef and they'll tell you that their knife is their most prized kitchen possession, so whether you're shopping for yourself or a foodie friend, our reviews of these top chef knives have got you covered. 

It's no secret that the safest knives are the sharp ones. These offer accuracy and prevent kitchen mishaps, but part of having the best chef's knife is keeping it in top condition for day-to-day use. Read our full roundup to find Japanese santoku knives as well as classic chef's knives. These knives have ergonomic handles to balance any weightiness, and will not need too much maintenance if used correctly. 

You may be in the market for the best knife set, complete with block and a selection of paring and bread knives. However, a chef's knife is the most multi-functional option you can choose  if you're on a budget or you want an additional option that can live in your kitchen drawers. 

We tested all of the chef's knives you see below, from brands such as Robert Welch, ProCook, Viners, and Allday. With budget-friendly options that come in at under £50, as well as premium choices that are designed to last for decades, keep on reading to find the right one for you. 

Best chef's knives 2024

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What is a chef's knife?

"A chefs knife is a multipurpose knife that's well-suited to most chopping and slicing tasks", says ProCook's Rob Falconer, "making it a staple in most kitchens and a great choice if you want a knife that can do it all." 

"A chefs knife has a gently curved, wide blade designed to 'rock', allowing you to safely cut at speed, and is thicker towards the heel for better balance in the hand and extra strength when tackling tougher items like root vegetables. This sturdy knife can cut through most vegetables and meats with ease and is perfect for everyday chopping, slicing and dicing."

How to buy the best chef's knife for you

Fúri knife on a wooden chopping board with vegetables on it

(Image credit: TBC)

Knives aren’t simply a blade and a handle. They have several elements, including the tip, belly (the curve of the blade), the butt and a bolster, which is the thicker part where the blade meets the handle. The bolster is key, as it's used to balance the knife and is mostly seen on forged knives.

Some knives also have a tang, which is the part of the blade that runs through the handle. A full tang runs through the whole of the handle to the butt (end) while a partial tang just runs some of the handle’s length. Tangs ensure the handle is well-balanced and strong, making it less likely to break if it’s put under pressure – cutting through bone for instance.

What is a Rockwell rating?

knife laid on a chopping board with some veg

(Image credit: Future PLC / James Gardiner)

The Rockwell Hardness Scale (RHC) measures how much of a dent in metal with a measured amount of weight a diamond point will make – the smaller the mark, the harder the steel. The RHC rating of your knife is useful to know if you’re looking for an all-purpose, sturdy knife that won’t snap or chip under pressure.

A general-use ‘softer’ steel knife can range from 54-56, while more professional style premium blades, from 58-64 at the upper end. The higher the rating, the thinner the blade can be forged, creating a finer, sharper cutting edge but there are trade-offs as knives this hard can be brittle, chip if misused and take longer to sharpen.

As a general rule German blades tend to be on the lower end of the scale, while Japanese are on the higher.

Should I put my knife in the dishwasher?

"Avoid putting your knives in the dishwasher where you can, as a dishwasher produces a lot of heat and steam that will expand and warp the metal, says Rob Falconer from ProCook. " 

"Dishwasher detergent can also be abrasive, damaging the look and integrity of the blade and handle. Instead, handwash your knives, dry them off completely, and avoid leaving your knife to air dry as this can cause rust to form."

Looking after your new knife

According to Rob Falconer, Head of Range at ProCook, "A good, sharp edge makes knives safer to use but it also streamlines food prep and prolongs the lifespan of your knives, so regularly sharpening your knives with a knife sharpener or a whetstone is recommended. In comparison, a dull knife makes slicing and dicing difficult, can be dangerous and puts your knife at risk of chipping."

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Ideal Home. She joined Ideal Home as an Ecommerce Editor in 2021, covering all of the site's small appliance and cookware shopping content. Millie formerly worked at Top Ten Reviews, another Future site, where she produced review and buying guides across a range of home products, from fridges to blenders. As Head of Reviews, her job is to test all the wackiest product launches, whether they're air fryers, bread makers, or juicers, and give you her honest experience.