We understand that buying knives can be bewildering—the market offers a staggering number of styles, materials, and specialties to choose from. If you simply want to start building the best knife collection without wasting money or kitchen space, here are our picks for built-to-work knives that will satisfy virtually any task for a home cook.
Over the years, our test kitchen has evaluated thousands of products. Price often correlates with design, not performance. We’ve gone through copious rounds of testing and have identified the most important attributes in every piece of equipment, so when you go shopping you’ll know what to look for. And because our test kitchen accepts no support from product manufacturers, you can trust our ratings.
Types of Kitchen Knives
- Essential Knives
- Useful Knives
- Premium Alternatives to Traditional Chef's Knives
- Specialty Knives
- Knives You Shouldn't Buy
Although there are hundreds of gadgets for sale that claim they can help you prep ingredients more quickly, we’ve found that very few of them actually work. So instead of wasting your money (and your counter space) on these products, just invest in three good knives: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife (or bread knife).
Once you're ready to build upon your essentials, these knife types are some of the most useful we've found for efficiently rounding out any cook's collection.
Premium Alternatives to Traditional Chef's Knives
We are diehard fans of our longtime favorite chef's knife, but for intricate prepwork or for cooks looking for something extra special, these knives are a rewarding investment.
These knives are designed to do one specific task very, very well. They're a worthwhile purchase for their functional and aesthetic purposes.
Knives You Shouldn't Buy
We gave these types of knives a fair chance to prove themselves in our testings. However, it was clear they aren't worth the time or money. We explain why you shouldn't buy them, and what tools or methods work much better for your intended purpose.