Our longtime favorite chef's knife is sharp, capable, and comfortable to hold. But is it still the best?
Last Updated Nov. 2, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 23: Two Simple Pastas
Our favorite inexpensive chef’s knife is the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-inch Chef's Knife. We’ve routinely tested and recommended this knife for nearly three decades, and for good reason: It cuts foods of all kinds effortlessly, is comfortable for hands of all sizes to grip, and arrives and stays quite sharp. It’s also reliably durable, easy to sharpen, and well-made. We think it’s the best choice for most people. We also love the Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife. It’s just as sharp and adept in the kitchen as our top choice and is a great option for cooks who prefer heavier knives and don’t mind a slightly slicker handle. If you are on a particularly tight budget, we think that the Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife offers great value. It costs half as much as our top choices and performs just as well. Our only quibble is that its handle is made from a highly textured rubber that some users found less pleasant to hold.
A good chef’s knife is a cook’s best friend. It’s arguably the most important tool in the kitchen, an essential all-purpose blade that can do everything from small, precise tasks (mincing garlic) to minor butchery (breaking down a chicken, filleting a fish) and a whole lot in between. Many say that if you buy just one knife, let it be a chef’s knife.
We’ve recommended our favorite chef’s knife for almost three decades, retesting it repeatedly since new knives enter the market all the time. To see if our favorite held up to the competition, we tested it against a fresh crop of options. Since our favorite doesn’t cost much—usually less than $40—we set the price cap for our lineup at $75. We focused on knives with blades measuring about 8 inches, as we’ve found this length to be the most useful and versatile for most cooks. And we limited our lineup to knives with stainless-steel or stain-resistant steel blades because they are the easiest to care for (see our testing of carbon-steel knives).
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.