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Best of Britain: Telegraph reviews chef’s knives

The Telegraph – UK’s leading newspaper – recently published an interesting article called The Best Chef’s Knives. Lifestyle journalist Tomé Morrissy-Swan asked chef’s, knife makers and enthusiasts about their favourite chef’s knives. Based on their preferences he selected the best chef’s knives ranging from 30 to 150 pounds and introduced them to his kitchen for weeks. He judged the knives based on weight, the comfort of the handle, balance, look and feel, user-friendliness and more individual characteristics. Sharpness was, of course, key, but for all knives the following applied: they, according to Morrissy-Swan, all left their box with a razor-sharp edge. The results are not that surprising, ‘our’ knives were considered to be great knives!

It wasn’t clear how much knives were actually put to the test. The Telegraph merely lists a top-3 of the best knives and a ‘best of the rest’ top-3. In addition, we should also mention that the knives weren’t tested systematically. The rest results are not supported by numbers. For that reason we rather call this a review instead of a test, where we need to rely on the experience of the reporter. It is, of course, also true that this reporter didn’t randomly choose a couple of knives. He consulted a couple of experts to come up with the best list. And, if you ask us, this is quite evident, especially when you look at the results.

Wüsthof Classic chef’s knife

The number-1 knife in the British ‘test’ looks very familiar! It is the Wüsthof Classic 20 cm chef’s knife. This knife was best mainly because of its sturdiness and balance. According to the Telegraph-journalist the Wüsthof Classic is a little heavier than most other knives he used. It was something he enjoyed as it wasn’t too heavy. The combination with the fine ergonomic handle makes this chef’s knife amazing to work with. The “very classic French-German look”, with the full-tang handle and three rivets, also appeals to the critic.

Wüsthof Classic chef's knife 20 cm

Kai Shun Classic Santoku

The runner up is a Japanese acquaintance: the Kai Shun Classic Santoku 18 cm. Specifically speaking, the model with grooves in the blade. The smooth version is, of course, also a part of our range. According to Morrissy-Swan this Japanese Chef’s knife is runner up not only because of its stunning aesthetics. He praises the black pakka wood handle which seamlessly merges with the 32-layer Damasteel blade enhanced with subtle tiger shaped patterns. “It really is a thing of beauty”. 

The user-friendliness of this Santoku is also praised. The knife feels lighter than most other knives put to the test, which is definitely an advantage when using the knife for longer periods of time. In addition, its weight is definitely not a sign of weak material: with 64HRC this knife can absolutely be called rock-solid. As a result this Santoku can easily be sharpened leaving with you a razor-sharp knife, making it perfect for the most accurate tasks in the kitchen. The cut-outs in the blade also make sure that nothing will stick to the blade

Kai Shun Classic santoku 18 cm

The top-3 is completed by a Mercer Culinary chef’s knife, a budget knife which is mostly popular in the hospitality industry thanks to its (apparently) long life. Morrissy-Swan added this knife to his list for those specifically looking for a chef’s knife which will cost no more than 50 pounds.  However, especially in terms of looks – as the reporter states – this knife cannot be compared to the Japanese and German designs.

Best of the rest

The article continues by listing three alternatives that are called the ‘best of the rest’. A knife on that list is the Zwilling Pro 18 cm Santoku with cut-outs in the blade. These cut-outs are, according to the review, a plus. The combination of the Asian-looking blade (the Santoku is the Japanese form of the chef’s knife) with the Western handle is also valued by the reporter. In addition, the 57HRC is less fragile than the traditional Japanese Santoku, but the blade is thin enough to easily work with.

Finally the Victorinox Fibrox chef’s knife is mentioned as the perfect beginner’s option. An expert describes this knife as a good all-rounder that is also easy to sharpen. “Pound for pound, they’re probably the best value knives you’ll get”, according to chef Henry Harris. In short: there are better knives out there, often a little more expensive, but it will definitely be worth your money. We couldn’t agree more.

As the experts also state in the article, a good chef’s knife is indispensable in any kitchen. It can be used for practically any task. However, for some specific tasks you are often better off using a specific type of knife. Want to learn more about which kitchen knives you should always have lying around in the house and why? Read more about it in our info topic: Which kitchen knife do I need?