New Recipe: The Best Kitchen Knives of 2021,

professional chef sharpening knife in the kitchen

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Looking for the best kitchen knives? You’ve come to the right place. Over the past year, the kitchen has become something of a sanctuary. It’s where you retreat when you want to block out the world’s madness and focus on yourself, whether by putting together a perfectly macro-balanced meal or by confecting indulgent treats. More than that, it’s been a place to learn new skills. It started with sourdough and banana bread; now, half of Instagram is seemingly spatchcocking chickens and filleting sea bass. But while you may have expanded your recipe repertoire, we’re willing to bet the same can’t be said for your utensils.

Quality knives do more than save you time when you’re dicing vegetables. When chopped with a sharp blade, fresh herbs release more of their aromatic oils and give your recipes a flavoursome edge. And your onions will brown better: blunt knives smash, rather than slice, food cells, which releases moisture. Do you see our point yet? You need some new hardware.

To help, we enlisted up-and-coming kitchen maestro Jacob Emerson. He has honed the skills – and the tools –of his trade under some of the most respected chefs in London. Here, he presents his pick of the knives to invest in, and your first smart purchase comes in at under a fiver. These are a cut above.

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Swiss Classic Paring Knife



This handy knife is ideal for many things, from peeling fruits and vegetables to cleaning mussels. Its low price means you can afford to pick up a few of them.

VERDICT: Victorinox has earned its reputation for quality, and it’s hard to believe this blade only costs a fiver. That means you won’t have a meltdown when you realise you’ve binned it with the potato trimmings. 


DM0710 Classic 6-Inch Boning Knife

Kai – Shun


Made in Japan, this is razor-sharp, lightweight and has a large handle. Boning knives can be stiff but this has a good amount of flex.

VERDICT: One of the most useful knives for chefs, this stays sharper for longer than most. A must-have for pros and home cooks alike.


Swiss Classic Pastry Knife



Used by top pastry chefs, this is perfect for cakes and bread but is also suited to bigger vegetables. It’s almost impossible to sharpen as it’s serrated, but it’s cheap enough to justify buying a new one when it gets blunt. 

VERDICT: No chef will quibble about the cost, and I’ve seen one in every kitchen that I’ve worked in. This handy knife is arguably the most versatile in this list.


Gyuto / hand forged / 115Cr3


Sheffield knife maker Simon Maillet forges his blades by hand in his workshop using materials from the UK and Europe. They’re modest, beautiful and will last for ever. 

VERDICT: This knife glides through meat like butter and will make onions wish they’d never been planted. It comes with a sheath in which to safely store it. Invest in a whetstone, as steel can damage the blade when sharpening it. Clean and dry after use.


Classic Chefs Knife

Borough Kitchen


This is sharp and precise enough to mince garlic, yet sturdy enough to chop chicken bones. It’s low maintenance and rust-resistant.

VERDICT: A perfect tool for any kitchen, with a great size for tackling all sorts of jobs – plus, it will last a lifetime. This was the first knife that I bought as a chef, and I still use it to this day. A true workhorse.

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