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This all-black santoku knife has the classic santoku shape, but it doesn’t have the granton edge that is common (but not required) on this type of knife. The blade is made from a proprietary zirconia ceramic that is made only in Japan and is slightly shorter, at 5 1/2 inches, than average santoku knives. Some cooks might prefer the slightly shorter blade, while it’s not so much shorter than the typical 6- to 7-inch blades that it would hinder cooks who have used longer blades.
This knife should be hand-washed. When the blade gets dull, the knife can be returned to the manufacturer’s facility in California for sharpening. There is no fee for the sharpening service, but the customer must pay for shipping and handling. The company also recommends its own electric sharpener which is designed for ceramic blades.
Ceramic paring knives are great for delicate tasks, like peeling tomatoes or making super-thin slices of vegetables for garnishes, along with all of the typical paring tasks. This piece is a bargain and comes with a handy sheath making it a good cooking knife for traveling.
The high carbon stainless steel stays sharp over time and though it is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended to keep the knife performing well for many years.
If you prefer a slightly longer chef’s knife, you’ll love this 8-inch knife and its cheerful green handle and razor sharp edge. The grip is designed to be comfortable in your hand, making slicing and dicing effortless.
For storage, the knife comes with a sheath to keep it safe.
A utility knife is the one you’ll reach for most often since it’s the medium-sized knife in the block. Micro-serrations make this the perfect knife for cutting difficult produce with tough skins and soft interiors, like tomatoes, while it’s also great for cutting any other fruits, vegetables, and meats with ease. It’s also great for slicing your sandwich into wedges.
This is a well-balanced knife with an ergonomic handle that will reduce hand fatigue during repetitive knife work. When it needs to be resharpened, you can send it back to Kyocera and the manufacturer's facility will sharpen your blade for a small fee. Note that you will have to pay for shipping and handling charges as well.
A slicing knife is designed for, well, slicing. This is the knife you’ll turn to when you need to carve a roast. The long, thin blade slices easily through large boneless meats, whether you have a turkey breast or a beef roast, and whether you want thick or paper-thin slices.
This blade is break-resistant during normal use but can break or chip if dropped on a hard surface, and the handle is designed to be ergonomic and easy to use.
Trying to slice a loaf of freshly baked bread with standard knife can result in a squished and mangled loaf, a torn crust, and uneven slices. A bread knife, like this one from Wüsthof, is designed to bite into the tough crust, saw though it, and then continue cutting the soft interior without ripping it. Even if home-baked bread isn’t often on the menu, this knife is great for store-bought French bread, for evening out cake layers, and for slicing bagels. While it’s built for bread, the serrations also make it useful for slicing ham and other roasts. This has an 8-inch blade, a comfortable handle, and an affordable price.
If you want to have only one large knife in your kitchen, this multipurpose knife is the one you’re looking for. It has an 8-inch blade, and can slice, dice, mince, and chop. The sharp edge is laser tested and ground to a precise angle for the best performance. The handle is made from a proprietary material that is slip-resistant and comfortable to hold.
This knife is made in Switzerland by the same folks who make Swiss Army Knives. It isn’t the prettiest knife you’ll ever see, but it’s sturdy and well made, and the price is very reasonable, so it’s great for someone setting up a new kitchen when the budget is tight.
A paring knife is ideal for peeling, paring, and other small tasks. This knife has a soft-grip handle that’s easy to hold onto, and it’s comfortable enough to use for long periods of time.
While this is an inexpensive knife, it has a full tang and a large bolster for a safe, sturdy grip. If there’s any knife that makes sense to have more than one in the kitchen, this is it. It’s nice to have a spare for those times when you’re switching tasks or when you have helpers in the kitchen.
The ideal starter set, this includes four knives that can handle just about every kitchen task without taking extra space with specialty knives that may not be required. Made by the same folks who make Swiss Army knives, these knives are highly rated by users, and comfortable to use. The set includes a four-inch paring knife that’s great for peeling as well as small tasks like cutting limes or lemons. The six-inch utility knife can handle a wide variety of tasks, from slicing a tomato to cutting a sandwich. The eight-inch chef’s knife can handle the big kitchen tasks, from chopping a head of cabbage to slicing a roast. The 10 1/4 inch bread knife is serrated for perfect slices of home-baked bread or store-bought French bread. It’s also great for cake, and can even be used for slicing roasts.