Welches ist das beste Kochmesser?

Which is the best chef's knife?

One of the most common questions I hear is, "What is the best chef's knife?" This question seems simple, but the answer can vary greatly depending on individual needs and preferences. Let's explore this question in depth and find out which chef's knife is best for you.

The basics of a good chef's knife

Before we look at specific knives, let's look at what makes a good chef's knife. A quality chef's knife should:

  1. Be sharp and have a long cutting edge : A sharp blade enables precise cutting and requires less effort.
  2. Be well balanced : A balanced knife lies comfortably in the hand and makes longer work easier.
  3. Be ergonomic : The handle should fit well in the hand and be comfortable even during prolonged use.
  4. Be durable : High-quality materials and good workmanship ensure a long service life.

The most popular chef's knives and their properties

Let’s now take a closer look at the most popular chef’s knives and consider their advantages and disadvantages.

1. The European Chef's Knife

The classic European chef's knife is an all-purpose tool suitable for a variety of cutting tasks. The blade is usually between 20 and 30 cm long and has a slight curve that makes it easier to weigh.

  • Advantages : Versatile, robust and well balanced.
  • Disadvantages : Can be a bit too big and unwieldy for finer cutting work.

2. The Japanese Gyuto

The Gyuto is the Japanese equivalent of the European chef's knife. It has a narrower, lighter blade that is extremely sharp and precise.

  • Advantages : Very sharp, light and precise. Ideal for fine cutting work.
  • Cons : Requires more maintenance as it is more prone to rust and damage.

3. The Santoku

The Santoku is another popular Japanese knife characterized by its shorter, wider blade and flat cutting edge. It is particularly suitable for cutting vegetables.

  • Advantages : Versatile, lightweight and ideal for vegetables.
  • Cons : The flat blade can make weighing difficult.

4. The Nakiri

The Nakiri is a rectangular vegetable knife that was specially designed for cutting vegetables. The straight blade enables clean, even cuts.

  • Advantages : Perfect for vegetables, precise and easy to handle.
  • Cons : Less versatile, not ideal for meat.

5. The Chinese chef’s knife (Chinese cleaver)

The Chinese chef's knife looks like a cleaver but is used as an all-purpose knife. It has a wide, flat blade and is great for slicing, chopping and mincing.

  • Advantages : Versatile, can also be used as a shovel.
  • Cons : Can be difficult to handle for beginners.

Which is the best chef's knife for you?

Choosing the best chef's knife depends largely on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some questions to help you decide:

  1. What type of food do you process most often?

    • If you cut a lot of vegetables, a Nakiri or Santoku is ideal.
    • If you process a lot of meat, a Gyuto or Chef's Knife is more suitable.
  2. How much care are you willing to invest?

    • Stainless steel knives are easier to care for and more resistant to rust.
    • Carbon steel knives stay sharp longer but require more care.
  3. How big are your hands and how much strength do you have?

    • A well-balanced knife that fits well in the hand is crucial.
    • Try different handles and blade lengths to find the knife that is most comfortable for you.

Some recommendations

  • For beginners : A European chef's knife or a Santoku are great all-rounders that are easy to handle and maintain.
  • For advanced users : A Gyuto offers sharper and more precise cuts, but requires more maintenance.
  • For vegetable lovers : A Nakiri or Chinese chef's knife is perfect for fine slicing and chopping vegetables.


Ultimately, the best chef's knife is the one that best suits your needs and cooking style. Take your time to try out different knives and find out which one feels the most comfortable and gives you the best cutting experience. With the right knife in your hand, cooking will not only be easier, but also a lot more fun. But don't forget that you can also just have several knives. It doesn't hurt to be prepared for the different tasks in the kitchen.

Discover chef's knives at SCHMAAL.

Happy cooking and good luck in choosing your perfect chef’s knife!

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