American cooks have gone mad for lightweight, supersharp Japanese chef’s knives. F&W tested more than 100 widely available ones to find the best.

By Emily McKenna and Emily Kaiser Thelin
July 01, 2009
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Shun Knife

© Nancy Stanton Talcott

Shun

Based in Seki City, the home of samurai sword–making, Shun makes comfortable, gracefully sharp knives, particularly the Classic Series’s 7-inch santoku ($144.95 on Williams Sonoma) and 8-inch chef’s knife/gyuto ($144.95 on Williams Sonoma).

 Kyocera Knife

© Katie Shaw

Kyocera

The blades contain zirconium oxide, a hard ceramic used in race-car brake pads; it makes knives like this 5.5-inch Classic Series santoku wear-resistant ($35.60 on Amazon).

Global Knife

© Ysabel Gonzalez and Jack Bevington

Global

Lightweight perforated handles and the fluid action of the slender blades are both impressive, especially on the elegant G-2 8-inch chef’s knife/gyuto ($89 on Amazon). Mac Knife

© Harold Arimoto

Mac

Endorsed by chefs Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert, these knives have strong, sharp blades—like the Professional Series 8.5-inch chef’s knife/gyuto ($155.95 on Amazon).

 

More Great Knife Tips & Recommendations:

Japanese Knife GuideJapanese Knife Guidehe Knives You Need NowJapanese Chef’s KnivesF&W’s Knife GuideF&W’s Knife Guide 

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