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There isn't a more useful tool than the kitchen knife, which is why so many chefs and home cooks feel that it's worth splurging on a nice one (and taking proper care of it.) Ina Garten, author of the new Modern Comfort Food cookbook, says knives are her favorite kitchen-related gifts to both give and receive, and there's one brand in particular that she swears by.

"I often use Wüsthofs, but I think there are so many good ones," she tells Food & Wine. "Because comfort is another factor, not just the blade itself. You want workhorse knives that you just know are going to be great."

Ina Garten
Credit: Brad Barket / Getty Images

We feel the same. We tested several popular brands of chef knives and, indeed, deemed Wüsthof's Classic 8-inch Cook’s Knife ($150, amazon.com) the "Best Tough Workhorse." (Our pick for the best overall knife was the MAC Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife with Dimples.)

When gifting a knife, Garten says choosing a specific type would be lovely, like a paring or slicing knife.

After investing in a nice knife, or receiving one as a gift, upkeep is key. If you want to continue using it for decades to come, there are several chef-recommended tricks for making sure your knives stay sharp and rust-free.

wusthof chef knife
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Buy it: Wüsthof's Classic 8-inch Cook’s Knife, $150 at amazon.com

5 Wüsthof Knives and Knife Sets on Sale Right Now

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