Are you finding yourself a bit flustered by all the different knife brands out there? Not sure which are the real deal on Amazon and what’s just junky stamped out steel?
|OVERVIEW: THE BEST KNIFE BRANDS OF 2018||OVERVIEW|
|Easily cut and slice almost any food||MAC||Buy Now|
|Born of the ancient samurai-sword-making tradition||Shun||Buy Now|
|Built to the highest sanitary standards.||Victorinox||Buy Now|
|It features a full tang, high-carbon stainless steel||Wusthof||Buy Now|
|Masterfully elegant and perfectly balanced||Dalstrong||Buy Now|
Read on in our guide to the best knife brands to find out everything you need to know the next time you buy a knife for your kitchen or your professional knife kit!
MAC Knives are known in the industry for offering some of the best quality knives at a reasonable price.
Combine that reputation for quality products with their 25-year warranty and 70% discount knife replacement program, and this makes them the obvious choice as the #1 knife brand operating on the scene today!
Best Knife Brands
- Best quality knives in the business
- 25-year warranty
- 70% discount knife replacement program
- Made in Japan
- Prices can be rigidly high
Ask any professional chef which knife brand they trust the most, and you’ll probably get the same answer from the entire lot: MAC Knives.
MAC has one of the longest track records in the industry for producing solid knives that are simultaneously some of the lightest and nimble daily drivers, while also being one of most dependable and durable knives they’ve ever owned.
What really helped MAC eke out the top spot in our eyes however was the company’s unique accidental damage replacement program, a first in this industry as far as we could tell. Essentially this means that if your knife chips, the handle breaks, or takes on any damage that renders the knife useless MAC will let you send the knife in and buy your next at a whopping 70% discount. While some brands may offer lifetime warranties or free sharpening services (like our next choice), this program makes MAC the obvious choice for anyone who plans to use their kitchen knives to their fullest extent possible.
Read Next: The Top Chef Knife
- Handcrafted forging on all knives
- Free sharpening service
- Lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects
- Might be too heavy in the hand for some buyers
Although Shun may get a bad rap among the chef knife purists for being the “sellout” brand (you can find one in just about every Williams Sonoma around the globe); they got to that top spot for a reason. As a producer of knives that fit every hand, Shun knives are sort of the Honda Civic of chef’s knives: dependable, easy to maintain as a daily driver, and designed to last a lifetime.
Shun knives are exceptionally well-balanced in almost anyone’s hand, and that goes for both the right-handed and left-handed variants of their most popular models. Sure they might be a bit cliche if you’re asking a chef, but they got to that top spot by offering solid warranties, free sharpening services, and a set of knives that can handle almost any produce or proteins you throw their way.
- World-class durability-to-price ratio
- High Amazon ratings for all available knives
- Lifetime warranty (except for normal wear-and-tear)
- Not the best pick for more expensive knives
- Knives can feel flimsy, even though they’re not
If you’re on the hunt for a nearly-indestructible knife that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, almost any and all knives made by Victorinox are the way to go.
Although primarily known for their Swiss Army knives outside of chef circles, this company is one of the best-kept secrets in the chef world, producing ridiculously durable knives at a fraction of the cost of other brands.
Victorinox achieves this balances by utilizing cheaper production methods and materials (stamped vs. forged, plastic handles vs. wood), but as we’ve already mentioned this barely leaves a dent in the actual quality and durability of the knives they sell.
If you want a knife that won’t go over $30 but will still be in your kitchen 10, 20, even 50 years from now, Victorinox is the way to go.
- Solid reputation among professional chefs
- Great durability
- Lifetime warranty
- Primarily known for German-style knives only
Wusthof is one of the only manufacturers on this list which produces German-style knives almost exclusively, so if that’s not your cup of tea this may not be the brand for you.
That said, they produce what could easily be considered some of the best German knives on the market, which is what earned them the #4 spot in this roundup.
Wusthof also has the distinction of being the oldest brand on this list, producing knives out of Germany all the way back to 1814. No company stays in business that long without building up a serious amount of expertise and tradecraft to fall back on, which is just one of many reasons why it’s one of the best knife brands still operating in 2019!
- Great price-to-quality ratio
- Wide diversity of knife types
- Solid handles for long-lasting durability
- New to the scene (unknown long-term durability)
- No replacement programs
Dalstrong may not have the same track record as many of the other brand picks on this list, but what they lack in history the company more than makes up for in providing a wide range of knives for every type of consumer at a price that won’t break the bank.
Dalstrong themselves even admit to being the “new kids on the block” in their own company description, but even though they’ve only been around for a short time they’ve quickly rocketed to the top of every professional and home chef’s wish lists.
The company has become synonymous with quality knives on the cheap, taking elements from many of the top brands and fusing them together for an altogether unique approach that hasn’t been seen thus far in the world of knife production.
Other Knife Brands to Consider
- Mercer: Mercer is yet another quality knife maker who would probably be more familiar to culinary students than your average home cook. The company is famous for supplying upwards of 90% of all culinary schools and their students in the United States with their first set of starter knives. The brand is synonymous with rugged durability, and many of their knives will stand the test of time well beyond what you’d get with competing options. The company was only edged out (if you’ll forgive the pun) in this list by Wusthof, as the German company is known for a bit more love on the quality side of things as well as lasting reliability throughout the life of the knife.
- Global: Global is a solid knife maker who produces some of the lightest and most nimble knives in the business. Unfortunately, that lightness/thinness that the company is dedicated to can also create some issues with durability, and during my own time in culinary school I saw more than a few Globals drop to the floor and lose big chips out of their edge. That said if you’re looking for a knife that can just about match Global’s lightness without sacrificing durability, MAC is the way to go.
Knife Brands to Avoid and the Worst Knife Brands
- Farberware: Farberware is a large kitchen tool company who produces dozens of different products, everything from chef’s knives to tupperware and back again. As such, the company rarely focuses much of their efforts on producing solid knives alone, which results in poor quality for the price.
Best Knife Brand Buying Guide
Feel free to shop around for knives before you make up your mind. But in the process, don’t forget to focus on the most important features for you. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
- Of course the #1 trait that any knife company on this list had to stick to in order to make the grade is producing high quality knives that maintain their durability throughout the lifetime of the knife.
- All the brands listed here have strong reputations for producing quality knives at all levels of the market; whether that be the ultra-cheap entries from Victorinox or the ultra-light/durable options provided by MAC.
- Almost every knife producer on this list offers a lifetime warranty that covers any production defects found on the knife at the time of shipping, though we should mention that none of the picks on this list will cover defects worn into the knife through general daily use.
- This is known as “wear and tear”, which means that if you even chop one onion with the knife and that’s evident on the edge, the company won’t cover any damage that’s incurred as a result.
- That said one of the main reasons MAC made the #1 spot on our list was due to the company’s knife replacement program.
- This warranty states that any major defects beat into the knife through usage (chips, losing the tip, handle damage, etc), will net you a 70% discount on your next purchase as long as you buy directly through the MAC website. This kind of deal is unheard of anywhere else in the industry, and given how easy it can be to sustain this kind of damage through general usage, we recommend anyone who’s worried about that kind of a problem popping up to go with a MAC knife to mitigate it.
- Although we don’t like to rely too heavily on the opinions of your average Amazon reviewer, in the case of kitchen knives the overall score that a company receives on their knives is actually a great indicator of their long-term durability over time.
- When talking about the average home knife user, it’s good to see enough of those buyers in particular backing up a certain brand.
- We also liked to keep an eye on updated reviews, as these again were the best way to tell not only how a knife’s edge from a certain company performed straight out of the box (which almost any knife worth the salt on your kitchen counter should do well on), but also how long it held that edge and how it performed in a range of scenarios in the long term.
- Not everyone is going to want to make the extra time/dollar investment necessary to get a proper whetstone or learn how to sharpen their knives on their own.
- And even though we would personally recommend that every knife owner at least open up a YouTube tutorial or two to learn how it’s done, you can get the same level of sharpness (perhaps even more) out of a professional knife sharpening service.
- Shun is currently the only knife maker who actually offers sharpening services with the purchase of every knife they sell, however this only applies to knives sold through their approved retailers.
- This list includes Williams Sonoma, Amazon, and directly from the Shun website itself among several others.