The Best Chefs Knife to Buy | Jonas Blade

What Is The Best Chef’s Knife To Buy?

If you are looking to buy the best chef’s knife, you have come to the right place. 

This is a bold claim, so it is worth looking at. There are a number of factors that go into this, but there are only a few big ones: steel, feel, and appeal


Mankind has made and used steel blades for about fifteen-hundred years. During that time (and particularly since the Industrial Revolution), we have developed ever more impressive alloys of steel, giving us the ability to make blades that are super keen, or extremely tough, or particularly resistant to impact, or very flexible, and so on. Today, you might find one of many different alloys in use by both large-scale manufacturers and individual bladesmiths alike. 

In either case, it is probably a safe assumption that the maker has selected a material that is suited for the job. When you are looking to buy the best possible chef’s knife, you will want to know which steel has been used, but also—and arguably more importantly—how the steel has been heat treated. You can get as nerdy as you want with this, but the critical thing is that the steel has been heat treated (hardened, and then tempered) in such a way as to draw the best possible performance from any given alloy. In my own studio, I heat treat my blades using molten salts and a digitally controlled heating system that allows me to hold to within a single degree of my target temperature indefinitely. This is a cutting-edge technology, and it allows me to tailor my heat treating to any given alloy I might use. 


While steel is the top priority; if your knife is made of poor material, or poorly heat treated, it will not cut well, and it will dull quickly. The next thing you will want to look at when evaluating is its feel. Many people never really consider this; a chef’s knife is just a tool, and they’ve always used whatever knife was on hand. But when you are looking for the best, that knife should come to your hand naturally, and it should rest comfortably in your grip. This is more than just a question of the right lines and the right shapes. One should also consider the balance of the knife. You can pick up two knives of the same size and weight, but if they are balanced differently, one will feel heavier than the other. This is typically the result of too much weight hanging out away from the hand, and it gives the knife a sagging sensation as you hold it. The better the balance, the less fatiguing the knife will be in sustained use. 


Lastly, you will of course consider the appeal. Again, most people never really think about what their knives look like as the perception is that they are just tools. But when you have seen an elegantly designed and customized chef’s knife, with carefully selected (and carefully used) materials, you begin to realize that more is possible. It will look and feel like you are buying the best possible knife. Even before you pick it up, something about it will grab your eye and invite you to engage with the object. 

Is the material suitable? Has it been worked appropriately? How does the knife feel in the hand? Does it grab me? If the answer to any of these is no, then it is not the best possible chef’s knife, and you shouldn’t buy it. If the answer is yes, then chances are good that you are looking at a handmade, heirloom-quality object made with loving care and attention. 

Customize your knife with Jonas Blade today!

About The Author

Zack Jonas was born and raised in Massachusetts in the 1980’s and is still a New Englander today. With his growing love for art over the years, he took an introductory bladesmithing class at MASSart. It was there that he learned one of his most valuable lessons, which is that everyone has some insight worth learning. Today, he is a full-time bladesmith and feels incredibly fortunate to have found his calling.