Considerations When Choosing a Professional Chef’s Knife

A professional chef is surrounded by several tools, implements, and machines in the kitchen. They enable him or her to make scrumptious food time and time again. However, none is as important as the chef’s knife. It is, without doubt, the most basic yet the most instrumental. The quality and design of the knife will determine the presentation of the food as well as the taste. It is an important decision that requires research and thought. To help you with this, KnivesAdvice has prepared this short article.

Intended purpose

Before you purchase your knife, ask yourself what is the place and style of use of the knife. A knife used in a Japanese kitchen is not the same used in a traditional French Gourmet kitchen. Depending on the ingredient, you might also need a different kind of knife. For potatoes, carrots, and squash, a heavily weighted alternative is preferred. The same knife however cannot be used to dice soft fruits and vegetables. In this case, you are advised to go for a lighter knife.

Some may argue that this is a matter of personal preference. But if you consider the purpose of the knife, it is a matter of practicality.


This consideration is a subjective matter and can vary from one person to another. A knife feels different to each person due to the dimensions and weight of the knife. Also, as the cook, there is the issue of the size of your hand, strength, and height among others. In today’s industry, manufacturers tend to create knives of different knives. You will find knives for a right-handed person and others for a left-handed person. Your grip on the knife will reveal all this and more.

The quality of the steel

The steel will determine the toughness and sharpness of the knife over time. Quality steel can retain its sharp edge with frequent use. If you are not aware, there is a scale for measuring the hardness of a blade known as the Rockwell scale. The ideal range for a professional chef’s knife is 61 to 63 units.

There are two types of steel to consider here: stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel is the more common choice in the market. It holds out well against rust thanks to the presence of chromium. However, the edge of stainless steel chips easily. Carbon steel is the antithesis of stainless steel. It is considered a shaper knife and maintains its edge well. However, it is more susceptible to rust and must be cared for well for each use.

Despite the higher maintenance needs, carbon steel is preferred to stainless steel by professional chefs. Its performance is superior.


All factors considered, the most important consideration is the quality and feel of the knife. Does the knife feel too heavy in your hands? Is the length of the knife perfect?  The perfect knife has the potential of taking your kitchen to the next level.