A high-quality knife — one that feels comfortably weighty in the hand and maintains a sharp edge — makes a world of a difference when cooking. Few know it better than professional chefs, who rely on razor-sharp blades to keep their restaurant kitchens running smoothly. The knife styles and silhouettes they work with are often used to meet the specific needs of individual kitchens, cuisines and dishes. Almost all carry a chef’s knife and a paring knife; some opt for a tight curation, while others load up on single-purpose tools, their place justified according to utility and purpose, the code of the kitchen.

Victorinox 3.25-Inch Paring Knife


“It’s really light and easy to hold, which makes it perfect for tournéeing potatoes. And it’s under ten dollars, so it’s not the end of the world if you lose it.”
 — Craig Koketsu (Quality Branded Group)

Bob Kramer Chef’s Knife


“My Kramer knife is my go-to. Their knives have extremely sturdy blades, hold an edge well, and really just have the perfect weight.” — Mike Solomonov (Zahav, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher)

Wüsthof 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife


“The shape is perfect to navigate around all those oddly shaped bones when deboning.” — Bonnie Morales (Kachka)

Glestain Indented Blade 8.2-Inch Gyuto


“For mincing herbs and chopping vegetables.” The distinctive ridges on Glestain’s indented blades prevent food from sticking to the knife while chopping. — Brian Baxter (Husk)

Ubukeya Yanagi


“Ubukeya is a company out of a Tokyo that specializes in hand-crafted knives. Every knife they make is made by hand — no stamping steel templates. Ubukeya translates to ‘baby hair’ because the knives are so sharp you could shave a baby’s face [with them]. This was given to me by Jiro five years ago, when I left for Seattle. It’s my mainstay when taking care of the sushi bar.” — Daisuke Nakazawa (Sushi Nakazawa)

Victorinox 4-Inch Oyster Knife


“[At Babu Ji San Francisco] we’ve got these great Grassy Bar of Morro Bay oysters on our menu that we serve with pickle butter. This knife is my key to getting those babies shucked and prepped.” — Jessi Singh (Babu Ji)

Teruyasu Fujiwara Chef’s Knife


“It’s a smaller chef’s knife with a deep void in the heel, making it super comfortable for me. I tend to really choke up on my knife, so when I saw this style of blade, I was in love. The combo of being able to choke up on it and it being on the smaller side gives me a lot of control — like what you get in a utility knife, but with the productivity of a chef’s knife.” — Bonnie Morales (Kachka)

MAC 10.5-Inch Bread Knife


“Dangerously sharp. It doesn’t tear things up like most serrated knives. Works really well for making paper-thin tomato slices, and it’s not too shabby on a crusty filone, either.” — Craig Koketsu (Quality Branded Group)

Silverthorn Knife & Tool Butcher Knife


“It’s a nice, heavy cleaver that slices through whole bones with ease and scares my cooks.” — Mike Solomonov (Zahav, Dizengoff, Abe Fisher)

Nenox 24cm G-Type Gyutou


“My main workhorse knife. I use it for everything from vegetables to meat and fish. It’s well balanced, nicely weighted and holds a good edge.” — Craig Koketsu (Quality Branded Group)

What’s the Difference Between German and Japanese Kitchen Knives?

Steel hardness impacts how well a blade can hold an edge. But the more durable option isn’t necessarily the better one. Read the Story