Chef’s Knives for Chefs

by Kevin Kent November 29, 2017 3 min read 0 Comments

Chef’s Knives for Chefs

You chefs are a funny bunch. I know, because I was one for many many years. It’s my opinion that “once a chef, always a chef”. We see the world differently and demand more of our knives. Chefs need knives that are crazy sharp, stay that way for a long time. The same way we sometimes as more of our best friends than everyone else, (help with moving, council us about our love lives, etc…) we also want our best friend in the kitchen to do a little more work and take a bit more of a beating.

I’ve found that the default size for chefs is 240mm, sometimes 270mm and a few even like a 300mm knife.  Longer blades make cutting 200 pounds of potatoes into hash browns easier as the extra length makes a bigger fulcrum and you need less force to cut….or something sciency like that. Here is my list of knives that fit the bill and should be considered by any chef looking for a number one knife.

Sugimori 240mm Gyuto

Some folks want a knife that has that carbon steel look, but is actually easy to care for stainless steel. It is one of the heaviest knives we carry and is perfect if you prefer the feel of a German or American knife. The handle is very ergonomic, especially for those with larger hands. Layered Damascus stainless steel, uniquely pair with a black kurochi finish? What more could you want?

240mm Tojiro Flash Gyuto

Either you have a large mitt like mine and love this handle or you have a small hand and hate it. If you’re like me this rugged, good looking and great feeling knife is what you are after. I often use this for the Cut Like a Chef classes we teach.

Mugen Gyutos

I couldn't decide between the two because they are both rad. Both lines are exclusive to Knifewear and they were made to my specifications. Seriously, I had to find a lamination factory to layer stainless damascus steel to a carbon steel core for these knife lines. This kind of construction is nearly impossible to find but I was lucky enough to find a factory that could make it happen.

Mugen HAP40 240mm Gyuto

This is probably the most rugged steel we have and it’s also one of the hardest. It will stay sharper longer than nearly any knife in the world. The handle feels great and the balance will keep you coming back to it. If you’re serious about your craft you should consider this line.

Mugen AS 240mm Gyuto

I love the stainless steel Aogami Super as it’s easy to sharpen and keeps an edge incredibly long, I like the stainless steel on the outside because it won’t rust. Best of all, it works as well as it looks, and it looksgreat. I often use this line at home. The Mugen AS Sujihiki is my number one carving knife lately.

240mm Masashi Shiroshu gyuto

If you’ve ever heard me talk about Masashi-san you will know I am a huge fan of his. There are many reasons for this. He likes nihon-shu as much as I do, he likes great restaurantsalmost as much as I do and I love how seriously he takes his craftsmanship. He is the craftsman’s craftsman. He makes knives for chefs that are rugged, mega sharp and look great.

Masashi Mirror SLD 240mm gyuto

I have the protoype of this knife and I know I would have been a happier chef if I’d had it back in the day, toiling in kitchens. I like to recommend it to superstar chefs, because being mirror polished, it’s a great knife for TV as the camera guy will have a terrible time with the reflections. What fun!

Maskage Kumo 270mm gyuto

This is the knife I recommend when a chef comes in looking for a knife that’s just a bit bigger. It’s light for its size and stainless steel means you don’t need to worry about rust if it gets splashed while on the line. Plus, it’s obviously gorgeous. It’s important to have the prettiest knife at work. I only mention this because you and I both know that matters.

Kevin Kent
Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high. Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd