best knives

The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Looking to hone your culinary skills this summer? These tools are at the cutting edge of kitchenware…

What have you been doing during lockdown, if not cooking up a storm in the kitchen? We’ve seen your posts. We’ve seen your updates. We’ve seen so much banana bread and sourdough on Instagram that we’ve had to loosen our belts just scrolling through it all. But you know what we haven’t seen? Much skill.

That sounds harsh, but it’s mostly true. With everyone’s favourite restaurants closed, we’ve had to resort to whipping up our favourite dishes from the comfort of our own homes. But you can’t make Bancone-standard pasta without the industrial-grade equipment. You can’t create perfect ice cream without professional, purpose-made help. And you can’t do very much at all without a good, sharp knife.

And yet, we persist with the same blunt choppers we’ve been slicing and dicing with for years. No more. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that it pays to invest in the best — and that goes double for knives. The best part? You don’t even need a ten-strong set. Below, we’ve unsheathed the three versatile styles you need to sharpen up your kitchen skills.

Begin with a reliable, dependable chef’s knife

chefs knife

If it’s good enough for the professionals, then it’s good enough for you. These multi-purpose blades are designed to perform well across a number of different kitchen tasks — from chopping vegetables and slicing meat to disjointing large cuts and mincing. It’s the most trusted culinary companion for professional western chefs — and it’s well worth the investment.

We’d suggest looking first at the Crafted Knife Co., and this 9-inch, high-carbon steel offering. With an ash burl handle, it’s been heat-treated to achieve a hardness of approximately 64 rockwell — considerably more than those blades currently in your knife block. Gorse Knives, too, have a razor sharp option, with a slimline bocote wood handle. Or, for a more affordable chef’s knife, try Perkin’s handsome walnut-handled knife — with a Damascus steel blade and turquoise detailing.

The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Crafted Knife Co. Chef’s Knife

£345

Buy Now
The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Perkin Damascus Steel Chef’s Knife

£120

Buy Now

The versatile, Japanese Santoku style is a cut above

Santoku knife

So if the traditional chef’s knife is favoured by western cooks, what about eastern? Originating in Japan, the Santoku style of knife by-and-large serves the same purpose as the chef’s knife above. However, as with everyone’s tastes, everyone’s choice of tools differ — and you may find that this slightly chunkier design lends itself to your style of chopping and cooking.

From Savernake Knives, the ‘Good Chopper’ is a lightweight option and features a blade that best cuts with a classic rocking action. Blenheim Forge’s Santoku is similarly versatile — with a copper and walnut handle and Japanese Blue Paper steel core. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more classically designed, Forest and Forge’s Sheffield steel Santoku comes adorned with a traditional beech handle.

The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Savernake Knives Good Chopper

£300

Buy Now
The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Forest and Forge Santoku Knife

£100

Buy Now

Invest in the best statement carving knife money can buy

carving knife

Carving. It’s as much about showmanship as it is about gastronomy. So you don’t want to be left high and dry at the head of the table toting a big blunt knife that won’t even slice halfway through your Sunday roast. The carving knife is your big-gun blade — with the strength of a cleaver, the precision of a paring knife and the weight of the meal on its shoulders.

So it needs to do the job. Thankfully, we’ve never been let down by Blok Knives — especially this eight-inch, mosaic-pinned, tapered-tip carver. Blenheim Forge, too, make a cracking carving knife — a stainless steel-clad showstopper with an edge thinned to a micro bevel. Or, if you want to pull out all the stops, Savernake Knives’ ‘Extreme Slicer’ is inspired by carvers crafted for professionals, and its length will ensures you never saw — but rather glide through your meat.

The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Blenheim Forge Stainless Slicer

£315

Buy Now
The best handcrafted knives to sharpen up your kitchen skills

Savernake Extreme Slicer

£375

Buy Now

Want more kitchen upgrades? These are the culinary gadgets your home is missing…

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Further Reading