Complete Guide to the Best Kitchen Knives in Australia 2020

Introduction

Whether it’s to carve a chunk of meat for a delicious Saturday barbecue or chop and slice fruits and vegetables, you’ll most definitely need a sharp knife. Nothing is more frustrating when you want to carve through a difficult veggie or meat and there’s no decent kitchen knife available in the home.

To the amateur, a knife might just look like something with a blade and a handle, but for a skilled professional – knives can become tools to seamlessly skin raw chicken, debone raw fish, and cut sharply through tough fruits and veg. This is one reason why kitchen knives are a chef’s best friend.

chef best knife kitchen

Luckily, you don’t have to be a qualified chef to appreciate the function, durability, and purpose of a high-quality knife. But do you understand the difference between a boning and a cimeter knife?  And when you should use what kind of knife?

There are many pros and cons when it comes to the materials used in creating knives. But how do you know whether a Stainless Steel blade is actually better than a ceramic one? Even though a lot of these questions are unclear. One thing is for certain – we can’t imagine a life without a kitchen block filled with different knives.

To help understand kitchen knives and their purposes much better, we’ve conducted an in-depth buyer’s guide that will look at the construction, use, and type of knife as well as provide you with a list of our top choices to consider purchasing.

Top 8 Kitchen Knives in Australia 2020

ImageBrandBlade SizeBlade MaterialHandle MaterialCheck Prices
Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef KnifeVictorinox Fibrox Pro8 inchStainless SteelThermoplastic elastomerCheck price on Amazon AU
Masahiro MV Gyuto Knife 9.4-inchMasahiro MV Gyuto9.4 inchStainless Steel MBS-26Laminated Plywood with BolsterCheck price on Amazon AU
Mac Knife MTH-80 Chef KnifeMAC Mighty MTH-808 inchAlloy SteelPakka woodCheck price on Amazon AU
Mac Knife PKF-30 Paring KnifeMac Knife PKF-304 inchAlloy SteelPakka woodCheck price on Amazon AU
Ergo Chef SHINZUI KnifeErgo Chef SHINZUI8 inchStainless steelFiber-glass resin compositeCheck price on Amazon AU
Kai Shun Chefs Kitchen Knife TDM0706Kai Shun TDM07068 inchVG-MAX steelPakka WoodCheck price on Amazon AU
Mercer Culinary Millennia Bread KnifeMercer Culinary Millennia10 inchHigh-carbon steel bladeSantoprene and polypropyleneCheck price on Amazon AU
Kitchen Precision 17 Piece Knife SetKitchen Precision Knife Setvary in sizeStainless steel 3CR13n/aCheck price on Amazon AU

Different Types of Kitchen Knives

different type kitchen knife

There are many different types of kitchen knives. Culinary schools, chef’s kitchens, and most restaurant kitchens will have most of these in their tools kit. For a home kitchen, you can decide which knife is best suited for the types of meals and food prep you have to do.

Since there are too many knives to list, we’ve only compiled a list of the most common types used.

Chef’s Knife

The blade of a chef’s knife is between 6-14 inches in length, with the most common length being 8 inches. The edge is straight that curves slightly to the blade’s point. A chef’s knife is used for all food prep duties like slicing, dicing, mincing, chopping, and cutting.

Pairing Knife

The blade of a pairing knife is between 3-4 inches. It is exactly what its name says – a great complementary pairing knife to its bigger nephew the Chef’s knife. It can do everything a chef’s knife can, but with more finesse and fine work. Slicing and peeling small fruits and veggies as well as deveining shrimp.

Bread Knife

A bread knife is characterized by its recognizable large serrations on the blade’s edge. To avoid crushing bread, the serrations saw through baguettes and bread without damaging them. It can also be used to cut through overripe tomatoes.

Utility Knife

The blade length of a utility knife is between 4-7 inches, it is typically confused with a chef’s knife. Even though it is compared to the chef’s knife it can perform a much higher variety of kitchen tasks from cutting meat to preparing veg for small dishes.

Steak Knife

It does what its name says, the steak knife is made to cut through meat. Therefore, a perfect complement to the table when eating meat. The blade’s edges are serrated, making it easy to cut through a deliciously barbecued piece of meat.

Table Knife

Also known as the butter knife, the table knife is a standard knife used in the kitchen to spread butter on bread or use as an eating tool when eating light meals. The edge is dull with only slight serrations.

Cleaver

Meat cleavers are sometimes associated with scary movies and horrors. It’s a huge knife with a rectangular blade, making it strong and tough when to cut through bones, meat, and hard veggies.

Boning Knife

The blade is on average 5.5 inches in length. It’s also narrow, thin, and flexible with a sharp point. Typically used to remove bones from poultry, fish, and other meats.

Fillet Knife

The fillet knife has an odd shape in that the blade gradually turns into a thin sharp point. It’s used to prepare fish by removing scales and separating flesh from fish skin.

Peeling Knife

A definite must for every kitchen is the small peeling knife perfect for peeling and preparing fruits and vegetables. The short blade resembles the shape of a bird’s beak that curves at the point.

Slicing Knife

The slicing knife has a long 15-inch blunt blade and is perfect to cut through hams and other cold meats. Cuts are usually precise and very thin.

Carving Knife

Usually paired with the slicing knife, the carving knife has a sharp blade’s edge with a sharp point. Perfect to cut through a turkey or a lamb’s leg. Cuts aren’t as thin as when using a slicing knife.

Japanese and Chinese Knives

There are many different Japanese and Chinese knives available on the market that has similar shapes and functions as the most common types mentioned above.

Many Western chefs prefer using Japanese or Chinese kitchen knives because they are made differently and to a somewhat higher standard. Take a Westernized model and improve the technology and skill by about 120% and you’ll get an Asian kitchen knife.

Regardless of them having sharper edges, smaller cutting angles, and thicker-stronger blades, Western knives work just as well in a home kitchen. If you want to invest in an Asian knife, you will be paying a lot more – worth it if you are an expert in the kitchen, but not really necessary.

Different Parts of a Kitchen Knife

A knife might seem like a steel blade and handle, at first glance, but it’s a much more complex object than you might think. There’s a reason why people go crazy for all kinds of different knives. To get excited about knives, you should understand how they are put together and what different parts they consist of.

Here are the most important parts of a kitchen knife you should look out for:

  • Blade – Entire front part of the knife is usually made from a durable and sharp material
  • Point – The tip of the blade that is used for puncturing
  • Handle – The part of the knife that is usually held by a hand, it’s the second primary portion of the device
  • Butt – The end part of the handle
  • Bolster – The part that connects the handle and the blade for a more stable handling. It can also be weighted to improve overall balance
  • Edge – The part of the blade that is responsible for cutting, it should be kept sharp at all times. Depending on what kind of knife it is, the edge can have serrations or be plain
  • Granton Edge – When the edge of the blade has slight scallop shapes extending to the blade’s middle. This edge type is trademarked and is proven to improve the slicing performance
  • Scale – Shaped pieces are typically made from comfortable material. It’s attached to the tang to make the handle easier to hold
  • Tang – A strong portion that extends out of the blade and into the handle. That comes in many different shapes and forms
  • Rivet – Pins that fastens the tang to the handle scales
  • Spine – This is the area of the blade that is unsharpened

Knife Maintenance

Making sure that your knife has a happy and long life is quite easy. You just have to make sure that it’s always clean, dry, and stored in spaces that can protect blades from scratching and rubbing against other hard materials.

Best Kitchen Knife Brands

High-quality kitchen knife brands have been in business for many years. Experience definitely gives these top brands the upper hand when it comes to design and blade strength.

Victorinox

You might recognize this brand for being the creators of the infamous Swiss Army Knife. Being the creators of this highly durable multi-functional pocket knife gives you some indication of what they are capable of.

MAC Knife

The MAC knife is completely manufactured in Japan, making it a product of high-quality Japanese assembly, shaping, polishing, and sharpening. MAC knife is known as the world’s sharpest knives since 1964 and has sold over 24 million knives worldwide.

Ergo Chef

Chef Scott Staib founded Ergo Chef in 2002. The knife does exactly what its name assumes, it focuses on the perfect ergonomics to help chefs all over the world cut and chop in comfort. It has been said that an Ergo Chef knife is just as good as an extension of your own arm.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Quality Kitchen Knife

If you are looking to expand or upgrade your kitchen knife set, then you should consider the following determining factors:

Blade Material

kitchen knife blade

Considering that all kinds of steel are prone to rust when under the right circumstances, we should look at the different types of materials used with their pros and cons.

Stainless Steel

For a Steel to be considered stainless, it should contain at least 10.5% chromium. When it does, it is less prone to wear and tear, decay, or corrode. The best stainless steel used in kitchen knives is VG-10, 440C, and 420-HC.

The biggest benefit of using a stainless steel knife with a high chromium percentage is that it won’t rust as easily. The downside to stainless steel is that you will have to sharpen the edge quite often.

Ceramic

Made from soft Zirconium powder that is heated and compacted to create a strong and long-lasting sharp blade.

The great thing about ceramic blades is that they are weather resistant and can withstand a lot of different harsh environments. Making it the perfect accessory when going camping or when staying near the ocean. Furthermore, it will not rust, is strong and durable, and extremely lightweight.

Even though it is durable and can hold its sharpness for a very long time, once it becomes brittle and dull, you will have to call in a professional to sharpen it. It’s also not as efficient in cutting through frozen meat.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a non-stainless steel with a 1% carbon content. The material will often include vanadium, manganese, chromium, and other alloys. This material is much cheaper than its Stainless steel counterpart and is easy to sharpen.

Unfortunately, the composition of the material lends itself to discolor and stain due to oxidation.

Other, less common, materials used to create knives are Titanium, Talonite, high-carbon stainless steel, and Plastic.

Handle Materials

kitchen knife block handle

Especially for those who will be using kitchen knives more often than not, the handle material is extremely important for comfort and ergonomics.

Common materials used for handles are wood, Synthetics like plastics, stanoprene, fibrox, and polypropylene, Laminate, and Stainless Steel.

It’s important to consider which handle material and shape you’d prefer. No matter how greatly made the blade is, when the handle isn’t comfortable, it will end up being unused in the kitchen drawer.

Stamped vs Forged Blades

A forged blade is usually much more expensive than a stamped blade. The reason for the price increase is in the way the blade was formed and manufactured.

Forged blades are made from one piece of heated steel. The steel is then warmed up and manually pounded into a specific form. It goes through another process in which the blade is reheated, cooled down, and then tempered, polished, and sharpened.

A stamped blade is made with machinery. Hydraulic press cuts the blade’s shape from a sheet of steel that is heat treated by machinery. After this process it is polished and sharpened.

A forged blade has a heavier construction and a thicker blade, it is also known as being of a higher quality. Compared to stamped blades that are less expensive, has a thinner blade and is much more lightweight.

Edge (Serrated or Straight)

You should consider a serrated or straight edge depending on what you want to use it for. Sure, you can use one to do the other’s job, but once you’ve used them for what they were made for, you’ll quickly understand why serrated vs non-serrated blades exist.

Serrated blade edges are used to cut through bread and overripe fruit and veggies, therefore, using a saw like motion known as a saw cut. Whereas a straight-edge blade is used to cut through meat, cheese, and soft fruit by using a push cut

Type of Knife and Purpose for Use

If you want to invest in high-quality knives and have to budget first before purchasing, you should think about the kinds of food prepping tasks you perform on a regular basis.

It is recommended that you start your high-quality knife collection off with the three essential knives: Chef’s knife, bread knife, and paring knife. Add onto this set with a utility knife, carving knife, and boning knife.

Storage Availability

To ensure that your knives are stored in a dry and protected space, you should consider a decent storage unit that won’t be throwing an expensive knife in the drawer with all the other cheap cutlery.

Magnetic Strip

A modern knife storage unit that consists of a strong magnetic strip that can be attached to the wall. There’s not unnecessary wear on the blade and your knives are easy accessible

Knife Block

Some manufacturers sell a bundle of kitchen knives that fit perfectly into a wooden knife block. You can place it on the kitchen counter and store your knives nose down in the allocated grooves.

Knife Bag

Commonly used amongst chefs who travel a lot for work, the knife bag is perfect in that it keeps knives from touching each other and protects them from any wear and tear.

Editor’s Pick of the Top Kitchen Knives for 2020

Here is our editor’s pick of the top kitchen knives available on Amazon AU in 2020:

Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef Knife

Overview: The Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife is made from durable stainless steel that can cut easily through meats and other foods. For quick cleaning, it’s dishwasher safe. The Chef’s knife features a non-slip ergonomic handle with a choice between a 7.5 inch or an 8-inch blade.

Cost: $61
Brand
: Victorinox
Type: Chef’s Knife
Material: Stainless Steel blade and thermoplastic elastomer handle
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.8 Star Rating

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Masahiro MV Gyutou Knife 9.4-inch

Masahiro MV Gyutou Knife 9.4-inch (240mm)

Overview: The Masahiro Gyutou knife is made in Japan and features a heavy-duty 9.4-inch blade. The blade is 3 millimeters in thickness and weighs only 240 grams for easy handling.

Cost: $185.56
Brand
: Masahiro
Type: Gyoto knife
Material: Stainless Steel MBS-26
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.9 Star Rating

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

MAC Knife MTH-80

Mac Knife MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge Chef's Knife

Overview: Known for their incredible craftsmanship, MAC created this professional hollow edge chef’s knife made from Alloy steel.  It features a Pakka wood handle, Granton edge, and an ergonomic handle. The entire unit weighs only 283 grams and is therefore incredibly easy to maneuver. The blade is 2.5 millimeters thick and can glide through summer squash, potatoes, and sticky foods.

Cost: $446.35
Brand
: MAC
Type:  Chef’s Knife
Material: Alloy Steel blade and Pakka wood handle
Customer Rating on Amazon AU:  4.7 Star Rating

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

MAC Knife PKF-30

Mac Knife PKF-30 Professional Paring Knife

Overview: The perfect complimentary knife to the MAC MTH-80 Chef’s knife is the MAC PKF-30 pairing knife. Also made from Alloy steel and Pakka wood. This little knife comes with a rust-resistant, high carbon, exceptionally sharp blade perfect to peel smaller fruits and vegetables, and cut through meats.

Cost: $329.76
Brand
: MAC
Type:  Pairing Knife
Material: Alloy Steel blade and Pakka wood handle
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.7 Star Rating

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Ergo Chef SHINZUI Chefs Knife 8 Inch

Ergo Chef SHINZUI Chefs Knife 8 Inch

Overview: Specifically designed to fit into your hand like a glove, the Ergo Chef Shinzui Chef’s knife is a stell-razor sharp high carbon stainless steel knife. It features a custom 67 layer Damascus pattern and a triple-riveted handle with a fiber-glass resin composite.

Cost: $151.43
Brand
: Ergo Chef
Type:  Chef’s Knife
Material: Stainless Steel
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 2.6 Star Rating

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Kai Shun Premier Chefs Kitchen Knife 20.1cm

Kai Shun Premier Chefs Kitchen Knife Stainless Steel TDM0706

Overview: The Kai Shun Chef’s knife is a well-made unit perfect for high durable tasks. What makes this knife stand out above the rest is the use of Shun materials. These materials are Dual Core, VG-Max, AUS8A, AUS10A, and VG10. A special Japanese blend of the best high-carbon steels available.

Cost: $237
Brand
: Kai Shun
Type:  Chef’s Knife
Material: Shun Materials
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.7 Star Rating

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Mercer Culinary Millennia

Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife

Overview: Voted as one of Amazon AU’s best sellers with almost 20,000 customer ratings, the Mercer culinary millennia bread knife is a well functioning, affordable knife for every kitchen. The handle is made from Santoprene and polypropylene and shaped to fit the hand ergonomically.

The 10-inch blade has perfect ridges to easily cut through bread and overripe fruits.

Cost: $32
Brand
: Mercer
Type:  Bread Knife
Material: high-carbon steel blade and Santoprene/polypropylene handle
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.8 Star Rating

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Kitchen Precision Knife Set 

Kitchen Precision 17 Piece Knife Set with Block and Sharpener

Overview: Perfect for beginners, this Amazon’s Choice Kitchen Precision knife set includes all the knives you’ll need to start off your kitchen. The set includes 5 knives (pairing, bread, carving, chef, and utility knife), a two-stage sharpener, and a modern see-through knife block.

Kitchen Precision even offers customers a 100% money-back guarantee if they are unsatisfied with the set’s performance.

Cost: $32
Brand
: Kitchen Precision
Type:  Pairing, Bread, Carving, Chef, and Utility Knife
Material: Stainless Steel
Customer Rating on Amazon AU: 4.7 Star Rating

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Conclusion

Considering all of the above-mentioned information, you’ll be able to purchase a knife that is perfect for the task at hand. Starting off with your specialized kitchen knife collection with one or two items from our top choice list will steer you in the right direction.

Before you know it, you’ll be carving, peeling, and chopping away like a true Australian Masterchef.

Check out more kitchen appliances and buyer guides you may be interested in.

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