The classic European chef’s knife is not the ideal kitchen tool. In fact, there is a world of knives, many from Japan, that are easier to use, safer, and better suited for the everyday cook. So here are our picks that will change the way you cook, making your kitchen prep faster and more fun.

The Kitchin-tan strikes the perfect balance between a paring knife and a chef’s knife. We were inspired by Japanese petty knives, which are commonly used as the go-to knife for smaller tasks around the kitchen, but we added many signature design touches as well, including a file pattern on the blade for a better grip.

Every kitchen should have a Chinese-style cleaver, whose tall, heavy-duty blade and forward-heavy balance do most of the work for you when chopping big batches of vegetables and mincing meats or herbs. We found an excellent model from Japanese producer Toryumon that, unlike most flat-bellied cleavers, has a slightly curved edge similar to a European-style chef’s knife, so American home cooks will find it easier to use. Roughly 7 inches long and 3.5 inches tall, the blade is smaller and more approachable than other models and ideal for those with smaller hands.

With three unique blade edges, this smartly-designed serrated knife combines the function of two knives in one—slicing through any and all loaves with ease. The blade is 9 inches, so long enough to cut the largest loaf cleanly without sawing back and forth. And the tapered blade features a gently curved belly to facilitate clean slicing. A 2-inch section of wide wave serrations located closer to the tip of the knife dives in and saws through a crunchy, rustic outer crust, while the smaller teeth cleanly slice through the inner crumb.
These knives were designed in collaboration with Henckels to produce three everyday knives that meet the needs of every home cook. Manufactured in Albacete, Spain—where Henckels has been making knives since the 18th century—these knives feature comfortable, midsize polymer handles with triple-rivets and tough German high-carbon stainless steel. The forged one-piece design and durable material helps to hold an edge and resist rust. The set includes a 7-Inch Chef's Knife inspired by the lightweight Japanese santoku knife; 5-Inch Utility Knife with a microserrated edge; and 4-Inch Paring Knife with a Japanese-style, acutely pointed kiritsuke tip.
Literally translated as “cow sword,” this 8-inch Japanese gyuto from Kikuichi is an analogue to the European chef’s knife and is designed for any and every kitchen task. Lighter, leaner and more nimble than Western-style knives, gyutos are as thin as possible—without sacrificing rigidity—and feature a more acute blade angle for cleaner, crisper slicing.

These knives will transform cooking into a pleasure from a chore by making food preparation easier and safer and ultimately pleasurable. By using well-designed knives, you gain complete control over the cutting edge from heel to tip which speeds up preparation and also makes you more confident in the kitchen. Start to change the way you cook today with any one of the knives in this unique collection.


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