Christopher Kimball for Henckels International 7-Inch Chef's Knife
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I sat down with the folks at Zwilling J.A. Henckels to design a lighter, easier-to-use chef's knife that would be perfect for someone who is not a professional in the kitchen. The blade is 7 inches, not 8. It weighs a bit over 6 ounces, not 10. It has a deeper blade, a huge advantage that makes it easier to rest the flat side of the blade against the knuckles while slicing, which substantially improves comfort and safety. In fact, this is a cross between an Asian-style knife (a Chinese cleaver is 4 inches deep or a Japanese nakiri is about 2 inches deep) and the classic European chef's knife. The heel of the blade is scalloped, which means there is room to bring up your fingers for a good grip on the blade for close-up work. It also feels like a knife that you can handle, which won't get away from you like a 20-inch chainsaw or a 12-cylinder sports car. It has enough power to do the job, but it's not overwhelming. Manufactured in Albacete, Spain—where Henckels has been making knives since the 18th century—the knife also features comfortable, midsize polymer handles and tough high-carbon stainless steel that will hold an edge and resist rust. (To preserve the blade’s edge, we strongly recommend hand washing and drying.) It is constructed from German stainless steel with a forged one-piece design and triple-rivets in the handle.