Your daily slice of life is coming at you today via the Brit + Co. home chopping network. So here’s the situation: If you’re using the wrong knife, it’s basically like using a glue gun for something suited for the sewing machine. Whether you’re butchering a whole hog or simply julienning everything in your crisper as stress relief, we’ve got the tools you need. And since we’re guessing that, like us, most of you aren’t pro chefs, we’re forgoing the heavy 12-inch chef blades for tools that even weak kitchen laypersons can maneuver with ease. Chop, chop.
1. New West Knife Works 7pc Set ($1,295): Those handles may seems playful enough, but they’re attached to some serious Japanese blades. New West is based in Jackson, Wyoming, and is slicing up fusion at its finest. What’s more? They’re small production and have a lifetime guarantee.
2. Glestain Indented Blade Gyutou ( $195): Unlike most chef knives, Gyutou only sharpens one side of the blade, meaning they care if you’re a righty or a lefty, meaning it’s not sharpened until you order it. And you better believe this sucker is sharp, but it’s also fragile (so complicated). Make sure you aren’t cutting on hard surfaces, please.
3. Pampered Chef Bread Knife ($68): We know, we know. When you hear “Pampered Chef” you think of some sort of horrible Stepford Tupperware party. But we swear on our lives, this bread knife is one that needs to be in your kitchen drawer.
4. Tojiro Damascus ($80): The description says it’s mainly used for cutting vegetables, but that’s hogwash. This should really be consider an all-around chef’s knife.
5. Wüsthof Classic Ikon ($170): Not that we’re buying chef knives based totally on looks, but if we were, this would probably be the one we’d snatch up. The entire knife is made from one piece of high-carbon stainless steel. And those hollow edges mean it’s less likely to stick to fruits and vegetables while you slice and dice away.
6. Laguiole Steak Knives ($78): Ready to sink your teeth into a juicy slab of beef? Not without one of these colorful characters you aren’t. They’re fashioned after 19th-century French shepherds’ folding blades. All we can say is, those were some fashionable shepherds.
7. Shun Ken Onion Chef’s Knife ($190): The guy who designed this knife is really named Ken Onion. You just can’t make that kind of stuff up. And you better believe Mr. Onion knows his ergonomics. This chef knife is 100 percent spot on when it comes to getting the rocking motion down.
8. Wüsthof Classic Fully Serrate Paring Knife ($40): No matter if you live in a teeny tiny studio apartment in San Francisco or a gigantic palace in Houston, this pint-sized paring companion is a must. It cuts citrus just how you would expect a paring knife to, masterfully. But on top of cutting lemons and limes for your next cocktail, it can also handle the soft skin of a tomato.
9. Global Hollow Ground Santoku ($123): What we like about this knife is that it’s much lighter than most chef knives without giving up anything. It can cut veg, meat and fish, and it’s easy to grip and has minimal drag. Basically, it’s perfect.
10. Kuhn Rikon Colori Paring Knife Set ($30): Some people think the only reason anyone buys these knives is because they’re cute. Initially, that might be true, but as soon as those people put them to work on the cutting board, they’ll find they’re actually excellent paring knives and really do know their way around fruit, veg and cheese too. If you’re an avid picnicker or camper, these babies will step your outdoor affair up a notch. ‘Cause god knows you’re not about to take those $100+ knives out of the house.
11. Shun Classic Nakiri Knife ($134): If you’re totally OCD about all your vegetables being the exact same shape and size, this is the blade you want to reach for. It’s basically a mandoline minus the mess of cleaning that crazy contraption.
12. Pointed Sashimi Knife ($120): Pescatarians, listen up. If fish is your preferred form of fodder, grab this baby, and start fileting the day away.
13. Schmidt Brothers Cutlery Bonded Teak ($388): As an owner of their steak knives, I can happily attest to the awesomeness of Schmidt Bros. Plus, they really know how to store them in a sexy way, wouldn’t you say?
14. Winco Heavy Duty Cleaver ($10): While cumbersome and unrefined to those of us who aren’t used to working with one, the cleaver could potentially be your one knife for everything. Bonus: You look cool when wielding it. And it reminds you of the opening scene of Scream… on second thought… maybe you should leave this one alone.
15. Cuisinart CEK-40 Electric Knife ($46): If your mom’s anything like mine, every Thanksgiving, she kicks it 1965 and breaks out her avocado-green electric knife and has at the turkey. It might be old school, but if you’ve ever seen one at work, you know it’s a massive time saver. And pretty fun to use as well.
16. Laguiole Carving Set ($400): Speaking of Thanksgiving and turkeys, you’re going to have to tackle that bird every loving year so long as you live in the U.S. You may as well get a beautiful carving set. A knife of this caliber will guarantee crispy skin stays on top of that perfectly brined bird. YUM.
What kind of kitchen tools are you working with? Cut to the chase in the comments below!