Best handmade chef knives, handcrafted for pro or home cook


Best handmade chef knives for pro and home chefs
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If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best handmade chef knife is, then I recommend the “Miyabi Chef’s Knife, 9-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel” as the best one.

When looking for a perfect handmade chefs knife, you are looking for a knife that is the right size, well sharpened, with a hard blade, proper balance, and good look for the right price. Handmade knives are usually hand honed, hand polished, hand finished, and hand sharpened. Some can also be hand forged, which gives them that authentic artisan crafted look.

I use chef knifes every day when cooking for my family and know that buying a sharp handmade knife can make a big difference when slicing and dicing your food. But how should one decide on which one to get? 

That is why I reviewed best handmade chef knives to give you the perspective you need to make the right decision.

In this article, we’re going to review the following handmade chefs knives:

Best handmade chef knifes, for home family chefs or professional chefs
CategoryHandmade chef knifesSizeMaterialNr. LayersEdgeRockwell hardness
#1 Best handmade chef knifeMiyabi Chef’s Knife, 9-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel

 

9 inchSG2 micro carbide powder steel10112 degrees63
#2 Best runner up handmade kitchen knifeZWILLING J.A. Henckels 34891-263 Chef’s Knife

 

10 inchSG2 micro carbide powder steel1109-12 degrees on each side63
#3 best hand ground chefs knifeEnso SG2 Chef’s Knife – Made in Japan10 inchSG2 micro carbide powder steel10112 degrees63
#4 Best price performance handmade chefs knifeYoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife9 inchVG10 damascus steel4615 degree60
#5 Best alternative handmade chefs knifeShun Cutlery Premier 10” Chef’s Knife, Handcrafted in Japan10 inchVG-MAX damascus steel34Double Bevel (16 Degree each side)60-61
#6 Best handmade chefs knife setJUN YUJIANG CHEN Chefs knife set, Japanese AUS(VG10) Super Steel 67-Layers Damascus-Hand Forged8 inchVG10 damascus steel6715 degree62

I am fortunate enough to try out a few chefs knives in my cooking career and even broke some of them. That is why deciding on the best handmade chefs knife was not that difficult. On the picture are my current test subjects, and a chipped Kai that broke when I was cutting a half-frozen steak:

best handmade chef knives hand forged, hand polished

Best handmade chef knives, for home cooks or professional chefs

Best handmade chefs knife – Miyabi Chef’s Knife, 9-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel

Best features:
Handcrafted in Seki, Japan
Hand honed using the three step Honbazuke process
Outstanding design
Light and nimble
SG2 micro-carbide powder steel
No rusting or patina

This hand forged chefs knife is a culinary art. Not just the blade but also the handle is made from superior materials that give this product a deserved reputation. Some users even say that it is stunningly beautiful. It has a straight linear profile with a slight curve in the belly. 

Cutting core, blade, and finish

This Miyabi is made from SG2 micro-carbide powder steel. With stunning 101 layers of steel, this knife will last forever if you take good care of it. Miyabi’s innovative ice-hardening process involves the steel being heated up to 1832 F (1000C), then cooled to below -94 F (-71C) and finally reheated to above 482F (250C).

This process will give an extremely strong and sharp blade that maintains its edge for longer than traditionally crafted blades. It has got a more aggressive bevel angle. With 12 degrees, the bevel angle is incredibly steep, which means you can feel the hand-sharpened edge bit into everything it touches.

The flower Damascus finish pattern provides added durability and a more classic look to a professional knife.

Handle, balance, and knife block

The handle is made from Karelian Birch, which originates from Karelia in Finland and Russia. The handle is ergonomically designed, which feels good when you hold it and perfectly fits into the hand.

Most users mention that the best part of this knife is the material that the blade is made off. It is very light and, therefore, easy to handle. Usually, people have different hand sizes, thus having different balances feeling for the knife. But with this knife, most users say that the balance is perfect. 

The negative rating that very few users mention relates to the bad fit and finish with some knifes having grind marks on the knife’s choir.

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Best runner up handmade chefs knife – ZWILLING J.A. Henckels 34891-263 Chef’s Knife

Best features:
Created with Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer
Hand finished
Hand sharpened
Easy sharpening
Precise cut
Handle heavy knife
101 layer – SG2 Steel
No rusting or patina

This Zwilling handcrafted chefs knife is designed by master bladesmith Bob Kramer. It is truly a work of art. Using and owning a Bob Kramers knife is a privilege for any pro cook or family chef. This is not just a knife; it’s a knife that represents a brand story and history. The thoughtful process of forging, polishing, sharpening, and overall designing brings beauty and functionality out of this knife.

Cutting core, blade, and finish

This knife is made by craftsmen who pour their knowledge and skills into each Kramer knife produced. The chunky blade and larger handle feels sturdy and balanced when cutting and chopping your food. With this super sharp blade, you can achieve precision when cutting hard turnips or making julienne. 

It is made of stainless damascus steel combined with SG2 micro-carbide powder steel. The 101 layers are unique to each blade. The edge angle is 9-12 degrees on each side. The chevron design is hand-finished with a traditional 3-step process by skilled Japanese artisans. 

Handle and balance

The black linen Micarta handle looks like flawless wood. It has a large full tang chunky handle, which is best for larger hands. The grip is very comfortable and impressive to hold. The damascus Zwilling chefs knife is a handle heavy knife. Because of the robust handle, you can handle just about any food, but you sacrifice weight.

This knife is very easy to keep up the maintenance. If you give it a gentle wash with a soft sponge, immediate drying with a soft cloth, and keeping it in a dry place, it will serve you for the rest of your life. If you respect it, it will respect you. 

Most users are delighted with this knife and emphasize sharpness, balance, and design the most. A tiny number of users had problems with the knives fit and finish, and some users who rated this product negatively reported that the blade was not straight

>>Check the latest price on Amazon<<

Best hand ground chefs knife – Enso SG2 Chef’s Knife

Best features:
Hand ground in Seki, Japan
Lifetime warranty
Hard SG2 steel knife
Exceptionally sharp
Hand engraved
No rusting or patina

The Enso SG2 Chef’s Knife is designed to compliment your slicing and dicing skills. It is perfect if you like to slice your food by making rocking motions. The 10-inch blade length can handle even a large batch of food at once without any problem. It was constructed in Seki Japan, where Enso is making chefs knifes since 1932. Traditional craftsmen’s knowledge and expertise ensure that every cut you make with this knife is perfect. 

Cutting core, blade, and finish

The material which craftsmen use to forge this chefs knife blade is SG2. SG2 is a very hard material that reaches 63 on the Rockwell hardness scale. Because of the hard material, the edge holds longer than the softer steel types. The blade is made of 101 layers of stainless steel with an excellent damascus finish. The blade is hand polished to perfection and features a hand-engraved Japanese kanji etched by a Japanese artisan.

Handle and balance

Enso SG2 knives feature a black canvas micarta handle with a stainless steel bolster, red spacers, and samurai crest. The handle is a full tang. It ensures strength, durability, and balance.

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Best price performance handmade chefs knife – Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife

Best features:
Handcrafted in Japan
Hand finished
Hand sharpened
Thin knife
Well balanced

Yoshihiro Cutlery is making Japanese knives for over 100 years. This Yoshihiro is a hammered damascus series. The damascus layering is exquisite and, at the same time, reinforces the strength of the steel. You get this knife with a magnolia sack cover to protect the blade while stored in the drawer. 

Cutting core, blade, and finish

The blade is easy to work with, light, and feels great when working with it. It features 46 layers of hammer damascus stainless steel. The double edge blade is less than three millimeters thin, making it a very thin and sharp knife. 

The hardness of VG10 steel gives this knife toughness and durability. The HRC level is 60, which makes this knife a hard knife. VG10 steel assures the blade to resist the formation of rust when it is left wet. 

The recognizable hand hammered finish is exact, looks, and feels like a Japanese artisan work.

Handle and balance

The handle is made with rosewood. It is D shaped, meaning it is most comfortable for right-handed users. But the double bevel makes it comfortable also for the left-handed users. It is well balanced and fit for comfort. 

This knife is perfect for the people who are just starting to get into higher-end knives. Many users are delighted with the sharpness of this knife. Some people who bought this knife thought it was thinner and not so comfortable in hands because of the weight than expected.

>>Check the latest price on Amazon<<

Best alternative handmade chefs knife – Shun Cutlery Premier 10″ Chef’s Knife, Handcrafted in Japan

Best features:
Handcrafted in Japan
Hammered finish
Hand sharpened
Hard knife
Free lifetime resharpening at its U.S. warehouse
Lightweight
Beautiful design
68 layers of steelShun is well known for its beautifully designed knives. The performance of Shun knives in the kitchen can satisfy even pro cooks. The company is very well known for handcrafted chef knives. 

This premium Shun chef knife is crafted and handmade in Seki facilities in Japan. Each knife goes through a well thought multiple-step process to achieve the finest handmade knives.

The new materials and technology are mixed with years of craftsmen’s experience to satisfy even the pickiest chefs. 

Cutting core, blade, and finish

The knife is made from VG-MAX steel, which you can only get with a Shun knife. The 68 layers of fine-grained stainless steel give it maximum performance. The well-thought process of heating and cooling the metal repeatedly can result in more robust and harder material, so blades can be thinner, sharper, and give you a longer-lasting edge.

This handmade chefs knife is designed for perfect handling. It is lightweight, razor-sharp, and you can get precise cuts. Craftsman achieves the razor sharpness by hand sharpening each knife. 

This beautiful, rustic look Shun premium series handmade chefs knife has a tsuchime finish. Tsuchime is a hammered finish on a 68 layer damascus steel that is perfectly combined with mirror blade polish. This beautiful finish also helps release food easily when cutting.

Handle and balance

The palm swell on the handle is perfect for smaller and larger hands. You can achieve a perfect grip and get full control over cutting and chopping. The perfect balance of this handcrafted chefs knife is achieved by an endcap and brass ring. The metal ending also gives it an elegant look and beautiful design that compliments the hammered knife.

Since the sharpening of any chefs knife is a must and can take quite some time, the Schun company offers an impressive gesture. They provide free lifetime resharpening at their U.S. warehouse.

Some users report that they got a chip in a blade very fast, but this is due to cutting through chicken bones or frozen food.

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Best handmade chefs knife set – JUN YUJIANG CHEN Chefs knife set, Japanese VG10 Super Steel 67-Layers Damascus-Hand Forged 

Best features:
Handcrafted in Japan
Handmade shelf
Hand-Forged Surface
Minimalistic design
67 layer V.G. steel
A set of same designed knifes
Global executive patent design

JUN YUJIANG CHEN chefs knife is an 8-inch handmade chefs knife that professional cooks or home cooks worldwide love.

It is a part of a set where you also get a Nakiri knife, paring knife, bread knife, santoku knife, utility, and a boning knife. All knives can be stored in a beautiful black walnut wooden block.

Cutting core, blade, and finish

The chefs knife is made from Japanese VG-10V super steel. There are 67-layers of steel crafted together for optimal sharpness. The knife is very strong and hard. It is very stable, which provides full control. 

It is not hand sharpened, but most users say the blade is exceptionally sharp, and everyone is very impressed with workmanship and quality. The finish is very minimalistic, special polished to reduce stains, rust, and pitting. But if you want to keep it that way, you will need to care for these knives. You should always hand-wash them with a soft sponge and without any bleach. When done, immediately wipe them with a soft kitchen cloth. 

Handle, balance, and knife block

The wood handle is very comfortable and has a gorgeous natural pattern. The balance is achieved with a metal cap attached to the end of the handle. 

A handmade knife block is perfect protection for these knives. The air circulates perfectly, assuring that blades stay dry. It is made from North American black walnut wood. It has a multi-slot design to meet different specifications of the knives sets.

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Best hand forged chef knives

Hand forged chef knives go through various processes to get the unique chef knives characteristics and design. The most common forging techniques depend on the material which artisan is using. The most common methods are:

  1. Forged knives
  2. Stamped knives
  3. Friodur ice-hardening process
  4. Sigmaforge

If you decide to get a hand forged or custom chef knife, you should be ready to spend a little more. Hand forged chef knives tend to be higher in price, but you get a hand forged chefs knife made by an artisan from the beginning for the price.

When looking for the best hand forged chef knives, I found quite some that are beautiful, sharp, hard, elegant, well balanced, and comfortable to hold. But in the end, it really comes to personal preference. 

If you are looking for a hand forged chefs knife or custom made chef knife, I would recommend the Katsushige Anryu, Yu Kurosaki Shizuku, or Yoshimi Kato chef knives that you can even get on Amazon:

YU KOROSAKY hand forged prestige chefs knife


YOSHIMI KATO hand forged prestige chefs knife

Conclusion

Handmade chef knife or hand forged chef knife from artisans is a personal preference question and how much you can spend. I would recommend the handmade chef knives that are at least 8 inches long with a good balance and built with SG2 stainless steel material for home family chefs. 

With it, you will get the sharpness and hardness at the same time. With Miyabi, you get it all; that is why I would recommend the Miyabi Chef’s Knife, 9-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel as the best handmade chefs knife.

* The prices for ingredients and products in our tables are average prices take from various websites. The prices are not taken directly from Amazon.
* Pro family chef utilizes affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of our product links, Pro family chef will receive a small commission at no cost to you. This helps support us, and allows us to keep providing tips, reviews, guides, and content for you.

PIN best handmade chef knives

Rok Jurca

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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