Popular magazines, including Cook's Illustrated and Consumer Reports, publish unbiased ratings for kitchen products. While the reviews can be found on their websites, you'll pay a small fee to access them. You can also find the information on sites that aggregate any available product ratings from these and other trusted publications. Once you have narrowed the choices, head to a store to handle the knives and simulate your chopping style to find the ones that feel right in your hand.
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Wusthof Classic knives consistently beat their competition as the best overall kitchen knife set, according to Consumer Search, which aggregated several knife reviews. Wusthof Classic series knives are forged from a single sheet of high-carbon steel and feature a triple rivet on the handle. A favourite among home cooks, Wusthof knives' also feature a full tang, or protrusion of steel into the handle, that extends through the handle, providing extra stability. Wusthof's Classic series has black handles, made from a moulded, synthetic material. Overall, Wusthof knives get high marks for their heavy, forged blade, good balance and durability. On the downside, the handle could be thin for some tastes and run on the expensive side. A 10-inch chef knife costs about £48.
RH Forschner by Victorinox Fibrox
In the budget category, the stand-out is RH Forschner by Victorinox Fibrox. Cooking for Engineers, a popular food science website, tested the Fibrox knife set by chopping several vegetables and comparing the results with other knife sets. The Fibrox line was ranked as the best value, out-classing less expensive knives and performing nearly as well expensive brands. Apart from good value, Fibrox knives have a non-slip handle, available in black or white and easily stand up to normal kitchen tasks. Fibrox knives are crafted from stamped stainless steel and lack the heft and durability of forged knives. If you're looking for a bargin, this set is worth considering. A 10-inch chef knife costs upwards of £16.
Among the high-end options, Global knives rank as the clear winner. A favourite with serious home cooks, this Japanese line has a reputation for crafting knives that offer more precision and cleaner cuts than their competition. Global knives have a distinctive, instantly recognisable look. The entire knife is made from ice-tempered stainless steel, and the blade seamlessly tapers into a textured handle. In the classic Japanese style, Global knives have a thin blade and a sharply angled edge. This line gets raves for its all-metal design, good heft and balance and superior sharpness. However, some reviews note that the handles are uncomfortable due to the non-slip grip. Global knives are expensive, and the 10-inch starts around £97.
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