Looking for good kitchen knife

Jan 12, 2006
Hi all,
I'm looking for a good quality kitchen knife, and will like to hear your suggestions. In short I'd like to buy a carbon steel knife with superior edge holding properties, and be beautiful to look at.

These are my requirements:

1) Steel must be able to take a very sharp edge. Eg of knives I own that have this quality include my Benchmade AFCK (ATS34) and Cold Steel Twistmaster. It could be because these knives are very thin (which I like).

2) I prefer carbon steel. I want a knife that will age and become more beautiful with age. I'm also looking for a knife with "soul" and "character". I would prefer a handle made from natural materials such as bone, antler or even beautiful woods such as curly maple or birch.

3) Steel must have superior edge holding qualities and can be used for long periods of time before requiring sharpening. I use my knife to cut through chicken drumstick bones occasionally.

4) I want a beautiful looking knife, one that I will enjoy using and looking at. My favourite types of knives are those made by Daniel Winkler, so I prefer knives of that style.

Thanks for any and all suggestions! I will consider both custom and production knives.

My recent purchases for the kitchen have been a couple of KAI Shun knives. They are a laminated (damascus?) steel with the core being VG-10.
Absolutely razor sharp and after 3 months I've done nothing to them other than using a smooth butchers steel after each use.

The handles are pakawood.
They are far superior, in both sharpness and edge retention, to the Henckels we have always used.
calphalon also has a new line of kitchen knives that are very similar to the kershaw shuns, called the katana series. vg10 steal, damascus styling, etc. but are cheaper
rentz said:
calphalon also has a new line of kitchen knives that are very similar to the kershaw shuns, called the katana series. vg10 steal, damascus styling, etc. but are cheaper
I believe that the Calphalon Katana are all stainless steel handles, not bone or wood.
The Calphalon website said VG1 steel, I assumed a misprint .Anyway the Shun knives are sold by a number of companies [mine are agrussell] Very fine knives.
At knifeforums.com there is a forum dedicated to kitchen cutlery. It will enlighten you.
I also have the Kershaw/Kai Shun Classics. It is an excellent knife.:thumbup:
I have to agree with robertmegar. You may want to consider going with a gyuto (Japanese chef's knife) and a deba (heavier-duty style). Murray makes an excellent blade, but one need not resort to the expense of a custom while excellent products by Tojiro and others can be had for much less. If you have the wallet, by all means, do get a handmade. Sinichi Watanabe makes some cool stuff.
Murray Carter and Shun's are the way to go. Love mine.

Mix and match, setting up your own set is alot of fun. Check too see if their is any place local making good stuff you shuold be able to get some nice stuuf cheap...
I also give a vote to Kai Shun range. I have a Japanese made santoku. Damascus blade, and black pakka wood handle. I do use mine for careful controlled cutting through raw chicken joints with no problem.

If you want carbon steel, you might like to consider one of the Japanese kitchen knives here.


This is a beauty in carbon steel, silver and ebony albeit specialised.


All, thank you for all your suggestions. Pls keep them coming if there are more, its always good to have more options to choose from.

I agree with the point made that thin blades and chicken bones don't mix. I'll try to get a cleaver for that.

I have thick skin and can take the snickers and abuse that always follow this recommendation but here goes.

I stopped at K-Mart one day on the way to camp to pickup some inexpensive kitchen knives. I was surprised to find some Martha Stewart brand knives that were (1) forged steel, (2) full tang, (3) sharp, and (4) had good feeling handles. Lastly they were about $10 which is amazing in the kitchen knife industry. They worked fine and held a good edge.

Here is what one of the knife review guru's said when he compared them against the hight-end expensive foreign chef knife.

Stop by and look next time you are at the K-Mart.

Are the Martha Stewarts post-incarceration or pre-incarceration?

Get an old Sabatier carbon steel knife off eBay. Most of the time they will already have lots of character.
Excellent advice so far.

IMHO, folded VG-10 looks like @#$% when it gets scratched. And kitchen knives do get scratched! If that doesn't bug you, I'd go with the Kai/Kershaw line. Their D-shaped handles are also more comfortable than any other knives I've held, with the exception of the Global GS models that I own.

If you want something unique, check out Shinichi Watanabe. I have his 135mm Ajikiri Deba. His handles are also D-shaped and comfortable, and the blade cuts wonderfully.