Western Chef Knives: 6 of the Best in Our Global Collection

A Chef’s knife is, was, and always will be its ability to say “Yes, Chef” to the demands of a knowledgeable culinary individual as they practice their craft/passion.

If you’re looking for Western chef knives, explore our curated global collection, featuring some of the best chef knives from France (K-Sabatier), Finland (Roselli Knives) and Germany (Karl Gude).

k-sabatier 6 inch utility knife 1834

K-1834 8” Chef’s Knife (20cm)

K-Sabatier Authentique 1834 Ltd.
$165.00

The most influential and versatile mid-sized Western Chef’s knife made for food preparation.

k-sabatier 10 inch chef knife 1834

K-1834 10” Chef’s Knife (25cm)

K-Sabatier Authentique 1834 Ltd.
$200.00

The most influential and versatile professional-sized Western Chef’s knife made for food preparation.

k-sabatier chef knife 7.5in k200

K-1834 8” Chef’s Knife (20cm)

K-Sabatier 200 Series
$250.00

A Chef’s knife that redefines comfort crafted for excellence in high-performance stock removal craftsmanship.

k-sabatier chef knife 10in k200 sheath

K-200 10” Chef’s Knife (25cm)

K-Sabatier 200 Series
$290.00

A Western Chef’s knife born of French cuisine that outperforms Japanese chef knives.

Roselli Chef’s Knife (21cm) birch handle

Roselli Chef’s Knife (21cm)

Heimo Roselli
$325.00

Designed for practicality, the Roselli Chef’s Knife blends simplicity with durable UHC/Wootz carbon steel.

Karl Gude Chef's Knife 21cm

Karl Gude Chef’s Knife (21cm)

Karl Gude
$235.00

German-French hybrid chef’s knife combines precision, control, and power for superior cutting accuracy.

What to Consider when Choosing a Western Chef’s Knife

Selecting the right Chef’s knife depends on your preferences. Here’s a breakdown to help you compare:

Chef’s Knife Collection Knife Making Method Blade Material Blade Length Weight Tang HRC Handle Price

K-Sabatier Authentique 1834

 

Hammer-forged Stainless steel

8” ( 20cm)

10” (25cm)

8” (100g)

10” (180g)

Full tang 57 – 58 POM 

8” ($120)

10” ($170)

K-Sabatier 200

 

Stock Removal Stainless steel

7.5” (18cm)

10” (25cm)

8” (124g)

10” (186g)

Full tang 60 G10

8” ($185)

10” ($265)

Roselli Knives

 

Hammer-forged Roselli UHC / Wootz steel 10” (25cm) 155g Narrowing tang 62 – 66 Curly birch or silicon-covered G10 $350

Karl Gude

 

Drop-forged

chrome

vanadium

molybdenum stainless steel

8.2” (21cm) 190g Full tang 57-58 Plum wood $235

“Chef’s knife” is an abused term.

At one time, it meant what it said—a knife for the Chef. The term comes from the French language and emphasizes a knife’s ability to meet the demands of an individual’s culinary knowledge in service of a specific cuisine.
However, it has become a generalized term akin to saying “car” or “wine.”
Retail marketing controls the narrative, shaping what “sells” rather than highlighting industry standards, facts, history, and the knife’s relationship to the foods that have influenced its design.
The current marketing definition of a chef’s knife focuses on creating a pedigree story around who, how and where:

Who made it?

  • Amidst the marketing charm, a word of caution: Not every knife maker has a prestigious pedigree.
  • The marketing story behind a chef’s knife may entice. The true measure lies in its history, design practicality, and material quality.

How was it made?

  • When reading alluring marketing stories about knife-making methods, ask yourself: Do the materials truly support the ability, performance, and blade design, or does it just look pretty?
  • Don’t be swayed by showiness. If you plan to use it regularly, let practicality and performance guide your choice.

Where was it made?

  • Be cautious of the ‘fantastical’ country-of-origin stories retailers use to sell knives.
  • The knife may look cool, but consider its suitability for the cuisine it originated from. Performance and history with various foods tell the real story.

Remember, while who, how, and where it comes from may be intriguing, the materials, blade design and evolutionary cuisine performance truly matter.

Look beyond the narratives and find the knife that suits your culinary journey.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell. Selling something pretty and functional within a narrow range of services has its place. There is nothing wrong with using four knives to complete a recipe. Nothing is off except the original premise has been betrayed. A Chef’s knife says yes to your demands.

Ask yourself two questions when buying chef knives in Canada:

  1. Can you make your favourite recipe with just the Chef’s knife you are considering?
  2. Can you make Chicken soup (full chicken breakdown) from scratch with the Chef’s knife you are considering?

If the answer is “No chef,” it’s not a Chef’s knife.

Knife Makers that contribute to advancing the Chef’s knife industry

  • K-Sabatier knives have served French cuisine since 1834 and are the template for the Japanese culinary knives, Gyuto and Petty.
  • The hybrid chef knife from Germany, created by Gude Knives over 100 years ago, is a unique design combining a French and German blade shape for the first time.
  • Heimo Roselli’s unique Carbon Wootz steel chef knife offers the most durable carbon steel and edge retention made at twice the price (with all the limitations of carbon steel and how it impacts all foods containing sugar and starch). Its deep blade shape and classic French-shaped sharp edge are available in silicone or wooden handles.
  • When ready, you can order a Canadian-made Chef’s knife from Seth Cosmo, Canada’s preeminent culinary custom knife maker whose powdered Damascus steel has proven* to be the industry leader in Damascus edge steel retention.

Each of these gifted contributors to the culinary arts offers proven, tested and mature culinary knives, which have no equal in each category, and all of them can say “Yes, Chef” to your culinary needs.

 

Types of Chef Knives

In the past two hundred years, there have been only a few knives from three different cuisines, proving they are genuine “Chef’s Knives,” capable of handling any challenge demanded of them by a cuisine they have evolved from.

Two are Western Chef’s Knives (Europe), and one is from the East (Asia).

The French Chef’s Knife: control and precision

The German Chef’s Knife: a powerful chopping force

  • The Karl Gude 8” chef knife is renowned for chopping prowess, exceptional quality, and unwavering durability. Forged in the German knife city of Solingen (City of Blades). Karl Gude created his hybrid at the dawn of the 20th century.

The differences in their blade shapes support their respective cuisines and define the range and complexity of these two nations’ national cuisines and their impact on our global view of food preparation.

The Tsi Doa: a practical blade

  • The Tsi Doa (rectangular cleaver) is not your typical Chef’s knife. It sets the standards for practicality and simple design tailored to diverse Chinese food materials.

It always comes down to the knife’s relationship to the raw materials it must prepare.

Copying original designs can result in good knives. However, it is important to understand why a knife has the shape it does and not simply copy that shape because of where it comes from.

Knife Buyer Alert: The Gyuto is not a Chef’s knife

While you’re shopping for Chef’s knives in Canada we must address the Japanese Chef’s knife known as the Gyuto (Cow Sword).

  • The Gyuto (Cow Sword) has a history of less than 50 years.
  • It was named after the cow, which was illegal to eat in Japan for 1,200 years (end of 7th century to end of 19th century)
  • Japanese knife makers present it as an original “Chef’s knife” design to the world when it’s actually modelled after the French knife.
  • In Japan, it is respected as an interpretation of the French Chef’s knife.
  • The stainless steel Gyuto has a reputation for nicking and chipping, which led retailers to promote carbon steel alternatives.
  • They forget to mention that carbon steel stains and oxidizes food with sugar and starches.
  • The brittleness of Japanese steel contributes to the idea that you need more than one Chef’s knife in your kitchen.
  • The Cow Sword is well made and visually enticing. But it is not a Chef’s knife.
  • It does not meet the standard of “Yes, Chef”

Chef’s Knife Care and Maintenance

Taking care of and maintaining a Chef’s knife is essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Quick Tips

  • Do not wash your knives in the dishwasher.
  • Do not apply hard pressure when honing your blades.
  • Always store your blades safely to prevent damage and accidents.

Cleaning

After using your Western Chef’s knife, it’s crucial to clean it. Never wash it in the dishwasher.

WHY? Because the sustained heat of the dishwasher’s sanitization cycle alters the hardness of the steel achieved by the tempering process.

Stainless steel or Molybdenum

  • Soak the stainless steel or Molybdenum blade before cleaning.
  • Wash the blade in hot water with your preferred detergent.
  • Thoroughly clean the handle and blade to remove raw materials.
  • You don’t need to worry about rusting during cleaning.
  • Using abrasives may scratch the surface, but it won’t affect performance.

Carbon steel

  • Avoid soaking carbon steel.
  • Wash the blade in hot water with your preferred detergent.
  • Immediately dry your blade because carbon steel is prone to rust or pitting when exposed to water for extended periods.

Storage

We recommend storing your Chef’s knife in the sheath provided to protect the blade and prevent accidents. You can also store it safely on a magnetic knife strip for accessibility.

Every K Sabatier Chef’s knife comes with a handmade leather French scabbard.

Sharpening & Honing

There are two rules of edge care. Regardless of the materials used to make the steel, its hardness determines which rule to follow.

1. Steel under 59 HRC:

  • Benefits from the honing process.
  • Honing is not sharpening; it is alignment.
  • Honing straightens the already-sharpened edge of a knife.
  • Honing does not remove steel, which is what sharpening does
  • Honing refines performance, extending the overall life of the knife

For the K-Sabatier Authentique 1834 collection, honing will maintain the existing edge alignment and extend the time between each sharpening. See K Sabatier’s 8” honing rod.

2. Steel over 59 HRC:

  • Strop your knife between sharpenings
  • There is no benefit from the honing process because the blade is too hard

No honing is necessary for the K-Sabatier 200 collection (60 HRC). The only thing to do in between sharpening is to strop your blade.

We offer a complimentary knife sharpening service for all blades purchased from hacher&krain.

Shop Our Collection

hacher&krain offers a range of high-quality Western chef knives, including options from various collections and contributors:

Available online or in our Toronto knife shop located at 256a Dupont St.

REFERENCE

Daz buch von gutter spise (The Book of Good Food) author?/ printed 1350 Germany.
Le Viandier/ Guillaume Tirel (?) / printed 1300 / France /
Le Repertoire de La Cuisine La Varenne/ Francois Pierre, printed 1651. / France
Yinshan Zhengyao / Hu Sihu/ printed 1330 China.
William Verrall’s Cookery Book / William Verrall/ printed 1759 England