Knives are absolutely essential tools in the kitchen and its important to choose the right knife for you and the task.   There are many aspects to think about when choosing a knife – suitability for the task, handling, comfort, sharpness, durability and of course the cost.  There are many different brands of kitchen knives available and each has their own ‘recipe’ of stainless steel however ceramic knives and titanium knives are however becoming increasingly popular.


The most essential knives are


There is huge variance in price between different brands but a high quality knife will always more than pay for itself over the years. More expensive brands such as Global or Henckels are made of harder steel which is sharper and maintains its sharpness longer than cheaper knives. These will cut far more easily and last a life time even under rigorous use, washing and sharpening. Equally though even budget knives come with sharp blades and most are suitable for everyday use at home. So if you are an infrequent visitor to the kitchen, a budget knife set may well be your best option.  A sharp knife needs less effort to cut and makes the job both easier and safer and a knife set will usually offer significant savings over individually bought knives, though you are limited to the manufacturer’s choice of knives.


Global Knives
Professional/High End

Knife £25 – £150
Set £140 – £900
A renowned range of
Japanese knives harnessing the best materials and most modern design concepts.
  • Stainless steel
  • Dotted steel handles

Henckels Twin
Henckels Twin Fin Knives
Professional/High End

Knife £40 – £130
Set £100 – £160
This seamless, solid
metal range from J.A. Henckels offers unprecedented comfort with their innovative, asymmetrical handles.
  • Solid Steel
  • Friodur Ice Hardened

Wusthof ClassicWusthof Classic KnivesProfessional/High End

Knife £30 – £360
Set £100 – £1200
Traditional skills
and the latest robotics are used to create the Classic series of knives from Wusthof.
  • High carbon steel
  • Riveted handles

Kyocera FK Series
Kyocera FK Series Ceramic Knives
Professional/High End

Knife £20 – £250
Set £30 – £230
Ceramic knives that are sharper and stronger than conventional steel knives, yet are lighter in
  • Black Zirconia blades
  • Smoother surface

James Martin by Stellar
James Martin Knives by Stellar

Knife £6 – £35
Set £15 – £125
Styled to James
Martin’s specifications for ease of use and durability and lifetime
  • Molybdenum steel
  • Anti-slip handles

Judge SabatierJudge Sabatier KnivesBudget

Knife £1.50 – £22
Set £20 – £50
A traditional range
of professional quality knives, ideal for everyday kitchen use.
  • Stainless steel
  • Riveted handles


ceramic knife is a knife made out of very hard and tough ceramic, often zirconium dioxide (ZrO2; also known as zirconia). These knives are usually produced by dry pressing zirconia powder and firing them through solid-state sintering. The resultant blade is sharpened by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel. Zirconia ranks 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, compared to 6 to 6.5 for hardened steel, and 10 for diamond. This very hard edge rarely needs sharpening.
Ceramic blades have become increasingly popular over the last decade, especially due to the light weight, and limited need for sharpening. Kyocera, Asahi and Tivosan are three of the more established ceramic knife brands. Newer design focused brands include Bodum, Edge of Belgravia and Mastrad. Some traditional steel knife manufacturers, such as Victorinox, have also launched ceramic knife ranges.


The word Santoku has Japanese historical significance meaning ‘three virtues’.

Typically, they range in sizes from 5″ to 7″ in blade lengths, but smaller ones are available. The Santoku knife has a unique styling somewhat like a narrow-bladed cleaver and is designed for a comfortable, well-balanced grip, while allowing for full blade use.

Santoku knives are best known for their sharp edges, either beveled or hollow ground, which enhances their cutting performance. Another feature is the ‘granton edge’ release pattern (scalloped) on the blades that not only adds style, but helps to release thin slices and sticky food after slicing.