My very first adult investment, after my car, was buying a really good knife. For the next four or five years, that knife was my only knife, and I guarded it with the intensity of a mama bear. The importance of a quality kitchen knife can’t be understated. It followed me from New York City to Milwaukee, sliced everything from humble tomatoes to the fanciest date night steaks.
Having a dull knife is like having pizza without cheese; it just doesn’t feel right. Cutting goes from an easy task to a difficult job. Now that I’m settled and can afford more than one good knife, I’ve invested in four types of knives and a knife sharpener. Buying quality means you’ll be able to get them sharpened or sharpen them yourself, so you won’t have to buy a replacement every couple years.
You could always have many more, of course, but these knives should be enough to cover your bases.
Chef’s Knife | $150 | Amazon
The first real knife I bought was the JA Hankels classic 8-inch chef’s knife. It was my superstar knife until the day I somehow lost it in my house. Since it was my only knife at the time, I had to replace it immediately. I went with the JA Hankels PRO 8 inch chef’s knife. If I thought the classic was good, this was a whole different level. If you only buy one knife for your kitchen, buy this knife. It’s worth every penny. I used this knife every single day.
Paring Knife | $60 | Amazon
While a chef’s knife is perfect for almost everything, some things need a bit of a delicate touch. That’s where this paring knife comes in. These tiny knives are great for peeling vegetables, deveining shrimp, and coring tomatoes.
Steak Knives | $50 | Amazon
As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of Zwilling (JA Henckel). Like their other knives, these steak knives are superb. If you are doing the file cooking that the two knives above deserve, you’re going to need a set of steak knives so you can easily cut that beautiful steak you grill. These are perfect for that or any protein you choose to make.
Cheese Knife Set | $21 | Amazon
Nothing But Knives’s top pick for cheese knife sets, this $22 collection has everything you need to serve up a luxury cheese spread. I love throwing dinner parties—and being from Wisconsin—cheese is at the top of my list of things to serve. A quality set of cheese knives is essential to the core of a fancy cheese dining experience, and this one won’t let you down.
Sharpening Steel | $50 | Amazon
Those quality knives I have? They need to be sharpened every once in a while. I have a similar sharpening steel from Zwilling. If you’re making an investment in knives, you absolutely must get a sharpening steel. They’re simple, too—a YouTube tutorial is all you need to be off to the races.