Ask any chef what their most important tool is and, if they’re worth their mettle, they’re going to tell you its their knife. And there’s good reason for that – knives are one of the most versatile tools you can have in your arsenal, whether in the case of everyday carry or in the kitchen. And that’s why we’re firm believers that anyone who is serious about cooking should invest in a solid knife.
There are a lot of superb knife-makers around the world that build excellent chef knives – and you’d be lucky to have one. But, if you (like us) are especially patriotic and like to show your support for American craftsmen, you need not look any further than the 50 States to find a superb cutting tool to put in your kitchen or tool roll. We’ve hunted down and collected the ten best chef knives made right here in the USA.
Rada Cutlery French Chef Knife
While it certainly lies on the budget end of the spectrum, Rada’s stainless steel French chef knife is an excellent utility blade – the kind that you might want to toss into your RV or adventure van the next time you head out on a long trip. And while it’s obviously made in the USA, it also comes with a lifetime warranty and is even dishwasher safe, upping the ante even further. For as inexpensive as it is, it’s hard to do better than this.
Blade: T420 High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle: Brushed Aluminum or Black Stainless Steel Resin
Dexter Russell 30404 Chef Knife
With its modernized appearance and a little extra length, this offering from Dexter Russel is the perfect compromise between quality and cost. No – it’s not a professional-level cutting tool, but most home cooks will discover that it is plenty capable when it comes to casual culinary endeavors. It also features a stable and ergonomic handle that will ensure each and every cut is comfortable and precise.
Blade: German Stainless Steel
Lamson Fire Forged Chef Knife
Usually, the blade of a knife is the star of the show. And while the one on Lamson’s Fire Forged Chef Knife is nothing to scoff at, it is also eclipsed by the unique beauty found within the blade’s striated acrylic handle. And while it’s looks could kill, it’s not just style – the triple riveted handle and full tang high carbon steel blade were made for cooking of all sorts.
Blade: 4116 Stainless Steel
Warther Cutlery French Chef Knife
Boasting one of the most unique appearances of all the knives on our list, this USA-made chef knife also has an impressive choice of steel: CPM-S35VN. If you’re keeping score, that’s the same knife steel used in some of the best everyday carry blades of all time. It’s also a little bit shorter than most of the other options, cutting down on a bit of weight and making it more portable. And the wooden handle makes for a knife with timeless style – if the appearance of your cutlery is an important factor.
Blade: CPM-S35VN Steel
R. Murphy Reclaimed Wood Carbon Steel Knife
While we all love a brand-new knife, we also know the value in repurposing and reclaiming materials – which is something done exquisitely in the R. Murphy Reclaimed Wood Carbon Steel Knife. With its superb edge-retaining high carbon steel blade, this knife is up to any cutting task – big or small. And the blade is mated to your choice of either a maple or pecan wood handle – that’s as gorgeous as it is comfortable to hold and use. This knife will stay razor sharp and always look the part, as well.
Blade: Carbon Steel
Handle: Reclaimed Maple or Pecan Wood
Cutco 1725 French Chef Knife
One of the most well-known brands making their cutlery in the USA, Cutco is kind of a big deal – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find them on this list. This particular selection, however, is all the more special, thanks to its extra long high carbon steel blade and “pearl” handle. That handle, for reference, is actually made from a thermo-resin – meaning that, while it looks gorgeous, it’s also incredibly durable. And that’s a great thing to have when it comes to investing in a solid chef knife.
Blade: High Carbon Stainless Steel
Ka-Bar Becker Tuko Chef Knife
Ka-Bar’s Becker Tuko chef knife is a stand-out on this list for many reasons. For starters, it’s the only one on here that wasn’t designed for kitchen cooking. That’s right, this knife was designed for the great outdoors – cooking around the campfire. And that makes it very special to us. It’s also a bit smaller than most other knives, measuring up at 5.125″ – making it all the more easy to transport to and from the great outdoors. And then there’s the handle: Micarta scales similar to those found in high-end outdoor-focused fixed blades. Really, this knife has got it all.
Blade: S35VN Steel
New West KnifeWorks G-Fusion Chef Knife
Another knife on our list in which the handle is the star of the show, the New West KnifeWorks line of G-Fusion chef knives feature one of the most impressive combinations of materials we’ve ever seen. The handle is actually a proprietary composite comprised of fiberglass and cloth-expoxy that are compressed and cooked into G10 sheets – making it nearly indestructible. But the blade is no slouch either, being made from CPM-S35VN steel. Yes, it’s a tad pricey – but this knife will last you potentially for generations.
Blade: CPM-S35VN Steel
Handle: G-Fusion Composite
Carter Cutlery 1484 Kurouchi Funayuki
There’s no denying that the Japanese know how to forge a knife, but this isn’t a guide about Japanese knives, is it? Luckily, the island country’s techniques aren’t proprietary – allowing Carter Cutlery to make amazing blades in that same style here in the United States. This particular option features a blue steel core (one of the finest available) laminated with a mild steel – giving the blade its unique appearance and a generational durability. And the handle is crafted from wood sourced from Arizona and mated to a unique Micarta bolster. Style and substance – this knife has it all.
Blade: Hitachi Blue #2 Steel Core Laminated with Gokunantetsu Mild Steel
Handle: Arizona Desert Ironwood with Black Canvas Micarta Bolster
Chelsea Miller Chef Knife
One of the most sought-after culinary knife-makers in the USA, Chelsea Miller has outdone herself with this chef knife. The blade is made from a gorgeous high carbon steel reclaimed from a Vermont Farrier’s horseshoe rasp – giving the back of the blade a unique cross-hatched design. And that superb blade is mated to a walnut handle sourced from Miller’s childhood farm. Expensive, sure – but this is one of the most unique and well-made chef knives you can find anywhere – not just in the USA.
Blade: Reclaimed High Carbon Steel
30 Best Kitchen Gadgets
For those who want to really take their cooking up a notch, a knife is only the beginning of the tools you might need or want. You can find a good deal more on our list of the 30 best kitchen gadgets.