Submitted by notproudortired t3_zq4rbu in BuyItForLife

Looking to buy a BIFL all-rounder chef's knife that's comfortable for large, meaty hands and adequate for large meaty meat. Knife will be a gift, so test driving isn't really an option. I'm leaning towards western style (vs. Japanese). Recommendations?



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topcat5 t1_j0wa6xn wrote

Get a Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife and a good sharpener. It's inexpensive and long long lasting and doesn't mind being put in a dishwasher. You can buy several for the price of some other knifes.

Don't spend huge sums on a knife that you'll still end up having to sharpen to be good.


NimrodVWorkman t1_j0wae65 wrote

Hard to go wrong with Victorinox. Almost everyone likes them. I'd suggest the 10" butcher knife.

(All knifes are BIFL if they are maintained and not abused.)


Round_Technician_728 t1_j0waqd0 wrote

How it’s going to be used will probably be determining factor on how sturdy it should be. Some people manage to break 4mm cleavers while cutting vegetables… But have a look at the Wüsthof Classic. Their design with a one piece blade-bolster design is probably as sturdy as knives get.


boneman429 t1_j0wb6a7 wrote

Global GF-33 is a very nice knife. All metal one piece design should last a lifetime if not abused egregiously. Edit: it is more of a Japanese style knife but heavier duty than others I have used.


MyNameNoob t1_j0wbhql wrote

Budget would help. If it’s on the higher end I’ve been looking at oblivion blades small Aussie blacksmith. A lot of blade for the money.


Clandestinique t1_j0wcsjh wrote

I took the advice I've seen over and over on r/KitchenConfidential and bought myself a Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife. I do find that it sharpens up really well and feels effortless to use, and keeps that edge a long time, just like they said. I got mine on sale last year but even full price it's inexpensive, about $55. Mine is 8 inch and I'm an average size woman. Maybe you'd want a longer knife for your "meaty" giftee. Anyway, check out that sub for a lot of info on knives professionals like and why they like them.


rand0m1324 t1_j0we8vb wrote

If you want to enter a rabbit hole you can visit r/sharpening , the gist of that though is freehand stones, specifically the shapton pro 1000. Pretty much every pull-through type sharpener will eventually wreck your blade, or not work well enough once it is too dull


Builderwill t1_j0weqns wrote

Former kitchen manager here. I found the Henkel food services knives to be the best value. I've been out of restaurant work for 20 years but used the ones I purchased from our vendor for 3 before leaving. The balance is excellent, they hold an edge for a very long time, and they cost about $30 US at the time. My only complaint is that after all these years the blade shape has changed a bit (flatter) from use and sharpening; I'm thinking of having them reshaped but know that would shorten them a bit and I really like the length. Maybe it's time to just buy a new one.


mattrussell2319 t1_j0wfocv wrote

Thanks, and I bet it’s a rabbit hole! I saw honing mentioned in a review for the Victorinox (which I’ve had for 20 years but never even sharpened!) and the Wikipedia page on that was confusing enough … 😆


babathebear t1_j0wfpf4 wrote

I will recommend Wustoff (since you asked for European) but no knife is BIFL unless you or whoever you gift it to maintain the knife aka sharpen time to time. Victrinox is good but it will loose sharpness very quickly (it’s mostly molybdenum). Korin in NYC makes Japanese knives with European handles and ergonomics. They also have in-house sharpening service. If you ever into Japanese knives (like me) that’s another rabbit hole lol… check Japanese Knives Imports. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one!


waterbuffalo750 t1_j0wi95w wrote

I just bought a JA Henckel Zwilling Pro 8" chefs knife as a gift. I have one very similar and like it a lot. It was $150 on sale.


-SeaBrisket- t1_j0wjj0q wrote

I have a Wustoff 6" chef knife and a Shun 8". Both are great but the Shun seems to hold its edge better


perfectchazz321 t1_j0wmhlo wrote

Misen knives are great and have a lifetime guarantee. If any of the knives here don’t have that, can you really call it BifL?

They’re great quality and on the cheaper end of high-end knives. I’ve been using the set of three for a few months now and definitely put them through their paces, they’re fantastic. Search the sub for the brand name too, I think there was a post about them recently!


Medium_Brood5095 t1_j0wng1z wrote

Wusthof Classic Chef knife 8 inch many people like their Ikon line too


An_Alone_Wolf t1_j0wrijz wrote

I know you said you're leaning towards western style, but you can still get something very close to that with Japanese craftsmanship. I highly recommend something made from carbon steel. It gets and stays much sharper than stainless, and is easier to sharpen. Here are 2 examples. I have 2 Skai Takayuki knives, one larger and one smaller, and will likely never need to buy another knife.



johnbouwsma t1_j0wsnz1 wrote

Tojiro dp is a great one for around $100!


Sekshual_Tyranosauce t1_j0wurs2 wrote

I have had my Lamson Sharp 10” chef for 17 years of daily use. Zero complaints and absolutely on par in quality with the better German blades. I just bought an 8” chef from them a year ago. The same great quality with perhaps a bit better finishing.


Builderwill t1_j0wvtce wrote

Ok, I had to do some searching but found what I think the exact knife is:


Also bought a bread knife with it. Its also one of my favorites. I bought them in 1995.

Google that and you should find a number of matches. Not sure about the bread knife.


nunatakj120 t1_j0ww0uu wrote

Victorinox great at a smaller budget, Wusthof classic if you've got a few more quid to spend (can't remember what size mine is - I think 20cm maybe 25), there are better more expensive choices out there but those are both quality and while last a lifetime


Dingo6610 t1_j0ww4ye wrote

Zwilling Pro 8" Chef's knife


FastRedPonyCar t1_j0wz76i wrote

Meaty meat? Get yourself a nice Santoku knife. We use a Shun Classic and it’s amazing and they RE sharpen for free. We use ours all the time and after a year of routine use (4-5 times a week) it’s still razor sharp.


doomedroadtrips t1_j0x1gpe wrote

I love my Zwilling Henkel Santoku knife, it came as part of a knife block set, but I find I use the Santoku most regularly. It's 7-8"?


GullibleDetective t1_j0x1kmf wrote

Yep these are the cheapest and best starter knives that take an absolute beating and come back for more

Granted I prefer my kikuichis and shuns over em but these are absolutely the best you can get for about $30


GullibleDetective t1_j0x2p9m wrote

You absolutely need and must look for precision guides with your roll sharp otherwise if the knife goes off kilter you can remove too much from one side (much the same as wheeled grinders)


lobsterpasta t1_j0x31xf wrote

It’s been pretty solid. I was looking for a knife that a) wasn’t dangerously sharp and that i’d feel comfortable having others use, b) performs well and c) wouldn’t be a major loss if my partner accidentally put in the dishwasher


mrlazyboy t1_j0x34d4 wrote

The reality is that any good knife maker will make a BIFL knife, assuming whoever sharpens it knows what they’re doing.

I’d recommend that you check out the Tojiro DP gyuto. It’s a full 8” and can handle the majority of kitchen tasks, although I wouldn’t want to use it to dice garlic, for example.

It’s a solid, well-build knife in the gyuto style (so it’s a western chef knife style). It is stainless steel so maintenance is much easier. The blade is thin so it will cut very well. It’s also relatively hard so it will maintain its sharpness for awhile.

If you compare that to German chef knives, they are typically thicker and softer but not always.

I would strongly recommend you not go to r/chefknives because you’ll spend way too much. But stainless steel, western blade profile/handle, and a thin edge geometry make it one of the best knives you can get for $100


CityofDestiny t1_j0x3lo4 wrote

Agree. I have the santoku version of this. It is a great knife. Reasonably priced. Durable. Holds an edge well. I've got a bunch of German knives that were more expensive, but certainly not any more effective for their purpose.


GullibleDetective t1_j0x3wx5 wrote

Instead of brand you should know what to look for

You want the tang or the metal part to either be part of the handle or forged into it like a global. You want a couple of rivets minimum if it's not forged handle/blade.

Next you need to know what you plan on cutting with it whether it includes bones or other dense materials or just soft vegetables, meats and fish.

Japanese knives have a slighter angle and less material over all (for the standard chef's knife) (there are cleavers as well that can be used for everything). That and the bevel for Japanese is usually about 18°

European knives are different, they're heavier, have a larger bevel and can handle heftier cuts without sharpening. They however won't glide through vegetables as well or be as precise.

Every brand will have its entry level cheaper versions and ones that are designer and others that are great for both the professional and the home cook.

Notable brands are:


  • Victoriaknox
  • Wustoff
  • Henkel


  • Mac
  • Kikuichis
  • Global
  • Kershaw-shun

OShaqHenesey t1_j0x47e4 wrote

Mine are a decade old. They could use a sharpen at this point but I can still slice tomatoes with ease. I’m very happy with the purchase 10 years in and confident they’ll never need to be replaced. I plan on sending them back to lamson soon for a free professional sharpening.


OShaqHenesey t1_j0x4fiw wrote

I have a 7 or so piece set and their scissors. Can’t speak highly enough about them. It’s everything I want in a kitchen knife. Weight / shape / balance / sharpness. Made in USA. They check all the boxes for me.


solmooth t1_j0x5td7 wrote

Depends on what you're cutting. If versatility is what you need, buy German made. If you're slicing meats or fish, buy Japanese. They have a specific knife for each food. They treat knives like tools so there is a tool for every application. I've been collecting Matsumoto knives every time we visit Tokyo. I am still using my Western style carbon steel knife purchased 18 years ago. Requires sharpening once a year.


broadarrow39 t1_j0x79sf wrote

Can't go far wrong with one of these if it's a wieldy hunk of German steel you're after. I've got one of these along with a cheap sharp & lightweight Santoku. Between them they pretty much cover all of my chopping needs.


NumberlessUsername2 t1_j0xbxnx wrote

Surprised I didn't see Shun in here. Still one of my favorite kitchen purchases of the last 10 years. Also given it as a gift to several people who seem to appreciate it after many years. Have had mine professionally sharpened maybe 3 times. Kept it out of the dishwasher. It's fantastic. I bought it because my knife sharpening guy recommended it, and he looks at a ton of knives.


barbeqdbrwniez t1_j0xdgh3 wrote

Just to go a bit out of the norm (since all of the other suggestions are absolutely fantastic and you can't go wrong with them!) But since this is a gift, you can see if there's a local bladesmith to your giftee. Chances are it will look nicer than common knives, and I see many local smiths offering lifetime sharpening / warranties.


arafella t1_j0xdvqz wrote

Bang for the buck option (not sure your budget): Victorinox Fibrox 8"

More upscale option: Wusthof Classic Ikon 8"


jondes99 t1_j0xe0lu wrote

Came here to say the same thing. Bought the Mercer Renaissance a couple years ago and love it. Gave one out as a gift, and have also bought a few of the other knives in this line. Comfortable, nice balance, and holds an edge for a long time.


ADHDavidThoreau t1_j0xh8tg wrote

I sharpen my Cutco butchers knife every other year and use the absolute hell out of it on a weekly basis.

Plus I love the ergonomic grip, and if it ever becomes unsharpenable, I can send it back and get a free replacement for the cost of shipping.


One_Left_Shoe t1_j0xhf5c wrote

If you’re debating between Wüsthot or Henckels, skip both and get Messermeister.

Arguably the best “western” chef knives available.


One_Left_Shoe t1_j0xhmcs wrote

Even if they are banged around.

My most used knife in a kitchen was this janky 10 inch blade* that had the front two inches busted off. Cut and prepped just as well as any other knife in the kitchen.

Edit: spelling


ryaaan89 t1_j0xirze wrote

This is weird but it is super cool to hear you say this, my grandfather used to work at Lamson as a knife shaper. We have a set of them he brought home one knife at a time forever ago, I do think they look cool.


El_Zedd_Campeador t1_j0xjh47 wrote

I like Global knives, Japanese company but they make western styles. The one piece constriction means the handle wont crack over time.


bcw006 t1_j0xklzp wrote

I bought a few MAC knives about 10 years ago. They look and feel brand new today. They hold an edge really well, so I really only sharpen them once a year (or if I’m being honest, every few years). Other than that a periodic hone with a honing rod keeps them pretty sharp. Highly recommend!


NimrodVWorkman t1_j0xmc6v wrote

My wife still uses a Shun with the tip broken off, yep. She's a great cook, and gentle with people and animals, but really hard on "stuff."

A BIFL knife discussion is almost like a BIFL discussion on cast iron pans.


cherlin t1_j0xqwmb wrote

What's your budget? Hop onto carbonknifeco / chefknifestogo / bernal cutlery (three shops in the USA I have used and trust) and start looking, any knife you buy from one of those places will be BIFL with proper care. I personally like supporting independent or smaller artisan blacksmiths, but there's some great stuff from big names as well.

If you have the budget and want a known quantity, look at the bob Kramer (super well known American blacksmith) zwilling line. Basically his designs produced to his specs by zwilling in Japan. Great western style knife with Japanese steel.


JMAC426 t1_j0xv29i wrote

Fantastic knives. Beautiful, heavy duty, hold an edge. I have an 8 inch and a 5 inch, 90% of the time I use the small one for prep, but the big one is Just needed sometimes; and for chicken bones at least you can basically use it as a cleaver.


fatbrucelee t1_j0xy0pz wrote

Had a Henkels classic 8 inch knife I got used over 10 yrs ago. A few months ago I took it out of the block and somehow bobbled it. Fell tip down on counter and the scales popped off in addition to damaging the tip. In a pinch I got the 8” Mercer with white handle. $10. I’m surprised how much I like it. I like it way more than my victorinox I had because this things got heft.


hitguy55 t1_j0y8ivv wrote

Victorinox fibrox 10” chefs knife


Electrical_Ingenuity t1_j0yerky wrote

Learning to use a whetstone is a worthwhile skill. I only need to use mine once a year.

I have 30 years of daily use on both my Zwilling 4 star chefs knife and santoku to show for it. They are truly BIFL.


lechnerio t1_j0yh88j wrote

Very happy with my wüsthof too! Also, OP, get yourself a knife sharpening stick or stone and learn how to maintain your knifes. you can "practice" on your cheaper knifes too


lechnerio t1_j0yphai wrote

the best one is one you can handle. personally I get really good results with a sharpening block, my SO can handle a sharpening stick like noone I've ever seen 🤷


Chrontius t1_j0yvlcn wrote

You're swimming in good choices. But piece of advice, gift it with a sharpener! That's the difference between an okay knife and a great knife.

I use and recommend this one; I got it at TJ Maxx a decade ago and it's held up and performed nicely.

You can't go wrong with a Wusthoff Classic, but my mother's surprise favorite is the now-discontinued Schmitt Bros. "The One", which is shaped like some kind of ungodly kitchen machete, has enough tip weight to chop with, and has glorious ergonomics. If you find one for sale and don't gift it, let me know so I can buy a spare...


xj_scuba t1_j0zfsmc wrote

For anyone reading this looking for a BIFL kitchen knife I HIGHLY recommend hand washing all your knives. The dish detergent is bad for them and if not loaded in the washer correctly the water pressure often knocks items into each other quickly dulling knives.

If you have the bandwidth hand wash all (sharp) knives and bamboo/wooden cutting boards.


ElmerGantry45 t1_j0zjn0u wrote

Kikuichi carbon with western handle...a little more upkeep because the blade is reactive but it will stay sharp a long time, you just need to wipe it off periodically, yes it will react with acidic foods but the edge retention is worth the hassle.


ajfaul t1_j0zw82w wrote

Cutco knives, guaranteed for life and can be passed down to the next generation. We have the full set and my partner loves everyone of them.


EvilLittle t1_j0zxd6n wrote

Lots of reasonable recommendations have been made, but one thing I'd like to point out is that something can be excellently constructed and a good performer, but if you want to replace it in time for something prettier then I'd struggle to call it BIFL. The Victorinox Fibrox and Zwilling Twin Master are both excellent blades capable of decades worth of home use, but for some people they simply aren't what they want their main kitchen tool to look like.

For a gift, I'd also caution against extra hard steels on some Japanese blades like the VG-10 of the Tojiro DP or the more exotic Shuns and Miyabis. Hard steels are great for those who are prepared for them, but they also need to be treated differently as their hardness equates to brittleness and leaves them susceptible to large chips in cases where softer steels would suffer a rolled edge. I think HRC 56-58 is a good sweet spot.

Given that my previous recommendation of the Fujiwara FKM has seemingly been suffering from consistency issues, perhaps my recommendation would be the AUS-8 steel Gesshin Stainless yo-gyuto if it ever comes back in stock.


crinklycuts t1_j0zz8ot wrote

My mom has had the same meat cleaver for almost 30 years. It’s the knife she uses for pretty much anything and I believe she bought it cheap at an Asian market. I learned how to prep veggies with that thing when I was a kid lol.


DoubleSoupVerified t1_j10cjgv wrote

Wusthof is king. Just had my parents buy me a set for Christmas because they have had theirs 30+ years.


bigpaulo t1_j10g29z wrote

Whatever you get, don't get one with a bolster than runs into the heel of the knife... because it will make sharpening the knife increasingly difficult over the life of the knife. And if it's really going to be "for life", don't sharpen with a pull-through sharpener, learn how to sharpen on a stone or crock stick sharpener.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife is OK, but I'll also suggest a variety of Portuguese-designed (made?) ICEL chef's knives:


idc69idc t1_j10p5j9 wrote

I'm a professional chef, and this is my favorite of the ~30 chef knives I've used. I have "better" carbon steel knives, but this is the trusty, durable go-to. It's sold out and has been for a while, but there are similar knives (240mm, ginsan/ginsanko/silver 3 stainless steel, the handle type doesn't matter).



rand0m1324 t1_j115fz9 wrote

Haha yes, despite working on my skills for almost 2 years I still feel like a beginner. Tbh though, even a poor job with a stone tends to be much better than no sharpening so i’d still recommend giving it a try! Imo it’s a must have skill if you want to keep any knife over a long period of time


notproudortired OP t1_j11kku5 wrote

Excellent advice. Thank you. I do feel like my friend would "oh...thanks?" me for the Victorinox because the handle is obviously synthetic. Also, while they like to cook, they're not especially skilled or careful. A resilient blade will be better for them.


An_Alone_Wolf t1_j11z4hg wrote

Not much, particularly with the knives from those links. I don't really do anything for mine other than dry them right after use and wash them right after cutting something like lemon or onion. I'll occasionally use some barkeeper's friend to shine them up, usually when I sharpen them, and then give them some oil. That's about it. There's no rust, not even much patina after a year of daily use. The first carbon steel knife I had was more sensitive, it got discolored in just a few minutes after cutting an onion, but bk's friend easily removed that.


brd111 t1_j121guz wrote

This is my most recent purchase for using in a pro kitchen. Really nice knife. A bit overpriced. Still recommend tojiro over this for durability and price.


bad-monkey t1_j121oym wrote

UX-10 is definitely a bit premium, but for a 1-knife collection i thought it would be appropriate to spend a little more!

i do like my Toji DP 210 Gyu. Unexpectedly good finish for such an affordable knife.


T_ReV t1_j14lf65 wrote

As someone who has hand sharpened knives on a stone I don't recommend it unless you have some sort of device to keep a consistent angle.

It is way easier and you will get better results if you use a device like a Work Sharp or a RUIXIN knife sharpening kit.


rand0m1324 t1_j14q11w wrote

There are definitely some great guided systems, I think there are generally trade offs between speed, versatility, skill requirements and cost with whatever system you end up with. Knowing what to go with will depend what you value most of those things. You are correct though that a guided system will generally be easier for someone just starting out.


pan567 t1_j1grih4 wrote

For gifts, I agree that Western is the way to go. I would recommend considering the Wusthof Classic, Mercer's forged lines, and Victorinox, depending on what you wanted to spend.

Mercer is quite a lot of knife for the money. The Genesis is good for bigger hands.

If you are looking to add a utility knife or two, the Spyderco Utility models with FRN handles are also great.


Artesian t1_j1gshlt wrote

100% this. Engineer here. Putting anything other than ceramic, glass, metal, or very high temp silicones in the dishwasher is just ridiculously bad for your stuff / you. Plastic leaches, sharp blades dull. You’re poisoning yourself with micro plastics mainly. Any of those nylons or cheap PET/PETE/PETT variants are all prone to be mislabeled and even if they don’t melt they can leach.

Yes blades are metal but they’re sharp and handles often aren’t metal. Ergonomics yo. It takes seconds.

Hand. Wash. Please.


cappyned t1_j1n4yw4 wrote

I have whustof classics, shuns and cutco. Which are all good, (shun I feel is too delicate) but my favourite is this oyo brand from Norway. It seems to hold the edge the best on sharpening, can just abuse it and it just stands up to everything.


huffer4 t1_j1rr8o0 wrote

Pro Chef here. I have bought two Shuns, and one of them (the far more expensive) broke within 2 years of not-so regular use. The handle started spinning in circles. I can't say I really see too many people in kitchens around me using Shun stuff. They do feel nice in the hand though.