The right chef knife can make a huge difference to your time in the kitchen. Whether you’re chopping through endless veggies or cutting through fish, meat, or poultry.
Whatever the reason, I can’t wait to share with you what I consider the best Damascus chef knives for the money. They’ll completely transform your energy in the kitchen. Note: you don’t need to be a professional chef to use these knives.
Made from Damascus steel, these knives differ from other options on the market. Their mottled pattern, which runs through the blade, provides an effortless cut. The tapered point at the end of the knife also makes prep work in the kitchen a lot easier. Not to mention they look stunning.
For those in a rush, the Shun Classic 8” Chef Knife is, in my opinion, undoubtedly the winner of the best Damascus chef knife. It’s elegant, durable, and razor-sharp—what more could you want from a kitchen knife?
Continue reading today’s article to discover my other top options as well as things to consider when choosing the right knife for your kitchen needs.
The Best Damascus Chef Knives
Let’s review my selection of the best Damascus chef knives you can buy today. Each of these is categorized to help you find the perfect knife for you.
Best Overall: Shun Classic 8” Chef Knife
If I could only have one knife in my kitchen, the decision would be easy. It’s the Shun Classic 8” Chef Knife. I own one simply because it’s an all-around quality knife, great for preparing everything from meats, fish, vegetables, and anything else you can think of (not cans, this isn’t a Ginsu knife!).
The knife features a carbon steel core (VG-MAX) with 34 layers of Damascus steel on each side, giving its blade the unique Damascus wave pattern. Like all Shun knives, this chef knife goes through a 100-step manufacturing process and is handcrafted.
The blade of the Shun Classic has some wonderful features which I really appreciate. For one, it has a full tang–meaning the blade runs through the length of the handle. The benefit to this is better balance and allows more pressure to be applied.
Additionally, the curved belly of the knife allows the user to cut more efficiently. Rocking the knife rather than chopping up and down makes cutting easier.
- Elegantly designed
- Top grade Japanese steel
- Needs to be handled carefully
Best Budget Knife: LEVINCHY Damascus Chef Knife
Top feature: It’s an exceptional value.
I’m tired of kitchen knives that don’t last a long time. Fortunately, the LEVINCHY Damascus Chef Knife won’t let you down because it consists of 67 layers of Damascus steel. This results in a wear-resistant, stain-resistant design that also resists discoloration.
This chef’s knife has a razor-sharp forged edge to provide easy cutting. You’ll also find that the forged edge holds its sharpness for a long time. Best of all, the stunning water ripple surface makes cooking more enjoyable, as it simply looks stunning.
I’m also blown away by the pakkawood handle. Not only does it add to the overall charisma of this knife, but it’s super ergonomic and comfortable to hold and navigate. With a practical grip, you’ll find that you won’t feel as tired when chopping ingredients at mealtimes.
Speaking of the handle, it has the perfect amount of weight to provide ease of movement. Even if you’re slicing food in the kitchen for a while, and no matter your hand size, your hand won’t tire easily.
Finally, I appreciate a knife that’s functional. Because who wants to purchase separate knives for various foods? Its eight-inch blade allows you to chop meat, hard fruit, and vegetables effortlessly. The quality of this knife is astounding considering the affordable price.
- Low maintenance
- Razor-sharp edge makes it easy to cut through food
- Handle is slip-resistant
- It’s an all-rounder for various foods in the kitchen
- Finger guard on the handle provides excellent peace of mind
- Some might prefer a slightly longer handle
- It’s a bit on the heavy side
Best Knife Set: Senken Imperial Collection 8-Piece Knife Collection
Top feature: A lot of value for the money
The Senken Imperial Collection 8-Piece Knife Collection includes a wide range to accommodate various kitchen tasks. Most impressively, they feature a 15-degree edge for superior cutting compared to the typical 25-degree edge. This makes a huge difference when chopping ingredients. And you’ll find that you can slice food with just one go. That means less prep work time.
Moreover, each knife in this set is heat-treated. This creates a razor-sharp cut for extreme durability and easy use. Because when you have the perfect knife, you should only need to guide it. Speaking of durability, each knife is forged from high-carbon stainless steel, known for maintaining an edge.
The last thing you want is a knife that dulls quickly. In fact, with these knives, you’ll be able to slice ingredients in a fraction of the time of traditional knives. All the while, each knife utilizes the traditional Damascus pattern which is not only beautiful but improves performance.
Another great feature of these knives is their ergonomic design. In particular, the pakkawood handle and finger guard protect your hands from injury. This is great for novice chefs as well as those looking for most wrist support.
- Knives have a 15-degree edge compared to the traditional 25-degree edge
- Each knife is sharpened and heat-treated
- Ergonomic design protects your hands and fingers
- The stunning Damascus pattern looks amazing in any kitchen
- Some cooks might not use all the knives in the set
- Doesn’t include a knife block
Best Boning Knife: Dalstrong Shogun Series 8-Inch Boning Knife
Top feature: It’s perfectly weighted to withstand heavy-duty, thicker cuts.
There’s so much that the Dalstrong Shogun Series 8-Inch Boning Knife has to offer. Exceptionally designed, it’s the perfect tool for any chef or pitmaster who needs to carve or debone beef, pork, or wild game. The manufacturer claims it’s great for filleting fish, however, I don’t feel it’s quite flexible enough for more delicate types of fish.
This Dalstrong Shogun boning knife also features a hand-polished ergonomic handle. This design provides all the hand control, comfort, and agility you need. In fact, with just the perfect amount of flex, this knife can access hard-to-reach areas and makes separating joints a breeze.
Most impressively, this blade consists of 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel to remain strong, durable, and stain-resistant. At 8 inches, it’s slightly longer than a typical boning knife allowing longer single slices which greatly reduces hand fatigue.
Overall, the Dalstrong Shogun Series 8-Inch Boning Knife is a well-made knife at a reasonable price. If you fancy yourself an amateur butcher and/or do a lot of barbequing, this might be the perfect tool to add to your kitchen drawer.
- Can handle heavy-duty cuts with precision
- 2.5 mm thickness to cut through tough ingredients
- Ergonomic handle offers control and comfort
- Blade cuts tough, thick ingredients with ease
- Also, available in a 6-inch version
- It might bend slightly if you apply too much force
Top feature: A solid performer which makes an ideal gift
It’s not just the blade that’s the only important aspect of a chef’s knife; the handle matters, too. That’s why this KATSU knife’s handle consists of handcrafted octagonal ebony wood and buffalo horn bolster. This combination provides an ergonomic design that’s lightweight. It also welds to your hand for comfortable use. So it’s going nowhere.
Moreover, this professional knife has a Damascus blade that provides exceptional sharpness and durability. It’s also super easy to sharpen, which is an important trait for me in knives. You may even find that this knife doesn’t require all that much sharpening.
- Lightweight, ergonomic handle makes cooking more comfortable and enjoyable
- Might not require regular sharpening, compared to other knives
- Damascus blade excels in sharpness and durability
- Might not be suitable for tougher meats
Top feature: Unusual and ornate design
The MITSUMOTO SAKARI Knife has some amazing traits. Firstly, it’s forged in 440C Damascus steel with seven layers of laminated steel for all the precision and durability you need. In fact, the Damascus steel blade’s hardness significantly improves sharpness, edge retention, and strength. It’s also rust-resistant and offers a huge amount of strength. This is the same technique used for samurai swords!
The hard blade is perfectly complemented by a 5.12-inch handle. In fact, this handle has an ergonomic shape to feel comfortable when you chop ingredients.
It’s a bit on the expensive side and has a unique look that might not be to everyone’s taste. I can see a pirate having one of these babies clenched in his teeth (don’t try that at home, kids).
- 440C Damascus steel for durability and precision
- Unique design
- Ergonomic handle improves comfort and stability
- Seven layers of laminated steel for durability and toughness
- Blade is rust-resistant and offers excellent edge retention
- Handle’s design might not be to everyone’s tastes
Top feature: A very clean, simple design at a great price.
The BRODARK Damascus Chef Knife is all about durability and strength. Similar to the other knives in this review, the Brodark features 67 layers of Damascus, VG-10 steel that’s tempered to a Rockwell hardness rating of 60. The hard steel and the 14° blade angle make this knife sharp and will stay sharp long after lesser knives become dull.
You’ll also discover that this chef knife has a stunning handle that’s practical. In particular, the handpicked olive wood provides a beautiful texture. This makes cooking more pleasurable. And the handle’s ergonomic design reduces normal wear on your palm while you’re preparing food.
Most importantly, the blade’s ultra-sharp edge provides fast and precise cutting every time you cook.
- Great value
- Ergonomic handle with a stunning texture for grip
- Ultra-sharp blade edge for precise cutting
- Stunning, artistic design for those with minimalist taste
- VG-10 steel core
- Some people might prefer a shaped handle for more support
Top feature: Universally great customer reviews for such an inexpensive knife
Make kitchen prep time easier with the FANTECK 8 Inch Chef Knife. Its blade has a very sharp edge sharped to 10–15 degrees on each side. Combined with a Rockwell hardness of 62+ this knife provides effortless slicing, even when chopping meat.
The handle offers the perfect balance between control and comfort. Ergonomically designed, it achieves an excellent (and even) front and rear cutting action. As a result, you can cut food more efficiently.
- Ultra-sharp blade edge is sharpened to 10–15 degrees on both sides
- Ergonomic handle reduces physical fatigue
- Great online reviews
- Some people might prefer a heavier weight for additional control
Reasons to Buy a Damascus Knife
I didn’t just randomly decide on Damascus knives to write this blog. There are a host of reasons to purchase this type of knife when looking for your next kitchen accessory. Discover below some of the main reasons to upgrade to a Damascus knife.
No one likes a dull knife, and that’s why I frequently recommend Damascus knives. They’re extremely sharp and cut through ingredients with ease. Best of all, the steel holds its edge for a long time.
It’s also easy to sharpen the blade (not that you’ll need to do it all that often). When it comes to sharpening your Damascus chef knife, you can do this at home. It’s not complex, and you won’t require expensive tools, just a good whetstone is all it takes.
To learn more about knife sharpening read our article, 5 Easy Methods For How To Sharpen A Knife.
A Beautiful Blade
What incredible beauty a Damascus blade holds; that’s one of the reasons that make these knives so gift-friendly. If you’re considering one, you’ll notice the array of stunning detail they possess. This type of steel offers extraordinary patterns that remind you of flowing water.
The forging of multiple layers of steel creates this watery effect, which is truly outstanding. You’ll also receive a one-of-a-kind knife that no other type can compare to.
Strength & Durability
The best Damascus chef knife is among the most durable types of knife blades. You’ll never find a Damascus steel knife that breaks easily, and they’re resistant to shattering. You’ll also find that they’re resistant to corrosion and rust. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why they’re such a popular go-to knife for the outdoors.
This material can also withstand glass, stains, moisture, and impact. It can also handle extreme temperatures, which is what makes them so desirable to professional chefs. In particular, a Damascus knife can slice through a joint of meat like it’s nothing. And you’ll also be able to cut through uncooked vegetables effortlessly.
But, like most high-end Japanese knives, hand washing is a must. No dishwashers, please.
Things to Consider When Buying a Knife
So what are some important things to keep in mind when looking for your next kitchen knife? Below are some of the most important features to keep at the front of your mind.
This guide might come in handy if you aren’t familiar with all of the lingo.
A dull kitchen knife is a poor-quality (and unsafe) one. Your knife’s blade needs to be sharp and remain that way for a while. No one wants to have to sharpen their knife every week. Always make sure the knife is made from SG2, VG-10, or AUS-10 carbon steel. If the manufacturer doesn’t specify you should assume the worst.
Another big consideration is the knife’s weight. There’s no one correct weight because it depends on your comfort and personal preference. New home chefs might prefer a lighter knife compared to professionals who want the control of a heavier one.
The handle’s material has a huge impact on the knife’s overall weight. Plus, the larger the knife and the longer the blade, the heavier it’ll be.
Moreover, you want the knife’s weight to be evenly balanced. If it’s heavier at one end than the other, it’ll be more work to cut through ingredients.
Finally, a knife’s handle can make a huge difference in terms of ergonomics and comfort. If you have large hands, ensure that your knife is large enough to fit your grip. Plus, consider a handle with a textured pattern to improve your grip. The last thing you want is for the knife to slip out of your hands while you’re chopping your food.
Remember that a wooden handle isn’t always best. This material can’t be submerged in water as it’ll gather grime. So it requires more care when cleaning.
And The Best Damascus Chef Knife is…
All of the knives in this review have their strengths and would be a great purchase. However, if I could only recommend one knife to you, it would have to be the Shun Classic 8” Chef Knife.
This knife has all the qualities that beginner and experienced chefs are looking for. It’s on the more expensive side but I feel it’s worth every penny.
This Shun Classic 8” Chef Knife is ruthlessly sharp. With a razor-sharp, heat-treated blade, you won’t need to worry about uneven cuts. Plus, the 16° cutting angle makes it easier to cut through tough, thick ingredients. The sophisticated, clean design is beautiful. That’s why I bought one for my kitchen.
Order this knife to enhance your time spent in the kitchen. Happy cooking!