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Mar 26, 2008 04:03 PM

knives - differences in blade length

what are the benefits and differences between chefs knives that are 8" to 10"? im very close to buying a brand new knife this week but im not sure on the size so if you have any suggestions on the length it would be appreciated =D

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  1. a lot depends on what your use to and what you cut. I have a 8" German chef knife and a 9.5" Japanese gyuto. With the bolster on the German knife the effective length is less and using a pinch grip will lessen the effective length but what part of the knife do you really cut with. Usually an area closer to the handle than the tip. If you are slicing a large brisket you would appreciate the longer 10" blade.

    1 Reply
    1. This is totally personal choice. At work I often prefer a 10" knife as I appreciate the weight. I have German 8 and 10 as well as globals. Some times light is nice as well. It's like asking which is better, A stiff boner or a flexible one. They both have their strong points. There is a pretty substantial difference in weight between the two. Go to a store and handle both. There are no wrong choices. ;)

      1. The bigger the knife, the better the lever effect you get, longer knifes are no necessarily heavier, although it would be reasonable to assume that with two knives from the same range, the bigger one would be heavier; perhaps the manufacturers like to keep them the same weight though?

        For home use it seems that an 8" is better, although that is mainly based on space and such like - smaller worktops,smaller knife etc.

        In summation, the 10" wont really show a huge difference from the 8", but if you think that extra weight(?) and extra leverage justify the extra cost, then take the plunge and go for the 10" knife. :)

        1. I weighed a couple just for the heck of it.

          8" Wusthof classic 8.75 oz
          12" Wusthof classic 12.5 oz.
          10" Global 9 0z

          The global feels much lighter in the hand although I'm not a pinch gripper. For me there is a major difference between what I might want at home and at work. Either way I find the 8-10" to be the most used. The type of steel and the style of knife is as important as the size.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Docsknotinn

            Well that kinda proves the point that a bigger knife from the same range is generally heavier, but a bigger knife in general is not necessarily heavier - especially if it's Japanese.

            However, like most people said, it's a case of personal preference... go try the knifes out and see.

            1. re: Anthony D

              I think it really shows that size is not always a solid indicator of weight. The 10" global only weighs a hair more than a 2" shorter German knife. However the Global feels much lighter. Either way I completly agree, you have to hold a knife to know which you will prefer.

              1. re: Docsknotinn

                personally im planning on getting a german made knife

          2. All other things being equal, I prefer a 10" forged German chef's knife for most applications. But all other things aren't necessarily equal; the biggest variable is the size of the cutting board. Bigger blades require bigger boards. I usually use 11"x14" flexible silicone mats, but working on them with a 10" blade feels cramped. So the 8" is my go-to knife.