Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 24, 2010 02:49 PM

length of chef's knife desired

I have a question about chef's knives. Is there a particular length that is more desirable than others? I was looking at the Global brand and there are three sizes listed. Just do not know what I should be looking for when it comes to length of the product.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think it's mostly a question of whether you're comfortable working with the larger sizes. If you're small, a large knife may be a bit much to handle. That said, there are a few jobs where a big knife really does come in handy, such as breaking down a chicken. But I think most cooks would agree you can do nearly anything with an 8" chefs knife, and that is certainly the one to have if you only have one. It is the most versatile.

    4 Replies
    1. re: johnb

      I really think it is a question of feeling. However, I am with johnb here, you should be trying an 8 inch chef knife to start.

      What I did was to grab a 7 Inch ceramic chef knife by big bang cooking and a 8 inch steel chef knife. That way I got the hard versatile knife to do all jobs and a lighter, easier to manipulate ceramic knife to cut veggies and smaller meat pieces.

      1. re: johnb

        But if you are using a pinch grip on the balde I find a 9.4" knife to be much more versatile than an 8", especially for larger vegetables like squash, carrots, large heads of broccoli, etc, initially requiring longer cuts.

        1. re: johnb

          I was always told to use the biggest knife that you can comfortably handle. I have large hands and currently use a 12 inch. Beyond that I just use a boning knife and paring knife for specific work.

        2. My sister's a chef, and she recommends an 8-inch knife for everyday vegetable and meat cutting. At first I thought a shorter knife, like a 6-inch, would be more nimble, but my sis says actually a longer knife is more versatile.

          1. Zengarden,

            Obviously, different people have different preference for Chef's knife which is the reason for different sizes. That being said, 8"-8.5" Chef's knife is considered the most popular for home cooks.

            1. That's all good info to consider. This is being brought back as a gift from an overseas trip so I can't actually try out the blades ahead of time.

              Thanks for your help!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Zengarden

                I'd say it depends how big you are. I have a 8" Global, and I'm 6' tall medium build. My girlfriend tends to prefer my pairing knife for many things, but for me 8-10" is perfect

              2. I don't think your size has much to do with it unless you're shorter than the knife... I agree that whatever your size personally, 8" is a good general length. It's more about the balance of the knife. I find 6" chefs to be too handle heavy and 10" chefs to be too heavy toward the tip.

                1 Reply