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May 21, 2012 10:18 AM

Great Western chef's knife for someone with small hands?

hello -
My wife is in the market for a not overly expensive chef's knife. I love my dexter, but it is much too large for her. So...something with a fiarly short (6") blade, and a small-ish handle.



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  1. Hi, Matt:

    Not a lot of info to go by here... Is this a daintiness issue or a hand size issue for DW? Does she know that there are many petite lady chefs who swing big blades? Has she tried your-sized knife without that big D-R palmswell? They can be like picking up a 2x2.

    The good news for you/her is that many inexpensive smaller chefs are just the runts of their bigger siblings--including handles that are scaled down in all dimensions. She should handle a few blades to see what feels best in her hand (and with a pinch-grip). I don't know if it fits the budget, but she might pick up this one as a starting point:

    Wahine now has a 6" chef that was reground from an 8" from which she snapped the tip by using it for prying. It is hers, hers alone, and she knows better than to reach for mine. If your spouse takes a similar approach to taking care of knives, perhaps getting her a "knife decoy" 6-inch that she reaches for can make sense. Otherwise, I'd recommend finding her a normal blade with a smaller, comfy handle.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu


      The Dexter 6" handles are downright twiggy compared to the others. I don't mind the 8" handles but the 6" is too small. May be worth a look.

      Bottom line is she needs to lay hands on them.


      1. re: knifesavers

        Hi, Jim:

        Sorry, mea culpa. I was thinking Winco and typed D-R.


    2. My beloved has very small hands and likes her Thiers Issard 8" carbon chef knife. It is delicate and light. They also come in a stainless version, to which I cannot speak. I assume they are comparable in size and weight. Even lighter and more delicate is their Nogent line. I believe that is what Julia Child used, but she doesn't seem like a woman who would have looked for a knife for small hands.

      1. <I love my dexter, but it is much too large for her>

        Beside the size, have you also consider a lighter knife? A stamped Victorinox Chef's knife will be a touch thinner without the bolster, so it will be a lighter knife. If weight is the issue, then you can still get her a 8" stamped knife. Tim's suggestion for Thier Issard is great too, just make sure your wife does not mind a carbon steel knife (as opposed to stainless steel)

        1. Hi, My wife has small hands as well. Last fall, she picked the Miyabi Fusion by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (Japan). The handle ergo is very nice, and the overall balance & proportions of the knife felt most right to her. Thus far, we’re really happy with VG-10 version. I believe the other versions uses the same handle w/ different blade steel (“S” == German steel, “D” == VG-10, “MC” == powdered steel). Other small handle alternatives… Wusthof grand prix 2, Global (if you like metal handles) and perhaps Mac.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JavaBean

            Wait...Zwilling is making powdered steel? I knew they are now making the production Kramers but I'd love to try a Cowry-X Henckel!
            I always thought the Miyabi's were CMV-60.

            1. re: TraderJoe

              I believe Zwilling started to make the powder steel knives way before the Zwilling Kramers. They are not well-liked, but I have never handled one. You may like it though.

              1. re: TraderJoe

                Hi.  There are a bunch of different models in the Miyabi line.  For some reason, Henckel gave them similar names and also renames the blade steel.  From what I've read, what Henkel calls: 

                "CMV-60" is VG-10 ==Miyabi Fusion, Kaizen, 600"D"

                "MC63" is SG-2 == Miyabi Birchwood, 5000 or 7000 series with an "MCD" suffix

                "MC66" is ZDP-189  == 5000 or 7000 series with an "MC" suffix