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In this in-depth review of the Made In 8-inch chef’s knife, you’ll learn:
- How it looks and feels (with lots of pictures)
- What it’s made of and how it’s made
- How it performs in the kitchen
- What makes it unique
- Why you should or should not buy it
- And much more
So, if you’re shopping for a high-quality kitchen knife and you’re considering the Made In 8-inch chef’s knife, keep reading.
Use the links below to navigate the review:
- Quick Overview of Made In
- Where It’s Made
- How It’s Made
- Blade and Handle Material
- What Others Are Saying
- Pros, Cons, and the Bottom Line
Quick Overview of Made In
Before I jump into the specifics of the Made In chef’s knife, it’s important to understand what makes Made In unique as a company.
In 2016, childhood friends Chip Malt and Jake Kalick launched Made In to offer premium cookware at a not-so-premium price.
Instead of selling through retailers that add generous markups, Made In sells its cookware exclusively on MadeInCookware.com.
This direct-to-consumer business model allows Made In to keep costs low and pass those savings onto you.
In other words, those companies charge a premium because they have a proven track record of quality and durability. Made In is still a new brand, and it needs to prove it’s worth in the market before it can demand higher prices.
The company also offers a line of carbon steel cookware. If you’re not familiar with carbon steel, it’s a popular type of cookware among professional chefs because it combines the durability of cast iron, the even heating of stainless steel, and the easy-release surface of non-stick cookware into one pan.
In addition to pots and pans, Made In offers an array of high-quality kitchen knives. Made In’s best-seller is the 8-inch chef’s knife, which is the focus of this review.
One of the things I like most about the Made In 8-inch chef’s knife is its design.
It’s stylish and functional—one quick look, and you can tell it’s a thoughtfully-designed and high-quality knife.
I could go on and on, but the best way to explain the design is to show you.
Let’s start with how the knife is presented.
Each Made In 8-inch chef knife arrives in a box just big enough to hold the knife, keeping it safe during transport.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find a slip that includes information on where the knife is forged and visual instructions on how to handle it properly.
On the other side of the slip are tips on everything from care and maintenance to knife safety.
This handy information is like a quick-start guide for home chefs. It’s especially useful if you’ve never had to care for a premium kitchen knife in the past.
Each Made In 8-inch Chef Knife comes with a custom sheath suitable to store and protect the blade when you’re not chopping. You won’t need the sheath if you already have a knife block, but it’s a nice feature if you don’t.
Made in chef’s knives come in your choice of red, black, or gray handles.
The handles have a slightly rounded profile with a gradual flare for gripping. Two stainless steel rivets mount the handle securely to the blade.
The handle is designed to fit comfortably and securely in one hand, allowing your fingers to grip just behind the bolster and your thumb to rest on the face of the blade.
The Made In 8-inch Chef Knife has a double bevel blade, which means that it has a cutting angle on both sides.
Each side is cut at 12.5 degrees, which results in a total cutting angle of 25 degrees. The 25-degree cutting angle makes the knife more durable, but still retains the sharpness needed to handle the demands of the busy home chef.
The nitrogen-treated, fully forged, full-tang blade measures 8.5 inches, 13 inches overall (including the handle).
The tang is the part of the blade that extends through the butt end of the handle. This type of design makes the knife heavier, more balanced, and more secure since the handle and blade can never be separated.
The Made In logo is engraved on both sides of the blade. One side also includes details about the country of origin, the blade’s construction, the type of steel, and the hardening process.
Made In gives you the option to add custom engraving to the side of the blade. You can place up to 20 characters in the engraving box, which is located just below the logo. This is a great way to personalize a knife for a gift or special occasion.
Comparing the Design to Wusthof Chef’s Knives
For comparison, take a look at the Made In 8-inch chef’s knife next to the Wusthof Classic chef knife in the picture below.
The Wusthof knife has three rivets and a bolster that extends onto the cutting surface of the blade, while the Made In knife’s bolster is well behind the blade’s cutting surface.
Both knives featured a curved space near the bolster for you to rest your fingers and provide a buffer zone from the sharp edge.
Wusthof also features a curved edge on the butt, which is ideal for ergonomic support and gives you a place to rest your pinky finger.
Made In has a straight handle with no curve at the butt end, which may make it less comfortable to hold for some people during extended cutting sessions, and may cause instability of grip if your hands are wet.
As I use the Made In knife, I’ve been paying close attention to the comfort and safety of the handle. And, despite the straight design, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the grip, comfort, and stability. After using a Wusthof knife for so many years, it took a few weeks to get used to, but now it feels comfortable and safe.
Where It’s Made
Made In partners with a family-owned French knife factory in Thiers, France—a region that’s become known at the Capital of Cutlery because companies in this commune have been producing fully forged knives for over 700 years.
Today, Thiers is home to about 100 knife makers, a cutlery museum, and has roads named Rue de la Coutellerie (translation: Cutlery Street), Rue des Usines (translation: Factories Street).
The point is—it’s a place that’s full of cutlery expertise, talent, and tradition. Its economy relies on knife making, and, because of that, they do it very well.
How It’s Made
As I touched on in the Design section, this French-made knife is fully forged.
Fully forged means that the knife is made from one single rod of metal. This rod is heated and hammered into its form to create the kind of balance and durability not always present in welded or stamped knives.
It takes three teams to complete a Made In Chef Knife: forging, finishing, and industrial design.
The forging process hardens the steel and increases its durability. A unique nitrogen treatment seals in the sharpness of the blade, adds strength to the blade, and combats corrosion. The nitrogen treatment also makes the knife easy to clean, retaining its brilliant luster long term.
Next, a heat treatment process heats, cools, and then slightly reheats the blade to produce the right amount of flexibility.
Finally, the blade is finished with a grinding process to ensure sharpness and high aesthetic quality.
Blade and Handle Material
Made In makes its blades with X50CrMoV15 steel—the same type of stainless steel that Wusthof and Zwilling, the prestigious German knife makers, use.
With a carbon content of .5%, chromium content of 15%, and smaller amounts of molybdenum and vanadium, X50CrMoV15 is exceptionally durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and incredibly hard.
This balance of corrosion resistance and exceptional durability is why X50CrMoV15 is considered the ideal material for knife blades.
The handle is made out of a synthetic resin that has a tight molecular structure. It’s similar to Polyoxymethylene (POM), the material that Wusthof uses for its Classic knife line. Think plastic, but much more durable.
It’s characteristics–resistant to fading, discoloration, and damage from moisture and high temperatures–make it the ideal material for knife handles. Since it’s non-porous, germs and bacteria won’t linger like they can on wooden handles.
In the cutlery industry, knife makers use the Rockwell scale to benchmark the hardness of their blades.
Harder steel is always better, right?
The level of hardness has an impact on durability and edge retention. Harder steel keeps its edge longer but is more likely to chip compared to softer steel. Softer steel is more durable but will lose its edge faster.
Made In 8-inch Chef Knives have a Rockwell score of 58-60, which is known in the knife industry as an ideal score for consistent use without chipping or breaking.
With the 58-60 score, the edge of the knife can hold its own for an extended period without a constant need for sharpening.
For comparison, Wusthof knives have a Rockwell score of 58, and Zwilling knives have a Rockwell score of 57.
The Made In 8-inch Chef Knife is crafted to last a lifetime.
It’s incredibly sharp and performs well.
The sharpness of the blade right out of the box makes it easier to prep foods without a lot of effort.
When a knife is less sharp or even dull, it makes cutting difficult and less precise.
If you’re used to using a 6-inch knife, the Made In chef knife will feel big at first (it has an 8.5-inch blade). But, its long blade is ideal for chopping large or hearty fruits and vegetables like melon, cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli, and for cutting large chunks of meat, like ribs, roasts, and turkey.
Even though the blade is long, it’s still nimble enough to chop garlic, onions, leafy vegetables and herbs.
The Made In chef’s knife has a 12.5-degree angle on both sides, providing a combined cutting angle of 25 degrees.
A 25-degree angle is an exceptionally sharp angle.
If you’re not familiar, the smaller the angle, the sharper the edge.
Most chef’s knives are sharpened to a 14 or 15-degree angle per side. At a 12.5-degree angle per side, the Made In chef’s knife is sharper than the average chef’s knife.
I tested the sharpness by slicing grapes and produced thin cross-sections of the delicate fruit in seconds with little effort.
With a total cutting angle of 25-degrees, you can slice through anything from delicate, ripe fruit to chicken bones. It’s an ideal sharpness for most kitchen tasks and meal prep.
A sharp edge is great, but if the edge doesn’t stay sharp, it doesn’t help you much.
Fortunately, with Made In, you get both sharpness and long-lasting edge retention.
The composition of the carbon steel, along with the forging process used to manufacture the blade, lend to the integrity of the blade’s edge.
The blade is carefully sharpened and goes through a nitrogen treatment, which among other benefits, seals in the sharpness of the blade’s edge.
Like every other knife, the Made In chef’s knife will eventually dull with consistent use.
The good news—sharpening your knife is simple and Made In provides helpful tips and advice on its blog to help you when the time comes.
I’ve been using the Made In chef’s knife daily for months, and it’s just as sharp as it was in day one—I haven’t noticed any dulling of the edge.
The 8-inch chef’s knife features full tang construction, which means that the blade extends into the butt of the handle instead of connecting partially. The tang provides excellent balance and distributes weight evenly throughout the blade and handle.
Knives that do not have a full tang tend to be heavy on the blade side, which makes handling more difficult and, over time, puts stress on your wrist.
The knife weighs 0.5 pounds, heavy enough to rest surely on your cutting surface as you work, but not so heavy that it becomes cumbersome to hold.
The bolster is the thicker part of the knife between the blade and the handle. It also provides balance when you are using the knife and doubles as a safety feature.
When it comes to handling incredibly sharp knives like this one, safety is of the utmost importance.
And, despite its razor-sharp edge, the Made In knife is built to keep you safe as long as you use it properly.
Besides adding balance, the bolster protects your fingers from the sharpness of the blade.
The full tang construction also ensures that the blade will not be able to separate from the handle.
Besides that, the Rockwell score of 58-60 means that it’s hard enough to withstand heavy work without breaking or bending.
What Others Are Saying
The Made In 8-inch chef’s knife earned the designation of the Most User-Friendly Chef’s Knife in Good Housekeeping’s review of the 11 Best Chef’s Knives. The Good Housekeeping Institute staff say it’s “very pretty to look at, it performed every cutting task well,” and we agree.
On the Made In website, verified purchasers of the 8-inch Chef’s Knife give it nearly a 100% approval rating of five stars from more than 300 reviews. Reviewers are impressed with the sharpness of the blade and the overall look and feel of the knife.
On the flip side, some experts have less-than-stellar opinions about the Made In chef’s knife.
Epicurious tested 20 different knives to find the best one at every budget. They tested Made In, but it didn’t make the list because it “was extremely sharp out of the box [but] it dulled quickly with each subsequent use.”
They also claim that it “couldn’t handle the more delicate jobs of slicing onions, tender herbs, or tomato nearly as well as our winning knives.”
This may be true compared to the other 19 knives they tested, but, in the months I’ve been using the knife, I haven’t noticed any issues slicing delicate foods.
Experts at the Wirecutter, a New York Times Company that specializes in product evaluations, weren’t impressed with the design of the Made In Chef’s knife.
They claim “the Made In knife’s deep blade curve and angled bolster (which sets the handle too far back from the blade) made chopping and slicing awkward.”
It’s true, the blade is slightly farther from the handle compared to other knives, but I would hardly say that this makes it awkward to use.
I can’t talk about the Made In chef’s knife without talking about the price.
As I mentioned previously, Made In keeps its prices low by selling exclusively on its website.
Without these middlemen adding hefty margins, Made In can offer a much lower price.
But how much lower?
The Made In chef’s knife is not cheap. After all, it’s made in France with the same materials and construction as most premium brands in the industry. But, you can still get it for significantly less.
To see the current price of the Made In chef’s knife, check it out on MadeInCookware.com.
For comparison, click the links below to view the prices of other 8-inch chef’s knives from much more established brands on Amazon.
- Wusthof Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
- Zwilling Pro 8-inch Chef’s Knife
- Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife
Pros, Cons, and the Bottom Line
Now that you know what the Made In chef’s knife looks like, what it’s made of, where it’s made, how it performs, and how much it costs, it’s time to make a decision.
Should you buy it?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons before I give you my recommendation.
- It has an elegant and well-balanced design with a full tang and a double-riveted handle that comes in red, black, or gray.
- It’s incredibly sharp with a total cutting angle of 25 degrees (3 degrees sharper than Wusthof knives).
- It’s fully forged blade is nitrogen-treated to seal in the sharpness, so you don’t need to sharpen it frequently.
- Its blade is made from X50CrMoV15 steel, which is durable and resistant to rust and corrosion.
- It’s made in a family-owned, multi-generational factory in Thiers, France, the Capital of Cutlery.
- It’s significantly less expensive (see the current price on MadeInCookware.com) than well-established brands that offer comparable knives in terms of materials, design, and performance.
- Made In is still a new and unproven brand. Although it’s knives are well-made, it’s unknown whether they will last for decades as you expect with a premium product.
- Made In’s knife collection is currently limited to the 8-inch chef’s knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife. So, if you prefer a smaller 6-inch chef’s knife, or want to add to your collection later, you don’t have many options.
- The handle is straight, which might be less comfortable compared to other knives that have contoured handles.
- The blade is wide, which makes it challenging to maneuver in tight spaces (ex. breaking down a whole chicken).
- There’s a larger gap between the handle and blade compared to most knives, which could make it more awkward to chop, especially if you have small hands.
- Since you can only buy it on MadeInCookware.com, you can’t hold it and try it out in a store like you can with other brands.
With all that said, if you’re looking for a well-made and razor-sharp chef’s knife that will look great in your kitchen and won’t break the bank, Made In is an excellent option. The only place you can buy it is on MadeInCookware.com.
If you’re comfortable spending more for a proven brand that you know will last, one that offers a variety of knives so you can build your collection over time, you might want to look elsewhere.
I am a big fan of Wusthof knives (check them out on Amazon), a German knifemaker that’s been in the business for centuries. But, due to its history of excellence, you’ll pay much more.
If you’re still not sure which knife is best for you, check out my other reviews below and read up on some of the other top options on the market.
- Made In Carbon Steel Cookware Review: Everything You Need to Know
- Is Made In Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth and Unbiased Review
- All-Clad vs. Made In: The Ultimate Cookware Comparison
- Wusthof vs. Zwilling J.A. Henckels: In-Depth Kitchen Knife Comparison
- Best Chef’s Knife Under $100
- Wusthof vs. Victorinox: How Do Their Kitchen Knives Compare?
- Wusthof Classic vs. Wusthof Ikon: What Are the Differences?
- Wusthof Classic vs. Gourmet: Kitchen Knife Comparison (With Pictures)
- Shun vs. Wusthof: In-Depth Kitchen Knife Comparison
- Cutco vs. Wusthof: How Do Their Kitchen Knives Compare?
Do you have a question about the Made In chef’s knife? Have you tried it out already? Let us know in the comments below.