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The 8 Most Expensive Chef’s Knives (That Are Actually Worth It)

A chef’s knife is an all-purpose workhorse in the kitchen. Slicing, dicing, mincing, cutting, breaking up bones, smashing, scooping—you name it, a chef’s knife can do it.

Due to its versatility, it’s the knife you’ll use most frequently, by far.

So, if you’re investing a significant amount of money in one kitchen knife, spend it on a chef’s knife.

In this guide, I share with you the 8 most expensive chef’s knives in the world that are actually worth it. These knives range from around $200 to over $1000.

A more expensive knife isn’t always a better knife, so keep reading to learn why the knives in this guide cost so much and whether they’re worth the investment.

Let’s get started.

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Miyabi Black 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Miyabi Black 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is one of the most expensive chef’s knives in the world. You can check the current price on Amazon and Zwilling.com.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Not only is this a practical chef’s knife, but it’s an artful masterpiece. The flowering Damascus finish and the unique black ash wood handle makes this knife a statement in the kitchen.

The blade is made of 133 layers of micro-carbide powdered steel. It’s ice-hardened to an incredible 66 on the Rockwell Scale. With this knife, you’re getting an incredibly sharp and long-lasting edge.

The knife is hand-crafted in Seki, Japan, and sharpened using a traditional Honbazuke method. Miyabi provides authentic Japanese kitchenware, so you’re paying for a well-renowned brand name.

Is It Worth the Money?

You’re definitely paying more for the knife’s stunning appearance. While the Damascus pattern also helps with food release, and the D-shaped handle provides extra comfort and grip, this blade is expensive due to the overall aesthetic. An artful knife is worth the money for some people, but for others — it’s not.

However, the blade is more than just eye candy —  the 133 layers of micro-carbide powdered steel takes exceptional craftsmanship. The blade is both hard and sharp, which makes cutting effortless. Are you looking for perfect slices? For many people, this makes it worth the price. It also boasts brilliant edge retention.

While the blade has many benefits, it’s not as tough as others knives. Blades with high Rockwell Hardness Scores hold their edge well but are more brittle. So I recommend, and so does Miyabi, you have some cooking experience before purchasing this expensive knife.

If you value aesthetics and extreme sharpness, this knife is worth the money. But if aesthetics aren’t as important, and you’re after something more of a tough workhorse, this might not be the best option for you.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Miyabi Birchwood 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

For another expensive knife, let’s look at the Miyabi Birchwood 8-Inch Chef’s knife. It’s available on Amazon and Zwilling.com.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This knife is a work of art. The blade has a flowering Damascus pattern, while the handle is made of traditional Japanese Karelian (Masur) Birch. With a thin red line around the handle’s top and bottom, this knife has a regal appearance.

The blade material is created with an SG2 micro-carbide powder steel core with 100 layers protecting it. It’s ice-hardened to 63 on the Rockwell scale, and sharpened — using the Honbazuke method — to a 9.5 to 12-degree edge. 

This exquisite knife is hand-crafted in Seki, Japan, so you are paying for an authentic Japanese knife.

Is It Worth the Money?

If you value an aesthetically striking knife with exceptional performance, then it is worth the money. The birchwood that makes up the handle is prized around the world.  Therefore, the coveted handle material drives up the price. If you are someone who loves exclusivity, this knife is definitely worth it.

But it’s not solely about image. The blade boasts exceptional sharpness that lasts.

It’s a bit softer than some other Japanese knives, scoring a Rockwell 63, so it’s going to be more of a workhorse in the kitchen — especially for a Japanese knife.

SG2 steel is one of the best materials for kitchen knives. It holds its edge well and is very durable. Plus, it’s easy to sharpen. Overall, this knife is worth its money if you’re willing to pay a little extra for the aesthetics.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Shun Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Are you noticing a trend? Japanese chef knives, like Miyabi and Shun, tend to be expensive, and this one is no exception.  The Shun Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is available on Amazon, where you can check the current price.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The Shun Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is designed for everyday use: it’s lightweight, versatile, comfortable, and easy to use. Weighing only 7.5 ounces, this blade is lightweight and perfect for meal prepping for the week or creating five-course meals for guests.

The blade is crafted with VG-Max super steel at its core. Surrounded with 68 layers of Damascus cladding, the core is protected with a hammered finish that easily releases food and looks stunning.

The knife is hand-crafted in Japan, so you’re paying for a genuine Japanese knife.

And don’t overlook the handle. You’ll find that the contoured Pakkawood, making a statement with a walnut finish, is shaped to offer comfort and control.

Is It Worth the Money?

With this knife, you get your money’s worth because it’s been designed for everyday use. It’s perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping all kinds of ingredients, including fruit, vegetables, fish, and meats.

The blade is also a huge selling point. The VG-Max steel is one of the newest super steels available in the VG line. It’s fine-grained and offers strength, corrosion resistance, and a sharp, long-lasting edge. So if you’re always looking for the latest technological advances, this knife will be worth the money.

It’s sharpened to 16 degrees per side for quick and precise cuts. While it’s not as sharp as some other Japanese knives, it’s a bit more versatile and durable, making it effective at cutting through thicker bits of meat as well as fruits and vegetables.

Lastly, the walnut-colored Pakkawood handle is durable and moisture resistant. This knife is as practical as it is beautiful.

If you value sharpness, versatility, and practical features, then this knife is worth the money. But if you’re after something a bit sharper, there are more suitable options on the market.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon. Also, check out my in-depth review of Shun kitchen knives to learn more.

Shun Dual Core 8-Inch Kiritsuke Knife

This is technically a Kiritsuke knife, but this style is very similar to a chef’s knife. Kiritsuke blades are versatile, but they take a bit of knife skills to master.  Keep reading to see why the Shun Dual Core 8-Inch Kiritsuke Knife is one of the world’s most expensive knives. Check out the current price on Amazon.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This knife is suitable for all kitchen tasks. Whether you’re dicing fruit, julienning vegetables, or cleaning and portioning fish — this blade can handle the job.

It has a straight edge, making it powerful at slicing and push cuts, rather than rocking. The edge is razor sharp at 16 degrees per side, and the blade is made of 71 alternating layers of VG10 and VG2 stainless steel.

This knife has received a lot of press and praise, which adds to its hefty price tag. In fact, it was chosen as the Kitchen Knife of the Year by Blade Magazine.

Is It Worth the Money?

The dual core is a big selling point for this knife. The blend of high-carbon and high-chromium steels is what gives this knife its edge. VG10 and VG2 steels both wear down at different speeds, creating micro-serrations along the edge, which keeps the blade sharper longer. So if you’re looking for something unique and long-lasting, then it’s worth the money.

The handle is also something to note. The traditional eight-sided handle is made with ebony Pakkawood and provides a secure and comfortable grip. Plus, the Pakkawood is durable, moisture resistant, and resistant to bacteria.

The knife includes a rabbeted tang, which helps with weight and control. This is actually how samurai swords were made, so if you value these nods to the past, it’s worth the money.

However, rabbeted tangs aren’t as strong as full tangs. They don’t extend up the handle. If you are looking for an extremely durable knife, this might not be worth the money for you. I also don’t recommend this knife if you don’t have much cooking experience as it takes a skilled hand.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Kramer by Zwilling Euroline 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Kramer Stainless Damascus Chef’s Knife is one of the most expensive in the world. Check the price on Amazon or Zwilling.com.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This knife was created with Bob Kramer, a master bladesmith and is one of the only master bladesmiths in the world specializing in kitchen cutlery. Cook’s Illustrated wrote that this knife outperformed every other knife they’ve rated. Not only is it expensive because of its creator, but because of its superb quality.

This Kramer features an SG2 (MC63) micro-carbide powder steel blade with an extra-wide design, which provides maximum ergonomics for large hands. It’s also designed to cut through larger ingredients like bones and thick meats.

Ice-hardened to 63 degrees on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, this knife has an edge angle of nine to 12 degrees on each side. It’s incredibly sharp, but still tough enough to provide long-lasting edge retention.

The knife is hand-finished by Japanese artisans.

Is It Worth the Money?

If you’re a fan of Bob Kramer and have always longed for one of his knives, then this is definitely worth the money. It is a luxury knife, but it’s worth the investment because of the quality of the blade.

Kramer designed the knife to his exacting standards, maximizing each curve and prioritizing balance and utility. The sharpness is compared to that of a scalpel, so you can make precise cuts. Also, the consideration for larger hands is especially appealing for some.

However, if you’re after something a bit more striking in appearance, this might not be worth the money for you. Compared to some of the other Japanese knives we reviewed, this knife’s handle is a bit lackluster. However, it’s comfortable with a secure grip, which makes up for it.

Overall, this is an excellent choice if you’re a Bob Kramer fan, after a wider knife, and looking for a tough and sharp blade. It might not be worth the money if you want something a bit more striking in appearance.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Kramer by Zwilling Meiji 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Another knife crafted by the famous Bob Kramer, it’s no wonder this knife is one of the most expensive in the world. You can check the current price on Amazon or Zwilling.com.

Why Is It So Expensive?

As another one of Bob Kramer’s creations, the name recognition carries a high price point. The Meiji knife combines traditional Japanese aesthetics and Western-style ease of use. The result is an incredibly sharp yet durable kitchen knife. 

This blade is designed to tackle most jobs, whether you’re slicing meat, mincing ginger, or dicing up onions. With a razor-sharp edge and a comfortable handle, you get complete control and incredible results with this knife.

The blade is constructed of FC61 fine carbide stainless steel underneath 100 layers of nickel and stainless steel. It’s finished with an etched ladder Damascus pattern before being ice-hardened to ensure ultimate durability, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.

Is It Worth the Money?

One of the unique aspects of this knife is the steel. It’s made from a relatively new type: FC61. This fine-grained Swedish steel scores a 61 on the Rockwell Scale, making it tough and super durable. It’s harder than high-quality German knives, but a bit softer than Japanese knives, lending it a perfect in-between. 

The blade is unlikely to chip under normal use and holds its edge well. Zwilling doesn’t disclose the edge sharpness, but we know that this steel is a bit harder to sharpen than others. So if you are looking for total transparency, this knife might not be worth the money for you.

Of course, it’s worth the money if you’re a Bob Kramer fan. You’re paying for his 19 years of forging experience. Combine that with the seven centuries of traditional Japanese craftsmanship that goes into creating this knife, and you’ve got yourself a statement piece that’s well worth the money.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Wüsthof Ikon 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Wüsthof is one of the best kitchen knife brands in the world, and the Wüsthof Ikon 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the jewel of its collection. This knife is pricey, but it’s an investment you’ll enjoy for decades. Check out the current price on Amazon.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Wüsthof knives are renowned for their durability, so that’s a big reason they’re priced so high. This knife is shaped for optimal chopping, mincing, and dicing. It also has the strength to cut through tough meats and bones. No matter your ingredients, this knife can handle the job.

This is a workhorse knife. One of the beloved features is the half bolster, which offers protection and balances the blade for easier maneuverability. When the edge needs sharpening, the half bolster makes that job easier (it doesn’t prevent you from sharpening the entire edge as full bolsters do).

Another feature I love about this knife is the Grenadill handle. Grenadill, also referred to as African Blackwood, is an extremely dense, ultra-durable wood. The dark hue and wood grains give this knife an elegant natural look without the maintenance most wooden handles require.

When you buy from Wüsthof, you pay for a brand name with over 200 years of experience. The knife is forged in Solingen, Germany — a region known as the City of Blades.

Is It Worth the Money?

Although you are paying for a brand name, you’re also paying for a quality product. If you’re after a tough and versatile workhorse knife, this Wüsthof knife is worth the high price tag.

The blade scores a 58 on the Rockwell scale, so it’s a bit of a softer steel than the previously mentioned knives, but that makes it more durable and less likely to chip. Wüsthof also uses a unique steel formula: X50CRMOV15.

Overall, this means that the blade is sharp, stain-resistant, hard, and will hold its edge, which is all you can ask from a chef’s knife.

While this is worth the money if you’re after all these characteristics, this knife isn’t for everyone. It’s a German knife, so it’s a little thicker than most Japanese knives. If you’re after a super sharp knife with aesthetic flair, this blade won’t be worth your money.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Yoshihiro Blue High Carbon Steel 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Last but not least is the Yoshihiro Blue High Carbon Steel 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. It’s one of the most expensive in the world, but one I highly recommend. You can check the price on Amazon.

Why Is It So Expensive?

This knife is considered one of the most supreme of high-carbon steel metallurgy. It scores a 64-65 on the Rockwell scale, ensuring excellent hardness and edge retention.

Not only does this knife perform, but it’s also strikingly beautiful. The rustic blade is eye-catching, and the handmade Shitan Rosewood octagonal handle dazzles as well. Not only are you paying for a sharp, durable knife, but also a work of art.

The blade is wider and straighter than standard chef’s knives. The shape is perfect for chopping just about any ingredient. The curved tip is ideal for cutting thin slices when preparing meat or fish.

Is It Worth the Money?

For the quality steel alone, the Yoshihiro Blue High Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife is worth the high price tag. It boasts exceptional sharpness and edge retention. The blade is hard but not brittle, and it’s easy to sharpen.

It’s also worth the money if you’re after an artistic statement piece for the kitchen. You’re paying for the craftsmanship behind this knife. But if you don’t value aesthetics, this might not be worth it for you.

Keep in mind that this knife requires a bit of extra maintenance to keep it in mint condition. It does come with a protective sheath, but if you are clumsy or prone to dropping your knives, this might not be worth the money.

Remember, this knife requires hand washing and must be dried immediately. Be careful with acidic ingredients that can cause the carbon steel to oxidize. Lastly, if you work with bones, nutshells, or frozen foods, this isn’t the knife for you, as it’s not compatible with these ingredients. If you need a workhorse style of knife, this one won’t be worth the money.

Read more reviews and check the current price of this knife on Amazon.

Really Expensive Chef’s Knives (That I Wouldn’t Recommend)

The knives in this section all cost over $400. Despite their high price and the implication of high-quality, I wouldn’t recommend any of these for home cooks. 

Venturing into this price range is unnecessary for most of us. Given the quality and durability of the knives in the previous sections, the added benefit of spending more is very minimal.

Here are some expensive chef’s knives that aren’t worth the money (for most home cooks):

Yoshihiro Hayate ZDP-189 8.25-Inch Chef’s Knife (view on Amazon): This is a jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art, hand-crafted knife. It’s made with high carbon stain-resistant steel with maximum cutting performance and edge retention. It scores a 66-67 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, making it very tough, but more brittle than other knives. It definitely is beautiful, but you’ll find similar aesthetics and performance from the knives we examined in the previous section.

Yoshihiro Honyaki Shiroko 10.5-Inch Chef’s Knife (view on Amazon): Hand-crafted using traditional methods, mirror-finished, and true forged, this is a high-quality Japanese knife. With a curved blade for rocking and an extended tip for chopping, this knife allows you to change your cutting methods depending on the ingredient. It’s stunning, but there are many similar options for a lower price.

JCK Original Kagayaki 8.2-Inch Chef’s Knife (view on Amazon): This multi-purpose knife is known for its versatility, durability, and construction. It’s Damascus finish is eye-catching.

Friedr. Dick Jubilee 10-Inch Chef’s Knife (view on Amazon): This knife is constructed using 45 steps. Overall, the formula is a secret, but we know that it’s made of high-alloy Double X VG 12 carbon steel, which creates a hard, precise, and corrosion-resistant blade.

Wüsthof Classic 14-Inch Chef’s Knife (view on Amazon): This knife commands a high price point due to its 14-inch blade. It’s longer and heavier, and due to this extra length and balance, it’s more suited for heavy-duty work, like cutting thicker ingredients. Overall, this is far too long for most home kitchen tasks, so I would recommend going for the Wüsthof Classic Cook’s Knife in the six or eight-inch size instead. If you need a blade this long, look into a cheaper option since you likely won’t use it too often.

Final Thoughts

Chef’s knives come in a wide range of prices. Just keep in mind that the highest prices don’t always mean the knife is better. If you’re on a tighter budget, there are plenty of excellent chef’s knives under $100.

When you shop for a chef’s knife, prioritize the characteristics that are more important to you. This could be the brand name, design, materials, edge retention, the feeling of it in your hand, price, or sharpness.

Once you know what you want, find one that matches your budget. That may be one of these expensive knives, or it may be one for under $100. In general, you can’t go wrong with trusted brands like Miyabi, Shun, Zwilling, and Wüsthof.

You can check the current prices of the 8 most expensive knives that I recommend on Amazon using the links below: 

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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