4 Kitchen Knives That Changed the Way I Cook and Are Worth Buying

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A kitchen knife might seem like something that doesn't need much thought, but having the right one can really make all the difference. If you're a self-proclaimed home chef, then you know exactly what I mean. For years, I used an old knife-block set that someone bought me in college, and to my knowledge that was just how knives worked. Then I tried a professional-grade one, and I truly was blown away at how well it slid through just about anything.

Since then, my knife game has really improved. Being a shopping editor, I've had the chance to test a number of cool brands, four of which have turned out to be my favorites. I'm a big believer in smaller direct-to-consumer brands, and these knives are all from impressive brands that know exactly what they're doing. If you're on the lookout to upgrade your collection, then you'll want to keep reading. I tested them all in several sizes and rounded up my top picks ahead. Take a look to shop them all and even get the full sets.

Hast Kitchen Utility Knife

Hast Kitchen Utility Knife

The Knife: Hast Kitchen Utility Knife ($89)

The Specs: Made from matrix powder steel, this is a more lightweight choice. The Japanese-style blade is sharp and easy to maneuver, and it has a sleek silhouette.

My Favorite Feature: As someone who loves anything sleek and minimal, this brand definitely caught my eye. I have it in gold, which is fun, but it also comes in a few other finishes. Hands down, though, the lightweight design is what really sold me. It feels durable and sharp, yet it has this weightless quality that truly makes me feel like I'm using something much more expensive.

Convinced? You can buy the entire set here: Hast 4P Kitchen Knife Set ($299, originally $316)

Made In Santoku Knife

Made In Santoku Knife

The Knife: Made In Santoku Knife ($99)

The Specs: The seven inch hand-scalloped knife is made with premium nitrogen-treated stainless steel that lasts and stays sharp. The blade comes at a 25 degree angle which is great for meat, fish, vegetables and more.

My Favorite Feature: I had never had a knife like this before, but I quickly fell in love with it. The scalloped edge and shape of the knife make it easy to use for a variety of foods. Plus, it can chop, slice, and dice all super smoothly without feeling like I'm trying too hard.

Convinced? You can buy the entire set here: Made In The Knife Sets ($299, originally $316)

Misen Paring Knife

Misen Paring Knife

The Knife: Misen Paring Knife ($30)

The Specs: The small but mighty design of this paring knife is made with premium AUS-10 steel. It has a special sloped bolster made for the perfect "pinch grip" control and it cuts smoothly.

My Favorite Feature: Of all the knives I tried, this one was the sharpest to me. I actually felt it was so sharp I needed to be careful using it, but that was still a plus in my book. It truly cuts my apples and other hard fruits and veggies quickly and precisely. This is the one I find myself reaching for again and again. The only downside is that I wish it was dishwasher-friendly.

Convinced? You can buy the entire set here: Misen Essentials Knife Set ($130, originally $155)

Material The 8" Knife

Material The 8" Knife

The Knife: Material The 8" Knife ($75)

The Specs: Made with three layers of Japanese steel, this larger knife has a 26-degree edge that is cryogenically tempered to withstand time and a lot of use.

My Favorite Feature: This knife truly does it all. While every set has a chef's knife this size, this one was my favorite of the bunch. Not only does it cut great, but I liked the comfy (and cute) grip that is stain-resistant and feels good and secure on my hand. I put this one in the dishwasher from time to time, and it's held up great.

Convinced? You can buy the entire set here: Material The Trio of Knives ($155)