I’m rounding out my Kitchen Favorites series with what are arguably the most important tools in any cook’s arsenal: kitchen knives! As a recovering cheapskate, I’m often tempted to settle for the least expensive kitchen tools. For some items, this works out just fine. But over the years I’ve discovered that—with few exceptions—kitchen knives are one area where you are better off spending a bit more for higher quality items. Those all-in-one knife block sets may seem like a great deal, but they generally contain poorly crafted knives that don’t work well and have a short lifespan. I’ve also found that I really don’t need that many knives. In fact, the knives I’ve listed here are enough to meet all of my slicing and dicing needs. I’ve included my favorite knife accessories in my list, too!

Kitchen Knife Essentials

Shun Classic Ultimate Utility Knife: This utility knife is amazing. The scalloped edge is razor-sharp and sturdy enough to slice through everything from spaghetti squash to crusty loaves of bread. It doesn’t hurt that the knife is beautiful—with its glossy wooden handle and layered steel blade, the knife is truly a piece of art.

Shun Classic Paring Knife: Shun makes great knives, and I love this 4-inch paring knife. It is incredibly sharp and easy to use, and it’s almost as pretty as the utility knife. Both of my Shun knives came with fancy boxes and lifetime guarantees.

Forschner Paring Knives: I discovered these 3.25″ knives through Smitten Kitchen, and I’m so glad that I did! While not as sharp as my Shun paring knife, they do work quite well, and at less than $10 each, it makes sense to have a couple of these on hand for quickly slicing up small veggies and fruit. I like that these are very light and also dishwasher safe.

Architect Gripper Bamboo Cutting Board: The quickest way to ruin a good knife is with a glass cutting board. I said no to glass and plastic years ago and exclusively use this bamboo cutting board. I just love the look of bamboo, which happens to be quite durable and doesn’t absorb moisture. This cutting board has rubber feet that keep it from sliding around my counter top.

Bamboo Knife Magnet: I like having my knives within reach in the kitchen (as opposed to being stashed in a drawer), but I hate that knife blocks take up coveted counter space. This magnetic knife strip is the solution. It has space to hold all of my essential knives and the magnetic strip is strong enough to keep them from falling. An added bonus is that all of my beautiful knives are on constant display!

I do have to give credit where it’s due: my detail-oriented, design-conscious husband discovered, researched, and purchased every single item on this list. (All of these items were birthday or Christmas gifts). Luke doesn’t share my aversion to spending a bit more money for quality products, and he is an expert when it comes to scouting out great products and reading endless reviews to find the best possible items. I’d like to think that’s how he decided to marry me!


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