Best US Made Kitchen Knives

If you’re in the market for a new kitchen knife, you will probably have heard of the quality of Japanese steel, the craftsmanship of German-engineered high-carbon stainless steel, or maybe even the best-selling Swiss-made knives. Where, though, do American-made knives factor into the rankings?

 

This article seeks to answer that question by taking a look at the best kitchen knives made in the United States. Read on to learn more about some great American-made options for kitchen cutlery.

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Kitchen Knife

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Our Pick

  • 8.5-inch blade
  • High-carbon stainless steel for added durability
  • A brushed aluminum handle for comfort and grip
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee
  • Multi-purpose chef’s knife
  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 4 x 0.8
  • Weight: 6.7 lbs

  • Ideal for carving large meats like turkey or hams
  • German high-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Full tang
  • Engineered from a single piece of steel
  • A patterned acrylic handle
  • Dimensions; 13.8 x 0.8 x 1.2
  • Weight: 0.32 oz

  • A Japanese inspired knife
  • German high-carbon stainless steel blade
  • A 29-degree edge
  • 1-year return policy for peace of mind
  • 8-inch blade
  • Dimensions; 16.6 x 5 x 2.1
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs

  • It has a curved blade for a natural rocking motion when chopping
  • It has a 7-inch blade
  • Handcrafted steel blade
  • The overall length of the knife is 12”
  • A patterned blade for stylish looks
  • Multi-purpose knife for most kitchen needs
  • Weight: 2.01 lbs

  • High-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Full Tang
  • Scores 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale
  • Ergonomic walnut handle
  • 100 percent money back guarantee
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 1 x 2.5
  • Weight: 7 oz

  • The blade is 7.5-inches long
  • It’s resistant to both rust and corrosion for a longer life
  • A soft grip bright red handle for comfort
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 14.2 x 1.1
  • 8 oz

1. Rada Cutlery French Chef’s Knife

Rada has been manufacturing knives and other kitchen implements since 1948 and in that time has become an American household name. This French chef’s knife is multi-purpose and, since it is crafted from high-carbon stainless steel, it’ll last a lifetime. It has a brushed aluminum handle, an 8.5 -inch blade, and comes with Rada’s lifetime warranty as well.

Pros

  • Made in the American heartlands
  • High-carbon stainless steel
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Multi-purpose knife

Cons

  • Brushed handles are not comfortable to grip
  • The blade is very thin

2. Lamson Fire 59940 Carver Knife

This Lamson knife is ideal for larger family occasions and more substantial meats, like turkey and hams. It’s crafted from German high-carbon steel, and manufactured from one piece of metal, to ensure strength and rigidity. It comes with a patterned handle that looks stylish too.

Pros

  • High-carbon German steel
  • Full tang
  • Engineered from a single piece of steel
  • Durable, patterned acrylic handle

Cons

  • None

3. Foxel Fox Series Chef’s Knife

This Foxel knife is inspired by designs from Japan but constructed using German high-carbon stainless steel for maximum durability. They wanted the best of both worlds: classic design without the fragile folded steel blades that can chip so easily. This knife has a 1-year full refund policy if you’re not satisfied with the product. The 8-inch blade will handle most cutting and slicing jobs, making it a real multi-purpose tool.

Pros

  • Japanese inspiration with German high-carbon steel
  • 1-year refund policy
  • 8-inch multi-use blade
  • 29-degree edge

Cons

  • None

4. Warther Cutlery French Chef’s Knife

This Warther knife has a curved blade to create a natural rocking motion when chopping to reduce stress on your hand and wrist as well as on the knife blade. It’s made from a handcrafted steel patterned blade and reaches an overall length of 12”.

Pros

  • 7-inch blade
  • Handcrafted steel
  • Patterned blade for stylish good looks
  • Multi-purpose

Cons

  • The handle isn’t as comfortable as it could be
  • The grade of steel is not as good as others in its class

5. Virginia Boys Kitchen Chef’s Knife

This Virginia Boys Kitchen knife has a high-carbon stainless steel blade, with a full tang. It scores a strong 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, and the ergonomic design of the walnut handle enhances the feel and look of the knife. This model has a 100 percent money back guarantee, so if you aren’t satisfied they’ll give you your money back.

Pros

  • Full tang
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Scores 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale
  • Ergonomic walnut handle for comfort and grip

Cons

  • The handle feels small in proportion to the knife

6. Chicago Cutlery Kinzie Chef’s Knife

This is entirely different from the classic looking knives featured in this review. What Chicago Cutlery has done is to inject a little fun into the design. It comes with a soft-grip neon red handle and is rust and corrosion resistant. The blade is high-carbon stainless steel, and because it has a lifetime warranty, you need never worry when using it.

Pros

  • Funky colored handle
  • High-carbon stainless steel
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 7.5-inch blade

Cons

  • The handle comes off
  • The blade is very thin
  • The cutting edge dulls quickly

Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the Best US Made Kitchen Knives

For those that feel strongly about buying American, you’ll be pleased to know that the US knife industry is in excellent health with some great companies and brilliant products out there. When planning for your purchase, try to think about the budget and also how robust the blades are. Buying a dud knife could cost you in the long run, especially if you then have to invest in a knife sharpener.

You should also consider the following aspects to ensure your knife purchase will meet your needs:

Functions

The primary strength of any desirable knife is its sharpness. Each blade gets designed differently, so the way they cut may differ. Some have curved cutting edges that help you naturally rock back and forth for a smooth cutting action. Others have double-beveled edges, so left or right-handed people can use them.

Styling

A vast number of knife manufacturers owe their styling to the Asian markets. With Damascus patterned steel blades or the techniques of steel manufacturing, there is no denying the influence that eastern sources have had on the knives created in the United States.

Clever Technology

American knives tend to blend old traditions with new techniques to create something great. Liquid nitrogen cooled blades, high-carbon steel, and acrylic handles for better grip and comfort: these are all modern methods that improve the buyers using experience.

Product Warranty

The makers of these knives want you to buy with confidence, and they want to win the next generation of customers who return over and over to buy their products. The result is that you can expect lifetime warranties and 100 percent money back guarantees. Admittedly, there is one manufacturer, Foxel, who only offers a 1-year money back guarantee, but at least you’ll have a year to work out if the knife is as good as they claim.

Brand Reliability

When it comes to American products, tradition is key. Companies like Lamson Cutlery have been trading since 1837, and have even gifted cutlery to the White House. A brand’s survival over history is a testament to the craftsmanship and quality of their products. Such brands become part of the American psyche and will always be loved.

Final Thoughts

There are some tremendous foreign brands of kitchen knives out there that are, in some cases, better than US brands for quality and durability. If you are in the market for a new kitchen knife, though, our advice is to look local first. The American firms we have highlighted have the pedigree, the pride, and the skills needed to produce kitchen knives of the highest quality. Our favorite is the Rada Cutlery French Chef’s Knife. It wins on quality, durability, and design, but its real selling point is its fantastic price.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are they called French Chef’s knives?

In essence, the term “French Chef” gets applied to most Western chef’s knives. It’s a generic term. A chef’s knife is usually a large triangular bladed knife that is used on heavier cuts of meat like beef or game. The Japanese have a similar knife called a Santoku knife.

Which is stronger; Japanese steel or German steel?

It depends on your definition: Japanese steel is harder, and will usually hold a cutting edge for longer. Because it is so hard, though, it’s brittle and prone to chipping more easily, whereas high-carbon German steel is less brittle so can be mistreated a little more without damage. You will also find that German steel is easier to sharpen because high-carbon steel is less likely to chip.

What is Pakkawood?

Pakkawood is an engineered wood and plastic composite that looks like wood and is super-hard wearing. It makes an ideal material for knives because of the punishment the handles get during the knife's lifetime.

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