The Best Chef's Knife For Our Kitchen
If we had only one knife in our kitchen, it would be an 8” chef’s knife. In fact, we probably could manage to do all our essential knife-related tasks with only our trusty Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.
A chef’s knife should be your most versatile knife Ours has to have an 8” stainless steel blade with a curve that tapers to a pointy tip and the width to scoop diced ingredients from a cutting board. We’ll reach for it to slice, chop, mince and dice. It should be able to smash and scrape garlic cloves. Since my wife and I are both left-handed, we have an extra requirement: our knives are all double-beveled (v-shaped), meaning that they are angled equally on both sides of the blade.
Knife-buying is a challenge for many home cooks, and many people seem to end up with large collections. Choosing the right chef’s knife comes down to personal preference, and as long as it has a decent blade, the one that is most comfortable in your hand is the one that is right for you. The overall construction, and especially the handle, are actually more important to us than the blade. As far as we’re concerned, if you’re looking for a lightweight, multitasking workhorse, the Victorinox is a great choice.
Why It Is Great
Non-slip, textured and extremely durable, this knife’s handle is uniquely designed to be comfortable in most people’s hands, and with different grips.
In technical terms, the stamped blade is made of x50CR MO stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 55 HRC. What does this mean to the average home cook? It’s lightweight and easy to maintain and re-sharpen. Unlike expensive carbon steel knives, the Victorinox blade also will not be affected by acidic foods, and is highly resistant to rusting.
The Victorinox rocks back and forth perfectly, while still offering the power needed to slice through larger or harder foods.
The Victorinox comes sharpened to the typical Asian standard of 15º per side, which is the angle we prefer for all our knives. In recent years, this has become a more broadly accepted standard for European- and American-made knives as well, replacing the 20º edge angle that used to be the norm. The thinner, lighter 15º angle feels a bit sharper to us, and creates a bit less friction when cutting than a 20º edge angle.
We’ve used our Victorinox every day (usually many times a day) for close to 20 years. It’s the knife you see in the photos in this post. It’s as good as new. This is an incredibly durable knife.
This knife offers great performance at a fraction of the cost of most other chef’s knives.
What's Not To Like
- We’ve heard of people being disappointed by the sharpness of the Victorinox when they first tried it. It’s important to remember that there’s a distinction between a knife’s original sharpness and it’s overall ability to hold an edge (stay sharp). We don’t judge a knife by the sharpness right out of the box. Sharpen it before first use, and be prepared to hone it frequently after that.
- If aesthetics are a primary concern, this might not be the knife for you. The Victorinox is not spectacular looking, and the handle in particular might look cheap to some people. We typically value function over looks in our kitchen tools. The Victorinox is available with a rosewood handle, but that takes away one of the star attractions of the knife for us — the comfortable handle.
- Many popular chef’s knives have hollowed out marks along the sides of the blade. This is referred to as a granton edge. Although we realize that some people love a granton edge, we don’t. Theoretically, a granton edge releases food more easily from the sides, but in practice, we haven’t found this to be the case, and we like feeling the whole blade in our food at all points along it.
Also Worth Knowing
- The different product numbers associated with this knife can be confusing. If you’re looking to purchase it, you may find item number 5.2063.20, 47520, 40520, 45520 or 47520.US2. These are all the same Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. The only difference is packaging.
- Victorinox previously sold knives in the U.S. under the name Forschner. Knives with that name are again the same as the Victorinox Fibrox model.
Did You Know
The Swiss-crafted Victorinox Fibrox knives are produced by the same company that sells the renowned Swiss Army Knife. From 1909 to 1921, the company was named “Victoria, ” in honour of company founder Karl Elsener’s late mother. In 1921, Elsener combined his mother’s name with the French word for stainless steel, acier inoxydable, to come up with the name “Victorinox.” The company is located in the same small village of Ibach, Switzerland, where Karl Elsener first started making knives in 1884.