This season, there are plenty of tasks that call for a good knife. Whether you’re cutting into ham, turkey, or tofurkey, you’ll want a solid blade to make your life easier and your kitchen friendlier. We’ve seen a whole lot of cutlery over the years, and few gifts are more welcome that finding a nice knife in your stocking or under the tree. Different materials offer various advantages and trade-offs, but high carbon stainless steel is a classic for a reason.
And today’s Messerstahl 8″ Chef’s Knife is a solid, no-fuss piece, made to be your versatile companion no matter what the task at hand. The brand might not be famous, but the name comes from the German for “knives of steel”- no ceramic here. The packaging is the first thing you always notice, and this one came in a lovely box that makes a product feel a bit more luxurious. Knives are made to do a simple thing- cut, quickly and finely- but there are so many details that make the difference between one that is a pleasure to use and one that can be a little less friendly.
Messerstahl is one of the brands owned by Lake Industries, who own quite a few different companies that make everything from water purifiers to cookware. And the products are not always widely available, typically sold directly rather than in stores. Made in Asia, this knife wasn’t as heavy as many other knives of the same style, which is mixed- often, we wanted some heft to make our tasks easier, though it performed better for smaller chopping and dicing motions. It was certainly sharp and fairly steady, forged rather than stamped, with a handle material they called Textra-Grip making the knife easier to hold. They do suggest hand washing rather than throwing in a dishwasher (true of most fine knives).
While the Messerstahl Chef’s Knife might not impress serious chefs, pricing is reasonable, and some of their sets offer a wide range of options at a fair value. They offer a lifetime warranty and have been around for more than 35 years, which is definitely reassuring. Available now, directly, expect to spend around $150 on this 8-inch chef’s knife.