What size should a chef knife be? (Full guide Updated May 2021)

You don’t have to be a professional to know “What size should a chef knife be”. I know the suitable size of kitchen knives according to our usage make the life comfort and save the time.

But you will be surprised after knowing, 90% of home cooks don’t know about the best chef’s knife sizes as per their fellow feelings. Because using an exact match knife, prepare the food easy and fast with less effort and taking less time. And also it saves your money.

I have experienced that before buying a chef’s knife, it is essential to spend time on, what size is best for me because your ideal chef’s knife is with you for long-term results.

Importance of chef’s knife measurements?

The measurements of the knife are most important to grip the knife nicely and it is also important for your hands (for small hands etc.) and your flexible wrist. There is a lot of variety of knives but every chef’s knife is not useful for every cook.What size should a chef knife be? pinterest

A large size chef’s knife causes pain in a smaller person’s hands and for a long time using it may increase the possibility of injury or a long time teasing pain in your wrist.

So please don’t ignore the importance of length and width etc. of chef’s knife when buying.

Now let us know “how big your chef’s knife should be” as well as, I‘ll guide you about the parts of the chef’s knife, those should be considered and what is the best Japanese chef’s knife size.

 What is the standard size chef’s knife?

According to the expert and my experience, the ideal length of a chef’s knife should be 8-10 inches (203.2-254mm) long. But most professionals and home cooks recommend 8 inches (203.2 mm). Chef’s knives are available from 6 inches to 14 inches in length. But I suggest, you should choose the best chef’s knife in size according to your style of cooking and your length of hand, finger and arm’s size. Don’t worry I am going to clear it for you.

Let’s dive in!

How Big Should a Chef’s Knife Be?

Here are 3 ways to check the best size of chef’s knife:


Simply, measure your arm from your wrist to your elbow (forearm); this size should be equal to the size of the blade, not the whole knife. Although In previous I have talked about the parts of  knife, if you don’t know what is the difference between knife and blade then look at the figure given below:

parts of knifeTotal length from tip to the handle’s end called knife and the blade is the metal part from tip to the start of the handle or tip to the bolster.

The best choice is that the length of the forearm should be equal to the length of the blade, this will feel you a comfortable feeling when using it every day. But if the blade is shorter than your forearm so you feel something losing.

On the other hand, if you purchase a knife that’s a blade larger than your forearm this will create difficulty to use for cutting, mincing, and chopping. You cannot control it easily.

So I have tried to make it easy, just measure your forearm with inch tape or steel tape and search this length online for buying a knife.


Verbally, if you want to guess more easily and don’t want to waste time on measuring forearm then follow my created table for your best choice, given below:

Person Height Blade Length
Smaller( Below 5.5 ft ) 6-8 inches or 152.4-203.2 mm
Medium (Above 5.5 ft) 8-10 inches or 203.2-254 mm
Taller (Above 6 ft) 10-12 inches or 203.2-304.8 mm

But keep in mind it is my rough idea but for an exact match use the measuring method. My suggestion is to measure your forearm and then buy; it makes your choice more precise because the knife is the extension of your body and a tool that you have to use every day in the kitchen.


The simplest way is to grip the knife in your hand and test it to cut, chop, different big and small fruits, vegetables, and meats. Which you feel best for you, that is the best and perfect knife for your daily usage.

What is the best Japanese chef’s knife size?

Standard western sizes are 8″ and 10″. For Japanese blades, normally useful knives come generally in 210mm, 240mm, and 270mm (8.2inches, 9.4inches, and 10.6inches).

Come back to the point. Every one of the blades I included is produced using top quality materials by extraordinary makers, so to comprehend which chef expert blade size is best for you at that point look at the remainder of this article.

I have discussed the reviews of almost all types of kitchen knives, you may look at those articles for different types and sizes.

Now check my recommendations according to the person height as discussed

User Height Recommendation
Smaller 6“ Mercer Culinary(Price on Amazon)
Medium 8” Mac Knife Professional(Price on Amazon)
Taller 10″ Shun Cutlery Premier(Price on Amazon)

I think you have acquired an idea and you are going to final a size for you but don’t go in a hurry, I am going to discuss deeply sizes. So, that your choice will appear more accurate.

What do you use a 6 inches (152.4mm) chef knife for?

6 inches chef’s knife is suitable for smaller gentlemen that have a height below 5.5 ft. It is trouble-free to control, Even if a smaller one man has small hands; it is also useful for him. Keep in mind that if your forearm is 7 inches in length then select 6 inches to buy not 8 inches.

Because if your knife is larger than your forearm, there will appear an issue about control over the knife. Meanwhile, the smaller knife is low in cost as compared to the larger chef’s knife, also it’s ok to use without any problem. Because of small in size, where the larger knives have their benefits, this also has unique benefits for small vegetables like garlic, ginger and small chicken, and all types of meats.

MY recommendation is in this range is 6“Mercer Culinary. It is a black color pretty item for every kitchen.


  • Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Model: M23506
  • Brand: Mercer Culinary



  • Triple-bolted, ergonomically planned Delrin handle. One-piece accuracy manufactured development. Adjusted spine for solace grasp.
  • Abbreviated reinforce uncovered full edge, taking into consideration simpler honing
  • End to end length runs the whole length of the handle for unrivaled equilibrium
  • Hand wash blades for edge and surface consideration
  • High-carbon, stain-safe German cutlery steel opposes rust, consumption, and staining


  • Precision-forged German steel
  • It is easy to use
  • Mercer 6 inches Easy to clean
  • NSF certified
  • Craftsmanship
  • Maneuverability


  • The handle is a little bit small as compared to the size of the blade but not too small.

check price on Amazon

What is an 8 inches (203.2mm) chef knife used for?

An 8-inch gourmet specialist’s blade is more qualified for bigger fixings like watermelon, pineapple, lettuce heads, huge cuts of meat, and butternut squash.

As I have already described above that the 8-inch chef’s knife is considered a standard size. Standard size also means that every person in the home kitchen and restaurant can easily use all its features. But don’t worry it is a myth that an 8-inch chef’s knife is larger for smaller people, smaller gentlemen can easily use it.

My recommendation is an 8” Mac Knife Professional




  • Knife Length: 12.63″
  • Weight: 6.5 oz(16 ounces)
  • Model: MTH-80
  • Blade Length: 7.88″
  • Blade Height: 1.88″
  • Made In Japan


  • It is a professional hollow edge chef knife.
  • Sharp edge thickness – 2.5 mm. The additional dimples assist the blade with floating through tacky food sources like potatoes, apples, and summer squash
  • Blade Length-12.63 inches
  • Pakka wood handle.
  • Hand wash is suggested Not dishwasher safe


  • Most commonly used size in both the home and professional kitchen
  • Every day use
  • It is light in weight
  • Very easy to hold and use
  • Giftable for your beloved
  • Maneuverability


  • It is essential to take away it from rust, after almost every month or as per your usage.

check price on Amazon

What is a 10 inches (254 mm) chef knife used for?

10 inches chef’s knife is suitable for a taller person that is above 6 ft. Because their forearm will almost be 9 to 10 inches long. There are two major benefits of 10 inches chef’s knife.

1st due to the taller person’s height, the 10 inches chef’s knife helps him to control the handle easily and offers him to cut fruits, veggies, and meats on the cutting board without any bending of backbone.

2ndly, when a knife is larger in length so maximum chances are that the height (width) of the chef’s knife will be heightened as compare to shorter knives. In simple words, the heel of the chef’s knife will be higher as compare to medium or smaller knives. So with this feature slash many radishes, carrots, and many other things like these.

If you have missed upper described points about the persons to use 10 inches chef’s knife then read those carefully. The product is a premier-quality chef’s knife.

My recommendation is 10″ Shun Cutlery Premier

Shun Cutlery Premier 10” Chef’s Knife


  • Brand: Shun cutlery (kai)
  • Model: TDM0707
  • Color: Brown
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 0.88 inches
  • Weight: 8.6 ounces


  • Chief’s light, coordinated cutting edge guarantees even this bigger Culinary specialist’s Blade handles effortlessly; ideal for the cooks who favor a bigger gourmet expert’s blade that actually moves without any problem
  • Expanded sharp edge length permits clients to deal with an expanded volume of item and improve productivity in the kitchen; the 10-inch edge handles all food varieties regardless of enormous or little
  • Pounded tsuchime finish helps discharge food effectively when cutting while the wide edge gives simple moving of slice food from board to dish; molded handle rests effectively in any hand
  • Avoid Cutlery blades make prep work fun and take ordinarily conventional undertakings from exhausting to agreeable; Disregard’s blades are hand-honed, hand-tailored, and supported by a solid Japanese legacy
  • Quality kitchen blade for use at any event: occasion, family supper, excursion, eatery, local gathering, wedding, neighborhood party, birthday celebration, dinner club, Thanksgiving, and the sky is the limit from there.

check price on Amazon

Considerations before buying any kitchen knives

Before buying a kitchen you have to consider, knife length, blade length, heel width, handle length, bolster dimension, butt shape, tip figure, spine shape, tang type, edge, etc.

In a previous article in which I have guided about kitchen knife bolster, the whole parts of kitchen knives have been discussed and represented in the form of an image. This will be very useful to you before buying any kitchen knife offline or online.


At the end of this most important article about “How big should a chef’s knife be? “ I have tried to cover all aspects. And also recommended 3 products; for 6 inches Mercer Culinary M23506 Chef’s Knife, for 8 inches Mac Knife Professional and for 10 inches Shun Cutlery Premier.

So keep in mind it is my research and my experience that I have shared but you have a free hand to buy as per your choice. If I have missed any point or you have more suggestions for me about this article, feel free to drop precious comments to encourage my effort and to make it more informative this article for searching people.

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