When it comes to versatility and convenience, a good utility kitchen knife is tough to beat. Trouble is, there’s a mountain of choice out there. What can muddy the waters further is the fact that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

The type of chef you are and your preferences in the kitchen will determine the knife that works best for you. On this page, we discuss our top five options for 2022. We’ve evaluated durability, sharpness, balance, and so much more. You’ll leave with a clearer idea of what’s available.

Pressed for time? Our outright winner in the utility category has to be this one – TUO Utility Knife 5’’ Black Hawk Series. It offers phenomenal ergonomics, unrivaled precision, and a price tag that’s more affordable than you might expect. 

We explore this option and others in more detail below.
Want to learn how to find the best options for you? Use our utility knives buying guide.

Top 5 Utility Kitchen Knives

Best Utility Knives
Price
Blade Material
Balance
Warranty
#1. TUO Utility 5''

Editor's Choice



Price



High Carbon Steel



Well balanced



A lifetime of exemplary service
#2. Wusthof Classic 5''

Best Serrated Utility Knife




Price




Stainless steel




Well balanced




Lifetime warranty
#3. Mercer Cutlery 5''


Price

High-carbon, stain-resistant German cutlery steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration34 layers of stainless Damascus cladding on each side (68 total)


Well Balanced


Limited lifetime warranty
#4. Shun Classic 6’’

Best Japanese Utility Knife



Price



34 layers of stainless Damascus cladding on each side (68 total)



Well Balanced



Lifetime warranty
#5. Henckels Classic 5’’




Price




High-quality German stainless steel




Well Balanced




Lifetime guarantee

1. TUO Utility Knife 5’’ Black Hawk SeriesEditor’s Choice

A full-tang, affordable utility knife that offers everything you’d expect from a premium chef’s tool – editor’s choice.

TUO Utility Knife 5’’ Black Hawk Series Specifications

General
Brand
TUO
Price Range
$16-$23
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
A lifetime of exemplary service
Most suitable for
Those who need a fantastic ‘all-rounder.’ New chefs looking to improve their skills with the right tools
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
11.5/29.21
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
8.8/ 249.48
Blade Length (Inches)
5
Blade Height (Inches)
1.81
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
3.9
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High carbon steel
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
8-12° per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56±
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Black hawk

With an average price that falls between $16 and $24, most people won’t think twice before picking this TUO knife up. In our opinion, it represents fantastic value for money. A full-tang design isn’t always guaranteed at this price point so it’s great to see here. 

A full tang offers substantially better durability than a partial or rat-tail tang design. There’s more good news to be found here too. The balance of this knife is excellent, and it feels very comfortable in the hand for most kitchen tasks. 

Keep in mind that the flexibility of this blade means it’s great for more accurate carving or trimming work but might need a little more patience when it comes time to sharpen your tool. The HRC rating of 56+ should mean that your sharpness is retained reasonably well. 

We’re fans of the pakkawood used on the handle of this knife. This material offers great moisture and heat resistance and looks great too. With proper maintenance, this knife could last for many years to come.

Maintenance and Cleaning 

Maintaining your pakkawood handle should be relatively straightforward but it’s important to make sure you’ve got the knowledge you need. From time to time, you might like to oil the surface of the wood to keep it in pristine condition. 

Follow these basic steps:

  1. Gently brush the surface of your handle with a soft cleaning brush 
  2. With a clean cloth, gently work in either tung, mineral, or tru-oil
  3. Allow some time for the oil to absorb and dry 

When sharpening this blade, start with a fine grains whetstone and only move to a coarser stone if you’re sure the blade is dull enough. Use an angle between 12 and 17 degrees.

This knife should be considered as hand-wash only:

Don’t use detergents as they can cause irreparable damage to your knives. Such detergents have an effect on plastics and hardened steel and leave rust on the blade.”

Pros
  • Excellent price
  • Pakkawood handle
  • Very well balanced
Cons
  • The handle’s rivets aren’t smooth
  • Not ideal for cutting bones
  • Smaller hands may slip

2. Wusthof 5-Inch Serrated Classic Utility Knife – Best Serrated Utility Knife

Looking for a serrated utility knife? We think this one is fantastic.

Wusthof 5” Serrated Classic Utility Knife Specifications

General
Brand
Wüsthof
Price Range
$80-$115
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Germany
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Slicing hard salami, bread rolls, and tougher vegetables
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
10/25.4
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
2.47/70.02
Blade Length (Inches)
5
Blade Height (Inches)
0.5
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.8
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Serrated
Blade angle
Unknown
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
58
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Riveted resilient synthetic handle
Handle Color
Black

Whether you’re slicing through bagels or prepping more stubborn salamis, this option from Wüsthof is unlikely to disappoint. It’s marketed by the company as the perfect companion for lunchtime foods like bread, vegetables, and meats. All things considered, we agree with them. 

So, what justifies the $100+ price tag on this one? For starters, it features a forged, full-tang design. This translates to superior levels of durability when compared to less premium options in this category. 

It’s also backed by the company’s limited lifetime warranty so you can work with added peace of mind. 

The HRC rating for this knife’s blade (58) should provide enough flexibility to tackle a broad variety of tasks while retaining sharpness for many months to come. With this kind of knife, in particular, comfort and efficiency are key. 

Fortunately, both the handle and weight distribution on this product are excellent in our opinion. The synthetic handle won’t win any awards for beauty, but it’s built to last and that’s what matters.

Maintenance and Cleaning 

Serrated knives don’t typically need sharpening. If you’re set on honing your serrated product, Wüsthof recommends mailing it into Eversharp Knives for professional sharpening results. 

This knife should be cleaned using mild soaps and moderate temperatures.

Pros
  • Full-tang, forged design
  • Perfect for bread and salamis
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Balance between flexibility and hardness
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • Wüsthof shipping can be slow
  • Serrated tips aren’t super versatile

3. Mercer Cutlery Renaissance, 5-Inch Utility Knife

A sharp, versatile utility knife that’s staggeringly affordable.

Mercer Cutlery Renaissance, 5-Inch Utility Knife Specifications

General
Brand
Mercer Cutlery
Price Range
$20-$25
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Taiwan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Mise en place prep, slicing, those with smaller hands
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
13.38/33.99
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
2.46/69.74
Blade Length (Inches)
5
Blade Height (Inches)
4.13
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
1
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High-carbon, stain-resistant German cutlery steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration
Blade Flexibility
Not flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
15°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56+/-1
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Delrin
Handle Color
Black

We’re blown away by the price of this option from Mercer Cutlery. For a sub-$30 price point, you’d be forgiven for expecting a partial tang and a stamped design. On the contrary, this knife is a forged, full-tang, high-carbon masterpiece! 

That last feature is particularly noteworthy. High-carbon steel results in a significantly harder blade that is much better at holding its shape over time. 

The HRC of 56+/-1 for this product is also good news. This means it should keep its sharpness a long way down the road. One thing to keep in mind is that the handle may be a touch on the short size for some. 

Those with smaller hands will feel right home, though; this blade is exceptionally well balanced in our opinion.

If you’re prepping a bunch of vegetables and fish for your evening meal, we think this knife will be the perfect companion.

Maintenance and Cleaning

More experienced users can sharpen this knife on a fine grains whetstone at a 12-15-degree angle. Alternatively, guides like this one may prove useful. The shortened bolster on this knife is designed to make sharpening a little easier. 

This product should not be cleaned in a dishwasher. Use moderate temperatures and mild soaps when washing. Keep your knife dry and separate from other cutlery.

Pros
  • Fantastic price
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • High-carbon steel for extra hardness
  • Well balanced
Cons
  • Not ideal for larger hands
  • Collects surface scratches easily
  • Blade is a touch short

4. Shun Classic 6’’ Utility Knife – Best Japanese Utility Knife

A 6-inch, Japanese utility knife that’s more than earned its place on this list.

Shun Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife Specifications

General
Brand
Shun
Price Range
$100-$140
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
A great gift knife. Tackles most kitchen tasks with ease
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
10.75/27.31
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
5.6/158.76
Blade Length (Inches)
6
Blade Height (Inches)
0.6
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
1.37
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
34 layers of stainless Damascus cladding on each side (68 total)
Blade Flexibility
Unknown
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
16°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60-61
The Handle
Handle Feel
D-shaped for both left- and right-handed users
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Ebony color

34 layers of stainless Damascus steelwork in tandem to produce one of our favorite utility knives for 2022. This option from Shun is exceptionally well balanced and comfortable to hold. The d-shaped handle is designed to be equally effective whether you’re right or left-handed and offers reassuring levels of grip and control.

The combination of pakkawood and Damascus steel looks fantastic in our opinion. This would make the perfect gift for the special chef in your life. Keep in mind that this is a comparatively lightweight tool. While some might find this a little off-putting, it can be a real boon when it comes to faster chopping and mincing tasks.

For smaller, more intricate work, the versatility of this knife really starts to sing. The 10.75-inch blade is long enough to get great coverage but small enough to be handled efficiently. 

Shun’s proprietary ‘VG-MAX’ technology is a form of hardened steel that holds its sharpness for a longer period than less premium kitchen knives. Expect an HRC between 60 and 61.

As for durability, you get a lifetime warranty, 60-61 HRC, forged body, and full-tang design for undeniable peace of mind. We’re huge fans of this one.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Most Shun customers can access the company’s legendary walk-in sharpening service for no extra cost. We strongly recommend going this route if you need to hone your tool. 

Your pakkawood handle can be oiled with mineral, tung, or tru-oil as required.

Shun recommends that you hand-wash this knife using mild soaps: 

“For all these reasons, we recommend that you protect your investment by handwashing your knives with a gentle dish soap.”

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free lifetime sharpening
  • It looks fantastic!
  • Very versatile
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
  • Inexperienced chefs may cause micro-chips
  • No sheaths included

5. Henckels Classic 5’’ Serrated Utility Knife

A lightweight, efficient serrated knife that’s built to impress.

Henckels Classic 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife Specifications

General
Brand
Henckels
Price Range
$50-$70
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Spain
Warranty
Lifetime guarantee
Most suitable for
Bread rolls, cheeses, delicate foods
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
13.3/33.78
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
3.2/90.72
Blade Length (Inches)
8
Blade Height (Inches)
1.22
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.75
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High-quality German stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Slightly flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Serrated
Blade angle
15 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
57
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic, traditional triple-rivet handle for balance and comfort
Handle Material
Polypropylene
Handle Color
Black

If you need a versatile tool for your next picnic or lunch, this serrated utility knife from Henckels is worth a look. It features a lighter body than some people may be used to. The advantage to a decision like this is that cuts and slices are practically fatigue-free.

You’ll be able to use this knife all day long without breaking a sweat. The triple-rivet handle is very comfortable, and the weight is distributed perfectly from butt to tip. It should feel fantastic in all but the largest of hands.

This blade is a touch more flexible than some other options on this page; its HRC rating comes in at 57. Knives of this type rarely need sharpening and should maintain their day-one sharpness for many years to come.

With prices ranging between $50 and $70 online, we think this offers the perfect middle ground between premium gift knives and entry-level budget options. Just make sure the tasks you’re hoping to achieve can be realized with a serrated edge.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Most serrated knives don’t need regular sharpening. While this product is rated as dishwasher-safe, Zwilling/ Henckels recommend that you stick to handwashing. Keep your knife dry and separate from other cutlery.

Pros
  • Fatigue-free cutting
  • Full-tang design
  • Some flexibility for precise cuts
  • Great price to performance ratio
Cons
  • Occasional blade over-flex
  • A touch small
  • Collects surface scratches

Conclusion

We hope you’ve found the suggestions on this page helpful. We truly believe in the quality of each option listed here. Keep in mind that your goals as a chef will determine the option that works best for you. 

Remember to spend within your means and reflect on whether a serrated or straight blade edge would work best in your kitchen. 

If in doubt, we think you should go for this option – TUO Utility Knife 5’’ Black Hawk Series.

Whichever knife you choose, we hope it serves you well for many years to come!

Learn how to remove rust from a knife’s blade.

Is it too late for your knives? Learn how to remove rust from a knife blade and how to protect your kitchen knife from rusting.

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