The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.

We’ve researched and tested dozens of chef knives over the years— these are our picks for high quality, eco-friendly kitchen knives that’ll last a lifetime.

A good knife can be a make-or-break in the kitchen; it’s the difference between easily chopping through tough meats and vegetables and accidentally cutting yourself when a handle or blade breaks. (Ouch, no thanks!)

What should you look for in a quality kitchen knife?

When hunting for a top-notch chef’s knife that’ll last ages, think sharp and sturdy. The best pieces come with carbon or stainless steel for the blade and sustainable, sturdy wood for the handle (think oak, ash, or walnut). Many of the highest-rated knives are fully forged, meaning it’s made from a single bar of steel that’s heated and hammered into shape by a trained craftsperson; the alternative is usually a stamped knife that’s cut from a sheet of steel. (Read more about forged versus stamped knives to see what’s best for you.) 

It’s recommended to prioritize a sharp, finely honed straight edge, as it’s easier to maintain and versatile for various kitchen tasks. (We love the Tumbler Knife Sharpener for keeping our knives in precise shape!) Comfort’s key too, so grab a knife with a handle that feels good in your grip, and is balanced so you can avoid fatigue while chopping. And while price is a factor to consider, prioritizing value over affordability is worth it, as investing in a quality chef’s knife pays off in longevity and performance.

While there are many types of knives out there, ultimately, you can get away with using a chef’s knife to navigate any meal prep: A chef’s knife (sometimes seen as a Santoku knife) is the largest and most versatile option and is great for chopping and navigating tougher textures thanks to its sharpness and precision.

Ready to get to chopping, slicing, and peeling? Read on to find out which knife brand is best for you! We’ve rounded up the best brands focused on sustainability and safety—many offer a la carte pieces as well as three-piece sets. Hint: Don’t just compare the prices or materials for these knives, but also check out the handles, blades, and weights to see what will work best in your own hands. 

Our criteria:

  • QUALITY | Made with the highest quality materials, these kitchen knives are chef-grade and cut from premium carbon or stainless steel that’s forged precisely for the sharpest and most comfortable cuts. 
  • LONGEVITY | All our selected kitchen knives can easily be sharpened, ensuring they work their best at all times and can last a lifetime.
  • NONTOXIC & ECO-FRIENDLY | Made with nontoxic and natural materials, you can feel good knowing each of these brands prioritizes using the safest and most sustainable materials in crafting their kitchen knives.

Upgrade your kitchen wares while you’re at it, with our favorite sustainable silverware and eco-friendly cookware.

Best Overall | Most Affordable

1. Made In

Eco friendly packaging
Family owned
Gives back
Recycled materials

Best For | Forged knives from France
Features | X50CrMoV15 NITRO+ metal, full tang, fully forged, slip-resistant handle, made in France
Prices Starting At | $119

Crafted in the land of patisseries and bourguignon, Made In looks to the French for its full tang and fully forged knives. Each one is made in a fifth-generation family-owned factory, using premium stainless steel and treated with nitrogen for extra durability and strength. Plus, the brand goes to great lengths to be super sustainable: The factories are focused on eco-friendly packaging, low waste production, and recycling pieces whenever possible. See why 75,000+ reviewers love slicing, prepping, and chopping with Made In cookware.

Made In Review | “I love my new chef’s knife. As soon as I picked it up I was thrilled how comfortable it felt in my hand. The weight & balance are perfect and it cuts like a dream. I’m very happy with this knife.” – Paul L. (See all reviews)

2. Material

Gives back

Best For | Low maintenance Japanese steel knives
Features | Japanese high carbon & stainless steel, hand polished, stain resistant composite handles
Prices Starting At | $85

Some knives have form, while others excel in function. Luckily, Material’s knives combine both. This kitchenware brand focuses on quality materials, outstanding performance, thoughtful design, and ethical production. Each piece is hand-polished, heat-treated, then cryogenically tempered for three layers of high carbon stainless steel. Our team has personally tested this set and we’re big fans of the Trio of Knives—the last three knives you’ll ever need at prices that won’t break the bank. They are sharp and sleek, and the magnetic stand keeps them readily accessible when whipping up multi-dish dinners. Material offers a lifetime guarantee and free shipping over $100. You could say they’re a cut above the rest.

Material Review | “Extremely sharp, which is expected on a new knife. Comfortable, even when you choke up (no “sharp” edges). And it looks beautiful.” – Jesse C. S. (See all reviews)

3. Opinel

Budget friendly
Eco friendly packaging
Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | World class knives
Features | High carbon 12C27 Sandvik-modified stainless steel, full tang, made in France
Prices Starting At | $50

Recognized for its timeless design, Opinel began with the journey of a small Savoyard folding knife invented by Joseph Opinel in 1890. Joseph’s innovation stemmed from his passion for machinery and modern technology, leading to the creation of the Opinel No.08, and eventually their extensive collection of folding, kitchen, and table knives. Embracing sustainability, Opinel prioritizes eco-friendly materials, responsible production, and durable design, embodying a commitment to lasting quality and environmental stewardship. Each knife is meticulously crafted in France, from fully forged steel with full tang for exceptional balance and easy maintenance.

Opinel Review | “My husband loves the knife! I love the presentation of the knife when I received it. I got my knife engraved, and I love the look. Heirloom quality!” – Reba S. (See all reviews)


Budget friendly

Best For | German stainless steel knives
Features | German stainless steel, ergonomic handle
Prices Starting At | €21.95

First launched as a family business in 1888, RÖSLE is dedicated to cookware you can use and reuse for generations to come. Developed and designed in Marktoberdorf, Germany, these knives are made with sustainable stainless steel. There’s a variety of sizes and styles available, from individual Santoku knives to knife blocks of six pieces at once—most of which are under €50. Pair with a cutting board, slicer, or mat, and get everything you need at this one-stop shop.

5. Master Shin’s Anvil

Eco friendly packaging
Family owned
Natural materials
Recycled materials

Best For | Traditional knives from South Korea
Features | Repurposed carbon steel, shade-dried wood, made in South Korea
Prices Starting At | $210

Master Shin’s Anvil is often named one of the best knifeware brands in the world. The Shin Blacksmith was established in Korea in the mid-1800s, and today is a fifth-gen family-owned business—the oldest blacksmith in the country. Using repurposed steel from railroad tracks and shade-dried wood (chestnut or oak), these uniquely designed knives are a sight to behold. Though they boast a “raw” look and feel, they’re made to withstand high heat and can go two to three years before they need sharpening. These are investment pieces you’ll love keeping in the family for decades to come.

6. Messermeister

Budget friendly
Family owned
Natural materials
Woman owned

Best For | Large variety of chef knives
Features | German 1.4116 stainless steel carbon alloy blade, fully forged, handcrafted in Germany
Prices Starting At | $40

For over four decades, Messermeister has been a pioneer in crafting premium chef’s knives and kitchen tools. Founded in 1981 by Bernd and Debra Dressler, this women-owned, California-based company with German heritage, is dedicated to providing sustainable, top-quality culinary instruments, catering to both professional chefs and home cooks alike. Their flagship Oliva Elite 8″ Chef’s Knife represents their commitment to innovation and excellence, featuring an Italian olive wood handle, a hand-forged Stealth blade, and German stainless carbon alloy construction for durability and precision. Backed by their Knife for Life™ guarantee, you’ll experience unmatched quality and performance when using these sturdy and chef-grade knives!

Messermeister Review | “Very comfortable in the hand. Lighter than I pictured it being, very generous blade length” – Matthew Z. (See all reviews)

7. Barebones

B corp
Gives back
Natural materials

Best For | Heavy duty knives
Features | 50CrMoV15 stainless steel, full-tang forged German-grade blade, ergonomic handles, full-grain cow leather sleeves
Prices Starting At | $109

Founded by Robert Workman, Barebones has a vision of giving back and fostering connections to food, nature, and community. By combining philanthropy with product innovation, Barebones continues to make waves in their holistic approach to living through their cookware. Their Japanese-inspired chef knife exemplifies their commitment to quality and sustainability, featuring a full-tang forged stainless steel blade and a Pakkawood handle, designed for durability and comfort. As a Certified B Corporation, Barebones sticks to their roots by prioritizing social and environmental initiatives by giving back to communities through volunteerism and donations.

Barebones Review | “This was to replace an old knife that I’d been neglecting to replace for years, I was really drawn by the overall shape of the blade. It’s very sturdy and cuts super clean. I was impressed by the initial sharpness it came with.” – Hee J. (See all reviews)

Featured image by Barebones