Top 7 Best Knives for Cutting Vegetables (2020 Review)

Vegetables are the basis of most meals.

Whether you’re using a can of crushed tomatoes for sauce or are carefully chopping a variety of vegetables for a salad, chances are you’re including a vegetable or two in every meal.

For something you cut and prepare so often, it’s surprisingly common to use just any old knife for your vegetables. 

But cooking gets so much easier and more enjoyable when you have a specialized knife that’s designed specifically to give you the control and precision you need for cutting your vegetables.

Having the right knife also makes it easier to vary the preparation of your vegetables, which can seriously up your meal presentation game.

There’s another problem though. Vegetables come in an incredible variety of shapes and sizes. You probably aren’t going to use the same knife to cut a tomato (yes, technically a fruit, I know) as you would use to break down a butternut squash. 

So, you’ll probably need a couple of specialized knives for cutting vegetables to really get the most out of your collection. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about:

  • What types of knife are best for cutting vegetables
  • What features make for a great vegetable cutting knife
  • What materials make or break a great vegetable knife
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of my favorite knives for vegetables. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the knife for vegetables.

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DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife - Gladiator Series
  • High Carbon German Steel
  • Scalloped Blade
  • Taller design for added finger safety
  • High Carbon German Steel
  • Scalloped Blade
  • Taller design for added finger safety
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WÜSTHOF Classic 12 Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Versatile Chef's Knife, longer design for added utility
  • Traditional full tang
  • Made from High Carbon Steel for a durable, incredibly sharp edge
  • Both a Santoku and a paring knife
  • Traditional full tang
  • Made from chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel
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Victorinox 6.8523.17-X2 Swiss Classic 2-Piece Santoku Starter Set
  • Both a Santoku and a Paring knife
  • High Carbon-Stainless steel
  • Slip resistant handle
  • Both a Santoku and a Paring knife
  • High Carbon-Stainless steel
  • Slip resistant handle
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Global 5.5" Vegetable Knife
  • Solid piece construction
  • Hybrid vegetable knife
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Solid piece construction
  • Hybrid vegetable knife
  • Lifetime Warranty
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WÜSTHOF 4582/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Classical Chef’s knife
  • Full Tang
  • Precision forged for added sharpness
  • Classical Chef’s knife
  • Full Tang
  • Precision forged for added sharpness
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DALSTRONG Chef Knife - Gladiator Series
  • Full Tang
  • High Carbon German Steel
  • Good weight and balance
  • Full Tang
  • High Carbon German Steel
  • Good weight and balance
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DALSTRONG Paring Knife - 4" - Phantom Series
  • Compact paring knife
  • Beautiful Pakkawood handle
  • Combination of Western and Japanese design strength
  • Compact paring knife
  • Beautiful Pakkawood handle
  • Combination of Western and Japanese design strength
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My Overall Top #1 Pick – DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife – Gladiator Series

A nakiri is possibly one of the most specialized knives for vegetables out there. It’s a great chopping knife, can tackle most vegetables with ease, and is a hefty design that still has the advantages of a thin comfortable blade. 

This model in particular is made from high-quality steel, is well-balanced, and takes an incredible edge. The scalloped design of the blade also makes a fantastic slicing aid, since your vegetables are much less likely to stick to the blade. 

It’s also a durable option with a full tang that gives you just an incredible level of control over your chopping. Plus, I appreciate that this knife largely eliminates the need to cut through stubborn peels and fibrous vegetables a second time to truly separate the slices. 

Top 5 Best Knives for Cutting Vegetables

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these high-quality sushi knives.

  1. DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife – Gladiator Series (My Top Pick)
  2. WÜSTHOF Classic 12 Inch Chef’s Knife (Best High-End)
  3. Victorinox 6.8523.17-X2 Swiss Classic 2-Piece Santoku Starter Set (Best Budget)
  4. Global 5.5″ Vegetable Knife
  5. WÜSTHOF 4582/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
  6. DALSTRONG Chef Knife – Gladiator Series
  7. DALSTRONG Paring Knife – 4″ – Phantom Series

What are the Advantages of a High Quality Knife for Cutting Vegetables? 

Pretty much everyone knows the feeling of crushing and shredding a delicate tomato instead of creating beautiful, even, munchable slices. The first advantage you get with a high quality vegetable knife is that you get beautiful tomato slices. 

All kidding aside, the main advantage of a high quality knife is that you can consistently slice vegetables evenly and well. A good knife will handle a wide variety of shapes and textures (though no knife does it all). Take a look at this video if you want an example of tons of different ways to chop vegetables.

A high quality knife cuts down on your prep time, lets you perform a variety of trickier chopping styles, and generally makes prep work easier and more enjoyable. A good knife can also subtly alter the nutrients in your vegetables

Of course, the way your knife changes the nutrient content of your vegetables depends both on the knife and the vegetable itself. 

I also want to really highlight that there is no such thing as the one best knife for tackling all vegetables and cutting techniques. You can do a lot with a chef’s knife. You can do a lot with a santoku. You can do a lot with a paring knife. Most of the time you don’t want to substitute one for the other. 

A high quality knife will let you do more than the same type of knife in a lower quality. That’s because they tend to be sharper, designed so that control is easier, and made from a higher quality of materials. 

Now, I know that not everyone is the most comfortable with cutting fresh vegetables. After all, convenience food is more available than ever, so many people never get much cooking instruction. 

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. This video covers some of the most critical basic knife skills you’ll need to start chopping your vegetables like a pro.

How to Pick the Best Knife for Cutting Vegetables? 

The best knife for cutting vegetables will vary a little from person to person and vegetable to vegetable. However, in general, you’re going to be looking at a chef’s knife, a santoku or similar, and a paring knife. 

Size: 

There are two things to consider when it comes to the size of the knife. It’s length and height. A long blade on your vegetable knife will generally work best for larger vegetables and fruits. Think large squash, cucumbers, leeks, lettuce, and so on. 

A long knife blade needs to be balanced by being taller. That’s because the added height makes it easier to chop quickly andsafely. If you’re looking for paper-thin slices of a potato or parsnip, you need to be able to move the blade quite a bit with good knuckle contact to keep your fingers safe. 

However, there are times when you want a smaller knife. Think about cutting cherry tomatoes, slicing garlic, cutting out stems, or other very small fruits and vegetables. Depending on the vegetable and kind of chop you might be able to use a chef’s knife or a santoku, but a knife that’s shorter in both dimensions will probably work better. 

Blade Type:

You can probably tell where I’m going. There are lots of blade types that work well for vegetables. You don’t want to use a bread knife or a carving knife for most vegetables. They’ll work, but that isn’t the purpose that knife was created for. 

I’m going to focus on the three types of knife I’ve already mentioned, chef’s knives, paring knives, and santoku. 

Chef’s knives are the workhorse of the western kitchen. These knives are built to be incredibly multi-purpose. They support push and pull slicing, rocking chopping motions, and can even do some detail work. They are wider for added safety, have a relatively thick blade, and can be sharpened well past razor sharp. 

A chef’s knife is probably the knife you want if you want to work with a wide variety of vegetables, want to use a lot of different chopping and slicing style, don’t mind doing a little cleanup on your chopping, and don’t want a knife that is more specialized. 

Chef’s knives are also my go-to for starting larger tough vegetables, even if I switch to a different type of blade to finish. 

Santoku are another versatile knife. Most people looking at these knives will assume they are very similar to a chef’s knife, with the main difference being that they don’t come to a point. A santoku can be used in much the same way as a chef’s knife, but they are usually shorter In length (but just as tall from the edge to the top of the blade), and are slightly better for a true chopping motion than a chef’s knife. 

Santoku tends to be a little narrower when it comes to blade thickness, and may be scalloped for less friction between the knife blade and the vegetable. 

Paring knives are your detail and small vegetable knife. They are shorter than either of the other types of knife, aren’t suited to larger vegetables, but do smaller refined cutting exceptionally well. Paring knives are great for removing the stem from peppers and tomatoes, slicing garlic, making detailed refinements on larger chopped vegetables. 

Some people will also use a paring knife instead of a vegetable peeler. Peeling takes a good amount of experience though. 

I want to mention one more type of knife, since it’s actually my top pick for this list, the nakiri. A nakiri is similar to a santoku, but is shaped more like a cleaver than a chef’s knife. This knife is a true vegetable specialist, and is especially good at chopping large volumes of fresh greens. 

A nakiri is a good choice if you’re looking for a knife to specialize in vegetables, and to fill the gaps between other knives. 

Nakiri are better at fully separating slices of your vegetables than either chef’s knives or santoku, they are great for hardy greens that need a rough chop, and are designed for the whole blade to make contact with the cutting surface at once, no rocking required. 

Tang: 

The tang of your blade is basically the portion of the blade that is inside the handle of your knife. It provides stability, control, and strength. 

For vegetable knives, it’s very important for the tang to be a full tang, which means that the tang is longer and generally is just as long as the handle. Not only does a full tang give you a lot more control, it also makes the blade more durable. 

A full tang also makes a loose knife, where the blade of the knife moves independently of the blade, virtually impossible. If you start to see a knife with a full tang starting to wobble, chances are you’ve cracked the tang and it’s starting to split. 

Look in the description of the knife to see if it has a full tang. I would say look for anchor points or other evidence of a full tang in the handle (the metal that shows through the wood or plastic of the handle) but there are ways to fake the appearance of a full tang so a visual inspection isn’t always reliable. 

Material: 

Vegetable knives come in steel or ceramic. Ceramic options work, but I tend to prefer steel as a more flexible option that’s also easier to maintain at home. Steel does need more maintenance than ceramic, but also less experience and fewer specialized tools to sharpen well. 

Ideally, you want a high-carbon steel or a steel alloy with some strengthening element. That’s because steel holds a better edge when it has a high-carbon content, or has been specifically mixed for a blade. 

Molybdenum/vanadium steel is a common option for blades, although some also use a cobalt alloy. 

Handle: 

The biggest thing you need to worry about with a knife handle is that it’s comfortable in your hand. 

Wooden handles have some natural antimicrobial properties, but can also need extra maintenance from time to time to keep them smooth and comfortable. 

It is more important to clean and sanitize plastic and polyurethane handles, but they probably won’t need any other ongoing maintenance over the life of your knife. 

My Reviews of Knives for Cutting Vegetables

1. DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife – Gladiator Series

The Dalstrong Nakiri is the vegetable version of a cleaver. It’s high-quality steel takes and holds an excellent edge.

It needs relatively little maintenance, chops through a wide variety of vegetables with ease. It has a full tang, which offers plenty of control. It’s also a great knife for greens, which can be difficult to chop cleanly with some knife styles. 

This knife is truly specialized, so it’s best if you only use this knife for vegetables. It’s a great chopping tool, but can also be adapted for slicing when that’s required. 

Dalstrong is also known for particularly great customer service, which is important in case your knife is damaged in transit. 

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Full tang for added durability
+ 100% customer satisfaction guarantee
+ Superior sharpness
+ Easy maintenance
– Blade easily damaged by electric sharpeners
– Needs to be kept in protective cover to maintain edge well

2. WÜSTHOF Classic 12 Inch Chef’s Knife

Wusthof is one of the bigger names in knife making, which is why they have several places on this list. This knife is a high-end version of their versatile chef’s knife. 

Made from some of the best high carbon steel, it takes and holds an impressive edge. 

The longer design of this chefs knife takes up a little more storage space, but also makes it better for cutting squash, melons, and other large fruits and vegetables. 

It also has the comfort of an ergonomic grip, the durability of the best steel combined with a full tang, and the ease of using a classic knife profile.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Longer design works well for larger vegetables
+ Seamless handle fit for easy cleaning
+ Ergonomic handle design
+ Full tang
+ High carbon steel, incredibly sharp edge
– Big brand, there are lots of counterfeit versions
– Protective cover needs to be ordered separately or in a bundle that increases the price

3. Victorinox 6.8523.17-X2 Swiss Classic 2-Piece Santoku Starter Set

A slightly more affordable version of the santoku and paring knife duo.

This set has a good santoku with a sharp edge as well as a lightly serrated paring knife. 

This set is a little less versatile, the santoku isn’t quite as heavy, and the serration of the paring knife limits its use slightly. 

However, this set can still manage most anything you throw at it, with a no-slip grip handle and full tang for added durability.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Dishwasher safe
+ Knife duo
+ Textured no-slip handle
– Serrated paring knife is less versatile than a straight edge

4. Global 5.5″ Vegetable Knife

This knife is a hybrid of the santoku and chef’s knife designs. It’s a little closer to a chef’s knife, but acts as a highly specialized vegetable knife much more than it acts like a versatile chef knife. 

The blade and handle are one piece. The grip design is ergonomic and easy to control. It’s also easy to clean and maintain. 

This knife also takes a great edge, and maintains it relatively well thanks to the high-quality steel alloy.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Specially designed for vegetables
+ Easy to control and use
+ Easy to clean and maintain
– Odd appearance
+ Slight learning curve for the unique design

5. WÜSTHOF 4582/20 Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Now we’re onto the chef’s knives. This knife is a wonderful addition to most kitchens thanks to it’s highly versatile design, durable full tang, and high quality steel. 

This knife is a good option for anyone who is looking to get a knife that can handle whatever they throw at it. 

It’s not as specialized. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This knife takes an incredibly sharp edge, is easy to maintain, and will fit in most standard knife blocks.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Fits in most standard knife blocks
+ Easy to clean and maintain
+ Incredibly sharp edge and point
+ Classic, ergonomic design
– Not as well suited to smaller vegetables
– Will need regular sharpening if used on more than just vegetables

6. DALSTRONG Chef Knife – Gladiator Series

The standout quality of this chef’s knife is that it can be a very versatile tool, and there are more highly specialized versions available.

While my favorite is still the classic design, with the traditional shape, good height, and great balance, this is also available in shorter and longer lengths.

You can also purchase this knife as a serrated chef’s knife, or a longer ‘vegetable chef’s knife’. That versatility makes this knife a good option for a wider range of users. 

All versions are made from high-carbon steel, arrive razor sharp, and have a durable full tang.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Beautiful pakkawood handle
+ Can be customized for your kitchen’s needs and your knife preferences (select from several options)
+ Very tall blade for added knuckle space and clearance
– Needs to be sharpened regularly

7. DALSTRONG Paring Knife – 4″ – Phantom Series

For the last vegetable knife, this list would not be complete without a paring knife.

This is a 4” knife, which is slightly longer than some, paring knives are often about 3” long. However, that added length gives this knife some added flexibility for slicing vegetables and chopping herbs. 

It’s made from the same high-carbon steel as Dalstrong’s other knives, and still has a full tang.

That means that this knife is significantly more durable. The handle is also designed for a strong grip, giving you more slicing control. 

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Smaller design perfect for smaller vegetables
Full tang
+ Ergonomic handle gives you a lot of control
– Not suited to larger vegetables
– Slightly too light for the length, not balanced

My Top Pick: DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife – Gladiator Series

This knife isn’t your average versatile knife, but that’s not a bad thing. The specialized blade made cutting through bulky leaves and vegetables simple, while the squared off design makes chopping neater and easier. 

The scalloped edge also cuts down on my cutting time since I don’t have to worry about cleaning off the knife between slices, and I’m less worried about accidentally mincing my slices when they fall. 

It’s high quality steel and full tang both make it more durable, and cut down on the regular maintenance. Don’t be afraid that this Japanese knife is designed for vegetables you don’t use and a cuisine you don’t eat. The design is versatile and well suited to most vegetable types.

Final Thoughts On The Best Knives for Cutting Vegetables

Choosing the right knife is more than just the difference between beautifully chopped vegetables and a messy half-shredded mess. It’s also about saving time, avoiding injuries and accidents, and having the right tools to start experimenting in the kitchen. 

You’ll be amazed how quickly you start turning out intricately chopped vegetables and carefully crafted plates once you have a knife that makes it easy. 

Getting the best knife you can afford not only makes cooking easier and more fun, it can also save you money in the long run. After all, a great knife will last through years of normal use. That’s much cheaper than replacing a cheap knife several times over the same period. 

Now get chopping!

Heather

Heather

My love for food brings me here. Over the last couple years, I've been building out my repertoire of the best kitchen gadgets and appliances to whip up my favorite meals. I'm on a mission to help you do the same, so you can bring out the spice of life in your kitchen and define your unique Kitchen Culture!

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Heather

Heather

My love for food brings me here. Over the last couple years, I've been building out my repertoire of the best kitchen gadgets and appliances to whip up my favorite meals. I'm on a mission to help you do the same, so you can bring out the spice of life in your kitchen and define your unique Kitchen Culture!

About My Kitchen Culture

Here at My Kitchen Culture, I review the best kitchen gadgets and appliances so that you can get everything you need to create your favorite foods in your kitchen. 

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