8 or 10 Inch Chef Knife: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

The 8″ kitchen knife is an excellent choice for fine and precise cutting tasks whereas the 10″ knife is a true workhorse. It may be easy to assume that the only difference between these knives is the size of the blade. However, a comprehensive comparison between the two reveals much more.

And that’s the purpose of this article. Here, you’ll learn everything there’s to know about these knives. Learning about things like weight, size, and comfort will allow you to choose between an 8 or 10 inch chef knife. 

8 inch or 10 inch chef knife

Not sure what the best chef knife size is right for you? Worry not. Check all of this information to find out which is the most convenient for you and your cutting habits.

Key Differences Between 8 and 10 Inch Chef Knife

Subject8-Inch Chef’s Knife10 Inch Chef’s Knife
Weight (Depending on the Overall Length)5.82 to 9.95 ounces6.3 ounces to 1 pound (16 ounces)
Blade Length203mm253mm
Overall Length (Depending on the Handle Size)319mm (12.55”) to 381mm (15”)375mm(14.76”) to 488mm (19.25”)
Best for CuttingShallots, tomatoes, salmon, onions, chicken, etc.Lettuce, watermelon, butternut squash, pumpkin, meat, bread, etc.
Grip / ControlExcellentDecent
VersatilityHighMedium
Cutting Board CompatibilityHighMedium

Knives compared: MAC Professional 8″ Knife with Dimples & MAC Series 10″ Dimpled Knife. Alternatively, Williams Sonoma also produces utensils of great value.

8 Inch Vs 10 Inch Chef Knife

In this section, I’ll talk about the differences summarized in the table above.

Weight

The weight of kitchen knives plays a significant role in your cutting techniques. When it comes to picking a chef’s knife, there’s a lot to consider in this area.

Weight of 8 inch Chef’s Knife

Weighing between 5.82 and 9.95 ounces, the 8-inch chef’s knife is the lightest choice. A lightweight knife can help you to make smooth cuts that need precision. 

Believe it or not, the weight of a knife is a huge factor while cutting. A larger knife is heavier, meaning that it requires more effort. So, using the tip would need more pressure and feels a bit awkward if you’re not familiar with the knife. Herein, you’ll find it easier to handle an 8-inch knife.

Weight of 10 inch Chef’s Knife

To no one’s surprise, the 10-inch chef’s knife is the heavier out of the two. With a weight ranging between 6.3 and one pound, the handle feels sturdy and the tip feels balanced. This is the blade length you want to have for making decisive cuts through large and thick meat.

But there’s one thing to consider.

The blade of a 10-inch knife is long. This means you’ll need ample workspace to make the cuts using a knife this size. If you have a narrow kitchen and would like to cook with your partner, you may struggle a bit to get full slices using the overall length of the blade.

Cutting Workload and Efficiency

Let’s talk about the things you can do with each of these chef’s knives and how the size of chef’s knife influences your ability to cut. Keep in mind that the efficiency and control of the perfect knife depend on the blade quality. So, consider getting something like stainless steel or carbon steel Japanese knives.

What 8-inch Knife is Best for Cutting? 

The eight-inch knife is an all-around kitchen utensil for home cooks. Besides feeling comfortable, the blade of these knives can also take care of multiple tasks. 

Here are some examples of what is an 8-inch chef knife used for;

  • Slicing food into small bits.
  • Cutting food and ingredients into small cubes.
  • Chopping food into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cutting vegetables like onions at an acute angle.
  • Cutting small stuff quickly.

Those are only a few of the things you can do with 8-inch chef’s knives. If they have something like stainless steel, you can do all of that without the need to sharpen the blades regularly.

What 10-inch Knife is Best for Cutting? 

Nonetheless, the 10-inch chef’s knife comes on top in terms of workload. You can use it to cut a bunch of vegetables or large food in just seconds. Here’s a list of what knives this blade length can do.

If you’re wondering what can you use a 10 chef knife for, these are some examples;

  • Cuts thick meat and two batches of vegetables to cook elaborate dishes.
  • Cuts fruits, watermelons or butternut squash with ease.
  • Cuts high-volume quantities, a whole chicken, and more.
  • Cuts cake into smaller pieces in a single swing.

As long as the 10-inch knife feels comfortable and has a sharpened edge, you can do that and much more.

Read another comparison article on 6 inch vs 8 inch chef knives.

Grip/Knife-Hand Compatibility

Depending on your height and hand size, one knife may be more convenient than the other. Whether you make right or left handed cuts, this section covers which one would feel the most comfortable.

When to Choose an 8-inch Knife?

The 8-inch quality chef’s knife offers an outstanding grip for everyone. It won’t matter whether you’re small or tall, as the stability offered by the grip is fantastic either way. This knife also provides more control.

In this case, the most important thing to consider is the handle type. It can be wood, polypropylene, metal, etc. Pick the one that feels the most comfortable to you. Getting a comfortable knife is important because it allows you to;

  • Get a solid grip on the handle for smoother and safer cuts.
  • Make stylish Brunoise or Julienne cuts without your wrist feeling fatigue.
  • Use the knife’s own weight to push the blade without a ton of pressure.

When to Choose a 10-inch Knife?

A general rule is that the 10-inch is the one you need if you’re over six feet with big hands. This one gives you the sturdiness necessary to better handle the larger blade tip. 

Additionally, the size of the kitchen area is another element to consider. Choose a 10-inch knife only if there’s enough space to move around. If there are two cooks in a small kitchen, standing shoulder to shoulder would be hard to work with a 10-inch knife.

If you’re still not sure which one to pick, try the forearm test.

What is the Forearm Test, and Why Use It?

Pick a knife and measure both the tip and heel of the blade with your forearm. The heel should be next to your wrist and the tip near the joint of your elbow. 

  • If the blade and your forearm share a similar length, then it means the knife will be comfortable to use. 
  • In case the knife is longer than the forearm, controlling it would be harder. 
  • Don’t even consider anything shorter.

If none of that works, go to your closest knife store and get a hand of both knives. It will help you to choose the right size of the blade.

The Versatility Differs

While comparing 10 vs 8 inch chef knives, versatility is perhaps the main difference between the two.

How Versatile is an 8-inch Knife?

If you want a versatile knife that does almost everything, choose the 8-inch chef’s knife. You can use it for a variety of tasks, and the blade will perform flawlessly. So much so that it could also take care of relatively large and thick food without issues. Use it for slicing, mincing, or chopping.

Out of all knives, the 8-inch chef’s knives are the most versatile.

How Versatile is a 10 inch Knife?

Unfortunately, the 10-inch knife isn’t as versatile. This is the one disadvantage that comes with the lengthier blade. You could use it for smaller tasks, but it would be easier to use a smaller size instead.

Compatibility with the Cutting Board

The cutting board is yet another essential kitchen accessory, and not all of them work with all the knives. Besides allowing you to cut food, these reduce the wear on most chef’s knives. Hence, it’ll be easier to maintain the blade’s sharp edge.

Cutting Boards Best for 8 inch Knife

Consider getting a medium-sized board if you prefer working with an 8-inch chef’s knife. These are excellent because they’re not too large like a ten inches or too small like a four inches knife. Therefore, you get to use the knife for chopping or mincing without limitations. 

In case a medium-sized cutting board isn’t enough, a large board is also compatible with 8-inch chef’s knives.

Recommended cutting board sizes for 8-inch chef’s knives:

TypeSize (HxW)
Medium10×14
12×18
15×20
Large7×23
18×18
18×24

Cutting Boards Best for 10 inch Knife

The 10-inch chef’s knives need larger cutting boards. Otherwise, you won’t have the space needed to cut without overextending the limits and hitting the countertop.

Recommended sizes for 10-inch chef’s knives:

Cutting Board TypeSize (HxW)
Large7×23
18×18
18×24
Extra-Large18×30
20×30

How long should a chef’s knife be?

Most would agree that the 8-inch is a good chef’s knife size for most tasks. Primarily because chef’s knives this size are super versatile. They aren’t large, but not small either. Therefore, you can use them for cooking with vegetables, meat, and more.

While talking about knife sizes, there are two things to consider: blade size and handle length. The comparison here refers only to the size of the blade. A smaller blade with a lighter weight is easier to maneuver within small kitchen areas. Hence, 8-inch chef’s knives are the ideal choice for home cooks.

On the flip side, larger blades would be more suitable for professional work at restaurants with more space and stronger cutting boards.

What is the best 8 inch chef knife?

The MAC Professional 8″ Chef’s Knife with Dimples. This knife is an all-around utensil that delivers excellent performance. With a perfectly beveled blade, the angle to cut ingredients makes it easy and quick. Plus, the chrome-moly vanadium steel guarantees a thin yet strong blade with a keen edge.

Do I need a 10 inch chef knife?

You need a 10-inch chef knife if you want to cut large quantities of food or slice big fruits. In this case, a larger and heavier 10″ (240mm) knife will put up with a considerable workload. 

Plus, the weight of the blade will also make the job easier. With the tip of the blade piercing through, slicing stuff like lettuce and watermelon feels natural. Check out our recommended watermelon slicers here.

However, this knife does have some unexpected disadvantages. For instance, you’ll need more working space in the kitchen. This is one of the reasons why it may not be a good idea for home kitchens. Without enough space, the cutting motion back and forth will be troublesome.

Is an 8 inch chef knife too big?

No. For most people, the 8-inch chef’s knife is a perfect pick. Not only because of the size but also the weight, grip, and ability to cut different things. Because of this reason, the 8-inch chef’s knife is the ideal choice for home chefs and home cooks. It’s the right one if you do a lot of variety cooking.

Is a 10 inch chef knife too big?

For regular cooking at home, the 10-inch knife may be too big. But it can also be just the right size for the right ingredients. Designed with a longer blade, this is the knife you want to have to cut high volume in a single stroke.

Takeaway – Should I Get an 8-inch or 10-inch Chef Knife?

The final decision has a lot to do with what type of food you want to cut and how comfortable each knife feels. Go with 8-inch chef knives if you prefer versatility and comfort. Though it is smaller, the versatility of a shorter knife is top-notch. Use it to cut meat, chicken, salmon, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and more.

On the other hand, choose the 10-inch chef knives if you deal with large food, fruits, or vegetables. A knife this size would be ideal if you eat lettuce, watermelon, squash, and other things with a similar shape. It’s also a fantastic choice for deboning chicken, cutting thick meat, and even cakes.

And that’s it for this discussion on which one to get between 8 or 10 inch chef knife. As a final tip, try to use both before deciding. Personal preference is also important. Try the forearm test to know which one will be the easiest to control.

Brian M. Casey

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Besides writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research-based content for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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