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6-Inch Chef’s Knife

Published February 2019
More on the Best Chef's Knives
We've also tested the 8-inch (standard size) and 10-inch versions of this product. You can read our full review of chef's knives with detailed brand comparisons here.

How we tested

In our review of 8-inch chef’s knives, we gave top marks to the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8" Chef's Knife, praising its supersharp 8-inch blade and comfortable textured grip. The company also makes a smaller version, the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6" Chef’s Knife. Could it perform as well as its cousin? To find out, we tested it in a lineup of chef’s knives for kids and named it our top pick for pint-size cooks. However, we noticed that adult testers also liked the knife. Could a 6-inch chef’s knife work for the entire family?

We’d asked testers in our kids’ testing to use the knife to chop celery and slice cheese, but this time we put the blade through everyday kitchen tasks that we expect a good knife to ace: slicing tomatoes, chopping onions, mincing parsley, peeling and cubing butternut squash, and breaking down a whole chicken.

Putting the Knife to the Test

As we did with the 8-inch version, we liked the secure grip of the 6-inch knife. Testers also commented on the knife’s flexible blade, which made it feel similar to a boning knife. When we used digital calipers to measure the blade’s thickness, we found that it was actually half as thick as the 8-inch version. Coupled with the knife’s smaller, more dexterous size, this bendy blade easily broke down a whole chicken.

Lightness and flexibility came with two trade-offs. First, it took us longer to finely chop a large onion and to mince parsley with the smaller knife since it didn’t cover as much surface area as the 8-inch version. Second, the 6-inch blade was more flexible than the 8-inch blade, so peeling and breaking down a butternut squash was a daunting task. Testers found not only that it took them longer but also that they had to apply more force, which meant the knife’s blade dulled more quickly. After breaking down a butternut squash and a whole chicken, our knife could barely slice through paper—a test we use to gauge sharpness—and made jagged, squished slices of tomatoes.

The Best 6-Inch Chef’s Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6" Chef’s Knife

Ultimately we still recommend an 8-inch knife for most adult cooks, but we’ve found that the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6" Chef’s Knife makes a great knife for both kids and adults who are new to the kitchen or for adults who like working with a smaller knife. SInce its blade is more flexible than the 8-inch version, more seasoned cooks can use this knife as a heavy-duty paring knife or as a boning knife, but it really isn’t ideal for most prep work. For most cooks, we recommend the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8" Chef's Knife.


Methodology

We tested the 6-inch version of our top-rated chef’s knife, using it to slice tomatoes, chop onions, mince parsley, peel and cube butternut squash, and break down a whole chicken. We rated how easily and precisely it performed each task, how comfortable it was to use, and whether the blade stayed sharp throughout testing. The price listed is what we paid online.

Rating Criteria

Handle: We wanted the handle to feel comfortable and secure, no matter the kitchen task.

Blade Design: We wanted a blade that rocked nicely, which would make tasks such as mincing parsley easier, and a spine that did not dig into our hands.

Kitchen Tasks: We butchered a whole chicken, peeled and chopped unwieldy butternut squash, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, and minced parsley.

Edge Retention: We evaluated the blade at the beginning and end of testing by slicing through sheets of copy paper.


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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.

$248.64*
Recommended

Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.

$141.90*

Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

$67.99*
Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

$49.93*
Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.

$129.95*

Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.

$99.95*

Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.

$24.99*

Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.

$35.88*