KAN Core 8-inch Chef Knife (Kenji’s knife: Hammered VG-10 Blade, G10 handle)
You may already know this particular knife from J. Kenji López-Alt’s home cooking show. Our most function-forward chef knife may be as beautiful as it is amazing to cook with. The G10 composite resin handle is impervious to water, and the hammered finish will aid in food release. Just don’t forget to actually cook the food instead of just staring at your knife!
The hammered finish and G10 composite resin handle combines both beautifully and functionally with the 66 damascus layers clad about the Japanese VG-10 steel core. Our inverted teardrop-shaped handle fits hands of all sizes, both left and right. Balanced just in front of the bolster, our knives are made to emphasize a perfectly balanced pinch grip with enough weight behind each cut to get through very tough foods, yet balanced to prevent fatigue. You're going to love your new best friend in the kitchen!
20 reviews for KAN Core 8-inch Chef Knife (Kenji’s knife: Hammered VG-10 Blade, G10 handle)
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I got this knife after years of searching for the perfect knife. It is amazing. Cuts so smooth I can barley feel it. I have been asked numerous times how much I spent and when I tell them , they are shocked. Worth way more than what it sells for. Looking forward to buying more knives for my collection.
James Wyeth (verified owner) –
I bought this knife for myself at the end of summer from J.Kenji Lopez Alts suggestion and promotion with KAN.
I’ve held off on writing a review until I’ve used the knife enough to truly know what it’s like.
I’ve used it daily for about 5/6 months now and not once has it failed me. It’s perfectly balanced and well weighted.
The blade handles incredibly well and it’s always enjoyable to use it.
I’ve had to run it over a steel once or twice but never sharpen it. It’s remained taxed sharp as it was when I got it out the box.
Shipping internationally Barney was fantastic and letting me know what was happening and when. Always able to reply to my messages.
Great Product, Great service.
Roy van der Weijden (verified owner) –
This knife is scary. So sharp, and also hard and balanced. Cook with safety shoes in case you drop it. It will slice through everything it touches.
Matthew Macias –
My son got me this knife for Christmas. It is the best kitchen knife I have owned. It cuts quickly, predictably and perfectly. It’s incredibly sharp and looks amazing. The pictures don’t do justice to the Damascus look of the blade. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it makes me realize my other knives look and cut like trash. My future knife purchase will be from Kan. Ordering one for my brother as well.
KAN Kitchen –
This is a love letter. I bought your knives only because I wanted to support J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recommendation of your knives and yes, I wanted to try new knives after using only Shun classics for the past 10years.
I take pride in my knife sharpening. I’m the one who tests his knives’ sharpness by shaving my arm hairs. Your knives past that test but I didn’t realize just how good they were in the kitchen.
I didn’t transition to your knives until two days ago. I was still using my Shun Classics (7″Santoku, bread, utility, 6″Santoku, pairing, and serrated utility). I decided to fry some buffalo wings and while prepping the wings, I decided to compare knives….7″ Shun Santoku vs your Chef knife. I did half the wings (whole wings which I first take the winglet off by slicing through the joint without going through bone and then separating the drum from the flat using same technique, so I don’t dull my blades by cutting through bone) using my Shun, and then I did the other half with your chef knife. WOW!!!!!! NO CONTEST!!!!! YOUR KNIFE WENT THROUGH THE JOINTS LIKE THEY WERE AUTO GUIDED.
The thinness of the blade was at first a turnoff to me. I equated it to be of lesser quality because of weight difference compared to the Shun classic (which I had personally sharpened two weeks ago and it had been unused since then). I got through the seven wings in less than half the time as the Shun. I enjoyed the experience 4 times more!!!!
Thank you, Barney. I’ve been following Kenji around the internet for about 2 years now. I’ll be interweb stalking you from now on.
Manish G (verified owner) –
I’ve been cooking for many years now, but I never really went out to get *great* knives. I’ve been diligently sharpening my knives and they’ve been pretty okay.
A while ago I happened to use this knife at a friend’s house and from the first slice I was amazed by how good it was. It felt perfectly balanced in my hand, and I felt far more confident using it. I didn’t know knives could be this good! She even mentioned that she’d not sharpened it in ages, which left me even more amazed, because the knife was cutting way better than my regularly sharpened knives at home.
I ordered this chef’s knife and the Santoku, and have been using it daily since then. Ingredient preparation has gone from an idle chore to something I find really enjoyable! I’ve gotten more efficient and more skilled just by using this knife. Its balance gives me plenty of control and makes me feel very safe while chopping.
I just ordered another chef’s knife as a gift for another friend and I’m sure she’s going to appreciate it too.
Dennis C –
This was my first knife I purchased before I bought a knife bundle (6″, 5″ and the bread knife). This one seriously makes me happy everytime I need to do meal prep or other task in the kitchen. The weight is so glorious when cutting, chopping, or slicing. I never had a decent knife before so this has been a complete joy getting to know and use such a high caliber blade. It brings a smile toy face everytime I go to take it out and after I’m done wiping/washing, drying and placing it back I think yo myself, ‘wow, what a knife!’ thanks Barney, loving it!
This review is for the original 8″ chef knife from Kickstarter…
A lot of this is subjective, but here are my experiences:
I have a Bob Kramer 8″ chef knife, a Wuesthof, plus a couple of Misen knives.
The KAN was my sushi knife, but it’s been becoming the knife I’m reaching for more and more. The BK is gorgeous but a bit heavy for longer use and the handle is too “chunky” unfortunately. (it does look great on my wall though).
The Wuesthof and Misens are nice, but the KAN just feels better. It keeps an edge longer and better than them, plus the balance makes it more comfortable.
I like it so much that I finally decided to buy the complete set and will update this review once I’ve had a chance to play with them.
John R (verified owner) –
Just received mine in the mail and let me tell you – it’s even more beautiful in person! Razor sharp, handles great, and just an all around awesome addition to my kitchen. 10/10 would recommend!
Scott Davis –
It’s a beautiful knife and works very well. It has stayed sharp. Next step is learning to sharpen it myself. I love the hammered side as when you slice something it doesn’t stick to the knife as easily. I was thinking it was starting to get dull until I was cutting up some pork shoulder the other and and it flew through the meat.
I bought the Kan Core Basic set and received them two weeks ago. Some days before I placed the order I called Barney a craftsman in the chat. Now I realize that was not true. He is an artist! The knives are stunningly beautiful and ridiculously sharp. Really happy with them and can not recommend them highly enough!
This is my favorite knife! Super sharp, keeps it’s edge and looks great! For this price it is hard to beat! Keep up the good work!
Josh G –
I got this knife for Christmas and, with the exception of a leather stropping every second or third use, the edge has held beautifully. It’s perfectly balanced and fits my (relatively) small hand beautifully for a pinch grip. Barney’s customer service is second to none and I can’t wait to add more from this collection to my kitchen.
James M-N (verified owner) –
I’ve had Kan’s chef knife for almost a year now. It’s a beautiful knife that prioritizes comfort, versatility, and ease of maintenance without sacrificing performance. There are plenty of great knife manufacturer’s out there, but you may end up paying double for quality comparable to what you’ll find here.
One note: An especially petite or elderly cook may find this blade heavy. I’d recommend Kan’s Santoku knife for such a person, which is also an incredible workhorse. For the majority of users, the weight of the Chef’s knife is ideal.
More broadly, having a high-quality knife makes cooking a much more enjoyable task. I’ve selfishly given this as a gift to my partner, having been scarred (emotionally, and almost literally) by their existing knife collections. Makes a great gift.
Oh, and by the way, Barney cares more for his product and service than most people do for their children :P.
David Eisenhower (verified owner) –
These knives are amazing, especially for the price. You can get two of them for the price of one of some of those expensive Japanese knives. I have a couple of those, and these are just as good! They are really beautiful, expertly crafted knives. The weight balance is perfect for me and makes a huge difference. Highly recommended.
Pamela Stewart –
Truly special knife. It is balanced so well that it is a delight to hold and use! It is a joy to cut with such a sharp (and beautiful) knife. My partner got us one and I just bought one for a gift. Highly recommend.
Really just a great knife. Great looking, feels good in my hand, holds an edge well, and not too expensive (especially if you can get it on sale!)
Brandon Piekny (verified owner) –
As I’m only 16 these knifes were my first set. How ever I can say for certain that once you use a harder blade, your softer steal blades will be no sharper then a model sword in comparison. On the heavier side but for me it’s the perfect weight to guild the knife comfortably. For those who want the quality of hand crafted Japanese knifes without spending 300+ per knife, these will not disappoint
Rajiv P –
After many years using a western style 8 inch Santoku, I decided my entire arsenal needed an upgrade and got the Kan Core Basic Set.
The chef’s knife is an absolute dream at a very affordable price point. It’s sharp enough out of the box to push cut paper, is beautiful, has superb weight and balance, is very comfortable in various grip styles and has held its edge after a month of regular usage. In fact, the only sharpening I’ve done to it after a month is a few light polishing passes on a 6000 grit stone. As a point of comparison, my old Henckel Santoku would need sharpening on a 1000 grit plus polishing every month at minimum.
I want to take a second to praise Kan’s customer service. When I got my knives I checked the blades and found a nick on the chef’s knife affecting both sides of the edge. I got in touch with Barney and he was nothing but apologetic and accommodating. He got a replacement out to me plus the materials to send the nicked knife back at no cost. Thanks Barney!
So I heard about this brand from Kenji on YouTube. My boyfriend and I love watching his videos, so I surprised him with the chef’s knife one holiday. Let me tell you… this knife is unlike any I’ve ever used. I never grew up using quality knives, just the cheap ones you can find at a grocery store. This completely changed the game for me. After purchasing the chef’s knife, I went and purchased the utility knife as well as the Santoku. I vow to never use crappy, dull knives again! These are completely worth the money. They cut beautifully, they LOOK beautiful. I can’t say enough great things. I hope to eventually have the entire set!