Top 7 Best Chef Knives For Small Hands: Which One Would You Choose?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 10/05/20 •  14 min read

A proper chef knife is any cook’s most important tool in the kitchen.

But sometimes, a standard-sized chef knife can be too large for some people, especially if you have small hands.

Normally, it is 8-inches long, and you can even see more experienced professionals who use larger blades up to 12 inches long.

However, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the best chef knives for small hands.

That means we’ll be taking a look at knives smaller than the standard chef knife, which can be easier for people with small hands to control.

So if you’re looking for a chef knife for yourself or for another person out there with smaller hands, then you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to find out more.

Related: The best chef knives for the money

Best Chef Knives For Small Hands (Updated List)

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How to Choose the Best Chef Knife For Small Hands

best chef knives for small hands

1. Size

Since you’re looking for a knife that is more fit for a person with small hands, it’s important to get the right size.

Standard chef knives are usually 8”-10” long, and they can sometimes be even larger, measuring up to 12” long.

But these are not exactly recommended for those who have smaller hands.

For more control and precision, it’s best to look at smaller knives if you have smaller hands.

This means getting something around 6” long, which is a great size for an all-around knife in the kitchen.

While there are chef knives this size, you’ll most likely find more  Santoku knives, which are smaller versions of a Japanese chef knife meant for those with smaller hands or for those who want more control and precision.

2. Materials

The next thing you should look at once you’ve found the right size is the materials used in construction.

For the blade, it’s recommended to look for blades made of high-carbon stainless steel.

This material is resistant to rust and corrosion, while also being an ideal material to sharpen to a very sharp edge.

Knives made of high-carbon stainless steel are known to retain their edge longer and be of higher quality than other blades.

Another thing to look at is the handle.

A quality handle should feel natural in the hands and help balance out it.

Some handles will be made of wood while others will be made of G10, a type of composite material known for its very high strength and water resistance.

A water-proof material is most ideal for the handles as they won’t deteriorate quickly.

So if you’re getting a knife with a wooden handle, make sure it has been treated properly and won’t absorb water.

3. Construction

Another good thing to look at is how the blade was built.

Blades for kitchen knives will be either stamped or forged.

A stamped blade will be generally cheaper than a forged one, but it won’t be the same quality.

Forging blades are the way knives and swords have been made for centuries.

It is a technique that has stood the test of time and it consistently results in very sharp blades that are highly durable.

However, knives with a forged blade tend to fetch a higher price, so be prepared to pay a higher price for a higher-quality knife.

Reviews of the Best Chef Knives For Small Hands

1. Dalstrong (Best Choice)

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To kick things off, we have a knife coming from the Dalstrong Shogun Series.

This series is known to have knives of the highest quality, and this model is no exception.

This one comes with a 6” blade, which qualifies it as a chef knife, but also makes it very ideal for those with smaller hands.

Out of the box, it’s sharpened to an 8-12 degree angle, which gives it a very sharp edge.

The blade is made with Damascus steel, which is responsible for the “tsunami-rose” pattern you see on the blade.

This not only gives it a great look, but also makes the blade resistant to rust and corrosion.

It has a G-10 handle, which is a very tough and durable material that is great for knife handles.

It is full-tang, which gives it a good feel and balance.

This is a great premium choice for any chef out there, especially if you’re willing to spend a bit more money on a premium product.

Our scores:



2. Global (2nd Runner-up)

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Global is a very well-known brand in the world of chef knives, and its most famous quality is a handle.

Or lack of a handle, that is.

It is one piece of high-carbon stainless steel that is very durable and very sharp.

The handle seamlessly melds with the blade, giving it a very sleek look and feel.

The way it is designed makes it very easy to grip, making it an ideal knife for those with smaller hands.

On top of that, the blade only measures 6” which is the ideal size for a small chef knife.

Since it is made from a single piece of steel, it’s more durable than most other knives out there because there are no individual pieces that can get damaged.

This is a very unique knife with a lot of uses, making it a great pick for those looking for a flexible and handy chef knife.

Our scores:



3. Mercer Culinary (Best for Durability)

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If you’re looking for the best chef knife out there for small hands, then this one might come up more than once.

This Mercer Culinary is one of the best small chef knives on the market today.

It has a forged construction, which gives the blade more durability than knives with a stamped construction.

The blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel which is resistant to staining while also keeping a very sharp edge.

It has a Santropene handle, which leaves less of a carbon footprint and is very comfortable in the hands.

Add that to the full-tang construction, and you have yourself a very well-rounded chef knife.

It has a taper-ground edge, which means it can hold its edge for much longer than other blades.

For those looking for a top-tier product that remains affordable, then this should definitely be on your watchlist.

Our scores:



4. Wusthof (Best for Western Style)

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Wusthof is one of the top brands for chef knives today.

A lot of professionals stand by it and all it takes is one look at this premium product to see why.

It’s a santoku knife, which is a Japanese kitchen knife that is smaller than a standard chef knife.

It is typically used for slicing vegetables and other smaller ingredients, but it’s also a great size for a small chef knife.

The blade measures 5”, which is one of the smallest sizes on this list.

This gives you a whole load of control and can make life very easy for those with small hands.

But because of its great construction and high quality, it can be used as a workhorse in the kitchen for a very wide variety of tasks.

It is sharpened using the brand’s Precision Edge technology which results in a blade that is 20% sharper than usual.

For those of you looking for something that is very sharp out of the box and can be used for a wide variety of tasks in the kitchen, this may be the best pick for you.

This is a fairly expensive model, and you might find that it’s one of the most expensive knives on this list.

But this is because it is a premium product and a very high-quality choice.

So if you’re willing to spend on one of the better knives on the market, then you should take a look at this Wusthof model.

Our scores:



5. Shun (Best for Eastern Style)

Next up, we have another model coming from a very well-respected brand, Shun.

These knives are some of the best Japanese chef knives on the market today and this Classic 6-inch model makes a case for the best chef knife for small hands on the market today.

Since it’s only 6” long, it’s ideal for those with smaller hands, and one look at the construction will show you why it’s so respected in the culinary world.

This is a great looking one.

It has a Damascus steel construction, which gives the blade a beautiful pattern.

And when you pair that with the very elegant Pakkawood handle, you have yourself an eye-catching knife.

The Damascus blade also gives it an extra layer of durability and better edge-retention.

It also has a slight curve to it, which will allow you to rock back and forth, making for a much faster cutting experience.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the Pakkawood handle is also very cylindrical, which makes it very easy to grip.

For those looking for a high-quality and durable model for someone with small hands, you probably don’t have to look much further than the Shun Classic.

Our scores:



6. Ferrum (Best for Sharpness)

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It is one of the more unique models on the list.

It is made from powdered metal, which gives it a denser and purer build.

The blade is also hand-sharpened to a 15-degree angle, which makes it very sharp right out of the box.

It’s 6” long, so it’s the ideal size for a small chef knife.

It comes from the brand’s Estate collection, which prides itself on producing very functional knives with a simple and classic aesthetic.

This workhorse can be used for just about any kitchen task you can throw at it.

Obviously, since it’s a fairly small knife, you can’t use it for large kitchen jobs, but for just about anything else, this one works like a dream.

It’s definitely a unique one made of unique materials.

But the risk paid off for Ferrum as the Estate collection is a series of knives that are true workhorses of the highest quality, and this model is no exception.

Our scores:



7. Mac Knife (Best for Home Cooks)

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A santoku is a staple in any Japanese kitchen, and at times, it even takes the role of a chef knife for some cooks.

This santoku is great for anyone looking for a smaller chef knife that can offer you more control.

The steel used is AUS-8, one of the best materials out there and is used by other brands like Dalstrong.

This is Japanese steel with a high carbon content that results in a very sharp, flexible choice that is very resistant to rust and corrosion.

It has a straighter curve than a standard chef knife, which is to be expected from a santoku.

That means that instead of rocking back and forth, you will have to use an up and down motion to cut properly.

It’s a lightweight full-tang blade with great balance, ideal for any chef with small hands.

It’s also relatively affordable, so anyone looking for a great budget blade should check this out.

Our scores:



Related guides:

What Is A Mezzaluna Knife Used For?
What Is A Cheese Knife Used For?
What Is A Tomato Knife Used For?


1. What Size Should A Chef Knife Be?

Normally, it should be at least 8-inches long, and they can reach lengths of up to 12” in a professional kitchen.

However, the right size will always depend on the cook who will use it.

Larger cooks will obviously need larger knives, and smaller cooks will need shorter knives.

A good way to measure this is by looking at your forearm.

The ideal chef knife blade should be about as long as your forearm.

2. What Is It Good For?

The reason this type of cutlery is so important is that it can be used for a lot of different things.

These knives are designed to be able to handle just about any cutting, slicing, or dicing jobs you can imagine in the kitchen.

They aren’t ideal for tougher jobs like chopping through large chunks of meat or cutting through bone, but that is something that a proper cleaver should handle.

These knives also may not be best for filleting meat, as the blade isn’t flexible enough for it.

But for any other kitchen job, you can always rely on your trusty chef knife.

3. Does the Length Include The Handle?

No, when you see the measurement, they are strictly talking about the blade.

So an 8” chef knife has an 8” blade without the handle.

4. What Is The Smallest Knife In The Kitchen?

In the kitchen, the smallest knife you will probably see is the paring knife.

It is used for peeling fruits and vegetables which is why it is smaller.

To peel fruits and vegetables properly and efficiently, you have to have a lot of control, which you can get by using a smaller blade.

Paring knives are usually 4” in length and are very easy to use, but they won’t really cut through ingredients properly.

5. What Knives Should Ever Kitchen Have?

The standard rule for chefs is to have at the very least have three knives in the kitchen.

This is the chef knife, a long serrated knife, and a paring knife.

With these three tools, you can do just about any kitchen cutting job out there.

Most chefs will consider these three knives crucial in the kitchen and all the other knives out there may make certain jobs easier but are largely seen as an extra luxury.


A proper chef knife is any cook’s most important tool in the kitchen.

And to ensure that you can perform all the required tasks in the kitchen, you need the right knife for your hands.

If you’re a fan of Japanese chef knives, then you’ll enjoy the Dalstrong Shogun Series Chef Knife.

Based on our research, this is the best choice for chefs with small hands because of its superior construction and ergonomic design.

We’d also like to mention the Global 6” Chef Knife as it has a sleek, modern design that would be welcome in any professional kitchen.

And if you’re a chef shopping on a tight budget, we recommend the Mercer Culinary Genesis Chef’s Knife.

While it is one of the cheapest options out there, it is made with great craftsmanship and has an incredibly sharp edge, making it one of the best knives in its price range.

Further reading:

Basic Knife Skills – NYT Cooking

The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know


Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.

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