1. Misono UX10 Gyotou Chef's Knife ($248)

This is the "go-to" knife of New Orleans chef Nina Compton, who praises its light weight and balance. "A 10½-inch chef knife is ideal," Compton says. "Too long or too short of a knife and you don't have control cutting." Buy it at Amazon.

2. Masanobu VG-10 Damascus Santoku ($340)

Mexican-born New York chef Julian Medina prefers this Santoku, designed for slicing and dicing but versatile enough to fillet a cod: "It's so easy to fillet, as the knife blade is sharp all the time. The weight is just perfect." Buy it at Korin.

3. Shun Premier Chef's Knife ($120)

James Sommerin works with a 6-inch knife from Shun, whose handcrafted blades have a hammered surface to reduce drag. "They stay very sharp and are light, which is great when using them all day," the Welsh chef says. Buy it at Amazon.

4. Global Ukon Chef's Knife ($93)

Celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre confesses that his heart still belongs to his first 8-inch Global: "I remember when I finally started to make more than 12 cents a day, I really, really wanted a Global knife. Now it's the oldest knife in my kit." Buy it at Amazon.

5. Wusthof Chef's Knife ($125)

Shannon Swindle, the pastry chef at Craft Los Angeles, has a similar passion for a German classic: "The thinner, lighter Japanese knives are very popular now, but I prefer the weight and thickness of the blade of this knife. I've used it for 20 years." Buy it at Amazon.

Editor's note: Every week The Week's editors survey product reviews and articles in websites, newspapers, and magazines, to find cool and useful new items we think you'll like. We're now making it easier to purchase these selections through affiliate partnerships with certain retailers. The Week may get a share of the revenue from these purchases.