Plus what you need to keep 'em sharp forever.

By Beth Lipton
September 07, 2015
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Credit: Victor Prado

Which blades make the cut? These simple yet powerful essentials.

Henckel’s International classic 8-inch chef’s knife

A workhorse with a tough high-carbon stainless-steel blade and a comfy handle (the steel extends through it for balance) that chops, dices and minces like a boss. ($55,

Wusthof classic 9-inch double-serrated bread knife

Photo: Victor Prado

The edge cleanly slices through bread or roasted meat, sans crumbs or tearing. ($110,

Victorinox Swiss classic 3¼-inch paring knife

Photo: Victor Prado

The flexible, lightweight yet supersharp blade lets you get in close on delicate jobs like coring tomatoes, hulling strawberries and slicing garlic. ($8,

And to keep 'em sharp, you should also pick up these handy accessories:

Victorinox 10-inch honing steel

Photo: Victor Prado

Run chef’s and paring knives a few times along this tool before each use to hone their edges. ($20,

King double-sided stone

Photo: Victor Prado

When honing isn’t enough, use this about twice a year. The coarse side sharpens blades; the fine side refines and polishes. ($39,