Best Kids Chef Knife

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Having kids in the kitchen is one of my favorite things. Taking the opportunity to pass on acquired skills, family recipes, and a love for cooking is very exciting. Starting them out by helping stir batters, then to basic cutting techniques and knife terminology, and finally to full meal prep provide a full range of learning opportunities.

Kids Chef Knives

Kids Chef Knives

One of the most used tools in the kitchen is the knife. Knives can be extremely intimidating to children, so what is best knife to get them started? I put four of the top kids chef knives on the market up against each other to find out which one is the best.

Each comparison within this review will focus on four key areas for each kids chef knife:

  • Overview -This will focus on the general features of the knife and the main selling points.
  • Quality – This considers what each knife is made from, how it is made, and how well it holds up with daily use.
  • Safety – This area looks at the safety that each knife provides. We examine the knife’s features to determine if it is keeping them safe.
  • Usability – Features, quality, and safety mean nothing if the knife is not usable. I put each knife in the hands of a child to see if they can actually use it.
  • Value – Here I look at the overall value of the knife. Put all the features and my additional considerations up against the price and ask… Are you getting what you pay for?

Opinel Best Kids Chef Knife

Best Kids Chef Knife Winner

The winner of the best chef knife for kids is the Opinel le petit Chef Knife. This chef knife keeps safety as it’s main priority and provides the feel of a real knife with its stainless steel blade.

Want to learn more about why the Opinel is my favorite knife? Click here to skip down to the review.

Kids Chef Knives Runners-Up

Although the Opinel is my pick for the best kids chef knife, the others have some great qualities as well and would be good options to consider.

The Kai Little Chef Club Knife provides a lightweight stainless steel blade perfect for smaller hands.  Click here to read the review below.

The StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set is BPA free and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Click here to read the review below.

The Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set is designed with safety features that help children learn how to use a kitchen knife properly. Click here to read the review below.

Kids Kitchen Knife Ratings

This rating table provides a summary of all reviews below. Continue reading to learn more about why each knife received its rating.

 Opinel le Petit Chef KnifeKai Little Chef Knife StarPack Nylon Knife SetCurious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set
QualityExcellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

SafetyExcellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

UsabilityExcellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

ValueExcellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good

★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 

Kid’s Chef Knife Feature Overview

Here is a quick overview of the features from each of the 4 children’s chef knife. Scroll down further to see a more in-depth review of each knife.

 Opinel le Petit Chef Knife
Kai Little Chef Knife StarPack Nylon Knife SetCurious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set
PiecesOne knife with cutting guardOne knifeSet includes a small, medium and large plastic kitchen knifeSet includes 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large nylon knife
Price$35$14$9$9
BladeStainless SteelStainless SteelNylonNylon
EdgeStraight (sharp)Straight (sharp)SerratedSerrated
TipRoundedRoundedBluntBlunt
HandleWoodPolypropylene (heat-resistant temperature 110 degrees)Soft rubber non-slip handle gripSoft touch button grips
SizeBlade length 4" / Total length 8.3/16125 mm bladeN/AN/A
BPA FreeN/AN/AYesYes
Dishwasher SafeYes, but hand washing is preferredNoYesYes
WarrantyOpinel guarantees their products under normal use and will exchange if there are any manufacturer defects. N/AIf you're not completely satisfied with your StarPack knives, simply let them know and you'll be offered a FULL refund or replacement, no questions asked.Defective products may be returned with proof of purchase.
Weight73gN/AN/AN/A
MaintenanceBlade can be honed and sharpened as neededBlade can be honed and sharpened as neededNoneNone
Recommended AgeNot listedNot listed4+5+
Made inFranceJapanChinaChina
PurchaseBuyBuyBuyBuy

 

Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife

New Opinel Le Petit In Box

New Opinel Le Petit In Box

Opinel – Overview

The Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife is a made up of a stainless steel blade and wooden handle. One of the main selling features of this knife is the plastic finger ring that prevents the knife from slipping out of your hand. Opinel also provides a knife guard to allow children to hold the food being cut while protecting their fingers.

Opinel – Quality

This kids chef knife has a beech wood handle with a stainless steel blade held together with two rivets. The knife blade has a sharp edge just like a regular chef’s knife. It requires no maintenance and holds its edge very well. You can also feel the quality of this knife while holding it. The beech wood handle is a durable hardwood and the color of the wood is  absolutely beautiful.

Opinel – Safety

Opinel has safety as it’s top priority with their kids chef knife. Although the knife has a stainless steel blade it is rounded at the tip to prevent accidents. There is also a red educational ring behind the bolster to help position the fingers. It also helps to prevent the hand from slipping onto the blade. They also include a plastic finger guard to help children learn to hold food they are cutting without cutting their fingers.

Opinel Le Petit with Guard

Opinel Le Petit with Guard

Opinel – Usability

The Opinel Kid’s Chef Knife provides about the same usability as a small chef knife. Although the tip is rounded, it’s sharp steel edge still is able to make the cut. My kids needed a little demonstration at first because of the extra safety features, but once shown they were able to hold the knife without issue. This knife can cut through any number of foods. They are still learning how to use the finger guard. Overall this knife does a great job with educating your child with how to safely use a real chef knife.

Opinel – Value

At $35 this Opinel knife is on the higher end of kid’s knives, but don’t let that turn you away from this knife. The quality of this knife is outstanding. You can see the difference when comparing with other children’s knives. In addition to the quality, the safety features are excellent. I have yet to find a kid’s chef knife that provides the same quality of safety while still maintain true steel knife features. This is a great investment for a child who truly has an interest in cooking.

 

Kai Little Chef Club Children’s Stainless Steel Knife

New Kai Kids Chef Knife in Package

New Kai Kids Chef Knife in Package

Kai – Overview

The Kai Stainless Steel Chef Knife is a perfect light weight knife for kids to use. It offers safety with its rounded tip. The blade is stainless steel with a plastic handle. The handle fits comfortably in a child’s hand. The blade edge comes sharp and ready to cut about any food. Note: The package and instructions all in Japanese.

Kai – Quality

The Kai knife blade is made from stainless steel with a polypropylene handle that is heat-resistant up to a temperature of 110 degrees. The blade comes sharp, but is not razor sharp as your chef knives. I did notice the blade dulled after some use, but a quick run against my hone allowed me to regain its sharpness.

Kai – Safety

The Kai Little Chef Knife does have some focus on safety. The main feature is its round tip to prevent accidents. The other noticeable safety feature is the blade edge is not sharpened all the way to the tip or heal. One concern that I did see with this knife is the heal/bolster area was not protected. It is possible to have your hand slip towards the knife; and although it is not intentionally sharp, the heal of the blade was not ground down as much as I would have liked.

Kai Little Chef Knife with Green Panda Bear Handle

Kai Little Chef Knife with Green Panda Bear Handle

Kai – Usability

This knife is extremely lightweight. My kids had no hesitation with picking up this knife and using it. The handle is just the right size for small hands. The sharp stainless steel blade provided additional cutting leverage. They were able to slice cheese, apples, and deli meat without any issue.

Kai – Value

At $14 this is a good starter knife for children. It may not have the extra features as some of the knives on the market, but the price reflects that. The knife has a stainless steel blade which comes closer to an actual knife compared to plastic variations. Overall the value is good for a children’s chef knife.

 

StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set

Children's Plastic Knife Set in Box

Children’s Plastic Knife Set in Box

StarPack – Overview

The StarPack nylon kitchen knives are a great starter knife set for little hands. The handles are the same size, but the blade are progressively larger. They can be used to introduce children to kitchen knives. The nylon material and serrated cutting edge creates a safe tool that will not cut skin but still cuts through certain foods.

StarPack – Quality

The StarPack knife set is made from durable nylon and have a soft rubber handle to prevent it from slipping. The serrated cutting edge is well made and does not wear down with use on basic foods. The StarPack Kitchen Knife Set is 100% FDA Grade and BPA Free. They have gone through extensive tests and meet the requirements of ASTM F963 and Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) lead phthalate limits. The knives are also dishwasher safe. Starpack also guarantees their knives with a full warranty. If for some reason you are not happy with you knife set, then let them know and they will give you a refund or replacement.

Starpack Knife

Starpack Knife

StarPack – Safety

These knives have blunt tips that prevent your child from accidentally poking themselves or hurting their feet if they happen to drop them. The serrated cutting edge is specially designed to cut a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheese but will not cut your skin. My only issue is that this knife could potentially teach bad knife skill habits because it requires you to hack and chop firmer fruits and vegetables. Other than that I had no problem at all letting my four year old use this knife to make simple cuts like cheese.

StarPack – Usability

The uses of this knife are limited. You will not be using it to slice loaf bread or cut up meats; however, my kids enjoyed trying out this knife and were not intimidated at all. They cut up simple foods like apples, cheese, lettuce, and quesadillas. Although it got the job done, they had to work a little harder to get through these foods as compared to a regular chef knife. I think for a first knife in the kitchen this would be a great option, but as they get more comfortable with it then switching to a steel blade option would help them to establish good knife habits.

StarPack – Value

You can’t beat a set of StarPack nylon kids knives for about $9. That makes each knife about $3 each, and you are probably not going to find a cheaper knife. If you are looking for a beginner knife for younger children, then you cannot go wrong with this knife. This nylon knife provides necessary safety for kids who have never handled a knife before. As they become more comfortable then you can upgrade them to one of the more expensive steel knives for kids.

 

Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set

New Curious Chef Kids Knife in Package

New Curious Chef Kids Knife in Package

Curious Chef – Overview

The Curious Chef Knife Set comes with 1 small, 1 medium and 1 large nylon knife. They have ergonomic handles with round button-like grips. Each handle is the same size with the blades extending in length. Each knife comes with a serrated cutting edge and blunt tip. These knifes are perfect for teaching small children about kitchen knives.

Curious Chef – Quality

The Curious Chef Knives are made of nylon and are dishwasher safe. The knife is a single piece of nylon from blade to handle. The handle has rubber to ensure a firm grip. These products have been tested to meet the ASTM F963 protection requirements and also Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) guidelines. All Curious Chef knives are BPA free and are FDA approved. These knives are not low quality. You can see and feel the quality of these knives when you use them. The teeth of the blades are firm and do not wear down with use. If there are any problems with a Curious Chef knife, the company will accept returns with proof of purchase.

Curious Chef – Safety

Safety is important to the Curious Chef brand. One of their main focuses is designing products that have safety features so that kids can learn about cooking in a safe environment. The knives are the perfect size so that a child can easily control it. The knives have a save plastic cutting edge and blunt tip to help prevent accidents. Although they can cut through foods, they do not cut through your skin.

Curious Chef Kids Knife

Curious Chef Kids Knife

Curious Chef – Usability

My kids have a sense of confidence with this set of knives. I do not hesitate to let them use this knife on their own because of the safety it provides. This has helped them build confidence in using a knife, and they now try and cut their own foods before asking for an adult’s help. The Curious Chef is fulfilling it’s intended purpose by encouraging children to learn more about the culinary experience.

Curious Chef  – Value

At $9 this set of Curious Chef knives is one that you do not want to overlook. The Curious Chef puts a focus on safety with their knife’s design. Sure the nylon blade does not cut through tougher foods or make entirely clean cuts, however, it does cut through the basic fruits and veggies that my kids love. This helps them become more comfortable with knifes and allows them establish good kitchen knife skills.

 

Note: The classification of these knives as children’s knives come from the knife’s manufacture. They are not toys. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to provide supervision while these knives are being used.