Chefs are infamously disagreeable, but one area they do tend to agree on is the importance of decent knives. It is widely accepted that the Japanese craft the very best, and these ones made in Seki, central Japan, certainly seem to confirm this. Each handmade utensil is made up of 101 layers of ice-hardened steel. The mottled texture is created by hammering the blade and is designed to prevent food sticking to the knife (it also makes it look a bit like a samurai sword), while the handles are super-sleek birchwood. They may not come cheap, but these are probably the best knives you’ll ever own.