How to Pick a Kitchen Knife: A Definitive Guide
Choosing a new kitchen knife can be a bit difficult, especially if you do not know what to look for in a new knife. If you know the differences between what makes a knife great and what makes one not so great, then you should have enough knowledge to know how to pick a kitchen knife.
Not all knives are created equal in terms of quality of materials used, how they were constructed and how long they will actually hold up in the kitchen and last throughout the years. The overall performance of the knife is going to be a crucial deciding factor when selecting the right knife for you as well.
In this article, we will go over some of the key qualities that make a knife great. We will also cover some of the materials used to construct them and find out which knife will best suit you and your needs in the kitchen.
How to Choose the Best Kitchen Knife
When you are looking to buy a new kitchen knife, whether it is a chef knife, filet knife, paring knife or any type of knife for that matter, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration first before leaping at a new purchase.
First and foremost, you want to make sure that the knife is constructed with quality materials and has a sound construction. You can usually find out most of these things from the buyer’s page of their website. You should also try and read some of the reviews written by people who have previously owned the knife. We know that some of the reviews are not going to be all that accurate, but try to look past the argumentative reviews and look for the ones that seem to all agree on some of the good factors about the knife as well as some of the downsides. These reviews could be the make-or-break situation that pushes you to make a decision in the end.
One of the most important factors to think about when purchasing a new knife is to make sure that it is covered or protected. Knives can be very expensive so try to see if the knife is protected by some kind of manufacturer’s guarantee or at least a warranty of some kind that will protect the knife in the unfortunate event it becomes damaged or breaks during the shipping process or while in use. There is no reason to keep buying knives over and over when you could just get it replaced for free.
Also, you want to make sure the knife is easy to use and easy to handle. We know for the most part you may be ordering the knife online and you won’t be able to actually hold the knife. But try to look at the form of the handle, does the knife have a good counterbalance from tip to handle. This is another time when the reviews of other people will come in handy.
For the most part, you never want to put a knife in the dishwasher because it can damage and warp the handle causing mold and bacteria to grow and it will also dull the edge of the blade which in turn could last forever. But you want to make sure the knife is easy to clean overall. Some sellers do say that the knife is dishwasher safe but we say take this with a grain of salt and do this at your own risk, but we do not recommend it.
Try to see if the knife comes with any other accessories or storing packages. Sometimes when you buy a knife it will come with a box or a sheath to store it in. This will help for safety reasons and keeping the knife away from small children. But it will also protect the knife from dust, dirt, water and other elements that could potentially harm the blade. storing case or sheath will also keep the knife from dulling over time as well. When you buy a set of knives, you want to make sure that they come with a butcher block for storing the knives in as well.
Construction and Design
One of the biggest factors to look at is going to be how the knife was constructed. This is huge because if it was poorly constructed without the correct way of building a knife, it just will not last as long as others. There are specific ways to go about constructing a knife and if they are not followed then there is no point in even taking it any further.
Another thing to look at is the knife materials used to construct the blade and handle of the knife. The better the materials used, the better the knife will be. There are all different kinds of materials used to construct knives and some have their ups and downs with some challenges but then there are some that are almost near perfect. It also really depends on what you need to use the knife for as well. Some knives are constructed with certain materials for specific jobs and it is a good idea to know what you need in order to find what you are looking for.
First off, you want to make sure the blade of the knife is made with quality steel, which is going to be the best material for a blade. There are other materials like ceramic and stone, but those materials don’t match up to a material like steel. The least of the best is called stainless steel which is a good material to choose but they do get better.
A knife constructed with high carbon stainless steel is going to be extremely sharp. They can come in all types from there like vg-10 carbon steel for instance or even Damascus steel. These types of knives are usually found in Asia and they are the sharpest knives you will ever find and extremely flexible. They are used for precision cutting for things like fish and sushi. But they can be very fragile so you need to be very careful not to drop them or they could break or chip the blade easily.
A low-carbon blade is still good but is usually found in Germany. These blades are very strong and are meant to be used as the workhorse for harder foods and can even cut through bone. They are great knives to be used every day over and over but they will lose their sharp edge very quickly and need to be sharpened very often.
You also want to think about the handle of the blade. Some of the better-quality materials used are going to be extremely hardwoods or even better composite handles or even polymer. These types of handles will not crack or break over time because they will not allow water in the handle, other types of handles like wood will rot and crack over time.
You also want to make sure the handle will form to your handle so it is easy to control. Also, a non-slip grip is essential to safety when using the knife. You also want to have at least 3 rivets on the handle that will hold the blade in place. This is usually followed up with a full tang that follows the entire length of the handle. This will help with the balance of the knife and the control as well.
A bolster on the blade will also protect your fingers while it is in use and a double-beveled edge will also make cutting much easier. This way you are able to make more fine and precise cuts with your knife.
So, in summation, you want to make sure that the knife you plan on purchasing is constructed with quality materials, with a sound construction, comes with some kind of storing package or sheath and is covered by a warranty in case anything happens to it. As long as you follow these few factors when looking for a new kitchen knife, then there is no way you will go wrong. Just stick to your guns and don’t settle for less, because this could be the last kitchen knife you will ever have to purchase again.