The Ultimate Kitchen Knife Buying Guide
by Tamkota Cutlery on Oct 12, 2021
When you search on Reddit. You probably found that many topics about how to choose a good kitchen knife. Like "Recommendation for my first "high end" Japanese knives or Chef's Knife suggestions?: BuyItForLife - Reddit"
So today we will try to found the best knife for your kitchen.
Kitchen Knife Anatomy
Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Some are versatile, some task‐specific. Some are straight, some serrated. Some are metal, some ceramic. Understanding how knives are constructed and why those differences exist will help you pick the right tool for the job.
Blade: The most common blade material is stainless steel, which is either forged or stamped. Forged blades are molded into shape and are generally heavier and more durable, with a prominent heel at the base of the blade. Stamped blades are cut from a solid sheet of metal and are more lightweight, but dull more quickly. Stamped blades are common on inexpensive, low‐quality knives, but high‐quality stamped blades can also be found.Stainless blades of both types are easily sharpened.
Ceramic blades are very lightweight and can stay sharp for a very long time, but must be sharpened using a specialized grinder. Ceramic is also very brittle, so knives will shatter if dropped. They should not be used for tasks that involve hitting (e.g., breaking bones, cracking nuts). Ceramic knives are typically more expensive than their stainless counterparts.
Handle: Wood has traditionally been used for knife handles, but is being replaced by plastics and laminated woods. Wood warps when it is wet and can harbor bacteria, making it very hard to clean. Plastic handles are found often in commercial kitchens because they are easy to clean and require no special care. Plastic is used most often on stamped knives that do not have a full tang, an extension of the blade that the handles are attached to. On forged knives, the tang continues through the length and width of the handle. The handle is attached to the tang using three rivets.
What knives does a professional chef need?
Knives are an essential piece of cutlery for chefs. No matter the skill level, if a chef is equipped with the wrong knife, it can completely destroy the outcome of the food.
There are so many different types of knives that a chef can have, and each has their own individual use. From standard chopping to peeling, there’s a different knife for everything. Let’s break down the most popular knives and their uses.
Standard Chef Knife Types
These knives are a standard in most kitchen. These four professional knives for chefs can create a high-performing set that can accomplish most basic cooking tasks.
Chef’s Knife (French Style)
The first and most important is the chef’s knife. This standard knife has a broad blade that spans about 6-12 inches long. It usually translates to faster and easier slicing, dicing, chopping, and Julianne. The 8’’ French style knife is the perfect size for all cooks. Shorter blades will give more control for dainty jobs. Longer blades for mass chopping or slicing large product.
Utility KnifeThe utility knife is essentially a condensed chef’s knife. Its smaller blade ranges from 4-7 inches in length and typically comes straight. Utility knives can also be serrated to make slicing smaller vegetables and meat a bit easier.
Kitchen ShearsKitchen shears aren’t commonly in the knife category, but they should be. Shears can be used to accomplish more than just cutting. These scissors are made with extra sharp blades that can help with creating garnishes from herbs, plants, and even help cut vegetables as well.
Santoku KnifeThe Santoku knife is a bit thinner and shorter than a chef’s knife, and is typically flat. The flat bottom does not allow for rocking on the cutting board, which can make it a less used option than the chef’s knife. The blade on this knife often is created with divots. These divots create air pockets that give the chef an easier time cutting through meats and other sticky materials. These knives are best for jobs that do not require specific size or style of cuts.Specialty Chef Knife TypesThere are always a few professional knives for chefs that can be used for specific cooking needs. Often, these are found in commercial kitchens but used less than the knives listed above.
Cleaver knives are large, bulky knives that have a weighted handle. These heavy-duty knives are used to cut through bones and other thick, rough foods. The wide, heavy blade makes it ideal for pulverizing cooked or uncooked meat, poultry and fish, and crushing garlic as well.
Bread KnifeBread can’t be cut with just any knife. Well, it can, but it will take the chef more time than it would with a bread knife. This style of knife is crafted with a deeply serrated edge, which helps dig into hard and soft breads with ease and rip through them. These blades are typically long to ensure there is enough blade to get through all different sizes of bread. They come in straight or off-set versions. Off-set bread knives are perfect for cutting sandwiches.
Paring KnifeWhen cutting small food like cherry tomatoes, for example, a paring knife is the best tool for the job. The paring knife is short and gives the cook the control they need to make precise cuts quickly and efficiently. A 3-4’’ paring knife is a bartender’s best friend to prepare their citrus garnishes.
Caring for Knives
These knives should be handled with care, and should only be handled by trained professionals. Keeping these standard and specialty knives in the possession of your cooking staff only is imperative for the health and safety of your entire staff. Keep them sharp, and clean them thoroughly and put them away when the job is done. The cooking staff should keep track of kitchen cutlery at all times. It is important to know that these knives should never be found in dish pits or compartment sinks to avoid hospital visits for your dishwashers and stewards.
Finding the Right Knives for Your Kitchen
The right knives can completely change the way your kitchen operates. To ensure you are equipping your kitchen with the best professional knives for chefs, reach out to our team. We can walk you through the different types of knives, their uses, and whether or not they would make for a great option in your kitchen.
Kitchen Knife Blade Material
The steel the the key factor for the performance of your knives. A good kitchen knife must be made of the best steel to get excellent performance.
For example, a chef's knife is well designed, but goes into manufacture with a low-end steel. The knife's performance will be poor.
In the market today, good steels commonly used are SG2 powdered steel, VG-MAX, VG-10, 10Cr15CoMov, AUS-10, AUS-8, 44OC, etc.
Can a good knife cut anything?
No, Don't use a good chef's knife to cut bones or frozen things. Because the hardness of the high end knives can reach 56-62 HRC. Knives can be damaged or chipped.
Is the Damascus chef's knife worth buying?
Personally I recommend you buy it.
What's Damascus Steel?
Damascus steel is not really a type of steel, but rather a process in which multiple steels are pattern welded together. This high temperature bond produces a light/dark wavy affect and pattern on the blade. A flux seals the joint to keep oxygen out. This welded steel is then wrapped or clad over a core steel. Such is often the case over popular Japanese steels like VG-10 and AUS-10, with each knife’s pattern being unique based on the steels used. A quick word of caution: Be careful with super-cheap Damascus knives. Some of them are not true Damascus steels, but rather a surface treatment(Laser engraving Damascus Pattern) that “appears” to be Damascus.
The performance of Damascus knives is generally not too bad, and every brand operates Damascus series as a high-end production line.
Knife Brand Recommendations?
If you are sick and tired of your cheap, dull knives and want to buy a nice knife set that's long-lasting and maintains an edge really well. Here are some brands you can choose from.