The most crucial things in any kitchen are your knives. From a chef’s knife to a cleaver or a paring knife to a carving knife, the knife is the most used kitchen tool. Learn what questions to ask when you look to buy knives.
When purchasing a knife, there are a handful of issues that are useful to ask. Hereabouts are some more common questions to determine Which is the best chef knife for everyday use.
Partial Tang or Full Tang
The tang of the knife is how far the steel of the blade protrudes into the knife handle. A “full tang” knife is one where the steel extends the full length of the handle which helps with the balance, durability, and heft of the knife.
Stamped or Forged Knife Blade
Stamped knife blades are punched or cut out of a sheet of metal using a template (similar to using a cookie cutter). Forged knife blades are typically hand made through a process of heating and molding. Forged knife blades are usually heavier, more balanced, hold their edge better, and are higher quality knives.
Heavy or Light-Weight
When dealing with larger knives such as a chef’s knife or cleaver, the heavier weight will be very useful, but when looking at knives requiring more fineness like a fillet knife or boning knife then a lighter weight, and more flexible, knife will be best.
Serrated Blade or Plain Blade
Serrated (or scalloped) blades are excellent for bread knives or tomato knives. Everyday knife blades, when properly maintained, will be useful on just about anything else. One negative of serrated blades is that they can only be sharpened by profession with the proper tools, while a plain knife blade can be made sharp at home.
There are also several types of materials that a knife’s blade comprises
Stainless Steel Knife Blades
Stainless steel knife blades don’t hold their edges as well as some of the other materials, but they are very easy to take care since they do not rust and are easy to clean.
Carbon Steel Knife Blades
Carbon steel knife blades are adamant and hold their edges very well. They are harder to take care of though and can tend to rust if they are not used and cleaned often and they also can become discolored when they are used to cut acidic ingredients such as tomatoes.
High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife Blades
High carbon stainless steel knife blades are adamant and hold an edge well while also being very easy to clean and take care of. They take the good things about both stainless steel knives and carbon steel knives.
Titanium Knife Blades
Titanium knife blades hold their edges well and are very wear resistant. They are also lighter and more flexible than the other knives. For chefs knives, you typically want some heft while the lightness and flexibility is a posting for boning knives, paring knives, and filleting knives.
Ceramic Knife Blades
The sharpest of all knives, ceramic knife blades hold their edge longer than any other knives. However, since they are ceramic, they tend to chip or break if dropped. Many professional chefs swear by ceramic knives.
The biggest thing to remember when looking for a new knife is to go to a store and handle the knives. Get one that feels comfortable to you, and you should be all set.