How to choose a Knife

Material is the most important attribute of a knife. knives are made of four types of steel alloys as well as *new advanced ceramics.

High carbon stainless steel is the highest quality material of steel alloy. It takes and holds a very sharp edge and it resists stains, rust and breakage.

Carbon steel also takes and holds a very sharp edge, but can rust and darken with food stains.

Stainless steel is less expensive, but less sharp than carbon blades.

'Superstainless' steel is very sharp, but will resist sharpening once dull.

Now the new ceramics are harder than steel , and hold an edge for month or years without sharpening! They are also wear resistent,chemical resistent,Lightweight and Non Corrosive

Handle Construction will determine a knife's feel, durability and safety.

Handles made of textured polypropelene (that black plastic) are ergonomic and resist to stain and water. Hardwoods are more vulnerable to water and stains.

A 'full tang' for maximum safety. A full tang (the part of the blade that is covered by the handle) extends to the end of the handle and is securely riveted to the handle. A full tang also adds weight, balance and a good 'feel'.

A solid, well shaped bolster - the part of the blade between the cutting edge and handle - to support and balance the blade and protect the user.

serrated vs. straight and forged vs. hollow ground

Serrated edges (jagged, saw edges) are essential for soft, squishy food. Even the sharpest straight edge requires too much force to cut through a soft tomato or cake without squashing it. Straight edges are mainstay of the kitchen, useful for most cutting, chopping, slicing. Granton edges (hollowed out ovals on the blade edge) are ideal for cutting raw fish or tender meats cleanly.

Taper ground edges are hand forged and sharpest. The actual cutting edge is a sort of V shape. Hollow ground edges from stamped blades are less durable because a circular gouge has been dug from the edge of the blade to create a thin sharp edge, leaving less metal to hold the edge and be resharpened.


I've noticed that professional chefs sharpen their knives frequently. Is that necessary, and are there other things I should do to care for my knives?

How frequently knives need sharpening depends on how often they are used. Because professional chefs can spend hours chopping every day, they need to sharpen their knives regularly. Chefs also understand the importance of keeping these tools in optimum condition. It's easier and safer to cut with a sharp knife than a dull one; blunt knives require more pressure to cut, so are prone to slip.

" Many people don't realize that the knives they buy in department stores or through mail-order catalogs come with factory edges with abrupt angles", says Claire Archibald, executive chef co-owner of Café Azul in Portland. That's why it's important to take a new knife into a local knife or cutlery store to have a professional sharpener put a beveled edge on the blade, creating a longer, more tapered cutting surface . And while you are there, have the knife grinder demonstrate the correct way to sharpen knives and how to maintain the required angle on the blade.

If you care for a knife properly, it will need professional sharpening only about once a year. Before each use, give the knife a few strokes on a sharpening stone or steel ( the handled, round rod that comes with many knife sets ). Be sure to wash and dry knives as soon as you are finished with them; store them away from others metals, preferably in a knife rack to protect their delicate edges. Acid from food particles left on knives over a period of time will react with the alloy in the steel, causing pits that will have to be ground down by the sharpener. And knives that are left in the sink not only pose a safety hazard, but also can become damp, which damages the handle and the blade.
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