When buying a knife, we usually look for features such as the shape, material, and type of steel. In any case, when shopping for a knife, you should choose one of good steel quality and with a handle that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and allows you to cut quickly. These are just some of the tips. For other pieces of advice, make sure you check out this list of tips on how to choose the best knife!
Material and shape
In the previous several millennia, the basic form of the kitchen knife has remained relatively unchanged. However, materials and their production methods have evolved. Today, a kitchen knife’s quality and price are determined by:
• high-quality steel
• blade-making techniques
• the blade’s sharpness and how long it keeps its sharpness
• sanding, how frequently should it be sanded, and how difficult it is to sand
• a good balance between the blade and the handle
To that end, make sure you keep these qualities in mind next time you go to a knife store!
Differences between steel types
Because the blades are not hardened or manufactured in a way that maintains the steel’s hardness, most stainless knives do not stay sharp for very long. Today, the HRC (or Hardness Rockwell C) scale is the most popular method of indicating steel hardness. A stainless knife with a hardness of less than 55 HRC will quickly become numb and become difficult to sharpen. Knives marked “stainless” contain a high percentage of chromium and a low percentage of carbon, making them unfit for use. To that end, ideally, choose a steel blade with a reduced proportion of chromium and the addition of vanadium or molybdenum that has been hardened to at least 55 HRC if you want a completely stainless knife.
If there is no information about the type, quality, or hardness of steel when purchasing a knife, it is most likely stainless steel with a high percentage of chromium and a low amount of carbon. A blade manufactured from such steel will not be able to maintain its sharpness for an extended period of time. On the other hand, steel with a high carbon content keeps its sharpness for a long time and makes grinding easier, but it develops a patina over time due to the lack of chromium. Finally, stainless steel with high carbon and chromium content also maintains its sharpness for a long time, but grinding such steel is a little more difficult.
Therefore, make sure you inquire a little bit about the materials the knife is made of, as this will help you make a better decision. Likewise, you may want to know if the knife is sharp enough. In that way, you can do some tests that will help you understand how to tell if a knife is sharp and thus make a decision on whether you want to buy it. One thing is for sure, by taking into account these and other facts, you can buy a high-end knife easier!
One-sided or double-sided knives
A traditional German or French knife is sharpened on both sides at the same time, generally at a 20 to 30-degree angle. This kind of knife is suitable for both right-handers and left-handers.
On the other hand, knives in Japan are honed on one side alone. Thus, certain Japanese knives have their angles reduced to 17 degrees. Furthermore, the blade’s center is slightly displaced to the left or right. The blade of such a knife is extremely sharp, but it is sensitive to shocks and hard handling. However, the long and small slope on one side, as well as the slightly concave area on the other, allow for a considerably finer cut and are simple to grind.
The point is that there are many different kinds of knives and the ways they are made. All types have certain advantages and disadvantages relative to each other. However, you can make the best choice not by choosing the best-selling knife, but by choosing the one that suits your needs best. Once you set these criteria, you can maximize the likelihood of making a good choice!
Consider various aspects before making a purchase
It is always a good idea to take into account different aspects before buying a knife. To that end, make sure you consider the following ones:
• what kind of knife you’d want to have
• what you need it for
• whether the blade must be made entirely of stainless steel