There are plenty of knives on the market and finding the ones you need may prove to be a tricky task as they come in different designs and features. For example, some have high-carbon German steel while others have Swiss steel for the blades. Some products have riveted handles and others don’t. This is because not all kitchen knives are created equal, which makes buying one a complicated task. Many first-timers in the art of buying kitchen knives often ask, “How to buy kitchen knives?”
Before searching for one, you should first determine what kind of knife you need. Keep in mind that there are different kinds of knives.
The Basic Knives
Unless you are a culinary expert or a person who wants a precise cut for every ingredient, you do not have to buy all kinds of knives in the market. The basics will do. But what are they?
A basic knife set includes an all-purpose utility knife, a bread knife, a vegetable or paring knife, fillet, a cleaver, a carving knife, and a sharpener.
An all-purpose utility knife is roughly five inches long. It is used for a wide range of food. This knife is usually the first one to be bought since it can be used for different ingredients.
The bread knife is a serrated knife that is used for bread, fruits, tomato, and cakes.
A vegetable or more popularly known as paring knife is roughly three inches in length. It is used for cutting, peeling, and trimming small food items held by hand.
The chef’s knife is around 7.8 to nine inches long. It is mostly used for dicing, chopping, cutting and mincing.
A cleaver is for meat products and chopping of other items. This is best for those who are serious in the cutting of their meat.
The fillet knife, as its name suggests, is for filleting the fish. Many people skip on this knife since most fish sold are already filleted.
A carving knife us for slicing thin slices of meat or roasted poultry.
The sharpener is used for sharpening of the blades. One has the option of using a sharpening steel, electric honer or a knife-honing stone.
Single Knife vs. Sets
Knowing the different kinds of knives will help anyone buy exactly what they need. One can also consider buying a set to save money and time. However, the buyer has to remember that there is a risk in buying a set since the shopper may not like the feel and blade of each knife.
When choosing to buy a set or an individual knife, ask yourself whether you will be quite particular about the knife you will use for each food. If one prefers or only has a budget for a single knife, then the utility knife is the best option to buy.
How to Buy Kitchen Knives: Factors to Consider
After choosing a particular knife or between a knife and a set, then its time to shop for the one you need.
- Checking the Fit Especially the Handle
Feeling how the item fits into your hands is important. This means checking how comfortable you’ll be in using the item. It is highly advisable to undergo some hand test before buying one.
If purchasing online, then you will need to consider the design of the handle. Many knives are triple riveted for a better grip. Plenty of products also have ergonomic handles.
The material of the handle also matters. The most commonly used are plastic, wood, and toughened resins. Wood handles tend to crumble and become brittle over time while plastic can sometimes be very slippery. Check the material of the handle as well as other features as some come with additional coating for better grip and protection.
Knowing how to buy kitchen knives also means making an effort in finding out about the material especially for the blades.
Product makers use different materials for the blades such as high-carbon stainless steel. European steel such as German and Swiss steel is highly regarded by culinary experts for their strength and durability.
Carbon steel is a favorite among culinary experts since they do not become dull quickly. They are also easy to sharpen but one should be careful with its cleaning and storage to avoid rusting. On the other hand, stainless steel is cheaper but they would require constant sharpening. However, they do not rust easily.
Choose forged blades over stamped one because forged ones are more durable.
Look at the promised characteristics of the material used for the blade. Some are can resist rust better than others. Many blades are non-staining. Find the features of the blades before purchasing a particular knife.
If shopping in a store, then check the blades up close if there are any joining especially on the knife’s hilt. This is because any signs of welding or joining could be the knives weakest point, which means it could break or bend easily.
Keep in mind that the best knife is made from a single piece of steel and are hand-forged. On the other hand, poorly made knives are often thin with some hilts on them.
Many highly regarded kitchen knife manufacturers offer a warranty. They could either be for a year or even for a lifetime. The warranty is also a guarantee that the product makers believe in the great quality of their product.
Take Your Time
Finding a good knife is no easy task given the many choices available. If one is not in a hurry, then it would be best to take the time to scrutinize each choice. There are, after all, several factors to consider when buying a knife.
Ask yourself first whether you’d like a set or just one or two. Then shop for the knife by checking how they feel on your grip. If shopping online, then check the handles’ features. The blades, particularly its material and construction, matter a lot too. Finally, it is best to choose one with a manufacturer’s warranty.