There are many kinds of knives available today that it can be difficult to choose one for your knife collection. How do you decide between a carving knife, chef’s knife, or a santoku knife? In an attempt to make this choice easier for you, we have a compiled all the factors you need to consider to answer the question how to choose the best knife?
You need the right tool for the job, and that applies to knives as well. If you try cutting a tomato with a carving knife, you will soon realize that every knife was designed for a specific purpose. This does not imply that you need every knife ever created. In fact, you need to determine what you love cooking, and then customize your knife collection to suit your requirements. In the following sections, you can take a look at the different types of knives available, and the factors to consider when choosing a knife to suit your needs. You can also learn about the difference between choosing a knife set versus individual knives, and how to choose the best knife for you.
In search of your answer to how to choose the best knife, it is important to understand what kinds of knives are available in the market. There is a knife for practically any type of cutting and chopping, so read on to understand more and determine which of these knives would end your quest on how to choose the best knife!
1. Chef’s knife. The chef’s knife is a handy, classic knife meant for basic food preparation like chopping and slicing ingredients. A good chef’s knife is a great addition to your collection because of its comprehensive usefulness in the kitchen.
2. Paring knife. If you can only take one knife to a camping trip or picnic, then the paring knife is right for you. These knives are excellent for paring, slicing, and peeling. You can decide whether you need a serrated blade or a straight one, or you can just purchase one of each.
3. Utility knife. This is a versatile knife that is ideal for small mincing jobs like slicing shallots, herbs, or cleaning and cutting vegetables. The blade is longer and this knife is sleeker than a Chef’s knife making it great for smaller tasks.
4. Bread knife. Trying to cut through a soft loaf with a knife that isn’t serrated isn’t a good idea. You need a bread knife to slice through bread without tearing it apart. This type of knife has large serrations that slice through the bread but leaves the crumbs unharmed.
5. Steak knife. If you love steak, then you’ll know that the enjoyment of eating it is significantly reduced if you’re using the wrong knives. Make sure to invest in sharp and serrated steak knives to fully enjoy this delicious meat.
6. Fillet knife. A fillet knife is used for delicate fish and meat dishes and should have a thin blade for preparing these properly. Get the fillet knife, and understand how to use it to amplify your cooking.
7. Boning knife. This type of knife has a narrow and flexible blade with a tapered tip. This unique shape enables this knife to work easily around bones and causes minimal damage to the meat. This is not a must-have knife, but it’s useful if you are preparing a lot of the meat by yourself.
8. Carving set. Carving meat with the right set of tools makes it much more fun. So whether it’s roasted lamb, chicken, or any other meat that needs carving, make sure you are equipped with a carving set. In this set, the two-pronged fork ensures that the meat is still, and the long, thin blade of the carving knife quickly slices up the meat.
9. Cleaver. The cleaver is great to chop through a bone or big piece of meat or vegetables! This is a great knife for heavier work like cracking through lobster or for marrow bones.
10. Santoku. This is the Japanese chef’s knife. The hollow edge of this knife helps in creating pockets of air which do not let the thin or soft slices of food to stick to the knife. The Santoku knife has more of an up and down chopping mechanism compared to western knives which have a rocking chopping mechanism.
11. Vegetable knife. The vegetable knife has a tapered, angled, and broad blade that protects delicate vegetables and can significantly enhance your experience in chopping veggies. These knives are closer to the Japanese style and can help chop and dice vegetables efficiently.
12. Mezzaluna. If you like using a lot of herbs, then the Mezzaluna is perfect for you because it makes chopping fine herbs so much easier. The term means half moon in Italian and is used to describe the blade shape of the Mezzaluna.
13. Cheese knife. Cheese knives are specially designed to ensure that cheese does not stick to the blades. If you love your cheese, then this is a must-have knife in your collection. You could even look at getting a knife set if you like a variety of cheese.
14. Sashimi. The sashimi knife is excellent for you if you love making sushi at home. The knife is ground on one side for excellent edge holding ability and creating flat and even cuts. This knife will last you for years if you take good care of it.
Now that you know all about the various kinds of knives available, you may ask yourself how to choose the best knife or what factors to consider when selecting a knife. Take a look at the elements you need to consider when choosing the right knife or knives for your kitchen.
- Forged knives. These knives are molded into shape using extreme heat on steel. These are high-quality knives and cost more than stamped knives. This process creates a sturdier blade that has a low probability of bending even after extended use.
- Stamped knives. These knives are made with a machine, and a punched out steel piece. The edge of the knife is sharpened after the blade is constructed, and these knives have the same level of thickness all over. These knives are not considered as good as forged knives, but there are some great stamped knives on the market.
A good kitchen knife is sharp and remains that way for a long time. A good indicator of a knife’s quality is how sharp it is, and how often the blade needs to be sharpened to keep it performing well. The sharpness is not only about efficiency, but also an important factor to consider for safety during use. This is an important factor in how to choose the best knife for you.
This one is a bit counterintuitive, but a dull knife poses a bigger safety risk than a sharpened one. You can, of course, cut yourself with a sharp knife, but this is more likely to happen when you’re trying to cut something with a dull knife as it’s unpredictable and requires more force to handle. Most chefs tend to lose control of the knife while struggling with a not so sharp edge.
Weight is a huge factor in how comfortable the knife feels when you are using it. This is especially true of chef’s knives and Santoku knives. There is no standard weight that you should look at, but the weight of the knife really depends on your preferences and comfort level.
Some folks like lightweight knives while others prefer heavier ones that provide a sense of control. If you’re not very experienced with knives, try out a few options in a store before deciding on what knife weight is ideal for you. How to choose the best knife for you heavily depends on preferred weight.
If you cook a lot and know that the knives you buy will frequently be used, then it’s a good idea to spend more money on a knife that suits your needs. When looking for a chef’s knife or a Santoku knife, it is recommended that you buy one that stays sharp and lasts you a while.
Other kinds of knives that you may not use as frequently do not warrant spending a large amount. These knives don’t cost as much like a chef’s knife or Santoku, but investing a little more to get a better brand can ensure that the knife lasts you longer. You do need to understand that when deciding how to choose the best knife for you, quality does matter.
Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to cook often, that is still no excuse to have a sub-optimal set of knives at home. Bad knives are dangerous, and you can slip and cute yourself. Even the very occasional home cook should have a basic set of decent quality knives at home. The primary set of knives that even a less enthusiastic home cook should invest in is a chef’s knife, a bread knife, and a paring knife. You can conveniently purchase these for less than $100. If you have a knife that slices fast and maneuvers quickly, it can make any kind of cooking far less annoying.
You don’t need to burn hundreds of dollars on a knife for it to be the best for you. Sure, there are some super expensive knives on the market. But, unless you’re seriously into cooking, you won’t need to shell out that kind of money. Here are some of the best affordable chef knives under $100 and the best budget ones under $50.
If you’re setting up your own kitchen for the first time, buying a knife block seems like a good idea. In theory, it sounds great that you can get a bunch of knives and a block to store them at a reasonable price. However, when it comes to knife sets, producers often use low-quality materials for these blocks. These knives usually cannot keep their edge with daily use and definitely do not last for a long time.
Additionally, most of these blocks have a bunch of knives that you will never use. You might find some use for one or two of these knives before they get dull. To cut a long story short, it might be better to get two or three excellent knives than a whole bunch of average knives for the same price. It’s generally better to stick to quality rather than quantity if you.
However, if you are interested in some top-quality knife sets that will last you a long while with semi-regular use, we recommend reading our article on the best knife sets of the year.
Good knives are an investment and should be treated with care. Some tips to take care of your knife collection are enlisted below.
- Test your knife with a piece of paper if you’re wondering whether you should sharpen them. You should test your knives for sharpness three or four times a year.
- Start with a paring knife if you’ve never sharpened a knife before because it is lighter and easier to manage than a Chef’s knife.
- A knife may become dull, and it doesn’t always mean that the edge isn’t sharp enough. Sometimes the knife can out-of-alignment. To fix this problem, use honing steel.
- When you sharpen a knife, apply more pressure that you think the knife needs as lack of the right amount of pressure when sharpening a knife is a mistake many people make.
Hope, your question-how to choose the best knife has been addressed, if not completely, then to a certain degree. There are so many kinds of knives available that you need to understand which one would work for you. Once you’ve identified the knives your kitchen needs, the choice of knives will be much easier!