Chef knives have acquired an almost traditional aspect, and truly so. A great knife is a chef’s racehorse, best friend in the kitchen, so let’s face a sexy thing. Here we will guide you to faultless your kitchen knife blade, and sharpen it by our guides to an excellent point. Once you’ve read our chef knives guide then you will also be able to get the best chef knives from market or online platforms.
How to Choose a Chef Knife for Yourself
The modern chef’s knife is generally useful for kitchens which are used for different types of food composition, from cutting and filleting meat, poultry or fish, to chopping and dicing vegetables, fruits and flavoring, to slicing bread and cheese and out of reach. You can say the chef knife is the most multifaceted knife at the discretion of the chef. We will also describe some aspects for which chef knives are not suitable such as tough tasks including cutting bones or frozen products that need a butcher knife and intricate works like peeling or chopping, cutting which require a paring knife, peeler, etc. the chef knives in many styles, designs but best chef knife will depend on your personal preferences and what type of work you need to do with it. There are important things to consider.
How Much Does a Chef Knife Cost?
Chef knives have variation in terms of price, with the best knives costing $300 USD, and even thousands of dollars for a single knife. But we see that mostly people try to find the quality knife for between $50 to $300.
Are Chef Knives Worth It?
Forsure, quality knives are built to last and a chef’s knife in good condition can last a lifetime. It may look dramatic, but after spending a lot of kitchen hours with your chef knife, a trust bond creates, it will happen on users as well.
The main things that you need to consider in buying guide of chef knife is their length and weight.
The Length and Weight of Chef Knife
The length of the knife includes the blade but does not contain its handle. For home use, a traditional chef’s knife is 6 to 8″ that is approximately 15-20 cm long. Professional chefs often use larger 10 to 12 inch (25-30cm) chef knives, but these are heavier and require longer use. They are difficult and dangerous for the untrained user.
What is the Best Length for a Chef’s Knife?
It depends upon your preferences like if you are working at home then you can go with a 6 to 8 inch blade as it will be 100% perfect choice for you to do knife duties. This size will never feel like a sword nor a dirk such happiness and comfort.
The Weight of Chef Knife
Chef knives can be light or heavy which depends on the size, shape and substances. The heavier weight has 7 to 13 ounces while the lighter knife has 7 to 9 ounce weight.
What is a Good Weight for a Chef’s Knife?
One theory is that heavier knives cut better by applying more force, while the other competing theory is that lighter knives slide into the material more easily. Many people like to use heavier knives, which feel more solid, but it comes down to personal inclinations. Maybe you need to hold the knife for a long period of time so select the knife that feels solid but doesn’t make your hand tired.
Chef Knife’s Blade
The blade of a chef knife consists of different parts that are described in the following section.
Edge: sharpen part of knife use for cutting.
Spine: The upper dull part, which is sometimes pressed such as chopping.
Heel & Point: it is the nearest and bottom line tip of blade.
Tang: the part which connects the blade with the handle.
Bolster: it is found in a forged knife, The fat portion at the base of the blade that is used for both balancing the knife weight and gripping the knife.
What is the Difference Between Forged and Stamped Blades?
The forged knives are made of forged metal while the stamped knife is cut from sheet metal with a die. The forged knives tend to be harder, long-lasting and easy to sharpen as they cannot easily bend. On the other hand, the stamped knives are usually easy on the pocketbook and come in a wide variety. If you have a handsome budget then a stamped knife will be serviceable but if you need a knife that could be a long time investment then go with a forged knife. For more you can check our dedicated forged vs stamped knife article.
What Material Should the Chef’s Knife Blade Be Made of – Blade Material
There are different materials used for making a chef blade, each has its own pros and cons related to the other. The most ordinary materials used are:
Carbon Steel Iron mixture with a small amount of carbon. This type of blade is easy to sharpen as compared to stainless steel blades and normally hold their edges for a long time. Due to that reason, the majority of the professional chefs like to use carbon steel. The negative part of carbon steel is easy to brittle and has more risk of rust and stains. Besides, it also requires more maintenance. Carbon steel knives also evolve a glaze, which some people prefer as a “mileage” mark on the knife.
Stainless Steel It is the mixture of chromium, nickel and molybdenum and a slight amount of carbon. It has capability of resistance to corrosion But don’t include a high-carbon steel with an edge, even though certain high-quality stainless steels can compete or surpass carbon steel blades.
Laminated Steel Laminated steel used in layered or combined blades that contain various materials to get benefits of their particular strength.A laminated blade uses a potentially softer and stronger steel than a core material and a harder and sharper steel for the edge. Moreover, it is an alloy of more than one combination so make sure to read the particular print on it.
Ceramic Usually ceramic blades are made of zirconia (zirconium dioxide) instead of steel. Ceramic chef knives have much larger edges than steel (sometimes 10 times lengthy) but they need excessive sharpening and are more inclined to stick. At the very least, it’s a bargaining: the edge will last longer, but once it wears off, you’ll have to service the knife or replace it.
Damascus Steel The forged knives are made in layers using different types of steel and result is a tough and smash-resistant blade having a distinctive crinkle shape pattern. This creative satisfying blade can be sharpened to a decent and strong edge. The disadvantage is that they cost more. Check out the best Damascus chef knives.
Titanium It is also a type of foil/metal used in chef knife’s blade. It is resistant to corrosion and scraping in nature, titanium blade is denser and more lightweight than steel. Beside this, it is easy to break, not good at grabbing an edge as well and requires more constant sharpening. View them a stylish, if costly, substitute to steel.
Blade Flexibility – Should a chef’s Knife Have a Flexible Blade?
The flexibility of a chef’s knife depends on the dimensions and material that affects the types of jobs for which it is best suited. It is classified into categories like flexible, semi-flexible and stiff chef knives. It is a thumb act, the stiffer the blade the heavier the duties. If you are boning, carving or filleting fish or chicken, for example, you will need a flexible or preferably semi-rigid blade; While a hard or semi-hard blade grants itself more simply to accurate cuts such as beef and sowbelly. As we have mentioned that if you are looking for something for cutting the frozen products or bones then cleave will be the best choice instead of a chef knife.
Blade Width/Thickness – How Thick Should a Chef’s Knife Blade Be?
The blade thickness of chef knives are measured at the back/heel and narrow down as you move towards the edge/toe. The thinner blade could cut easier and the thicker blade is considered to be a more stable knife’s blade. But you should follow the above as we have been described as thicker for heavy duty tasks while thinner is best for finer work. Let me explain it more, with 0.2 in. (0.508 cm) and more is considered thick, 0.01-0.08 inches (0.0254-0.2 cm) is considered thin, and 0.1-0.15 inches is considered thin. (0.254-0.381 cm) examines the middle ground.
It is the specific point of the chef knife which connects the handle to the blade. A full tang passes the complete length and width of the handle, with scales on both sides of the handle. On the other hand, the partial tang refers only partially to the handle and can be concealed with it. Partially tang chef knives come into many shapes, From a half tang that runs smooth the whole diameter but only half length of the handle to a slim retail tang that scuttle the full length but only a fraction of the width of the handle, and more. While the full tang allows for more control, leverage and balance, So this is usually the better option. The chef knife having partial tang can be perfectly designed in other facets. So keep in mind that tang is an important point in the buying guide of chef knives.
The word “HRC” is abbreviated to hardness rockwell C. it is the test which will determine the hardness of material against the deformation. It is also considered to measure the hardness of the blade. Normally, the HRC score below the 52 is too soft, cheap knives rate is 52 to 64 while the experienced chefs prefer to go 59 to 64 HRC. Any rating beyond that would be easy to break.
Edge Profile – What Edge Should a Chef’s Knife Have?
Profile is the representation of a chef’s knife blade at the edge. Being the active part of the knife, the profile greatly affects the acts and durability of the blade. Some ordinary edge forms are as follows:
It is the traditional, multipurposes and two straight sides that come to the one point. It is considered the easiest edge to make when you are sharpening a knife and it lasts longer than other intricate types of knife.
A V-edge which closes in itself, the flatter V edge. You’ll have to look closely to see it. With this design, strongness and sharpness are maintained for a long duration.
Hollow Edge or Concave Edge
Knife’s edge having dipped sides and directed to a very fine point. This type of edge makes for a sharper and fragile blade which needs continually maintenance. Furthermore, these edges are mostly used for hunting knives.
Convex edge is curved to the point on both sides, it is more durable than the v-edge but sharp enough sharpened for various uses. Please note that as you sharpen the convex blade, it will eventually take a V shape.
Single Bevel or Chisel Edge
It is an asymmetric edge that is straight on one side but bevel or angle on the other side. Single bevel can be sharpened to an extreme level in order to make complex cuts such filleting sushi, slicing very delicately and creating lengthy, unbroken cuts.
A knife with small serrations along the blade – usually on one side only is called a serrated knife. Serrated normally occurs on steak knives and bread knives etc and is the perfect choice for soft and slippery foods such as tomatoes. Some chef knives have partial or very fine serrations, but since serrations do not lend themselves to a cutting motion, most chef knives have smooth edges, meaning no serrations.
Indentations – Why Do Chef’s Knives Have Indentations?
The indentation/notches onward the blade of a chef’s knife are designed to prevent foods from “sucking” or sticking to the blade, for example tomatoes or cheese. There are different types of indentations. I.e. The granton-type of blades has small notches ahead of the blades, making slightly air pockets to protect sticking; on the other hand, the Japanese Urasuki feature on a chisel-edged blade means that the apparently flat side of the blade is slightly concave.
The Chef Knife’s Handle
The handle of chef knives consist of different parts such as:
Bolster – It’s the hefty metal portion on the base of the blade. In fact, the bolster is the part of the blade whose main purpose is to protect your hand from slipping and give you great grip while cutting. In the compound grip, you place your thumb and index finger on the bolster, while the other three fingers wrap around the handle and apply downward pressure with your palm.
Major Parts – There are two possibilities, one is two scales on each side of full tang or the complete material encircling a partial tang.
Rivets – It fastens the handle to the tang.
Butt – It is the backmost part of the handle, It is frequently made extensive to prevent slipping and allow better grip.
The handle of a chef knife can affect everything, from the comfort of use to the amount of control and precision you apply. If the handle of your knife fits you, you will have a better chance of making a better and safer operation.
There are some points which you need to prefer:
Length and Width – Make Sure always choose the knife which fits in your hand, if your knife is too big then it will be weighty and if it is too small then it will also fail. Both options will make you tired.
Design – The chef knives come in various shapes, some of them will fit the hand so nicely, depending on your each hand and your grip type as well. There are also appropriate handle designs which come with cheery and indentations to cover around your fingers, thumb, etc.
Material – There is a variety of materials such as wood, aluminum and stainless steel for a wide range of polymer composites and mixed materials are used in the manufacture of chef knife handles. Each component has a different look, feel, weight, handle and cleaning method. Some of them are soft, some touch; Some are smooth, others textured.
Grip and Comfort – Both the design of the handle and its material will affect the condolence and manageability of your grip. There are no hard and fast rules – choose what suits you best.
What is the Right Balance for a Chef Knife ? – Balance
The balance of a chef’s knife is the weight correlation between the blade and the handle containing the tang as well. It will tell you how the knife balances in your hand. Perfect height on the handle gives you good control. A heavy blade may slant from your hands and require more physical control on the handle side. Hence, to make sure the balance of the knife, hold it on the bolster between the thumb and pointer finger, or slightly forward if it is a lengthy blade. If you have a good balance then you can maintain the weight tradeoff between blade and handle.
How to Maintain a Chef’s Knife – Maintenance and Care
The chef knives use continuously with various ingredients like water, fruit vegetable acids, fats etc which may affect the blade — which acts self-perpetuating. But by properly caring for your chef knife, you will be able to use it for a long period of time.
How to Clean a Chef’s Knife?
Clean your knife suddenly after every use. In order to prevent your knife from corrosion, rust, edge dulling and other bacterial growth, always keep your knife clean and dry. You can also clean your chef knives with dish soap, warm water and constant cleaning pad. The main thing is to avoid detergents, corrosion material and solvent as these things can damage the blade and handle both. Once you wash off the soap from the knife then dry the blade carefully with a towel or wipe and place it to air in some knife block or magnet. Avoid storing the knife with other utensils or in standing form where its tip or edge touch the floor. Please note that different materials, especially when it comes to handles, are polished variously and respond differently to bacteria, moisture, etc. But if you clean and dry your chef’s knife with well manners then there should be no problem.
Are Chef Knives Dishwashers Safe?
There are some knives available in the market that are dish-washer but still we do not recommend it to the audience. We always prefer to wash the knives with your hand. As all of us know, a dishwasher is the combination of detergent and hot water which can be injurious to the endurance of both the knife blade and its handle.
How to Keep Your Chef Knife Sharp – Honing & Sharpening your Knife
It’s very necessary to keep sharpening your chef knives because a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one as it has more chance to slip while using. Ever you feel that more force is required for cutting ordinary things then you should sharpen it suddenly. It is normal guid to sharpen your chef knife after every 2 to 3 uses and sharpen it professionally by once a year. There are two methods for make knife sharpen: Sharpening occurs when material is removed from the knife’s edge to create a new edge, while honing occurs when the existing edge is align and concentrated. If you want to know the difference between honing and sharpening you can read our article.
How to Store a Chef Knife?
To prevent yourself and knives, it is important to store them separately from other ingredients. Drawers and cupboards can become damp due to the corrosion, and loose contrivance in drawers can incise or chip the blade. Plus, you don’t want you or your child unintentionally finding through a drawer just to meet the business goal of a sharp knife. The best solution is a wall knife magnet, countertop knife block, or drawer knife block.
What are the Best Knife Blocks for Sets
Major use of the knife block is to safely store the chef knives, paring knives etc. its countertop covers the blade and gives you just a handle for grabbing. Many designs and sizes of knife blocks contain multiple rooms of various sizes for knives. Some knife blocks have a sharpener built inside it. One problem with knife blocks is that, distinct the magnetic knife kit, they can harbor mold and bacteria. For this reason, be sure to clean and dry your knives thoroughly before placing them in the block, and sanitize the block regularly.
The Best and Most Reliable Check Knife Brands
Chef knife brands differ widely, from little-known, inexpensive brands to well-reputed names in kitchens around the world. Investing in trust worthy brands will provide you with a highly reliable knife that you can use for many years. In the following section, we are providing concisely the name and product strength of the most famous brand of chef knives.
MAC Knife: it is claimed as the world’s sharpest knives, Japanese MAC knives are hand-ground and hand sharpened by professional japanese. Their craftsmen use traditional techniques to get hybrid characteristic edges that combine a chisel edge with v-shape edges.
Henckels International: is the oldest brand in the world of knives. Henckels have manufactured the German cutlery for more than 280 years, they use a high carbon stainless steel which is hailed by the most immense name in gastronomy.
Global: is the japanese brand that is famous because of their innovative steel chef knives including unique cupped steel handles that are specially sandblasted. All of them are smooth, well balanced and sharpened their razor for a long duration.
Wusthof: the most reputed german brand famed for its durability and functional design of knives. From their exceptionally hard and sharp blades to their ergonomic handles, Wusthof chef knives are top notch.
Messermeister: it’s also called “knife master”. The messermeister is the brand of california that made chef knives with high quality german steel and also well known because of their precision, sharpness and versatility.
A chef knife could be your best friend in the kitchen and information in the article about it may be slightly lengthy. Here we will simply say that always select a friend with which you like to spend time. If you’re not focusing on anything else, make sure you choose a chef’s knife that’s credible and suits your needs. As you use a chef’s knife, you’ll appreciate the different aspects discussed in this article and develop your preferences for what’s most important. And if you’re like us, you’ll love these versatile and expert tools.