Before you step into that cookware store to buy a kitchen knife set it is important that you get yourself accustomed to the various types of kitchen knives available in the market and compare blades used to make kitchen knives. Once you are familiar with these concepts you will be in a much better position to judge which kitchen knife you should be opting for.
Here are the various considerations:
1.) Open Stock Knife and a Knife Set?
First thing that you got to decide is whether you want to buy a single kitchen knife also known as an open stock knife or you want to go for an entire knife set. Usually a knife set should include all different types of knives and is an apt choice unless you want to buy a knife to replace an existing collection.
Single open stock knives can also be less expensive as compared to a knife set. You can consider them mostly if you feel that you are looking for superior quality, but cannot afford a complete set of them. In these cases an open stock knife is the best option. Otherwise, it is better to go with a complete kitchen knife set.
Generally a knife set will include a chef's knife, bread knife, utility knife, a carver, and a parer knife. In addition the knife set would also come with a matching knife sharpener and a kitchen knife holder for easy storage.
2.) Super fine professional kitchen knifes to regular knifes
Most markets will give you a choice between knifes with super fine edges and the ones that are regular. The super fine ones are specially fit for professional use and can require a lot of maintenance. If you are looking for a knife to be used in your kitchen, the regular knife is probably a better choice.
3.) Knife Blade Material
The price of the knife will vary based on the make and material of the blade. For regular home usage the recommended knife is the one that uses high carbon steel blades. A steel blade knife can resist corrosion, can be sharpened easily and can last for years together without requirement of much maintenance.
If you are looking for harder knives with very fine edges you can also consider the ceramic blade knife if you are ready to bear the maintenance that comes along with it. Consider the fact that it is very hard to sharpen ceramic knives before you think about buying one.
4.) Tang of the Knife
A knife's tang is the portion of the knife that extends well into the handle. The tang is fused between the two ends of the handle. All good quality kitchen knives have a full tang, meaning the tang extends through to the end of the handle. This is one sign of a long lasting kitchen knife.
5.) Stamped verses Forged Knives
Stamped knives are made by pressing a solid metal piece into the shape of a knife blade. Forged knives on the other hand are made following the most ancient way to making a knife. They are also known as hand forged kitchen knives as they are handmade by heating a single metal piece and then hammering them to convert them into the shape of a knife blade. These are generally more expensive of the two. Most chefs believe that forged knives are more durable. But stamped knives are generally more easily to handle.
For home usage, you can choose to go for either of the blades as they don't have much difference when it comes to durability and quality.
6.) Balance of the Knife
This is where you need to make your own decision. Take the knife in your hands and sense how it feels to be holding it. Are you able to feel the balance? Is the knife too light or too heavy to hold? Does the handle feel smooth? These are some questions that you can ask yourself to ensure that you buy a knife with the right balance.
7.) Handle of the Kitchen Knife
Kitchen knives can come with wooden, plastic, composite or stainless steel handles. Wooden handles are the preferred choice of most people who buy kitchen knives. They offer good grip but require a bit of maintenance. Some wooden knife handles may even crack over a period of time. A similar problem exists with plastic handles. In addition they can also be slippery and make the knife feel too light. Stainless steel handles are durable, but they can get extremely slippery and make the knife extra heavy.
You best choice would be to go for knives with composite handles. They require much less maintenance, do not gather micro-organisms and have a more polished appearance.
8.) Warranty of the Kitchen Knife
Do not miss out on this as this is important. Go for knives that come with at-least 1 year warranty. Most quality expensive kitchen knife manufacturers offer life time warrants over some expensive knife sets.
Hope your questions on how to buy kitchen knives are answered. Look out for all these features when you go out to buy your kitchen knife and hope you get a good deal.
Let's assume you have brought your kitchen knives, now what? You need to take care of your knifes they maintain sharp edges and go on for a long time before you need to get them sharpened. The next section deals with how to take care of your knives.