When it comes to investing in our utensils and tools, we often just settle for the cheapest ones we can find. But is that wise? There are so many ways cheap knives can hold you back, here are some reasons why you should invest in your culinary future.
When using knives in the kitchen, one of the first things you learn are basic knife safety tips. Cheaper knives are often harder to use, this could be due to less ergonomic handles, poorer design of the bolster, or a bad tang design. To learn more about different parts of a knife, check out this guide by The Gracious Pantry.
Less ergonomic handles will mean your hand will slip more easily, and the grip will require more effort to hold onto, potentially causing discomfort.
A poorly designed bolster can be very hazardous, as a well designed bolster will prevent slippery hands from sliding off the handle and onto the blade.
A tang is the part of the blade that connects into the handle, often full-tang is preferred, as more force can be exerted using the blade. A poorly designed tang can mean the knife will break easily.
When using a knife, it is important that the knife is as sharp as possible, as this means that cuts can be made with ease, and there will be less chance of mishaps regarding strength or a struggle to cut something.
Cheaper ranges of knives are typically made from stainless steel. (There are exceptions to this, and they can be amazingly high quality.) But generally speaking, stainless steel knives are harder to sharpen, and dull very quickly in comparison to steel.
Of course, maintenance is important for all kitchen tools, for them to be cleaned and dried properly; but with knives, they have to be sharpened properly, checked for blade consistency, and kept in proper conditions. Cheaper knives won’t last as long, even when maintained properly. The blade is incredibly important, and the quality blades will last tens of years, and keep their sharpness wonderfully, whereas cheaper knives last a matter of years.
After contacting KitchenKnives.co.uk, home of the very best professional chefs knives for a tip about maintaining knives, they said “If you’ve invested in a high quality knife, most will diligently sharpen their knives before every other use. After every use, they need to be cleaned, wiped down, and dried. They need to be stored in a block, sheathe or special box.”
There are a variety of quality knives that just aren’t available without investment, High Carbon Steel, Ceramics and Damascus Steel are all among the higher ranges of knives.
High Carbon Steel and Damascus Steel are similar in quality, but are forged very differently.
Ceramics are incredibly sharp, and make very high standard cuts.
Often different materials are used in handles/grips as well. Hardwoods are generally seen as superior to softwoods for handles, as water is less harmful, and high resin content in softwoods could taint food.
What do you look for in your knives? Make sure to purchase the knives you need, and to check what maintenance each knife requires!