The first time I heard about it I thought it was a bit pretentious. At the time I only had a knife to do everything and I did not see the point of having more. Then my cousin finished high school, bought new knives and offered me some of the old ones. And I reviewed my prejudices.
It is not pretentious to buy a good knife: it is practical, comfortable and above all, it is all that makes sense if you want to enjoy cooking.
Still, you have to know how to recognize a good knife, do not confuse the meat knife with the Japanese knife and do not buy what you will never use. This complete file will allow you to make your comparison on kitchen knives and greatly improve your amateur cook equipment.
Table of Contents
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What is a kitchen knife?
Technically a knife is a sharp tool that cuts things, whether it’s a tomato or a piece of meat. It allows you to lift a net on a fish, peel vegetables and more.
However, in the kitchen, there are many knives, each adapted to specific uses. We will not use a hunting knife to split clove of garlic. And we may have trouble making beautiful slices of bread with a fish knife.
The base is considered to consist of four knives : the paring knife (for peeling, having precision), the chef’s knife (multi-purpose), the fish knife (called sole fillet) and the knife. meat.
Added to this list are many other knives to be bought according to the needs of each: the bread knife, the butcher’s leaf, the Japanese knife (called santoku), the tranchelard, etc.
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How to choose a kitchen knife?
To choose a kitchen knife, the first question to ask is: what do I want to do with it? From there, you can find the perfect model for you.
The handle is one of the relatively easy things to consider. You have to look at the shape, the length and the material. It can be made of wood, plastic and steel.
The blade is a complex element. It is chosen according to several criteria.
Blade type : smooth, notched, dimpled
Length and width : these two elements are often related to the type of knife chosen (the chef’s knife is wider than the paring knife)
The material: steel, ceramic or titanium
Sharpening and sharpness, ie the sharpening angle and whether or not a left-handed person can use it
Hardness, expressed in HRC, if you do not know anything, aim 56-58 HRC for a solid knife, with easy and punctual sharpening
Manufacture of the blade: forged, cut or Damascus blade
The top 10 bestsellers of kitchen knives
Follow the advice of users by consulting this selection of the best kitchen knives.
Indeed this top 10 is based on customer reviews and Amazon best sellers. It is regularly updated to always be as accurate as possible.
Why buy a kitchen knife?
It’s a bit like trying to make great coffee without buying anything other than instant coffee. Or make a good jam with fruits that have no taste.
When you want to do things right, you have to know how to surround yourself with quality materials, buy good ingredients and learn how to do the right things.
Of course, we can be satisfied with a universal knife, because we do not like cooking too much. And just that, you’ll find it’s easier to cut carrots than using a table knife.
The use of a kitchen knife
It is important to use a good knife depending on what you want to do. This simplifies movements, preserves the knife and limits maintenance and accidents.
For this you need to know your equipment and maintain it . A blade with a hardness below 56 HRC must be sharpened very regularly. It’s easy, but essential to do.
Moreover, it is necessary to settle on a cutting board , ideally in wood. Indeed the support must not be too hard not to undermine the integrity of the knife.
If you have just settled in or are just getting into the kitchen, a chef’s knife or a utility knife may suffice . The chef’s knife has a wider blade, but both can handle almost anything: chopping herbs, cutting vegetables, preparing meat.
The only difference is that the chef’s knife does not allow peeling, but if you use a thrifty this is not disturbing.
How to sharpen a kitchen knife?
I invite you to read this article to choose a knife sharpener and how it all works.
To put it simply, there are several types of accessories to do this: a whetstone (also called diamond), a sharpening gun (called sharpening steel) and professional sharpeners.
The principle is always based on the friction of the wire of the blade against a support. This friction will make its edge to the blade.
√.Where to buy a good kitchen knife?
You can choose a kitchen knife on the shelves of a supermarket just as you can enjoy your holiday in Savoy to buy directly on site, as a souvenir, an excellent knife Opinel.
However if you are targeting particular brands, the easiest way is to go online, on platforms that bring together various vendors like Amazon.
√.Price of a kitchen knife?
A universal knife can cost from $ 15 to a hundred euros. For professional equipment, you need between 30 and 50 $ for a simple kitchen knife and at least 100 € for more specific knives.
Where to find a cheap kitchen knife?
The best way to lower the price is to buy a lot of kitchen knives . Thus one can have for 50 € not only one universal knife, but two or three different knives.
We can also take advantage of Amazon promos, which are present throughout the year and on very different products. Or, in a more traditional way, it is possible to make the sales or buy the day of Black Friday. Yes, even the knives can be on sale.
√.Which brand of kitchen knife to choose?
There are various more or less famous brands of cutlery. Each has its own specificities and different assets.
Be careful with the term Sabatier.
Knives K. Sabatier, with the K on the blade (and in the description), are knives made in France (in Thiers). They are 100% forged and it’s very high quality.
There are also Lion Sabatier, Sabatier Deglon and Sabatier international kitchen knives. These are French brand knives also, at least partially manufactured in Asia, of lower quality. Quality varies from one to the other.
Opinel is a French company that only makes knives. She was born in 1890 in Savoy, where she is still based. His knives are guaranteed for life. There is a wide selection of Opinel kitchen knife, all solid and quality.
Victorinox is the Swiss company behind the famous Swiss army knife. If initially, the company was only cutlery, today it has diversified. But she still has a wide range of precise kitchen knives and design.
Pradel is a French company that offers various kitchen utensils, including a range of knives. It offers among others the trim range, which is to say an ergonomic handle on which can be fixed alternatively three removable blades.
Wusthof is a German brand that has been offering high quality forged knives for more than 200 years. It manufactures only knives, but offers a wide choice, according to the needs of each, for a mid-range budget.
The exception: the Laguiole kitchen knife
Laguiole is not a knife brand. It is the name of a village and by extension of a region where knives are made. They are recognized by the fly pattern at the top of the neck (where you have to put your finger to hold his knife). There are mostly Laguiole table knives or knives.
What kitchen knife for what purpose?
For every day, for beginners, for those who settle alone, without hesitation it is necessary to start with a universal knife and/or a paring knife.
To cut the vegetables, you must also turn to the paring knife.
To use a knife to cut everything, choose a chef’s knife.
An apprentice should build a briefcase with at least one fillet knife, a meat knife, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife.
As for the professionals, it is the experience that allows them to know what they want because, in addition to having a knife for each function, it is possible to take the time to try and prefer different materials. Thus the ceramic knife has more and more success.
Finally, beware, if a left-hander wants to make sure he has a good knife, he always needs a knife with a bilateral sharpening.
The different types of kitchen knives
I think that at this stage of your reading, you understand that there are many knives. I present to you a small summary not exhaustive below.
√.Japanese cooking knife
We also speak of santoku, the Japanese term for this kitchen knife. This is the chef’s knife in Japan , the must-have knife at home. It has cells along the blade to prevent food sticking.
√.Professional kitchen knife
The professional knife is often simply a very high quality knife . That is to say, it must be able to be used frequently, without being damaged, without losing its edge.
The hardness is never less than 58 HRD.
√.Smart kitchen knife 2 in 1
A smart 2 in 1 knife joins the blade and the cutting board . It could be compared to a chisel or pruner. It is very convenient to cut directly over a bowl, or when you go on a picnic. All you need is the 2 in 1 knife.
√.Kitchen knife set
A set of kitchen knives offers a lot of different knives . There is always a paring knife, for the rest, everything depends on the set that we choose. That’s why you have to take the time to check each of the knives included. A vegetarian will only have to make a butcher’s leaf and a boner.
√.High-end kitchen knife
There are several types of high-end knives for cooking. It’s a set of criteria. The Damascus steel knife is high end. Like all the models where the silk of the blade is integrated with care (but the descriptions are rather vague on this subject).
√.Ceramic kitchen knife
The ceramic kitchen knife is very popular for its sharpness and hygienic appearance. It is very robust and precise , it is not necessary to sharpen it often. On the other hand, if the wire does not move much, the whole is still fragile: a fall or shock can break the knife.
√.Stainless steel kitchen knife
Some knives are 100% stainless steel , ie both the blade and the handle. It is both a question of taste for design and a solution for simple maintenance and a knife that does not move in time.
√.Kitchen knife steel or ceramic
Stainless steel is the most used material for kitchen knives. This is a very interesting solution, however a low-end steel knife will be disappointing. We must therefore turn to quality to enjoy it for a long time.
The ceramic knife is also very interesting, but it is also more expensive and it must be handled with care, because in case of fall it breaks.
It all depends on your budget and your ability to protect your equipment (children or falls).
How to maintain your kitchen knife?
The maintenance of a knife goes through storage, cleaning and use .
It must be stored so that it is not in contact with other metal elements.
On the cleaning side, rinse them under the water immediately after use, use a little washing-up liquid and dry them well. It is also not recommended to put them in the dishwasher because the cutting edge may be damaged.
Finally, never use a knife on a hard surface. Nothing beats a large wooden board or possibly plastic to avoid shocks and microcracks.
A kitchen knife is an essential accessory , but relatively complex . Between manufacturing techniques and specificities in use, it is not easy to navigate. But then, once you’re equipped, what a pleasure to be able to cook efficiently.