Although kitchen knives come in many colors, shapes, sizes, and materials, buying the best kitchen knife for your needs is essential to making a sound investment. Fundamentally, a good cutting knife should be both well-balanced and comfortable to hold. Sifting through options requires a deeper understanding of this key part of your everyday arsenal of kitchen tools.
Know Knife Anatomy
Examining the anatomy of a knife can tell you a lot about the quality of its construction.
Find the Best Blade
Not all kitchen knives are created equal, but their differences mainly come down to construction, design, and material. Steel knives are generally forged from a single piece for sturdiness or machine stamped for flexibility and lower costs. The most common designs include the 3 to 4-inch paring knife, 4 to 6-inch utility knife for cutting and slicing produce, 8-inch workhorse that is the chef’s knife, and the long, thin slicer for cooked meat. For each, materials should be evaluated according to sharpness and durability. Stainless steel is cheapest but goes blunt quickly, while carbon steel is easier to sharpen but rusts quickly. Ceramic blades hold sharpness longer, do not rust, and can be sharpened to scalpel quality, but they require a larger investment.
Find a Good Fit
Beyond the blade, you should consider weight, balance, comfort, and maintenance. These factors will be key in deciding on the best option for your kitchen before looking at your overall budget.
Many popular brands sell poor quality knives for high prices, so it’s important to know what you’re buying. With a strong understanding of knife anatomy and the right features for your kitchen needs, though, you can easily find the best models and prices on the market.