Things You Should Know Before Buying a Kitchen Knife Set


Here we go again…Yet another holiday season is upon us. For those of us who enjoy cooking, this is the season where our skills are put to the test. We are often tasked with cooking huge meals for the entire family. To make things run smoothly in the kitchen, a good Japanese knife buying guide is a must. If your knife set consists of a bunch of dull, mismatched blades thrown in a kitchen drawer, it’s time for an upgrade.

All knives are not created equally. There are two common ways to make knives, the first of which is forging. This is a method through which a block of metal is heated and hammered into shape, not entirely unlike the way swords were made in medieval times. The second method of making knives is to stamp them from giant rolls of metal. Stamped blades tend to be lighter than forged blades. Most of the cheaper knives on the market are stamped. Forged knives are heavier and usually feel more balanced.

A good knife set contains all of the tools you need to cut and prepare food. Cleavers, chef’s knives, paring knives and utility knives are all common knives that are likely to come in a set. A large serrated knife is sometimes included, and is ideal for cutting bread. Some sets even come with 4 to 6 steak knives, which come in handy if you prepare a lot of red meat.

There are a number of materials and looks you can choose form when buying a set of kitchen cutlery. Blades are commonly made of carbon steel, stainless steel or high-carbon stainless steel. The better blades are made of high-carbon stainless with other alloys mixed in to enhance strength and edge retention. There are a few sets made of titanium, but they are expensive and you can get a much better high-carbon stainless set of knives for the same price.

Handle types are just as varied as the materials used to make the blade. Exotic woods look nice but can’t be left wet because they are prone to cracking and swelling. Plastic handles are cheaper but are susceptible to chipping and cracking. A good compromise is Pakkawood, which is a mixture of wood and resins. My personal favorite are the stainless steel handled knives. They often have a modern look to them, and the handles are typically one piece.

It’s important that you read up on the knife sets you’re interested in because some sets require special care. Some of the wood handled knives require the wood to be periodically treated with mineral oils. Some of the higher-end sets of knives need to be sharpened prior to every use. This isn’t a defect, it’s just the way the knives are made. This can be frustrating to the home cook who is pressed for time.

No matter what set you decide to buy, you can reasonably expect it to last for many years to come. if you buy a higher end set and take care of it, it’s possible you’ll never have to buy another set. Knives are one of the items in life where you get what you pay for. Invest in a quality set and eliminate the hassle of using cheaper knives.


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