Kitchen knives are an important kitchen tool, but can you afford to cut corners and opt for a cheaper set, or is it worth spending that little bit extra for some quality?
As with most things, you get what you pay for, so if you’re going to using your knives even semi-regularly, it’s best to invest in a decent set, and here’s why.
Easier to Maintain
The main issue with using cheaper knives is that they take a lot more looking after. Cheap stainless steel will go blunt very quickly, which means that you’re either going to have to spend more time sharpening them yourself, spend money getting them done professionally, or even have to shell out for a replacement set.
On the other hand, quality materials such as carbon steel or ceramic a lot harder, which means that they’re easier to keep sharp.
If you do go for cheaper blades and let them wear down, not only will you find food preparation more difficult, but it’s also more dangerous, as the knife is more likely to slip out of your hand while you’re using it (check out this post from ChefSteps for more info on why a sharp knife is so important).
Some cheaper knives will state that they don’t need to be sharpened at all, which sounds great on the surface, but in actual fact, they aren’t very sharp and once they wear down, you’re simply going to have to throw them away.
While the performance of a knife is important, it’s also important that it feels comfortable and easy to use in your hand.
This will obviously differ from person to person, but more expensive knives generally have much more ergonomic designs, which just feel nicer.
The most important thing is the handle. Good knives won’t have too much weight in the handle, making them nice and lightweight, which is great for quick and precise tasks.
Again, this is all going to come down to your preferences, and even the size of your hands, but you should know a quality knife just by holding it!
How important this is to you will vary from person to person, but it goes without saying that a knife which has had much more time and labour go into it is going to be of a higher quality than one which has just rolled off a production line with hundreds that are identical to it.
Something worth bearing in mind is whether your knife is ‘stamped’ or ‘forged’, something which you can learn more about at this blog post from Kitchen Knives.
Of course, a knife which has been completely handmade is going to cost you a lot more, but for some people, knowing that their knife is the only one like it in the world makes it that little bit more special.
Appearance is another factor worth bearing in mind. For some people, as long as the knife does the job, they couldn’t care less how it looks, but if you want to show that you take your cooking seriously, why not treat yourself to a fancy set?
For a recommendation of some of the best kitchen knives currently on the market, check out this list from the Independent.