How To Select The Right Kitchen Knife For Your Need ?

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A knife can be your best partner to prepare any meal if it is in a good condition and comfortable to use. Having proper knowledge about knives before purchasing one can help select a perfect knife that could go a long way in saving time and making cooking more fun and easy at home.

When buying a knife, most of us only go to an extent of thinking – Ok – we just need a kitchen knife – that one looks like a good size, fits my hand – oh & lets see if the price is in my budget ? 🙂

Although these points are valid to make a decision, trust me, there is a plethora of other information that can make your purchased kitchen knife worth while.

Lets see what is Important to Know When Buying a Knife !

1. The Material of Knife

The knowledge of the exact material from which a knife is made of is very important to  understand. The life span, weight and the sharpness of the knife depends on the material used in the knife.

Damascus knives are made up of two or more types of metals or alloys. These knives will contain the properties of both the metals that’s used. A damascus knife made from a carbon steel and stainless steel will have the property of both the metals i.e more durability, fine edges and long lasting sharpness with the properties of flexibility, low rusting and corrosion free qualities of stainless steel.

These knives have beautiful and attractive patterns on them which make them more attractive and presentable. Damascus knives can be a good option for your kitchen due to their durability and long lasting sharp edges. These knives can be a little expensive due to their manufacturing process – beautiful patterns & great quality.

Iron knives need more care – You have to keep it dry always after use to avoid it from getting rusted. One pro to using iron knives is its longevity of retaining its shape and sharpness if maintained well. It can last almost a lifetime with good care.

Nowadays most households use stainless steel knives since it needs lesser care compared to iron knives . Although, these knives lose their sharpness quickly and need sharpening comparatively often.

Quick Tip : Store these knives separate and not along with other utensils, this can save their blade from damaging or losing their sharpness as it strikes with other utensils during storage or handling.

These types of knives are made up of steel & carbon that make the knives more durable with sharp edges compared to others. They need good care & maintenance to save it from getting rusted.

Using these knives on acidic and citrus food like lemons can discolour the knife and also change the colour and flavour of food. Carbon Steel Knives are stronger and more durable with proper care and don’t need regular sharpening.

Ceramic knives are a new addition to our cutlery world and can be your choice if you like modern and classic style knives. These knives are really light weighted as compared to other knives so they can be easy to handle on your food.

These knives are rust proof and do not change the colour or flavours of your acidic or citric food. But, using them on rough surfaces like a bone or hard shells can easily chip and break them into flakes. The ceramic material could break on drop therefore it needs more careful handling. Ceramic knives also have special sharpening tools and regular sharpening tools cannot be used to sharpen a ceramic blade

2. Your Daily Meal Preparation

Ceramic knives are a new addition to our cutlery world and can be your choice if you like modern and classic style knives. These knives are really light weighted as compared to other knives so they can be easy to handle on your food.

Below are types of knife based on what food you are preparing :

This is a great allrounder knife which is why it’s called a chef’s knife – a chef’s best friend – this is great for dicing and chopping herbs, fruits, vegetables, small to medium chicken pieces. This is your first go-to knife in your kitchen. A chef’s knife can range anywhere between 6 – 12 inches in size. Most chefs select the size based on comfort and hand size.

This is also a great all purpose knife and can be used for anything you use a chef’s knife for. They are popular kitchen knives native to japan and now used all over the world due to its design and utility. Their shape helps for more precise cutting & dicing.

Utility knives size in between chefs knife and paring knife which makes it efficient for more precise slicing, trimming & filleting of medium fruits – vegetable – meats & food products. They are usually between 4 – 7 inches in size.

These are smaller size knives with thinner & sharper blades. It’s used for delicate peeling, chopping & slicing. They are used for more smaller size & precise cutting. Used to cut Garlic cloves – smaller onions – shallots – peeling seeds etc. They come in sizes small as 2.5 inches to big as 4 inches.

The bread knives have serrated blades which cut through crispy crusts and surfaces of a bread. Especially designed and shaped to slice and cut through baked products & breads. They are also used to cut poultry and meat products with comfort due to its serrated blades.

Boning Knife as the name suggests is used to separate meat from bones. The shape and thin structure of the knife helps slice separate the meat from the bones with less waste of meat. The boning knife comes in different shapes and sizes to select based on types of meat you are cutting.

Large meat choppers – you can never miss this one – must have seen this hanging at your local butchers shop. These knives are used to cut through thick boned meat or larger food products like pumpkins etc. with a chop motion. They help to chop bigger – huger meat into smaller pieces for other smaller knives.

If you are a seafood fan and love to eat fresh salmon or fish food, this is a must have. These knives are long and shaped to cut through a full size big fish. If you are preparing a recipe from an uncut – unskinned bid fish, this knife comes in handy, to fillet – and to remove its skin.

Although, there are more types of knives based on its usage- we believe the above list we mention above are the most widely used and basic styles that we need to know to make a good decision.

3. Weight & Holder of a Knife

Weight and the holder shape of a knife is important. A heavy knife can be attractive but can put a lot of strain on your wrist. Using a knife with a proper holder size that fits your hand can make your day in the kitchen less tiring and stressful.

Metals like ceramic are light weighted whereas need more careful handling – metals like stainless steel are all-rounder but require sharpening. Different manufacturers have different handle shapes & sizes. Some manufacturers make the knife handle more attractive but might focus less on holding comfort.

Stamped-knife is when the metal knife does not run through the whole knife shape and just a small metal extrudes from the blade on to which the handle is fixed.

A Forged Knife is when a knife is manufactured or made with its metal continuously running through the shape of the knife – and the knife handle is added on top of the metal. Forged knives are more sturdy and strong, but they can be more expensive than a similar size stamped knife. I would suggest always go with a forged knife if you are flexible on budget.

4. How Much Care is Needed

A well-maintained and cared for knife stays for a long time. When choosing a knife you also need to consider the time required to maintain the knife. If you don’t mind spending some extra time to dry a knife after every use and store it separately in a dry location, iron – Damascus or carbon steel knife is always good since it’s long lasting and great to sustain its sharpness.

If you are someone who wants a knife for quick cut – wash & put away – a stainless steel knife is better, but it might lose its sharpness sooner and require sharpening more often.

Quick Tip : Washing your knife in a dishwasher also can damage your knife blades and sharpness.


If you are a first time knife buyer – I would suggest going with a chef’s knife stainless steel which needs less care – more apt for beginners.  If you are a professional chef and require a knife for a long run – look into damascus steel or carbon steel knives – that are more long lasting with special care needed.

A chef’s knife is great for any basic cutting and recipe prep tasks – therefore a chef’s knife should be your first knife at home. The second purchase could be more specific and niched down based on your requirement and numerous factors. It could be a paring knife, a utility knife, knife to slice bread or baked products etc.

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