In addition to the difference in the knife’s design (chef’s knife, bread knife, fillet knife, vegetable knife, etc.), there are many differences between knives. There are different types of steel, grinding, handles, and models.
You can often manage with two types of knives: a chef’s knife of about 20 centimeters a flexible knife to cut, fillet, and peel. You can invest in a toothed bread knife if you want to expand it.
One of the most appreciated knife models is a chef’s knife of the model santoku. It is a Japanese chef’s knife with a high blade and a semicircular tip. It is best to choose a type that has about 20 centimeters long leaves, making it versatile.
There is often a difference between Western and Japanese styles regarding knives (some, however, are a combination of both). It is then about blade thickness, height, design, grinding, and much more.
In general, it can be said that a leaf in the Western style has a slightly wider and thicker leaf than those in the Japanese style. Western leaves often have a grinding angle of 20–25 °, Japanese 12–15 °. The hardness of the blade is another part that separates knives.
European knives are often slightly softer, Japanese harder. Regarding the blade’s hardness, it is usually said that a good chef’s knife should have a hardness between 54 and 64 HRC (Rockwell. The higher, the harder).
As a rule, a harder blade costs more and is sharper with a narrower blade. A softer blade (54-56HRC) is a little more durable but does not stay sharp for as long; it requires more maintenance.
Why Spend Money on a Good Knife?
We and many others recommend putting in a few hundred, or a thousand, to get a good knife if you have the opportunity. There are many reasons for this, not least for sustainability reasons. It takes a lot of energy to make a knife, and you save both the economy and the environment by buying a good knife and maintaining it properly.
An expensive, high-quality knife can last a lifetime and give a lot of joy and better results. Cheap knives can be good for a while but will not last as long and require sharpening often to maintain sharpness.
In addition, they are often not balanced and are more difficult to cut with. An expensive knife will almost always give a finer result, be comfortable to use, last a long time and be a well-worth investment.
Care for the Knife Properly
A high-quality knife that is handled correctly can last a lifetime. But how do you handle a knife properly? Below we have compiled the best tips from experts.
Store the knives correctly so as not to damage them or yourself. It is best to store on a magnetic strip on the wall, in a knife block, or a separate knife box with adapted storage. Before storage, it is important to wash the knife immediately after use and dry it thoroughly.
A mild steel knife loses sharpness faster than one made of hard steel and therefore feels good to sharpen with a whetstone/grindstone before each use. Sharpening a blade with a strong steel edge is necessary from time to time, but it holds its sharpness for longer.
To make it short: Sharpen the knives with whetstone often and let them be ground regularly, depending on the hardness of the steel.
Or rather, do not cut in / on the wrong material. Preferably use a wooden cutting board (plastic can work well). Avoid glass, porcelain, stone and other hard materials that damage the knife. Also, do not cut into materials that can make the knife dull (such as aluminum, hard plastic, frozen items, etc.).