There is a reason why the best kitchen knives, are referred to as “Chef Knives”. Professional chefs are multitasker, and thus a good chef knife is specifically made to handle numerous jobs. Since the best chef knife will be an investment that is used daily for all your cooking days, it is imperative that you choose the right one. The right knife should feel almost like an extension of your forearm. The best chef knife can’t just be defined by a single set of feature: it is all about the hand feel.
If you are a first time buyer, choosing the best kitchen knife might be a bit difficult. It might also be challenging to you if you are not well experienced in buying knives. Most knives look alike, while their features and properties are totally different. You might be convinced that a knife is ideal, only to realize later that it is not. Of course, it will be too late to return to the buyer for a replacement. Here are a few valuable tips on how to choose the best chef knife. But If you want to furthermore understand which is the best one for you, take a look at the Best Chef Knife for Beginners to Professional users.
Tip 1: Go for a Comfortable Handle
The handle is an essential part of your knife. It is important that you choose a knife whose handle is strong and durable. Make sure that the handle has a shape that comfortably fits into your arms. This will ensure that the knife feels comfortable to hold. This will make it easy for you to use your knife for both light and heavy cutting tasks.
The material your handle is made from is also an important aspect to take into account. A good handle should be made of a material that is neither too heavy nor too light. A lightweight handle will be ideal for back and forth cutting action while a very heavy handle might make straight up and down cutting difficult.
Some chef knives handles are made from wood, especially Pakkawood. Wooden handles are not slippery, assuring you of a firm and secure grip. They can also be carved easily to fit into your palms, ensuring that the knife feels comfortable to use.
Other kitchen knives have their handles made from hard plastic materials such as polypropylene and nylon that are waterproof. These types of handles are non-porous to water and food particles. This ensures that such particles do not get their way into the handle, which would otherwise lead to destruction of its constituents.
Other than wooden and plastic, there are also stainless steel handles. These handles are strong, long lasting and resistant to rusting. They are also easy to clean. However, they are very slippery and too heavy for light cutting tasks.
Tip 2: Check How the Blade is affixed to the Handle
It is highly advisable that you choose knife whose blade is perfectly and tightly attached to the handle. Choose a knife whose blade tightly articulates in to the handle, leaving no gap. This will ensure that cleaning detergents and food particles that might have stuck to the blade do not penetrate into the handle. This would otherwise destroy its constituents.
More importantly, consider choosing a full tanged knife. The blade should extend all through the length of the handle. This helps to make sure that the blade stays intact regardless of how intense your cutting actions are. In addition, a full tang ensures that the blade is firmly held by the handle rivets, which further consequently results in a firm, long lasting knife.
Tip 3: Check the Knife’s Bolster
Make sure that the kitchen knife that you choose can withstand all types of cutting actions regardless of whether they are light or heavy. These cutting actions include straight up and down, back and forth as well as rocking motions. To be assured that a knife can bear all actions, choose one whose bolster (the part connecting the blade and handle) is not too light nor too heavy. A heavy bolster will not allow or rocking actions.
An ideal bolster should be medium weighted. Its weight added to that of the blade makes cutting and slicing better. Moreover, a perfect bolster should protect your knuckles, ensuring that they don’t get chuffed as you glide your food over a cutting board.
Tip 4: Make Sure that Your Knife is Well Balanced
Though the comfort of using a knife is primarily determined by its weight, its balance also matters a lot. In fact, its comfort is determined by the two. As you choose a kitchen knife, make sure that its weight is well distributed throughout its length. The knife should perfectly balance on your middle finger. This will assure you that its weight does not fall more on the handle or on the blade. As a result, your knife will be comfortable and easy to use.
Tip 5: Consider the Knife’s Blade
Check to be sure that the knife is made from a strong, durable and versatile material that can withstand all types of cutting and slicing actions. Chef knives can be from a wide range of steel materials including tempered steel that is very tough, high carbon steel that is a light weight and cold steel that is long lasting.
Additionally, there different types of blades, such as: serrated edge blades that have teeth cutting surfaces, flat edged blades that are ideal for sling meat and vegetables, and hollow edged blades that are made with indentations.
Tip 6 : Easy to Use
It is possible to buy a kitchen knife, only to realize later that it does not serve your intended purpose. To avoid such an incident, choose the right knife. For example, if your intended purpose is fileting, do not go for a chef’s knife since it will not be easy to use for that purpose. In that case, you should consider a boning or fileting knife.
Tip 7: Ease of Maintenance
Go for a knife that does not require too much maintenance practices. In that case, choose a knife whose cutting edge is likely to have high capabilities of retaining its sharpness. This means that you will not have to sharpen the knife now and then.