From a home kitchen to the high-end restaurants of the world, everyone who cooks needs a proper knife set in order to properly prepare any food. A bad set of knives doesn't just make food preparation more tedious, it also makes it more dangerous because working with dull, low-quality knives leaves you at a higher risk to cut yourself. Here are some important factors to consider when looking into buying a full kitchen knife set:

Ergonomics Of A Knife

a chef's knife on a board

One of the most important features of a good knife is how it feels in the hand --even a high-quality knife can be difficult to use if it doesn't fit your hand correctly. Choose a knife that has a comfortable grip and feels light when held. Your knife should feel like an extension of your arm, so find a knife that finds the right balance between handle and blade. This will make chopping one fluid motion rather and not leave you trying to haphazardly hack away at food. It's also worth noting that not all knives are ambidextrous -- some blades tend to curve a certain angle depending on if the knife is designed for right-hand or left-hand use. Always check if a knife or knife set is designed for a certain hand.

Knife Quality

a chef knife

Cheap knives will save you a quick dime but cost you a lot of hassle in the kitchen, as they deteriorate quickly compared to established brands such as Wusthof. Reputable knife manufacturers will use stronger materials that stand up to daily wear and tear. You should never feel like you have to use a lot of force or pressure when cutting into vegetables such as onions and tomatoes when using a new knife. It's worth investing more money into knife sets that are rated high in quality because they require less maintenance and provide a longer lifespan for an overall better cooking experience.

Individual Knives

a kitchen knife set

When looking at a knife set, it's important to grab one that has the essential knives. Look for a set that has chef's knife, utility knife, paring knife, serrated bread knife and a steak knife. This allows you to tackle many aspects of cooking with the proper knife. A good chef's knife is especially important because it is the most versatile style of knife in the kitchen. Chef's knives can be used for all sorts of chopping, slicing, mincing and dicing.

If you have the extra cash, investing in a larger knife set that has a Santoku knife, boning knife, a cleaver and shears will open up an even larger world into cooking, allowing you to make any dish completely from scratch.

Forged Vs. Stamped

an array of knives on a board

Every knife is either forged or stamped, which impacts the quality and the pricing. A forged knife is created from a single piece of steel that is then flattened and shaped. Forged knives are stronger, tend to last longer, and are easier to sharpen.

Stamped knives are mass produced. They are made from a large piece of steel that a machine stamps out into the knife blade, with a handle added later. They aren't as strong as forged blades, but they can do the trick and are much more affordable.

Aesthetics And Care

knife cutting into steak

Knife sets can come in a variety of styles. They can be stainless steel, wooden or come with many different colored handles. They can be stored in wood or glass blocks, or be kept organized with a magnetic knife holder. You can easily find a set of knives that fits your kitchen's design.

Knives require a great deal of care to keep them sharp and prolong their lifespan. Hand washing kitchen knives is recommended because the power of a dishwasher can chip and dull the knives. It's also recommended to get a honing steel and a whetstone to keep the knives sharp and healthy.

Price

Cost can range anywhere from $15 to more than $300 depending on quality and selection of knives. It's recommended to get a knife set with just the essentials before jumping into the more intricate sets.

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