When assembling the tools for your kitchen, you'll no doubt be looking at grabbing a knife set. Of course, when browsing through the options for knives, you'll notice large gaps in prices. This raises the question: is there a difference between cheap knives and the expensive ones? We've got the answer for you right here -- read on!
To the untrained eye, there are no jarring differences between cheap and expensive knives when you first buy them; both styles of knives cut well, seem to hold comfortably, and all-in-all do the trick for you in the kitchen. The main differences between the two generally seem to be longevity, and how easy and comfortable the knives are to use. Differences include:
Quality of steel is generally much higher for expensive knives, making for a stronger blade that can be sharpened easily, as well as lasting a significantly longer time. The stronger, sharper blade also makes them better for cutting especially tough foods. The strength of a blade depends on the quality of steel used in making the knife. Common steels used for making blades include:
Stainless steel tends to cost a little more, but the quality is top notch, with the blades lasting a long time due to stainless steel eroding at a much slower pace.
The handles are mostly similar, although expensive knives can have slightly higher quality material, making them a more comforting use.
The weight and overall comfort are noticeably higher with expensive knives for seasoned cooks. Expensive knives tend to be fine-tuned in terms of weight and structure to make them as perfect for a fit for one's hand as possible.
Before buying any knife, it's important to inspect these important qualities in a good knife:
You want the blade to be as sharp as possible, as, contrary to popular belief, it's much more dangerous to work with a dull knife than a sharp one. You'll also want to get a honing steel or whetstone to keep the blades sharp.
A knife should hold comfortably in your hands and should feel like an extension of your hand. You don't want to feel like you need to put any effort to lift or use the knife while cutting, and you want a comfortable handle so as it does not wear down your hand.
Blade height is also very important. A knife that has a short blade won't be able to work certain foods effectively, and you'll have your knuckles banging against the cutting board, which is mildly painful. Find a set of knives with varying blade heights so that you have the perfect tool for each job.
While ideally, you want to have a good selection of top-quality knives, you don't actually need to. If you're still a novice cook or don't see yourself doing arduous tasks such as removing bones from fish or hacking up entire legs of pork, buying a few select knives rather than an expensive set is the way to go.
If you're looking to buy some knives, the must-haves in any kitchen include:
Rather than burning through all your money to buy a whole set, start by finding decent quality versions of these knives, as well as a honing steel to keep them sharp for a long time. Be sure to do some research on the specific knives you're looking to buy and find the right ones to fit your kitchen!