You have probably already heard that you should always go into the store to try several chef knives out before you purchase one. But maybe it’s last minute and you’re planning a holiday feast and you just can’t do it another year with a cheap-o chef knife, or maybe you live too far away from a kitchen knife store to justify the drive, or maybe you just don’t want to deal with an annoying sales person. It’s OK, I understand.
So if you’re going to buy a chef knife online, here are a few tips!
Look at the picture of the knife and check out the handle. Do you think it looks ergonomic, like it would feel comfortable in your hands? Watch out for harsh corners, these can be very painful, causing calluses and even breaking the skin. If you can’t really tell whether or not it will hurt and you do happen to get a chef knife with corners that are just plain uncomfortable, you can sand these down later. Simply cover the knife blade in some cardboard or a thick cloth, lock it blade-wise into a vice and sand down those corners. It may not look very pretty anymore but at least it won’t go cut for cut on your hands!
Now it’s time to check the stats. Try to find out the weight of the knife. How much do you want it to weigh? That’s a personal preference. Small hands don’t always love a light knife, but arthritis fingers typically do. So if you have a few kitchen knives already, or even some heavier steak knives, hold them in your hands, even cut up some cucumbers or mushrooms and see what weight you think you might like to use . A heavier knife usually weighs just under a pound and a lightweight knife is usually around half a pound. If you can’t find the weight of the knife anywhere, here’s a general rule of thumb – German knives are typically heavier and Japanese knives are typically lighter.
Check out steel quality. Now, this one is tricky, because the steel a chef knife is made out of is important, but most companies won’t tell you what it is. Want the easiest answer to steel quality? If it’s a well-known brand and the price seems fair (not some sort of amazing bargain) then it’s most likely made with decent steel. If you want to get into things a little more, know that steel types are many, and it is an involved process, so I’m just going to sum it up for you as best as I can. You would like to obtain additional information with regards best professional chef knives to kindly pay a visit to our website.
That being said, be wary of reviewers. Here’s the deal with personal reviews – you don’t know their knife experience, you don’t know if they were properly maintaining the knife or if they were chopping on ceramic cutting boards. So just keep that in mind. For the best info, look for reviews that are made after several months or even years of owning the knife. Chances are that these reviewers will have a better idea of the overall knife quality. Here’s a classic example – the Forschner Victorinox 8″ chef knife. This knife is really a good knife, easily beating all others in its price category. Check the quickly made reviews and you’ll hear only great things about it. Anyone who has put that knife through a lot of use, though, will be able to tell you that it doesn’t hold an edge very well (because the price discount was made by using an inferior steel). So look for reviews that have time on their side.
Length. Well the simple answer is that the longer the knife the larger the things you’ll be able to cut in one slice. Good chef knives will be balanced no matter the length, so in general longer knives are also heavier. Try to get one at least 5″ long, though, or you’d have been better off buying a paring knife.
If you’re really unsure about which knife to purchase, either check the return policy of the store or just don’t spend too much money. Consider a knife you buy online to be like a pair of shoes you buy online. When your shoes arrive you try them on. If you hate them, you send them back before you take them on a hike. Hold your knife in hand, maybe even slice a potato or two, but don’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner with it before you send it back.
No matter what, don’t fret too much over it. Chances are that even if you tried it in store you wouldn’t have it completely right the first time and you may want to purchase a new one in a few years anyway. So if you can’t return it, just keep it around to use when your favorite knife is dirty, or send it to a professional sharpener to see if they can fix it up – a good sharpener can alter the edge geometry and even lighten the knife slightly, possibly making it the best knife you’ll ever have!