When designing a modern kitchen, the right knife set is an essential component. Homeowners can use them for various tasks such as chopping vegetables, ingredients, and other uses.
Choosing the best knife set that offers comfortability and functioning while using them is vital with different types and sets of knives available in the market. There are many things you'll need to consider when purchasing a knife set. These factors help you to get an appropriate knife suiting all your kitchen needs. This article outlines a comprehensive kitchen knife buying guide.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Knife Set
When purchasing your kitchen knife set, there are a lot of factors you need to consider when selecting the best knife set for your knife set. These factors will be essential for choosing a knife that offers the best comfortability, functionality, and other features that make it easy to use in the kitchen.
Importantly, when choosing a knife set, the vendor should allow you to try or test the knife set on either available tomato pieces or vegetables to check if it's functionally sound. Below are important things to consider when purchasing a knife set.
Manufacturers make knives from different materials. It's important to understand these materials, including their pros and cons, when seeking to understand the right on how to buy a knife set. Knowing these materials helps you choose the appropriate knife sets and those that suit your needs. The common materials of knives include:
● Stainless steel
It's a common and most popular material manufacturer used in making kitchen knife sets. It's very easy to sharpen and has anti-rusting properties.
● Carbon steel
Carbon steel is a traditional material most artisans use to make knives due to its ability to produce high-quality and durable products. These knives come with the best functionality and durability features. They make a good addition to your cutlery set, and you can use them for various purposes.
Despite being one of the best materials for manufacturing cutlery, carbon steel knives are prone to rust; thus, they need proper maintenance and care when using them.
● Damascus steel
Manufacturers use a pure carbon steel core and stainless steel for producing them. When choosing a knife set, these offer attractive and aesthetically sound pieces due to the materials and the blacksmiths' handmade mechanism and artworks they use to make them.
However, when purchasing, you need to pay a lot as most of them are very expensive. When choosing them, it's also important to note that there are counterfeit products (manufacturers produce coated knives resembling the Damascus steel knives).
When looking for the best knives suiting your low budget, ceramic offers the proper alternative. The knives come at a lower cost, have anti-rusting features, and you rarely need to sharpen them. However, it's important to note that they easily chip, and you'll have difficulty maintaining them.
In addition, they are hard; thus, you need to find a diamond sharpener when looking to sharpen them. Therefore, you'll need to incur an extra cost of sending them back to the supplier for sharpening.
Weight is an ideal factor when figuring out the best knife for your kitchen needs. The weight of your kitchen cutlery determines the comfortability and the ease of using your knife.
When purchasing your knife set, it's essential to consider a piece that suits your personal preferences and kitchen needs. Most experts advise that you need to choose a set with some weight to make it easy and comfortable to use while having your kitchen duties. Based on the weight, it's essential to choose a knife that's neither heavy nor light. A heavy or light knife may negatively impact your wrist and how you're using it in the kitchen.
It's imperative to consider the comfort of using the knife set when using it. It'll be good to choose a knife that comes with rubberized handles to provide extra grip or have specific features to fit in your hands.
In addition, some knives come with smooth bolsters, which provide a resting point for the forefinger while using them. Avoid knives with sharp or angular edges on the handles, as they may cause unnecessary pressure points on your arms.
The balance between the blade and handle should be a priority when choosing your set. It's essential to consider choosing a knife that offers the proper weight balance between the two parts.
To ensure the knife has the balance when selecting it, lay it across your fore and middle finger immediately where the knife's blade meets the handle.
After laying it, check if the knife tips either way. If it tips on the way, then it means the blade or handle may be heavy, thus making it ineffective in administering the kitchen duties. Using a knife with a heavy blade makes it very hard to cut anything you'd wish to cut. Either way, a heavy blade makes the knife very uncomfortable while using it for your kitchen duties.
While purchasing your knife, the tang is an essential feature you'll need to consider. Tang refers to the unsharpened or unexposed blade's part extending down the knife's handle. When choosing a knife set, it'll be imperative to consider the following three types of tang.
I. Rat-tail tang
It's when the knife's blade narrows down when going through its handles. Commonly, experts weld these knives at the base.
When purchasing these knives, you should understand that they become loose after a longer duration of using them, making them wobbly. A wobbly knife is generally unsafe to use, as you may injure yourself while using them.
The knife usually has a blade with a solid metal running down the handle's full length when having a full-tang. Manufacturers may make the tang visible or fasten them with rivets to enhance their durability. When choosing a proper knife that offers a better balance and comes with the best design for all your kitchen needs, it'll be good to go for these knives.
In addition, when using the knife, you don't need to worry about the handle becoming loosely attached to the blade as they have a solid piece running through the handle.
Knives with half-tangs have their blades extending up to half of the handle. It's important to understand that you don't need to apply too much force when using these knives as you may risk snapping the knife. Snapping occurs mainly because only a weak glue binds the handle and knife together; thus, excessive force weakens the glue.
6. Handle types
Considering the proper handle type will be essential to get the right knife. There are numerous handle types you can choose from when selecting the appropriate set of knives. Below are the common handles types:
● Wooden handles
These are handles that manufacturers make from wood. When buying them, it's imperative to understand that you'll need to oil them with a specific handle oil. Technology has allowed most manufacturers to add a light and clear plastic coating to protect them and enhance their durability.
● Plastic handles
The plastic handles on the knives offer a smooth and dirt-trapping property due to the grooves on them. They are the appropriate options if you're seeking slightly textured knives and offer a secure grip while working on your different cutting operations in the kitchen. It's important to note that you need to keep them from heat sources to prevent the plastic handles from melting.
The left-handed knives offer the best option for left-handed users and right-handed due to their double bevel. The double bevel offers the proper balance when using them despite how you handle them, as they offer both sharpness and angular properties.
However, when choosing them, it's essential to consider the sharpness of both sides as some of them, like the bread knife, are sharp on only the right side.
Different Types of Knives
When determining the proper way on how to choose a knife set, it'll be good to consider understanding all the types of knives available in the market. There are very many types available you can choose from parmesan, oyster, to salmon knives. Let's look at the main types of knives:
I. Chef's knife
It's a multi-purpose piece that users can have for multiple tasks. They offer the best options when cutting the hard potatoes, meats, or root vegetables as they are thicker towards the heel.
II. Santoku knife
It's a general knife originating from Japan, and users can use it for multiple kitchen tasks. These knives have thinner blades and become very effective when mincing, chopping, and dicing food in your kitchen.
III. Paring knife
Paring knives are small and have an elegant appearance. They're an excellent choice for fiddly tasks in the kitchen, such as coring, finely slicing, and peeling.
IV. Utility knife
If you're looking for a smaller version of the chief's knife, it's the best option for your tasks. It performs the same functions as the chief's knives when the chef's knife seems too large. It's the ideal choice for slicing small vegetables and carving pieces of chicken breast.
V. Carving knife
It's the best choice of knife you can have for slicing meat pieces or poultry. A carving knife provides a better option to prevent tearing, hacking, and shredding of the flesh.
VI. Bread knife
Bread knife comes with unique features that make it the right choice for cutting your bread into smaller pieces. They've got a sharp and serrated edge, which makes them easy to cut through rusks and crusts. These knives also offer the best option for cutting pineapples or fruits that have fibrous skins.
Proper Caring For Your Knives
After understanding how to buy a knife set, it'll be imperative to understand how to take good care of them. Proper care of the cutlery ensures they offer the best functionality and last for long. The best care for your knife set involves sharpening, cleaning, and storing them properly. Let's look at how you can take care of your knife set.
It's good to consider cleaning your knives properly to improve their services and make them last longer. Experts warn against cleaning knives in dishwashers as it's not safe. The appropriate cleaning procedure for your knife set is washing them in soapy and hot water. After which, dry them correctly using a tea towel instead of leaving them to dry on air. Using a clean towel to dry prevents ugly marks that appear when the utensil dries on air.
It'll be good to sharpen your knife to ensure a safe and well-working piece. Having a blunt knife may force you into applying more force while cutting products in the kitchen, thus increasing the likelihood of getting an injury as it may slip off. Below are the appropriate methods you can choose for sharpening your knife.
• Using a manual sharpener
Manual sharpening of your knife involves using a manual sharpener, which comes with two circular V-shaped steel, which rotates to sharpen your knife.
The manual sharpeners offer the better option as you can easily sharpen your cutlery. In addition, it offers the cheapest option, and it's easy to store.
While sharpening the knife, you'll need to pull it through the steel about five times. However, this method won't produce a finer knife like the other methods.
• Using an electric sharpener
Similar to the manual sharpener, they have v-shaped circular steels, which come with varying coarseness. When sharpening your knife, this sharpener buffs the blade using rotating steels. While buffing the blades, it's important to drag your knife lightly through the steel for effective sharpening.
Unlike the manual option, the electric sharpeners offer little control when sharpening, and they are very expensive to purchase. Nonetheless, it offers the easiest and quickest method of sharpening your cutlery.
• Using whetstones of sharpening stones
Most experienced chefs use this sharpening mechanism by adding stones to the cutlery set for sharpening their knives. Generally, sharpening stones are costly and can cost up to $ 500 per stone. When using this method, you get a finer and sharper knife and reduce the need to sharpen your cutlery. Whetstones are usually small and rectangular, approximately 20cm * 8 cm in size. Additionally, they come with different levels of coarseness, ranging from extra coarse to ultra-fine.
However, before using this sharpening method, you have to take some time and learn the basics of drawing the knife across this stone at the right angle. Experts recommend that a 20 degrees angle is an appropriate one for sharpening most types of knives. Below is the best procedure for sharpening your knives using sharpening stones.
- Firstly, soak your knife in water to keep them wet while sharpening.
- Start sharpening with the coarsest stone by drawing the blade across the stone's full length, preferably from the heel of the knife's tip.
- To achieve a finer knife, consider repeating this process while interchanging the stones. It's necessary to choose the decreasing stones while interchanging them.
• Honing steel
The honing steel comes with some special features to help maintain a sharp knife's edge. Most chefs use this steel to straighten the edge of the knife. You can achieve this by running the knife along the steel's either side, and the steel moves the knife edges into the center.
After the proper alignment of the blade, your knife becomes sharper. It's a method for making the knife sharper and straightening the blades or edges.
Proper Ways of Storing Your Knives
Proper storage of your knives is crucial as it helps prevent the risk of causing accidents and reduces the possibility of damaging them. It'd be better if you considered choosing proper storage for your knives. Let's look at the most effective and secure way of storing your knives.
1. Using knife blocks
Knife blocks are the best alternative for storing most of the cutleries, including knives. Some knife brands come with their knife blocks, or you can purchase some from retailers or vendors. This equipment makes it easy to store your knives even when you've small storage space.
However, they are very hard to clean and may cause dulling of the blades when pulling the knife out of the blocks. When purchasing them, consider choosing horizontal slots to prevent the knives from sitting on the blades.
2. Using magnetic strips
Magnetic strips are long and horizontal stripes that designers can attach to the wall above the countertops to provide an effective way of storing your knives. The magnetic strips hold most cutleries secure on the wall and prevent the knives from getting blunt.
3. Using sheaths
Sheaths offer the cheapest knives storage option for most homeowners. You can choose a sheath of your desired design and size to store your knives in the cutlery drawer.
How to Test your Knife Sets
You can test your knife sets using a wide range of foods in your kitchen. When using the different foods, it's good to choose blades suiting these foods to get the relevant results from the test. While testing, you can include the following methods; using a bread knife to slice crusty loaves, carving chicken breasts using a carving knife, or using a chef's knife to cut root vegetables.
When testing knives sets, most companies use different independent panels comprising experts from various culinary backgrounds. In addition, you can run the knife set in multiple cycles to determine if they can with hard dishwashing. The main aim of checking if they can withstand a hard washing procedure is to get the proper response if it's safe to wash them in dishwashers.
Purchasing Knives Online
Most individuals currently prefer purchasing most of their kitchen households from the different online vendors due to the ease of purchasing and getting quality products. Nonetheless, buying the knife might have some challenges as you won't test the knife set before.
Importantly, when purchasing these cutleries from the different online vendors, it'll be good to choose the appropriate knife suiting your needs and size.
In addition, there are other requirements you need to consider when purchasing these goods online. For example, choose a reputable owner, and check their terms and conditions before buying from them. It'd help if you also considered age, as all the vendors require you to prove that you're above 18 years to get a chance of purchasing the knife set. When looking for a reliable online vendor for your knife, below are the popular suppliers with their set terms and conditions.
Amazon offers a wide variety of knife sets you can choose from. It's easy to buy your knife set from Amazon websites as they don't have age verification checks on their website. However, you'll have to produce your ID upon delivery of your product. The company requires you to produce updated ID details and photos. It's important to understand that the online supplier won't deliver all age-restricted items like knives to an amazon locker or neighbor for security purposes.
Imarku is generally growing and earning more status among the top online vendors for cutleries such as knives. Experts attribute the steady growth of this online vendor to the ability to provide the users with high-quality kitchen equipment, including knife sets and blocks for storing the knives. These products suit everyone, from beginners to experienced chefs.
A knife set is one of the essential utensils in your kitchen. Therefore, it'll be essential to consider taking time to choose the right and reliable set to enhance the durability and functionality of your cutlery. There are numerous aspects you need to consider when seeking to understand how to choose a knife set.
The material, types, maintenance, proper storage, and cleaning are the core things you need to consider when choosing the right knife to suit your needs and preferences. Lastly, if you choose to purchase your set online, checking a reliable vendor and looking at their terms and conditions is key to getting high-quality products.