So, you want to know how to use a Japanese water stone to sharpen a knife? Decades ago, I developed an interest in sharpening knives after I saw my dad sharpening one of his chisel tools. Then, I started sharpening knives with oilstones. I didn’t really know what I was doing in the beginning because no one taught me about sharpening and the internet did not exist for me to look up how to do it. Eventually, I learned how through trial and error until I developed a knife sharpening business for myself. The business quickly became a success and I was making money sharpening knives with water stones, which was something I always loved to do.
When I started learning about knife sharpening, I didn’t really know which sharpening products to use because there were so many of them. So, what I did was I bought all the sharpening products I could find. I figured that with all those sharpening tools, I would have very sharp knives. Oh, how wrong I was about that assumption. The truth is that the right sharpening products are all you need to sharpen knives. Quality is better than quantity.
Before you bother using the sharpening tools, you must first gain an understanding of the sharpening job that you’re trying to accomplish. What will it take to sharpen the knife? Think about what you’re planning to use to sharpen the knife, whether it’s the Japanese Water stones or another tool. What you should not use are those electric grinding sharpeners and devices where you must pull the knife through the sharpener. They are certainly the easier for a novice to use and operate, but they are not the best for sharpening the knife. Once you understand about sharpening, you will understand why this is the case.
The metal area at the edge of your kitchen knife is called the cutting edge. Once this area turns dull, the edge sort of rolls over onto the blade’s opposite side or both sides. You can expect this to happen with any knife, no matter what kind of metal it is made of. It doesn’t matter what you’re cutting either. However, the quality of the metal can help determine when the cutting edge will become dull. A knife with a high-quality steel, for example, can last longer before it becomes dull. At least, this is the common theory about good quality knives versus poor quality knives.
The Fujiwara is a high-quality knife brand that I own in addition to some medium quality knives. When using medium quality knives which have okay steel quality, the normal theory would suggest these knives would dull out faster if used regularly in the kitchen. But the thing is I tend to use my Fujiwara knife to cut food in the kitchen just as much, if not more, than my medium quality knives. So, despite the awesome cutting edge and steel quality of the Fujiwara, it still ends up dulling a lot sooner than I would like because of this excessive use. This proves that all knives will dull after using them a lot, no matter how great the quality of the knives is. Now you have an excuse to sharpen them regularly.
When you sharpen a knife, the dullness of the metal is removed and the strong steel that lies underneath gets to come out. Basically, the metal of the edge which rolled over to one side is now balanced once again in the middle with the other side. This is what gives it the sharpness that you so desire. The water stone is abrasive enough to fix this dull metal in a completely natural way. It will be as easy as using the eraser on your pencil.
You might feel a little nervous about sharpening knives at first because it is new to you. But once you get going with it, you will see the rewards that you’ll get from sharpening your knife. Then, you’ll want to do it again and again with other knives that you own.
Now you need to think about all the supplies that you will need for sharpening your knives. Remember you don’t need a lot of supplies, just the right supplies. Personally, I recommend getting Naniwa Chosera Japanese water stones. The three best ones are the 5000-grit, 1000-grit and the 400-grit. This is the combination that I like to use but you don’t have to start with all three. Since your budget is probably limited, just choose the smaller 400-grit water stone to begin with. Use it to learn the sharpening process and get comfortable with it. Eventually, you’ll want to get the 1000-grit water stone for the finish.
Next, you will need a holder to hold down the water stone as you’re using it to sharpen your knife. You can purchase a stone holder for just $20 at most stores. Of course, if your water stones already come with a base which holds it down, then you don’t need to purchase a separate holder. Therefore, it is a very cheap investment to get started with water stones. If the Naniwa Chosera Japanese water stones are not what you want, you can try another brand like King. They make great water stones too. The brand you choose is not really as important as the technique you develop for sharpening your knives with water stones. If you are able to be consistent with your technique, then you will be great at sharpening your knives with the stones. Of course, don’t go for stones which are too cheap either.
To sum up everything, the supplies you need include 1 Japanese brand water stone, a holder for the stone, micro fiber towels, and a towel. Also, you need a private setting where your sharpening will not disturb anyone else and you won’t be distracted. This means turning off your cell phone, television, and music devices. You should only be focused on the knife and your water stone to sharpen the knife.
It takes courage to sharpen a knife with an abrasive water stone so that the knife’s edge is modified. The metal on the cutting edge will disappear the more you keep doing this, which is what you want because that means it’s getting sharper.
You should at least have a knife that is 8 inches long to sharpen with. Don’t use some cheap $1 knife because its steel will likely be of terrible quality which will make it harder to sharpen. And if you want to ensure that you won’t scratch the blade during the sharpening process, take some painters tape and cover up the blade with it. Make sure you keep the edge of the knife exposed so you can still sharpen it.
All you want to concern yourself with is sharpening the edge of the knife. You don’t need to be perfect at this. As long as you can reduce the dullness on the edge, then you will have succeeded at sharpening. Try not to listen to these self-proclaimed gurus on YouTube who give you false notions of how to sharpen knives easily with little effort. Instead, just reduce the dullness and you’ll be all set.
Use your best hand and grab hold of the knife. Rest the index finger of that hand along the handle’s spine. Once you have a comfortable grip, tighten this grip to keep the knife steady and secure in your hand. It doesn’t have to be too tight but just enough so that it doesn’t move. Put on some comfortable shoes and then put a mat down on the area of the floor where you’ll want to stand for this. That way, the knife won’t get damaged if you accidentally drop it.
You can figure out the proper angle for the knife by looking at how much spine is below the water stone. On average, a chef’s knife would need a sharpening angle of about 20 degrees on each side of the blade. To calculate exactly how far away you should hold the knife from the stone, start from the heel and measure the height of the knife’s blade. Then, divide this height amount by 3 if you’re doing a 20-degree angle.
To create a visual guide for yourself, take a wine cork and cut it down to .5 inches. Put the wine cork toward the back of your water stone. To see the angle, put the knife’s spine down on the cork. This is the angle that you will need to maintain when sharpening the knife’s blade with the water stone. The hardest part of this will be holding the knife in place at this angle while the blade is being sharpened with the stone. Practice holding the knife at the angle with the cork underneath it. When you are finally ready to sharpen the knife, remove the cork and try it freehand. This might take some practice but it really does get easier as time goes on. The more you try, the more you’ll want to improve and succeed at knife sharpening. Of course, you don’t always need to have a 20-degree angle since it depends on the length of your blade. However, this is a good angle to begin with when you’re learning this process for the first time.
For those who still need more confidence at perfecting their “muscle memory,” try this strategy out. Take a Sharpie pen and mark the knife’s bevel and edge until they’re fully painted. Now, try using the skills you just learned and pick an angle to sharpen the knife so that you can remove the Sharpie markings from the bevel and edge. You might find this will need a 20-degree angle just like before. After you perform this task, do it repeatedly until you have gotten the markings off perfectly. Now turn over the knife and do the same thing with the opposite side of the blade. Keep practicing at this angle until it becomes second nature to hold your knife there.
As you continue to sharpen your knife and perfect your angling, take some time to periodically stop what you’re doing and observe the results of your work. Use a lot of lighting to observe the blade and edge carefully. Are the bevels even? If not, keep trying until you learn how to grind them evenly. Don’t expect this to be easy because it is not. That is why it takes practice.
When you’re sharpening, try to imagine the bevel and edge in your mind. Imagine them being sharpened the right way and achieving the goal you have for sharpening them. Don’t just imagine one side of the blade, though. You’ll want both sides to be matched in their sharpness and evenness. What I like to do is begin on the right side, starting with the tip. Then I continue downward until I get to the heel. After that, I turn the knife over and start at the heel this time around and then work my way up to the tip.
This advice should help you get started properly. These tips are what helped me get started, although you may find a different path to take for getting started that works best for you. It is all a matter of trial and error.
While you’re sharpening one side of the knife, you need to raise the burr on the other side. This process will either be fast or slow depending on the stone grit you have and the type of steel that your blade is made from. The best thing you can do is learn to have patience here. If you do not create the burr during the sharpening process, then you have not successfully completed it. The creation of the burr will mean that you have successfully sharpened your knife. If there is no burr, then you may have to change your sharpening strategy and try again. If you have a Loupe then it can be very helpful in this situation. A Loupe is a magnifying device that you can purchase cheaply. It usually comes with a light so you can see the magnification perfectly. Use this to study the edge of your knife and see if the burr is forming. If it isn’t, then you are not doing a good enough job of reaching the knife’s edge.
A lot of people may feel compelled to quickly reach the edge by raising the angel. Try to avoid doing this. Instead, just mark up the bevel and edge again and then give it another go. Before the burr forms, you can flip over the knife to the opposite side and work on that. Run your thumb down the length of the blade very gently until you get to the edge. You’ll want to feel for the burr to see if it has been formed. It will be easy to feel if it has formed as you will want the burr to form along the whole blade. If you were able to achieve this, then you’re farther along in your sharpening education than most people. Now just accomplish this task on the opposite side of the blade.
Please remember that you must form the burr to be successful at sharpening the knife. If you have a dull knife and you’re trying to sharpen it with a stone of 1000 grits, it may take a while to succeed. If you find yourself grinding the same side for longer than 4 minutes, turn over the knife and start grinding the other side. Keep feeling with your thumb for the burr on the other side of the knife. This happens because the dull metal that you’re sharpening is being pushed along the length of the blade until it reaches the edge. Then, the burr will form.
You now know the burr must be created at the knife’s tip. There is one simple trick that you can do to make this happen quickly. When you’re sharpening along the blade and getting within one inch of the tip, lift the elbow of the arm that you’re using to sharpen with. Keep raising the elbow until it is aligned parallel with the ground. This motion will slightly raise the angle that you are sharpening with and help make the burr form on the tip a lot faster.
You don’t normally hear about pressure when listening to advice about sharpening. The truth is that using the right pressure during the sharpening process is very important. Personally, I like to use 3 levels of pressure for when I sharpen knives. We can judge these 3 levels based on a scale of 5 total levels. The lightest level would be 1 and the heaviest level will be 5.
When you begin to sharpen your knife, use a level 4 pressure by pushing away a little bit with your fingertips. Use at least 2 fingertips but go up to 3 fingertips if needed. These fingertips need to be rested very close to the edge of the blade (on the exact opposite side of where you’re sharpening the blade). You should be applying this pressure while you are pushing away at the knife with your fingertips and maintaining a trailing motion over the wet stone. If done correctly, black residue should come out into the water which lies on the surface. You don’t need to do anything about this black residue because this is normal. Just keep on sharpening the blade from the heel all the way toward the tip while keeping the pressure on the edge with your fingertips. The pressure should be applied the most while the knife is being pushed away from you and as you’re pulling it closer to you.
Try to imagine in your mind the sharpening process that you are trying to achieve here. Picture the steel moving along the length of the knife until it reaches the edge and forms the burr. Be sure to look at the work you’re doing to make sure it is going the way you want it to. Use some microfiber towels as cleaning rags if need be.
While you’re applying pressure to the edge and going in a particular direction, you will want to ease up on the pressure when you start to move back in the opposite direction. Therefore, use your fingertips to put pressure on the knife as you push it from the beginning of the stone to the end. Then, let up on the pressure as you move your way back. Some people like to take the knife completely off and away from the stone, although this is not recommended because it will destabilize your angle. You need to get used to repetitiveness with your sharpening which is why you want to always maintain the same angle.
Usually, the process of sharpening the blade of a dull knife should take around 15 minutes when you know what you’re doing. About half this time will be strictly for creating the burr. Watch your fingertips carefully as you move the knife because you don’t want them dragging across the stone accidentally.
Hopefully, both sides of the knife have the burr formed. If so, then you have proven yourself to be patient and skillful in this process of sharpening a knife. Next, you just have to worry about refining it. This will be a lot more fun.
Using your 1000-grit stone, you are now going to apply level 2 pressure rather than level 4 pressure like you did before. Level 2 is a lighter amount of pressure that will merely let the stone do everything for you. All you must worry about is steadying the knife and guiding it through the process. You can use all the same techniques that you learned before, including the same 20-degree angle. The only difference is that you are applying less pressure this time. The pressure should be so light that a burr would never form from it. Instead, you are just adding refinement to the bevel and edge by getting rid of any scratches that may have been created during the original sharpening. The refinement is what will get the knife really sharp and quickly too. You do this by getting rid of the burr and cleaning the blade all the way up to the edge. Since some of the fatigued metal tends to hang around here, the level 2 pressure you apply will wipe it clean. You shouldn’t have to spend more than a few minutes to accomplish this. Remember to imagine yourself removing the burr as you apply light pressure to the blade with your fingertips.
Once you’ve applied light pressure to both sides of the knife and removed the fatigued metal, you are now on the last step. Now you will be using level 1 pressure, which is the lightest pressure that can be applied. This should be light enough to where you can still control the knife but that’s about it. Check your stone and make sure it is still wet. Now, do the same process as you learned before but while maintaining the level 1 pressure. Keep reaching toward the edge of the knife on each side with just a couple of sweeps.
To finish it off, trail the strokes with level 1 pressure by lifting the knife’s blade from the stone as you’re done pushing the knife away from your direction. Now pull back with the knife and do the same thing 5 more times; start with one side and then do the other side after that. If done correctly, the burr will be removed and the edge of your knife’s blade will be sharp. Try testing out the sharpness of your knife by cutting something like a piece of paper or an entire newspaper.
Note: You don’t have to count the strokes for a perfect grind on each side of the knife. The sharpening process needs to be natural as you conduct your motions. If you automate your motions, you are bound to do something wrong. Rather than grinding a side for some predetermined length of time, analyze the work you are doing by looking at it. This will help you figure out when you’ve done enough strokes.
Let’s summarize each step of the sharpening process.
1) Gather all the supplies needed for sharpening your knife.
2) Only use supplies that are needed to do the job. You don’t have to overspend and purchase too many supplies. Just focus on the success of doing the job properly.
3) Check for the best deals on sharpening supplies. Also, make sure you have a sharpie pen.
4) Go over in your mind about the process that you are about to perform. Gain a clear understanding of the process and be ready to perform it. That way, you won’t be stressed when the time comes to do the job.
5) Choose the right angle for the knife you are sharpening. Train yourself to hold the knife at that angle so it becomes second nature to you.
6) Learn how to minimize and maximize the pressure of the knife using your fingertips. Learn how to maintain a particular amount of pressure too.
7) Create a burr on each side of the knife.
8) Take off the burr during the refinement process.
9) Take a newspaper and try cutting it with the blade of your knife as a test.
10) Repeat this whole process numerous times so you can keep getting better at it.
Knife making in Japanese culture dates back to the fifth century AD, according to historians. Many attribute locations such as Sakai as one of the premier locations for sword and knife making. The tradition of tool making passes through this arena through the samurai sword making process and is alive and well today. The artisan quality of the knives made for samurai’s died out for many areas, but there are still traditional knife makers that work in the centuries old tradition. Breaking down a full history of this history is not an easy thing to do. A brief introduction can give you an idea as to how complex this can be, and how incredible the products are that come from shops such as those made near Osaka and in other cities.
First and foremost, consider the city of Sakai as the center point of blade craft. Going back to the 14th century, this is where the capital city of sword making was. It is here that the government allowed specific swords to be made using only Japanese steel. This is the steel of legends. You may have seen lore, and traditional literature and movies that focus on the name of Yoshihiro. That name and bloodline is one of the master sword creators that lives on in history. To this day, there is a unifying bloodline that dates back to this craftsman, isolating the city of Sakai and Japanese blade craft.
Changes made to the government, and ruling classes through the years, made for a loss of many of the techniques that were used to create samurai swords. However, there were some that continued to make smaller blades, including cutlery for chefs and home cooks. Those techniques that were aligned with the Yoshihiro name, and style, are what traditional Japanese cutlery makers are crafting today.
The reason why this is a specific style, is mainly due to the weight of the steel utilized. The steel used in a chef’s knife that is made in this traditional method, is heavy, strong, and razor sharp. The hardness of the steel mixed with sharpening by hand, makes the blade absolutely sharp, and does not lose this for quite some time. Sakai has gone from the center point of the Japanese blade making tradition, to an iconic reference point in discussing Japanese knife crafting.
When you look for cutlery that is made from the traditional methods, you’re going to have to seek out companies that still work with this. There are few that do. The actual process of making knives of this type is very specific, and only a smith that is experienced in hammering and heating the steel can do this properly. The blade is crafted through high heat, and is usually attached to a piece of hard wood. Many use magnolia wood, specifically. Ferrite and steel are heated to 1300 degree Celsius in order to make this properly, and it cannot be done at any other point. There are some manufacturers that have tested less heat, different steel composites, and more, but the bonding elements do not work well. Only when done in the traditional Sakai City swords methodology do the bonds work.
The sharpening done to the blades are done by hand. The hammering process and angle of the sharpening needs to be done in a very precise manner to take effect. Without the focus on this, the blades do not have the quality that comes from traditional knife making. It’s also important to remember that Japanese knives do not have double edge cutting. They are angled, and only one side has the edge for cutting.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot to explore in regards to traditional Japanese knives, cutting, and design. However, the above touches on the finer points, in a brief manner to get you started in searching for this very specific, and unique style of cutlery.
When you are looking for good cutlery, specifically knives, you will no doubt have a lot of choices. Chefs and home cooks alike will agree that the power of a knife is found within their sharpness, handle, and ease of use. It’s for that reason why many people look for Japanese kitchen knives more than any others. The Japanese style of knife comes in 3 major forms, and the blades are one sided. The sharp side is traditionally on one side, with layered steel that is absolutely strong.
The best Japanese kitchen knives in the world have been hand sharpened, and are as powerful as you can possibly get for professional and home cooking needs. Whether you choose a small solution or an 8-inch option, you’ll find that the steel used is very strong. Most often, the techniques used to make Japanese specific knife options come directly from the sword makers that created weapons and tools for the samurai class of the past. If you’re in the market for a good knife in the Japanese tradition, consider the following list of the best 5 options that are going to help you gain precision cuts, and easy movements in your kitchen. If you are not check out our latest kitchen knives guide for other types and options.
The Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is unassuming. It has a simple handle, and a chef’s knife overall professional style. The handle is laminated Pakka Wood, and the blade has been made of Damascus steel. The company has also added a rust resistant coating, so that you don’t have to worry about this going dull or getting rusty over time. When you pick up this knife, you will feel that it’s quite good, simple to use, showcases the high quality layered steel that comes with Japanese craftsmanship.
All in all, there are 32 layers on this knife. That’s correct, there are 32 layers of stainless steel that make up this knife, and the edge is sharpened to match the precision cutting that you would expect from a professional solution. Chopping, slicing, and creating works of culinary art is made simple with this option as it is just between the larger 10-inch model and longer than the 6-inch model. The Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is a cut above, giving you precision cuts, without having to push or press down too hard on anything. This solution is dishwasher safe, and has been reviewed favorably by hundreds of home chefs. It’s a very good starting point if you’ve never experienced Japanese kitchen knives.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The Shun Premier Chef’s Knife is an 8-inch knife that has a lot of promise. It also comes in a 6-inch solution, but we will focus on the 8-inch solution here. This knife is made in the precision style that you’d expect from Japanese blade makers. The steel has been layered with a striking element. Steel has been truck hard, and layered by hand. The hand finish is part of the traditional “Tsuchime” blade making craft, and it shows. When you look at the blade, close up, you are going to see where the hammering process has created small design notes. The hand hammered finish creates an easy cutting element, and allows you to go from cutting, or chopping vegetables to meat, and more. It’s meant to last you a lifetime, and Sun has provided a limited lifetime warranty on the knife, so you know you’re getting precision. This one of my favorite Japanese kitchen knives on the list.
The handle is pakkawood, light, and secure. It has been designed to fit in the palm of the human hand, ergonomically thought out, and light overall. Chopping and dicing is made easy, and you could even filet a fish with precision focus. The Shun Premier Chef’s Knife has been well reviewed, and remains one of the premier solutions from the company.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 in (Western style Mahogany Handle) is another stellar example. This is slightly longer than the 8 inch knives mentioned above. However, the design and style is completely different. This chef’s knife is a premier solution that has been created with stylized stainless steel. The core is graded V-10, and the sharpness is HRC 60, with an edge that is absolutely razor sharp. That alone makes this one of the most elegant knives that you can purchase. There are 16 layers of hammered steel across the top, and finished with a hand sharpened blade edge.As far as the best Japanese chef knives in the world go, this one takes the prize.
The handle has been made of Mahogany, and crafted to be easy to hold in your hands. It’s pre-sharpened, so when you receive it, you will be able to pick it up and start working. The only caveat that some home cooks see, is that you will have to hand wash this option, and make sure that you do not sharpen it with anything but whetstones. If you take care of this option, you’ll have a razor sharp, lifetime, cooking tool made in the traditional Japanese steel design quality.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The Shun Classic 7-Piece Block Set with Bamboo Block is for the home cook that wants to have at least 7 knives. This is a set that is going to absolutely stun, as it comes with several features. Before you look at purchasing this option, consider the fact that it comes with a lifetime warranty. That means that if you do invest in this set, you will be able to have the peace of mind that the company has you covered in case of issues. With that in mind, you will receive several knives. You are going to receive an 11 slot block that features an 8-inch knife, a 9-inch bread knife, a 3 ½ inch paring knife, steel meant for sharpening these knives, shears, and block to allow for other knife elements.
The blades here are made of stainless steel, with a focus of 16 layers of stainless steel. The hand layering gives you an interesting look and feel. The blade is simple, and easy to work with alongside the PakkaWood handle and D-shape. The Damascus steel look and feel also gives you a visually aesthetic that is on par with traditional Japanese knife crafting. If nothing else, remember that this set gives you multiple tools, a lifetime warranty, and absolutely sharp blades. This the best set on our Japanese kitchen knives list.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
This one of the last best Japanese kitchen knives on our list but should not be underestimated. The Kershaw Pure Komachi 2 Hollow Ground Santoku Knife, 6.5-Inch in black is not to be missed. This may be the last on this list, but it’s not the least in terms of quality. This is a bestselling knife that is priced to move. When comparing the rest of the list, you will see that the cost profile is quite a bit. The reason being is that they are handmade, sharpened, and not necessarily mass produced. This solution from Kershaw is made with a very fascinating appeal, and feature list in contrast to what you’ve already seen. First off, it’s a 6.5-inch knife, and is made of stainless steel. The edge has been sharpened, and there’s a non-stick bright resin added to the blade. The handle is comfort formed so that you can easily chop, cut, and work with just about anything in the kitchen.
There’s a hollow ground edge that has been created to help with allowing you to have smooth slicing, reduce friction and avoid rust over time. Santoku has done very well in creating a stylish knife that is a utility player amidst your cutlery. This may not be the same “traditional” option as you’d see above, but the best Japanese chef knife that is getting a lot of praise. Reviewers denote how sharp the edge is, and how it performs in the kitchen. It’s easy to use, and cuts easily, simple as that.Expensive but definitely the best Japanese kitchen knife around.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
There is a Japanese-style knife commonly known as the nakiri knife, or the nakiri bocho knife, which does a superb job of chopping and cutting vegetables. The knife has tips that are squared off and a blade with a straight edge which gives it the ability to cut right through your vegetables without needing to pull or push your knife. It is also very easy to control the knife because it is lightweight and thin too.
We know there are a lot of different knives on the market which claim they’re good at cutting through vegetables. You are probably wondering why you should believe the nakiri knife is any better. Well, here are some of the benefits of this knife before we talk about the best nakiri knife.
1) It is easy to make your slices even and thin. The flat blade of the nakiri knife can make your slices as thin as paper. This is great if you’re preparing a food dish that requires thin vegetable slices on top of it or to the side of it.
2) Chopping is a snap with this knife. You will never have to jiggle the blade around as you chop, unlike other knives. The edge of the nakiri knife is straight so when you chop, the blade will cut straight through the vegetables and touch the cutting board. You don’t have to put much pressure into the chopping either. Just instigate the chopping motion with the knife in your hand and then let it do the rest.
3) Another advantage of having a straight, flat edge is that it provides you with cuts that are even and clean. For example, chopping green onions and celery would normally form small threads which stick the pieces together. The nakiri knife will get rid of these threads so that nothing is stuck together and everything remains clean.
4) The nakiri knife has a blade length of between 5 inches and 7 inches. Either way, you should be able to chop most vegetable types with a blade this long.
5) Doesn't damage vegetables. If you are chopping up vegetables that are fragile and delicate, the nakiri knife will do a good cutting job without the vegetables getting damaged or squashed.
In Japan, the knife is called a nakiri bocho. You would find them in the kitchens of most Japanese households there. However, there is no reason why you can’t purchase the same knife for your kitchen no matter where you live.
You might think that a knife is a knife and that nothing is special about the nakiri knife. Well, before you jump to any conclusions, you should understand the features of a knife that would make it a high-quality knife.
Low Carbon Stainless Steel – If your blade is made of low carbon stainless steel, it will get dull and worn out much faster. This is because low carbon stainless steel blades are softer than high carbon and must be sharpened on a regular basis.
High Carbon Stainless Steel – If your blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel, it is a lot more durable and won’t need to be maintained so much. Your knife will also be easier to sharpen as well. This will result in a greater lifespan for your knife.
Therefore, you are going to want a nakiri knife with a blade that is made of high carbon stainless steel. This will ensure that it is a quality knife that will last you a long time.
Consumers are naturally concerned about the price of any product so a knife would be no exception. However, if you want a quality knife then you may have to pay more for it. A high carbon stainless steel knife is going to be more expensive than a low carbon stainless steel knife. Overall, you should plan on spending between $100 and $200 for your high carbon stainless steel knife. If it is really good quality, you may pay even more than $200.
As much as the quality of the blade is important, the handle quality is also important. After all, a knife isn’t going to do you much good if you’re not comfortable holding and using it. That is why you should look for knives with curves in their handles so that they will match up with the curves of your hand. This will help ensure that you have a firm grip on the handle and that it won’t slip while you’re using it.
When you chop vegetables, you probably notice how the food pieces like to stick to the blade. However, if you choose a knife with the right finish on the blade, this will not happen ever again.
There is a hammered finish on most nakiri knives which is known in Japan as “tsuchime.” Finishes that are hammered by hand will reduce the drag that you would normally get while cutting your food. This will result in your food not sticking so much. If there is a Granton edge on the blade then a similar thing can be done. With a finish like this, air pockets form during the chopping process which allows food to fall off the blade rather than get stuck.
All these things are worth considering when you’re looking to purchase a nakiri knife. You may also want to pay attention to the length of the blade as well, although the minimum length is 5 inches on a nakiri knife so there shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to chopping vegetables.
Santoku Knives vs. Nakiri Knives
When it comes to Japanese knives, more consumers are familiar with santoku knives than nakiri knives. They are both very similar types of Japanese knives since they’re both found in most Japanese kitchens. However, the santoku knife has three different uses for it; dicing, slicing and mincing. In fact, the name “santoku” means “three uses” because of this. Even though the santoku knife and the nakiri knife are both lightweight, their blades are shaped differently.
The nakiri knife has a straight blade which provides clean cuts that are even when you chop up food. The santoku knife has a curved blade that lets you rock it while chopping food. The santoku knife is not only good for chopping vegetables, you can also cut up meats that are cooked as well.
The santoku knife is known for its versatility in the kitchen because it has a pointed edge and blade that is curved. These features allow the knife to handle more types of cutting tasks. The blade of the nakiri knife is totally flat so it is more suitable for making thin slices out of your foods.
Are you searching around for the best nakiri knife? Below are two of the best nakiri knives around that you should consider using.
If you’re familiar with famous knife brands, Wusthof is a German knife brand that is known throughout the industry. Their nakiri knives are designed to be angled on each side while having a blade with a Granton edge.
The high carbon stainless steel of the nakiri knife makes it very durable and enhances its sharpness by 30% when compared to other Japanese knives.
The Granton edge of the nakiri blade forms air pockets to prevent food from sticking while you’re chopping it. The knife can be maneuvered easily and has a steady balance to it. The blade of the nakiri knife is 7 inches in length while the knife’s total length is 10 inches. It weighs approximately 0.56 lbs., which is light enough to feel comfortable while you’re holding it.
The Wusthof nakiri knife may be more expensive than your average Japanese knife, but it will last you a long time and it will do the cutting job just right. You can slice up any vegetables you want with ease and make paper thin slices that are even. This is our top choice for the best nakiri knife on the market.
Throughout the knife industry in Asia, Shun is a brand that is very famous for its knives. Their knives may cost more than Wusthof knives, but Shun knives are better at cutting vegetables.
This Shun nakiri knife has a 5.5-inch blade which is a little shorter than the 7-inch Wusthof blade. The Shun’s blade has multiple layers of Damascus steel with a hammered finish which lowers drag and prevents food from sticking to the knife’s blade as you’re chopping it.
Pakkawood is used to make the handle of the knife. The handle was designed ergonomically so that the curves of your hand are comfortable while holding it. That way, you don’t have to worry about slippage as the contour of the handle fits your hand perfectly. Finally, the knife is very sharp while being very lightweight.
So, if you don’t mind spending some extra money on a top of the line nakiri knife, then you can’t do better than the Shun TDM0742 Premier Nakiri Knife.
The Chinese cleavers are large knives that are more versatile than regular cleavers. If you are new to choosing cleavers, then finding the best quality Chinese cleaver could be difficult for you. However, the following guide will help you in finding the very best Chinese cleaver for any chef or cook in the kitchen.
The reason why Chinese cleavers have the word “Chinese” in front of their name is because the country of China is where they originated from. For centuries, these cleavers were used in China. Later on, Japanese chefs starting using these cleavers too, which then became known as “Chukabocho.”
Chinese cleavers are shaped a little bit differently than western cleavers. The Chinese cleaver’s blade is shaped rectangularly and has an extremely sharp edge with a 16° angle.
Chinese cleavers are unique because of their versatility. The designs of most kitchen knives allow them to do just one thing, whereas the design of Chinese cleavers let them be useful in multiple situations. They are good for slicing and chopping vegetables into thin pieces, deboning, and peeling. The blade has a flat surface that is perfect for crushing down garlic cloves. The blade’s spine can even pound meat if you want to do that.
Here are some of the top rated Chinese cleavers on the market.
7-Inch Yaxell Ran Cleaver
Yaxell is a company that is well known for their attractive and high quality kitchen knives. Their 7-inch Ran Cleaver series certainly fits this description. The blade of this cleaver has VG10 stainless steel material with each side of it having 34 layers filled with high carbon steel. There are not too many cleavers that look this good. Of course, the performance of the cleaver needs to be better than the looks, right? That is what really counts.
Well, the blade of the Ran Cleaver is very sharp. It is also corrosion resistant due to its 34 layers of carbon steel. Just don’t wash it in the dishwasher.
The handle of the Ran Cleaver is composed of Micarta, which is a durable composite that consists of various materials like glass fibers, paper, linen, and thermosetting plastic. It was fastened with two rivets.
If you are searching for a top-rated Chinese cleaver that is luxurious, then the 7-inch Yaxell Ran Cleaver is definitely the best choice for you.
Chefs all around the world are familiar with the Germany company known as Wusthof. They make a Chinese cleaver that is simply amazing and works well in the kitchen. The Wusthof Classic Chinese Chef’s Knife contains a 7-inch alloyed stainless-steel blade that is razor sharp and easy to cut with. However, the manufacturer of this knife does not recommend people use it to chop up bones or else it will likely damage the blade. It is great for chopping up other food, though.
The handle of this knife is triple riveted and running through it is a full tang. It truly resembles the classic Wusthof knife design.
A big advantage that the Wusthof Classic Chinese Chef’s Knife has over the previous Yaxell cleaver is its affordability. Not only that, but many people like the plain look of the Wusthof knife more than the layered steel look of the Yaxell cleaver.
The last of the expensive cleavers is the 67-Layer ZHEN Japanese Damascus VG-10. This knife has an 8-inch blade and has a full tang, just like the Yaxell cleaver. The core of the ZHEN cleaver is made of VG-10 stainless-steel. The sides of the cleaver have a beautiful pattern to them made from 33 layers of pure Damascus steel. This has an HRC rating of between 60 and 62. The only bad thing is this cleaver is designed for chopping meats, fruits, and vegetables only. This means you cannot use the cleaver to chop bones or else you’ll damage the blade.
The ZHEN cleaver’s handle is comprised of Pakkawood material, giving users a secure grip that reduces the chances of slippage.
The ZHEN cleaver has Japanese steel in it, despite it not actually being manufactured in Japan. It was really made in Taiwan.
If this cleaver’s 8-inch blade is longer than what you need, there are smaller versions of the ZHEN model available.
The previous 3 cleavers mentioned were pretty expensive. If you want a good kitchen knife for occasional cooking that is more affordable, then take a look at the 3 Chinese cleavers listed below.
The knife wholesale manufacturer Master Cutlery has an affordable cleaver on the market called the Top Chef. This cleaver only costs around $30 and it does a pretty good job in the kitchen. It has a 7-inch blade which is comprised of x30cr13 stainless steel that is ice tempered. Food won’t even stick to this blade either because of its hollow ground. When you receive the cleaver in the mail, you won’t have to sharpen it because it already comes very sharp. Although it has stainless-steel material, the cleaver should not be put in the dishwasher. On the upside, you can use this cleaver to chop bones, unlike other cleavers.
The handle of the Top Chef is comfortable to hold in your hand. The finish makes it anti-slippery too, which most people like. Overall, the Top Chef is very popular on Amazon because of its durability, sharpness, and affordability.
If $30 for the Top Chef is too much money, then try spending $12 on the WINCO Chinese Cleaver instead. On Amazon, this knife has gotten more than 100 reviews from customers and they are mostly positive reviews.
The WINCO Chinese Cleaver has a large 8.3-inch blade, which is big for a Chinese cleaver. The whole knife and blade are completely stainless steel. There are notches in its handle to prevent slippage and to provide users with a tightly secure grip that is comfortable.
The cleaver has a thin blade so you shouldn’t chop bones with it. It is better to chop deboned meat and vegetables.
This cleaver is supposedly safe for dishwasher user, according to the manufacturer. But it may be a good idea to hand wash it anyway.
This Japanese-made knife has a 7-inch blade comprised of stainless-steel material. One common complaint that some people make is that food sticks to the blade after they chop it. But since the knife is super cheap, this should not be a big issue. Just remember that this knife is not meant for lots of heavy-duty cutting or chopping, such as bone chopping. You would need a much thicker and more durable cleaver for that kind of chopping. However, the Sekiryu Chinese Kitchen Chopping Knife is very sharp and suitable for chopping vegetables and slicing meat.
This knife has a Japanese oak handle which allows you to securely grip it in your hand. Along with the affordable price, it’s also gotten lots of positive reviews on Amazon.
There are some things you should take into consideration when purchasing this knife.
Construction – Full tang knives are always recommended by me. This Chinese cleaver is one of the best full tang cleavers around. You want them to be “full” because partial tang knives tend to break in the area where the handle and blade meet. This could result in a serious injury if it happened with a cleaver.
Material – You can choose between high carbon steel and stainless steel. There may even be a mix of both steels. The bad thing about carbon steel is that it is not resistant to corrosion and it leaves a strange taste on the food that you prepare with it. That is why stainless steel is preferred amongst most chefs.
Length of Blade – The best cleavers should have a blade that is a minimum of 7-inches in length.
Thickness – There are different variations to the thickness of blades on a lot of the Chinese cleavers on the market. A cleaver with a thin blade is great for cutting vegetables. But if you want to chop bones, you need a blade that is thicker than 2 millimeters or else you will damage the edge. You must have a thick blade to chop bone and meat, preferably around 8 millimeters. If you go for a thickness in between those amounts, the blade may be okay as long as the bones you chop are not too thick.
Handle – The handle is really something of a personal preference for people. You can choose between molded plastic, steel, and wood. If you care about looks, then wood will be the best choice for your handle. Just make sure the cleaver won’t slip out of your hand.
Price – There are some prices for Chinese cleavers that will shock people. A Shun Chinese cleaver, for example, could cost over $200. But you don’t necessarily have to spend this much money to find a good Chinese cleaver. Most chefs understand that you can get a high-quality cleaver for as little as $50 and it will work just the same.
You now have the knowledge of how to pick a Chinese cleaver that is the best. Now pick one that is the best for you. If you need to chop bones then choose a cleaver with a thick blade. If you just need to chop vegetables, choose a cleaver with a thin blade. Consider this information carefully and you will surely make the right choice for yourself.
Since the company was founded in Solingen, Germany 200 years ago, Wusthof has earned the distinction of producing superior quality kitchen knives. They have been a trailblazer in global knives sales this past century. It is a global brand recognized everywhere in the world. Visit any kitchen & home supply store in the US, Europe and even the Far East and, more often than not, the Wusthof brand will be there. Wusthof has been the trusted brand in kitchen knives by professional chefs and home cooks alike – and with good reason.
Wusthof Knives are known to be premium quality. They attribute their success to the commitment in producing only well-made and high quality products. Wusthof has made it their policy to relentlessly pursue excellence in product design and manufacture.
When we speak of kitchen knives, there are only two choices to consider: forged or stamped.
A forged knife is made from steel. The process of shaping and sharpening a forged knife goes back centuries when the blacksmiths of old hammered and shaped, pounded and sharpened a solid mass of steel by melting it in fire using brute physical force. Some of the most durable and strongest knives that can last for years, if not centuries, are forged knives.
On the other hand, making a stamped knife is not as involved as forging. During the industrial revolution it became possible to ‘stamp out’ a knife from a sheet of steel using heavy industrial machinery. Although stamping is a faster process, production wise, it does not produce the same high quality knife as the forging method does.
Wusthof takes pride in producing only forged knives. This has been true since the company started two hundred years ago and will remain true for as long as the company is in business – at least that’s what they claim. When you purchase a Wusthof knife or knife set you are guaranteed that they will last for years. Their knives are so durable and strong that loyal clients have been able to hand down their Wusthof knives and knife set to the generations. Wusthof forged knives will not only stay sharp and strong longer, but with proper care, they are sure to last a lifetime.
The next time you look through the Wusthof catalogue, consider choosing Wusthof forged knives in your kitchen. They would make a great investment.
In the spirit of excellence, which Wusthof is known for, all their knives are forged from industry grade stainless steel called X50CrMoV15. This particular steel is composed of vanadium and molybdenum, elements that give the knives their incredible strength, resistance and durability from corrosion. The X50CrMoV15 stainless steel is hands-down the best material around for making forged knives that are guaranteed to be tough and rust resistant -- an extraordinary material that has yet to be surpassed today. To ensure superior product quality, Wusthof insists on working ONLY with the X50CrMoV15 stainless steel in the production of all their knives.
So how are Wusthof knives made? Each knife is forged from one single solid mass of steel. The handle and the blade is a solid piece. This means each knife is full-tang. It is one solid piece of steel spanning the heel to the tip of the knife.
Each Wusthof knife is forged by heat. It is heat treated until it achieves an RCH 58, the normal grade for all German made knives. RCH stands for Rockwell hardness a rating that indicates a material’s hardness. After the heat treatment, the knives are typically sharpened at a 14 degree angle on each side, which is the standard for sharpness. The sharpening process is what makes Wusthof knives a cut above the competition. The very reason it is the most sought after knife brand by many professional chefs and discerning cooks.
Most German style knives are sharpened at an angle of 22 degrees. Wusthof is the only German stainless steel knife company that offers 14 degree sharpened knives -- an innovation in knife making technology pioneered by Japanese knife makers. Because of this, Wusthof is able to produce blades capable of withstanding a lot of stress. Count on Wusthof knives to keep blade integrity under any condition. They aren’t likely to get chipped even in the most challenging kitchen situations. The Wusthof knife’s edge will remain sharp despite prolonged and continued use.
The sharpness of the Wusthof knife edge is comparable to legendary Japanese knives. In fact, despite not having the same high carbon content as the steel used in Japanese knives, Wusthof knives have been known to have close to equal sharpness. Unless you are planning on becoming a Samurai or a ninja, I’d say not a bad knife set to have in the kitchen for a professional chef or home cook. You will also be happy to know that unlike Japanese knives which are very high-maintenance, Wusthof knives require very little from you in terms of care.
If you still doubt the quality of a Wusthof knife, remember that each blade of steel went through an intense forging process of sharpening and strengthening. Something which cannot be said about most if not all other commercial knives sold in the market. At its core each Wusthof knife is a strong, durable, sharp and high quality forged knife. Style-wise, they will all differ but stripped of all the glitzy styling and trimming, it’s always good to know the Wusthof knife you are holding went through a centuries-old process of steel forging.
The downside is that, they are on the more expensive side, which is reasonable considering the workmanship and the material. Wusthof knives do require some sizable investment, what with years of knife making technology poured into every product, but they are worth every penny. It’s just that there are pricier models because of extra features or exceptional design. For example, a Blackwood-handle Ikon chef knife will cost $200 today. While a Wusthof classic chef knife will only set you back $130. In terms of blade quality the Wusthof Chef knife & a standard Ikon are on equal footing.
The difference between the two and the reason that the Ikon is more expensive is because of the Blackwood handle. That’s all. The extra $70 you will pay for any standard Ikon is not on account of blade superiority, just the additional incentive of a better looking handle. Count on it. Even though you will be paying less for The Classic, it’s guaranteed that it will perform as well and will last as long, if not longer, than the Ikon or any other high end chef’s knife in the market.
In this section of the article, I will focus on discussing Wusthof German style knives and follow it through with their Japanese style designs.
The basic premise for the review of the German style Wusthof knives is that they are all forged from steel. All the knives are full tang. They are tempered to an amazing Rockwell scale rating of 58 HRC. And all are sharpened to a 14 degree angle per side. So, let’s get started.
This is the original creation from Wusthof. The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife has a full bolster and classic polypropylene, triple-riveted handle. It is well-balanced and is not too heavy so it’s easy to handle. You will feel & look like a seasoned professional while holding it in your hand.
The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife is a great option for cooks who need to do some serious food prep work. Its wide blade can easily cut through larger fruits and vegetables that are usually hard to deal with (think butternut squash). Cubing large quantities of tenderloins? The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife will slice through the meat without being overcome by its thickness and density.
The Classic has a wide blade which is 1/4-inch wider than most regular blades. A regular chef’s knife is 1 3/4 inches. The Wusthof Classic Chef Knife is wider at 2 full inches. The downside is that it may not fit in the knife slots in the standard wood block which is a small price to pay for the extra chopping power that the Classic offers.
With a total of 70 types of knives in the set, the Classic Line is the largest collection of Wusthof knives in the catalogue. You will find everything there, from a bird’s beak paring knife, to a super slim salmon slicer, and three cheese knives. Plus, of course, the standard set of chef knives. Expect to find in this classic collection 8 inch, 9 inch, and 10 inch chef knives. Also, it won’t be a proper 70 knife strong collection if it did not have a 12 inch and 14 inch blade tucked in there as well. How about santokus and nakiris, you ask? The Wusthof Classic line has the full range.
If you like kitchen knives that match, you should absolutely get the Wusthof classic line. It is the most complete collection of Wusthof knives on offer. If you are starting a collection of knives, the Wusthof classic line is a good start.
A good counterpart to The Classic with its signature curvaceous, ergonomically designed handle is the Ikon Series. It is a set of three knives. All blades have the same design; the difference is in the color and material of the handles. They are the Classic Ikon, the Ikon Blackwood, and the Classic Ikon Creme.
Each of the three knives of this series offers a half bolster. The result is they all have a better sense of feel and balance than The Classic. You will find that sharpening them is way easier than other knives. Another great feature of the Ikon Series which makes it one of the most well-balanced knives you’ll ever handle is its second half bolster. It’s located in the tip of the knife where its steel core covers the butt.
Also, the handle is a triumph in design. It looks very graceful as it fits comfortably in your hand like a glove. This is the reason it is most chefs go-to Wusthof knife. What’s super fabulous about the Ikon Series is that they’re both gorgeous to look at and ultra-functional.
The Wusthof Ikon Chef Knife comes with an actual Grenadilla wooden handle. The wood used in the knife handle is referred to as African Blackwood, possibly the hardest wood in the entire world. Because of this, the knife is great to look at in an understated and subdued sort of way.
Texture wise, running the palm of your hand on the natural wood surface is sure to bring a smile to your face. Surprisingly enough, the blades are so much lighter and thinner compared to the Classic Ikon. That’s the only way to achieve a balanced knife with a handle as light as the Grenadilla wooden handle.
This knife is perfect for those who appreciate working with only the best tools in cooking. It’s a high end model that you would make a wonderful gift to anyone who’s passionate about cooking.
Wusthof offers a medium to small Ikon Chef Knife collection. It has a total of 20 knives which include a 6 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch chef, and a 5 inch, 6 ½ inch, 7 inch santoku.
Sur La Table, a leading global kitchenware brand, approached Wusthof to design the Epicure chef knife for them. This was in partnership with another respected brand in kitchenware – Epicurean, the makers of high quality cutting boards. Epicurean is the reason the knife is called Epicure. The name also alludes to its wood handle. It uses the same Richlite wood fiber present in all Epicurean cutting boards.
With the Epicure, Wusthof engineers re-imagined everything about knife design. Not only is the design of the handle new but the spine and blade are also. The spine has a subtle continuity to its arc. The blade has a steeper curve to its tip, and it has a full-sized bolster. The blade even has a ceramic coating. The purpose is to protect the blade by allowing it to slice smoothly into any food surface.
With its wider than usual blade, the Ikon offers more clearance for the knuckles. The handle offers tons of room for handling as well. Chefs and cooks with big hands will appreciate the Epicure. It will fit their hands to the tee. The Epicure is not as balanced as some knives though -- a minor downside for some, but a big issue for those who prefer a knife that’s more perfectly balanced.
However, the look and feel of the Epicure is just so sublime that these minor design flaws can be forgiven. The Wusthof Epicure Chef Knife Line is a small collection of 8 knives which includes a 6 inch, 8 inch, and 9 inch chef as well as a 7-inch santoku.
Placed side by side with the Wusthof Classic Chef knife, it’s difficult to tell the difference between the Wusthof Classic and the Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Chef knife. Only the discerning professional chef will be able to tell the difference. Designed in collaboration with the famous culinary school in France -- Le Cordon Bleu – this knife was tailor made to answer the specific demands of the professional chef.
It has a smaller bolster. In fact, smaller by half, than the Classic chef knife. This means it is 30% lighter and much easier to handle. If your work requires that you chop veggies and all sorts of ingredients all day long, you will definitely want a lighter blade as it can make the work less strenuous.
Not with the Le Cordon Bleu chef knife, you can chop, cut, dice, slice all day long and not be fatigued by the weight of the blade in your hand. A couple more design advantages of the Le Cordon Bleu chef knife is, because of its reduced bolster, sharpening the entire blade length is very much possible. Every professional chef will tell you how much easier the work is with a fully sharpened blade in the kitchen.
In addition to that, the Le Cordon Bleu chef knife has a thinner blade which results in better performance because of less resistance. With a stamp of approval from professional chefs at one of the world’s most prominent culinary institutes, the Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Chef knife collection is a great investment for all professional chefs and home cooks. It is a collection of 11 knives which includes a 6 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch chef, and a 7 inch santoku.
If budget is an issue and you really prefer working with a German designed knife then the Wusthof Gran Prix II chef knife collection should be your first consideration. Not as impressive to look at as the Classic and the Ikon with its synthetic plastic handle and bulging midriff bolster, the Grand Prix II still sports the same sharp and strong Wusthof forged blade designed to deliver great work for you in the kitchen. This may not be the preferred knife set for professional chefs but it is certainly better than the competition if you are a home cook looking for a good quality knife set. It is a medium collection of 30 knives. Expect a 6 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch, 10 inch chef, a cleaver, as well as two santokus without bolsters.
Not a fan of this one. The polished steel handle is so smooth, there is not one rivet on it, that you’d think it was designed to be a disaster waiting to happen in the kitchen. It looks as streamlined and modern as a Grand Prix II but with a handle that offers no grip traction at all. This culinary chef knife will slide right out of the hands of any chef or home cook with slippery fingers. Not a very safe prospect in any kitchen situation.
However, if you like untextured steel handles on your knives then the Wusthof Culinary chef knife collection is definitely an option. It is a medium to small collection of 20 knives with the standard 6 inch, 8 inch, 9 inch, 10 inch chef knives and of course a couple of santokus.
This knife is one of the most striking out there. Just taking a look at its photos on the web would give you an idea on how magnificent it looks – and it’s even better in real life. You wouldn’t be able to disagree with Wusthof’s description—that it is a knife with ergonomic lines that is center weighted at its bolster forming a perfect X. These lines link the blade handle in a very dynamic and intelligent way so much so that corners, edges, and straight lines seamlessly span the blade all the way to the handle and bolster.
That’s music to the ears of any self-respecting chef with an eye for working only with the best knives in his kitchen. The Xline chef knife collection has the industry’s most striking designs in the high-end, superior quality kitchen knife category. Even the Red Dot Design Awards agree. They gave the Xline chef knife the prestigious 2013 Red Dot design award.
Hands down the Xline Chef is gorgeous to look at. There is no argument there. In terms of handling though it is debatable. Some people have complained about the weight of the Xline chef, it is a bit heavier than most standards knives. Already professional sous chefs have turned their backs away from the Xline. They just cannot work with a knife that weighs as much as the Xline for hours on end in the kitchen. Fatigue will definitely set in. On the other hand, for people who put a premium on form instead of function the Xline is a hit.
When it comes to the Xline the decision is very much a personal one. Regardless of preference though, everyone agrees. The Xline knife collection is one of the finest sets of knives you will ever own if you do decide to make the investment and purchase it.
Be warned though, acquiring it can be a challenge. It is a bit rare and difficult to find in the US. If you would like to get your own set best to place an order directly to the Wusthof Company and have it delivered. Right now ordering online is the only way to get your hands on the Xline collection. You will find that it is a small collection of 8 knives inclusive of a 6 inch, 8 inch and a santoku.
A good bread knife should be able to cut into a bread roll without squashing or deforming it. With the lightest of touch, a good bread knife should be able to cut through bread while allowing it to keep its integrity. Many a frustrated sighs and grunts in the kitchen have been caused by bread knives that just don’t work. Haven’t we all been in that situation where a baguette gets flattened and sawed into smithereens by a piece of metal masquerading as a bread knife? Well, those days are over with the Wusthof Classic Double Serrated Bread knife.
This one is the real deal. It’s a true-blue bread knife that lives up to its name. Its double serrated edge delivers on its promise. Genius decision by Wusthof designers to combine large and small serrations on the knife edge to cut through bread like butter. No other bread knife in the market today can do what the Wusthof Classic Double-Serrated bread knife can – slice that bread roll like a proper bread knife should slice a roll of pastry. This bread knife is definitely a good buy for any kitchen.
It’s time to discuss the Wusthof line of Japanese design inspired knives. These days they have gained in popularity with people preferring their small-ish form. They are less hefty than their German style counterparts. Apparently that is a plus for many professional chefs and home cooks. Because they are smaller they turn out to be lighter than German style knives. For extended kitchen use, lighter knives will always be a cut above heavier knives.
Wusthof’s Japanese design chef knives are available in two sizes -- a 5 inch and a 7 inch. The 7 inch is the better option because it is closest to the standard 8 inch chef knife. It can definitely handle most -- if not all -- kitchen tasks. Many people agree the 5 inch is a bit small for a chef knife. Again, it is a matter of preference. If you are comfortable with a 5 inch knife then go ahead the 5 inch Japanese style chef knife may be for you.
Before we get into the details of the Japanese style knives on offer, let’s establish ground rules first. All the knives featured will have forged blades, and are full tang. All would have gone through the same intensive steel manufacturing process as do German style Wusthof knives. The Japanese knives will be thinner in form and during sharpening, a 10 degree angle on each side was used, instead of the usual 14.
We’ve featured this amazing design of a knife for years in our reviews. With the Wusthof Classic Ikon Santoku all you can do is be in awe. It’s nimble. It’s one of the sharpest knives around. And its wonderfully comfortable Ikon handle is uber sexy. It’s the absolute star of the kitchen. It can easily slice through anything – it’s handy for slicing that melon or chopping fresh basil. If you want a sleeker knife for your kitchen tasks, this is the go-to knife.
It comes in a Classic collection as well. Wusthof has paired it with a paring knife as an Asian two-knife set. With this Classic collection, you get the 7 inch santoku along and a 3 inch paring knife (straight-edge) – a pretty good deal.
If we want to nitpick on terms then we can say the chai dao is not Japanese – it is in fact Chinese. But then knives are measured by the way they perform and not how they are called. The point is the Classic Chai Dao is going to be one of the most efficient cutting knives you’ll ever work with.
It is common knowledge that Santokus and Asian style blades come in various forms shapes. Some santokus are pointier. Others are longer and a few are wider than others.
But what separates the Wusthof Classic Chai Dao blade from the rest is the smoothened and rounded shape of its cutting edge. This design enables you to move it and fro in a rocking motion when dicing ingredients without lifting the blade from the cutting board! For a professional sous chef, that translates to a lot of physical energy saved while preparing ingredients all day long in the kitchen. This particular santoku will make working in the kitchen less of a physical activity and more of a pleasant experience.
Similar to all santoku knives, count on the Wusthof Classic Chai Dao’s wide blade to allow you to scoop any ingredients up after you’ve sliced, cut and diced them. Only avid cooks and chefs will understand how important this feature is. To be able to scoop up cut up veggies, meat, fruits and herbs is very efficient use of time in the kitchen. The classic Chai Dao is able to do this because of its wider and taller frame, exactly 3/8” more than the standard santoku. Price wise it is a steal at $30 less than any of the competition on the shelf.
Although it is labeled a santoku, this knife is very similar to the chai dao. The Epicure santoku cutting edge is just straighter. Similarity wise, it can scoop as well as the chai dao.
Sur La Table dubbed the Epicure santoku as a favorite of up & coming chefs. According to those who have worked with the Epicure santoku, the knife comfortably rests in your palm as if it belonged there. Another plus is it’s just a very good looking and well-designed knife. Also, it does not have any of the heftiness of the Epicure chef knife.
But it is expensive. If you’re looking for a dependable cutting knife, so many more alternatives are out there that won’t cause a pinch on your wallet. But if price is not an issue and you prefer a kitchen knife that has great quality plus is also stylish & functional, then the Wusthof Epicure santoku is worth a look.
The Nakiri has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews from trusted sources which is a rare thing these days with so many opinionated kitchen knife aficionados out there. Because of this, the Wusthof Classic Nakiri is definitely one to consider.
Compared to the Classic Ikon santoku, the Nakiri’s blade is wider by 2 inches. The Classic Ikon is measured at 1 3/4” wide as all 8 inch knives. It is, however, a bit slimmer than the Chai Dao. What’s great about it is its size. Although wider than a standard chef’s knife, it’s not as big and clunky as traditional Chinese cleavers. With the Nakiri, chopping and scooping is a piece of cake. Also, its rounded tip makes it much safer to use.
It is so efficient and effective that many users consider it their go-to knife in the kitchen.
Choosing kitchen knife sets can be rather tricky because the truth is, you aren’t likely to get your dream collection just by buying a single set. Chances are, you’ll end up with at least 1 knife you don’t need that much. A prime example is the 6 inch utility knife. You don’t really want that because it just does not have any use in food prep. Still, vendors and manufacturers just keep on making them and adding them to kitchen knife sets.
Nonetheless, a knife set has its purpose. If you have a starter house, for example, getting a complete knife set answers the need for knives in the kitchen. And since you are acquiring them in bulk, time and energy is saved because you do not have to decide on which individual knives to get. Knife sets are also great gift ideas. Everyone needs a knife set.
In terms of maintenance and care, when purchasing a knife set make sure to purchase a knife block where you can set the knives in. If not a knife block then make sure your kitchen has a knife storage drawer or at the very least knife covers. Proper storage of knives ensures they are well maintained and are able to keep their sharp edge for longer periods of time.
When acquiring a knife set there are three possible collections to consider. First is the two piece chef and paring knife set. The second is the medium sized kitchen knife set. And third is the full sized kitchen knife set. The choice of knife set, of course, will depend on your budget and the knife quality standard you have set for yourself. You would be happy to know that Wusthof offers all three sets of knives both in the German and Japanese style. I recommend taking a good look at the Wusthof knife sets before making the investment.
When you have professional grade cutlery, you will want to sharpen your blades from time to time. You can do this from home, but that’s not going to help you. Instead, consider looking into professional knife sharpening services. There are a lot of solutions out there, and some of them will tell you that they are great, but the only way to tell if they are worth their salt is to test them. It’s with that in mind that the following reviews come into play. These are the top knife sharpening services that you can use, and several elements that can help you make a decision on getting the right knife for your home cooking needs.
The first thing that you will find about the following companies is that they have all been in the business for a long time. They are not new. They have been putting in a lot of work for a long time. When you think longevity, consider 1922 as a starting date for one of these companies. The age of a business tells you that they are doing something right.
You can walk into these places, or you could mail them in. It may seem weird to mail in your knives to get sharpened, but it’s one of the main ways that you’ll be able to get your knives amazing. These have been tested, reviewed, and proven to be trustworthy. They come with licensing, and guarantees that you will not be able to emulate by trying to sharpen things at home.
Taking a few elements into consideration, the following are the top knife sharpening services that you can use today. Whether you’re near or far, you can mail in your blades with relative ease.
Seattle Knife Sharpening is a trusted name in the Northwest for what they do. They sharpen blades to a fine point and make sure that you can cut paper into thin little strips. This has been proven by many a customer online, through video reviews and more. If you have been thinking about getting your knives sharpened, this Seattle based company is certainly going to give you quality overall.
The business is not a large corporation, and seems to be a small company. You can even talk to the owner if you’d like, or rather, email him if you need to be. If you go to their website, you will find that the owner speaks highly about the process, which some may feel is unorthodox. You’ll find personalized service, honest pricing, and much more here.
The knife sharpening service found with this company is a bit different than what most may be used to. The main goal of the service is to find a new angle on a blade. The blade is sharpened, and cut to an extremely sharp point. There’s a 7 step process to this, and everything is done with precision. Even with high end sharpening options, you will not get this level of personalized service.
The turnaround time that is normal for Seattle Knife Sharpening is somewhat long for some, but it’s worth it. You can easily pack and ship your knives and send them away fast. Then wait around 2 weeks and receive them with ease. That’s right, only 2 weeks and you will have absolutely amazing edges on your knives. The turnaround time is a bit long for some, but honestly, with the level of precision that goes into the sharpening, you will find that it’s an amazing option that is worth the time.
After you send your knives away, you will be given some notes as to how to keep your knives sharp with the right honing steel. This is a great company that allows you to have personal service, with a smile. Visit their website and you’ll see that it’s a small operation, with a high level of success.
D&R Sharpening Solutions is another small company that is well worth exploring. The company is founded and operated by Dave Martell. He’s recommended by many chefs as a provider of great sharpening services. He’s been working with sharpening for over a decade. The key thing to remember about this service is that you’ll be able to get Western-style knives and Japanese style knives alike. There are two different methodologies that is given to those that send knives to D&R Sharpening Solutions.
If you don’t have any Japanese knives, don’t worry. You can always have their Western style services done. This solution focuses on traditional angled sharpening. The angle of sharpening that this company provides is around 20 degrees. It’s effective, and one of the best options. This is found to be traditional, but it works, so that’s a good thing. The process is done with a wheel and sander. These two things are commonplace in a sharpening process.
When you send your knives to this company, you are going to get a good, strong blade back. The sharpening that you will receive will give you a nice bevel along the blades that you have, and you’ll find that you can immediately cut just about anything. Even something as difficult as cutting pieces of paper will be easy. Slicing paper is weird, but it is a good way to consider how sharp a paper. There is a drawback. The sharpening won’t be quite as focused as you will get from Seattle Sharpening, you will still get a strong, sharp, blade to utilize.
Even tired knives can get a helping hand. Some reviewers have tested out the service for dulling, nearly broken knives, and they were able to gain the upper hand. The sharpening is done with precision tools, and focus that is in the “traditional” format. That formatting is quite good overall. The company doesn’t just sharpen simple blades, and high end solutions. They also work with serrated solutions. Serrated knives aren’t always sharpened by services, as they produce a little more difficulty. However, this company will take your serrated options and sharpen them with ease, only it will cost you a little extra. When you receive your knives back, they will surprise you no doubt.
When it comes to D&R Sharpening Solutions, you’ll find that the payment, invoicing and sharpening process is simple to use. You can mail your knives to the company, and get them back faster than Seattle’s solution mentioned above. If you use PayPal, then you’ll get an automatic invoice. This is a great company to get help with your blades done.
One of the most compelling resource that you may find is that of JustKnives101. The reason why is because they are marketing heavy, and you’ll find them at the top of most Google searches for knife sharpening. They have a simple site to use, and it’s professionally designed. They are a family business that has been around a great deal. The copy on their site indicates how much attention to detail the company gives to the work that they are doing. This is evidenced with the reviews that many have about their service, and the what they do for people that need knife sharpening.
The company at JustKnives101 is quite big compared to others on this list. They have a good team of individuals that sharpen knives for people. Even though they have a team, you’ll find that the owner steps in to sharpen as well.
The process that the company uses is a bit traditional in nature. They utilize a belt sander that has been brought in from Germany. The German sander is unique in how it helps with blades. Blade sharpening at 20 degrees is what you will find here. It seems simple enough, but the quality is really what you’re going to be getting. The thing about this particular machine, is that it doesn’t overheat, and works easily with nearly all blades.
If you were to send JustKnives101 your blades, you would find that they don’t take long to return. In fact, some reviewers stated that they received their knives back within a week, if not sooner. That’s right, less than a week and you could have amazingly sharpened knives. When you receive your blades, they will be packed with extra security. The cardboard knife guards will impress you. The company prides themselves on quality craftsmanship overall. You’ll definitely feel that when you send away your knives to them.
This all seems great, right? You can easily send away your knives to someone and have them sharpened with ease. Not bad, not bad at all right? But here’s the thing. You’re going to have to pay for this. You’ll need to spend a bit of money to get this done. The price range varies on a variety of different elements. You will not be able to just get this done for free of course. With few exceptions, most companies will not help you without a significant charge.
Consider the cost on average is around 4 dollars per blade. That’s 1 to 4 inches long in terms of blade. Seattle, on the other hand, is only around 2 dollars a blade. The processing and shipping fees associated with these are around 10 dollars overall.
The major sharpening services above are going to be similar in price points. You’ll find that shipping is not usually too much. That’s where you will want to watch out for predatory companies. Some companies overcharge on shipping to gain a little more profit. It’s simply going to cost you a great deal of money.
If there is one option that is going to pay off more than others, then you will no doubt want to look for personalized approach. For instance, you’ll find that The Seattle option is the better option. That knife sharpening service is far more personalized, with a professional touch that pays off overall.
There are 2 reasons why you will want to go with professional sharpening services. Whether you want to go with one of the 3 options above, or a different one, the following remains true.
The above are in depth reviews. They are focused on the best services that were tested for this review. However, there are some that get a lot of attention and recommendations a great deal of the time. The following are 6 alternatives to the aforementioned, that may very well help you get the right sharpness on your blades.
The Epicurean Edge – A lot of people recommend this company, and even big time websites say that this is a good company to go with. The website they have is quite good, and designed to evoke a certain competency in knife sharpening.
Accurate Sharpening – This company uses a process called the “Edge Pro Sharpening System”. This is a solution that sharpens knives fast, and with relative ease. The company does so by hand, and doesn’t utilize the modern trappings of machinery that other companies work with. The claim to fame for this company is interesting, appearing in “The Wall Street Journal”. Sharpened by hand, usually means more individual attention.
Precision Knife Sharpening – Another great recommendation from “The Wall Street Journal”. The company’s website is professional in design, and sound. It’s been well reviewed by the newspaper, which is definitely a plus overall.
New Edge Sharpening – Peter Nolan is the mastermind behind this sharpening company. The owner sharpens every blade by hand. He utilizes Japanese Waterstones to get the sharpest blades possible. You’ll find that this method is not only grand, it’s going to absolutely change the way that you see blade sharpening. The Japanese waterstone solution focuses on traditional Japanese blade sharpening, so that’s something to keep in mind.
KySharp – This is one of the most recommended services, but reviews aren’t as plentiful as others on this short list.
Perfect Edge – This company prides themselves on sharpening, with relative ease to the consumer. You can send them your knives, they’ll sharpen and return them. It’s a simple service, and their site seems to point towards a focus on precision craftsmanship, and process.
You could sharpen your cutlery at home. Yes, you can do this with a variety of different solutions. However, if you want to ensure that your knives are at their tip top shape, you’ll want to send them away to a professional. The above companies have all been taken to task, and they appear to be the best in the business right now. They allow you to mail them your cutlery, and they will sharpen them by hand, with modern equipment, and in some cases the owners themselves get their hands dirty. You don’t have to live with dull, lackluster cutlery. Too often, people spend their time with knives that not only don’t work any longer, but cause problems with cooking. Think about smashing a tomato as you try to cut it. If your knives can’t cut a tomato without a lot of pressure, then your blades need help. Home options are ok from time to time, but they will not match the precision and focus that professionals can provide you.
Here’s the one thing that you may want to consider with your knives. Not everyone is going to be able to get their knives sharpened straightway. What you are going to find is that your blades may need work. You may even need a new blade in place. Of the companies mentioned above, only 3 of them tout fixing, outright. The following highlight some of the repair policies that were found when exploring the best companies to help with sharpening.
Seattle Knife – free straightening of blades with sharpening. Blades that are broken, or need complete repair will cost 6 dollars per blade. If there’s chips, or other issues, you may not be able to get help, but that’s something you’ll need to ask the company about.
D&R – the policy that these guys push out is simple, they don’t fix anything without a fee. That means that you’ll need to call them and discuss the issue, or simply wait for an invoice. You’ll find that they don’t work with every issue that your blade may have. However, they will fix minor issues, but the definition of minor is difficult to fully grasp, until you send them your knives and get a final answer.
JustKnives – this company will help you with minor issues. If you have a chip or a broken point, they’ll fix it at no extra cost. It’s something simple, and easy to do, which is great. However, if you’re going to need help with something serious, you’ll have to ask for a price point, as they may not offer what you need.
The biggest thing that you are going to need to remember about repairing knives is simple, ask. When you ask the company that you want to use, whether or not they fix knives, you’ll know. They may help you get broken tips, bends, and more cleared up and put back together properly. This is a great thing.
Here’s the thing about the services mentioned above, and knife sharpening in general, they are Western. What that means is that they focus on sharpening Western or German blades most often. They don’t always work with Japanese knives. The reason is because the edges on Japanese style blades are different than you may get with an American cutlery knife or any other Western option. That isn’t a bad thing it just means that you’ll need to understand that not all companies will work with Japanese options outright.
It’s for that reason that the following notes will help you make a decision in regards to getting a sharpening service that fits your needs.
Seattle Knife – the best thing to do with this company is to ask them if they’ll work with your Japanese style blade. They do Wester-styled Japanese fusion options, but may not work with others.
JustKnives101 – for those that have Global Shun, and Masahiro knives then you’ll find that this company can help you out. They are authorized by the manufacturer to sharpen their knives. That’s something quite grand if you have those knives, as you can trust that they will do a good job. Higher end options, and specific styles will cost you more here.
Japanese Knife Sharpening – this dot com is known for sharpening only Japanese blades. They will help you get the sharpest resolution possible. The company works with skilled sharpeners, and has been known for being one of the best in the industry when it comes to helping with traditional, high end blades that are from Japan.
Korin – “The Wall Street Journal” and other publications have touted this company to be one of the best in the industry. As far as Japanese sharpening is concerned, these guys go for the traditional more often than not.
Carter Cutlery – one of the masters of cutlery started this company and they’ve been going strong. They focus on traditional sharpening in the Yoshimoto Bladesmith style. Murray Carter, the founder, has been working with blades for decades, and the owner still sharpens everything. That’s personalized service, for sure.
Tosho Knife Arts – Canadian knife sharpening can be found with this company. They can help with sharpening, and more, and have been doing so for quite some time.
There you have it, enough information to get your knives sharpened. These reviews, and notes are from the best companies that that do this for you. You can mail knives, get them sharpened, and returned fast.
There are several different types of knives that you can purchase. You can buy domestic, but there’s a growing number of people looking for better knife quality. That’s why German kitchen knives are getting a bit more popular right now. German crafted steel blades are starting to get a lot of buzz because of their tactile strength, their efficiency in cutting, and their overall use for nearly every job in the kitchen.
The German knife tradition goes back a great deal. Many have already seen their precision cutting elements turn up on blades for shaving. In fact, some of the bestselling shavers today are made with blades and razors that are made in Germany. The steel that is used with their best knives is hand sharpened, and holds an edge in comparison to the Japanese tradition. If you’re looking to pick up a knife that is not going to go dull fast, then you will definitely want to consider how German craftsmanship matches up with other great knife builds such as Japan, Latin America, and others.
The following list will help you determine the best solution based on reviews, sales, and of course cutting quality. These are going to prove to be effective in nearly any cooking style you may be focused on.
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II 7-Piece Knife Set with Block is a good starting point for German knives. This is a set that provides you with some stellar points. You will receive a paring knife, a serrated utility knife, a hollow-edge santoku, and a chef’s knife alongside shears and a sharpener. With this package, you will receive a block of wood for storage and use. This may be priced high, but when you run down the features and how the blades work, you’ll be amazed.
The blades are ice-hardened. The manufacturer takes a solid piece of steel, then ice-hardens the blade, then breaks it down to one strong, forged and sharpened edge. The sharpening gives the steel ends high precision for slicing, dicing, and cutting chunks of meat. The handles are ergonomically designed, and the steel end caps let you have a little extra precision. These are weighted nicely, and help you go through a great number of cutting styles. The set comes pre-sharpened, and if you ever run into any dull elements, you can sharpen them fast with the sharpener that comes with this. You will also receive a lifetime warranty when you purchase this. One last note, to remember about the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star II 7-Piece Knife Set with Block, is that you shouldn’t put these in the dishwasher.
Another great set, with block mind you, is the Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Block. This solution comes with an 8-piece complete set, and it’s easy to see why it’s a serious contender for the best solution on the market. With this set, you will receive a chef’s knife, utility, bread, kitchen shears, sharpener, sandwich knives, and of course the wooden block. The blades themselves are composite. They are made of both steel and stainless alloy. What this means is that you will get a very sharp edge, and a coating that doesn’t rust. You will not have to worry about this solution rusting in time. Even if you get them wet, you will not see oxidation.
The handles are ergonomically designed, and are made for precision slicing, cuts, and even fileting meat. There’s a weighted element to them, and 3 rivets to secure the handle in place. That balance gives you a professional, weighty, knife to use for any meal that you’re trying to create. The reviews on this set are favorable, with many citing how sharp and easy to use the knives are. Throw in a lifetime warranty, and you have a solid set that is going to impress even the toughest home cook.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set has a visual design appeal up front. The tempered glass block is unique, and keeps your knives in full view. The blades are visible when in this block, and it looks as though they are hanging in air, on a line. The 6-piece set will provide you with some nice knives, and precision blades that will absolutely impress you. It starts with the handle, which is ergonomically designed. There’s a single rivet, with a santoprene element that is non-slip, and resistant to oxidation. Furthermore, it’s been treated to withstand high heat and extreme cold which is usually the norm for German kitchen knives.
The steel that is used to make this set is high carbon, no-stain, precision steel. It’s resistant to rust, discoloration, and will not dull fast. The construction has been given a great deal of attention so that you can use every element to cut through a tough steak as easily as you would cut a soft cheese. The edge has been tapered, and will help stabilize the cut that you’re going to push through. The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set is also NSF certified, and is tagged with a lifetime warranty as well. This is not just a sleek looking block set, it’s forged for precise cutting, slicing, and just about anything you can come up with.
Moving forward with another set, you’re going to want to take a look at the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 19-Piece Knife Set with Block. This is a 19-piece set. That’s correct, a 19 knife set that you will be getting. This is going to be the last cutlery set you should ever need. The blades are ice-hardened, and taken from a solid block of steel, then sharpened by hand. The hand-honed style is very sharp, and has been created with a little extra weight to give you a solid “look” as well as precise edge for fileting, cutting, chopping, and slicing with ease.
Not only are the blades strong, extremely sharp, and easy to use, but they are also dishwasher safe. The manufacturer recommends that you hand wash them, but you they resist oxidation, rust, and discoloration all the same. The handles are ergonomically designed with 3 rivets, to give you a simple feel. To top it all off, you will receive a sharpener, plenty of additional knives, and everything you need to break through even frozen meats. It’s imperative to remember that you are going to receive 19 pieces here. German kitchen knife craftsmanship is on display here, with many positive reviews, and stellar points.
The Equinox Professional Chef's Knife is the last knife on the list, and it is a single solution. It’s not the least, however, as this is made to replace a few of your knives with ease. This is a solid, German steel blade with a simple grip handle. The steel has been made absolutely sharp, and you can use it from the day you receive it. What’s impressive here is that it is lightweight. As light as a paring knife, and as strong as a cleaver, you will be impressed how durable and precise this knife is overall.
You’ll need to hand wash this one as the edge is very sharp. This knife comes in a simple box, and you’ll be able to reuse it if you’d like. The steel holds its sharp edge, and will provide you with everything you need in the kitchen. With hundreds of positive reviewers citing how sharp and easy to use the blade is, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. You’ll love the German precision paid to the sets above and this specific, bestselling chef’s knife.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com
No matter what knife you purchase, there is going to be a point where things go dull. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should throw away your knives when this happen. Instead, look at sharpening them from home. There’s several ways that you can do this, and there are some great sharpeners on the market right now. If you’re not sure how this works, it’s actually quite simple. We will be explaining it further throughout our best knife sharpener guide.
The way that knife sharpeners work is through careful movements of metal elements or even diamond tip elements that peel away small pieces of the knife blade. When struck in a certain fashion, the knife becomes sharper, as the rigid elements create a sharper edge. It’s something very critical overall. The easiest way to consider this notion is to look to the old adage, “iron sharpens iron”. Basically, the friction that is placed between two metal edges, creates sharpness between the two. That can be achieved with the following best sharpeners that you can buy right now. These are the best based on reviews, sales, features, and effectiveness. Regardless of how dull your knives are, these are going to bring new life to them, so that you don’t have to throw them away.
The Presto 08810 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener is one of the premier solutions that you are going to want to look at. It’s an automated sharpener, which allows you to place your blade against the interior of this machine, and allow the blade to sharpen at various angles. This is an easy, automated solution that lets you absolutely get results. Presto’s product works by allowing you to place the blades in several slots, and letting the machine do the trick.
There are 6 major angles that you can use on this, and it will help you guide the edges through. Within a matter of a few minutes, you will have solid blade elements. The Presto 08810 Professional Electric Knife Sharpener has been well reviewed, and many cite how easy this is to work with. If you have never used a sharpener before, this will surprise you with how simple it is. Many reviewers cite how you just guide your blade, and let the machine do the job. This replaces manual options that you may have been using to get results beforehand. This is probably the best overall sharpener on the market.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener is a unique device. This is not the same option as the one just mentioned. This is not a machine. It’s a handheld device that lets you sharpen any blade, with relative ease. It’s easy to use this, as you just use your hand and push it against the edge you want to sharpen. The tip of this has a metal, diamond tipped carbide that slowly gives friction to the knives you have. This friction is the exact same thing that knife manufacturers use to sharpen steel edges.
What makes this compelling is that you don’t have to press down very hard. You use your hands, and guide the handle across the edge and watch it work for you. You only draw this over the blade, and within a few seconds, you’ll have a blade that will cut a tomato, as well as piece of meat with simplicity. When you purchase the AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener, you will receive everything you need, as well as a carbide ready to go. Once you see how this works, you’re going to be stunned by how simple it is to bring new life to your blades. This is the king of best knife sharpeners. Give it a try and you will find out.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The King Two Sided Sharpening Stone with Base – #1000 & #6000 is a very interesting looking sharpener. This is going to surprise some, as it looks like a brick. This is a traditional sharpener, and it’s what many professionals use to sharpen cutlery in kitchens around the world. This is a Japanese sharpener that is in fact a stone. It’s a solid stone, and comes on a plastic base. The way you sharpen your blade is to glide the knives you have across the stone at an angle. As you angle your steel, the stone gives friction to the cutlery you have and sharpens it.
Japanese knives only have 1 edge that is sharpened, as you will use precision movements to cut meat, vegetables and more. Western made knives have double edges, so when you use this, you’ll need to use both sides along this stone. The size of this is small, 7.25 x 2.5 x 1 inches. It’s small, and tough, and has everything you need to sharpen dull knives, blades, and more. Reviewers were all surprised at how simple this tool is to use, and how it performs. Whether you have Japanese knives or something domestic, this will do the job.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
The DMT FWFC Double Sided Diafold Sharpener Fine / Coarse is another unique solution. This is a simple option that you use with your hands. You hold the sharpener at an angle, and then you run your blade across the sharpening, coarse edge. You strike it a bit, and the blade gets sharp as the friction brings about changes to dull blades. Remember, your steel requires friction to become razor sharpness. That’s the goal of this machining tool.
When you pick up this sharpening, you’ll find that the tool has several stones placed on it. It has a DMT monocrystalline diamond surface. Those diamond pieces sharpen with precision. The fine diamonds are the same crystalline pieces that professionals use to create commercial grade cutlery. Even if you’ve invested in buying knives in the past, and you aren’t having the same overall cuts, this will help you elevate the blades. This is a lightweight tool. It’s simple to use, has a fine and coarse surface, and has hundreds of positive reviews. Consumers have stated that the ease of use, and coarse edges help knives within a matter of seconds. Simply put, it’s a strong contender for the best sharpener you can have right now.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
Lastly, but not least, this is one of the bestselling solutions that you are going to find on the market today. The KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener is nothing short of a simple sharpener that works like a charm. Over 5,000 reviews present an overwhelming amount of positive notes about this. When you see it, you’re going to wonder whether or not it can help your knives, and testing it once will absolutely make you a believer. This sharpener uses high quality coarse edges at an angle that you put your blades in. You put your blades in, and you slowly guide your edges that help your edges get absolutely sharpened. This is the last sharpener on our best knife sharpener list but you shouldn’t underestimate it.
This has a simple grip bottom so that you can run your knives across the center point without movement. The only drawback with this sharpener is that it doesn’t work with serrated edge blades. However, if you have high end, double or single edged knife sets, this is going to help you get the sharpest edges you can get. The biggest selling point is the fact that it’s absolutely low cost. It’s under $10, and it’s reviewed favorably by over 5,000 people.
As you can see, there are several sharpeners that you can use today. They are easy to use, cost effective, and well-reviewed. These will bring new life to even the dullest of knives. I know this personally because I sharpen my Japanese Santoku knives regularly and they look as good as new after 3 years of use.CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICES
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One of the most important pieces of your kitchen’s cutlery is your chef knife. This is crucial. No matter what type of food you’re planning on cooking, a good blade will help you out. From preparing vegetables to cutting meat, this is going to be one of the most important tools to purchase.
When you are looking into what knife you should purchase, it’s important to consider two major factors in your decision process.
These two major factors are the most important aspects of purchasing a chef knife. But with that information, you are going to balance a few other elements as well, as you want to have something that is going to last. Of course, these two things may not be a part of what you want overall. If that’s the case, you could always go with any style you want. However, if you’re seeking a durable, long lasting solution for your cutlery, then keep those two elements in mind moving forward.
Gourmet kitchen tools aren’t always sold in the stores you may frequent often. It’s easy to jump into a big box retailer and find cutlery. However, specific solutions that are sharp, and durable aren’t always the case. You could ask clerks and department managers and find out whether or not high end solutions are available, but chances are that you will end up missing out on the best quality solutions.
Most people do not have a gourmet kitchen supply store. If that’s where you’re at, then it’s time to consider going elsewhere. The internet is a powerful tool that will help you locate the right solution. You can look online for chef knives and get a lot of results. But there’s a major downside to this tactic.
The biggest downside that you are going to find with shopping online is that you cannot handle a knife. You cannot hold the handle, nor can you measure whether or not it is going to fit in your hands, or if you’re going to be able to cut with it. When you visit a modern retailer, one that specializes in chef’s supplies, you can rest be assured you can grab hold of items.
If you cannot test a knife beforehand, you’re going to be purchasing something blindly. So what do you do? You could always find friends or family and see what kind of cutlery they have. But what if you don’t have a lot of friends? Or what if you don’t know any chefs? Then what? Well, that’s the real problem that you’ll run into when trying to figure out how to buy a great chef knife.
Here’s the thing, if you’re going to purchase knives online, make sure that you have a modest budget. That will allow you to buy certain solutions and return the ones that you don’t like. Purchase several knives, and test them or read the fine print. Read the fine print of the store you are shopping with. If there’s a generous return policy, adhere to it, and test knives. If you can’t return them, obviously don’t buy many. This takes time. If you’re going to invest, however, this is an important tip to remember about shopping for knives. Quality matters, so your time invested will pay off fast.
As you look into purchasing a chef knife, you will run into issues. The main issue is that marketing collateral is going to get in the way. The marketing of knives usually pushes auxiliary elements that you do not need. In some reviews, and guides, you may hear them referred to as “decoys”. The main goal of the knife manufacturer is to sell you a knife. That is usually by any means necessary. Do not purchase knives based on marketing hype, and avoid having to deal with issues by educating yourself moving forward. It is with that in mind that the following has been written. The following tips will help you avoid the marketing fluff that companies may try to sell you on when shopping for a chef’s knife.
You will see companies promoting different tang solutions. This is something that you are going to see over and over again. There are those that promote a full tang and partial tang. This is the element that is in between the handle. Either the blade goes through the handle (full tang) or it doesn’t go through the handle (partial tang).
Which is better? That’s the thing, there’s no real “better” solution here. What you need to be wary of is when a company will try and tell you that this is the best solution overall. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter. It’s not an important factor because you are not really going to be making it yourself. Not only that, you’re not going to be trying to cut bricks. The majority of your work in the kitchen is going to be cutting through vegetables, meat, and things that are going to cut without pushing too hard. Heavy duty knives made for hunting may be full tang, but chances are they aren’t meant for the kitchen’s precision cutting necessities.
There are two major ways that blades are made today. The first is made through the forging of hot steel. This is pounded away by expert hands. A piece of steel is pounded into shape. This is a “traditional” option that used to be the strongest solution that you can pursue. The other option that you are going to find is that of stamped. Stamped options are made from sheets of steel that are then cut and heat treated to create a blade.
There was a time when only forged options would be the best. That’s no longer the case. The reason why this has changed is simple, technology. Technological advancements have made the two solutions identical. Even though you may find that forged solutions will be priced higher, they can be just as good as stamped options in terms of thickness, sharpness, and more.
You do not want to spend a lot of money on a knife that is middle of the road. Nor do you want to spend money on marketing hype that tells you one is better than the other. Modern technology has made these two identical, and if you go with professional level knives, you won’t be able to tell which is which based on their finish.
Between the handle of a knife and the blade itself, there’s something called the bolster. This creates a 90 degree change between knife and handle. A cleaver, for example, usually has a large bolster at the point where the blade meets the handle overall. There are two major reasons why bolsters are put into knives.
Protection – the first reason is simple, protecting your hand. When you grip a chef’s knife, you want to ensure that you do not lose your grip, nor slide into the blade. Your hands may be wet, oily, or you may just slip. The bolster protects your hands.
Balance – the next reason is in regards to the balance of your knife. This helps you with balancing when chopping, and slicing. The weight that you are going to deal with here is important, because you’ll find that if it’s too heavy, you won’t use it often.
There was a time when this was a guarantee that you are getting a quality knife. That’s not the case any longer. There are a lot of manufacturers in this industry, and there is no “one” way to do this. You may find that certain traditional makers of blades and knives have these, but honestly, it’s a matter of preference as this point. There’s no need to have a large, pronounced bolster, that’s for sure.
Above, it was mentioned that going online to shop for a knife left you out of the “feeling” element of buying a knife. Well, that’s important. The weight and the handle of a knife is going to determine a lot for you. You have to ask yourself simple questions, such as:
These are questions that should be highlighted as you look at the variety of knives on the market today. The majority of professional chefs today are going to look for something substantial. When you have a heavy knife in your hands, you can put in a good deal of force, and you will feel confident. That doesn’t mean that everyone should get the heaviest knife on the market. Everyone has different size hands, different strength, and different focus. You have to be able to determine whether or not a knife feels good in your hands, or whether you want something else. That’s why feel is so important. You can buy something online that is high priced, but if it doesn’t feel good in your hands, you are not going to want to cut with it.
Before moving forward, consider that there is usually a handful of styles that fall into the category of a great knife. Chef’s knives come in several options, but most likely you will find that the best are crafted in the German, Japanese, or Western styles. There may be others, but these are the 3 most common solutions that you will find on the market, especially in high end circles.
Holding each of these knives will give you a different glimpse into the craftsmanship that goes into each one. A Japanese solution, for instance, may be thinner, sharper, and less defined than a Western made solution. A German knife may be thick, and heavy, in contrast to other options. That being said, there is no “one” direction to go with here, which can be frustrating for some, but it’s important to understand overall.
Right now, there’s an increase in popularity amidst German knives. The reason why is because they are heavier, and feel more secure in the hands of a lot of chefs. That doesn’t mean that it’s better, nor does it mean that you should go with that overall. However, it is usually heavier, and easier to manage when cooking meat, and you are going to need to cut a lot of large pieces. Japanese style options, however, are light, and if you’re chopping a great deal, it may reduce stress on your hands.
Speaking of hands, consider what the handle looks like. Not just in terms of visual design, but also how you hold it. How you hold onto the handle, how it’s made, and what it is made of is going to vastly impact what you’re going to be able to do moving forward. Some companies have rubber elements in the handle that let you hold onto their knives better. Others have ergonomic designs, rivets, and polypropylene elements. The handle is going to make the difference between knives in many cases, because your hands are either going to be at ease through the day, or tired from cutting. Weight, handle, and blade all matter in this regards, so make sure that you consider that as you look into the right chef knife for you.
Moving forward into one of the misconceptions about chef’s knives is in regards to size. You may think that there is “one” style attributed to a chef’s knife. That’s not true. There are several shapes, sizes, and overall elements to consider. There was a time when these were all the same. Go back a couple of decades and the standard knife was 10 inches. Today, that doesn’t always appear to be the case. The 9 inch, or even 7-inch chef knife is not uncommon. That being said, there are a lot of blades that you should consider, and how you’re going to be working with them.
A large knife blade doesn’t have to be intimidating. You have to consider what is best for you. Only you can decide whether or not you want to use a large blade, at around 10 inches. There are some chefs that teach their students to have a larger, longer blade in the kitchen. Meanwhile, some have found smaller, sharper solutions to work just the same. Your hands may not be able to handle a large, weighted option, so don’t panic if you see only larger solutions.
If you don’t want to use a 10-inch solution, consider how popular the 7 inch santoku knife is getting. This is a Japanese style chef’s knife that is making a lot of headlines. The reason is because of the versatility, strength of the blade, and ergonomic handles. 7 inches is just enough to handle most jobs in the kitchen, and for those that don’t have large hands, it’s perfect. Not only that, they aren’t usually heavy.
The ultimate test of a knife is one that you see on late night infomercials. You see the chef cutting a piece of leather, a brick, and then going to a tomato and cutting it without any pressure. That’s the ultimate test. Are you going to be doing the same? No, of course not. But the sharpness of a blade is one that cuts through a tomato without having to deal with the issues associated with pushing down. Pushing down on a tomato is going to cause it to burst, and squish. You don’t want that, obviously.
The sharpness of blades today will be great on day one. But what about day 100? That is going to be a major issue that you are no doubt going to have to deal with at one point or another. Every knife can be strong first day. In order to have a sharp knife that lasts, you are going to have to invest in a quality manufacturing process. Name brands usually work in this regards. Unfortunately, there are few companies that are truly putting out great knives, and therefore you will need to consider price, quality of steel, reviews, and more. Some big names, however include MAC, Wusthof, and Shun. Look at where the knife’s blade is made, look to see what tradition it’s made in, and the price tag. A $10 chef’s knife may not be as good as a $100 one, just saying.
What if you go cheap? You may be asking yourself. Well, that’s not a bad thing at first glance. Many people go with something that is going to cost them a lot less up front. However, look out for issues that come with that. The first big issue, for instance, is the edge. The edge will fold, and that means it will be extremely dull. The next thing that will happen is that it will break. You’ll be trying to cut, and you’ll find the blade warps, and even snaps. You may get a month or two out of it, but if you’re a serious home chef, you are not going to get much more out of it than that.
It’s possible to find a good deal. Don’t stop searching, but be wary about what you find. If you find a company that is telling you their knives are amazing, look at a few telltale signs that they are lying. For instance, how long is their warranty? A knife company that is not going to stand behind their knives will not have long in this regards. Not only that, they will not sharpen for free, nor replace dull blades. The next thing to look for is the price tag. If you see a high end knife, discounted to all new levels, be careful. Look at the reviews that people have put up in regards to the knife that you want to buy. That is going to dictate whether or not you are going to be receiving a good quality knife, or you’re dealing with a solution that will not pay off dividends. Suffice to say, don’t go cheap. Seriously, don’t skimp on the knife you’re going to buy. It’s easy to go inexpensive, but quality will suffer every time.
Dissecting all of the information provided here may be rough. You may look at all of this and find the notion of purchasing a new knife intimidating. It’s a lot to consider, no doubt. But you have to remember a few things about the knives that you choose to purchase. The main thing is whether or not you want to cut through food. If you do, and don’t want to smash everything, then this is important.
Ask yourself what your priorities are? Seriously. Ask whether or not you need something that cuts, dices, slices, and filets. Consider what you cook on a regular basis. Give it some thought and you will no doubt find that your priorities have to be within certain parameters.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the priorities you should cycle through before you purchase any knife today.
There are a lot of chef’s knives you can purchase. Look online right now and you’ll be hit with thousands of solutions. If you’re not sure what is going to work for you, take into consideration what your overall needs are. Set a budget, and then set out to compare, contrast, and handle as many knives that you can. You’re going to find that a good knife will make or break a lot of the dishes that you plan on making. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen, or you’re a beginner, this is something that you cannot take lightly. If you remember nothing else, remember not to go cheap, that’s disastrous all around.