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Making the Cut

A good knife is a great tool. It doesn’t have to be expensive, though many are. Here’s what you should look for when choosing a knife.

What’s it made of?

You want a knife made of steel. No other metal is sturdy enough to make a high-quality knife, and ceramic tends to chip over time. While stainless steel is popular because it doesn’t corrode, carbon steel is harder and holds its blade better. As long as you care for it properly (which is easy), a good carbon steel knife should last a lifetime.

How is it made?

Knives are forged or stamped. Forged knives, which tend to be higher priced, are created when a single piece of molten steel is cut and beaten into the desired shape. The blade is sturdy, with a heavy bolster (that bulge between the handle and the blade) and heel to protect the hand during cutting. Because forged blades are generally less flexible than stamped, they are less apt to bend over time. Some makers use the term “forged” when in fact they use a different process to imitate the forged look. Be sure that you’re buying from a reputable company.

Stamped knives, created by a cookie-cutter-type machine, are usually the same thickness throughout, except at the cutting edge. They lack a bolster and heel. Although the top-rated knives are forged, stamped knives are capable of very good performance. They’re also generally less expensive than forged and often lighter weight.

If you have questions about choosing a knife, contact me. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

May your week ahead be filled with sunshine.

Rea Bates is an independent Consultant with the Pampered Chef. You can see her Facebook Page by clicking HERE. Her column appears each Sunday in Peru Indiana Today.