When asked to invest in new kitchen knives, most will buy a cheap set of stainless steel, plastic handled knives that claim to never need to be sharpened. There are many issues with cheaper knives, which lead to quality knives being a must-have investment. Here are some reasons you should be investing in quality when it comes to kitchen knives.
When it comes to high quality kitchen knives, well maintained and cared for, they can last for tens of years; whereas cheaper sets can last as little as 1-2 years, even if well cared for. This is often due to the types of metals used in the blade, the manufacturing of the blade, and the overall construction of the knife.
The types of metal are critical to the life of the blade, with cheaper materials lasting a fraction of the time higher quality materials do.
High carbon steel knives can be incredibly long lasting if looked after properly, due to the reduced need for regular sharpening, and the extra level of care required.
We spoke to Kitchen Knives who said: “Cheaper knives are typically made from low-carbon stainless steel, leading to rapidly dull edges. This ties into durability, but also shows the lower grade materials are less effective.
“Another issue with cheaper knives can be that low grade plastic and light woods are used to create the handle. This can lead to durability and safety issues.”
Higher quality materials include high carbon steel, Damascus steel and ceramics. These materials require higher maintenance, but keep far longer than cheaper blades that are kept the same way.
Many people overlook the many dangers of knives, and believe that the sharp edge is the only risk to health. A common risk is cheap plastic handles causing germ buildups due to gaps forming in the handle, allowing a buildup. Another very big risk is a dull blade; although it sounds counterintuitive, dull blades lead to more force having to be used, which increases the risk of injury exponentially.
A study (see here) was conducted on treated knife related injuries in the US between 1990-2008, where 36% of all injuries with knives were in the kitchen (Almost as much as knife crime). Many knife injuries are caused by dull or low quality knives, which is easily solved by keeping tools well maintained, and buying high quality tools.
Alongside the risk of a dull blade needing excess force, is that to sharpen low carbon blades repeatedly can cause chips of the blade to come away during use, or small metal shards.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is key with higher quality products, and kitchen knives are no exception. Certain things such as a balanced blade, an easily gripped handle, a full tang handle.
A balanced blade allows easy use of the knife, with less risk of dropping the knife if it sits in the hand nicely. Good grips on handles is very necessary for safety and ease of use, although cheaper knives may have poorer grip than quality ones.
Most of all, if you want clean cuts in your food, and you want to feel professional while making your favourite dish, why not invest in the tools that make it possible? With high quality tools, there is nothing stopping people from practicing to be the best. People won’t be limited by poor quality knives, and can flourish while doing something they enjoy.
What type of knife will you be investing in? Could your kitchen use a new knife set?