You’ve heard of them at one point or another: F Dicks, Wusthof, Kyocera, Tojiro, Calphalon, Chroma, Messermeister, MAC, Cutco, J A Henckels, Shun, Dexter-Russell, Sabatier-K, Victorinox. The list of well-known cutlery brands goes on. The question then pops up, “Which brand is the best?” There is ultimately no BEST in the cutlery. After researching on the world wide web on which cutlery brand/manufacturer is the best, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
- Almost every knife manufacturer claim their knives are the best. Even the commonly known ‘blah’ knife-makers make those claims. That doesn’t help the average consumer, me. I can say: I have gorgeous raven hair, beautiful long eyelashes that do the flirting for me, full and soft lips, a mixed heritage that makes all who stand by me look plain and luscious curves that give Beyonce a run for her money. As a consumer you have two options: Take what I say as truth or be skeptical. I can tell you that I was definitely stretching the truth. (But boy do I sound good when I’m hyped up!) A skeptical consumer is usually the smarter consumer. Do your research.
- The general census in the world of cutlery is the following: If you want a quality knife, a knife that makes other knives cry with envy, go with Japanese-made knives. I have to agree with the general population. Japanese knives are of high quality. These knives are light. They hold their edge. In other words they stay sharp longer than their European counterparts. Some of disadvantage to these knives is if you don’t know how to take care of you knife, it will easily fall prey to rust (which is never a good thing), chipping, etc; they usually need to be sharpened by a professional sharpener; and they can get quite pricey.
- European and American made knives are usually heavier than their Japanese counterparts. It is sometimes a hit and miss when it comes to value. These knives are made to be ‘consumer friendly’. Meaning they are easier to sharpen; more rust resistant and less brittle than their Japanese counterparts; there is a broader variety of knives which mean a wider price range. Sometimes you can find a knife made with quality steel at an affordable price. Other times you will find an ‘high-end’ knife that isn’t quite worth the price (Do your homework).
- Most brands offer both a Western style knife and a Japanese style knife. The main difference between a Western knife and a Japanese knife is the blade structure. A traditional Japanese style knife has a blade with a single edge. A Western style knife has a blade with a double edge.
- It all comes down to preference: How the knife feels in your hand; the ease of use; how often you want to sharpen your knife; is sanitation your number one priority; size, weight, shape; how much you are willing to spend on a knife for the kitchen; etc. If you’re looking to get one knife, a chef knife will cover most of your chopping, dicing and slicing needs.
- Being an informed consumer takes time and a commitment.
I know what you’re thinking, “This still doesn’t help me. Which brands can I trust? Which brands will offer the quality I’m looking for?” Below are some of the brands that I found to be reputable and offer products of quality.
Global offers one-piece stainless steel knives. GLOBAL knives are made from the finest stainless steel material (CROMOVA 18). Each knife is carefully inspected and weighed for balance before it’s shipped to the retailer.
J A Henckels International
J A Henckels International manufactures and sells most anything that can be found in the kitchen. From cutlery to flatware to cookware to scissors. They are the parent company of Zwillings Pro, Miyabi (their Japanese knife line), Demeyere and Staub. Their knives are forged out of carbon steel, stainless steel and/or stainless steel alloy.
Kyocera offers high-quality ceramic knives. Ceramic knives stay sharp much longer and hold their edge longer than the forged or stamped steel knives. The blades do not absorb any food element; thus making them a a very sanitary knife. These knives are used for cutting soft foods and boneless meats. Kyocera stands behind their ceramic products with their Lifetime Warranty and Lifetime Sharpening.
Sabatier-K has been in the knife business for over 200 years. The company itself has not moved from Bellevue, France since its creation. A family business they specialize in cutlery and folding knives. Their knives are made forged from carbon steel or stainless steel.
Tojiro are known for their excellent steel and great value. While perusing their website, I have found them refreshingly open and honest. They truly want to inform their potential customers on what elements should go into a good kitchen knife.
Wusthof is a family owned company. Since 1814 Wusthof has been providing knives to chefs and cooks. They offer various handle options providing a wide range of grips. Each knife is forged from a single piece of steel alloy (X50 Cr MoV 15). This steel alloy combination allows for the blade to stay sharp, have a longer lasting cutting edge, have a higher stain resistance and is easier maintenance and sharpening.
Buying a kitchen knife is like buying a car or a mattress: There is only so much research you can do. Eventually you’re going to have to go the dealer’s lot or mattress store and give the car/mattress a test drive. Kitchen knives are the same way. Go to your nearest kitchen knife retailer (Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Macy’s, a restaurant supplier, etc) and hold the knives in your hand. Decide which knife makes your hand sing or cry. Let me know which knife you decided to buy.