How To Choose A Kitchen Knife: A Home Cook’s Guide

Kitchen knife on a cutting board with herbs, onions, and garlic

There are very few things in cooking that inspire as much passion amongst chefs, butchers, and home cooks like a good knife. Kitchen knives are an important part of the modern kitchen, and choosing them is a delicate process. As a result, there are a lot of things to consider when you are learning how to choose a kitchen knife.

Determine Your Ideal Construction Type

When it comes to kitchen knives, you have options. The construction of the blade, its weight, and the balance of the knife are important considerations when it comes to choosing the right kitchen knife.

In the world of kitchen knives, there are two main categories of construction. The first is stamped, and the second is forged.

Stamped Knives

Stamped knives are made by taking a single piece of metal, and stamping it with a mold to form the blade. The benefits of this technique are that it is much faster and cheaper. However, it also produces a blade that is thin, less strong, prone to bend, less balanced, and less durable than a forged blade.

This knife is preferable for people that spend a big amount of hours in the kitchen cutting and slicing small and delicate pieces of food. Because of the lightweight of the knife, it is easier to handle and you won’t get tired as easily.

Forged Knives

Forged knives are made by taking a single piece of metal and heating it up. Then, the rod of steel is hammered into shape until it is a solid piece. The benefits of this technique are that it is much stronger and more durable than a stamped blade.

Forged kitchen knives are more expensive than stamped kitchen knives, but they are also thicker, higher quality, less flexible, less frequent sharpening needed, more balanced, and more durable, making them more comfortable to hold but it will tire you down after a while.

Pick a High-Quality Knife Material

It is important to keep in mind that the quality of the blade of the knife will affect the quality of your cut. In addition, the lifespan of the blade is also affected by the quality of the blade material.

In terms of blade material, you have several options. The most common is high carbon steel and stainless steel.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a popular choice with home cooks, and for good reason. It is lightweight, easy to clean, and, in general, very durable. And stainless steel has a nice balance of durability and flexibility.

This knife is less prone to rusting, which can be a great asset if you’re not careful generally with your accessories in the kitchen. The main problem with stainless steel blades is that it tends to be more difficult to sharpen and maintain.

High Carbon Steel

High carbon steel is a popular choice with professional cooks and chefs, and for good reason. This material is extremely durable, easy to sharpen, strong, and has great edge retention.

High carbon steel knives are also heavier and are more prone to rust. And if you don’t dry them properly after you wash them, you can start developing rust spots, which can be a problem for some people.

It is common to see knives built with this material have a black protective coating throughout the blade but not the edges, which can lead to the wear of with time.

Other Things to Consider

Ultimately, your decision about which kitchen knife to pick is going to come down to your personal preferences. However, there are a few other factors to consider. These include:


The best knives are going to have a balance point between the handle and the blade. If you choose a knife with the appropriate balance, the blade will feel lighter and easier to hold. In addition, an uneven balance can throw off the cutting and chopping process.


The weight of the knife is going to be a major factor in how the knife performs and it can be an indicator of the quality of the blade. A lightweight blade is not necessarily a bad thing. It is lighter and more agile. However, it is not as strong as a blade with a heavier heft.


If you are going to be using the knife for long periods of time, you are going to want to get a knife with a handle that offers a good grip. The best handles are going to be made of a material that is resistant to heat and nonslip.

A Composite of Stainless and High Carbon Steel

More and more, we are starting to see knives that are made from a composite of stainless steel and high carbon steel. This material is a great way to get the best of both worlds.

You can have the durability and edge retention of high carbon steel and the resistance to rust or staining of stainless steel. As a result, this material is great for people that spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Essential Knives Every Home Cook Should Have

There are a lot of different kitchen knives out there, and not all of them are appropriate for every task. As a result, one of the very first things that you should do when you are learning how to choose a kitchen knife is to determine what tasks you are going to need a knife for.

This will help you narrow down the choices and make sure that you make the right purchases.

Chef Knife

A chef knife is the most common knife in Western kitchens. It is usually between 8 and 10 inches long. It is great for chopping, slicing, dicing, and everything else that you need to do in the kitchen. In addition, this knife is great for food preparation tasks such as cutting, dicing, and chopping.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is used for peeling and chopping small foods and vegetables. It has a thinner blade that is between 5 to 6 inches long. They can come in both styles, straight-bladed and serrated.

Serrated Knife

A serrated knife has a saw-like blade. It is ideal for cutting through foods that are hard outside and softer inside like tomatoes and bread. The average size of this knife is about 8 to 9 inches.

Paring Knife

A paring knife is very small and usually measures between 2 and 3 quarters inches. Its small size and thin blade make it ideal for peeling and coring fruits and vegetables.

Use This Kitchen Knife Buying Guide

Now that you know how to choose a kitchen knife you can start cooking. Gobble’s meals will give you the experience and confidence you are looking for! Our Classic meal delivers the convenience and quality you are looking for in the kitchen!

We hope that this kitchen knife buying guide has been helpful in your search for the right knife.

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