How to choose inexpensive kitchen knives

Kitchen knife

It is better to look for inexpensive models of kitchen knives in the lines of well-known brands than to buy in a supermarket for 10 dollars and change every month. A good knife is not cheap. But it is quite possible to find a good budget option that will last a long time and will not cause much trouble.

Speaking about budget knives, it is worth noting that these are mainly universal models that are suitable for cutting different products. If you want to master the virtuoso performance of haute cuisine, then you will need professional knives – each with its purpose.

When choosing a pocket knife, pay attention to the quality of the steel. Stainless steel blades are considered a budget option. They dull quickly, but at the same time, they do not require special care and are easy to sharpen. These knives need to be sharpened once a month. Carbon steel is more expensive and harder to maintain, but it does not require frequent sharpening. Ceramics is an order of magnitude more expensive and cannot be sharpened at home, moreover, it requires careful handling due to its fragility.

Popular questions and answers

Maxim Sokolov, an expert at the VseInstrumenty.ru online hypermarket, answers the most frequent questions from readers.

What is important to consider first of all when buying inexpensive kitchen knives?

Look at the blade – the thicker it is, the stronger it is. Also one should be smooth. Of course, for expensive professional kitchen knives, it should be mirrored at all. But even inexpensive household models should not have nicks and scratches. The hardness of steel for knives for home use can be up to 59 HRC – the most popular budget steel grades are 40X13, 95×18, and  100X18.

Inspect the handle – it should be the metal part should bet be a continuation of the blade. Inexpensive kitchen knives can have both a metal handle and lining – made of plastic, wood, and rubber. The thing man is that it should lie comfortably in the hand and not slip out.

What can manufacturers of inexpensive kitchen knives save on?

Perhaps the most common disadvantage of cheap knives is mild steel. The tip of the blade can be easily deformed if you try to poke frozen meat or open cans with it. Also, an insufficiently thick blade makes the knife light – this happens if the manufacturer saved on steel. 

On the one hand, this is good – it is easy to work with a knife and not get tired. But if he does not have enough weight, then it will be difficult to cut raw vegetables, which will require a lot of effort when chopping. In this case, the knife does not cut food, but shreds. It is unlikely that they will be able to cut beautiful slices, straws, and slices.

You can also find low-quality polymer knife handles, which wear out over time, absorb dirt and become sticky. Nothing can wash them off. It’s not just about aesthetics – holding such a knife is inconvenient, which affects the quality of the cut and the pleasure of the cooking process as a whole.

Is it true that inexpensive knives contain ingredients that are harmful to health?

Steel itself is not harmful. But if notches and deformations appear on it, or the knife is poorly cleaned after sharpening. There is a risk of metal particles getting into the food. There are also knives made of steel. In which the working part is covered with enamel – such an imitation of ceramic knives. Over time, this enamel wears out, and its particles can also get into dishes. It is better not to buy such knives. As they are not even close to ceramic ones in terms of their qualities.

Harmful components may be contained in the handle material. Cheap Chinese knives with a plastic handle can be easily identified by sight and even smell – toxic plastic materials have no place in the kitchen. You should also be careful with inexpensive knives that have a wooden handle. If a strong smell comes from it, then it is better to refuse the purchase.

Read More: How to use a chef’s knife

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