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Cutlery Mini Guide

by David Lauterbach
2008 December 3
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When you’re looking to get yourself a knife or a set of knives, there are a few things you should consider before you make your purchase. Ask yourself these questions three… “Will I use the size of the knife to threaten others? Will I be killing anyone? And if so, will I need to dismember the body?”

The most important thing to consider is what the knife is made of. There are mainly four types of steel alloys. The highest quality and therefore most expensive is high carbon stainless steel. It maintains a really sharp edge and won’t rust or stain.

Carbon steel is almost as durable, but can rust and darken with years of use. Stainless steel is less expensive than the carbon variety, but it is much less sharp. Then there are the superstainless steel knives… the bastards of the knife world. They start off sharp but can dull quickly and stay that way. Kind of like a Saturday Night Live character.

Other considerations are the construction & blade types. You’ll want a knife that feels good in your hand, is well balanced and is built to cut food, not fingers. A well shaped bolster (the edge of the knife on the underside that connects to the handle and protects your index finger) and a securely attached handle that extends to the end of the handle will add good weight, balance & feel. And FYI to the writers out there… it turns out there aren’t many synonyms for handle.

The venerable chef’s knife has a sharp srtaight edge and is most useful for all of your cutting, slicing and chopping. Serrated edges are essential for soft, squishy food. Granton edges (hollowed out ovals on the blade edge) are ideal for cutting raw fish or tender meats cleanly.

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