Though many people don’t pay much attention to the knives set they buy for the kitchen, truth is that they play a very important role. Of course, you can always choose plastic knives that will last one or two months and then you will have to buy another set, and another one and so on. However, custom kitchen knives are the best option, and one example in this sense are the Japanese Kitchen Knives.
So what should you look out for?
The first question you should ask yourself is related to the purpose of the knife. Look at the knives you already own and see which ones are most often used and which are not. Naturally, you should replace the ones you use more often with custom-made ones, since they cost more and it doesn’t make sense to buy good quality knives for nothing.
Generally, the chef knives are classified by profile. A French profile refers to a fairly straight blade with a slight curve. A German one has a more pronounced curvature, while a santoku has a downturned tip and a curve that extends gradually. So after you decide which knives you use more often, do some research and decide what profile you need most.
Of course, steel is the most recommended material, but there are various types of steel. Stainless steel is the most popular one, and it refers to a material with a high chromium content, so a knife that is resistant to corrosion. You have to know that the “stainless” name is a misunderstanding, since any steel can rust and stain if you don’t take care of it. On the other hand, carbon steel has little chromium in it, so it stains easily.
There are three common types of edge geometry: hollow ground (concave), convex ground and flat ground. An often encountered type is a flat grind from spine to edge that continues with a secondary flat grind on the edge. Hollow grinds are common for blades that have a chisel ground shape, the bevels being placed on only one side of the blade. This style is often found on Japanese kitchen knives. And it makes sense, since this type helps the slicing function, which is particularly useful if you cook Japanese cuisine or seafood.
The handle is also important, and most Western knives use straight backs and present a light curvature in the front. Often times, there is a slab of material that is pinned on one side and another of the tang (which can be exposed or hidden). Japanese knives hide the tangs, which are fit into a slot on the handle, and the handle is usually octagonal or oval.
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