Is a sharp knife a good knife? A good knife is not only about its sharpness. It is quite complicated when you have considerable choices in the market. A chef’s knife is like your good friend, you need to spend time with it, but often you only notice you worked with bad knives for a long time when you start using a really good knife. When choosing a knife that is reliable and fits you, blade material matters, handles matter, and please don’t forget the length, width, and thickness of the blade determine the comfort of your cooking as well. Let's share a few tips to make it measurable.
Blade length is from the tip to the heel, not including the length of the handle, so an 8-inch knife means the blade is 8-inch long.
The first thing to consider in buying a chef knife for general purposes is always coming to the length of the blade. It is vital to its performance and ease of use.
Chef's knives range from 6 to 12 inches in length. The most popular length of a chef knife is 6-8’’ (15-20 cm) long, which is perfect for 99% of your knife duties and is easier to maneuver and control. Professional chefs prefer 10-12’’ (25-30cm) because they can handle more food prep at a time but they are heavier and harder to use for the untrained user.
Professional chefs and home cooks alike agree: a chef knife’s size is vital to its performance and ease of use. A knife’s size will affect how you cut, slice, and dice vegetables and meat. These tasks require a specific “feel” to achieve the best results.
Thickness (on the spine)Thickness is the second concern. 1/8" (3.2 mm) is a good starting point for 8'' chef's knife and 3/32'' (2.4mm) or thicker is great for kitchen knives. A chef's knife deals with more pressure, it can be a bit higher and 3.5 mm is the maximum. Most of the Japanese-style chef's knife tends to have a thinner blade (2.0 mm or even thinner) than a German-style knife, making it easier to control and perfect for fine slicing. With the thinner blade, it also tends to be quite sharp but it isn’t the best for splitting a chicken or slicing.
Blade width, the distance from the edge to the spine, is one thing that seems to be of little concern with most buyers, but is fairly important as regards the comfort and safety in cooking.
A chef's knife generally has a blade 1.5 inches (38 mm) in width. Victorinox Fibrox, one of the most popular chef knives on the market, has a blade width/height of 55mm. Taller blades allow you have more space when holding the knife. You don’t need to worry about the knife cutting your fingers when cutting vegetables. In addition, taller blade makes the heel of the knife larger, which gives your knuckles some clearance from the cutting board.
When you are choosing the perfect chef’s knife that is adept at slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing more pleasurable and effortless, it is not as difficult as you thought. Identify your personal preference and take the length, width and thickness into consideration. There isn’t one knife that fits all, take some time and you will find your ideal knife!