I’ve had my share of junk knives and still do. I’ve two decent knives and a couple more decent pocket knives but where I load up is in the hunting knifes. We however are talking about kitchen knives so as my wife would say “down boy.” I never could afford the $1000 knives and I think they are a total waste. They are actually a good investment for professional chefs of which I do not presume to be.
I’ve a good Portuguese fisherman’s knife. Actually, I was so impressed with it I bought another one, just in case the other takes a walk. I also have a surgical steel airplane resin impact handle. That would be the $200 one. The rest is decent kitchen set. For most people that would be adequate. Actually you can have a great set of knives and still come out looking like a zero. Do you know that most photographers are photographers in the head first before they are photographers in technology? The same principal applies in kitchen, knives, and the cutting edge. The best way to improve any knife is to sharpen what you have to a descent degree.
You can have the best in the market but if you don’t maintain the blade, you might as well hammer the tomato.
Most stainless steel knives are not that good. You can often tell just by picking up the knife at the store. If it feels light and poorly balanced, it should be left on the store shelf to rot for eternity. You should feel for a decent weight and proper balance. Even with todays technology, knives should be have a good balance and solid feel.
The edge on your knife can really make a difference on how well you like your knife. Most kitchens don’t need a net set of knifes, they need to sharpen the edge of the family heirloom. Good knives last many generations. It is the knives of the 1970′, 80’s and 90’s that should be donated to the recycling so that they may exist with some degree of dignity for a change. A so-so knife can become a your current favorite with a proper sharpening. A knife’s sole purpose is to cut. The late Deng of China would say, who care what color the knife is, so as long as it cuts the chicken.
Carbon steel or stainless steel? For most us, it doesn’t matter much. We wouldn’t notice anyhow. Carbon steel is harder to sharpen, it also keeps the edge longer. Stainless steel will resist rust much more vigorously. Carbon steel you have to clean off quiet quickly. Proper chef quickly. Any good chef will take pride in keeping his kitchen and his blades clean. A good chef will also pride himself on his ability and quickness to sharpen. He will keep his favorite tool optimally sharp.
Do not choose the cheapest knives unless you mean to come back in 6 months for a better set. Or if you are a little thick, more of the same.
Do not toss your blades into the drawer without blade protection.
Do not immerse your knife in hot water. It will compromise the temperament and weaken the steel.