Also known as a cook’s knife and a French knife, a chef’s knife is a large knife originally used by chefs and butchers to separate meat at its joints. This may be why the popular horror movie props falsely earned the name “butcher’s knife” despite the fact that the term butcher’s knife was originally used most often to describe a cleaver.
In more recent years, the chef’s knife has become more like an all-purpose knife and is the favorite of many home and restaurant chefs. Its ability to chop, slice, dice, and mince makes this knife the perfect addition to any kitchen. So, what should you look for when purchasing a chef’s knife?
A SHARP KNIFE IS IMPORTANT
It should seem obvious that you will want to find a sharp knife. Despite how obvious this may seem many people appear to miss this point, somehow. A sharp knife is actually important for your safety. Many beginners shy away from extremely sharp knives – especially when working with large knives – because they are afraid of chopping off their fingertips or slicing into their flesh. While you should always be careful to handle any knife with care, it is important to know that a dull chef’s knife is actually more dangerous that a sharp one.
WESTERN AND ASIAN EDGES
You may not know this, but chef’s knives are constructed differently in western countries (such as European and North American countries) and Asian countries. The major difference in their construction is the angle of their sharp edges. Western knives usually feature a cutting edge which has been sharpened to a 20-degree angle. Asian knives are sharper, sharpened to a 15-degree angle.
Considering that I just told you a sharper knife is better, I am sure that you can easily deduce that I suggest selected an Asian model with a sharper angle. Of course, if you have selected a knife with a steel blade and are confident in your blade sharpening skills, you could always sharpen an American blade to a sharper angle. Either way, it is important to be aware than different knives may be sharpened at different angles.