Damascus Steel Chef's Knife
A chef’s knife is the most commonly used and versatile kitchen knife. It can be used for cutting vegetables, slicing meat, chopping, dicing and mincing. With a chef’s knife in hand you can prepare any dish in no time.
It is one of the larger knives, usually measuring around 8 inches in length. Although you can also find shorter or longer blades ranging all the way from 6 to even 12 inches.
Another characteristic of a chef knife is that it has a rather ample blade, usually around 1.5 inches in diameter or even wider.
The chef’s knife is a universal cutlery tool that should not be missing in any kitchen. It is the knife you use the most.
Unlike the various types of special knives, the chef’s knife is designed in a way it can get in touch with a variety of ingredients and playfully disassemble them.
The broad blade of the chef’s knife is not only particularly strong in the cutting process but also ensures that the knife can be guided comfortably and safely close to the knuckles. This way you can break even the finest herbs into tiny pieces or dissect meat into gossamer tenderloins.
The slightly curved blade of this knife is perfectly designed for slicing. So you can divide your ingredients in a single, fluid motion.
Cooking knives are available in different price ranges. Cheaper knives are usually made of stamped steel and the more expensive ones are made from forged steel. Forged steel knives hold their edge better which means they stay sharp for a longer time.
Upper range and custom hand-made cooking knives can reach prices even up to $5.000, while you can get cheap knives in just about any store for even as low as $20. Of course there is a big difference in quality between these price ranges.
The big advantage of Damascus steel chef’s knives is that they are already available at reasonable prices. In our store you can buy high-quality Damascus steel chef’s knives for very affordable prices.
Cooking knives have one thing in common – who buys cheap, buys twice.
Types and Designs of Chef Knives
There are two distinct types of chef knives – European and Japanese.
Small differences in the shape of the blades make them fall either under the category of French chef knives or German chef knives. The main difference in the design is that German style knife has an evenly curved blade all the way from the heel to the tip of the blade, while French-style knives have a more straight blade and curve up only at the tip.
In the east, an equivalent to the western chef knife is the Santoku knife.
The main difference between a Santoku and western versions of chef’s knife is the shape of the blade. While still being curved, the blade is a bit more straight as with German or French chef knives. Also, the spine of the blade on Santoku is curved down to the point at the tip of the blade.
Depending on the model, the Santoku blade tends to be a bit smaller, thinner, and lighter. Many models also have small ‘pockets’ at the cutting edge which prevent food from sticking to the blade.
But the most important difference between western and eastern chef knife is the way it handles. While German and French chef knives should be moved back and forward in a more of a slicing motion, the Japanese version of a chef’s knife should normally be used in chopping motion.
Japanese and European Chef's Knives in Comparison
Both professionals and hobby chefs are still debating how much Japanese or European Chef’s Knives are preferable. Both cultures have a long tradition of blacksmithing and have produced high quality, stable and sharp knives for home cooks as well as professional chefs for decades.
While in Japan the Santoku Knife stands above all for the outstanding art of cutting, the German and French Chef’s Knives also have long and firm tradition.
For which of the two knife cultures you decide, your personal preference and the experience that you have made with both types of knives will probably be a deciding factor.
Both cultures produce high-quality professional knives.
European Chef’s Knives are characterized mainly by the U-cut of the blade. This predestines for the liquid, graceful weighing cut, which ensures rapid processing of, especially softer ingredients.
Besides, the blades are considered very robust. Due to this robustness, the handling of the knives is also very uncomplicated. The cutting technique is almost irrelevant with European knives as they have very sturdy cutting edges.
Japanese Chef’s Knives, on the other hand, are generally considered to be very sharp, sharper than their European equivalent. This is mainly due to the V-cut of the edge, which makes the blades more efficient.
However, this particular sharpening in conjunction with the manufacture of the blade also provides for more significant challenges in handling the Japanese knives.
Chopping and pruning cuts should be avoided with Japanese knives as much as possible. The blades react very sensitively, resulting in a break or at least a rapid wear.
Also, if hard cutting pads are used, such as stone boards, the blades will not hold an edge for long. With the increasing sharpness of the Japanese blade, increased sensitivity of the same goes hand in hand.
What is the Price of a Good Chef's Knife?
Many chef’s knives are already available for very affordable prices. Whether you buy individual knives or opt for a knife set, both can be bought at a budget.
However, one must be aware that with the low price also the quality suffers. Very cheap knives wear out quickly, are often poorly processed and cause more frustration in the kitchen instead of bringing pleasure in cooking.
A bit better quality chef’s knives are available from about $60 to $80. Upwards, the price range is open. High-end and premium knives usually move in a price range between $80 to $250.
Professional chef’s knives are usually more expensive than $200 and some custom made knives can even reach the prices above $5000.
Several factors determine the final price. Not only the materials used but also the degree of manual work that has gone into production is crucial.
Damascus kitchen knives are of course more expensive than stainless steel kitchen knives because of their elaborate production and the special steel.
If the sharpening of the blade is carried out personally by the blacksmith master instead of by the machine, this also affects the price of the chef’s knife.
Chef's Knife or a Santoku - Which One to Choose?
If you are thinking of buying your first Damascus knife, but can’t decide which one, then getting a Chef’s Knife is your best option. Whether you decide on a classic model or a Santoku, once you start using it it will become the one knife that you will use the most.
There are many designs available in our store and since this is one of the most desirable types of knives we make sure to always have plenty to offer.
If you are in doubt about which model will suit your needs best, here’s our word of advice:
- If you are a ‘meat’ person and often cook with meat, then a western version of a Damascus Chef’s Knife is slightly better choice. Having a more pronounced point on the blade gives you a bit extra maneuvering space when working with meat as it usually requires more slicing.
- If you are a vegetarian or you like to cook ‘Asian style food’ then getting a Damascus Santoku Knife is a good choice for you. Chopping and cutting fresh vegetables is a pleasure with this type of knife and it will definitely add a touch of the eastern spirit to your cooking experience.
On our site, we offer a variety of sizes and designs of Damascus steel Chef’s Knives. You can get both versions of for the best discounted prices.
What to Look for When Buying a Chef's Knife?
Before you go out and buy any chef’s knife, you should inform yourself what to look for when purchasing such a knife.
Mindless purchase of inferior goods eventually leads to more frustration and thus wasted money. If you pay attention to a few small things, you can make sure already at the purchase, that you will enjoy your chef’s knife for a long time.
First, consider the handle of the knife. The materials used here already play an important role when it comes to how efficiently you can work with the knife and how long it will last. Often either wood, plastic or composite materials are used for the handle of cooking knives. Pay attention to the use of high-quality materials. The handle should be made in one piece with no chipping or cracks. Also, the handle should be ergonomically shaped. This means that it is comfortable to hold and is easy to guide when cutting.
The ergonomics of the grip brings the following advantages:
- The handle is comfortable in the hand. If you cover the knife with your hand, the handle in the palm of your hand does not hurt. It optimally adapts to the contour of your palm.
- The knife is also pleasant to use in the long term. Even if you use the knife persistently, no signs of fatigue occur in your hand.
Also, the weight of the knife plays a role in this and should not be underestimated. The knife should not be too heavy, but also not too light. It should be just right.
Finally, you should pay attention to the processing of the handle and blade. It is vital that the entire knife appears as one piece. There must be no grooves or holes. When cutting food, leftovers can stick inside, which can cause mold and harmful bacteria to develop.
Besides, you should carefully examine the blade of the knife. The length and height of the blade should be tailored to your needs. This means that the knife is suitable in length and height to allow the desired ingredient to be cut. But it also should fit well into your hand. While big knives fit well in big hands, people with small hands should instead resort to smaller kitchen knives.
Also, the knife should have a glossy surface. This indicates that the chef’s knife was not only honed but also polished. This ensures that the knife is optimally protected against rust and moisture damage.
In addition, the materials used play a significant role in buying the right knife. Handle and blade should only be made of high quality, durable materials. The quality of the materials used determines how long you will enjoy the chosen chef’s knife.
How to Use a Chef's Knife?
If you want to learn a proper way of using a chef knife, take a look at this short video which explains some of the most important cutting and slicing techniques. Next time when you hold your knife in hand, try to follow the advice given in the video. From here on only the practice makes perfect.
Are you ready to take your cooking skills to the next level? You can start off by getting yourself a tool which you will love to use. Take a look at some of our best selling Damascus steel chef knives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Chef's Knives
Anyone who wants to put together his kitchen equipment or upgrade it stands in front of a decision whether he should get one or more chef’s knives, or will rely only on individual special knives.
The advantages of chef’s knives are their universal applications. The same knife can be used for different ingredients and applications, making a change of tools unnecessary. This can be a considerable relief, especially after a stressful working day. Also, chef’s knives are available in different lengths and widths so that everyone will find the right knife for their hands and their needs. Besides, they do not have to be expensive – the chef’s knives are already available at an affordable price and are therefore particularly easy on the budget.
However, the chef’s knife as a universal tool can also be a disadvantage. A knife that is used for different ingredients uses faster. Not only that the various structures can attack the cutting surfaces, but the blade is also used more frequently. With that in mind, cheap models require more intensive care because they become dull faster and must be re-sharpened more regularly.
- Universal tool – suitable for different ingredients
- no knife change necessary
- already cheap to buy
- available in different versions
- faster wear due to different usage
- cheap models dull faster
To enjoy your chef’s knives for as long as possible, you should pay particular attention to two aspects: careful handling and proper care. Both factors inevitably interact and can hardly be separated from each other. If these two aspects are respected, your chef’s knife should stay sharp for a long time.
First, you should pay attention to the careful handling of the chef’s knife. This includes making sure to use a suitable cutting pad. The pad must not be too hard. Otherwise, the blade will wear out quickly. Avoid cutting boards made of stone or glass. These materials damage the blade the most. It is best to use wooden or plastic boards. These are tough but do not dull the knife that much. Also, make sure you make soft, not too abrupt cuts. Hard chopping or strong levering can ruin the blade of the chef’s knife.
The right care is also crucial so that the knife stays sharp for a long time. Always clean your chef’s knife by hand. In the dishwasher, the blades are severely worn, and many cleaners are too hot for sensitive knives. Rinse the knife in warm but not too hot water and use a mild detergent. Afterward, the knife should be dried properly. For this, we recommend rubbing with a soft cloth and then draining, so that also the handle dries thoroughly.
If you want to sharpen your knife, you have three options: the sharpening steel, the sharpening rod or the sharpening stone. All three variants have their advantages and disadvantages. The most recommendable is sharpening with the grindstone because it achieves the most efficient results due to its differently grained sides. Especially for Damascus chef’s knives, it is recommended to sharpen them with oil on a whetstone to achieve a sustainable and great result. If you want to take care of your knives optimally, then you should bring them to a professional knife sharpener every six months.
In addition to proper care and careful handling of a chef’s knife, adequate storage is one of the factors that determine the longevity of such a knife. One thing is certain: If you want to enjoy your chef’s knife for a long time, you should not keep it in a drawer with other knives or other cutlery. In a drawer the cutlery rubs against each other, resulting in a strong wear of the blade. The rash storage of the knives in a full cutlery drawer also makes high-quality chef’s knives dull and brittle.
To properly store a kitchen knife there are different options to available.
In case you don’t want to move away from storage in the drawer you can opt for blade covers. These covers are slipped over the blade after cleaning and prevent the blades from rubbing against other pieces of cutlery.
Another popular storage option is the classic knife block. These knife blocks were initially made only of wood, which was gentle on the blade and prevented a grind when inserting or pulling out. Nowadays, you can also get knife blocks made of plastic or glass. The advantage of all blocks is that each knife is stored individually and is quickly available with just one pull. Also, a high-quality knife block can be quite decorative.
Professional chefs, who often cook in different locations, prefer knife bags. These are flexible fabric bags that have slots for each professional chef’s knife. In such bags, multiple knives can be stored. The bag rolls up easily or folds and ties with the help of a tape or string. So not only do you always have your knives together, but you can easily take the collection everywhere with you. Many combine the knife bags with individual blade covers.
A fourth variant is the increasingly popular magnetic strips. These are fastened to the wall above the stove or near the kitchen worktop. With the help of magnetic attraction, you can attach your chef’s knife with the blade to this bar and thus always have your knife collection in view. Again, it is avoided that the blades rub against each other. It is important that you always fold the knife over the back of the knife and never over the blade when attaching and removing it from a magnetic strip. Note that ceramic cooking knives cannot be attached to magnetic strips due to the material.