Which kitchen knives to choose?

Which kitchen knives to choose?

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William and Florent, the two founders of the Léo W ceramic knife brand, are expanding their online offer by creating a new sales and buying advice site. Dé harassed them with questions to see if they really knew what they were talking about. Well, they are unbeatable on kitchen knives! That's good, since many of us want to buy good knives without really knowing which one to choose. Discover their answers so you don't get confused.

What are the main knives that I can find in the trade?

Most of the knives sold commercially are in steel . It should be noted all the same the appearance in recent years of knives in ceramic which are very good knives but you have to know how to handle them with care (See explanations below). Finally, there are also knives in titanium but their use is marginal because their price is quite high. You are right to add "main" because there are dozens and dozens of different knife models! In fact, the knives take different forms depending on the region of the world. However, the most widely spread traditions are the Western tradition and the Japanese tradition. Here are the three most used references: The paring knife is a 7 to 11 cm knife with a thick, short and very sharp blade. It is generally used to carry out all kinds of delicate work: peeling and peeling fruits and vegetables, hulling strawberries, removing the heart from apples, etc. The useful knife is a 10 to 16 cm knife with a thick blade. It is used for peeling fruit, chopping vegetables, cutting cheese, as well as slicing cloves of garlic. Like the chef's knife, it is extremely versatile, except when it comes to attacking meat. Chef's knife is a 14 to 30 cm knife with a thick, long blade. It is most likely THE knife to have in your kitchen. Originally intended to slice and mince, it is above all a multi-use knife that can be used for almost all your culinary preparations. More imposing than a universal knife, it remains one of the most handy knives in the kitchen. Its Japanese counterparts are called the santoku knife and the gyuto knife.

We hear more and more about ceramic knives, what are the differences with those in steel?

The ceramic knife has many advantages: - The ease of cutting is disconcerting! - The hardness of ceramic is higher than steel: the knife therefore stays sharp much longer. - Ceramics do not transfer metal ions into food (obviously since there is no steel!). - The ceramic does not rust. - Ceramic resists the acidity of food and does not alter its flavor. Only one disadvantage, but of weight: - The ceramic is very solid from the back to the front, but remains fragile in torsion from left to right (or vice versa). It is therefore advisable to do not use your ceramic knife to boning, crushing or cutting hard or frozen products . In conclusion, the ceramic knife is ideal for cutting fruits, vegetables, fish fillets and boneless meats. However, it is better to put it in informed hands to avoid unpleasant surprises. We like it or we don't like it. Couteauxduchef's advice: if you are looking for ceramics, be sure to take a quality brand (Leo W, Kyocera or Forever) and avoid especially supermarket knives.

Why choose a steel knife? What should its qualities be?

Defining the quality of a steel knife is rather simple. There are two types of blades: -Carbon steel,which is composed only of iron and carbon. The production of knives with carbon steel blades is inexpensive and fairly simple: it is obviously a very widespread product on the market. Its main advantage is its low price. However, it hides a fairly significant drawback: this knife needs to be sharpened very often and it rusts very quickly. - The knife in stainless steel consists of iron and carbon and a chromium alloy (anticorrosion). This time it is the opposite: its main advantage is that it does not rust (or very little) and that its need for sharpening is low. But inevitably, the price is a little less advantageous.

Why choose a ceramic knife? I hear that ceramic knives are more fragile, is it true? Does this mean that the steel knives are unbreakable?

Choose a ceramic knife if you want a very sharp knife that doesn't need (or very little) to be sharpened. It is true that the ceramic knives are more fragile than steel knives , because the hardness properties of ceramic do not apply to torsion. Improper use of the ceramic knife could break the blade, no matter how good it is. The steel knives are not unbreakable , but they are extremely resistant. Some will have the point bent after a fall because their steel is too soft, but a good steel knife will have an alloy combining flexibility and rigidity, so as never to break during a fall or awkwardness during its use.

What is a Japanese knife?

Japanese knives differ from Western knives by their shape, the way in which they must be sharpened, their use, their maintenance, and finally their manufacture (handle, blade ...). The main Japanese knives that can be found in the trade have the following forms: Deba : knife with short blade, very thick, used to cut fish for the preparation of sushi. Gyuto : equivalent of the western chef's knife, narrow and long blade, multi-use, no longer used for cutting vegetables or meats. Nakiri : this knife looks a bit like a cleaver / chopper, that is to say that it has a very rectangular blade. Pankiri : it's a bread knife. Santoku : very widespread, this knife has a specific shape which allows a wide range of use. Its slightly rounded shape allows the blade to slide for better cutting. It can be used for cutting fish fillets, vegetables, meats. sashimi : very long and thin, this knife is ideal for cutting raw fish. It also has a specificity: its blade is only sharpened on one side, the other being completely flat. Slicing knife, universal, chef or paring : identical to western knives.

The vast majority of Japanese knives have a bamboo or exotic wood blade. These woods are very resistant to humidity (they do not swell) and are very aesthetic. Often the enclave (blade / handle junction) is made of bamboo and is very solid. Finally, their sharpening is very different from the western standard, with generally a V-sharpening at 17 °. In most cases, they require sharpening using a sharpening stone and not a rifle.

Can you use a Japanese knife like any kitchen knife?

Knives gyuto, chef, office, universal, slicing, pankiri or santoku can be used like any kitchen knife. However, you should not put them in the dishwasher, like any good kitchen knife. The nakiri requires an adaptation period because its use is not at all common for cutting fruits and vegetables. As to sashimi and deba , it is better to watch some explanatory videos before using them, because they are intended for a very specific use.

I love to cook and I try new recipes whenever I can. Which knives should I buy first? (for small budget, for medium budget, for large budget)

It is better to opt for a chef's knife, which will allow you to carry out most of the culinary tasks. Low budget: Gyuto knife from Haiku Yakitori. Average budget: Chef Yi Pro knife. Big budget: Chef Classic Wusthof knife.

What knife to cut onions and vegetables?

To cut onions, berries and vegetables, it is better to buy a paring knife medium size, about 10 cm blade. It allows fast and precise processing of small foods. It is also very useful for peeling food. It is in this type of use that ceramic knives excel.

What knives for meat?

A chef knife without hesitation, associated with a boning knife . A 20 cm chef's knife is ideal, its handling is easy and its size allows a multitude of uses (large fruits and vegetables, meats, fish ...).

What knife for tomatoes and for peeling?

For tomatoes, there are tomato knives with small teeth that allow easy entry into the very smooth skin of tomatoes, because a knife with a smooth blade must always be extremely sharp to be able to easily penetrate tomatoes. To peel nothing beats a ceramic vegetable peeler . Otherwise, a small paring knife will do the trick.

Why buy a block of knives? What are the other storage solutions?

A knife block with separate storage allows you to perfectly protect the blades of your knives. The universal blocks (basket of plastic fibers) are also very practical. Knife blocks also have the advantage of keeping your knives close at hand, away from children (placed at the bottom of the worktop, unlike a drawer that they can easily open), and of hiding their blade. Some other storage solutions: Magnetic bars: widely used by professionals because the knives are always available, it is very quick to take them and put them down after use, without taking up any space on the work surface. Protection boxes which protect the blade: compact, they allow you to store your knives in your drawers while protecting them. Finally, professionals also use briefcases storage for their knives.

How to maintain my steel kitchen knife?

The best way to wash your kitchen knives, whether steel or ceramic, is to run them under hot water and give them a sponge with dishwashing liquid. Dry them with a cloth and store them. Even if the blade is made of stainless steel, you should not let your knife soak in water. First the water will eventually damage the steel, secondly, you will necessarily add other utensils (pots, cutlery ...) to your sink, which will damage the blade and the edge of the knife. For sharpening / sharpening : if it is a western type knife, use a metal sharpening steel to restore sharpness, and a diamond or ceramic sharpening steel to redo the wire if it is really blunt. If it is a Japanese knife, it is better to use a sharpening stone.

How to maintain my ceramic knife?

The best way to wash your ceramic knives is to run them under hot water and to sponge with dishwashing liquid. Dry them with a cloth and store them. By itself, it is not important to dry your knives right away because they will not rust, but this will prevent you from letting them drag on the drip tray. Regarding washing in the dishwasher, it can be used for a large majority of ceramic knives, by positioning your knife flat on the floor (with glasses). In doing so, it will not come into contact with other steel utensils. However, we advise you not to wash your knives, whatever they are, in the dishwasher. For sharpening : if after a long period of use you notice that your ceramic knife needs sharpening, several solutions are available to you: - Brands like Kyocera offer to sharpen your knife. You send it back to the brand. - Small, very fine diamond sharpeners have been developed by Victorinox and Chroma , and a sharpener specially created for ceramic knives is offered by Kyocera.


  1. Hilton

    I actually didn't like it)

  2. Aethelred

    There is something in this. Thanks for the explanation, I also think that the simpler the better ...

  3. Bar

    I apologize, it's not up to me.

  4. Abdimelech

    He has gone to the forum and has seen this topic. Let him help you?

  5. Benon

    Until when?

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