Many knives have a similar look, but it is the construction of the knife that determines the quality and price. The type of steel, the forging process, the weight and the balance are what makes a knife more or less expensive.
Buying individual knives lets you pick and choose the exact knives that are right for your cooking style, but often buying a complete set is a little more cost effective
The best advice we can offer when purchasing a set of knives is to make sure your knife block has room to grow your collection. Choosing a knife set may be the right choice for you in terms of value, but you are probably going to want to add to your set or upgrade certain often used knives.
If you choose to purchase your knives individually you have the option to pick and choose the knives that are right for you. Purchasing individual knives also allows you to mix and match your set, there is no need to purchase all your knives from the same series. Maybe the right choice for your kitchen is to buy one or two top of the line knives and round out your set with a few more affordable options - you can always upgrade your knives in the future.
If you are wondering what type of knife to splurge on, a good multi-purpose Chef knife is always recommended. This will be the most used knife in your kitchen and can handle a variety of chopping and slicing tasks.
With so many options it is sometimes difficult to choose the right set of knives. The first thing is to set your budget. Figure out how much you want to spend and tailor your purchase to that budget. For the most part the quality of knives is directly related to the price, a more expensive knife will use a better steel, a more technical forging process, have sturdier weight, better balance and keep its edge longer.
Once you'vve determined your budget your next decision will involve what types of knives you need. Do you want the largest, most versatile set or do you want a smaller, better quality set? Do you already have a set of knives, if so do they all need to be replaced or is it better to upgrade a few of your most used knives? For some people it's important that all their knives match, for other people function is more important than style.
Buying a high quality, well balanced knife is a decision you'll never regret. A good knife will last a long, long time with proper care and regular sharpening.
Here are a few good questions to start with:
1 - How much time do you spend cooking in the kitchen?
Are you dedicated home chef who loves to make big meals from scratch for your friends and family? If so, a high quality knife set, or at least a few often used top of the line knives are a great choice for you. If, however, you find yourself grabbing take out or are just too busy to make more than a few quick and simple meals a week then you might want to look at purchasing an economy set of knives and upgrading them as you improve your culinary skills.
2 - What type of food do you cook?
Are you a vegetarian? Then you probably don't kneed a boning knife. Do you love fruits and veggies? A good quality paring knife might be your best choice. Love to bake? You can't cut a fresh loaf of bread without a serrated bread knife. Are you a meat lover? A good quality cleaver, boning and carving knife need to be in your collection.
3 - How much care do you want to put in maintaining your knives?
The higher quality the knife the longer they will retain their edge. You may save a bit of money buying a less expensive knife set but you're going to want to sharpen it more often than a higher cost premium knife series.
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