FOUR WAYS TO SPOT A QUALITY KNIFE
Posted on November 05 2023
With so many options available on the market, finding your perfect knife can be a tricky task. Once you've decided which is the right knife blade for you, you're then faced with the task of which of the hundreds of brands and designs can provide you with the best quality for your price point.
Here are some top tips for spotting high quality knives.
1. CONSTRUCTION IS KEY
Keep an eye out for any welded parts or joining, especially in the hilt of a knife. If there is steel running through the back of the hilt and there is either welding or joining involved, this will likely be a weak point in the knife’s construction.
This also indicates that the knife has been made with multiple pieces of steel, whereas the best knives are often hand-crafted and made from a singular piece of steel.
2. MATERIALS MATTER
The best knives are made using good materials. Indeed, everything from the choice of blade steel, to the handle material will impact on the feel and performance of a knife.
Plastic handled knives, for example, tend to struggle for balance versus wooden or metal handles because of their lightness. Similarly, whilst ceramic knives can look great and start off being very sharp, they’re also much more prone to chipping than metal blades.
If you do opt for a metal bladed knife, the most important consideration is the quality of the steel. You want a steel which combines flexibility, durability and resistance to corrosion. Which is why at Katto we use AUS-10 Japanese steel with a Rockwell rating of 58-60 HRC. We think this offers the perfect blend of hardness and durability.
3. BLADE DESIGN
Blade design has a huge impact on how effective the knife is to use, and a well-designed blade can increase the knife’s lifespan and capabilities.
As a general rule, western designed knives tend to be heavier and more robust than finer bladed Japanese knives. Although, if the steel is of good quality, then both types will be able to perform a variety of tasks.
When it comes to aesthetics, though, we much prefer the elegance and beauty which you tend to find with Japanese designs (although we’re biased of course!).
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, it’s crucial to understand a knife’s sharpness (or potential for sharpness). As discussed above, using a great quality steel is a huge part of this. But so is the tapering of the edge and the blade’s ability to remain sharp through heavy use. After all, it’s no good buying a knife which is super sharp when you first buy it; but blunt as a spoon after using it a few times. Which is why at Katto we offer a 100-day return policy on all our knives, to let you get a real feel for their quality and durability.