What to look for when purchasing knives Part 1: Knowledge

If the carving job on your last Thanksgiving turkey was similar to a carving job done with plastic safety scissors; you may need to invest in higher quality knives. Some of my readers may be asking some questions like this: How can you tell whether a knife is high or low quality? High quality knives can be too expensive? What is the big difference between high quality knives and low quality knives? Well this blog will be dedicated to helping the consumer make informed decisions while investing their kitchen.

Knowledge:

Probably the first task that should be done before investing in knives is research. Know the brand, the quality, and the terminology. Knives are either stamped or forged. The way in which the knife is forged and tempered is as important as the quality of the steel used. Forging is the process of heating the steel to a red-hot stage then drop forged with a powerful blow to form the forged blank.

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The primary stage blank is cut from strip steel of high carbon stainless steel.

The blank is heated to a red-hot stage and drop forged, usually the 6-10 ton hammer will strike the steel about three times.

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A tool dye used for trimming excess hammered steel from the forged product creating the initial forged blank.

Holes are drilled into the tang for the rivets.

The forged blank is re-heated to red hot, and then hardened, tempered by re-heating and various other means such as ice tempering. Specialized techniques, like Ice tempering, creates a hardened blade that will help sustain its sharpness for prolonged periods and give the desired effect for easy re-sharpening.

Blades are ground individually to refine the taper and produce the final form of the quillon/guard and bolster.

The handle is attached and riveted with special compression rivets and the blade is ground to its final shape.

Ground blades are then cleaned and dried ready for Trademarks and Logos.

Final steps include sharpening, honing, cleaning and finally packaged.

With stamped knives, the cutlery steel is prepared at the steel mill rather than being hammered out by hand. The steel mill produces and delivers the desired grade of stainless steel in coils to the knife manufacturer. The shape of the knife blade is cut from the coil of steel by a machine designed for this task. The remaining processes, such as grinding, tempering, polishing, sharpening and finishing are completed using a combination of highly skilled labor and machinery. You can identify a stamped knife by the fact that it does not have a “solid bolster.”

The blade or blank as it is known is cut from a sheet or strip steel of high carbon stainless steel.

Rivet holes are punched into the tang or handle area of the knife.

The blank is heated to red hot, and then hardened, tempered by re-heating and various other means such as ice tempering. Specialized techniques, like Ice tempering, creates a hardened blade that will help sustain its sharpness for prolonged periods and give the desired effect for easy re-sharpening.

Blades are then put into grinding machines to give them the correct V type shape.

Ground blades are then cleaned and dried ready for Trademarks and Logos.

Handles are produced and assembled onto the blades.

Then the final handle finishing and blade edges are placed onto the knives

The final steps are quality inspection and packaging.

Here at CCI we take pride in having professional high carbon stainless surgical steel blades for all our knives.  Just like our team, CCI strives for excellence in approach, in product and results attained. Check out our website Canada or US to take a look at products that may be right for you! In part 2 the Discriminating Chef will help inform you of other ways to have all the knowledge before you invest in your kitchen. Til Next time!

 

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