Before you begin to worry about what types of knives you need, I suggest you bone up on knife blade material. Here I discuss knife construction from a material perspective. A good knife begins with a single piece of metal or ceramic, stamped, cut or, best of all, forged and tempered into a blade of the desired shape.
Since a cook’s knives are her best friends, it behooves you to seriously consider what types of knives you need, and which knife blade material you prefer.
Carbon Steel – Carbon steel is used for blades because it is soft enough to sharpen easily. It discolors and corrodes easily.
Stainless Steel – Stainless steel will not rust, corrode or discolor and is extremely durable. It is more difficult to sharpen, however the freshly sharpened blade will last longer than the carbon steel.
High-Carbon Stainless Steel – This type is the most frequently used metal for blades because it will not rust, corrode, or discolor and it is easily sharpened.
Wusthof knives are some of my favorite knives because each knife features a special blend of high-carbon German stainless steel throughout the whole length of the knife for exceptional strength and balance. Wusthof knives also provide sharp, precisely tempered blades for safe, efficient use. Laser tested for accuracy, the unique, compound angle of the blade tapers from the spine of the knife to the edge to create a sturdy, yet extremely sharp cutting surface. Another thoughtful detail includes the handles, which come riveted and ergonomically designed for a secure, comfortable grip. Made in Solingen Germany, “The Cutlery Capital of the World”, Wusthof knives carry a limited lifetime warranty and should be hand washed for best results.
Ceramic – A ceramic called zirconium oxide is used to make knife blades that are very sharp, easy to clean, and rustproof. They need to be sharpened professionally on special diamond wheels. These knives are very expensive. They also do not have the flexibility that metal knives have, so be careful using them.
I hope this quick little recap of the various knife blade materials will help you decide exactly what type of knife set you want to purchase to speed you on your way to becoming a first-rate gourmet cook.